“…runs off a series of sums the Kochs have spent over the years on various right-wing causes. Curiously missing, however, is the $20 million donation the Kochs made to the ACLU to fight the Bush administration over the PATRIOT Act. Browsing various accounts of the Kochs political spending over the years, that $20 million appears to be substantially more than the Kochs have contributed to all political candidates combined for at least the last 15 years. (Their gifts to the arts and other non-political charities exceeds what they’ve spent on politics many times over.)”
Bender, good to see you developing such empathy for your fellow man!
If I had no sense of humor, I would be complaining about being misidentified as “Bender”! ;-)
Yes, “P. Flanagan” has gone by a number of different handles here, but — as far as I know — “Bender” is not one of them.
D’oh! My apologies as well!
Greetings! I hope you are well. Hope you will allow a slightly tongue in cheek analysis in a good cause.
As a technical note, the terms “formal” and “material” (with respect to cooperation with a moral act) are usually not used together. To put it simply, “material” is the physical act of cooperation (e.g. I’m driving the getaway car for a bank robbery) while “formal” deals with the degree to which I share the intent of actor with whom I am cooperating (e.g. I’m driving the getaway car because I want the robbery to succeed as opposed to driving it because they have a gun to my head). In a sense, “formal” cooperation always implies a degree of “material” cooperation, so using the terms together is redundant.
So if you visited the museum because you wanted to support Mr. Koch’s efforts to deny workers their fundamental right to organize and bargain collectively, you would be “formally” cooperating with evil. If you were visiting the museum for other morally licit reasons (learning about dinosaurs is generally considered so, although buying noisy dinosaur toys for other people’s children may not be) and did NOT share Mr. Koch’s intent, then your cooperation is merely “material” and may be justified for a proportionate reason.
Having said that, it is probably also true that Mr. Koch does not benefit financially from your visit to the museum. I suppose one could make an argument that visiting the museum aids Mr. Koch in his ability to portray himself as a wonderful philanthropist rather than an (extremely rich) union-busting thug and thus aids him in the commission of immoral acts. The connection, though, is highly remote and this remoteness is also considered germaine to the moral analysis of your at.
In the end, I would say that your act constituted, at worst, an “extraordinarily remote material cooperation with evil.”
Hope this helps you to sleep better…:-)
If Daddy and Daughter had a good time, any remote material cooperation was more than justified by proportionate reason.
Peter, thank you! Your primer is in fact nicely clarifying. Of course I was piling on terms in order to be, well, whatever…I figured something would go wrong if I jammed enough together.
Indeed, my cooperation would not be considered “formal,” and I suspect it would be “immaterial” if anything, as you point out.
I was in truth more concerned about what we would wind up buying in the “Dino Shop” (oy), but I was able to steer Stella toward a nice economical and reasonably sturdy set of plastic dinosaurs. (She immediately gave away the carnivorous and scary T. Rex et al, which may reflect her father’s views on the Bros. Koch.)
I must say, the Museum of Natural History, despite innovations like the Dino Shop, is such a huge pile of dino fossils and stuffed animals and dioramas that it still isn’t ruined at all. I went when I was six or seven for the first time, and they’ve dusted off all those stuffed beasts that T.R. shot and they look amazing. I doubt we’ll see anything like that again.
That said, the live butterflies exhibit was amazing. At least, I liked it.
Bender, Flanagan, Hannaway, Studebaker, etc, what differencve does it make?
The same partyu line.
And accusing others of “slander?” So it goes in the wonderful world of blogdom.