Cosmic Orthodoxy and How it Affects Your Wallet
No, I meant it literally. Again, ortho-doxy is straight or right thinking; thus, cosmic orthodoxy is the correct view of everything, or rather, of the whole. It doesn't necessarily mean that one is correct with regard to every particular -- the history of any religion or science proves this -- but that one's overarching view is correct, or at least adequate; or even better, not infected at the start with a principle or axiom so fundamentally incorrect as to bar progress, or generate absurdity, or refute itself.
For example, the first principle of Cosmic Orthodoxy is that there is one. This probably sounds slightly tautological, but it isn't at all, for we know full well that there exists an influential mob of half-educated mediocretins -- we call them the tenured -- who believe otherwise.
These lazy folkers enforce an orthodoxy that insists that there is and can be no orthodoxy at all, only a pluralistic miasma they call "diversity or "multiculturalism" or a government or campus that "looks like America," etc.
In short, they believe in orthodox relativism, or that relativism is the right and proper stance toward reality. Thus they refute themselves right out the gate, but these are not the sharpest bulbs in the knife socket. Which isn't problematic for them, since, in the absence of truth, no one can really be deeper or brighter than anyone else, and besides, so long as you're a ward of the state with a guaranteed gig in the looniversity bin, who cares?
In other words, there can be no vertical measure of proximity to truth, which does wonders for one's self esteem -- or intellectual pride -- until one realizes that any scholarship produced by such heterodorks is equivalent to winning a trophy for showing up: the bland writing for the blind.
It reminds me of 1974, when the Nobel Prize in economics went to two illustrious experts, Freidrich Hayek and Gunnar Myrdal. These two experts could not possibly disagree more on the nature of economic reality, nor is there any way to blend them into some kind of hybrid "middle way," for this would be the middle way of ice cream and excrement or orange juice and arsenic.
Now, the reason why there is economic truth is because there is truth; and the reason why there is truth is because there is reality; and the reason why there is reality is because there is creation; and the reason why there is creation -- including all this ongrowing creativity and novelty -- is because there is a Creator.
But the central point to bear in mind is that economics is not an ad hoc or sui generis discipline unattached to everything else, or something that only emerges at the level of human interaction. Rather, to the extent that it "works," it is because it mirrors certain principles of Cosmic Orthodoxy on its own plane.
Again, the views of these two men, Hayek and Myrdal, could not possibly be more different. To honor them simultaneously is analogous to handing out the Pulitzer Prize in poetry to T.S. Eliot and Maya Angelou, or a Templeton Prize to Thomas Aquinas and Deepak Chopra. It just makes no sense, for starters; it is utterly incoherent. Unless, of course, one is a relativist, in which case it is inevitable that we will conflate shit and Shinola.
"Actions," writes Easterly, "follow from principles and understanding." Although failure to act has its own consequences, "wrong actions are equally a danger," so "it is critical to to get the principles of action right before acting."
Or in other words, Doctrine and Method: the same principle that applies to religion applies equally to to economics, i.e., truth and its application.
The application of Myrdal's truth has directly led to a literally incalculable number of deaths, because it is impossible to calculate the number of deaths that wouldn't have occurred had authoritarian technocrats put Hayak's principles into effect instead of Myrdal's (or rather, if these meddlesome authoritarians hadn't existed to begin with, or had simply obeyed the Law).
It's like asking how many died as a result of Karl Marx. Only God knows. Given the guilt that would result, I suppose it's a sort of perverse mercy that Marxists don't know God. Yet.
"The technocratic illusion is that poverty results from a shortage of expertise, whereas poverty is really about a shortage of rights" (ibid.). Consider America at the time of the founding. The average person at the time was probably poorer, say, than the people flooding our southern border. But they had their sacred rights, and that was enough.
Imagine, however, if, instead of securing our sacred rights, our forebears had burdened us with Authoritarian Experts like Myrdal or Keynes or Krugman. Had that happened, our subsequent development wouldn't have. It is very much like Marx, who railed about the misery of the proletariat when, for the first time in history, masses of people were rising out of subsistence -- not due to Myrdalian principles, but to straight-up cosmically orthodox Hayekian ones of spontaneous order resulting from dispersed and decentrailized knowledge known by individuals and no one else.
And it is the same for poverty in contemporary America, which was actually losing the fight until authoritarian liberal experts decided to declare war in it. There can be no exit strategy from such a fanciful war, for the same reason there is no exit strategy from any delusion. Rather, the delusion is the strategy.
We have Providence to thank for the fact that our founders were firmly rooted in Cosmic Orthodoxy, in nonlocal principles that apply to all men at all times. If they were alive today -- which they still are, by the way -- they would no doubt call King Barry before the tribunal of world history and formally charge him with Plundering Our Wallets, Ravaging Our Economy, and Burning Our Constitution.
(yoinked courtesy Happy Acres)