Friday, July 11, 2014

Cosmic Orthodoxy and How it Affects Your Wallet

A couple of posts back we dropped a casual reference to Cosmic Orthodoxy, which got me to thinking: exactly what did I mean by this term? Was I just joking? Being provocative? Poetic?

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.

Example?

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)

37 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Apropos of yesterday's post, Obama's psychological tapestry.

7/11/2014 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

...we know full well that there exists an influential mob of half-educated mediocretins -- we call them the tenured -- who believe otherwise.

And not only are they self-refuting, they are actually depending on the rest of us, the bitter clingers, to not believe them and keep on clinging. It's our bitter clinging that is holding civilization together on their behalf.

I'm not sure how accurate a barometer the prepper/militia/rightwing blogosphere is, but there is within that arena a growing expression of the sense that if the other side is not playing by the rules, our side doesn't have to either -- even that our side is foolish and wrong and unpatriotic to continue to adhere to the Cosmic Orthodoxy.

If it should happen that Obama and the Choom Gang manage to convince a significant portion of the "teabaggers" and "clingers" that there is no Orthodoxy, things could get really weird in a hurry.

7/11/2014 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

True -- the level of mendacity is just staggering. And the contempt for women couldn't be more complete, because they are considered too stupid to see the mendacity.

7/11/2014 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

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.

I was looking through Amazon yesterday for some books about values for the kids and came across one - The Family Virtues Guide that has an interesting premise, though it wasn't quite what I was looking for. Anway, apropos the post, among the mostly positive reviews, like a turd in a punchbowl, was a complaint that the book was "entirely Christian." It has been marketed as "...a workbook for the moral education of children that transcends differences of religion or culture." Apparently, one of the main authors is Ba'hai.

Anyway, there is clearly a Cosmic orthodoxy - unless you're an atheist. Then any placement of morality in a religious context is a form of persecution by Christians, no matter what the faith of the persecutor happens to be.

7/11/2014 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Might just as well say: the ideas in this book are worthless. It's entirely in English!

7/11/2014 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"besides, so long as you're a ward of the state with a guaranteed gig in the looniversity bin, who cares?"

A bell that won't stop ringing in my head these daze.

7/11/2014 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Except we pay the the tenured to toss the cowpies at us.

7/11/2014 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Myrdal lives on in Piketty these days. I glanced at the book the other with all its charts and data highlighting inequality and its dangers. But as such I can't bring myself to taking is seriously, being: infected at the start with a principle or axiom so fundamentally incorrect as to bar progress, or generate absurdity, or refute itself.

7/11/2014 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

On top of that he's been thoroughly busted for Making Shit Up. At least he could make up some new shit, but he just flings the same old.

7/11/2014 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

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.

I like that a lot. A little long for an aphorism, maybe it's an aphmorism.

7/11/2014 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

S'morism.

7/11/2014 12:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Dawn Colacho said...

A Van-aphorism.

7/11/2014 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

Hey, it's also an anaphora-ism.

7/11/2014 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

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."

Orthodoxy On A Plane!

7/11/2014 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Hey, it's also an anaphora-ism.

Hmmm...
(clickety Googley clickety)

HA! F'n brilliant!

7/11/2014 03:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

If history is written by the winners, why do humans believe in Darwinism?

7/12/2014 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Why are leftists so unhappy with the world they spent the last hundred years creating?

7/12/2014 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Since baby boomers were the most libertine generation in our nation's history, why did so many become statists instead of libertarians?

7/12/2014 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

If Darwinism explains man, how can man explain Darwinism without being trapped in tautology?

7/12/2014 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

If abortion is a natural right, does that mean we have no right to exist?

7/12/2014 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Congratulations, foolish earthlings: now that the state controls healthcare, every time it wants more money it will hold a gun to your head.

7/12/2014 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

If there were a pill to cure envy, liberals would refuse it, for the same reason the Christian would refuse one to cure his faith.

7/12/2014 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Since liberalism is a way to get rich by exploiting the poor, liberals imagine that corporations do the same thing.

7/12/2014 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Truth and falsehood require an equivalent number of gigabytes.

7/12/2014 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

I take that back. Falsehood requires more gigabytes, and the man with the most gigabytes wins.

7/12/2014 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Your Top 10 Orthoparadoxical Musings from the Other Side for this Saturday morn.

7/12/2014 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Falsehood requires more gigabytes, and the man with the most gigabytes wins.

Yep - Truth generally doesn't require mountains of explication to make itself plausible. It just is.

Apropos, via one of Vanderleun's Tumblr blogs, Isaiah's Job by Albert Jay Nock is always good for a re-read, and seems more relevant with each passing year...

7/12/2014 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Petey said...
I take that back. Falsehood requires more gigabytes, and the man with the most gigabytes wins."

No wonder liberals are such gigabytches.

7/12/2014 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Outstanding partial speech by Calvin Coolidge over at Powerline:
"Under this weight [of ever larger government] the former accuracy of administration breaks down. The government has not at its disposal a supply of ability, honesty, and character necessary for the solution of all these problems, or an executive capacity great enough for their perfect administration. Nor is it in possession of a wisdom which enables it to take in great enterprises and manage them with no ground of criticism. We cannot rid ourselves of the human element in our affairs by an act of legislation which places them under a jurisdiction of a public commission. . . Its attempt must be accompanied with the full expectation of very many failures. . ."

Amen!

7/13/2014 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Coolidge continues:
"Behind very many of these enlarging activities lies the untenable theory that there is some short cut to perfection. It is conceived that there can be a horizontal elevation of the standards of the nation, immediate and perceptible, by the simple device of new laws. This has never been the case in human experience."

Definitely a raccoon!

7/13/2014 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Typo: should have read "Keep Coon with Cal."

7/13/2014 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

OT:
Long story, short:
MotT is available in Kindle format for $14.39.
It's a good conversion, search works well.
Sorry I forgot to tell y'all when I found out a few months ago.
Anyway, enjoy.

7/13/2014 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Here's the rest of the speech. Well worth a read:
http://books.google.com/books?id=iPGEAAAAIAAJ&pg=RA3-PA35&lpg=RA3-PA35&dq=calvin+coolidge+american+bar+association+speech&source=bl&ots=NMjktX3XhQ&sig=QWFFI53yUZPisSKirhG0gUTnGLc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pRPDU8_sMpapyATlx4DICw&ved=0CFcQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=calvin%20coolidge%20american%20bar%20association%20speech&f=false

7/13/2014 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The evidence is everywhere.

7/13/2014 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

When I think of today's state of the union in light of what Coolidge said, I have noticed there's a lot of folks who wanna feel enlightened but not very many that actually wanna be enlightened.
However, there's a significant number of people who simply are ignorant of the truth due to public miseducation.

Those are the folks we need to reach if we have any hope of surviving as a Republic.
I know this because I used to be one of them, and I'm still learning the truth, and unlearning the crap I learned in public schools.

7/13/2014 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Coolidge was just plain cool.

I saw a quote/pic the other day that goes with his quote:

'If you can't trust people with freedom over their own lives... how can you possibly trust them with power over yours?'

7/13/2014 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger James Sheives said...

How does Cosmic Orthodoxy relate to common sense? Or self-evident truths? If you were to start "The Self-Evident Truth Society: Dedicated to Halting the Abandonment of Common Sense", what would your top ten cosmic orthodox principals be... or self-evident truths?

7/14/2014 07:28:00 AM  

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