Friday, September 04, 2015

Ye Shall Be As Frauds

Ideas have consequences. But for the left, fanciful consequences -- what they want -- give birth to ideas.

Which wouldn't be an issue if the consequences were possible, or if we had sufficient information to bring them about, or if life didn't involve tradeoffs.

No worries! The left's fatal conceit knocks down all three in a single stroke.

In short, liberals don't like the idea that the dispersed, local, and tacit knowledge in a spontaneous order far exceeds what is available to any centralized regulocracy. They don't know that in principle, what we can never know dwarfs what little we can know at any given time.

So there's that.

Ever notice that inequality exists? I have. So what? Since liberty and equality vary inversely, absence of equality shouldn't be surprising in, of all places, the freest nation in history.

But since liberty is an "absence," they don't notice, much less value, it. Rather, they simply fill that space with envy, or resentment, or auto-victimization, or some other malevolent psychic presence.

"How," asks Conquest, "is equality to be attained?"

How else? By robbery, only legalized and entrusted to third parties. But doesn't this create a permanent class of unequal robbers? Yes, but four bureaucratic legs good, two free market legs bad.

Here's a whole book devoted to this sorry subject, American Contempt for Liberty. A note to myself says "prosperity foregone is invisible" -- as invisible as freedom forgone, the one following from the other.

As we've been saying, what animates the left is the truism that "capitalism fails miserably when compared to heaven or utopia." But give the left credit: their vision is idealistic. It's only the outcome that's tragic. Conversely, the classical liberal conservative has a tragic vision. It's only the outcomes that are ideal.

"Prior to capitalism" -- and after, as it so happens -- "the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering, and enslaving their fellow man." But with the rise of capitalism, "it became possible to amass great wealth by serving and pleasing one's fellow man" (Williams).

Harry Reid and Barack Obama have become wealthy men in the process of displeasing me and millions of others. In turn, they are at war with those corporations that bring me nothing but pleasure, prosperity, and a long life, e.g., oil companies. "There are literally thousands of examples, such as wonder drugs, vacuum cleaners, and refrigerators, of how the common man's life has been made better by those in pursuit of profits" (ibid.).

And what has been given to us by those in pursuit of equality? Again, a permanent bureaucratic class of unequals that promised to end poverty in a generation. Two or three generations later, the poverty level is identical, but the bureaucrats are happy, and the left is pleased to have this permanent class of venal Democrat supporters.

To paraphrase Williams, unlike capitalism, government is a way to pursue self-interest without causing a good outcome. Call it the invisible hand of inefficiency.

We're getting far afield. Back to Conquest. For the revolutionary, it is "in the nature of things that dictatorship and terror are needed if the good of humanity is to be served." Conquest cites the analogy of Aztec priests, who were needed to rip the hearts out of living persons in order to prevent the sun from going out.

Remember this next time the Democrat priesthood howls about what will occur of there is a Government Shutdown! For that matter, think of the billions of dollars funneled to the climate priesthood on pain of being incinerated by the sun god.

I remember in the 1980s, how the world-class assoul Tip O'Neill called Reagan a cold and evil man with "ice water in his blood," and who had no concern for working Americans. Yes, only 20 million jobs created during his tenure in office. In contrast, Obama, who loves the working man, has the lowest workforce participation in history.

O'Neill was a hateful man, but like all leftists, cloaked the hatred behind an idealistic Luv for the Little Guy. "Like all paranoiacs, revolutionists legitimized hatred, which they practiced effectively. They claimed to legitimize it in the interests of humanity..."

A Karl Marx was a thinker and a writer, but only on the surface. Like Hitler, he was primarily a hater, and everything else follows from that.

Conquest cites Dostoyevsky, who wrote of how "'causes' are attractive... because they provide an excuse for behaving badly." As in war, the restraints of the superego are lifted, such that the most primitive impulses are unleashed and legitimized.

Here is a quote from Norman Cohn, written some 35 years before the rise of the Obama cult:

"There exists a subterranean world, where pathological fantasies disguised as ideas are churned out by crooks and half-educated fanatics for the benefit of the ignorant and superstitious. There are times when that underworld emerges from the depths and suddenly fascinates, captures, and dominates multitudes..."

But exactly what "is the mental material into which they insert their ideas, like certain wasps into certain grubs?"

Those of us who were immune to Obama's charm can't answer that question. Rather, only a recovered ideolater could explain what the hell happened to his grubby psyche. But in any event, "intelligence alone is... far from being a defense against the plague," for where would Obama be without the state-academic complex and the MSMistry of Truth?

Let's try to end this post on an optimistic gnote by shifting over to Barron. Surely there must be some good news.

In chapter two, he explains how much we can learn from atheists and other crackpots. For example, they precisely "clarify what the true God is not," and therefore "expose and implicitly undermine new forms of idolatry."

By extension, the left never stops teaching us what is not real, what is not true, and what is not worthy of our respect and reverence.

In reality, we cannot "know" God per se; rather, we can only know a relationship, for "The human being is a relationship to the God who is continually making and shaping him; essential to the good life is an acceptance of this state of affairs," because your life cannot possibly be good if it is not conformed to the true.

"At the heart of original sin, therefore, is the tendency toward self-creation and self-deification and the concomitant refusal to be shaped." Again, that fraudulent serpent in Genesis is the first leftist.


Blogger julie said...

Rather, only a recovered ideolater could explain what the hell happened to his psyche.

I dunno; I suspect many, on becoming sane, would find their previous madness inexplicable. Though of course much of it must have boiled down to wanting to believe, and finding the truth unworthy.

9/04/2015 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I just read a book on "Hitler's Charisma" that included interviews with people who were hypnotized at the time. Nothing especially memorable except to say that they were hypnotized.

9/04/2015 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Here's a whole book devoted to this sorry subject, American Contempt for Liberty. A note to myself says "prosperity foregone is invisible" -- as invisible as freedom forgone, the one following from the other."

That's a good way to ou it, "prosperity foregone is invisible". Unfortunately the means to dis-understanding that, "Unimaginable horrors are the easiest to imagine", is easiest of all to conjure upon, and best of all, no brain required!

9/04/2015 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Dear autocorrect: Whatever.

9/04/2015 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Conversely, the classical liberal conservative has a tragic vision. It's only the outcomes that are ideal.

How very true. I don't care what the intentions are of the people who built my bike. I got the best bike I ever had.

I'm not sure the left is "at war" with corporations. There is the corporate element that has seen the value of getting the government to enhance its revenues and take out the less politically-connected competition.

9/04/2015 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That's true. The war is only rhetorical, as evidenced by the billions of Corporate Giving to Dems & the Clinton Foundation.

9/04/2015 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

The Leftie's dirty little secret is that they owe much of their current popularity and power to Corporate Human Resources Dept's. Without that safe and fertile zone, and the mega-corporations responsible for facilitating their mega-reach into the culture, the Left would have expired with the Berlin Wall.

9/04/2015 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Liberal doublethink. But I repeat myself.

9/04/2015 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Seems to me it's not so much corporations they hate as competition.

9/04/2015 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous DougieFranklin said...

Your description/analysis of leftist psychology is no doubt accurate, but I'm often tempted to sympathize with those criticize the current economic system. We have a debt based currency which essentially means that there is always more debt than currency and most common folks are in debt. All this debt/interest on the debt must be serviced somehow which puts an unnatural economic pressure on most people that benefits the government and the banks first of all (since they create the currency out of thin air at no cost to themselves). Corporations and well off individuals benefit secondarily since they have enough cash to avoid debt. So part of the "luv for the little guy" and impetus for government handouts (I speculate) may stem from endemic pathologies inherent in fractional reserve banking that in a very real sense benefits the elite at the expense of the commoner. Hence I sympathize with those that complain about the rich getting richer and the declining middle class. The corruption in the system appears to be doing that now with the masses largely becoming wage slaves.

I think many that complain about the economy just want to escape taxes, rip-offs, inflation, debt, etc., etc. which is harder and harder to do. We don't exactly live in a truly capitalist economy anymore.

9/04/2015 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...


I found that Vedanta thingy I was looking for a little while ago. Set the Wayback machine to 2006 when Bob said:

“I don’t know if this is true or not, but they say that in India one traditionally spends the first half of life “becoming somebody,” the second half “becoming nobody.” In other words, the first half of life is spent devoted to the external world, to education, career, family, worldly accomplishment, etc. Then, the second half of life is spent more focused on the interior, in contemplation of the Divine, on the return to our eternal source. This is partly for practical considerations, as it can be difficult for someone in the first half of life to take religion all that seriously. Your life is entirely ahead of you. The younger one is, the more one’s life represents pure potential, and therefore, it gives one a spurious sense of the infinite.”

(Weirder still, I didn't find my way here until Jan 2007.)
Not to mention the strange synchronicity with the very first sentence of that old post.

9/05/2015 03:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

So apparently by some government metric (in other words, a standard bearing no actual resemblance to reality), this place in Minnesota was called the "America's absolute worst place to live." Apparently due to inadequate scenery and an unpleasant climate.

Of course the reality is the author went up there and discovered America, period. We should all be so lucky to be cursed by such surroundings.

9/05/2015 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

It occurs to me that Kim Davis may be the freeest person in the country at the moment.

And that, if things go well, no Christian will ever again have to worry about being made to work as a bureaucrat.

9/07/2015 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

She's managed the liberal trifecta:

--question authority
--subvert the dominant paradigm
--dissent is the highest form of patriotism

9/07/2015 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi guys! still here. Slowly getting back to mysbelf again. Great post, Bob. 😎

9/08/2015 01:35:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Ben, I was just starting to get concerned again :)
I hope you are still on the mend!

9/08/2015 06:15:00 AM  

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