Sunday, March 14, 2010

Give Us Your Victims, Your Losers, Your Addled Misfits Longing To Be Serfs

Woke up an hour later this morning, so I just grabbed this old Bobastic rant from a few years ago... Re-read meat for the base!

Excellent piece over at American Thinker on Global Warming as Pathological Science. It's not just about global warming, but about the left's constant hijacking of science for politico-religious ends.

Which is why it is so ironic that leftists are always so hysterical about a few Christians who believe the universe was created in 144 hours 6000 years ago, when they themselves are responsible for almost all of the wholesale misappropriation of science for magical ends, global warming just being the most visible and risible example.

Ultimately, depending upon which way you look at the evidence, science can either support or not support the existence of a Creator. But either way, it has no effect on the actual conduct of science, so long as it is guided by one question: what is true? It shouldn't even need to be said that the glorious history of western science proves beyond doubt that theism is no barrier whatsoever to great leaps of scientific insight. Conversely, if the cosmos really were a kind of linear machine, genuine insight would be impossible.

I'm sure there are exceptions, but I know of no believer who doesn't believe that God, by definition, wishes for us to know the Truth about reality. Indeed, if God did not exist, then neither could Truth and certainly not knowers of Truth. It's ridiculous to have to even to say this, for a God who wanted to hide the epistemological ball from us would hardly be a God worthy of paying attention to. That's not God, that's a mind parasite (mind parasites thrive on falsehood; it is both their substance and their agenda).

This problem of the left hijacking science was recognized by my favorite philosopher, Michael Polanyi, as early as the mid-1940s. I just started reading another book on him yesterday, and so far it is the best introduction I've found. I can't give it an unqualified endorsement until I finish it, but if it keeps up this pace, it will definitely be a foundational raccoomendation.

The question is, why is pathological science not only inevitable on the left, but intrinsic to it? The short and cryptic answer is that leftism itself is essentially a minus religion (-R) deeply rooted in minus knowledge (-K) about a reality that does not and cannot ultimately exist, Ø. Allow me to explain.

In a minute. But let me first cite some examples from Lewis' article at American Thinker. He writes that "When the scientific establishment starts to peddle fraud, we get corrupt science. The Boomer Left came to power in the 1970s harboring a real hatred toward science. They called it 'post-modernism,' and 'deconstructionism' -- and we saw all kinds of damage as a result," including systematic nonsense about the dangers of heterosexual AIDS, DDT, and second hand smoke, lies about civilian casualties in Iraq, and destructive theories about bilingual education, to which I might add outrageous lies about the reality of sexual differences, about the damaging psychological effects of daycare, about the importance of fatherhood, and about the causes of homosexuality. I could go on, but you get the point. Let's not even get into their wacky economic theories.

Lewis writes that all this modern scientific fraud is "especially weird because the Left claims to be all in favor of science. Marxism itself was a scientific fraud, of course. In 1848 Marx and Engels claimed to have a 'scientific' theory of history. They predicted that communism would first arise in England, because it was the most advanced capitalist nation. (Not.) They predicted that centralized planning would work. (Not.) They predicted that the peasants and workers would dedicate their lives to the Socialist State, and stop caring about themselves and their families. (Not.) They predicted that sovietization would lead to greater economic performance. (Not.) And then, when seventy years of Soviet, Chinese, Eastern European, and North Korean history showed Marx's predictions to be wrong, wrong and wrong again, they still claimed to be 'scientific.' That's pathological science -- fraud masquerading as science."

As alluded to above, Polanyi noticed all of this going on by the mid-1940s, and was puzzled by it. Perhaps it should be noted that he had a unique resume, in that he started out as a medical doctor but later became a professor of physical chemistry, with many important papers to his credit, only to later become a philosopher. His last scientific paper appeared in 1949, but he had already begun dabbling in philosophy by the mid-1930s, mostly in what we would now call economics (being Austro-Hungarian, he was very much influenced by luminaries such as Hayek and von Mises, and early on formed a deep understanding of the critical importance of liberty, non-linearity, spontaneous order, and open systems, to both science and economic development -- he is a classical liberal par excellence).

Polanyi didn't turn full time to philosophy until the 1950s, and his magnum opus, Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy, wasn't published until 1958, by which time he was already 67 years of age. I must have discovered him in the early 1980s, and agree with Prosch's assessment that

"no one other than Polanyi has in recent years been so assiduous in ferreting out and criticizing those attitudes, beliefs, and working principles that have debilitated the modern mind by undermining its trust in its own higher capacities [emphasis mine]; nor has anyone else offered more pregnant suggestions for a truly new philosophic position free from these difficulties."

And although Polanyi's writings are free of any overt religiosity, I find that they most adequately support my view of a universe that is both absolute and evolving, as it must be if it is to be separate from the Eternal and situated in time; to be precise, it is evolving toward an Absolute that is orthoparadoxically both its origin and its destiny, alpha and omega (more on which below).

I believe Polanyi provides the best framework for an enthusiastic and unambiguous embrace of both science and traditional religion -- which is why the essence of our approach is what we might call "Integral Neo-Traditionalism," or something along those lines.

In turn, you might say that Polanyi is the unfortunate philosophical "wedge" between me and Schuon, who had no use whatsoever for modernity. In my view, Polanyi saves modernity from itself -- hence the subtitle of his book, Toward a Post-Critical Philosophy. To put it another way, Schuon felt there was no way out of our modern mess but back -- i.e., pure traditionalism -- whereas I believe Polanyi shows us the way forward, out of the darkness of postmodernity -- but not if we abandon tradition.

Perhaps it was because of his medical training that Polanyi began with a diagnosis of the modern world, which he regarded as more or less psycho-spiritually sick. Now, in my view, man has always been sick, consistent with our primordial calamity back in the archetypal, vertical garden. But Polanyi noticed that the world seemed to be sick in new and unprecedented ways. Fleeing the coming European apocalypse of the 1930s can provoke such thoughts.

One thing Polanyi noticed is that modern man tends to externalize the source of his own illness, which is, of course, a specialty of the left. Dennis Prager has mentioned that perhaps the greatest divide between left and right is found in the religious education he received as a child. As a result of it, he internalized the message that, to the extent that he has problems in life, they are overwhelmingly self-generated. We are the source of our own problems. Which is one of the most liberating things about America -- that you have the possibility of failure, without which there is not the possibility of success. It reminds me of a wise crack of Bion: if you cannot suffer pain, you cannot suffer pleasure.

The awesome gift-curse of self-blame has never been widely available in the non-Western, non-liberal world, where one cannot rise or fall based on one's own values, priorities, gifts, and dedication. But it is surely available here in America, where it is a wonderfully bracing thing to be able to proclaim, "my life is f*cked up, and it ain't nobody's fault but mine" -- something which a leftist can never, ever say, since he is always a victim of someone else. Look at Obama -- he wants to blow up the best healthcare system in the world because some Americans refuse to purchase healthcare insurance (most of the uninsured are affluent or just young and stupid).

Statistics bear out this truth again and again, that in America, you are free to succeed or fail, based upon your beliefs and concrete behaviors. The fact that we have losers is what makes us great! You cannot eliminate the losers, only drag down the winners. Do we really want to cater to the losers, as they do in socialist Europe, and as a result have perpetual 10%+ unemployment, stagnant economies, and growth-stifling taxes?

The left reverses the liberating truth and disempowers its victims by teaching us that our problems are not our responsibility. Rather, we've been screwed! It's a conspiracy! The race cards are stacked against you, the dice are loaded, and it's not your fault! The left will cite different reasons for your failure, based upon the political needs of the day, but the main point is that you are a victim and that it's not your fault. But mainly, they want you to turn over your power to the left, in exchange for their taking care of you.

As such, this represents an overturning of the principial order of the cosmos, the sanctioning of soul-corroding envy, and the denial of liberty. Mankind isn't fallen at all. That's just religious dopium to keep you down! No, earthly perfection is possible if we just eliminate freedom and impose our agenda on you poor slobs!

Don't worry -- nine out of ten leftist economystics agree that success only makes you miserable anyway.


Northern Bandit said...

The list of once-great publications destroyed by the left is truly depressing: National Geographic, Nature, Scientific American, The Lancet -- the list is very long.

Also depressing is the fact that those of us fighting the swelling tide of homo progressivus is quite limited in world-historical terms. Then again, that was always the case when it came to good versus evil.

Northern Bandit said...

I really wish you could edit your own posts for typos on Blogger. Really no excuse for that these days.

Tigtog said...

The funny thing these decayed publications all share is the belief that science should be fair. Populist science, who knew? The whole universe can be known through an opinion poll. Don't be too hard on them, they are just seeking a larger readership and evil profits. Reporting on hard science has a limited readership, particularly with the lazy left.

Gagdad Bob said...

More kooky left wing science: Are Liberals, Atheists More Evolved than Conservatives?

Petey said...

If only they would pay heed to my friend Gödel....

Anonymous said...

This blog hits all of my co-dependant buttons. It's my number read on-line.

That being said I need to apologize for the trash I've dumped here. My comments have been manipulative, whiny, passive agressive, and obnoxious.

I feel pretty worthless inside.

Tigtog said...

Liberals, Atheists More Evolved?

Huh, by definition how can anyone who subscribes to the tents of Darwin claim greater evolution? Your pretty much pegged out on the Darwin scale if you successfully eat and screw. Do liberals think they screw more efficiently than others? (don't they kill their young to preserve their free time which is kinda counter intuitive given the Darwin creed?) I will concede, however, that Michael Moore may have evolved beyond me on the eating scale thingy. He had better hope running doesn't become a selection criteria anytime soon or he's a goner.

Tigtog said...

To Anonymous - Your sincerity is touching.

Anonymous said...

I love how that article not only employs fiction as evidence ("Patrick O'Brian's novels of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic wars are filled with supremely intelligent people, with nary a Leftist among them.") but gets it completely wrong, since one of the two main characters in those novels (Maturin, by far the more intelligent) was a supporter of the French Revolution, an opponent of slavery, a skeptic, an anti-imperialist, and a rationalist man of science -- ie, a Leftist, more or less. The friendly political disagreement between him and the Tory Aubrey is half the point of the books.

LaFayette said...

Good point. If the leftist is more intelligent, it must be fiction.

Northern Bandit said...

For all I know leftists are more intelligent (i.e., have higher IQs) than classical liberals and conservatives. God knows there are enough super-smart leftists in the Ivy League schools.

The point though is that this matters very little. A high IQ can be used in the service of seeking and knowing Truth, but can just as easily be used in the opposite way (e.g., when smart leftists swallowed the global warming hoax hook, line and sinker). Mind parasites can and do cause even the brightest people to spend their lives mired in deep falsehood.

So if the Left wants to claim they win this little pissing match -- well only one "side" is actually pissing here, and it's upwind to start with.

Anonymous said...

Heh! Sucked ole tigtog in!

Anonymous said...

(Back on the meds and feeling like my old self again) ;^)

Co-dependant LayD said...

Well, I'm not on meds. I am co-dependant.

I was a leftist until I started reading here. I'm one of the rare success stories. I had a conversion.

I can't seem to be accepted by the regulars here but that's ok because I don't expect much. I'm happpy to participate.

Northern Bandit said...

Heh! Sucked ole tigtog in!

So... does that mean you get extra high-fives tonight from your frat brothers?