Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ignorance and Power: Is There Anything They Can't Accomplish?

In pondering these reflections on the last ravaged century, what strikes the reader is that we are making the identical mistakes that are putting us on course for more of the same. Instead of waking from the historical nightmare, the left is gobbling down more ideological Ambien and hoping the dream will be better this time.

Can these really be called "mistakes"? For example, Obama knows full well what he is doing with Iran, and he doesn't consider it a mistake. It's not fair to compare him to Neville Chamberlain, because Chamberlain would never have tried to appease Hitler and finance our own destruction with billions of dollars.

Either in this book or in The Dragons of Expectation, Conquest makes the point that the struggles with communism and Nazism weren't "good vs. evil," but rather, man vs. monsters. It's the same with regard to Iran and ISIS. The left forgets that because we are men, our society will never be perfect; and that because Islamic supremacists are monsters, their societies will never be decent.

Here is a psycho-political orthoparadox: "A democratic community enjoying political liberty is only possible when the attachment of the majority of the citizens to political liberty is stronger than their attachment to specific political doctrines." In practical terms, "on many controversial issues a certain comparative apathy must prevail among a large part of the population."

It used to be called tolerance, but mere tolerance of the freedom of others is the new intolerance. Our liberty is under a ceaseless assault by activists who are attached to only one form of freedom, which is no freedom at all. Freedom only works if I leave you alone, and you -- and your state -- leave me alone. Note the asymmetry of power, such that one of these is not like the other.

So, "all the major troubles the world has had in our era have been caused by people who have let politics become a mania."

I would love to not have to think about politics, but that doesn't mean politics isn't thinking about us. Liberals are always thinking and scheming about us, right down to reaching into the shower and adjusting the temperature. In Los Angeles County -- with some of the worst traffic in the world -- they have a new scheme to make the traffic worse by designating lanes for bicycle use only. Likewise, there's not enough water for existing residents, but they have sanctuary cities for illegal aliens who will only make matters worse.

File under plus ça change: "One principle basic to these regimes is that the parties concerned came to power while concealing from their rank-and-file supporters the inevitable sacrifices that would be asked of them."

Like, you know, I was under the impression that there would be enough water to go around, or that I could keep my physician, or my healthcare costs would go down, or we wouldn't be arming our sworn enemies with nuclear missiles, or racial healing!

True, but as Lenin said, "The victory of the workers is impossible without sacrifices, without a temporary worsening of their situation." So, if Clinton is elected president, expect another temporary worsening of your situation, at least until we elect the next leftist.

In the Soviet Union they had the Five Year Plan. Liberals have the Eight Year Plan.

The result of these revolutions is always "a lowering of the standard of living of the working class," but citizens need to know that they are making this sacrifice for the greater good of state bureaucrats, crony capitalists, and ultra-wealthy Democrat donors.

Is there some fundamental reason why they are so illogical and anti-scientific, and why they embrace frauds and pseudosciences like climate change and Keynesian economics? "There was and is a strong tendency among Marxists to accept pseudosciences. The mechanism seems to be related to the desire for complete solutions -- which are of course more commonly found in the pseudosciences than in the sciences proper."

I well remember that one of the appeals of leftism was that it "leads to the condition in which many people possessing it feel that they are already fully educated and, in effect, capable of judging any subsidiary studies without adequate humility or effort."

Yes, there was a time that I was young and stupid and lazy enough to be as omniscient as Obama.


julie said...

"The mechanism seems to be related to the desire for complete solutions -- which are of course more commonly found in the pseudosciences than in the sciences proper."

Indeed. It's the human desire for simple explanations and control; as though a world so easily manipulated would be worth living in.

Rick said...

In Soviet Union, Five Year Plan has you.

neal said...

Simple with only a little control kind of sounds like Paradise.
Or just honest.

Or just orbital mechanics, and nested infinities, and doing what can be. I am not sure that is Ex Nihilo.
Maybe more like astonishment, with a dash of the impossible. Complex systems, just stuff bumping around all over.

The bumps are simple. I think Paradise has negative curvature, and stuff just goes where it goes.

mushroom said...

Exactly. I understood it as: I respect their right to be weird; they respect my right to be normal. Now, the fact that I want to be normal is rape. This time, the Nazis will have rainbow flags.

Gagdad Bob said...

They do that because of unconscious recognition of their own sin and guilt. In order to deal with it, they are under a compulsion to eliminate every witness. It's a sick inversion of martyrdom, in which one righteous person is a majority.

Gagdad Bob said...

Which is part of the left's totalitarian temptation. Anything short of unanimity makes them insecure.