Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Fun Size Nuggets of Anti-Wokeness

Damn:  this is one of the best essays I can remember reading in a long time, Psychopathy and the Origins of Totalitarianism, by James Lindsay:


The only drawback is that it's way too long -- at 8,538 words, to be exact. I extracted a number of passages for use in today's offering, but they came out to over 1,500 words, which is probably longer than one of our typical posts. Is it possible to boil it down further, to bite-sized aphorisms?

There's nothing in the post that we haven't touched on over the past 15 years, and I suppose that if we were to lay those posts end to end they'd fill a book or two, so who are we to diagnose logorrhea in someone else? 

Despite the wordiness, one of the guiding principles of this blog is to reduce the verbiage -- in other words  to say as much as possible with as few words as necessary  This requires a relentless vertical integration and synthesis that harmonizes the realms below without distorting, much less denying, them. This is more challenging than any reductive, one-dimensional religion such as atheism, but also much more fun.

On the one hand, we want to know Everything there is to Know about Everything there Is. On the other hand, we want to say it as economically as possible, because knowledge is infinite while time is short and getting shorter all the time. In an analogy we've used before, our life is like the opening and closing of the aperture of a camera. 

The length of one's life is the shutter speed, but under the best of circumstances we have only so much light with which to work and use to develop our pneumagraph of the whole. That this is even possible is about the most unlikely thing we could imagine (a fact that must, of course, be incorporated into our picture!) 

Yes, people have developed some pretty awful photographs over the years, from Marxism to National Socialism to Islamism and all the rest, but it's a wonder they can do it at all. What is reality that man art mindful of it? It must include man's ability to know reality, which presumes reality's ability to speak to man.

On to the essay. Of note, it is partly inspired by Pieper's (speaking of writers who say the maximum with the minimum) Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power, of which we have often written. Really, the title says it all: logocide is always a prelude to homicide. 

Not only is language "special," it is a divine gift and therefore sacred. If one is aware of the sanctity of speech, one trembles at the thought of committing the type of intellectual sin discussed in yesterday's post. Which is why intellectual dishonesty is among the most spiritually depraved conditions to which a man may sink, for it not only enables everything else, but justifies it.

While Lindsay doesn't mention him, his ideas are  also exhaustively described by Voegelin, with concepts such as doxic thinking (confusion of the model with reality), eclipse (closure of consciousness against reality), open existence (consciousness oriented toward truth and transcendence), amathia (willfully ignorant flight from the transcendent), and second reality (the fictitious world that masks or eclipses the real one).

Lindsay's essay is all about second realties and how they get that way. And what we can do about the people inhabiting them. Of course, if there is only one person inhabiting a secondary reality, we direct him to his local psychiatrist or psychologist. But what if there are millions? And what if these millions form a political movement that exerts pressure on the restavus to take up residence in their pseudo-reality?

I know what you're thinking: if you don't like California, move to Texas. Believe me, it's tempting. 

Anyway, every normal person feels this pressure to conform. Its essence is totalitarian; or rather, while the totalitarian temptation is fundamental to leftism, it is nevertheless a symptom of something deeper. What could it be?

Lindsay's analysis comes as close as secular thinking will allow:

Pseudo-realities are, simply put, false constructions of reality. It is hopefully obvious that among the features of pseudo-realities is that they must present a plausible but deliberately wrong understanding of reality. 

Therefore, because the construction is false, it must be defended. But it can never be defended with logic consistently applied. As we know, there are two things the woke progressive can never do, on pain of waking up from xyr wokeness: 1) be consistent in xyr principles, and 2) stop projecting. 

pseudo-realities do not attempt to describe reality as it is but rather as it “should be,” as determined by the relatively small fraction of the population who cannot bear living in reality unless it is bent to enable their own psychopathologies, which will be projected upon their enemies, which means all normal people.

But the projection too is a symptom, although it later becomes a cause. For example, supposing a woke person projects racism into me, this might cause xym to key my car or turn me in to the authorities for wrongthink.

The basic and ineradicable issue for the woke person is that reality can never mirror their psychic distortion. But instead of changing thoughts, like the restavus do, the woke bloke doubles down and tries to cut reality down to the size of his dreamworld. 

It also must be noted that the mismatch between fantasy and reality will feel like an act of aggression to the offended snowflake. Which is why, for example, we are seeing the corporate crackdown on conservative thought by our technofascist underlords, who are determined to force everyone to sing from the same hymnal and hernal. 

We are literally witnessing them turn our public square into one big college campus; while college used to be an island of repression in a sea of freedom, they want the sea to be as repressive as any looniversity bin. 

Pseudo-realities are always social fictions, which, in light of the above, means political fictions. That is, they are maintained not because they are true, in the sense that they correspond to reality, either material or human, but because a sufficient quantity of people in the society they attack either believe them or refuse to challenge them. 

The credo of the postmodern progressive is Truth doesn't exist, and we are its prophets; or There are no metanarratives outside our twisted paralogic; and finally the outright threat of Be tolerant of our intolerance, or else!  

We'll end this already too long post on that note:

Because the pseudo-reality is not real and does not correspond in any faithful way to objective reality, it cannot be described in terms that are logical. In the realm of how it thinks about the world, a pseudo-reality will employ an alternative logic -- a paralogic, an illogical fake logic that operates beside logic.... a pseudo-real paralogic will always be internally (and often unrepentantly) inconsistent and self-contradictory (Lindsay).

Which we've been saying for years. 


julie said...

It also must be noted that the mismatch between fantasy and reality will feel like an act of aggression to the offended snowflake.

Our speech is violence; their violence is speech. Also, our silence is violence if it can be construed to not agree with their speech.

We had been fairly fortunate, these last few years, in not losing too many friends over Trump's first term. More importantly, family connections held together remarkably well. Whenever an argument does happen, though, it is pretty much always a result of a leftist casually blaming Trump for whatever they're upset about, and getting pushback from someone who has finally had enough. Always, the one who actually started it plays the aggrieved victim, and the one who calls them on their BS is the Bad Guy for not just letting it slide.

julie said...

Today's example:

We'll just take away the children of Trump supporters and send them to re-education camps. "Enlightenment" camps!

Anonymous said...

It is not enough for the leftist that we respect what he wants to do with his life; he also demands that we respect what he wants to do with our life. - Nicholas

Sounds good. But what about the sinning?

I haven't seen my Christian part of the family since their MAGA brethren marched with guys wearing "Camp Auschwitz" shirts, and blamed it all on antifa. So we've gotten along quite well.

Cousin Dupree said...

We should be so lucky as your family.

Anonymous said...

Talking about 'corporate crackdown on conservative thought' could the covid vaccine conspiracy theory about revelation 13:17 be possibly true, with the vaccine doing the job it's touted for, but also having the effect of drugs like largactil or olanzapine being a mental straitjacket, but with the twist of allowing only self expression of the animal or beast nature of man and keeping 'The Kingdom of Heaven within' just there within. But what if there's no conspiracy, if it turns out this is a side effect of the vaccine.

Anonymous said...

The vaccine contains "antifa", which is actually a drug that creates a condition of the same name. Since health care workers and old folks are the ones getting vaccinated first, don't be surprised if the streets are crawling with suddenly "woke" health care workers and old folks, all scrubs and walkers, fighting with the cops again. Just FYI.

Anonymous said...

But seriously folks, what's all the fascination with the clearly psychopathic megalomaniac? I mean, one guy says something, a thousand people debunk it, and then a million come to believe that one guy as a prophet-king-god. What's up with that?

I wouldn't worry if it was the scrub of society and all doing the supplicating. But lots of those mob folks walked and talked like certified Christians. Could that be an Antifa trick? I saw on video that one of those military garb guys even brought his mother.

Anonymous said...

Leave Obama alone.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but Obama was there. He's that Sammy Davis Jr. impersonator guy. The "Ali" schtick is just an act. He was never a two bit credit card fraud, nor a convert to Alex Jones Conspiracies, or anything Baptist, now trying to grift internet followers for donation cash. Don't be fooled. It's really Obama in disguise. We must hang him along with Pence.

Anonymous said...

If it was Nancy Pelosi's neck that was on the line and she said it was a witch hunt how could you not believe her, but Trump is hated by the left because he refuses to get 'drunk on the blood of the Saints'

Anonymous said...

SW situation report:

Trump supporters are gathering in Bullhead City, Arizona in large numbers. Rumor has it they intend to send motorcades down-river to the California towns of Needles and Blyth and "occupy" them.

An even larger concentration of Trump supporters in Pahrump, Nevada, may attempt to capture the towns of Primm and Baker in a similar fashion.

Following this they may travel down Highway 15 with the goal of controlling the city of Barstow with its large Marine Corp Base.

If these prove successful, long range plans may include a two prong Trump attack against the the cities of Riverside and San Bernardino from both the North and the East.

Some people in Blythe and Needles have packed up and fled in response to the threat.

Nicolás said...

To defend a nation needs an army, but to defend an idea needs just one man.

Google said...

Not if we have anything to say about it.

julie said...

Trump supporters gathering in large numbers to take over cities? Nice if it were true, you'd probably see crime rates go down and property values go up.

Anonymous said...

Pelosi is as much "left" as Trump is "right". Both couldn't care less unless less money happened. Allowing the unrestricted flow of money into DC was a conservative idea, a bit like prosperity gospel for the political.

Anonymous said...

Is Julie saying that Trump supporters in cities would invade your homes and improve the values?

Maybe the videos were wrong, but the ones I saw didn't show any Trumpists volunteering their time and labor to improve the Capitol grounds. It seemed more like an excuse to kill cops, march with Nazis and smear feces around the place. Seemed more like another BLM protest except with all rich white people.

julie said...

It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood.

Even more so when the speakers are not in fact working with the same understanding of reality.

Anonymous said...

"Even more so when the speakers are not in fact working with the same understanding of reality."

Agree there. I come from a reality that is based on facts and not the mindless regurgitation of slogans. I also have the ability to look at a situation objectively and not always take one side of a story. Try to look at what Trump did objectively and pretend that Biden had done the exact same thing. Would your opinion be the same about what happened? Mine would - I would feel the same outrage at Biden as I feel about Trump.

I.e. someone who states that the recent events are communism, either has no understanding of what the word communism means or is mindlessly spouting off something they saw on the Internet. Also, someone who agrees that Trump really won the election or that the election was fraudulent and refuses to provide anything remotely factual to back up those assertions are either mindlessly accepting the word of a mentally ill pathological liar or repeating other slogans or not being honest with themselves if they actually do have the ability of rational thought. If you were able to come up with some evidence of fraud, I would consider it with an open mind. Do you consider any of what is going on with an open mind or is your mindset, Trump is always right and your though process stops there. It sure seems like it.

I will assume the comment about property values going up if idiots with guns invade cities is a joke.

Joe said...

C'mon, man. Antifa is just an idea.

Petey said...

No one here has ever suggested that Trump is an angel. Rather, that the left is diabolical.

River Cocytus said...

what has happened to your book links, Bob? They seem to have all turned into dead links...

Hope all are safe. Will have something important to share soon.

Gagdad Bob said...

I don't know. Big Bezos messing with you? They work when I click them.

julie said...

Hi River!

Which book links? I just checked, the ones in the sidebar worked fine for me.

The one in the first paragraph of the post looks like it just didn't get formatted right, but copy-pasting the address works just fine.

River Cocytus said...

They're all just "frowny" pages. I do use Brave Browser. Perhaps they are doing some shenanigans with js that Brave won't tolerate, and thus they won't load. Unsure.

julie said...

I'm using Brave, too. Had some problems with it a couple weeks ago, it kept crashing not only the browser, but my whole computer. Turned off the hardware acceleration option, and haven't had any problems since. Don't know if that helps you at all, though.

Anonymous said...

River, Mein Kampf can be easily found online.

Daisy said...

Heh - Godwin's law finally invoked here. I suppose it had to happen sooner or later.

Gagdad Bob said...

Well, this is interesting. Just got an email alerting me that I am eligible for the vaccine because I am a clinical psychologist and therefore an ESSENTIAL WORKER. In reality it's because the APA is a reliable supporter of leftist policies in California.

julie said...

Huh. Do you dare?

We're skipping it, on the premise that being an early adopter is usually unwise even just with technology, much less with something you're injecting. Plus, we probably already had the rona, so a vaccine is rather redundant.

Gagdad Bob said...

Diabetes is the wild card. I'm leaning Yes.

Gagdad Bob said...

Plus, it wouldn't be fair to the American public if someone as essential as I am gets sick.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob and company.

I had the Moderna vaccine dose #1. Side effects included a mild headache for one day, and minor soreness of the injection site for two days. Very comparable to the flu vaccine.

The benefits of the vaccine probably outweigh the risks.

Anonymous said...

SW sitrep:

A verbal altercation between two Trump supporters and a patron in a Needles, CA pot shop ended with a police K9 officer injured.

Pekoe, a German Shepard police dog attached to the Needles PD, sustained an injured left forepaw after a person at the scene of the altercation inadvertently trod on the extremity with heavy boots. Pekoe was in obvious pain and limping following this incident. Pekoe was treated at the local vet and has been released in good condition.

No arrests were made. Tensions remain high in this normally sleepy California hamlet as dozens of Trump supporters have arrived from out of town. Many are staying in an RV park near the Colorado River, others in motels. There have been no signs of unrest so far this evening.

Will keep everyone informed as the situation develops here and elsewhere in the SW.

julie said...


Re. the vaccine, it actually does seem like a wise choice if you have the major complicating factors.

River Cocytus said...

Unsure about the vaccine. Soon I'll have a bit more info, but the different vaccines are different; the Moderna one is not a vaccine (properly speaking) and should not be taken. Not only is the vaccine new but the technology is new as well, it's a double uncertainty.

Maybe I'm banned from Amazon or something.


While amusing, Table Talk is much better and I'd expect if Bob were going to recommend a Hitlor book he would go with one of the better ones.

Anonymous said...

I heard Trump was going to back a moon landing project in 2024. Now that's probably off the table. I'm feeling sad. I'm a big believer in space exploration. Oh well.

Now there's talk of impeachment. This would destroy any hope of a Trump run in 2024. Oh poo.

I'm going to need some time to grieve and get past this. I think "dejected" is the term which would describe how I feel.

What can I do to feel better? Everything is bad for us these days. No turning to drink or illicit affairs.

There's no getting around this bummer. It is just right up in the face.

Nicolás said...

The pleasures that fulfill us tend to be those so humble that we usually do not know their names.

Anonymous said...

I don’t care to know their names. Internet, just keep those pics of naked lady coming.

julie said...

To the moping anon from last night who thinks all is lost, well, what of it?

Serve God. Everything else follows. If we have been handed over to the enemy, serve God. If the enemy has instead been handed over to us, serve God. If the whole world has turned against you, serve God. If the whole world seems to be lifting you up, you're probably doing something wrong. Stop doing that, and serve God.

Stop worrying about what will be, especially for the things which are completely out of our hands. Pray for guidance, pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and be content with this day's daily bread. If 2020 taught us nothing else, it should have taught that nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, and if you can get through today, more or less intact, you're doing pretty well.

julie said...

Now for something completely different, via Vanderleun, some excellent observations about children and liberalism.

julie said...

Though the author does seem a bit naive about the ends of liberalism, stating, "This is why liberal states, even as they are gradually transfigured into massive, society-wide orphanages for childless adults, will always remain “pro-family.”"

Unless he is referring to merely classical liberalism, and not leftism, which is explicitly anti-family. (Perhaps the real meaning of "Antifa," now that I think of it...)

Anonymous said...

Julie, thank you for the words of encouragement. I do feel better now after reflecting on them.

How can I serve God today? That is the question. I will apply myself to my job and try to perform it well. Grocery shopping comes to mind as well. I will buy something for my spouse.

I will give thanks for the food which I buy at the store, and will avoid gluttony and eat it slowly a little bit at a time to make it last. Others out there may be going hungry.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:35PM, you should be aware that in addition to pics there are free vids of naked lady on that internet. Check it out. Just click the the google search for "videos." You can also try the GIF button which will serve you up enticing little clips.

You can easily waste hours surfing the internet, please enjoy in moderation.

Anonymous said...

Julie, the essay you provided was very interesting. It shows we take for granted that children and adults operate under different rules, and nobody thinks much about it.

When you do think about it, hilarity results. However, in aggregate the essay is quite useless although fun. There is a thing called "overthinking it" and this was it.

A good read, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Well I found the vanderloon piece fascinating. It reminded me of my own childhood.

Long ago, there was this new kid on my block who’d chosen me, to seize his pleasure of my constant company whether I wanted it or not. Sure, I’d play with anybody, provided they were reasonably kid-socialized in the normal kid-rules of kid-give-n-take. But this kid wanted constant attention and always on his terms. I tired of him quickly and began to shun him.

Now I suppose that every time that narcissistic kid arrived (between three to eleven times each day), I could’ve presented my Bible each time and made him sit with me to read along. Since my father was a minister, this would serve the dual purpose of making dad proud while boring the kid into going away. But I wasn’t that smart yet. So went and got my knife.

I’d been taken to see The Cross and the Switchblade movie. Sure, the preaching part was cool. But those gangsters were cooler. I chased the kid away and down the street with my pocket knife in my teeth fully opened. A horrified neighbor stopped me and took the knife away, telling me that my father was the only person who could get it back for me. After a brief period of angst trying to get my father to understand why I’d want to knife a kid, he suggested that next time I try to bore him with Bible readings. At least that’s what my kid brain understood.

So I ask you this. What if that neighbor had been indoctrinated to just mind his own business? Or worse, indoctrinated to call the cops? Or doubly worse, captured me and forced me to read the Catholic Bible with him?