Sunday, August 07, 2022

Let's Start With What We Don't Know

One of the reasons we appreciate Hayek so much around here is his respect for the unknown and unknowable unknown. A quote at the beginning of his Law, Legislation and Liberty sums up this perspective nicely: "There seems to be only one solution to the problem: that the elite of mankind acquire a consciousness of the limitation of the human mind" (Guglielmo Ferrero).

In other words, the only solution is NO MORE SOLUTIONS! -- in particular, political solutions that presume a knowledge that is in principle strictly impossible for man, or for any group of men, no matter how credentialed and indoctrinated.  

Hayek was an agnostic, so he could only take his ignorance so far. Here at One Cosmos, we never stop trying to follow it all the way up to its nonlocal source, more on which as we proceed.

In our view, every man necessarily lives in a matrix of some kind (AKA the world). However, one can be aware or unaware of this matrix. And if you don't know you're in one, you can't get out.

Leftism is a direct consequence of the latter, as it is composed of people who have no self-awareness, or rather, no awareness of the manmode matrix in which they are living. Thus, quite naturally they try to impose this ideological matrix on the restavus, nor are they capable of understanding why we do not wish to be so confined, domesticated, and castrated. 

Now, there is a way out of the matrix, and this is the ultimate purpose of religion. I don't want to waste a lot of time discussing disordered and dysfunctional religiosity, which obviously exists because man is man, and it doesn't get worse than that. 

Rather, I will only speak for our kind of religiosity. I hesitate to give it a name, because in one sense it's just "mere Christianity," while in another it is extreme Christianity, or better, extreme ignorance, applied unknowing, and strategic emptiness. 

Incidentally, there are aphorisms for everything we've said thus far, meaning there is at least one other human being who is in my tree. Which is remarkably comforting. I only hope this blog provides the same service for someone someday somewhere. I'll try to limit myself to ten, otherwise I could plagiarize all day. These first two sound like they could have been written by Hayek:

Rationalism is not the exercise of reason; it is the product of certain special assumptions that have pretended to identify themselves with reason itself.

“Irrationalist” is shouted at the reason that does not keep quiet about the vices of rationalism.

In other words, reason can liberate or confine the intellect to a rationalist matrix: Hayek calls the latter "naive" or "constructivist rationalism," as opposed to critical or evolutionary rationalism. Naive rationalism is unaware of its limits, for which reason  

No one in politics can foresee the consequences either of what he destroys or of what he constructs.

We always have problems, but God help us from the solutions!

Propose solutions? As if the world were not drowning in solutions!

The more severe the problems, the greater the number of incompetents that a democracy calls forth to solve them.  

Into the Great UnKnown:

That which is incomprehensible increases with the growth of the intelligence.

Religious thought does not go forward like scientific thought does, but rather goes deeper.

God is not an inane compensation for lost reality, but the horizon surrounding the summits of conquered reality.

It's bad enough that 

There is an illiteracy of the soul that no diploma cures,
worse yet that there is an illiteracy that a diploma only deepens and solidifies into a full-blown matrix.  

Ultimately, 

Mysticism is the empiricism of transcendent knowledge.

That's right, empirical: neither rational nor irrational, but transrational

Now, apophatic knowledge of God is just the acknowledgement that God himself is unknowable, such that anything said of him must be simultaneously unsaid. But it seems that this apophatic dimension pervades everything, which is precisely why everything, if looked at rightly, is a mystery -- which is not an absence but a presence.  

Here's a passage from the essay by Pieper discussed in the previous post:

the created spirit can never comprehend anything in the strict sense (comprehend means... to know something to the extent that it is knowable in itself, i.e., to exhaust all knowability and convert it into the known, to know something totally and "once and for all"). 

Since this is only possible for an absolute creative spirit..., for a human spirit there can be no last, ultimate absolute evidence.

This is "much more radical than the suspicion entertained by the methodic doubter," so it surpasses the mere worldly and naive cynicism of the tenured. Call it trans-cynicism and trans-ironic. Also trans-comedic, for there is a 

cheerfulness connected with not being able to comprehend, a cheerfulness which is closely related to humor and which is based on the fact that man knows that he is not absolute-being -- a creature (ibid.).

In short, this joke is easy and its burden Light: a guffah-HA! experience. 

13 comments:

Gagdad Bob said...

With the left, the unintended consequences are as bad or worse than the intended:

drug price controls that will erode innovation and slow future cures; climate subsidies that will crush fossil fuels; tax increases on companies that punish manufacturers in particular; and $80 billion in new funding for 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service employees.

julie said...

What could possibly go wrong?

While I do believe most on the left are just useful idiots who somehow think that what they are doing will have beneficial effects for the world and "humanity", there are some who actually do want things to go from bad to worse. The ones pulling the strings have said they want these consequences; one must eventually believe them. Morons; if they actually got what they want, they would find that they're living in hell on earth.

Nicolás said...

Hell is the place where man finds all his projects realized.

Man will have created a world in the image and likeness of hell when he inhabits an environment totally fabricated by his hands.

Nicolás said...

Evil, like the eyes, does not see itself. May he who sees himself as innocent tremble.

Nicolás said...

It is not when it fails to meet its promises, but does what it promises to do, that the true failure of the left is obvious.

Cousin Dupree said...

I would like to meet the American who wants 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service employees, so I can kick him in the nuts.

julie said...

Even better, let's make it a conga line and everyone who disagrees is allowed to join in.

julie said...

We can only hope that the vast majority of these new agents will be either utterly incompetent or clones of Ron Swanson.

Gagdad Bob said...

The IRS is Satan's own employment agency.

ted said...

IRS: "We are here to do an audit."
Me: "You know I just changed by gender."
IRS: "Well then, just you go ahead and pay us what you feel."
Me: "I feel triggered."
IRS: "Have a nice day."

I can work the system too.

Gagdad Bob said...

Ignorance of ignorance, or intended consequences?

Price controls are always, and everywhere, a terrible idea. When you apply price controls to a vital product like drugs, the results could be catastrophic.

... drug price controls would weaken the U.S. drug industry’s global leadership position and give China the opportunity to control greater market share to advance their national interests.

... Over the most recent five-year period from 2016 to 2020, the U.S. accounted for 138 of the new chemical and biological drug entities, followed by Europe at 64. Twenty years ago, Europe was on top.

The budget reconciliation bill’s strict price controls create a serious risk that the U.S. drug industry might follow in Europe’s footsteps...

Do they seriously want to devastate America’s pharmaceutical industry, and transfer international leadership in drug innovation to the Communist Chinese?

I certainly hope not. The most charitable interpretation is that most Democratic senators have no idea what is in the package that they have voted for.

julie said...

That said, if they were actively trying to destroy America and Americans, what would they do differently?

Nicolás said...

The devil can achieve nothing great without the thoughtless collaboration of the virtues.