“Read the History!”

E-migo Nate Winchester passes along the above-referenced piece of advice from a Leftist loon (BIRM).  Therefore, reading history is for retards.

But if you must read some, be sure it’s written by a non-academic, not published by a university press OR by a big traditional publisher.  If the author describes himself as an “independent researcher,” that’s usually best — this is usually a guy who scraped through a PhD program but can’t get an academic job, because he was outed as a conservative in grad school and the open-minded, extra-tolerant, diversity-uber-alles Liberals in the ivory tower have blackballed him for life.

Actually, it’s better if the guy doesn’t have a PhD, or a degree of any kind in the subject of History.  If you still respect degrees, you have no idea what actually goes on in the ivory tower.  I honestly can’t tell you want they DO learn there — and that’s after umpteen years in and around academia — but I can tell you what they DON’T.  The following list of things you’d think would be minimum qualifications for teaching history, that all history teachers are blissfully ignorant of, is far from exhaustive.  Read ’em and weep:

Basic economics.  This is even more baffling when you consider that teachers are all Marxists.  Marx’s actual philosophy is a dog’s breakfast of Hegelian “Spirit” junk, but in practice he boils all human endeavors whatsoever down to economics.  No, not kidding — cf. Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the Statewhich btw is the foundation of the feminists’ claim they are the Most Oppressed People Ever (MOPE).  Given their obsessive focus on economics, you’d think they’d at least know a little bit about it…. until you remember that they’re all Marxists, and learning the first thing about economics entails learning that Marx was wrong about everything.  Read instead:  Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics. Sowell is overhyped for reasons that don’t need stating, but he really is a clear (if dry) writer who’s very good at boiling complex issues down.  Basic Economics is long, but you’ll only need to read it once.  If you really want to stick the quadruple axel, go for Ludwig von Mises’s Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis.

Anything military.  Another surprise, if you think the academic study of history has anything to do with how people behave — the only thing humans do more than shop is fight (and no war since caveman days lacks a significant economic component).  And yet, you couldn’t play a pickup basketball game with the number of history professors who call themselves military historians… and as for grad students, the less said, the better.  I remember bursting out laughing in the middle of a grad seminar; I couldn’t help myself.  When my furious colleague asked me just what was so funny about her theory, I replied: “logistics.”  She had no idea what the word meant.  Read instead: There are a zillion war nerds out there, and they all have blogs.  I guarantee you there’s something published somewhere that goes into excruciating detail about every single weapon, leader, tactic, and strategy from Og the Caveman to whoever is leading our current merry adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Guys like Brent Nosworthy write great overviews.

Basic sexuality.  The only thing humans do more than fight is screw, and… well, to be fair, this is what you’d call “opportunistic ignorance.”  When it comes right down to it, all but the actual blue-haired nose-ringers know there are only two sexes (and even the BHNRs wake up in cold sweats at night, suspecting it).  Problem is, asserting it pisses off the BHNRs, and there goes your career.  Also, claiming there are umpteen different sexes and genders lets you publish stuff that wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance of seeing print if it relied on traditional academic standards like “evidence” and “coherence.”  Publish or perish.  Read instead: Sex Trouble, by Robert Stacy McCain.  He knows more about Gender and Sexuality Studies than most of the persyns who teach it… and he ruthlessly mocks it all.

Basic ecology.  Not stuff like “C02 feeback mechanisms.”  Not even stuff like “What is CO2”?  I mean questions like: “A whole bunch of North Africa that is now desert used to be the breadbasket of the Roman Empire.  What happened?  Legionaries in SUVs?  Or the opposite — they used to grow wine grapes in Iceland, you know.  Iceland!  Was that, you know, Viking pollution, or what?”  And hey, speaking of…

Basic biology.  One of the greatest — and dumbest, and most dishonest — pop-science books of the last generation was Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, which peddles a biological reductionism so extreme it’d make Mengele blush.  Papua New Guineans are really the smartest people on earth — he really says this — despite never making past stone tools and penis gourds.  It’s all environment, you see.  The Incas lacked domesticable animals more productive than the llama, so they never invented the wheel, and that’s why the smallpox got ’em.  I’m really not exaggerating too much.  IQ? Never heard of it.  Read instead: Primitive Culture, by E.B. Tylor.  Published in 1871, and I dare you to refute it.  Well, you probably could take a decent stab at it, Seven Regular Readers, but nobody I know with a Liberal Arts PhD would even know where to start.

And that’s why college is a big ol’ scam.  Whatever you do, don’t read the history.

I Have Seen the Feminist Future….

GERyouth4

I. Since nobody else is going to do it, I guess it’s up to me.  Dear feminists: You’re right.  Sex is about power.  Problem is, being feminists, y’all don’t understand sex, and you have no clue whatsoever about power, so the relationship between the two sails right over your rainbow-dyed heads.

Let’s start with Hillary Clinton’s favorite book, 1984:

Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

There you have it, ladies.  Stripped of all its niceties, undisguised with pretty language, this is a man’s view of the world.  One either has power, or one does not have power.  If that sounds like something Michel Foucault took 400 pages of queasy neologisms to say, well, good — I guess you were paying attention in one class, at least, since Wymyn’s Studies is all Foucault, all the time.  (If Foucault sounds like cut-rate Nietzsche to you, even better — you must’ve gone to a college where they still have a passing acquaintance with the Dead White Males).

Civilization — as we all instinctively understood until compulsory college enstupidated it out of us — is how we channel men’s will to power to beneficial ends.

Sex is a byproduct of power.  Nietzsche said happiness is “the feeling that power is growing, that resistance is being overcome.”  (The applicability of this to the current groping plague is, I trust, obvious).  Thus, sex is just one of many possible discharges of the feeling of power.    Men with enormous amounts of power can, and frequently do, bypass sex entirely — look at the Catholic Church.

Now before you start going on about “institutional control of female sexuality,” ladies, it’s time for another home truth: Only people who aren’t getting any indulge in elaborate conspiracy theories about sex.

II. Speaking of, here’s a group who brings all this stuff together: The “Game” guys.  We all instinctively know that “mastery of Game jargon” and “actual sexual conquests” are inversely proportional.  Indeed, “Game” writers have been complaining about the dorkification of their thing for years now.  Pay attention here, ladies, this is important: This is how men compete.

Just as guys who can’t do a single chin-up and faint at the sight of blood know all the technical specs of futuristic small arms and call themselves MurderDeathLord69 in Call of Duty, so guys who seriously, un-ironically use terms like “HB8” have never seen a vagina in real life.  BUT: Just as no online commando would ever dream of joining the Army to show off his mad sniping skillz, no “Game” dork will ever leave his Mom’s basement to go talk to an actual girl.  That’s not the point.

Mastering the jargon is the point.  The sex — if by some miracle any should occur — is incidental.  Nobody could see it, even if it happened, but everybody that matters in your world can witness your sweet pwnage of some n00b who etc.  Grasp this (as John Conyers undoubtedly said to a White House pool reporter), and you’ll understand one of the only two things you’ll ever need to know about male sexuality and its relationship to power.

The second thing you need to know is: What happens when the competition stops.  We should all be thanking every god humans have ever believed in that you can’t win the Internet, because if you could, the competition would be forced out into the real world… and pretty soon you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting some goober dressed like this going through his “DHVs” and “negs.”

section break!

section break… ladies.

This is, in effect, what has happened with Hollywood, the Media, and the Left half of Congress.  Weinstein, Conyers, Franken, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Louis CK, Garrison Keillor… these guys are topped out.  They’ve won.  They’ve achieved everything it’s realistically possible for them to achieve, and they know it.

Hence the groping.  It’s not droit du seigneur, any more than Bill Clinton’s many sordid escapades were.  Think about it:  Any one of these guys could have all the weird, perverted sex they wanted, for free, any time they felt like it.  I keep quoting that Nina Burleigh bint, because she was saying what every single reporterette in Washington was thinking at the time.  They’d all have been happy to blow Bill Clinton; he knew it; but he screwed around with a fat intern anyway.

The sex was incidental.  He got off on the power, on the discharge (sorry) of power, because that was the only “conquest” left.  Guys on the way up don’t do this — they’re too busy fighting tooth and claw with other men.  It’s only the has-beens who turn into gropenfuhrers (and/or adulterers, it’s the same mechanism, see here if you want it from a medical professional).

III.  So what to do about all this?  Men being what they are, all the laws in the world aren’t going to change this.  So long as there is an arena where status-striving is possible — and we humans are endlessly inventive, see e.g. the “Game” dorks competing to come up with the most spergy jargon — you simply can’t guard against this…

…. if the arena has both sexes.  Logically, then, we need sex-segregated workplaces.  I say we give the feminists exactly what they want: All-female workplaces, where there’s no chance of interacting with a man, however much of a “male feminist” he proclaims himself.  That would, of course, entail all-male workplaces, and y’all are free to speculate on the relative stock prices of each enterprise, but these are the sacrifices we make for Progress.

Pickup Artistry – UPDATED

Is Leftism just one big category error?  I’m increasingly coming to think so.  If you can consistently tell when different things are different, and similar things are similar, you’ll never have your brain parasitized by SJW toxoplasma.

Via The Other McCain, New York Times soyboy discussing “the implicit brutality of male sexuality:

After weeks of continuously unfolding abuse scandals, men have become, quite literally, unbelievable. What any given man might say about gender politics and how he treats women are separate and unrelated phenomena. Liberal or conservative, feminist or chauvinist, woke or benighted, young or old, found on Fox News or in The New Republic, a man’s stated opinions have next to no relationship to behavior.

Through sheer bulk, the string of revelations about men from Bill Cosby to Roger Ailes to Harvey Weinstein to Louis C.K. to Al Franken and, this week, to Charlie Rose and John Lasseter, have forced men to confront what they hate to think about most: the nature of men in general. This time the accusations aren’t against some freak geography teacher, some frat running amok in a Southern college town. They’re against men of all different varieties, in different industries, with different sensibilities, bound together, solely, by the grotesquerie of their sexuality.

The bold bits are the most fun, if you’ll forgive what sounds like a PUA line from Dickens’s London.  No, Champ, they aren’t bound together, solely, by the grotesquerie of their sexuality.

They’re bound together solely by the fact that they’re all prominent media people.

I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that media people are all sexually twisted freaks.  Cool Brittania has gone further down the sewer than we in a lot of ways, but they still have the right attitude about their talking heads: Performers are basically carny folk over there; newsreaders and especially journalists are a step below actual prostitutes.

I also shouldn’t have to tell anyone what happens when you give a lifelong loser his first taste of real power.  Everyone has worked with a dorky-but-harmless guy who got made Assistant Shift Supervisor and suddenly turned into Heinrich Himmler.

And I really shouldn’t have to point out the strong correlation, which anyone with five minutes’ experience in the real world has noted, between single motherhood and liberalism.  You can’t spell “social justice warrior” without D-A-D-D-Y I-S-S-U-E-S.

Give a group of degenerates with crippling daddy issues real power over another group of degenerates with shall we say nuanced notions of sexuality, and what the fuck do you expect will happen?  As with the Weinstein affair, I’m not even slightly surprised that Franken, Charlie Rose, John (Pixar) Lasseter, etc. felt the urge to cop a feel — they are, by definition, degenerate freaks.  I’m only surprised they felt they had to coerce it….

….well, no, actually I’m not, because again: Daddy Issues.  Growing up, the only “men” these sad specimens see are the ones who occasionally buy them a toy on the way out the door after dumping a fuck into Mommy.  Then they get to college, where they learn from their Foucault-enstupidated professors that human relations are nothing but domination, submission, and resistance.  From this, it’s pretty easy to conclude that sex is power and power is sex.

Hence the Frankengroping.  There are undoubtedly lots of ladies in the media who would’ve let Al Franken feel them up.  Nina Burleigh, after all, publicly offered to blow Bill Clinton to thank him for his legislative accomplishments; surely the fearless author of the  “Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Non-Intercourse Act of 2013” could get to second base with a reporterette from the Minneapolis Red Star Tribune.  But getting to second base isn’t the point.  The point is stealing second.  Sex is power, remember?  Or, as Stacy McCain is so fond of reminding us, PIV is always rape, ok? 

Say what you will about the PUAs, they don’t succumb to our culture’s most prevalent category errors.  Unlike this NYT dork, PUAs aren’t baffled by the fact that a man’s stated opinions have next to no relationship to behavior, because they have vast experience with women’s stated opinions… which are quite obviously often 180 degrees from their behavior, because women are people too.

Sad how far we’ve come, isn’t it, when we need guys who talk like retards and dress like this to remind us of truths we’ve known since we came down from the trees.

UPDATE (11/29/2017):  And now Matt Lauer, too.Is there a prominent liberal who a) routinely works around cameras, and b) isn’t a rape-o scumbag?  It’s starting to seem not.

The Great College Cultural Revolution

An addendum to Altitude Zero’s comment on the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution:

If you think the current sexual harassment witch hunt is fun when politicians and media dweebs are the targets, you’re going to bust a gut when the hysteria hits the ivory tower.  For decades now, our public schools and especially our universities have been training Red Guards — in my not-inconsiderable experience, quite successfully.  Each new class is louder, dumber, meaner, and more fanatical than the last.

There will be more politicians ruined, of course, but this is just the Hundred Flowers phase of our Cultural Revolution.  Y’all have no idea what goes on behind ivy-covered walls*… but I guarantee you, you’re about to find out.  Go long on popcorn futures.

 

 

*Nor do I, I hasten to add — at least as a participant.  I don’t even hear all that much, being both antisocial and far removed from the main sources of drama.  But if even half of what I have heard is true…

… and I suspect that most of it is, plus fifty times more that I haven’t heard of.  It’s gonna be a hoot.

The Rotten Chestnuts Betting Pool

Waaay back in the days, “reporter” Nina Burleigh said she’d “be happy to give [Bill Clinton] a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their Presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”

Which was fun.  The followup, a few sentences down in that Wiki writeup, is even better:

Referring to the comment in a 2007 piece for The Huffington Post, Burleigh wrote, “I said it (back in 1998, but a good quote has eternal life) because I thought it was high time for someone to tweak the white, middle-aged beltway gang taking Clinton to task for sexual harassment. These men had neither the personal experience nor the credentials to know sexual harassment when they saw it, nor to give a good goddamn about it if they did. The insidious use of sexual harassment laws to bring down a president for his pro-female politics was the context in which I spoke.”

These days, it seems like a lot of men — all of them bigshots in the Democratic Party — have both the experience and the credentials to know sexual harassment.  And they certainly give a good goddamn about it, since it’s ruining their careers as we speak.  Given that, and given that Nina Burleigh was only saying what every Liberal in America was thinking, how long will it be before the Left rediscovers good ol’ red-blooded heterosexuality?  That “everybody does it”?  That she (or he) was “asking for it”?

Viddy well, spergs: I’m not saying I’m ok with sexual harassment.  These guys — Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken — are clearly weirdos and perverts.  Grabbing a sleeping chick by the knockers is wrong; all the other stuff these guys (allegedly) did is much worse.  What I am saying — pay attention now, this is the important part — is that,

  • since the Democratic Party is full of these people, and
  • purging the pervs would leave the Donks with about five viable candidates nationwide, and
  • that’s saying nothing about fundraisers, bagmen, and fixers like Weinstein,

therefore

  • their only viable survival strategy is to discover some way to make this behavior “ok.”

The “Burleigh Rule” won’t cut it here.  Back in the 90s, Liberals got their loins aflutter by imagining Newt Gingrich et al constantly lobbing anti-abortion measures at the White House, where Bill Clinton, no doubt greased up and shirtless, batted them all away like the world’s sexiest Patriot missile battery.  But hardly anyone, Lefties included, even remembers that Al Franken is a senator; his legislative record is less than impressive (though political jokesters really should have a field day with the “Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Non-Intercourse Act of 2013”).  Saying “we need Al Franken in the Senate to keep the theocracy off our backs” is too shameless even for Liberals.

Nor will “we need him in the Senate to keep Trump off our backs” cut it, because

trump

Remember that?  Remember the omigod everloving freakout about that, compared to which the discovery of a cancer cure would rate maybe a paragraph on page 32?  Yeah sorry, Stuart Smalley, being anti-Trump won’t save you now.  I know, I know, Liberals have absolutely no sense of shame, but defending one pussy-grabber’s pussy grabbing in order to thwart another pussy-grabber — this one without photographic grope mementos — will get them laughed out of public life.  And that goes double for a guy like Harvey Weinstein, a pussy-grabber who merely runs bag for the Pussygrabber Party.  (And that goes triple for guys like Kevin Spacey, who (allegedly) bum-raped a minor.  There’s not enough Astroglide in the world to lube that transition).

So what to do?  Again, the only way to stay viable as a political party, according to the rules they themselves created and have so vigorously enforced lo these many years, is to somehow make this stuff “ok.”  Always believe the woman, right?  No means no, right?  “Affirmative consent,” for pete’s sake?  One way or another, that stuff is going right out the window with the audition tapes from the Weinstein Company.

My (trite, obvious) guess is that the Left will craft themselves a victim narrative.  Here in the next few months, we’ll hear calls for a “national conversation” on the pitfalls of power.  Nobody’s saying Al Franken should’ve done that — of course he shouldn’t! — but the poor dear, stressed out from his heroic defense of the Constitution, fell victim to the most insidious disease of all, the disease of being a member of the ruling body of the most powerful nation on Earth.  Who wouldn’t grab a sleeping woman’s hooters under those conditions?  He needs therapy.  Fortunately, our friends in academia have come up with a kind of therapy he can do in his off hours, or even on his own, in his Senate office.  Stepping down would, in fact, be counterproductive, as he needs to learn to channel those urges — normal, red-blooded heterosexual urges, there’s nothing wrong with those! — into more “appropriate” behaviors, and the only way he’s going to learn how to do that effectively in the corridors of power is to remain in the corridors of power….

What do you think, Seven Regular Readers?  Let’s get a betting pool going.  If one of you tech types will volunteer to do the math, we can get some odds worked out and a March Madness-type bracket set up.  Let me know your guess in the comments!

 

The Eloi

Another way to phrase this would be: Men who like men don’t like men who don’t act like men.

I think I’ve settled on my designation for Our Betters, the Liberals — they’re Eloi.

Having solved all problems that required strength, intelligence, or virtue, the Eloi have slowly become dissolute and naive: they are described as smaller than modern humans, with shoulder-length curly hair, pointed chins, large eyes, small ears, small mouths with bright red thin lips, and sub-human intelligence. They do not perform much work, except to feed, play, and mate; and when Weena falls into a river, none of the other Eloi helps her (she is rescued instead by the Time Traveler).

That seems to be what the Left’s shooting for, doesn’t it?  Especially the “except to feed, play, and mate” part.   Oh, and the part about not caring if one of their own falls into the river to drown.  It takes a literal deus ex machina to save them.

(Mr. Thompson’s fans, should any wander over here, will note that I’m heroically refraining from linking a picture of Laurie Penny to that physical description of the Eloi).

Dive Bombers

When Germany went to war in 1939, the Luftwaffe had one mission: Close air support.  Quick-strike fighters like the Me-109 would knock out enemy planes on the ground, while heavy fighters like the Me-110 would eliminate any that managed to take off.  Ultra-fast light bombers like the Do-17 would conduct tactical airstrikes against reinforcements and ammo dumps, while the fearsome Ju-87 Stuka took out troop concentrations and armor.

It worked spectacularly.  Poland, France, Holland, Norway — nobody stood a chance.  What the German army failed to achieve in four  years of trench warfare, 1914-1918, it achieved in six months of blitzkrieg.  But then the war changed.  In order to invade Britain, the Luftwaffe first had to clear the skies.  It was forced into a role for which it was not designed, and, despite a huge edge in weapons, training, and numbers, the results were not good.  The Me-109 was a good dogfighting aircraft, but lacked the range to stay more than 20 minutes over southern England.  The Me-110, which was supposed to be the air-superiority fighter, was useless in that role — too slow, too clunky, too lightly armed.  The quick-strike tactical bombers lacked the bomb load and defensive armament to be strategic bombers, and by now enemy fighters were fast enough to catch up with them — they got shot down by the score, the 109 didn’t have the range to escort them, and the ones that got through didn’t have the punch to complete their assigned missions.

Worse, the Luftwaffe never seemed to realize its core mission had changed.  Even when it became clear that Britain and Russia couldn’t be blitzed, they still kept cranking out ground-attack planes.  Even as the skies over Germany were filling with British and American heavy bombers, and the ground on the Eastern Front with Russian divisions, the Luftwaffe was strapping bombs onto the world’s first operational jet fighter and trying to make its one kinda-sorta long-range strategic bomber into a dive bomber.

Which is a decent metaphor for modern government.

The Founders designed a pretty good government for its core mission — defending The People’s lives, liberty, and property, as those things stood around 1787.  It was a distributed system; it assumed the assumption that the Big Three are best defended at the lowest practical level.  So, most citizens would be governed by local laws.  Only those things that required a bigger government would be handled at the county level, then the state level, until finally you got to the federal level, which handled very big stuff like foreign policy.

Alas, the centralizing tendency that has been man’s lot since we first came down from the trees doomed it.  Toad Suck, Delaware, had a town council that was on the ball; their streets were great.  Their neighbors in Frog Wallow didn’t, so their streets weren’t… which negatively impacted the commerce of Bugger County.  Which, of course, affected the whole state, whose ongoing trade dispute with New Hampshire necessitated an appeal to the Feds… and whaddaya know, a few penumbras and emanations of the Commerce Clause later, and now you’ve got to clear it with seventeen different DC bureaucracies, plus nine lobbies and twenty four pressure groups, to fix a pothole on Toad Suck’s Main Street.

Mission creep, see?  FedGov has the technical capacity to fix potholes in Toad Suck, Delaware, just as the Luftwaffe’s engineers had the technical capacity to make a jet fighter or a strategic bomber.  But technical capacity is useless without an understanding of the core mission to which it is to be applied.  Why was the world’s fastest aircraft — an air-superiority platform if ever there were one — blasting off to drop tiny little pinprick bombs on the Eastern Front?  Did Goering really envision huge fleets of strategic bombers diving from 20,000 feet to drop heavy payloads on British and Soviet industries?  The minute you ask “so what’s all this spiffy tech actually for, anyway?” nobody has an answer… and that’s why they lost the war.

These days, nobody has any idea what our FedGov is supposed to do.  The Constitution may or may not be a “living document,” as Our Betters always say — it may well have been overtaken by events.  But how would we even know?  It assumed that government exists to do certain things.  Does our government still do those things?  Is it supposed to?  Can it?  (It is entirely possible that “protection of life” is not compatible with “preservation of liberty,” as any number of knife-, truck-, rifle-, and bomb-wielding Swedish Lutheran lone wolves are doing their damnedest to illustrate).

If we have any hope of winning this thing, we need to figure it out.  You don’t win a total war with dive bombers, and you don’t win a total cultural war with internet memes.  What’s the mission here?

I Guess I’m English

Here is the Z Man passing some thoughts about John Derbyshire’s speech at the Mencken Club, in which he makes some comments about science.  This riled up Vox Day and his people (here is a 200+ comment post that boils down to, “they’re Smarter Than You, because they (claim to) have read Karl Popper”).  And here’s the original speech that set the whole thing off.

Turns out I’m English, I guess, since this is the way I feel about pretty much all philosophy, not just ideology and “science:”

The rest is Englishness. We English don’t do ideology. We leave that stuff to our more erudite continental neighbors. In matters social and political, we default to compromise and muddle. The nearest thing I have to an ideological hero is George Orwell, whose ideological position could fairly be described as reactionary-Tory-patriotic-socialist.

There’s some overlap between the last two paragraphs. I have utmost difficulty following any kind of ideological script. Sooner or later I always bang my shins against the boundary fences of ideological orthodoxy.

Science, like any other abstract system of thought, quickly runs aground on the rocks of Reality.  You can play endless language games with it, enough to where most people will simply throw their hands up and say “whatever.”  I get to that point sooner than most people, because I’ve read my Marxists.

The whole point of Dialectical Materialism is to find “contradictions” in nature, so as to destabilize all the old certainties.  Guys like Plekhanov were great at it.  For instance, they liked to point out that, at some point and by some mysterious process, “quantity” becomes “quality.”  Like so:

don-johnson-stubble-600

Does Sonny Crockett here have a beard?  It’s very hard to say that yes, he definitely does, because it’s mostly stubble.  But you can’t definitely say that he doesn’t, because look, there’s all that stubble.  At what point does stubble become a beard?  Follicle length?  A certain number of hairs?  Visibility?

Moreover, IMDB.com says Don Johnson is 5’11”.  Is he tall, would you say?  Says here the average height for a white American male is 5’10”.  Don Johnson is an inch taller than that, but I doubt most people would consider that “tall,” hands down.  Yet most everyone would say Shaquille O’Neal — 7’1″ — is tall.  How many inches would Don Johnson have to grow before we say yep, he’s tall all right?  And what about Yao Ming (7’6″), or Gheorghe Muresan (7’7″)?  Put Don Johnson, Shaq, Yao, and Gheorghe in a room, and Shaq isn’t tall at all, right?  Or is he?  How do you know?  It’s all, like, relative, man.

You can even do this for things like math, for pete’s sake.  1+1=2 isn’t a scientific propositon, in Popper’s sense, because it’s not “falsifiable” — it’s an axiom, true by definition.  Put two identical things together and you have two of that thing.  Or maybe not… first, there are no two identical pencils in the world, and if there were, wouldn’t that be two parts of the same pencil?  One meta-pencil, as it were?  Plus, when you break it down, a pencil is a collection of atoms, an atom is a collection of quarks, quarks are…. something, who knows, they seem to blink in and out of existence, and….

You see where this is going?  (By the way, for those keeping score at home, the Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna wrestled with all this 2,000 years ago.  He said that because there’s no such thing as pencil-ness — a “pencil” is just a collection of stuff that individually has no inherent existence — therefore there is nothing real at all).  There’s a reason you don’t find too many working scientists doing Philosophy of Science.  (It’s the same reason that the folks who do do Philosophy of Science generally have humanities degrees and failed Calc I).  You can Plekhanov that shit until everyone throws up their hands, says “whatever,” and kicks you out of the lab… or you can just keep the lab door locked in the first place.

I know, I know, I’m ignorant of some basic stuff, and Stupid, and have no business even linking to astonishing superintelligences and their astonishingly superintelligent jock sniffers.  But whaddaya gonna do?  Me, I’m off for some fish’n’chips down at the pub, mate, wot wat?  Cheerio, and Bob’s yer uncle.

Organizing Myths

Just finished skimming Ernst Cassirer‘s The Myth of the State.  The thesis isn’t (as I originally thought) “the state itself is a mythical construction;” rather, it’s “each state has its organizing myth.”  This is a truth we seem to have forgotten, that’s worth revisiting.

Any human organization larger than the immediate family develops its organizing myth.  Clans worship ancestors, tribes (two or more clans) have their totems, two or more tribes together end up with some version of a divine-right monarch.  It wasn’t until the 17th century AD that a competing myth arose and had enough power to challenge divine right: The idea of natural rights, and from it, the social contract theory of government.

Since we’re stewed in it from birth (and because our educational system sucks), we forget just how much of a myth the social contract really is.  Read Hobbes, for instance.  As much as I love him (I consider Hobbes pretty much the only political philosopher worth reading), he’s just wrong about some fundamental ideas.  There never was a State of Nature.  Life in mankind’s dawn was nasty, poor, brutish, and short, all right, but it sure as hell wasn’t solitary — people are evolved monkeys; we have monkey firmware; monkeys have the most elaborate social structure in the animal kingdom.  If ever there were a “social contract,” it was between meta-monkey troops living in nearby caves.

Which raises another obvious question: If there are such things as “natural rights,” where along the evolutionary chain do they kick in?  Could Australopithecus consent to be governed, in either the Hobbesian or Lockean sense?  What about Homo erectus?  “Natural rights,” it’s clear, really mean “God-given rights,” minus the messy theological baggage.  It’s a way to talk about organizing a government without having to re-fight the Wars of Religion (which is where all this Locke vs. Hobbes stuff comes from).

This myth has been with us right down to the present day.  To contract, in either the Hobbesian or Lockean sense, one must be able to know what one is agreeing to.  Thus, humans are presumed to be always and everywhere rational, and in full possession of their faculties.  That’s simply wrong — we’ve always known it, but after Freud there’s no possible way around it.  And yet, all the great social systems, from Capitalism to Communism, assume that rationality is the baseline (forget Freud; if you want to know how wrong the idea of basic human rationality is, look at Communism.  Why is it that the self-proclaimed most rational, logical, scientific system in human history is the one with the biggest body count?  You’ll  never find a more elaborate fantasy than Communism; they’ve never been within 12 parsecs of reality).

The problem now is, replacing this myth with a better one.  As Cassirer says, Nazism’s weird techno-feudalism was one fairly successful attempt to do this (Nazism was, obviously, a victim of its own success).  It only works in Germany, though, or in a world completely dominated by Germany.  The myth of HBD — yes, y’all, it IS a myth, in the “social contract” sense of myth — isn’t going to cut it, either.  There’s no buy-in from most social groups, so unless you’re going to go out in a blaze of Thousand Year Reich, we’re going to have to find something else.

It’s not about what people really are.  It’s about what you can convince them they are.  The Left, bless their moronic little hearts, have conclusively disproven the social contract / Enlightenment myth.  It’s up to us to find a new one… or else.