Me, writing about a private matter:
As a general rule, at least within my experience, when conflict persists across a great stretch of time among the same people, and about a very limited number of things, it will often emerge that the epicenter of disagreement is some distance away from what’s actually being discussed; it’s off somewhere else, concerning other things that aren’t finding expression. There are ways to assess this. When individuals build up coalitions, and those coalitions align and remain inseparable as new topics make their way to the forefront — that is one tip-off. Example: Find me a hundred people who think human activity is causing climate change, and that drastic action must be taken and soon if an ecological crisis is to be averted; I can probably find, within them, at least eighty people who are not very religious. Probably a good deal more than eighty, in fact. Find me another hundred who disagree, who think the whole thing is a huge scam, I can show you a sizable majority among them who subscribe to some religious system of belief. The significance of this observation is that it is contrary to rational expectations: To the extent that the climate change issue is connected to matters of faith, one would logically expect an opposite correlation to emerge. Those who say all things existing in the universe are just consequences of accidents, should take a fatalistic view of our planet’s climate as well, and those who say we should try to exert control over that climate for sake of a good outcome, should be the ones believing a deity put us here for that purpose. Our experience with people is reversed from what we should logically expect; so on one side of this disagreement or the other, perhaps both, someone is putting group membership considerations above reason and common sense. That, or these positions on the issues are linked by some spurious relationship. And so the neutral observer who desires to find out how others think, then has to look harder for the lurking variable.
Having approached the brink of inserting some roiling manifesto about left-wing and right-wing politics into what was supposed to be a study into other things, I lurched back from that brink and got on-topic again, without revealing my own opinions about the climate-change scam, or religion. Or, exploring any further what the “lurking variable” might be. That’s something more fitting for here, I think.
What I’m talking about in the above — I think, anyway — is guilt. Guilt has an amazing power to make mortals unwise. Not quite so much “stupid,” I hasten to add; many among the guilty insist they are much more intelligent than the average bear, and there is some truth to what they say. But wisdom eludes them. It isn’t too long before all the decisions they make, are made the same way. Unpredictability is a trait of wisdom, I think deep down everyone already knows that, so we should all be concerned when these hyper-intelligent geniuses all decide everything the same way…
Justice becomes a matter of mob rule. Immigration policy becomes one of “please invade us and make it quick.” Defense, for the nation as well as for the family and the individual, is abhorred. Charity doesn’t count unless it’s the government doing it, government should cover everything from crib to crypt, from lung and brain transplants to hangnails. And who gives a rip if it runs out of money? Just raise taxes on the hated rich. Profits are to be punished. Working is to be discouraged. Oh, they might say a few generally flattering things about people who work…provided those people remain in the middle class, or among the poor, where they belong…but always, more restrictions are to be put in place that make it more of a miracle, less and less frequently occurring, when someone manages to get hold of a job that pays money. Labor unions everywhere. Rules, rules and more rules. The calendar should be busy with holidays and more holidays, retirement has to be guaranteed, and early. And then, should the gravy train still be running, here comes the unaffordable pension.
The birth rate is low. Because, dang right, humans are breaking the climate. The unwise-guilty people insist that sexual preference is an unalterable aspect of one’s birth, but they’re the ones who never act like it. Morning noon and night they campaign, or protest, or push, or advocate in some way more, more, and more gayness. Bend those genders. Every time you see a man acting like a real man, or a woman dressing and behaving with real femininity, you’re seeing something the unwise-guilty people want to destroy, and if they can’t destroy it they want to bury it. You might say wherever their kind is in charge, the only strong gender roles that remain are the ones they haven’t gotten around to getting rid of yet. Men should act more like women, women should act more like men, and the children — well, they should just be expensive. Child support, like gasoline, has to be made more expensive. Oh yeah, and on your way out, your burial should be green. It all has to do with making people into financial liabilities, ensuring they’re never assets again. If some among us think themselves unworthy, then we all have to be. Breeding therefore becomes littering, and is to be prevented, and punished, accordingly.
It’s as if the whole point to life is nothing more than an apology. Sorry we were ever here.
Whenever these unwise-guilty people manage to get something big pushed through…some of their “landmark legislation”…it is a constant that a few mortals become masters of many others, whom they will never meet. Commissioners and czars. Panels. Committees. Boards. Secretaries of Health and Human Services. Another constant: These demigods making such grandiose decisions about the intimate aspects of some stranger’s life, are to be regarded as uniquely qualified to occupy their posts and to hand down these rulings. But nobody, anywhere, can say exactly why that is. A lot of the time, nobody can name any actual accomplishments achieved by the demigods. But the guilty act as if they can indeed name some, in fact, that were they to jot down a list, it would go on for pages and pages…that must be why they’ve never gotten around to getting it done. Why was Janet Napolitano a wonderful mega-awesome superstar Homeland Security Secretary? What qualifies Sheila Jackson Lee to succeed her? Why is John Kerry uniquely qualified to be our Secretary of State? What did Hillary Clinton achieve in that role? Why was Timothy Geithner qualified to be our Secretary of the Treasury? Don’t ask why the demigod is so amazing and wonderful, s/he just is.
Now here is a paradox: These generalities are a constant — you’ll see that they hold true for Europe, as well. Defense is thought to be a sin, taxes are high, government sucks the life out of business, the birth rate is low, all social ills are funded, mediocre embarrassments are thought to be demigods, and the whole mess is unsustainable over the longer term of time. Those who resist this are a bit harder to predict. Wisdom, as I said, brings unpredictability; it is exactly the unpredictability one must expect to see, any time one looks at another person directly struggling with something. But down in the details, where the simpler decisions are made that drive the more complex ones, it is the unwise-guilty people who are unpredictable, and those who resist who will be making the same calls every time. What is the sum of two and two? The guilty have a fear of “horse sense”; they can’t say “four.” There must be some titillating and weird alternate answer, visible only to the few, the empowered, the anointed elites within the unwise-guilty. Four is something an ordinary person would say. Four is what the rubes say. The unwise-guilty people have the vision to see something “better.” There is a most elaborate treatise providing undeniable support for the fact that three is the real-right answer, or maybe it’s five…I’d explain it if I had the time, but you wouldn’t be able to understand it.
How do you achieve success in your more complicated decisions, when as you make the simpler ones, you painstakingly avoid any recognition that two and two make four? Answer: You don’t. When your plans turn to crap, you just blame the other guys. Here is another paradox: Guilty people are good at blaming others. It all seems, to me, so inefficient. If you want to wallow in guilt and you’re on the lookout for reasons to feel guilty about things, and you’re wrong about something, why not just admit it? Kill two birds with one stone. Why go through all that effort to blame others? It’s like a masochist spending his last few nickels for ammunition, then after the shooting spree complaining that he himself is not among the wounded. Dude. You were pointing it the wrong way.
They have so much hatred and anger for those who don’t follow suit. Unwise-guilty people want everybody else to be guilty and unwise. When they run into someone who doesn’t dance the same steps, they call us things like “arrogant.” Conflict arises when questions of two and two emerge, and we have the audacity to say: Four. How dare we! How arrogant! And of course, the conflict is…our fault…why of course it is, how could it be otherwise?
And why are there people who resist, anyway? Most of us are religious. Christianity does wonders to keep one from becoming guilty-and-unwise. It must be said that Christianity has little to nothing to do with not-feeling-guilty; quite to the contrary, it insists that all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve are stained, flawed, and unworthy. That’s the whole point, or a big part of it at least. Old Testament: Adam makes a problem. New Testament: Christ provides a solution. Man breaketh, God fixeth. So, arrogant? No, the opposite. And Christianity is only one possible answer. Among those who resist the whole low-birth-rate, justice-by-mob-rule, high-tax, bankrupt-government thing, our numbers are rounded out by some other secular types who just make it a point to…well, how do I put this…not do stupid dumb things. You might say, asked what is the sum of two and two, they come up with an answer of four because, duh. They figure it out. Perhaps they, too, actually do have guilt over things they’ve done — but they do something to keep it from clouding their decisions.
For me, it’s Christianity. No, it doesn’t make you arrogant. It doesn’t “erase” sin, at least not in the way I reflect upon it. It doesn’t anesthetize you against your own guilt, or make-believe that the guilt is not there. You might say Christianity is a great way to acknowledge you’ve been a pain-in-the-ass, without said acknowledgment making you into an even bigger pain-in-the-ass.
I’ve had a lot of names for America’s guilty-unwise demigod at the tippy top. Emperor Barack The First, He Who Argues With The Dictionaries, Mister Wonderful, President Soetoro…some are my own creation, some are stolen. One of my favorites has been “Replacement Jesus” for that is exactly what He is. Many among His followers have turned their backs on Christ. No Christ for them, but the need for a savior remains. There’s a big hole there. And so, they go out and “buy” this prosthetic Messiah. But it is not a functional prosthesis. It doesn’t actually conquer guilt like the Real Thing does. Therefore, in the same way a false eye doesn’t see, it fails to achieve this “admit you’ve been a P.I.T.A. without becoming a bigger P.I.T.A.” thing.
In Anno Domini Twenty Thirteen, there is no bigger ass-pain than the Obama movement. But here, I have looped back around to belaboring the obvious, and so now I shall stop.
Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes.