An Ass of U and Me

Everyone’s heard the old witticism about assumptions: When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.  Anyone who has gone drinking with Engineering majors has probably also heard the one about an engineer’s answer to “Why did the chicken cross the road?”  First, assume a spherical chicken….*

Which highlights the problem with assumptions.  They’re both necessary, and necessarily false.

Engineering works (I’m told) by getting in the ballpark via assumptions to simplify the math, then dialing it in to get a workable structure you can actually build in the real world.  It might be lacking in pure mathematical elegance, and maybe engineers “aren’t real scientists,” but you can actually drive a car over the damn thing.  And that’s the test: Does it work?  Are the real-world results (cars driving over it) in line with the predicted outcomes (the bridge not collapsing)?  The “get it in the ballpark” method might result in some “over-engineering” — more buttresses or whatnot than are strictly necessary on paper — but it works, because math is math and the physical constants hold.

Too bad human affairs don’t work like that.

Alas, we act as if they do, because assumptions are as necessary — and necessarily false — in social life as they are in engineering.  People being people, we can’t know how a given person, much less a given group of people, will react in a certain situation.  We take the information we have, we make a few assumptions based on it, and we go…

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.  A good example is the Pearl Harbor attack.  If you look at it one way, it was suicidal — America is orders of magnitude larger than Japan, her industrial capacity is even further advanced than that, etc.**  BUT: Were the Americans really going to mobilize all that in their fury for revenge?  Or would they make a token gesture and fold, because they lacked the will?  If you look at it another way, that was the much likelier outcome, and — this is the important part — anyone with any actual experience of such an attack knew how the first one turned out: Total Japanese victory.

The Russo-Japanese War was over almost before it started.  The Battle of Port Arthur didn’t smash the Russian fleet as it was intended to do, but it did render that fleet functionally useless… and, with it, destroyed the Russian will to resist.  The Tsar had to dispatch his Atlantic fleet on a zillion-mile end run to get to the Pacific; meanwhile, his armies toiled at the end of 6,000-mile supply lines.  The only reason the Japanese didn’t get everything they wanted at the peace table, they concluded, is that the victory, though smashing, wasn’t smashing enough.  When the opportunity came for Port Arthur 2.0, they’d push in all their chips.  Would the Americans, like the Russians, send their Atlantic fleet around, to fight at the end of 6,000-mile supply lines?  Maybe as a token gesture, but with the Imperial Navy already gearing up to invade Australia, it wouldn’t be anything more than a token…

…or so the Japanese assumed.  “Assuming Americans will act like Russians” seems pretty dumb to an American, but it made sense to a Japanese.  One White devil imperialist is pretty much the same as any other.  And, as they saw it, the Americans weren’t real imperialists anyway.  Weren’t the majority of Americans avowed isolationists?  Didn’t Woodrow Wilson fuck over half the planet at Versailles — including giving Japan control of Germany’s concessions in China —  in the name of anti-imperialism?  The British might make suicidal gestures for King and Country, but the Americans wouldn’t.  Like the Russians — who very nearly overthrew their government after defeat the first time around — the Americans, who were almost exclusively concerned with economic matters, would fold once they looked at the map and saw the entire Pacific under the Rising Sun….

I think this is where Our Betters, the Liberals, are now.  As the Z Man notes today, the Left is immolating itself.  Their actions make no rational sense — can only be self-destructive, in fact, and any fool can see it…

… except they’re not fools.  They’re just trapped in their own culture.  They believe their own bullshit, as Barack Obama famously quipped, and they have every reason to do so.  They own everything.  They run everything.  Our culture IS their culture, because they control almost all the channels though which culture is transmitted, and the few they don’t control — e.g. the nuclear family — they’ve mortally wounded.  They’re sitting on Olympus, looking down at the last little pocket of potential resistance, all nicely tucked away and snug in Pearl Harbor, blissfully unaware and utterly defenseless.  The only logical thing to do, they assume, is push in all their chips.  Bring overwhelming force to bear, and wait for the token resistance to stop flailing around.

The only question is: Are they preparing the final hammer blow, or do they see what we’re doing now — bitching on blogs, basically — as the last flailing of the token resistance?  Are Donald Trump and The Deplorables the fleet parked at Pearl Harbor, or the Tsar’s generals taking pot-shots at their conquerors from Port Arthur’s walls?

Figure that out — find out what they assume — and you’ll know how the next few years are going to go.




*If you haven’t gone drinking with Engineering majors — your liver thanks you, by the way — this was part of an old joke circulating around campuses before the Internet.  It was a satire on the characteristic attitudes of people in various majors.  How you answered “Why did the chicken cross the road?” revealed your major’s silly attitudes.  So, the English major answer was something like “‘chicken’ is just a linguistic construct” (this is when PoMo was first hitting big on US campuses); the Wymyn’s Studies major answer was something like “because ‘crossing’ is just another form of patriarchal domination;” the Philosophy major answer was “perhaps there is no chicken;” etc.  It wasn’t a good joke, per se, but it did its job.
**This seems to have been Yamamoto’s view, though he dutifully planned the attack.
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7 thoughts on “An Ass of U and Me

  1. Pickle Rick

    The other fatal Japanese assumption was that the Germans were going to win their war, as in the fall of 1941 they were knocking on the gates of Moscow…thus preventing America from diverting any resources to a trans-Pacific offensive.

    I think the Left has banked on their coalition of the insane holding together until final victory over Whitey, without understanding that if they drive away their own white supporters with the mask dropping too early as it seems to be doing, will then, as all revolutionary movements do, fall to eating each other in recriminations for defeat. The great question is when does the white left realize they are no longer masters in their own party, and when they do, will it be too late?

    1. WOPR

      I think you can already see that Lefty whites are being pushed out. Cortez and the Muslima from MN both pushed out established candidates. It is also why you see Jews claiming not to be white. Although, based on what I see, that is not working out too well for them.

      Guessing how a nation will react is a gambling proposition. The higher the stakes, the less predictable it becomes. You are correct, that the Japanese were using past experience to guide their decision making. It was not a bad gamble. An interesting what-if would have been if they had only attacked the Philippines, Wake, etc. a day after declaring war? Then after capturing those islands, returned the POWs, well treated, to the US. It probably would have killed a lot of support for the war if the US suffered any major defeats.

      1. Severian Post author

        They probably could’ve “won” the war had Guadalcanal gone differently…. and it was a very, very, very close thing (at one point, Gen. Vandegrift, the Marine commandant, was drafting instructions to his men to surrender). And, as Pickle Rick says, they assumed the Germans would win in Europe… also not a bad bet in the summer of 1941.

        Americans in 1942 had more steel in their spines than Russians in 1905. Given the information they had, though, and the cultural lens through which they viewed it, it’s hard to blame the Japanese for rolling the dice. Most importantly for us, note the consequences — the war in the Pacific was truly nasty, in no small part because of each side’s shock that their assumptions were wrong.

  2. Joseph Moore

    Two things about this self-destruction of the Left:

    Some are true believers, in, as you’ve said, a millennialist cult. History is god and Marx is his prophet. They’ve been doubling down for decades now, following the pattern described in ‘When Prophecy Fails”. Since the current age must pass away before new Soviet Men arise, clothed in white and washed clean in the blood of the bourgeoisie, burning everything down is a requirement. Further, indulging in a little armchair psychoanalysis, Marxism has always been a revenge fantasy for people with daddy issues. ‘Revenge’ and destruction is the goal.

    The other thing I often remind myself of: something like 1 – 5% of the population are said to be sociopaths: no empathy, no guilt. They just want to see the world burn. Mix in a few true believers with sociopaths, and, once in a while, some are going to hit it off, after a fashion. Sparks will fly. They will egg each other on to greater and greater acts of destruction.

    This, in an environment peopled largely by useful idiots, opportunists and cowards. Not pretty.

    In this sense, I’m not sure it works to talk about a single assumption or a constellation of related assumptions. The smarter ones have noticed that power in a revolution ends up in the hands of a murderous thug, who then offs the annoying idealists and anyone capable of organizing a revolution. They are egging on the lunatics, and imagining how they might be the thug. The idealists were described above. The useful idiots, such as most college professors and, I suppose, local news teams, simply imagine themselves as the good guys, and probably don’t have a goal beyond getting rid of Trump and a return to the glory days of Obama, where one was free to bask in the clear and glorious reflection he presented of one’s own intellectual and moral shortcomings not mattering at all, reality be damned.

    1. Severian Post author

      And that’s the most dangerous assumption of all — that things can go on as before. We’re far past the point of letting bygones be bygones. I for one would be quite happy leaving the professors and journalists to rot in their self-chosen ghettos. They can keep spewing their nonsense, and we’ll keep pretending to believe them when they say they’re oh so important, and good, and righteous…

      … but those days are over. There’s simply no way to view them now, except as useful idiots at best, agents provocateurs at worst. There will be a vast bloodletting — hopefully only a metaphorical one, but I doubt it.

      1. Pickle Rick

        That’s the reason that that little 15 year old white kid in his MAGA hat displaying more balls than Bill Kristol, Mitt Romney and David French will ever have in their miserable bitch lives terrified the left do much with just a smirk. He’s the future of white identity politics. No more spineless surrender.

  3. rwc1963

    Excellent analysis

    “The only question is: Are they preparing the final hammer blow, or do they see what we’re doing now — bitching on blogs, basically — as the last flailing of the token resistance? Are Donald Trump and The Deplorables the fleet parked at Pearl Harbor, or the Tsar’s generals taking pot-shots at their conquerors from Port Arthur’s walls?:

    The Left sees us as weak and fragmented this is why they openly prey on us in public and issue endless death threats and doxings. If we fought back they would behave themselves. For all intents the Right is acting like a battered wife just sitting there and taking it instead bashing the Left upside the head with a iron skillet.

    You see this same behavior in schoolyards where the wimpy kid goes passive and it just sets off the bully even worse. Instead they should fight back even if they lose, that tells the bully the victim is no longer a easy target and shouldn’t be messed with.

    The short of it is our passivity is making the Left increasingly brazen and it will get worse, much worse. Eventually whites will be getting murdered for say wearing a MAGA hat in public. Of course when that happens our side will whine and do nothing which will pump up the Left for even more violence. Some will fight back and blow away Leftists. After the initial killings it will be hard to predict what happens.

    That brings me to our side, which is a train wreck. Most of the Deplorables are sheep still who still think it’s 1985 and it’s politics as usual. Most do not have clue that the Left is not doing politics as they understand it. Hence their inability to even respond when they are punched in the face by some anti-fa goon. They invariably bleat like sheep and go WTF. The alt-right is a debating society whose plan of action is this: ‘we blog and then x happens and everything is cool again’. They’ keep rehashing the last battles of the last war so to speak. Very tiresome.

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