Heh. “Science.”

At this point, I don’t think actual science, without the scare quotes, exists anywhere outside the most heavily fortified physics labs.

But in case you were curious, and if you somehow didn’t know this already: yeah, “social ‘science’” isn’t.  It’s just lefty cant with a few ass-pulled numbers attached.  Observe:

a study that sought to show that conservatives reach their beliefs only through denying reality achieved that result by describing ideological liberal beliefs as “reality,” surveying people on whether they agreed with them, and then concluding that those who disagree with them are in denial of reality — and lo, people in that group are much more likely to be conservative!

Oh, and again, in case you somehow didn’t know this already, “peer review” is bullshit by definition when all your peers agree with you:

This has nothing to do with science, and yet in a field with such groupthink, it can get published in peer-reviewed journals and passed off as “science,” complete with a Vox stenographic exercise at the end of the rainbow. A field where this is possible is in dire straits indeed.

Indeed.

“The Final and Utter Semisexual Craving of the Left”

This is why I’m not an award-winning nominated author.  This right here.  I’ll never come up with as good a phrase as “the final and utter semisexual craving of the Left, which is obliteration.”

How true is that?  I’ve been at least a dilettante Left-watcher for decades now, and I still haven’t managed to figure out what they actually want out of life.  Consider this knucklehead:

“What could I do that would eliminate having to work, would open up big opportunities, and be a really fun, interesting experience for me?” Chambers asked Campus Reform in an interview last week.

You read up on his subsequent “thoughts” about the slim pickings in a McDonald’s dumpster, and you’re forced to conclude that Patton Chambers, at least, wants his existence confined to a comfy chair, tv on an endless loop, a feeding tube full of delicious nom noms, and someone to change his diapers every now and again.

Or consider the UVa rape hoaxers (or the Duke Lacrosse rape hoaxers, or Lena Dunham lying about being raped by a college Republican, or….).  Or SlutWalk.  What is the end goal here?  As near as I can tell, all of this “blaming the victim” stuff boils down to “women in skimpy clothing should be able to get blackout drunk whenever and wherever they feel like it.”

This is “social justice”?

The endless hamster wheel of “activism” goes protest-regulate-litigate, even when — make that especially when — the end goals are undefined or, better, undefinable.  In what ways should, say, the financial or energy industries be regulated?  Which specific regulations would you like to see enacted, comrade?  Which specific statutes, since repealed, caused all the problems of “deregulation”?  Under what conditions can a business owner refuse service to a customer?  Clearly “conscience” is no defense.  How long, then, before penniless people are suing Mercedes Benz and Rolex, just because those companies claim the destitute can’t “afford” their products?  Is this not the worst, most arbitrary form of “discrimination”?

They don’t know.  They don’t even pretend to know.  They’re proud of their ignorance, and they spend endless amounts of energy on things that are designed to have no effect on the real world.  They consider too many consumer choices to be a mental disorder, and they term normal human interactions “microaggressions.”  They insist on “trigger warnings” before exposure to opinions, or even facts.  They insist there is no such thing as a fact.

Conclusion: They don’t want to achieve anything.  It’s impossible to actually live in Social Justice Land, and since living there is impossible — and they’re too cowardly for suicide — they want to make their lives as close to death as possible.  If they can, they want to stop their consciousnesses entirely, and reduce life to the autonomic.  If one must have food, and clothing, and shelter, and toilet paper, let there be only one kind of each, preferably delivered automatically at the first of the month.

George Orwell said that Eastasia’s version of IngSoc translated as “death worship.”  Once again, he was dead right.

[EDITED: Mr. Wright points out that he is award-nominated, not award-winning.  As terminological precision is important, I’ve corrected the post.  :) ]

A Most Useful Metaphor

In the course of making some no-name SJW into his personal prison bitch, Larry Correia comes up with a most useful metaphor:

Yes, [H.P.] Lovecraft was a racist. He was a 1930s Democrat. It is actually kind of hard to find 1930s democrats who weren’t racists. Eugenics then was the “scientific” equivalent to Global Warming today. The “science was settled”. Proper good thinking folks didn’t question it and the world’s governments used Eugenics as an excuse for all sorts of programs that seem insane to us today.

Ooooh, that’s gotta sting.  It’s that kind of wordsmithing that makes one a New York Times bestselling author, I suppose.

Even Squirty likes H.P. Lovecraft

Even Squirty likes H.P. Lovecraft

Permanent Revolution

A followup to a thought I had over at Morgan’s place.

If you asked me to outline my ideal political program — something along the lines of “list the first ten things you’d do if you were made emperor for a day” — I could give you something coherent in fairly short order.  They’d be mostly or entirely negative, of course — “stop the government from doing X, Y, and Z” — but they’d be specific and implementable.

Can the Left do that?  I seriously doubt it.  As I said over there, the Left, being godless, is in a rather odd position.  They have to analyze everything in terms of raw, human power relations — Lenin’s famous “Who? Whom?” — but they themselves don’t fit into that scheme.  They are neither subjects nor objects, neither the who nor the whom.  They’re always agitating for the government to do something to or for some other group.

We’re so used to this that even those of us who make Left-watching a hobby rarely remark on just how weird that is.  How a-political, actually.  If politics is the art of the possible, or the working out of the general will, or however you want to define it, then your rank-and-file liberal rarely does anything explicitly political at all.  They suggest no compromises, offer no quids pro quo.  They rarely propose policies, and they sure as hell don’t follow up on the ones they do.  You could, in fact, make a pretty solid case, as Tom Simon does here, that they haven’t had a new idea since 1914.  (I’d personally argue for 1955, the publication date of Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, but whatever – it’s been half a century at least).  And, of course, they’re famously unable to define their terms — just what is this “social justice” you keep going on about, comrade?  Does it come with a side of fries?

It’s almost Puritanical.  I’m not the first guy to suggest that Leftism is basically curdled Calvinism — Michael Walzer is, I think, and more recently this Mencius Moldbug guy — but neither of them, I believe, remark on the displacement activity aspect of it.  Puritans were famously pious, and were forever searching for signs that they were among The Elect, even though their own deepest convictions held that it was impossible to know, and wouldn’t matter in the slightest even if you did.

Modern liberalism is a lot like that.  Government should do something, rarely specified, for someone, even if — make that especially if — the someones in question don’t want it, can’t use it, or, as is increasingly the case, it’s not actually physically possible.

What do they — the advocates of these policies — get out of it?  They’re just endlessly spinning in place — permanent revolution, if you’ll forgive a bad pun.  Why?

An Irrefutable Argument for the Gamer Gaters

The GG people claim their beef is about ethics in game journalism.

The anti-GG people claim that this is just (poor) cover for misogyny.

Well, GG folks, I give you the UVa Rape Hoax for the win!  Here’s Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson on Twitter:

Tim Dickinson @7im Follow

2) But I’m appalled that people are turning a story about a public institution sitting on an explosive allegation of gang rape on campus

Tim Dickinson @7im Follow

3) into a conversation about ethics in gang-rape journalism.

Well, Timmy, the reason they’re doing that is — follow closely now — your reporter straight-up fucking lied.  About everything.
And it’s not just Krazy Konservative Konspiracy theorists who say so.  I give you the Washington Post:
B4iIlmaCAAAcHWa.png smallThere are really only three possibilities at this point.
1)This chick be cray-cray.  She made up a lot of stuff (because she cray-cray), and Rolling Stone‘s reporter bought it hook, line, and sinker, because all this stuff is just too good to check;
2) The Rolling Stone reporter made up nearly all of this stuff, and found a willing patsy to push it for her;
or
3) Some combination of the above.
My money’s on 3).
See, this is why journalistic ethics matter.  Yeah, Tim Dickinson, it is about “ethics in gang-rape journalism,” because the gang rape didn’t happen.  She made it up.  Just like — drumroll please — Crystal Mangum, of Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax fame, made it up.
There would be no “ethics in gang-rape journalism” problem to discuss if y’all would simply quit fucking making shit up.  Just as there would be no “ethics in game journalism” problem to discuss if game journalists would quit writing fake reviews of games in exchange for blowjobs from wildebeests.
It’s a simple, two-step process:
1) Quit fucking making shit up.
2) When you finally stop fucking making shit up, we can discuss the implications, including the “ethics,” of the real, actual, factual reports of events that really did happen somewhere other than the sick twisted fantasies in some SJW “journalist’s” head.
Mmmmmkay?

Hear Hear!

In other words, a small group of people will no longer enjoy the stranglehold they once possessed over politics, literature, philosophy, history, religion, music, and fine art, to “set the terms of Washington’s debates” and tell readers “what they should care about”.

This is supposed to be a bad thing? Are you kidding me?

Hear hear.  RTWT.

Good Will Hunting is a movie by, for, and about self-congratulatory liberal douchbags, but it does have one of recent cinema’s classic scenes, where Will Hunting tells the Harvard prick that anyone could get his fancy-pants “education” for about a buck-fifty in late charges down at the local library.

In the internet age, it’s even easier than that.  That same library card gets you free internet access, which allows you to become expert-level informed on any issue that takes your fancy.  You may not get the sheepskin with the fancy name on it, but you can take pretty much all of MIT’s course offerings online for free.

Of what possible use, then, is Ross Douthat?  Or Matthew Yglesias?  Or William F. Buckley Jr., for that matter?

Good riddance, boys.

Reviewing the Customer

Now this is interesting.

Travelers are often asked to review their hotel, restaurant and car service. But increasingly, it goes both ways.

Drivers for Uber and Lyft, for example, rate their passengers from one to five stars at the end of each ride. If a rider receives three stars or fewer, the driver and passenger will not be paired up again. And at OpenTable, the restaurant booking system, customers are banned if they do not show for a reservation too many times.

These are among the ways that sophisticated rating systems can turn on the customer, identifying the best and worst among them.

As Vox notes, this will soon be overrun by the SJWs.  Or, at least, they’ll try to overrun it.  In this case, we might actually see some of those “code words” the left keeps accusing us of using — the phrase “obnoxious douchebag” might well come to mean “is a liberal” on review-the-customer sites.  Who, after all, is likeliest to complain about anything and everything, act all entitled, and then leave a 50 cent tip to the female-minority server?

In the Year 2525…

After nearly blowing a knee out slipping on Global Warming this morning, I got to thinking: What’s the most laughable aspect of our age, seen from a few hundred years in the future?

Some ground rules: I don’t mean things like fashion, because there’s no accounting for taste.  Things like gigantic lace ruffs, merkins, and perukes seem silly to us, but which is objectively more ridiculous, this

0017photoor this?

the-blonds-spring-2014-bun-h724Ditto music, literary styles, etc.

I’m also not judging popular beliefs like witchcraft, or even learned beliefs that have since been proven false by scientific advances.  I believe Thomas Aquinas wrote some things about what we could loosely call embryology, and that modern science does not definitively support his view… but that’s to be expected, because science as science does not concern itself with things like ensoulment. It’s a category error, then, to say that Aquinas is wrong about a theological point because he’s wrong about a biological point, and like most category errors, people who make it usually do so because they want to believe themselves smarter than they are (you’re free to believe Christianity is a load of hooey, but the burden of proof is on you if you think you’re smarter than St. Thomas (hint: you’re not)).

I mean things, then, like cultural attitudes.  Here are my guesses, in no particular order:

Our habit of incessant self-contradiction.  For instance, in talking about cultural attitudes, it’d probably take less than ten seconds for a snarky liberal to say something like “oh, you mean like treating all races as equal?”  Which, yes, is exactly the kind of thing I mean, but in the exactly opposite way.  The snarky liberal wants to congratulate himself for being open-minded and tolerant, which he does by scorning the supposedly backwards attitudes of us right-wing knuckle-draggers.  But in the process, he illustrates my point — modern liberalism is all about differential treatment.  Liberals have been given every opportunity to, in the words of one of their supposed saints, judge men by the content of their characters, not the color of their skin, and they’ve rejected them all.  Quotas, set-asides, Affirmative Action, Ethnic Studies programs… these are hardly conservative ideas.  And, of course, people who support these will tell you for a fact there’s no such thing as a fact.  This is because…

The only sin we recognize is Hypocrisy.  Because they have collectively decided that they must never, ever be wrong, Our Betters, the liberals, have to live and die by The Principles of IngSoc. War is peace if Obama does it, because if it isn’t — if war isn’t always and everywhere wrong in principle — then that asshole George W. Bush might’ve had a point, however misguided, and however poorly it turned out.  Hence, Obama’s wars aren’t wars, just as liberals’ refusal to examine evidence isn’t ignorance, it’s strength.  They’re loud and proud of their lack of knowledge of the other side’s arguments.  But conservatives are hardly immune to this– nobody with any social pull at all will come right out and say that there are very few things we can do for the Pajama Boys and Patton Chamberses of the world — the poor ye have always with you, whether by nature or nurture.  Any rational polity would throw his dumb ass in a workhouse, but we are not a rational polity.  Since no conservative can bear public scrutiny on this — would you be willing to say you’ve done absolutely everything you can to fulfill your Christian obligation to charity? — they, too, must pretend that “a living wage” is possible for all.  Because of this…

We are drearily, almost unfathomably literal.  Like our fear of hypocrisy, this stems directly from The Self-Esteem Cult.  If you are wonderful just for being you, then why would you ever want to be anything else?  #GamerGate is a good example.  Pro-GG people have a brutally simple metric for judging others — are you any good at the game?  Since there’s no way to hide your relative skill, you are your online deathmatch body count.  Anti-GG people simply can’t handle that; they want all kinds of fuzzy criteria inserted, even though there’s no way to tell if HaloDeathLord9000 is male or female, black or white.  Meanwhile, pro-GG people can’t grok that other people see the world differently.  Their metric is the only one that matters, even when it doesn’t apply — e.g. to 99.8% of human interaction.  This is the “tits or GTFO” school of internet commentary — does it really matter if SusieQ69 is biologically female or not?  Is her statement more factual, or less, if she’s got the extra X chromosome?

The Science Cult.  As I mentioned, I slipped on some Global Warming this morning.  But take note — our Science Cult will still be baffling to historians in the year 2525, even if all those hysterical climate models turn out to be true to the last detail.  I don’t have to rehash it for our regular readers, but for the drive-bys — don’t you think it’s odd that there are hundreds of thousands of people running around claiming to “Fucking Love Science”?  Isn’t that an odd and, frankly, rather disturbing expression?  Isn’t it bizarre that the actual dictionary definition of science — a method of experimental inquiry which requires transparent methodology and repeatable results — clashes so vehemently with this “consensus of the experts” business?  Real science is never settled.  The Science Cultists argue Obi Wan Kenobi-style.  Whatever you do, don’t believe your lying eyes!  Isn’t that weird?

imagesSimilarly, our Science Cultists refuse to hear that there are questions science has not yet solved.  Which, again, radically conflicts with the actual practice of science, but whatevs.  Take evolution.  Actual scientists know that there are almost numberless flaws, holes, and gaps in this theory.  They will argue that this is the best theory we have, but no working scientist will say it is complete and airtight.  The Science Cultists, though, will dive onto their fainting couches at the faintest hint of doubt.  This is because of….

Our Manichaeism.  We don’t really need to spell this one out.  The Manichees believed that the world was irrevocably split between Good and Evil.  Our Betters, the liberals, are totally committed to this worldview, and indeed you can explain almost the entire bizarre welter of their contradictions if you keep this simple dichotomy in mind.  They are Good, and we are Evil, and any compromise with Evil is likewise evil.  I exaggerate only slightly when I say you can cause a liberal acute psychic distress by posing a question about incontrovertible facts in political language, like so:  “George W. Bush is on record swearing that the sun rises in the east.  Do you agree?”  Conservatives aren’t naturally inclined to this worldview, but because Cultural Marxism is toxic to all intelligent life, we’re forced to believe as if we, too, are Manichees.  It’s painful, but our psychic distress won’t be apparent to future historians — only our behavior.

Any additions?

 

A Brief Intellectual Genealogy of the Totalitarian Left

A discussion with commenter Theo over at Morgan’s place got me wondering how far back the totalitarian left’s intellectual pedigree actually goes.  I’m not seeing much on the internet, and of course there’s very little academic work on it.  Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism is great for the 20th century, but doesn’t go much further back than that…

….so I guess it’s up to me.  I don’t claim to be an expert on the whole sweep of history (and I’m certainly not a capital-E “Expert” in anything), but I know a bit.  And since a lot of Rotten Chestnuts’ mission statement involves collating resources to challenge what “everyone knows,” I hereby present a

Brief Intellectual Genealogy of the Totalitarian Left*

Joachim of Fiore (c.1132-1202): As Goldberg writes somewhere (I think), his work inspired certain excitable folks to try “immanentizing the eschaton.”  It’s not this column, but here’s a quick vernacular definition:

So: Immanentize means to make part of the here and now. Eschaton, like eschatology, relates to the branch of theology which deals with humanity’s destiny. You know, the end times, when all of that wacky, end-timey, Seventh-Seal stuff happens (oceans boil, the righteous ascend to heaven, Carrot Top is funny, etc). Hence “immanentizing the eschaton” means, in effect, trying to make what is reserved for the next life part of the here and now. You can see why all sorts of cults, heretical sects, Scientologists, and various flavors of Mother Jones readers — including the Fighting Illuminati — would be accused of doing precisely that.

Like Marx and his beloved Revolution, Joachim thought the Angelic Pope would come whether or not anyone did anything.  His followers, though…

The Brethren of the Free Spirit  (13th-14th centuries): Took Joachim’s ideas to mean that Christ could be moved to return sooner if they simply killed all the sinners.  They were radical egalitarians, but like all radical egalitarian movements, the “taking stuff from the rich” part was way more important than the “giving stuff to the poor” part.  They were also sexual libertines par excellence (if such a thing as a conservative “gender studies” professor were possible, he/she could write a killer dissertation on leftism/utopianism as one long quest to get losers laid).

The best exposition of this stuff is still Norman Cohn’s The Pursuit of the Millennium (1957).  I’ve even seen it cited in academic works, though Cohn was not a conventional academic historian by any means.  Because he saw ex-Nazis and refugees from Stalinism firsthand, he was able to draw “immanentizing the eschaton”-type parallels from these medieval heresies to socialism and communism.  It’s a fascinating read.

King Henry VIII of England (r.1509-1547): The capital-T Truth is what the government says it is.  Henry VIII was a staunch supporter of the Papacy, even writing a book attacking Luther (Assertio Septem Sacramentorum; here’s a translation if you want to scope out the royal prose)…. until he wasn’t, because it was politically inconvenient.

John Calvin (1509-1564): Protestant theologian who developed the idea of predestination.  His ideas combined with the ferment of late Tudor politics to produce the Puritans, the world’s first ideological murderers.  Michael Walzer’s The Revolution of the Saints argues that the Puritans in fact invented ideology itself.  I’m told this is a central tenet of “Moldbuggery,” a very popular — ahem — ideology on the “dissident right:”

Progressivism (also called Universalism) is responsible for the vast majority of the world’s problems today. It is a non-theistic religion descended in a direct line from the various Dissenter sects of England. Although the belief in God was dropped during the religion’s evolution in order to improve its ability to spread, the core of progressive beliefs are very similar to the Quaker beliefs of a few centuries ago. In short, progressives are dangerous and creepy religious maniacs who don’t need to believe in God but that makes them no less dangerous, creepy or maniacal.

I don’t know if this Mencius Moldbug cat got it from Walzer (hell, this is the internet; he might actually be Walzer), and frankly I’m scared to go looking for it, but The Revolution of the Saints is the academic version.  It’s definitely deep, academic history, though, so unless you’re a specialist in this stuff (I’m not), just read the reviews if you want to know more.

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658):  The first successful ideological revolutionary.  Executed Charles I in 1649 for treason. To the country he was king of.  Which makes as much sense as anything else the Left does.

John Locke (1632-1704): Theo’s got this one covered:

John Locke, generally regarded as the father of modern liberalism, developed the then radical notion that government acquires consent from the governed which has to be constantly present for a government to remain legitimate. Locke also defined the concept of the separation of church and state, based on the concept of a social contract. He also formulated a general defense for religious toleration, the right to private property and freedom of speech. John was much influenced by ideas of John Milton, who was a staunch advocate of freedom in all its forms. Milton strongly argued for the importance of freedom of speech – “the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties”.

Locke was, overall, a good guy.  His aim was to protect English liberties while avoiding Cromwell-style excesses.  He wasn’t a totalitarian, but watch what happens when the “social contract” idea ends up in the wrong hands…

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778):  The social contract requires communism, because social justice.  From Discourse on Inequality, 1755:

The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said “This is mine,” and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.

Developed further in The Social Contract (1762), which introduces the concept of “The General Will:”

Rousseau argues that freedom and authority are not contradictory, since legitimate laws are founded on the general will of the citizens. In obeying the law, the individual citizen is thus only obeying himself as a member of the political community.

That this argument is more circular than the Indy 500 didn’t bother anyone, because it meant that in practice, whoever seized the levers of power could murder his enemies with a clean conscience — since, you know, they were really guillotining themselves. For instance,

Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794): ‘Nuff said.  If Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao had plush toys they slept with when they were kids, those toys were Robespierre dolls.

G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831): A philosopher with a major chubby for Napoleon, he proposed the famous thesis-antithesis-synthesis form of “dialectics” that has been baffling undergraduates ever since.  As you might guess from his Boner-parte, he was a state power fetishist, who argued that the State was the ultimate synthesis.  His baffling prose style, outright government worship, and intellectual pretensions were the direct inspiration for

Karl Marx (1818-1883): Y’all know about him, and since we’re on familiar turf now, I’m going to stop with

The Social Gospel (late 19th-early 20th century): Big-government Christianity.  Everything the “Progressives” wanted to do, the Social Gospelers did first.  But since “Progressives,” then as now, could never quite figure out the difference between “Evangelical Christians” and “their daddies,” the Proggies dropped the whole Gospel bit and replaced it with the Cult of the Expert.

I hope this helps!

 

*Please feel free to add / correct in the comments