Ignoring the Human Factor

Why is there so much bullshit in academia?

I get asked that one a lot.  “Cultural Marxism” is a sufficient answer, but there are other factors, of course.  Like social life, or lack thereof.

Grad students spend most of their time in the library, and because of the peculiar ecology of college towns, even their non-library hours are spent almost exclusively with other academics.  You have to work very, very hard to have any kind of “normal” life in a college town, in other words, so even if you’re not a goofball when you arrive, pretty soon Stockholm Syndrome kicks in and you find yourself, if not liking, then at least tolerating, experimental theater and milk made from plants.

After a few years of this, you forget what normal life is even like.  You come to understand the deep and longstanding grievances the Poststructuralist Feminist Marxists have with the Marxist Feminist Poststructuralists.  Oh, there’s scads of “diversity” on campus — all those recruiting brochures they mail to dumb parents in the ‘burbs aren’t lying — but there’s one thing you’ll never, ever find: The thought that maybe politics doesn’t matter all that much.

That’s the answer, right there.  Academic “humanities” work is mostly bullshit because most people just don’t care about politics.  To normals, if they think about “politics” at all, it’s in Schoolhouse Rock terms — some guys in Washington vote on some stuff, and that’s how a bill becomes a law.  They certainly don’t mean ideology, which is pretty much the only thing academics mean.  That a normal person could walk into the voting booth without really knowing if he’s going to pull the lever for Trump or Hillary fries an egghead’s circuits….

… and yet, as we all know, the majority of American voters do this, every single time.  There’s something profound about normal person behavior that academics just can’t — or won’t — grasp.

Which leads to stuff like this.  Some caveats: I generally enjoy this “Agnostic” guy’s posts.  His archives are well worth a trawl, as he looks at big social changes among American youngsters over decades.  But he’s also some kind of academic, and so falls into the typical academic trap of thinking only in big-idea terms.

If you didn’t click, his assertion is that the GOP is going to swap out nominees at the 2020 convention.  As the Democrats, media, academia, Hollywood, et al (hereafter, “the Democrats”) have been doing nothing but raging at Trump for the last four years, they’ll be completely disarmed.  We all know that no matter who the Dems run, he, she, or xzyhr will do nothing but chant “Orange Man Bad!” on the campaign trail… but Orange Man won’t be there, so the Republican will cruise to victory.

As Machiavellian political schemes go, that one’s a doozy.  Not only would it work on paper, but as Agnostic points out (indeed, it’s one of the key parts of his argument), everyone in the Republican Party not named “Donald Trump” would be totally on board with dropping Donald Trump as the nominee.  If they’re determined to get someone like Yeb Bush back in the saddle, that’s the quickest and surest way to do it…

But it’ll never happen, because people, especially political people, just don’t work that way.  Machiavellian schemes, after all, require Machiavellian schemers to plan and execute.  Any of those in the GOP?

As Orange Man himself has shown us, you don’t have to be some kind of multidimensional chess master to defeat the Democrats.  The Democrats are profoundly stupid.  They score more own goals than policy victories, and have done so for years.  Only profoundly stupid people would let Elizabeth Warren near a DNA lab, for instance, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez near a smartphone.  And yet, here we are.  All you need to do to beat the Democrats is:

  • show up,
  • throw a punch, and
  • not be utterly, incandescently retarded.

Does that sound like any Republican other than Donald Trump?

But let’s be generous and assume that, like all Official Conservatives, the GOP are ready willing and able to fight against their own.  So… how do you think Donald Trump is going to take the news that he’s been sidelined?  Is he going to quietly hang up his jock and hit the showers?

See what I mean with this stuff?

Of course, it’s not confined to academia.  The more you like to chew on ideas, it seems, the likelier it is that your pet theories require people to be other than they are.  Marxism is the best example — it’d work great with a different species — but our side is far from immune (indeed Agnostic, despite his apparent belief that Bernie Sanders (yes, really) is the savior of Legacy America, is on our side).  I’ll prove it:

Since this is the Internet, everyone loves to fantasize about how World War II could’ve gone.  Alas for all those fun fantasies, the war really couldn’t have gone a whole lot differently than it did.  Leave economic, technological, even military factors aside.  The reason it went down like it did was the same reason it couldn’t have gone down very much differently: The personality of Adolf Hitler.

Hitler called the shots; everyone else, even Stalin, was just reacting to Hitler’s decisions.*  Hitler’s decisions all make sense in the light of his very odd, very distinctive personality, one that was shaped by years of trench warfare on the Western Front, plus a meteoric rise from obscurity.  He was the same guy in 1945 that he was in 1933, which was for all intents and purposes the same guy he was in 1921.  Read any competent biography.  That guy couldn’t have done anything but what he did.  Men make history, but they do not make it as they please, as Karl Marx said.  You can’t know the history without knowing the man….

… but since academics don’t know any men, all their stuff is dreck.


*Though I am not qualified to evaluate Suvorov‘s evidence, I am convinced that if Germany somehow didn’t attack the USSR in 1941 (e.g. the entire top Nazi brass drank some tainted schnapps and some middle-management goober ended up as the new Fuhrer), Stalin would’ve attacked Germany by 1950.  And, of course, I say this not because I’m some kind of expert on the Red Army — see above — but I’ve read up on Stalin.  His personality is as weird, distinctive, and inflexible as Hitler’s, and though the same academic historians who wonder if Stalin was really a communist would no doubt be baffled by it, launching a war on Nazi Germany (and the rest of the world) would be perfectly in character.
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5 thoughts on “Ignoring the Human Factor

  1. WOPR

    I read Agnostic guy’s theory and it is laughable. First, the GOP will not dump Trump. If they didn’t do it in 2016, they won’t do it now. If they somehow managed to find the spine and competence to do it, intra-party warfare will guarantee the Dems win by simply getting all the hobos they can find to the polls.

    Second, why he thinks Trump isn’t running again is beyond me. He’s been setting himself up to run again and seems to be working to pick his opponent.

    Third, does he not realize that Trump crushed Jeb, et al for a reason? I loved that he added that Cruz was a non-starter.

    All people are who they are. Ha, I can do tautologies as well. People settle into what they are and it is rare for them to deviate. Churchill was always looking for some scheme that didn’t involve invading France to win the war. You read enough and you start to see patterns in the way historical people think and react.

  2. Publius

    I remember reading a very plausible theory that Stalin was planning on launching WW3 on the eve of his death. The implication being that Beria slipped the old cuss a hot shot to prevent that happening.

    There’s some problems with this theory, but it’s not crazy.

  3. Pickle Rick

    “That a normal person could walk into the voting booth without really knowing if he’s going to pull the lever for Trump or Hillary fries an egghead’s circuits…”

    That was the entire point of the limited franchise that was originally the intention of those men that created the first Republic- they didn’t want morons who couldn’t understand politics doing exactly what they do today- voting. Shitavarious, Mo’gibsitron and LaFawnduh from Baltimore are the essence of a mobocracy. AOC and her ilk bank on that, because they think there’re the vanguard of the proletariat (or oppressed people of color, in modern parlance.)

  4. MBlanc46

    Some of us like the Big ideas stuff. I do, and so does anyone who sticks around here. Big ideas are what happen here. But we seem to have been able to maintain our basic human psychology, nonetheless. For me, I just couldn’t get past the ick factor of homosexuality. And I couldn’t finally accept that there was no difference, other than the plumbing, between males and females. I tried, I really did, but reality, and E. O. Wilson’s Sociobiology, interfered. Then I lived for fifteen years in pretty close contact with Negroes. Strike three. I’m sure everyone here has a story along those lines.

    It’s through having a down-to-earth grasp of how things work that leads me to conclude that President Trump* will have a very hard time in 2020 (an easier time if the opponent is Harris or Buttigieg, a much harder time if it’s Biden or Fauxcahontas). Number one: Trump has done almost nothing about the one thing that he got people excited enough about to get off their bottoms and come out to vote for him: mass immigration. It’s now clear that he’s just another lying politician. Second, and more important, the Dems will steal more votes in PA, OH, MI, and WI than Trump’s margins of victory in 2016. The Dems were complacent and over-confident in 2016. That won’t happen again.

    * It’s almost certain that Trump will be the Repub nominee. Perhaps in 1950, guys in smoke-filled rooms could fix things, but that’s not the way that things work now. Things were a lot better in 1950 than they are now. I’m pretty sure those two facts are related.

    1. WOPR

      As a young man I lived in a mid-sized Midwest city. Was sitting in the parking lot watching the baby while wife grabbed some groceries. Saw car pull up beside SUV out towards back of parking lot with, to use today’s terminology, two black bodies, male. Now, properly educated, I told myself not to judge them and went back to entertaining the baby in the car seat in back. Soon noticed one of the black bodies was constantly leaning in and out of the car on the SUV side. Yep, he had a crowbar and was popping the lock. I got out of the car and stopped a family trying to tell them to go back in the store and call the cops. (This was the 90’s before everyone had cellphones.) Well, the Asian family, Vietnamese or the like, barely understood English. I then went running at the black bodies yelling. They then took off. So, I got a double barrel treatment of multi-culti and began to look at things differently.

      Poor SUV owner had just purchased the vehicle.

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