Sunday, December 6, 2015

John C. Wright hits one out of the park

Author John C. Wright gives us what I think is a wonderful encapsulation of the extreme-left progressive ideology that's been so evident in political and mass-media responses to the San Bernardino terror attacks.  Here's an excerpt.

How long until the Left wake up? The answer is: NEVER.

The Left will never wake up to reality for precisely the reason that Leftism is a mental system of excuses and psychological tricks and traps meant to allow the Leftist to escape from reality.

That is what all their rigmarole, jabberwocky, lies and evasions, all their complex obfuscations, and penning endless tomes of endless nonsense from Marx to Keynes to Al Gore, all their riots, marches, protests, sit-ins, think-tanks, media moguls, money laundering, awards shows, convulsions, antics, stunts, clamor, libel, slander, and cacophony is for: Reality avoidance.

That is all that it is for.

. . .

In recent years, with the cult of multiculturalism dead, and Marxism rightfully tossed into the crematorium of dead yet stupid ideas, the only thing left for the Left to do was to break all ties with honesty.

Political Correctness has its roots in Stalinism, and is as old as Marx himself, as old as the first lie every told by a snake in Eden. But since 9/11, with both their idols of multiculturalism and socialism smashed, the press and the Left generally expelled their less extreme elements from their midst, or shamed them into silence, and embraced falsehood as the source and summit of all good.

This is what I call ‘the Unreality Principle’ which is the principle that a lie is better than the truth because to lie and to believe a lie proves one’s loyalty. To lie and believe lies is morally superior than to tell and believe the truth, and the more outrageous the lie, the greater the moral superiority one can award oneself.

The Chinese have an epigram for this, as they have for most things political and practical.

It is written this way: 指鹿為馬 (zhi lu wei ma). Literally translated, the four characters mean ‘point deer, make horse’.

The word 為 for ‘make’ also means ‘to transform’ or ‘to serve as’ or ‘to make believe.’ So the epigram means ‘Calling a deer a horse.’

As with all Chinese epigrams, there is a story behind it:

Zhao Gao was contemplating treason but was afraid the other officials would not heed his commands, so he decided to test them first. He brought a deer and presented it to the Emperor but called it a horse. The Emperor laughed and said, “Is the chancellor perhaps mistaken, calling a deer a horse?” Then the emperor questioned those around him. Some remained silent, while some, hoping to ingratiate themselves with Zhao Gao, said it was a horse, and others said it was a deer. Zhao Gao secretly arranged for all those who said it was a deer to be brought before the law and had them executed instantly.
. . .

Islam is not the enemy. The deer is a horse.

There's much more at the link.  It's well worth clicking over to John's place and reading it in full.



m4 said...

Interesting how a piece can simultaneously condemn multiculturalism and quote Chinese lore.

Rolf said...

M4 - nope, you have it wrong.

multi-culti says that all cultures are equally right.

American culture says "take what works, and what is true, explore it, use it to it's fullest and make it our own if it fits."

There is a world of difference between those two things.

m4 said...

I think you and I can both see that American culture is composed of plenty of things that don't work and aren't true. Because corporations aren't people, priests shouldn't be raping kids, and you shouldn't have a shooting of lambs to the slaughter every other week.

Wanna try that again?

Toastrider said...

"corporations aren't people"

However, they are made up of people, and I wasn't aware you gave up your personhood if you took employment in a corporation.

"priests shouldn't be raping kids"

That's odd, I don't recall that being a part of American culture. IIRC, our host has had harsh things to say about those who DID do it, and the blame really rests more on the Vatican hierarchy that sought to cover it up.

"shooting of lambs to the slaughter every other week"

And almost every one occurs in a place that has been designated a 'safe space', a 'no guns allowed' zone, often in a city or state that does not recognize the basic right to defend yourself.

0 for 3. But keep trying, you'll make someone a great sidekick someday!

JK Brown said...

Ludwig von Mises in his 'Liberalism' (1927) identified the psychological roots of anti-liberalism [classical liberalism] as resentment and "a neurasthenic condition that one might call a Fourier complex, after the French socialist of that name."

Resentment can be combated with logic, but he neurotic condition defies logic and the sufferer must wake up themselves. Mises, unfortunately, doesn't offer a excerpt to explain Fourier complex, but it is much as described.

"The neurotic cannot endure life in its real form. It is too raw for him, too coarse, too common. To render it bearable he does not, like the healthy man, have the heart to “carry on in spite of everything.” That would not be in keeping with his weakness. Instead, he takes refuge in a delusion. A delusion is, according to Freud, “itself something desired, a kind of consolation”; it is characterized by its “resistance to attack by logic and reality.”


"In the life of the neurotic the “saving lie” has a double function. It not only consoles him for past failure, but holds out the prospect of future success. In the case of social failure, which alone concerns us here, the consolation consists in the belief that one’s inability to attain the lofty goals to which one has aspired is not to be ascribed to one’s own inadequacy, but to the defectiveness of the social order."

Mises, Ludwig von (2010-12-10). Liberalism (p. 15). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition.

m4 said...

1) Doesn't in any way affect whether or not CORPORATIONS are people. The church isn't a person either.

2) The only of the three that isn't a quintessentially American trait, but nonetheless is one that occurred in a routine manner for some decades within your "American culture" which is apparently made up of the best parts of all cultures that come there. If that's the best you could take from the Church's culture, I pity you.

3) That was precisely my point.

Rolf said...

M4 - you are equating the actions of flawed individuals and specific items of imperfect institutions and making a false equivalence with the broad strokes of something as abstract. Enough stuff in the that straw-man argument to feed a cavalry troop for a week.

As you say, care to try again?

Bibliotheca Servare said...

No, your point was that you are an intellectually stunted, feeble-minded, lackwitted leftist donkey. Or did you say "every other week" for some other purpose? More people died in Paris in a single day than have died in all the mass shootings (not gang-related. The NYTimes might be more than happy to slot gang violence in the same column as actual mass shootings, just as they do "active shooter" incidents, but lies are their/your currency, not ours) in the United States in the past decade or more combined! And France is as anti-gun as it gets...but their magic "no guns allowed laws/totems didn't save the victims of that tragedy. In Texas, on the other hand, the (would be) shooters were dead before they could kill or maim even one person. Damn those naughty guns for neutralizing the threat of terrorists who wouldn't have obeyed a gun ban even if one had been in place!

Laws exist to punish crimes after the fact (to simplify greatly)...not to prevent crime. Indeed, such a task (preventing crime) is by definition impossible for a law to accomplish. Molon Labe, M4. Molon Labe.

m4 said...

Since you apparently don't understand the words "that was my point", I'll spell it out. So if America is so great, and only takes the bits of cultures that work or are right, why do you still have gun-free zones? Why do you have so many states that openly defy the constitution? Surely the constitution should be as American as it gets, but apparently people have better ideas as to what American should be, and are leading you to the slaughter.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, Peter. It goes a long way toward explaining the absolute imperviousness to logic and reason I've encountered in the liberal mindset of some folks around me. To mangle an old saying:
None is so blind as he who (resolutely) will not see.


Bibliotheca Servare said...

"Great" does not equal "perfect" m4. Also, America is made up of states, the citizens of which choose (in theory) what rights they are willing to surrender in exchange for feeling better about themselves. Not every state is afflicted with idiots to the same degree. Again, great does not equal perfect.

A.B. Prosper said...

M4 is partially right, the US is made up of a lot of ideas, many of them bad and dysfunctional. Some of this was the necessary compromises that allowed it to be formed but other by the fact the US is a long con, the largest longest grift I can think of formed on treason, slavery, genocide and being a tax crank.

Its also a nations where the government was configured to protect inalienable rights

And yes it can be both things. Its can be a lot of things, many of them bad. But its still my home and the Left is making it much worse.

Now onto elimination of corporate person-hood. In some sense corporations are the antithesis of private property rights since no person actually owns something.

As such its not about limiting individual rights but about assuring private or joint ownership and that someone is always liable for wrongdoing.

If a lot of people at the top are going to go to prison, loose everything they own and never again see the light of day for bad choices, they'll be a lot more careful, won't they?