Merry Christmas from my house to yours. It’s a little warm here in Florida, a nice, toasty 65 degrees. I sometimes wonder if this is what my Australian friends feel, having Christmas in the middle of summer. It certainly makes all the usual Christmas songs a little amusing.
Anyway, I have to get back to the family and my son is impatient to open his gifts. Y’all have a great holiday, and never forget what it is we are celebrating. Christ has come!
Today there is a new weekly column up on Dangerous: THALES: Turning Empathy Into a Weapon, How Social Justice Fights Dirty. This is a summary of a concept that’s been central to my posts here at The Declination.
Weaponized Empathy is a chief weapon of the Left, and we need to deprive them of it. To do so will impose a cost. Namely, many Leftists will hate you, and say the worst about you. But its a cost that must be lived with if the truth is to prevail. Indeed, the longer the cost is deferred, the worse it is likely to be.
On Monday, Francis penned an interesting post which touches upon the idea delayed gratification, something most Americans do not practice. By pushing instant gratification, and kicking the cost can down the road, our civilization has incurred an enormous amount of debt, and not merely financial debt (though that too).
The perverse incentives of our political figures has made this possible. But the citizenry itself cannot avoid responsibility either. After all, Americans have been voting en masse for short-sighted, destructive policies as long as I’ve been alive. The money quote:
We the People have earned a certain suffering-debt for our previous sociopolitical sins – never mind that we were set upon our sinful courses by an earlier We the People, who passed their accumulated suffering-debt down to us – then our choice is simple:
We could accept the penalty, endure it, and come out healed;
We could reject the penalty, which would compound the ultimate suffering.
Since World War II at least, the public has preferred politicians who will “kick the can down the road.” In consequence, government has gone ever further astray and our accumulated debt of ultimate suffering has compounded year by year. At some point, though the moment is difficult to predict, the debt will be paid. If it’s grown large enough, it will destroy our society completely.
But a payable sociopolitical suffering-debt is like a prison term: it’s finite. It will end. It can and should be endured, especially if the alternative is to raise it to an unpayable level. Our unwillingness to accept and endure the penalties that have already accrued is propelling such debts toward the threshold of sociopolitical bankruptcy.
Note, when Francis speaks of sociopolitical bankruptcy, is essentially discussing the fall of the United States as a functional, intact nation. And the longer we kick the can down the road, the more likely that outcome becomes. Indeed, I’m not even sure we can still avoid it.
On a positive note, Trump managed to push tax cuts through. They are not anywhere near as extensive as I would have liked, and I am sorely disappointed with the behavior of the GOP (more with the Senate than the House), but this is something.
Tax cuts used to be a sort of bread-and-butter of GOP politics, alongside strong foreign policy. The various factions within the party would jockey and argue over everything else, but low taxes and strong military were generally always agreed upon. That this much infighting was required to get the GOP to push through a tax cut – any tax cut at all – is disturbing. It demonstrates the slow evolution of the GOP Establishment away from the base, and toward a more Fabian Socialist agenda, agreeing with the Democrats in principle if not in time frame.
Still, this was why many folks chose Trump over Hillary. We knew we weren’t getting what we wanted, but a tax cut is better than a tax hike. Still, some Dems are going off the deep end telling us the tax cuts will literally kill people. They’ve clearly left sanity behind.
A short time ago, I coined a quick aphorism on Twitter. It’s one that, most likely, some other person has said better than I have, but nonetheless, it popped into my head:
To be human is to resist perfection. This is why any ideology based on the idea of the perfectibility of man is founded on a fallacy.
This is at the root of so many tyrannies and mass-murders in history. Some man (or group of men) gets it in his head that mankind can be improved, made better, according to some vision he has. The motives may even start out benign. Other times, the rot starts immediately. Either way, the drive for improvement quickly becomes a purity spiral. All that is impure must be destroyed. All that is imperfect must go.
What is more imperfect than man?
Eugenics, Nazism, racial supremacy… that is the sort of purity spiral most people are at least casually familiar with. But contrary to popular consciousness, it is not the only such purity spiral. When you hear a feminist complaining about man farting in her presences, calling it fart rape, you are seeing an expectation of perfection. An extension of a purity spiral. In her solipsistic worldview, all that is not-her is imperfect. All that does not follow her desire is flawed. Somebody does something she doesn’t want them to do, and they have violated her.
Someone who doesn’t have it in their heads that the universe, and their fellow man, must be perfect would probably shrug it off, or might let it pass with an unkind word or two. To the purist, the fart is so much more than a fart. It is patriarchal oppression, it is a denial of her agency, it is a legacy of privilege. Whatever. In any event, it is impure and thus it must be stopped. Yet what do you do? Ask all men to cease farting in the presence of women at all times? Impossible. Apply this to any bizarre non-issue, like manspreading, mansplaining, microaggressions, etc… Apply it to larger meta-issues that are categorically unsolvable, like income inequality and demands for fairness.
Perfection on any of them is impossible, because humans are imperfect.
Nonetheless, the SJW believes the perfection can happen, or at least a constant state of “Progress” can be sustained, like a limit approaching perfection. Mankind, you see, can be set on an upward trajectory of “Progress” constantly nearer to a state of perfection, constantly improving. It’s a core tenet, though often an unspoken one, of Progressivism. This is why, when a Progressive violates the narrative, his apology often contains the words I will try to do better. He fell off the trajectory toward human perfection – whatever that might be – and must get back on. He must catch up.
This is where the catchphrase “educate” comes from. They believe that further education, that indoctrination, training, whatever you want to call it – can cleanse the original sin, or at least diminish it, thus putting us on a progressive path toward perfection.
It’s all a fallacy. Or maybe worse, a category error. Humans resist perfection, even in the objective sense. They resist it more when the notion of perfection is purely subjective; when it is merely the whims of a few. Marxists do understand this at some level, hence the notion of Reactionaries. They know that their quest for perfection will constantly generate new enemies. They do it anyway. Understand that completely. The Marxist goes into his quest for perfection knowing full well that he will generate people whom he will have to kill. In essence, this is intentional. The impure along the way must be purged.
Technology can be said to more or less progress in a general upward trend. There are bumps and drops, of course, but generally so. And so does the knowledge of man expand along roughly the same trajectory. But the nature of man does not evolve in the same manner. Is man today any less envious of his fellows today than a thousand years ago? Is he truly wiser, not merely more knowledgeable? Is he stronger of will? Is he less inclined toward sins of various kinds?
The nature of man does not progress along the same track as the knowledge of man. Man does not approach perfection, I hesitate to even claim he improves much at all in this respect. He does not progress in the fashion progressives truly desire. Thus all of this must be imposed on man, since he is incapable of doing it willingly. To say that this serves the desires of tyrants everywhere is an understatement.
Thus, in the end, Marxism contains the same fallacy present in Nazism, and in many other historical ideologies. Under it all is the notion that mankind can be perfected, can be purified, made better at some level. The end result of such thinking is usually the most vile and destructive forms of tyrannical evil mankind is capable of. The nature of man is difficult to improve upon, but certainly easy to corrupt.
Mankind will never be perfected, except perhaps by God himself. No other could do such a thing. Nor will it ever be made to approach perfection; made to ascend on a constant upward trajectory as our knowledge has. I am not saying improvement is impossible, mind you, but I don’t know that we can control it, or that such control can be made constant, or that reversals won’t put us right back where we started. Thus we must never assume that perfectibility is likely, or even possible.
We must start from the very beginning with the notion that mankind is a deeply flawed creature, and that this fact isn’t likely to change.
So I wrote another column over at DANGEROUS: Do Lefties Live in a Parallel Universe? Let’s Explore. It’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor at ridiculous behavior from the political Left. Sometimes I wake up and think these people must live on another planet.
An interesting (interesting in the sense of being utterly insane) piece came from regular reader Triple Sphinctered Wombat (what a name, right?): 10 Things Every Intersectional Feminist Should Ask On a First Date. Reading this vitriolic wishlist reminds me of something I once read at The Rational Male. Back in the day, Rollo Tomassi did a little bit of investigative journalism, I suppose you’d call it. He went on a dating site and wrote profiles that were mirror inversions of typical female profiles.
Many female profiles had wish lists that were, as he put it, vastly out of proportion with what they had to offer. Women of middling looks, intelligence, and income would write long screeds about how their ideal man should be tall, have an impressive penis, be smart, funny, make more money than her, not be too clingy, but be the perfect romantic. He should be the best of the best, you see, to date a perfectly average woman. When Rollo wrote a profile explaining how he wanted smart, rich, hot supermodels, women variously complained about him being a misogynist or merely a bad joke writer.
In this day of Social Justice insanity, we must add to the unreasonable demands of the typical woman to these 10 insane political demands from an intersectional feminist. If you don’t go to the local Black Lives Matter protests, you can’t have any of whatever she’s offering. I can’t know for sure, of course, but I suspect this woman has even less to offer in terms of dating prospects than the middling women of Rollo’s date site experiments. Take a look at this demand:
5. Are you a supporter of the BDS movement?
BDS stands for “Boycott, Divest, Sanctions” — an effort to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. I grew up with Jewish (Israeli and non-Israeli) friends and Palestinian friends. Before even understanding how power and oppression worked together, we understood the trivial hatred that colonized and put in constant danger the lives of Palestinians every single day.
Well, I guess this woman is probably an anti-Semite then, by the racism standards of SJWs. She refuses to date anybody who doesn’t prioritize Palestinians over Israelis. Which, naturally, would mean most Israelis. I mean who asks about the Israel/Palestine conflict on a first date, anyway?
On a more positive note, here’s a bit of (rare) good news: 84-Year-Old Vet Still Has It, Kills Intruder With One Shot, Overpowers Another in Physical Scuffle. Nothing is more heartwarming than seeing two goblins get their asses handed to them by a bonafide senior citizen.
Lastly, I’m sure my readers expect an opinion piece on Roy Moore’s loss. I have to sort some rather longish thoughts about that whole mess before I commit to writing that out. Suffice it to say, Moore was never exactly my kind of Republican, but the smear campaign against him was ridiculous in the extreme. I haven’t seen the Democrats go all in on someone like that since Trump’s election. Roy Moore was not up to the challenge the same way Trump was. Republicans should understand that this is the new normal. Every Republican is likely going to have to weather a storm like this one, unless they are properly pliable Flakes and McCains, and even that is no guarantee of safety.
Be prepared. It’s going to get ugly next year.
So some of my readers may have been wondering why I’ve been a little quiet lately. Wonder no more. I’ll be writing a regular weekly column for Milo’s new Dangerous.com site. My usual blog posts will continue here, of course.
The first article can be found here (please comment on it there): THALES: Curious About Helicopterism? Let Me Explain. There I got into detail about a sort of gallows humor meme many of my readers may be familiar with.
This is a pretty big milestone by my accounting. I want to thank some of the folks that have helped my writing get to this point. Tom Kratman, Sarah Hoyt, and Francis Porretto have been huge influences, and I never would have made it this far without them.
More to come!