Free men are not equal, equal men are not free.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Leftism's Strange, Procrustean Bed

I've mentioned before - socialism is evil. I'll go further. Leftism is a death cult of the mind, of the spirit, of thought, and finally, of bodies. Jordan Peterson can indeed argue that post-modernism didn't come about until the 70's - which explains why, even as murderous as they were, the leftism of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao were at least coherent, and so were their followers in the west - but I would argue that while it may not have gone off the rails until then, the seeds were there, and it was inevitable.

And as has been repeatedly noted: they eat their own.

First, Procrustes.
In the Greek myth, Procrustes was a son of Poseidon with a stronghold on Mount Korydallos at Erineus, on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis. There he had a bed, in which he invited every passer-by to spend the night, and where he set to work on them with his smith's hammer, to stretch them to fit. In later tellings, if the guest proved too tall, Procrustes would amputate the excess length; nobody ever fit the bed exactly. Procrustes continued his reign of terror until he was captured by Theseus, travelling to Athens along the sacred way, who "fitted" Procrustes to his own bed
Leftism isn't a true Procrustean bed - they don't generally stretch people to fit. As long as your ideology, your beliefs fit within the current "bed" - you're safe. Woe betide thee if your beliefs don't fit - if an ideological limb hangs over. You better be able to curl up and keep those limbs over the mattress, never stretching out, or they'll be lopped off. In the real world, you're imprisoned, hammered down, and if a sufficient example needs to be made of you, killed. 

But here's the rub. The size of the bed is determined by beliefs, procedures, policies that will supposedly bring utopia - an ideal society, where everyone is equal. But, equality is a myth - the best we can hope for is something close to an equality of opportunity. Give a hundred kids from the same socioeconomic background, age, gender, etc. a huge box of legos, and no two will build the same thing. Some will not play at all. Some will build houses, some will build bridges, and excepting maybe a copycat, they will all be different. Kids have different insights, different spatial awareness, different interests, different desires. 

So given the freedom to try anything they want, some will be doctors, some will be farmers, some will be gardeners, some will be plumbers. Some will never have the interest and intelligence to become programmers, to model the world in that fashion. Start factoring in the observable differences in interest between men and women,for example, and suddenly the demographic breakdown of any job in society is not going to look like the demographic breakdown of the region.

Add to that people change, and sometimes even still learn, as they grow. The desired outcome is not achieved. Obviously, either we have enemies of the people, or the policies, what's allowed, are not pure enough. In either case, the ideology is purified and made smaller. Words are redefined to attempt to make a tail a leg. 

The size of the bed shrinks. A more careful watch is kept for stray limbs to keep things that don't fit from corrupting the result. Suddenly, those who comfortably fit within the ideological bed while still keeping a conscience, still applying their own standards of what is true or not, find themselves at odds with the new outlook. What was fine yesterday, or a year ago, no longer is. At first, it's just shaming, but history shows it always ends in blood as those with the power to choose struggle to maintain more and tighter control.

Since people never will fit into assigned boxes very well, it will never stop.

The people we've seen recently pushing back on the left include a number who even ten years ago would have been comfortably ensconced in the "liberal" side of the spectrum, and unthinkingly accepting the leftist worldview that has poisoned our institutions. The constant redefinition, the attacks, and the changing standards have caused them to wake up in small part. No, many are still liberal, but they realize there is something deeply wrong with where the left is, even if they don't recognize it was inevitable. Dave Rubin comes to mind. The Bernie-voting professor mobbed by students angrily shouting for his resignation because he wasn't going to go along with a "day of absence" does as well. Despite the words of Reagan spotlighting this trend for decades, despite the history of multiple revolutions such as the French revolution, most didn't realize the left had changed until they themselves were attacked.

And so, day by day, as the left loses touch with reality and insists that the emperor is indeed wearing clothes, more and more see it for the vicious and deadly thing that it is. And though we should never trust a "moderate" or a recent convert with leadership of the fight against the left, the globalists, the left offers them no chance to stay out of it, indeed forces them to choose sides.

Their mask isn't just slipping, they are taking it off to scare us. 

be not afraid.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Snowflake Day

Courtesy of the Didact, he finds a millenial who writes:
Sure, some Millennials are guilty of being entitled. But turn on the news, and you’ll see some bigly examples of entitled, narcissistic Baby Boomers. Every generation is diverse. But at 75 million people, Millennials are the biggest, most diverse generation in the nation. We’re also the most educated. We know human-caused climate change is real. We know why the Civil War started. We know what Aleppo is.

But society has a lot of misunderstandings about Gen Y. We’re overflowing with ideas to shake up our workplaces and make them more creative, collaborative, meaningful, meritocratic, and fun. And since we’ve grown up in a fast-paced world, we’re impatient to have an impact. So people say we’re entitled upstarts who don’t want to put in our dues. We want to collect experiences, not possessions. So people accuse us of being unambitious. We want immediate feedback more than an annual bonus. So people complain we need constant praise. We like to use (and invent) technological short-cuts. So people call us lazy. We post selfies on social media because we value connections with others. So we’re labeled “self-obsessed.”

We’re sick of the stereotypes. We want to counteract the fake news and bust the myths about Millennials. We want to be recognized for who we really are.
Uh. OK. Isn't that special? The degree of sheer ignorance here is astonishing.

"you’ll see some bigly examples of entitled, narcissistic Baby Boomers" - yes, you will. A lot of examples. And that's why not only a fair chunk of millennials, but the rest of us post-boomer crowd generally dislike them as well. Two wrong's don't make a right - and the writer, for all they want to be taken seriously as a "real" grown-up, is already displaying his childishness.

"We’re also the most educated" - confusing time spent in school with an education. Look at the reviews of this 6th grade reader from 1914. That also leaves aside necessary skills no longer taught at schools.

"We know human-caused climate change is real" - science is a process, not simply a body of "facts". The latter are subject to change, either because we learn or develop better models for the physical world, or because people make up facts to suit their biases. We know for a fact the lead researchers into climate science aren't following a truth-finding process, but are instead interested in hiding the decline, not giving out the raw data because it may be used to dispute them, and developing computer models that get the desired result even if fed a flat line series.We also know the predictions made have not come to pass, and that the lead proponents of "it's all our fault" cannot tell us how much of an impact we have.  I strongly recommend reading "The Skeptical Environmentalist" if one gets a chance.

"We know why the Civil War started. We know what Aleppo is" - Yet most of them don't know what evil is shared by Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot. Or why postmodernism is a worldview that leads to the death of the mind, of cultures, and people. Do they understand why the horrors of the French revolution were inevitable given the driving ideology? They know what they've been told on why the civil war started, but likely haven't dug into the diaries of the figures involved at all, or looked at sources that contradict those claims. And Aleppo? Who cares? It's a way to take cheap political digs at non-leftists (even if Johnson is an idiot). In a decade another city will be important, but the ongoing 1400-year war with Islam will still be going on. Do they know Vienna, Tours, Lepanto or why 1492 is significant beyond Columbus coming to the Americas and initiating an age of exploitation and ruin, or somesuch? Do they know Platea? Salamis? Thermopylae? Do they know the Anabasis? Do they truly understand the Magna Carta's significance in the rights of free Englishmen, in conceptually restraining the power of not only the king, but of government in general, as they scream for the government to assume more control over everyone else's lives?

"But society has a lot of misunderstandings about Gen Y. We’re overflowing with ideas to shake up our workplaces and make them more creative, collaborative, meaningful, meritocratic, and fun. And since we’ve grown up in a fast-paced world, we’re impatient to have an impact. So people say we’re entitled upstarts who don’t want to put in our dues." - One of the most disliked guys in a workplace is the new guy who comes in and starts wanting to change everything around without first understanding how things are actually working, and why. Respect has to be earned, and that takes time. Not all consequences of a change are immediately obvious, and understanding the second-order consequences of how things are working aren't either. Also, patience is a virtue, impatience... isn't. Change can be good. It can also be bad. So yeah - a guy who comes in without understanding what's going on and wants to change everything and gets upset that people don't get on board right away when he's not in charge and thus not responsible for the consequences of the change is an entitled upstart, and he's trying to handwave away the dues.

"We want to collect experiences, not possessions. So people accuse us of being unambitious." - if that was all, sure. But ambition isn't just about stuff. It's also about the willingness to take on responsibility, to guide and lead others. The author of this bit has a fundamental misunderstanding of ambition. Also, experiences are also ephermal. They are of no more value to one than what one can get out of the experience of using a possession. What about a legacy?

"We want immediate feedback more than an annual bonus. So people complain we need constant praise." - No, they complain you need constant praise because of how you deal with criticism.

"We like to use (and invent) technological short-cuts. So people call us lazy." - "Constructive laziness" is hardly a new concept.

"We post selfies on social media because we value connections with others. So we’re labeled “self-obsessed.” - Then connect with others. Show other people off at their best. Oh, wait, yet another picture of you doing something "awesome" or hanging out with your friends or that cool dish from some ethnic place? If one believes everything you post shows what you care about, then I have more respect for the food porn, especially if it's something you made, than of you being in the damn pics all the time.

All in all, a completely self-unaware portrayal showing that the author really is the child he insists, stomping his foot, that he is not.

The whole post is worth reading.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Girl Friday

Have a good weekend, guys.











Myth and Meaning

I was first introduced to Jordan Peterson on Stefan Molyneux's show. 



Jordan Peterson is an atheist. Regardless, unlike many, even if only on a mythological level, he has a far more understanding view of religion and the role it, or something like it, needs to play than many who are not believers, and a far deeper understanding of the symbology than many who are.

It's hours and hours of listening, but episodes 9, 10, 12, and 13 of his podcast, "Maps of Meaning" are well worth every minute. Casting further out, you'll also find him tearing apart modern social justice and postmodern thought - in fact, what brought him to the attention of the screeching SJW horde was his argument against personal pronouns.
Episode 9 – Maps of Meaning 1 – 3 
Episode 10 – Maps of Meaning 4 – 6 
Episode 12 – Maps of Meaning 7 – 9 
Episode 13 – Maps of Meaning 10 – 13


Two Bits of Awesome

What do you get when you mix the inherent awesome of Space Battleship Yamato with the inherent awesome of Sabaton?

An epic space battle set to the song "Midway."

Enjoy.