Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Ossification of Thought

Since the Enlightenment, gatherings of intellectuals in the West, be they formal (universities) or informal (the blogsphere) were places of where thinking persons congregated in order to share the and exchange the thoughts, and in some cases the great thoughts, of the day.

No more, it seems.  The intelligentsia of our day assemble quietly before the Great Ones, listen politely, with the approving "Yea" thrown in to show that we were still awake.  Our intelligentsia has been stricken with a bizarre case of arrested development.  It seems that in such matters independent thought has been has been recused and replaced by the proclamations of the "qualified"; that is, folks that have been approved to think by our indoctrinating institutions - but only if these thoughts comport with the dogma of those that "qualified" these folks in the first place.  Our elite universities seem to have become places filled with ideological cement. A place where bright young people go to have the establishment's political rhetoric drilled and drilled and then drilled some more until those "other" heretical doubts have been cast out.

(I watch in utter fascination as Paul Krugman, he of Nobel fame, engages his adherents in a shameless exercise of propaganda and mind control as well as the disciples of the Left in general, in much the same way that Sarah Palin performs her mind f*** on her advocates.  The difference, of course, is that Krugman has that nifty Nobel Prize to provide credibility.  Funny that. A Prize awarded by a politically driven entity in an area that is far more an ART than a SCIENCE for the purposes of furthering the Nobel Committee's agenda (eyes rolling?  Really?  Did your eyes roll for the Obama Peace Prize LOL HAHAHAHAHAHA ROFL LMAO... sorry, that got away from me again....) is then used to gain credibility to further a political agenda that had very little to do with the area of study that led to the Nobel in the first place.  Noodle that for a moment before rolling those eyes...

Today, our political discussions have been reduced to links to articles written by others supporting our particular bias.  "You don't need to think, just quote me!! After all, I won the Nobel!!  And don't worry, I would NEVER have an ulterior motive..." Thanks, King Paul Krugman... (for those Monty Python fans, I am reminded of the "How'd you become King, then" dialogue from the "Holy Grail").  No need to think for ourselves. Politics is merely a debate to be won. Too busy with your life to the point where your politics have not evolved in 30 years?  No time to think for yourself and then express those thoughts, but need to sound intelligent and engaged?  No problem. Go with the Mantra.... over and over and over... after all, if we repeat something often enough, it'll be true, won't it?


On one side, we have the Keynesian failures.  Their contention - that we simply were not Keynesian enough... that what needs be done is more and more deficit and stimulus spending - is as much akin to bleeding patients prior to the advent of germ theory as anything the other side offers.  After all, the folks on the Right talk out of their A$$ about their fiscal conservatism... and then spend and spend like Keynesians... hence my term - 2H1P, the 2 headed 1 party.  Each side might say different things but their body's do the exact same thing. To keep their respective devotees in support of this cluster f*#!, each side manufactures issues that have no functional bearing on the problems at hand.  Every once in a while the masses start to awake from their coma, at which point the Left stirs the abortion pot, the one and only truly worthwhile issue separating the Left and Right (and I am going to leave this alone other than to say that the level of denial on the part of the Left as to what actually happens during an abortion is akin to the denial of any people engaged in unspeakable crimes against humanity.... but what can one expect from a group harboring no small percentage of pro-abortion vegetarians, my favorite example of the outrageously FOS?  Libertarians have no interest in funding government thugs to round up women and doctors... that does not make us lacking in knowing right from wrong.  It means we see the futility, as well as the unintended consequences, of empowering a government to impose morality and ethics with yet more violence).

To be fair to the Left, the Right has engaged in nothing less than an extreme attempt at Social Control - to which the Left has responded in a tit-for-tat issue-oriented (inflamed) strategy that has left the U.S. exactly where our founders desperately tried to prevent - a place where 50.000001 can inflict damage at will on the other 49.999999.  Our founders tried to assure minority rights.  That meant rights of the POLITICAL minority - not what has come to be defined as as minority rights.

The U.S. has bifurcated into Red and Blue. How much more bifurcation can the U.S. withstand before our ugly political discourse and Regionalism devolves into political violence?  The Left, comprising most of our intelligentsia, seems to be bereft of folks with any knowledge of the game of chess... or perhaps are suffering with a delusion of the fallacy of misplaced concreteness... The odds of a Leftist/Socialist takeover of the American political and economic system are remote in the extreme - as that outcome would likely end in violence, a violence the Left is ill equipped to arise from victorious (know a lot of Left-Wing criminals, state troopers, FBI agents, or special forces personnel?).

Lest you think that I am out of my mind for suggesting that the U.S. could, in fact, erupt in bloodshed... I respectfully submit the souls of the hundreds of millions of people that lived and loved, and lost all in the violence of politics; that is, a body politic that over reaches in its attempt at control.


bureaucrat said...

Almost all of the differences in politics and public discourse today has to do with the fact that we can no longer afford to "buy off" both sides. Whether it was cheap energy or something else, we have borrowed ourselves into a hole (worldwide), we have a demographic timebomb (the Baby Boomers) headed our way, and only enough money now to support one political side. In the past, we could afford for everyone to get something, and everyone kept quiet. No more.

Most of the stuff "argued about" in yesteryear has already been settled. Crime is a bad thing. Non-whites are not stupider or less-able because they are non-white. Even abortion has already been decided (90% of people think BOTH sides have a point). But today's mega-disagreement is how we are going to pay for all that has been promised with one hand tied behind our back.

There are lots of smart people out there, both in academia, the media and politics. But very rarely can you get something for nothing (like the power of cheap oil created with millions of years of sunlight.). We are now in a political fight to see who screws up first and then, who wins.

tweell said...

I know a Lot of left-wing criminals. The inmate population is overwhelmingly leftist Democrat - over 80%. Hey, if you believe that the world owes you a living, then taking stuff you 'need' makes sense. 'They' should have given it to you, after all.

cheapest car insurance uk said...
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Stephen B. said...

I am concerned that we may see at least sporadic violence break out in places that experience significant Tea Party, Republican election wins later this fall.

For all the noise that has been made with the Right Wing being unhappy with Left Wing wins, I think the Dependent Class, already increasingly desperate bugetarily speaking, may absolutely freak, especially if some important mayoral or gubernatorial elections don't go their way.

PioneerPreppy said...

I agree with Stephen B.

It seems the left wingers are the ones to resort to violence or near violence most often.

Actively promoting mob take overs of banks, attacking other minorities for having a right wing view in St. Louis, Mobs for section 8 apps in Alabama.

This time I don't think the right wingers are going to back down like they have for last 30 years or so.

bureaucrat said...

Anyone with something to lose is not going to riot or "take over" anything. It is the people with nothing to lose that are most likely to "cause a scene."

But with the supermarkets full and the gas stations all open, there is too much inertia moving the other way, towards sitting and doing nothing.

Jeff BKLYN said...

Here's another recommendation to visit 'Resource Insights' which has a train of thought very similar to yours...

PioneerPreppy said...

First it was "More welfare money spent on rural areas and people than urban".... False

Then it was " Social spending is the largest single expenditure of tax money" Later changed to Federal money... Both false BTW especially when you count in General spending by the FED to states for education. Hell they even raided food stamps to give the teachers 26 billion last month.

I think there was another one in there but meh who cares...

Now lately its been the supermarkets are full / Gas stations are open.

So far your right they are full/open, at an average inflation rate of about 20% for the year to date on food and even your surplus oil reserves are not making much of a dent in gas prices going down. In fact petroleum stocks have been up (except BP lol). I have also noticed a shortage of some items this Summer as well.

Really your last grasp at normal everyday life should be that the fed is still paying unemployment. When that stops or enough move off of it that will be the beginning of the end.

And I am gonna predict right now a severe corn shortage from the Mid West this season.


bureaucrat said...

So far everyone here has been hoping and praying for the Apocylapse.

So far I've predicted status quo, by the numbers.

So far, everything is status quo.

I'm still looking for that reference I read so long ago about rural vs. urban welfare. I'll let you know. :)

bureaucrat said...

(Oh, I have 500 shares of DBA -- I'm hoping for a corn shortage too. Haha!)

PioneerPreppy said...

Well so long ago more than likely means totally out of date :)

At least according to the figures from the link I posted a week or so ago here.

I wouldn't hope for a corn shortage though and I don't think everything is still status quo. The scale is still tipping slowly but it is tipping.

In fact your pretty much the only regular poster who thinks it hasn't been as near as I can tell.

bureaucrat said...

From 1996 ...

"Most people who depend on welfare are White and live in suburbs or rural areas, a recent study shows. The findings are contrary to the popular belief that most welfare recipients are unemployed, inner-city minorities whose families have gotten public assistance for generations."

bureaucrat said...

you're, not your. You're = you are. :)

Dan said...

I have been noting some of the very same conundrums. For while I have been saying that there will be a period of rapid elite turnover for some time, nothing insightful really; just that the clowns that lead us into this will not be in a position to lead us out of it. However about a month and a half ago to two months ago I revised my estimate downward, these clowns really don’t know when to back off. The government may have saved their wealth, for now, but at what cost? Just look at what Warren Buffett and his lieutenant are doing. When you get away with highway robbery the prudent thing to do is lay low and not rub people’s faces in it.

During the flight from Tenochtitlan: “Each man deciding how much gold he would carry under his breastplate, the choice being to march wealthy and cumbersome for the fighting to come, or to be nimble and poor-and perhaps to stay alive. ... Among our men those who were most encumbered with clothing, gold and jewels were the first to die, and those who were saved carried the lest and forged fearlessly ahead. So those who died, died rich, and their gold killed them” Hernán Cortés

Dan said...

Wouldn’t count on a corn shortage. I drove through the Corn Belt on my way to Sturgis, SD a few weeks ago and it looked good. Some bad spots north of Liberal, KS but mostly good and downright outstanding in Nebraska.

Dan said...

“Anyone with something to lose is not going to riot”
On the nothing to loose, I am currently taking a couple of classes at university and almost all of the young men in my classes are taking student loans to prepare for a world that no longer exists. In no time at all most will have crushing debt burdens with no way out. The intelligent, educated, ambitious, and angry young men with nothing to loose are already on the way.

Read my quote bout being blinded by greed. But don’t worry; It’ll be ok- ...until it isn’t

PioneerPreppy said...


I haven't heard from anyone in Iowa yet but I know in Missouri the large corn producers have left a large amount in the field for fodder bailing. Seems most ears didn't form well. Perhaps it is just a local problem. I hope I am wrong and it is a good year overall.

PioneerPreppy said...

Spending on Social welfare by rich and poor states: Key Findings...

Seems to counteract that statement especially from a total spending view which I realize is something that leftist progressives dislike...

well off to work have a good day gentlemen.

bureaucrat said...

Let me know when the rioting starts. I'll be busy living my life and making some money. ;)

France needed the poorest of the poor unable to afford bread in the 1800s. We are nowhere close to that point yet.

Actually, gasoline prices should take a tumble any day now, as we have so much of it in storage.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

We sort of got off topic.... with no small amount of help from Bur. Not sure why you guys engage him. He adds little but a taunting arrogance.

Rioting was yesteryear's issue. The U.S. could easily see Regionalism evolve in secession of states in the West.

bureaucrat said...

My first post was in response to Jeffer's first post. :) The rest were trying to correct other posters.

If you worked in government, you would realize that there isn't going to be any "regionalism" or "secession" or anything else, because a whole lot of wealthy people (lawyers, doctors, CEOs, managers, etc.) owe their total existence to knowing the rules of the game. They know regulations and procedures backward and forward (there are millions of pages of laws, rules, procedures, etc.) They are not going to start all over with all NEW rules and regulations. People are fundamentally greedy, lazy and powerhungry. Starting from scratch is too exhausting. Status quo rules.

Stephen B. said...
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Anonymous said...

This thing is just getting rolling. My next door neighbor is a police officer. He's and his buddies are looking to retire sooner rather than later to possibly retain some of his pension. The city is broke and the next contract is likely to destroy his pension. This is happening with city and state employees all over the country. There are more and more 99ers who have exhausted their unemployment without finding a job. There are plenty of disaffected, out of work men to raise hell.

The two heads of the 1 party are fighting over how much of the Bush tax cuts to preserve with the result that all will expire. No spending will be cut. No new good news is in sight. Expect nothing to happen while the ideologues piss all over each other in their ridiculous turf fights. Bur's status quo will be maintained. The Dems and Reps both fight the Tea Party. Neither wants change. Plasters and bandaids and plugs will be applied to the leaks in failed government policy until it all colapses in one swell foop.

The path we are on is not sustainable. It is not about which side takes Federal largess from the other. It is all about what happens when most it disappears for everyone.


Coal Guy

Stephen B. said...

Exactly Coal Guy.

And everything will be fine, until it's not.

When that is, a few months, several more years...well, that's like trying to predict the onset of rainfall from a Plains thunderstorm to the exact minute. Make no mistake, however, the sky is getting *dark*.

Publius said...

Rome and Athens had just as man regulations and rules per capita (and adjusted for their lack of computers).

The Roman and Athenian elites had just as much of an interest in maintaining their unsustainable empires and bureaucracies, my dear Bureaucrat.

The rest, as they say, is history.
I would advise that readers of the blog not spend much time trying to convince the unswayable.
Most people have faiths whose tenets cannot be questioned due to the existential anxiety that would be provoked.
The "arrogance" that many perceive in Bureaucrat's responses is partly or largely a symptom of the repressed anxiety and fear evoked by arguments and ideas (no matter how well founded in history or experience and theory) that threaten the world he knows.

Have some compassion: only individuals who have gone through wrenching crises, heartbreak, or tragedy are really able to process major social and economic upheaval before it happens. The rest just go along and run off the cliff, as most did in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Cambodia, etc.

I'm sure I've offended many by even mentioning these nations in relation to the US of A (after all, we're uniquely blessed by God, right?), but the truth is (partly) that human nature doesn't change, just circumstances. Nations and peoples have acquired traits, of course: but the self-reliance, faith,and love of liberty that were part of our character at the birth of the nation are pretty much dissipated in the majority. That's just the way it goes.
None of the French aristocracy before the Revolution had an inkling that one of the most powerful, autocratic and all-controlling monarchies in the world could soon tumble, and that they would be carted to the tumbrels in shackles, while being spit upon by the ragged masses.

Our current leaders and officials seem to be equally clueless. Their fates probably won't be as gruesome, but I wouldn't want to face the tail-risk they are facing.