Saturday, 14 June 2008
Reasoned empiricism 0. Irrational Leftardism infinite.
The infinitely elastic and largely meaningless moniker of er, 'academic', much like that of um, 'scientist', often guarantee's little beyond bad grooming and dandruff.
Dear sports, a bunch of us and another group, are attempting to form some kind of loose association of folks who value, as the ancient Greek’s said of the world "...that there is a reality available to our capture”. No nihilist circular fraud and logical fallacy festival for us, baby! Yep, reality is a punch to the head. sports.
“In winter we shiver, in summer we sweat”. Neato Chinese saying.
An understanding of harsh reality is the most useful thing one can have. And that’s why the PC Left Liberal and activist commonly disdains and loathes the rational. Without the power of the mob and the state, all their bankrupt bunko scams, non-ideas and utter ineffective frauds, merely collapse like so much wet sawdust bread.
Now within our little gang of cheery chums, we are as they say, ordinary men and women, plus the odd genius. Genius, your guarantee of incredible triumph or utter failure and all points in between, eh? Take ya pick. Of course we shall employ various dictum's and methods from humour, testing via research and open debate, the droll acceptance of "the crooked timbers of humanity" and a bit of humility. All to avoid being pointy headed bores and boobs divorced from any demonstrable reality. No, really.
Sure, we may still be bores, but not pointy headed ones! Meaning, your average faux smarty pants and often dreary “public intellectual”. More accurately a public urinal intellectual!
“Excuse me, but do you come to this campus toilet cubicle often? Do you have a large wanky degree or a small wanky degree? Can I see it? Can I er, touch it? Ooh, it’s nicely rolled up, squire”.
So in that swollen vein, here’s a great piece by the great President Vaclav Havel.
22.8.2005. The Intellectuals and Socialism: As Seen from a Post-Communist Country Situated in Predominantly Post-Democratic Europe
1. I take it for granted that this audience knows the slightly provocative (because mercilessly generalizing) but very powerful and important, now already 56 years old article “The Intellectuals and Socialism”. This audience certainly knows as well that it was written by F. von Hayek and that it was published in the very confused and very pro-socialist post-second world war era, when the overall belief in the benefits of social engineering and of economic planning and, at the same time, the disbelief in free markets were at their heights.
I suppose that many of us still remember Hayek’s definition of intellectuals (we would probably say public intellectuals nowadays) as “the professional second-hand dealers in ideas”, who are proud of not “possessing special knowledge of anything in particular”, who do not take “direct responsibility for practical affairs” and who need not “even be particularly intelligent” to perform their “mission”. Hayek argued that they are satisfied with being “intermediary in the spreading of ideas” of original thinkers to the common people, whom they consider not being their equals.
Hayek was – more than half a century ago, which means before the current prevalence of electronic media – aware of the enormous power of intellectuals to shape public opinion and warned us that “it is merely a question of time until the views held by the intellectuals become the governing force of politics”. This is as valid today as it was when he wrote it.
The question is what kind of ideas is favoured by the intellectuals. The question is whether the intellectuals are neutral in their choice of ideas with which they are ready to deal with. Hayek argued that they are not. They do not hold or try to spread all kinds of ideas. They have very clear and, in some respect, very understandable preferences for some of them. They prefer ideas, which give them jobs and income and which enhance their power and prestige.
They, therefore, look for ideas with specific characteristics. They look for ideas, which enhance the role of the state because the state is usually their main employer, sponsor or donator. That is not all. According to Hayek “the power of ideas grows in proportion to their generality, abstractness, and even vagueness”. Hence it is not surprising that the intellectuals are mostly interested in abstract, not directly implementable ideas. This is also the way of thinking, in which they have comparative advantage.
They are not good at details. They do not have ambitions to solve a problem. They are not interested in dealing with the everyday’s affairs of common citizens. Hayek put it clearly: “the intellectual, by his whole disposition, is uninterested in technical details or practical difficulties.” He is interested in visions and utopias and because “socialist thought owes its appeal largely to its visionary character” (and I would add lack of realism and utopian nature), the intellectual tends to become a socialist”. Vaclav Klaus.
Hey, that just about sums up my lack of actual achievement. And there’s a lot of the problem. The alleged smart people who get the 'public' platforms, are often dull and thick as planks. Their reliability as a source of anything but bog standard neo-socialist victim hyperbole venality and hogwash, is often merely an ugly, embarrassing and relentless pretension.
The march of anti-reason and the dominance of fashionable Leftardism is er, just about everywhere really, eh? Naturally so too, after decades of this crap and fraud in our largely fake media, our often bloodless PC education system, our various naïve governments and all supported by our own witless, clueless, spineless, confused and unresearched guilt ridden conformity. The irrational and bogus is accepted as the default position in a lot of ways by a lot of people and by many, in every area.
Here’s a recent example in the last two days. I go into a hip inner city import record store. Great stuff. The owners seem to have taken a shine to me over the years and I ask how’s business? Well, according to hipster der disque, who I liked and still do, things are bad because ”...about twenty right wing governments, [unspecified] meet every year, [location not given] and plan how the worlds economy will be controlled, [limits of control apparently limitless and ineffective] and thus my rent is too high!”
I declined through my embarrassed rictus smile, to ask if he knows of any actual business people who have been visited by reps from such a dark and sinister global organisation? He then says that the government should er, as per usual, “do something” and stop and "somehow control" um, the demands of the market?
Colonel Neville: “Gee whizz. Isn’t that a little contradictory to say that there is a monstrous secret evil afoot, of a ridiculously vast global government control conspiracy, but you want the government to er, control this and openly?”
Hey, then they can stop those secret meetings in the extinct volcano complex, and use a cheaper hotel!
And here I was, after vast research over several years of a Himalaya of empirical evidential facts, thinking it was Islamic states and their terrorist chums, organised crime, criminal North Korean and Cuban Communist prison states etc, African cannibal feifdom's, and PC Left Liberal Socialism etc, that were the bad and main sources of despair for today. Gosh! What do ya know, eh? It was Capitalist Democratic free markets all along!
Such as in the following from the great Brussells Journal and Jihad Watch:
Former Soviet dissident warns that the EU “monster” must be destroyed before it becomes a totalitarian and Soviet like Dictatorship Hell.
From the ever useful Jihad Watch, a retarded boy with a mental age of a five year old, charged with bogus “racism”.
From Times Online, Muslims pimp thousands of white teenage girls in UK.
Also from the excellent Brussels Journal, an article titled 'The Execution of Britain', all your's courtesy of rapid Isamisation and relentless PC Leftist Socialism.
But I digress. Back to the shoppe de disque. My pal also er, big 'effing surprise, “absolutely hates the Liberal Party!” [Liberal meaning Conservative in Australia.] And by definition and should be, pro-small government, fiscally responsible and pro-freedom of the individual as the testing point in a Democracy. So, as per ad nauseum, swingin’ Left Liberalism is illiberal, confused and contradictory control freakery, filled with passions, irrational paranoid hatreds and basically anti-Democratic.
Hey, uninterested in a diversity of opinion if it means a different opinion to their own. Go figure? I may be bored, embarrassed, unimpressed and repelled by Kevin Rudd the consummate phony, but I don’t hate him with a clenched fist and spit flecked lip. Nope, I save that for home.
See, the problem as I see it, is that few it can seem, are taught thinking skills, reason, analysis, logical fallacy, cognitive bias, Ockham's Razor and so on. God knows I wasn’t and was naturally not very good myself for a long time.
Now if people don’t have these skills, which are not exotic at all, but simple basic tools of rational thought, well, though it can often be amusing, speaking to such sunny folks outside of plain polite small talk and the matter at hand, it really is a tedious waste of time tackling anything more specific, innit? And some of these chum’s are allegedly pretty smart and er, experts in their fields. Hey, if you believe it.
Now’s there’s a challenge. To know when to keep things to oneself, and when to speak directly. With the aid of said rictus grin, I managed to change the subject back to R&B, Calypso and Polka, after saying “Er, maybe you should research why some people have different views to yours. Couldn’t hurt”. Sadly, it seemed to me, that his sources of information were prompted by similar Koskid inspired fluff balls of the Che the child killer Guevara and ‘The Dead Kennedy’s’ T-shirt wearing kind.
And there’s the thing. Most Lefty’s appear to have have never met or known a Conservative, or a Christian and so on. And I’m so hip and happening, your average inner-city bereft suspects nothing! Unless I go and blow it all by saying I really like among others, Mark Steyn, P.J O’Rourke, Bruce Lee and General Patton.