Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Sincerity …

Hamachidori“, by Ryutaro Hirota, played by Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra & Kazumasa Watanabe, from the album “Konomichi―Favorite Japanese Melodies (Japanese Melody Series)” (2004)

Lately I’ve been thinking about Justice, Gratitude, and Sincerity. We are observably running a serious deficit in these important virtues in our polite, politically correct, Canadian society.

I recently finished a decent little book by an author named Mark Manson. His book is all about the delusions we suffer under through caring too much about too many things and having values which are disconnected from our reality, which disconnect Steven Covey used to call our “circle of concern” versus our circle of influence.

In his book, Mark Manson makes a reference to the differences between Russian culture and Western Anglo culture. I think it is on or about page 166 and 170 or thereabouts. Anyway, here is an (longish) excerpt which perfectly encapsulates my observation about our progressive, politically correct, Canadian society:

*****

Mark Manson, 2016

Mark Manson, 2016

In 2011, I traveled to Saint Petersburg, Russia. The food sucked. The weather sucked. (Snow in May? Are you f**king kidding me?) My apartment sucked. Nothing worked. Everything was overpriced. The people were rude and smelled funny. Nobody smiled and everyone drank too much. Yet, I loved it. It was one of my favorite trips. There’s a bluntness to Russian culture that generally rubs Westerners the wrong way. Gone are the fake niceties and verbal webs of politeness. You don’t smile at strangers or pretend to like anything you don’t.

In Russia, if something is stupid, you say it’s stupid. If someone is being an asshole, you tell him he’s being an asshole. If you really like someone and are having a great time, you tell her that you like her and are having a great time. It doesn’t matter if this person is your friend, a stranger, or someone you met five minutes ago on the street.

The first week I found all of this really uncomfortable. I went on a coffee date with a Russian girl, and within three minutes of sitting down she looked at me funny and told me that what I’d just said was stupid. I nearly choked on my drink. There was nothing combative about the way she said it; it was spoken as if it were some mundane fact—like the quality of the weather that day, or her shoe size—but I was still shocked. After all, in the West such outspokenness is seen as highly offensive, especially from someone you just met. But it went on like this with everyone. Everyone came across as rude all the time, and as a result, my Western-coddled mind felt attacked on all sides.

Nagging insecurities began to surface in situations where they hadn’t existed in years. But as the weeks wore on, I got used to the Russian frankness, much as I did the midnight sunsets and the vodka that went down like ice water. And then I started appreciating it for what it really was: unadulterated expression. Honesty in the truest sense of the word. Communication with no conditions, no strings attached, no ulterior motive, no sales job, no desperate attempt to be liked.

Somehow, after years of travel, it was in perhaps the most un-American of places where I first experienced a particular flavor of freedom: the ability to say whatever I thought or felt, without fear of repercussion. It was a strange form of liberation through accepting rejection. And as someone who had been starved of this kind of blunt expression most of his life—first by an emotionally repressed family life, then later by a meticulously constructed false display of confidence—I got drunk on it like, well, like it was the finest damn vodka I’d ever had.

Canals of Saint Petersburg

Canals of Saint Petersburg

The month I spent in Saint Petersburg went by in a blur, and by the end I didn’t want to leave. Travel is a fantastic self-development tool, because it extricates you from the values of your culture and shows you that another society can live with entirely different values and still function and not hate themselves.

This exposure to different cultural values and metrics then forces you to reexamine what seems obvious in your own life and to consider that perhaps it’s not necessarily the best way to live. In this case, Russia had me reexamining the bullshitty, fake-nice communication that is so common in Anglo culture, and asking myself if this wasn’t somehow making us more insecure around each other and worse at intimacy.

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg

I remember discussing this dynamic with my Russian teacher one day, and he had an interesting theory. Having lived under communism for so many generations, with little to no economic opportunity and caged by a culture of fear, Russian society found the most valuable currency to be trust. And to build trust you have to be honest. That means when things suck, you say so openly and without apology. People’s displays of unpleasant honesty were rewarded for the simple fact that they were necessary for survival—you had to know whom you could rely on and whom you couldn’t, and you needed to know quickly.

But, in the “free” West, my Russian teacher continued, there existed an abundance of economic opportunity—so much economic opportunity that it became far more valuable to present yourself in a certain way, even if it was false, than to actually be that way. Trust lost its value. Appearances and salesmanship became more advantageous forms of expression. Knowing a lot of people superficially was more beneficial than knowing a few people closely.

Shopping in the West ...

Shopping in the West …

This is why it became the norm in Western cultures to smile and say polite things even when you don’t feel like it, to tell little white lies and agree with someone whom you don’t actually agree with. This is why people learn to pretend to be friends with people they don’t actually like, to buy things they don’t actually want. The economic system promotes such deception.

The downside of this is that you never know, in the West, if you can completely trust the person you’re talking to. Sometimes this is the case even among good friends or family members. There is such pressure in the West to be likable that people often reconfigure their entire personality depending on the person they’re dealing with.

Manson, Mark. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (pp. 166-170). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

*****

Hamabe No Uta (Narita), Jean-Pierre Rampal, from the album “Rampal: Japanese Folk Melodies”, (1978)

So, if you got this far then we can get to daily life here in the Anglo west. How do we deal with Justice, Gratitude, and Sincerity? Well, it seems that mostly we don’t. Oh, we talk a lot about it, especially Justice, but when it comes right down to it we shy away from the reality of these virtues, preferring to dodge in favor of some direction that either makes us look better, or feel better about ourselves, or influences the other in a direction beneficial to ourselves. Distinctly the opposite of Justice, Gratitude, and Sincerity.

It seems, on consideration, that we, as a nation, are just more comfortable lieing about reality – or as I have written before: “Joe, I don’t care about your damned facts, and your damned truth, I just want to have a pleasant conversation with my friends”. I think the foundation of these three virtues is really Sincerity. And it seems that the only thing which invokes sincerity these days is the destruction and discrediting of anyone who disagrees with us.  C.S. Lewis said it well in his little essay about Bulverism a (shortish) excerpt of which appears below from one of my previous posts here:

*****

Until Bulverism is crushed, reason can play no effective part in human affairs. Each side snatches it early as a weapon against the other; but between the two reason itself is discredited. And why should reason not be discredited? It would be easy, in answer, to point to the present state of the world, but the real answer is even more immediate.

The forces discrediting reason, themselves depend of reasoning. You must reason even to Bulverize. You are trying to prove that all proofs are invalid. If you fail, you fail. If you succeed, then you fail even more – for the proof that all proofs are invalid must be invalid itself.

The alternative then is either sheer self-contradicting idiocy or else some tenacious belief in our power of reasoning, held in the teeth of all the evidence that Bulverists can bring for a “taint” in this or that human reasoner.

I am ready to admit, if you like, that this tenacious belief has something transcendental or mystical about it. What then? Would you rather be a lunatic than a mystic?

*****

And so we now see that virtually every “debate” extent today in all venues and all media is simply some variant of “Bulverism” which we are now calling “Social Media” and “Fake News”. For the powers of reason have been abrogated by the legions of  the thoughtless – Truly Truly I say to you – a Zombie Apocalypse. So what about Justice, Gratitude, and Sincerity, especially Sincerity?

Why is Sincerity the foundation of the other two, the foundation of Justice, and Gratitude? Well, lets take a stab and see if I can get it out. What I say here is informed by a fervent belief in God and the absolute Goodness, that is, the absolute Truth of God. To grow to adulthood we must continually search to possess truth in our hearts, in the core of our being.

We have to know ourselves as we really are, we have to know the absolute truth about ourselves, without any trace of disguise and artificiality. This means that we have to know and accept not only the truths about ourselves which please us, but also all those truths which are painful and wound our pride and self worship by exposing our faults and evil tendencies.

A Sincere adult never avoids or dodges these painful truths, but rather treasures them because the humiliation of these painful truths is worth more than illusion, which flatters our pride and builds up our self worship and keeps us steadfastly on the broad road to perdition.  Even our society’s denial of the broad road is just another illusion to which we cling because we would rather take the easy path regardless of the long term cost. People would literally rather die than change their behaviour. People seem to spend all their precious time searching for the quick fix which will permit them to keep on indulging their fantasies and gratifying their appetites and egos.

Daily we encounter contradiction in the course of going about whatever makes up our lives, and as often as not that contradiction gives rise to anger, rebellion, selfishness, and continuous pressure to indulge our fantasies, palliate our flaws and faults and to continue to cling to our illusions about ourselves and the world we live in.

Any growth requires the courage to acknowledge our faults, accept our faults and the effort of will to change our behaviors and beliefs to conform with empirical reality. If instead we blame circumstances, or other people, or the economy or the politics of the day then we perpetuate the fantasies which are crippling us and preventing the existence of Justice, Gratitude and Sincerity. But it all starts with a sincere appraisal of the truths of our inner self, the inner self to which we are so attached and which we worship.

To be sincere our words and actions must correspond to our thoughts. To be convinced of one thing but to affirm something else for the sake of expediency or to avoid hurting the “feelings” of another person is contrary to truth. Shorn of all make-up it is “living a lie”,  for the sake of gaining an advantage over another. That said, sincerity does not require that we reveal all that we think and know to everyone, this is contrary to prudence (another virtue). Sincerity does, however, demand that everything we do reveal by word or action or even by silence, corresponds to truth.

Cheers

Joe

Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Gospel of Matthew, The …

The world is always going to Hell. And sometimes the trip is more hellish than usual, especially for the poor souls caught up directly in world shaking events like a terrorist attack, or a war, or an invasion, or a long siege.

001-destruction-of-roman-temple-60-ad-fire

The Roman Temple of Claudius in what is now Colchester was destroyed in 60/61 AD by Queen Boadicea’s army.

The Roman Temple of Claudius in what is now Colchester was destroyed in 60/61 AD by Queen Boadicea’s army.  According to the Roman commentator Tacitus, 30,000 Romans lost their lives. Many of the victims had barricaded themselves inside the temple in the vain hope that they might survive the attack. Today, archaeologists regularly find a burnt layer in the earth when digging down – an indicator and reminder of the date and the event.

Queen Boadicea was a rather famous leader of one of many groups of barbarians hell bent on destroying the “civilized” Roman invaders. From a Roman point of view she was perhaps rather like a first century Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, just some uncivilized barbarian upsetting the social order because she didn’t share Roman beliefs and values. But Rome’s conduct in it’s foreign and domestic military campaigns was, by later Christian standards, both brutal and barbaric and a fitting preview of where we are going as we shed our Christian heritage for more prosaic progressive values.

001-destruction-of-jewish-70-ad-by-rome

Destruction of Jewish Temple by Roman Legions

Ten years later in 70 AD the Romans did the same thing to their enemies in Palestine, under General Titus, besieging Jerusalem and sacking and destroying the Temple of Jerusalem. An estimated 600,000 to 1.2 million died in this campaign. This vivid print on paper has a view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives showing the Temple with the walled city in the center. There is a soldier in the left proper foreground and women kneeling on the ground near Roman soldiers.

001-stmatthew

Saint Matthew

There happens to be an interesting scriptural prediction of the destruction of the temple in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 24.  I have found Matthew to be, if perhaps not the most cheerful of the apostles, then certainly the most precise and explicit in recording the trials of Jesus and His response to the trials, in a grim, realistic and thoroughly modern way.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. Matthew 24: 15-21

With only the slightest consideration one has no problems translating or transplanting the goings on in Palestine two millennia ago into the current newsworthy goings on both within the “holy roman catholic church” and in the secular progressive world at large which the “modern” church “appears” to be more and more embracing and accepting in the name of mercy, charity, and “ecumenicalism”, much to the joy of the MSM.

001-cardinalkasper

Cardinal Kasper

Preaching and discussing the virtues of mercy and charity in 30 second sound bites and interviews are proving to be handy and useful tools to ridicule and discredit one’s opponents. Name calling and discrediting have ever been the first and probably most useful weapons in the armory of those with weak or non-existent arguments.

When truth doesn’t support one’s position it is always and everywhere expedient to take the position that all your opponents are just plain wrong and then go about discrediting them on those grounds rather than defend one’s position with truth and facts.

Cranach_d.Ä._Martin_Luther_1528Just for a moment imagine Martin Luther with access to FaceBook and Twitter, to blogs and electronic media? Bulverism is rampant everywhere both in the secular world and withing the Church, in fact anywhere one finds people arguing one finds Bulverism raising it’s ugly leprous smiling head. Unfortunately, in order to embrace that route one must abandon any notions of concomitant justice and truth and intrinsic evil as taught by St. John Paul II, namely, that evil which is always and unchangingly evil regardless of fashion and circumstances.

Secrets-of-the-Vatican-at-night-viewWhat defines (or used to define) the Church is that it stands for something unchanging. Eternal Truth, does not lend itself to change in imitation of the fashions of the day or the desires of some of the more articulate figures of authority within and without the Church. Absent that Truth based definition of “Church” we have the MSM mantra of “Not My President”, or “Not My Pope”, or “Not My Church”, which are all really manifestations of the same “faith”, the worship of “self”.

Having surrendered Truth and justice in the name of mercy one is left with just another religious social club, the executives of which differ in no way from the executives of any other social club, or any political club for that matter. And one dare not go against the wishes of the club’s executives for fear of being expelled from the club by said executives, leaving one no choice but to start one’s own club which being “fruit of our womb” will more accurately reflect our self, and our self worship.

Where we end up at the end of this path is a place where we “belong” to a church because “belonging” lets us believe that we are “basically good people”, and coincidentally somehow better than the others, on our own terms, than those who “do not belong”.  We belong to a club that affirms our own believes, in ourselves and about others, and differs in no way from the golf club, the oil-man’s club, the sports club, the bridge club, the young liberal association, the union of public employees, the democratic party, the national socialist party the new democratic party, and so on ad infinitum.

Cheers

Joe

coptic-desertit’s a damned long hard walk to union with God

 

 

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Social Media Trumps Reality …

“Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)

Flashback!

TRUMPOCALYPSE!!!! – LOVE TRUMPS HATE!!!! – NOT MY PRESIDENT!!!! END OF THE NATION, MAYBE THE WORLD!!! YOUR VOTE IS A HATE CRIME!!!  OCCUPY WALL STREET!!! 

Noooo wait! That was the last nasty apocalyptic crisis where the world was going to end.. Sorry! My Bad!!!  OMG I can believe he just said that!!! He must be a Homophobic Racist Nazi!!!.

000-hate-crime

HATE

Oh, Oh, I am just SOOOO ashamed of myself, I just feel so guilty for being alive, and I’m guessing that would make you a nasty Bulverizing Blowhard expressing your annoyance that someone created ripples in your worship pool.

Damn!!! It’s been almost three weeks since Donald Trump’s surprise election victory. Republicans in the Senate, Republicans in the Congress, and TRUMP in the Whitehouse!  HOOHAA!

101-hate

HATE

And wouldn’t you know it? The world hasn’t ended. (Not yet anyway).

In the financial world specifically, despite an overwhelming consensus that the stock market would crater on such a turn of events, every major market index closed at a fresh all-time high last Monday.

The last time the markets simultaneously closed at record highs occurred all the way back in December of 1999.

01-devils-advocate

Just who is The Devil’s Advocate?

“Almost as surprising as the election result has been the market reaction,” said Joshua Feinman, chief global economist at Deutsche Asset Management.

I’ll say!

Don’t bother trying to find a trading guru or analyst who predicted this scenario – they don’t exist!

I keep surfing across interesting tidbits and random artifacts daily. This one rises to the surface in the boiling stew of the President Trump victory right here at “Life Site News” When you first look at it you are tempted to say”Oh Yea, just another article about social media slime balls and their gullible followers”. Or:

Fake News Alert: CNN Finally Admits “White Helmets” Staged Fake Video

So, in the light of the CNN “Fake News” ooopsi, the tiny tip of the MSM Fake News iceberg reveals itself, and then contemplating, that is rationally thinking about the Trump Hate news, one can easily imagine where the fire under the boiling pot of the “Trump Hate’ meme is coming from.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch the MSM are caught with their parts in an unhygienic place, and hesitantly, admit that perhaps there was a little hanky-panky going on … lovely ladies and gentle germs of the activist progressive haters international better just BOHICA. But that is really just alright with you all, right?

*****

“CNN would continue by claiming:

cnn-building-400x225

Fake News Central?

The nearly one-minute long video has been the subject of criticism on social media. On Wednesday Syria Civil Defence released a statement calling it an “error of judgment”.

“This video and the related posts were recorded by RFS media with Syria Civil Defense volunteers, who hoped to create a connection between the horror of Syria and the outside world using the viral ‘Mannequin challenge.’ This was an error of judgment, and we apologize on behalf of the volunteers involved,” the statement read.

Ignored by both the “White Helmets’” and RFS’ as well as CNN’s explanation of the video is the fact that the now admittedly staged video – besides the “mannequin challenge” style – is virtually indistinguishable from the “thousands of other videos from Aleppo” cited by CNN.

Just like “thousands of other videos from Aleppo” cited by CNN, the “victim” being “rescued” by the “White Helmets” is covered in dust and what appears to be blood, but otherwise uninjured. Unlike in a real bombing, those “rescued” by the “White Helmet” have their limbs intact, no deep, visible wounds, and lack any of the burns or trauma associated with weaponry used in modern combat.

It is unlikely that out of  the “thousands of other videos from Aleppo” cited by CNN, none of them would feature actual trauma, and instead feature only the dust and fake “blood” covered “victims” as seen in the recent, admittedly staged video, as well as during recently staged protests in Europe.

*****

afp-afp-hz9r9Lacking any critical sense , not even the proverbial “grain of salt” has any currency with a generation of progressives who “don’t care about facts”, but happily dive into the pool of lies, calumny and Bulverism that constitutes their entire social media, “in group”, emoticon raddled universe of visceral non-thought.

Have you heard the shocking news? President Obama has signed an executive order mandating a full recount of all votes cast in the election. He’s also ordered a “special election” to be held on Dec. 19. Donald Trump is furious, and denounced Obama’s decision as proof that “the system was rigged all along.” “President Obama doesn’t care about what the American people want,” he said, according to abcnews.com.co.

120-nytAnd at “The Washington Free Beacon” we find: “All the News that’s fit To Fake” which seems to be something of a satire on the New York Times attempt to brand everything published or circulated that does not line up with their pro-Hillary bias as “Fake” news. 

The Story about Fake News ran alongside a completely erroneous series of articles about Hillary’s campaign being carried over the top to certain victory by the huge surge of Latino’s at the polls. Unfortunately, in the cold clear light of day this is just more KoolAide Drinker Propaganda, it would appear.

130-fake-news-rallyWhiskey Tango Foxtrot, EH???? I wonder just what they were drinking over there, probably the same stuff the reporters writing about the disarray in the Trump transition team or the Republican party being split over who will be Secretary of State???? When is Fake News not Fake News?  I guess that would be when it is published in the NYT???

C.S.Lewis wrote all about it back in the 1940’s and far from changing their stripes, all the usual suspects have just been pouring it on in heavier and heavier layers until here we are in 2016, 75 years on and it has been so deep for so long that those so inclined have arrived at a place where the BS actually is their reality.

They are living 24/7 in a virtual reality world where they believe anything and everything they are told by their masters – they have moved beyond 50 shades of grey to 50 shades of illogical shouting where anyone who disagrees with their Howler tribe is branded a hater, or a “homophobic racist Nazi”, or even a knuckle dragging neanderthal, “clinging to their guns and religion”.

1000-justin-in-africaBut there is a price to pay for choosing this path. That kind of “thinking” gives us” MONROVIA, Liberia, November 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began a two-day visit to the impoverished West African nation of Liberia this week by treading delicately around his government’s frank encouragement of homosexual and transgender status in Canada and internationally.

Global Affairs Canada’s website offers more than 130 links to projects around the world from Kashish to Manila and Dominica with which it is promoting homosexuality, but Trudeau shied from touting the issue in the heart of a region that is strongly opposed to that agenda (That would be Africa, for you geographically challenged social media types). …

Yet he is signalling that he will advocate “LGBT rights” in an address Saturday morning in Madagascar when speaking to La Francophonie, a consortium of the world’s nations with close ties to French language and culture. I’m guessing they will be a more sympathetic audience because sophisticated French cultural practices are more in tune with folks sticking their parts into unsanitary places.  But I am not sure about that, it might just be another bit of “Fake News” overheard at Tim Horton’s.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chat prior to a roundtable meeting with oil and gas producers in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chat prior to a roundtable meeting with oil and gas producers in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

And “The Question” easily becomes, “Is this just “Targeted Fake News”?  Or is the Canadian Prime Minister lying to his African audiences?   If you’re trying to imply something like ‘lying on the bed with your naked butt in the air’ versus ‘lying through one’s teeth’, well there’s no difference … really, no difference for a social media thinker.

And what the HEY??? OMG I thought Justin was married and also had a BFF back home? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, eh?

*****

As C/S.Lewis writes in his Essay on “Bulverism”:

It is a disastrous discovery, as Emerson says somewhere, that we exist. I mean, it is disastrous when instead of merely attending to a rose we are forced to think of ourselves looking at the rose, with a certain type of mind and a certain type of eyes.

It is disastrous because, if you are not very careful, the color of the rose gets attributed to our optic nerves and its scent to our noses, and in the end there is no rose left. The professional philosophers have been bothered about this universal black-out for over two hundred years, and the world has not much listened to them. But the same disaster is now occurring on a level we can all understand.

We have recently “discovered that we exist” in two new senses. The Freudians have discovered that we exist as bundles of complexes. The Marxians have discovered that we exist as members of some economic class. In the old days it was supposed that if a thing seemed obviously true to a hundred men, then it was probably true in fact.

justintrudeau2

What, Me Worry???

Nowadays the Freudian will tell you to go and analyze the hundred: you will find that they all think Elizabeth [I] a great queen because they all have a mother-complex. Their thoughts are psychologically tainted at the source.

And the Marxist will tell you to go and examine the economic interests of the hundred; you will find that they all think freedom a good thing because they are all members of the bourgeoisie whose prosperity is increased by a policy of laissez-faire. Their thoughts are “ideologically tainted” at the source.

Now this is obviously great fun; but it has not always been noticed that there is a bill to pay for it. There are two questions that people who say this kind of thing ought to be asked. The first is, are all thoughts thus tainted at the source, or only some? The second is, does the taint invalidate the tainted thought – in the sense of making it untrue – or not?

Now this part is the part upon which all Social Media will founder and the subsequent wreckage be strewn far and wide”

If they say that all thoughts are thus tainted, then, of course, we must remind them that Freudianism and Marxism are as much systems of thought as Christian theology or philosophical idealism. The Freudian and Marxian are in the same boat with all the rest of us, and cannot criticize us from outside. They have sawn off the branch they were sitting on.

If, on the other hand, they say that the taint need not invalidate their thinking, then neither need it invalidate ours. In which case they have saved their own branch, but also saved ours along with it.

Justin_Trudea_F-bomb-marked

When you have a weak or non-existent argument you can always use the F-bomb, and your tame, fake news, panty sniffing, media will worship you as kool and sing your praises to the universe.

The only line they can really take is to say that some thoughts are tainted and others are not – which has the advantage (if Freudians and Marxians regard it as an advantage) of being what every sane man has always believed. But if that is so, we must then ask how you find out which are tainted and which are not.

It is no earthly use saying that those are tainted which agree with the secret wishes of the thinker. Some of the things I should like to believe must in fact be true; it is impossible to arrange a universe which contradicts everyone’s wishes, in every respect, at every moment. Suppose I think, after doing my accounts, that I have a large balance at the bank. And suppose you want to find out whether this belief of mine is “wishful thinking.”

“Twilight and Shadow”, Howard Shore, from the film LOTR

Eucrat

Canadian Prime Minister’s 2016 Halloween Costume for going trick or treat with his kids. (OH! My Bad! must be some more Fake News, eh?

You can never come to any conclusion by examining my psychological condition. Your only chance of finding out is to sit down and work through the sum yourself.

When you have checked my figures, then, and then only, will you know whether I have that balance or not. If you find my arithmetic correct, then no amount of vapouring about my psychological condition can be anything but a waste of time.

If you find my arithmetic wrong, then it may be relevant to explain psychologically how I came to be so bad at my arithmetic, and the doctrine of the concealed wish will become relevant – but only after you have yourself done the sum and discovered me to be wrong on purely arithmetical grounds.

ferguson-fire2

But it is in no way connected to reality …

It is the same with all thinking and all systems of thought. If you try to find out which are tainted by speculating about the wishes of the thinkers, you are merely making a fool of yourself.

You must find out on purely logical grounds which of them do, in fact, break down as arguments. Afterwards, if you like, go on and discover the psychological causes of the error. In other words, you must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong.

The modern method [Note: This essay was written in 1941.] is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became to be so silly. In the course of the last fifteen years I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it “Bulverism.”

Some day I am going the write the biography of its imaginary inventor, Ezekiel Bulver, whose destiny was determined at the age of five when he heard his mother say to his father – who had been maintaining that two sides of a triangle were together greater than the third – “Oh, you say that because you are a man.”(Ed: Now I have had that experience personally (not from my wife) and that goes hand in hand with “stop feeding us facts, we are not interested in facts, we just want to have a pleasant conversation with friends”)

Graham's_Hierarchy_of_Disagreement

 

“At that moment,” E. Bulver assures us, “there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of argument.

Assume your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet.

Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall.” That is how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.

I find the fruits of his discovery almost everywhere.

Thus I see my religion dismissed on the grounds that “the comfortable parson had every reason for assuring the nineteenth century worker that poverty would be rewarded in another world.”

Well, no doubt he had. On the assumption that Christianity is an error, I can see clearly enough that some people would still have a motive for inculcating it.

I see it so easily that I can, of course, play the game the other way round, by saying that “the modern man has every reason for trying to convince himself that there are no eternal sanctions behind the morality he is rejecting.”

For Bulverism is a truly democratic game in the sense that all can play it all day long, and that it give no unfair advantage to the small and offensive minority who reason. But of course it gets us not one inch nearer to deciding whether, as a matter of fact, the Christian religion is true or false.

Zombie

Political discussion – according to the progressive left wing media this is what they are dealing with. Zombie Apocalypse?, anyone, anyone? This is a phenomenon now recognized as “Psychological projection”. It is a defense mechanism people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions. Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings.

That question remains to be discussed on quite different grounds – a matter of philosophical and historical argument. However it were decided, the improper motives of some people, both for believing it and for disbelieving it, would remain just as they are.

I see Bulverism at work in every political argument. The capitalists must be bad economists because we know why they want capitalism, and equally Communists must be bad economists because we know why they want Communism.

Thus, the Bulverists on both sides. In reality, of course, either the doctrines of the capitalists are false, or the doctrines of the Communists, or both; but you can only find out the rights and wrongs by reasoning – never by being rude about your opponent’s psychology.

Until Bulverism is crushed, reason can play no effective part in human affairs. Each side snatches it early as a weapon against the other; but between the two reason itself is discredited. And why should reason not be discredited? It would be easy, in answer, to point to the present state of the world, but the real answer is even more immediate.

The forces discrediting reason, themselves depend of reasoning. You must reason even to Bulverize. You are trying to prove that all proofs are invalid. If you fail, you fail. If you succeed, then you fail even more – for the proof that all proofs are invalid must be invalid itself.

The alternative then is either sheer self-contradicting idiocy or else some tenacious belief in our power of reasoning, held in the teeth of all the evidence that Bulverists can bring for a “taint” in this or that human reasoner.

I am ready to admit, if you like, that this tenacious belief has something transcendental or mystical about it. What then? Would you rather be a lunatic than a mystic?

And so we now see that virtually every “debate” extent today in all venues and all media is simply some variant of “Bulverism” which we are now calling “Social Media” and “Fake News”.

For the powers of reason have been abrogated by the legions of  the thoughtless – Truly Truly I say to you – a Zombie Apocalypse.

Cheers

Joe

100-canadian-landscape

November 2016, The Canadian Landscape as it now appears.

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Why Do Canadians Hate …

“Into The Shadow Realm”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings”

Watching American news on the satellite, trying to get a sense of how things are unfolding to the south of us. Certain concentrations of left wing extremists are trying to whip the universe into a frothing frenzy of “Trunp” hate. The observable fact that the nation is not following is inciting them to ever higher levels of shrill rhetoric.

Mark Steyn writes,

*****

000-hate-crime“The object of Parliament,” observed Winston Churchill at election time in 1951, “is to substitute argument for fisticuffs.”

How’s that holding up after November 8th? The object of at least a proportion of those on the streets is to substitute fisticuffs for argument, and indeed for Parliament:  The less self-aware even chant “This is what democracy looks like!” – by which they mean not the election but the post-election riots and looting and assaults.

Some among these self-proclaimed champions of women and immigrants wish to substitute rape for argument, a cause of such broad appeal that the ideological enforcers at the monopoly social-media cartels breezily permitted the hashtag “Rape Melania” to “trend” on Twitter.

*****

philadelphia_furious_protesters_in_the_city_of_brotherly_loveFrom the website “Before Its News”…

…if you keep insisting that half your fellow citizens are haters, maybe you’re the hater.

…one third of the Democrats’ representation in the House now comes from just three states – New York, Massachusetts and California. That’s one reason why they’re calling for the abolition of the Electoral College.

But, absent the upending of the constitution, they have a problem.

ap-election-protests-georgia…John Oliver and Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah have sportingly decided, to judge from their ratings, to prioritize their politics over their comedy. But, whether or not “Love Trumps Hate”, condescension doesn’t trump anything.

For a year-and-a-half they shoveled industrial-strength coastal sneering into the path of the Trump train on a scale that would have derailed any other candidate before he got to Iowa. Instead, Trump just bulldozed through it – and so easily that he won the White House for a fifth of what Hillary spent.

If elite condescension failed to deny him the presidency, is it likely to be any more effective now that he is the president?

Twilight And Shadow”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings“.

a-liberal-loveinWhat “message of unity” could be simpler than that one in every two Americans is a violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet?  On Friday, in a veritable frenzy of virtue signalling, the hashtag #safetypin trended on Twitter, as dozens of people shared selfies with safety pins attached to their clothing.

“Standing together we will be safe,” one user tweeted.

The-Return-of-the-King-Smeagols-Birthday“My #SafetyPin shows I will protect those who feel in danger bc of gender, sexuality, race, disability, religion, etc.,” another said. “You are safe with me.”

That’s true in the sense that, if Matt Harrington is around and they’ve confiscated his sniper rifle, he’ll be able to borrow your safety pin and stab Trump with it.

Can you really substitute virtue-signaling for argument? Especially when it’s this lame? And, indeed, are there enough safety-pins in America for all those who feel unsafe? Or will Trump’s trade war be dealt a massive crushing defeat as cheap knock-offs from Chinese safety-pin factories flood the US market?

*****

Bulverism is a logical fallacy that combines a genetic fallacy with circular reasoning. (ed. One of the best current examples of Bulverism can be found at “Salon” with their articles about Trump)

The method of Bulverism is to “assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error”. The Bulverist assumes a speaker’s argument is invalid or false and then explains why the speaker came to make that mistake, attacking the speaker or the speaker’s motive. The term “Bulverism” was coined by C. S. Lewis[1] to poke fun at a very serious error in thinking that, he alleges, recurs often in a variety of religious, political, and philosophical debates.

Similar to Antony Flew‘s “Subject/Motive Shift”, Bulverism is a fallacy of irrelevance. One accuses an argument of being wrong on the basis of the arguer’s identity or motive, but these are strictly speaking irrelevant to the argument’s validity or truth. But it is also a fallacy of circular reasoning, since it assumes, rather than argues, that one’s opponent is wrong.

(C.S.) Lewis wrote about this in a 1941 essay[2][3] which was later expanded and published in The Socratic Digest under the title “Bulverism”.[4][3] This was reprinted both in Undeceptions and the more recent anthology God in the Dock. He explains the origin of this term:[5]

You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly. In the course of the last fifteen years I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it “Bulverism”.

Some day I am going to write the biography of its imaginary inventor, Ezekiel Bulver, whose destiny was determined at the age of five when he heard his mother say to his father — who had been maintaining that two sides of a triangle were together greater than a third — “Oh you say that because you are a man.” “At that moment”, E. Bulver assures us, “there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of argument.

Assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall.” That is how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.

CUT TO CANADIAN NEWS ON GLOBAL NATIONAL:

100-canadian-landscape

Canadian Landscape with the Trump Hate contaminating everything

The mood change almost gave me whiplash … The big news item appears to be that “Canadians” are fearful that “Trump Hate” is leaking over the border and contaminating Canadian Water and maybe Canadian politics as well!

As the writer above said: … what “message of unity” could be simpler than that one in every two Americans is a violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet?  One thing is undeniably true “Canadians” are ALWAYS fearful of SOMETHING … it just changes from day to day and even hour to hour. Why can’t they stay focused on our media message?

It seems that the dominant meme of the American extreme left progressives is finding fertile soil in the Great White North, eh?  And the scary part is that this is normal, especially amongst the Canadian chattering classes and the inhabitants of the media swamp.

And why not?  After all, Canada is a nation of facile, self-righteous, hypocritical, haters from sea to shining sea.  And nowhere are they more frantic in their hating than when it comes to hating Americans (a severely overdeveloped case of “Short-Man Syndrome”).

03-pool-of-worship

OMG I’m just SO beautiful and I’m such a nice person too …

violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet” is just about THE perfect encapsulation of how Canadian Liberals of all stripes view ANYONE who has the misfortune to disagree with them or to prefer to deal in facts rather than social media “virtue signalling“.

This sad fact is especially true when talking about Americans or “American” culture. Funny thing though, the roots of American culture are British, and the roots of Canadian culture are British, except for a few privileged minorities who owe their continued existence to the generous way that the British have always treated their enemies.

So where do we get off sneering about American culture? Those holding these violent hate filled views would do well to read Russel Kirk’s “The Roots of American Order“, of course there are a lot of facts in this great book and they don’t adapt well to social media or virtue signalling.

“Yup, huh, huh, huh, ya sure gotta admit it … Trump Hate is showing up on the Canadian scene, contaminating the worship pool. Hey, anyone wanna head over to Timmy’s, I am feeling kinda nibbly. I heard they have a new caramel covered doughnut these days.”

I watch all the usual suspects in their self-congratulatory holier than thou pontification and find I am deeply ashamed of Canadians … deeply ashamed …

Cheers

Joe

Dan Jurac Fine Art Photo of Hoar Frost_DSC2972_Of course always remember to be charitable, even though that is distinctly un-Canadian, eh?.

And of course “anyone who disagrees with ME is a “violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet”. There, I said it first, nya, nya, na nya na …  who the heck cares about facts and truth anyway, that is all just so yesterday.

Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.

 

Standard