Don't Let the Perfect Become the Enemy of the Good
Humans are fallible and can only in perpetuity have tentative knowledge of the ever-changing universe and never have absolute knowledge, and that no matter how much we know, it is (in a manner of knowing), always wrong (or not quite right), and the tentative knowledge we have gained at great cost, has only a Socratic effect: “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing” This is armour, an emotional firewall against absolutism, using Affect Theory or Intuition Pumps and other philosophic devices to help protect us from solipsism. We learn how little we know because no matter how much we know, (even in future generations), we will always be standing at the beginning of infinity, and so, by this fact alone, we are always at the starting line of “knowing” or always in a transitional state of knowledge.
Psychoanalytic philosophy such as Freud and Jung’s were considered by Karl Popper as unfalsifiable, and are thought in many scientific circles to be faith-filled or fairytale religions like Marxism, Scientology, Hegelian and Teutonic Romantic teleology, Hinduism and many others. All hard science now basically use Popper's criterion, so this is more than a matter of subjective taste. Kuhn of course may be right about inertia and paradigm shifts, this in some areas is to be expected when scientists, journalists and mathematicians have a belief in absolute knowledge and/or are ideologically motivated.
"Prophecies of an ultimate, inevitable withering away of the state in the face of universal proletarian brotherly love are marginally less self-serving but scarcely more realistic [than other religions]. An optimism, to be believed, must first acknowledge fundamental reality, including the reality of human nature."
The Philosophy of Process—the ontology of becoming—is based on a subjective functioning of Einstein's Relativity by Whitehead and other philosophers to metaphysically clarify bio-feedback and a reductionist view of consciousness’ endless successive states in a deterministic universe. This is why we must always have this Socratic firewall: these 40 or 60 years later, science is challenging whether the world is indeed deterministic. Many facts are being discovered at the quantum stage which support an indeterminate version of life whether it is the multiverse, parallel universes or just plain wave-interference of dark matter in our “Particle Prejudiced Universe.” We are biased toward matter-perception over wave-interpretations by our exceptionally long/difficult evolution and somewhat limited perceptual range.
Neo-Darwinism vis-a-vis Dawkins, Diamond, Dennett and other current thinkers, is an important link with contemporary evolution, quantum theory and cosmology. The exercise of resisting “toxic” patterns of thinking while allowing childlike curiosity and being immersed fully in one’s own subjectivity is a misty ideal from the Continent (i.e., Continental Philosophy), fortified in America from the 19th Century pragmatists Dewey, Peirce and James. In Europe it becomes an intellectual opaque model from Structuralism to Hermeneutics, first related to us by the great (and always on time) German Liberal philosopher Emmanuel Kant who first introduced the Phenomenal World for those driven crazy by Hume and Descartes’ (Empiricist’s and Rationalist’s) counterfeit divide, which produced some good—but especially much bad—philosophy (BP). Schopenhauer and Nietzsche added the murky will to power and individual nihilism to give it the spark of heady anti-democratic revolutionary magnitude which Kant hadn’t seen coming.
It was later turned to rustic study by the German Jewish philosopher Edmond Husserl—“Pure phenomenology claims to be the science of pure phenomena. This concept of the phenomenon, which was developed under various names as early as the eighteenth century without being clarified, is what we shall have to deal with first of all.”—and then refined to the dark dimensions of German blood-tuition by Martin Heidegger—“So it's clear from whence the history of philosophy is the inner movement of the course of spirit, that is, of absolute subjectivity, towards itself.” This is like deflecting metaphysical reasoning, (reason “the stiff-necked adversary of thought’ to again quote Heidegger), or pretends that these concepts have recently passed into a hazy history of Aristotelian and Scholastic diatribe.
But why a phony divide you ask of my dreadful cynical description of modern philosophy? Surely the split was real and to be feared? But alas, it was only real on the one side to supernaturalists like Whitehead and Bergson, Platonists like Hegel and Husserl, Existentialists like Sartre and Kierkegaard, structuralists like Foucault and Derrida or critics of agnostics like Voegelin and Jonas. It produced even in its atheistic British manifestation on the other side, i.e., Empiricism, Positivism and Analysism formed from such thinkers as Russell, Einstein, Carnap, Wittgenstein and others who would create, and with appalling certitude, much BP.
Understanding that the phenomenal world has wonderfully happy intentionality led to the concepts of Ground in the stead of divinity; i.e., grounding, where you stand in space/time, your spirit of the historical epoch, your local mindset, gestalt, zeitgeist, sense of life, the barometer of your internal (mental) disposition set by your culture, your being or presence in the world, Affect, Spirit, Absolute, Reason and all of its lovely cascading sounds and sensations of light and color for the subjective self.
When Authentic Happiness (Positive Psychology) was introduced into the culture of the West and Finding Flow became famous, I grew to be a little forgiving of psychiatry (which I consider more deleterious than helpful for humanity as a so-called soft-subjective science resembling a religion) where literally the pessimists and gloom & doom intellectuals generate. Many of them are unhappy Marxists (15 to 20%) (as all Marxists are) and more still allied to the welfare empire state and countless are down-right progress deniers as bad as any global warming deniers. They don’t care about trade-offs and costs of government on their working citizenry, they want an unattainable thing: Leninist perfect ideals and justice at any cost, even if we have to sacrifice everyone and everything, even the colourful lights of our subjective brilliant beings.
In other words, they are a crazy, serial killing and high maintenance intelligentsia with lots of BP. Some of them couldn’t care less for actual facts, like that globally males now have on average 10 years of education and that females have (how many?) years (were you thinking, 5, 7, 8 years), no it’s nine. That’s not equal but it’s important to know, isn’t it? The longevity of the 7.6 billion souls here in this place is 73 years in 2021 and I bet lengthening even during this gray time of Covid. Two centuries ago it was 30 years of age. Were you thinking currently though that it was less? You were, weren’t you? There is a preconceived notion in us, a liberal first-world tilt, not harmful, but debilitating to some retrogressive intellectuals who are biased on various solid economic facts, key features of cultural capital and scientific theories by being ideologically inclined against the market economy and filled with unnecessary guilt.
Jets flying across the sky and the sun moving from the east to west are occurrences we often witness. But one of them is an absolute misapprehension which took us thousands of years to realize. It feels like we are standing still, not spinning on an axis and not moving 850,000 miles per hour relative to the Milky Way. So much of life is counter-intuitive, counter-inductive, counter-empirical; that is why we use metaphysical reasoning with all its relative components: science, math, logic, self-criticism, induction, reduction, deduction, tuition pumps and all the many methods of critical thinking, including old-fashioned plain non-technical language or to quote Dawkins from A Devil's Chaplain: testability, evidential support, precision, quantifiability, consistency, intersubjectivity, repeatability, universality, progressiveness, independence of cultural milieu and so forth. Gays and other wonderful colors of light should be angry at Plato, (i.e. Christianity, Islam and Marxism), but instead they are angry at the market economy. Democracy, freedom, individual rights, law and order and the West itself is our collective worldwide advancement, not the ‘absolute tyranny’—Noam Chomsky’s phrase—of the market place where everyone is . . . wait for it, (pause) . . . OMG . . . commodified and objectified, horror of horrors.
That voluntary transaction should be despised over the state’s use of force is incongruous on so many levels that it is a laughable tragedy, but not to belligerent intellectuals whose bitterness and loathing embrace no light or happiness at the ascent of humankind. State force is all they have ever known and where they have suckled since the 1960s reaching back to the original progressives, they to mindless altruism and perhaps even before Plato to brutal savage human sacrifice and slavery throughout all of our sorted difficult advancement through the entire globe and our complete history. Our self-awareness allowed us after millions of years to escape the monotonous robotic imprisonment of biological evolution into a painstaking cultural advancement to start our slow torturous climb. But we are almost there.
The market economy is life without utter poverty as China and India are now discovering in a rapid deployment of their incrementally deregulated economies; even many African countries are currently pricking up their ears and taking notice. (The death of Mao should have been celebrated far more than it was.) Our starting position as humans is not wealth but poverty, (and we are not born free and everywhere put into bondage); indeed, dirt poor is the exact definition of what it is to be Hunter Gatherers with many dead babies for every single one who makes it to adulthood with snakes, spiders and hungry predators stressing them at every pressing moment: no philosophy, surplus food, medicine, science, alphabets, obstetrics, arithmetic, AC, internet, high-rises, computers, luxury resorts, cell phones, vehicles, literature, bicycles, shoes, pets, clothes . . . and certainly no justice. We all have to use our hard-to-attain “human capital”—tough work to learn things other people will pay us to perform—to add to the overall cultural capital of humankind; at this very moment gone irretrievably global and never voluntarily going back to the bad old days.
Take this sentence: “Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.” What if we had perfect justice (PJ) as this sentence by John Rawls implies in theory that we can obtain (within reasonable costs). So, any and all disadvantaged groups (DGs) can become the focus of our drive toward it. The economy of law teaches us that for this to work the DGs couldn’t know what we were doing for them to avoid a terrible moral hazard downside; but, in a just and free society they would indeed have to know it wouldn’t they? In fact doesn't Critical Race Theory advertize it? Could PJ be achieved if they did indeed know they were celebrated members of DGs? The answer is sadly (or in my case, happily) no, and I will now explain why PJ is BP and why more of the intellectuals of the West should have celebrated Lenin’s, Trotsky’s and Stalin’s passing as well, and did not, and indeed, why in fact they mourned their passing and did not celebrate it as we all did for the passing of Pinochet, Somoza, Mubarak, Hitler, Mussolini and all their autocratic ilk.
The DGs will know that they are being protected by the state with extramundane legal protections and that they are a stigmatized liberal group with extra legal rights (ELRs).
I am a business person with 100 employees who is weary of the state interference into my enterprise; however, I neither want to be judged as anti-DGs, to be audited by the state for employment infractions nor looked on by my customers as unfashionable. Besides, underneath it all, I sincerely believe in PJ and despise our collective brutal past—“God we were monsters.” I know DGs have ELRs but I ask myself, “How bad can it be?” I hire my first DGs, and they behave responsibly, turning out to be good employees. In fact I do it again and again. The years go by and I do it one too many times: I get unlucky. A DG I hired does something inappropriate and I have to let them go.
Two years go by after much state litigation against me from the DG who I let go after a complaint they made to the state authority about why they were ‘unfairly’ dismissed. This cost me thousands of dollars and much of my labor for the last two years for I am fighting a government monopoly which has almost limitless resources, and as you might expect, I lose. The justification for the DG employee’s discharge is forgotten. I have not been able to regain my reputation in the community against the charge that I am anti-PJ and prejudiced against DGs. I am forced by the state to rehire the “disgraced” DG with a settlement of back-pay from the time of dismissal. The DG declares they are a social activist and shows no shame about any of it: they are a classical disgruntled DG and proud of it. Some members of the DGs hired by me in the past now treat me with open disdain and invoke their ELRs anytime anything more is asked of them.
At the gym where I work out, I meet a street philosopher who explains BP and shows me that PJ via Rawls is a Rousseauian chimera from centuries gone by, a futile attempt on a false premise at the execution of the religion of utopian socialism and it’s Platonic cousins: Catholicism, Marxism, Christianity and Islam to name a few. BP endures PJ at any cost. They never investigate unintended consequences, and use state force to achieve their questionable ends, ignore historical, economical and empirical facts: especially, free-rider problems, moral hazard dangers and the negative growth of anti-social capital. Mostly though, they pay no attention to human sacrifice. They don’t believe a society can run without utilitarianism and so have never researched the possibility. They are anathema to liberty but are called Liberals while rebranding the real liberals (the Classical Liberals and Libertarians) as economic extremists.
All throughout the West—Europe, England and American—DGs continue to under-perform with continued suffering and negative dysfunctional cultural capital.
Marxists murdered their way into a huge calamity last century as surely as modern Liberals, Moderates and Progressives believe there are not huge calamitous downsides to the intransigent laws they enact in this century to achieve PJ, giving candy to people ripe with cavities. They want PJ at whatever the price even if is at the undoing of the West. They are as foolish a group of intellectuals as the world has ever seen (excepting Christian intellectuals during the time of the Stoics and the Marxist intellectuals in the time of the Enlightenment).
Intellectuals the world over are responsible for so much of humanity’s suffering and almost all the genocides committed historically which their resentful philosophies have engendered. Their solutions to problems come in the form of misfortune: for the most part they are aggrieved haters who use the word greed to mean “worthy of mass murder”. We should all be weary of them, lest they lead us like lemmings over the fiscal cliff and destroy society as the Christians did in the Dark Ages, the Marxists nearly did last century and the Islamists are threatening to do today.
“These propositions seem to express our intuitive conviction of the primacy of justice,” Rawls claimed. No such primacy exists. Let’s say he kindly shared his book on justice with his friend and fellow philosopher at Harvard, and allowed Robert Nozick to add to the premise something like this, “Let us say that these cooperative people in a free society produced an economy—which these industrious folks who trade so productively with friend and foe alike—fashioned more wealth than the world had ever seen in all of human history, and moreover, this also created a continuous positive loop around the globe (capitalism is contagious) so that by 2018, extreme poverty had fallen to under ten percent. Perhaps this is being interrupted today by a pandemic, but it is a world which makes labor and goods continually more affordable to everyone everywhere and further and counter-intuitively, brings us closer to an egalitarian ideal than any economic state planners and plunderers ever could imagine.”
That book would have been hailed by scientists and condemned by every two-bit 2021 talking head in the West who hopes for a spot on some media platform to spew forth a numbing collectivist drivel from the likes of the Rawls of the world who take little account of the cost of any like theories of justice they construct, and all the so-called loving pundits of the woke mob who quote him or his facsimiles and who are not really liberals at all but bullies, statists, socialists, autocrats and totalitarians.
What liberalism in its twisted modern version has produced is an unintended consequence: a wicked angry response of the alienated public who are injured by the political class, those who want to enslave, silence and shepherd them into a type of society any rational individualist will despise and fight against. The democratic break-down is at this moment as predictable as the looming economic international catastrophe, after which the supremacy of the West will migrate to the East as unquestionably as Great Britain’s empire did to America after WWII. We’ve been doomed by perfect justice and the intellectual activists who inflict it with force through taxation upon everyone of us.
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