Thursday, December 6, 2018

Told You So Dept.

     Don’t you just purely hate the wisenheimers who say “I told you so” -- ? Isn’t their smirk simply the cruelest thing they could do to someone who’s just been hoist on the petard of his own arrogance / blindness / conceit? Wouldn’t you like to see a law passed that would indemnify you against any penalty for punching Mr. Told You So right in his grinning kisser?

     When we hear a told-you-so and feel our hackles rise, it’s usually because we wish we’d listened to him.

     Warning: Rant Ahead!

     Over at A Nod To The Gods, I saw and was struck by this picture:

     Teddy Roosevelt, an early Progressive who wielded the presidency like a club against anything he disliked, did a fair amount of damage to the Republic. However, he was clear-eyed about the disease we of today call identity politics. It’s a cancer, and cancers kill by devouring their victims from the inside. We knew it back then; we should know it today.

     But either we forgot TR’s simple wisdom or we willfully dismissed it. Identity groups, each with some claim to being “oppressed” or “marginalized,” are tearing the country to shreds. “Journalists,” ever eager for any increment of attention, are lining up to promote them, heedless of the damage to social cohesion. And of course coalition-minded politicians are feverishly outbidding one another to secure their votes.

     Until recently, identity politics was a “minority” phenomenon. Only a demographic cohort that could represent itself as “small” could plausibly play the game. But today we have identity groups of immense size. Consider the “women’s rights,” “men’s rights,” and “white identity” movements in progress.

     It had to happen. Once identitarianism became a political currency, everyone with an axe to grind would strive to collect on it. I’ve said so before.

     Identity politics and the particularism they embody could be the forces that bring about a second Civil War...if, indeed, such a war isn’t already in progress.

     I spend fifteen or twenty minutes per day surveying “social media” trends. That isn’t because I’m a social animal; quite the reverse. It’s because the “social media” are the Petri dishes for the next social trends. And if I read the chicken entrails correctly, one of the next social trends will be a rebirth of widespread anti-Semitism.

     There’s a lot of anti-Semitic opinion expressed on Gab. Enough, indeed, that it almost looks “mainstream.” The Jews have long been a favorite target of power-lusters and conspiratorialists. Among other things, they retain a tribal and cultural cohesion and resistance to adulteration. Also, they’re not numerous enough to fight back with much vigor.

     And now we’re beginning to see the anti-Semitic theme exploited by American Negroes. A good scapegoat will serve more than one attacker, so why not?

     This is what happens when a demographic is permitted to get away with a claim that its troubles, whatever they may be, are not its own fault and not its own duty to solve. But the “entitled” types refuse to accept the responsibility for their own fates. Rather, they demand that we accept them and oppress some other group – in this case, the best educated, most accomplished, most civilized, and most historically oppressed group in the history of Man.

     We’ve been told about this horror often enough. Anyone with a high school education should know all about it. Yeah, right.

     I got a particularly vicious laugh out of this piece. After haranguing us for decades that men are predators, that women don’t make false accusations about sexual assault, that even sex consented to at the time is rape if she regrets it afterward, et cetera ad nauseam infinitam, women are discovering the secondary consequences: that men no longer trust them. Quite a lot of men have institutionalized that distrust. Wall Street executives, sensing the rich possibilities for false claims against them, have adopted a “never be alone with an unchaperoned woman” attitude. No one is laughing at Mike Pence now.

     But it was obvious from the start that that would follow! What man in his right mind would leave himself open to attack by the less ethical and more vicious female sex? And of course, the more he has to lose, the more likely it is that he’ll understand the importance of taking precautions, so America’s “top catches” are insisting upon indisputable pre-recorded consent.

     A decade or two ago, men determined not to be mulcted for babies not of their seed started requesting certificates attesting to having been vasectomized. Anyone with three functioning brain cells should have expected further deteriorations in the degree of trust between the sexes. And here they are.

     You didn’t have to be a Certified Galactic Intellect to foresee all the above. You merely had to be familiar with the basics about human nature. You also had to accept that every action will have at least one undesired consequence, efforts to the contrary notwithstanding. But too many of us “think” with our wishes instead of our reason.

     I could go on for another hundred thousand words. I could detail the disasters brought about by political wishful thinking, especially in the realm of public finance. I could rave for days about what we should have foreseen would happen to the dollar once a “central bank” was permitted to create dollars out of thin air. I could compose a tirade for the ages about how obvious it was that the dependency the welfare state makes possible would be encouraged by welfare-state bureaucrats. I could vent for a whole year about the demise of “education” once “educators” were rendered immune to discipline for their excesses, school budgets were made irreducible, and activists were permitted unfettered access to our young.

     But I shan’t. There’s no need. What’s worse, there’s no point. Yes, I told you so. But so did a lot of other people with bulgier curricula vitae than mine. You didn’t listen to them, so why should I expect you to listen to me?

     Who are we failing to listen to today?

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