Sunday, September 29, 2019

Who Whom?

I think I'm coming to the end of this blog's efforts to explain what I see around me in culture and politics. I had a huge epiphany recently when I read the magnificent essay, Leninthink, by Gary Saul Morson. Here's the section that clarified some of my last, remaining cloudy spots.
Lenin regarded all interactions as zero-sum. To use the phrase he made famous, the fundamental question is always “Who Whom?”—who dominates whom, who does what to whom, ultimately who annihilates whom. To the extent that we gain, you lose. Contrast this view with the one taught in basic microeconomics: whenever there is a non-forced transaction, both sides benefit, or they would not make the exchange. For the seller, the money is worth more than the goods he sells, and for the buyer the goods are worth more than the money. Lenin’s hatred of the market, and his attempts to abolish it entirely during War Communism, derived from the opposite idea, that all buying and selling is necessarily exploitative.
This summarizes the SJW and progressive worldview almost perfectly for me. In all things, there are the oppressors and the oppressed. This simple method of classification can be applied everywhere, from race to sex to gender to Global Warming Climate Change to economics and to any and all topics not yet weaponized by politics.

Sarah Hoyt clued me into the cosplay aspects of the SJW crowd first. All of the screeching and marches and accusations are simply a chance to pretend to be superheroes fighting the forces of Hate. When you get on Twitter or Facebook or go to school or work, you put on your costume and join the battle. Leninthink makes everything into a war zone where you can get your jollies smashing evil.

Leninthink and cosplay give people something we all need - a higher purpose. The Catholic Church deems man's need for a higher purpose so important that it is the first section of the Catechism and for good reason. Without it, we devolve into lizards and all we want to do is eat, mate and survive. Fighting Hate is glorious! You are doing something noble and good and BIG.

To pick my favorite dimension of SJW action, Leninthink also lays out just why racism is found everywhere. "Lenin regarded all interactions as zero-sum...To the extent that we gain, you lose." That includes all interactions between members of different races. It's simple and we all need simple explanations for what we see around us. That's why we think in terms of geometry when we see shapes and not algebraic topology even if algebraic topology provides a more complete description.

While out sick this week, I devoured The Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray's outstanding analysis of the social justice ragefest that dominates the media, academia, entertainment and politics these days. It's so good that I laid around for hours at a time, listening on my headphones, playing a mindless gem game on my phone. It got right up to the point of solving the SJW Rubik's Cube, but came up short in the end. Gary Saul Morson provided the last twist necessary to complete the task that Sarah Hoyt had started way back when.

I'm going to continue to read and learn and blog, but I feel like this provides me with that same thing - a simple model that explains the world. Why all the rage? Why are people of all stripes being attacked and having their lives destroyed? What is driving the SJW madness?
  1. Leninthink shows how oppression, "Hate", if you will, is everywhere.
  2. By joining in the cosplay, you give your life greater meaning because you're fighting Hate.
  3. Since you are fighting Hate and Hate is irredeemably evil, showing mercy only invites future attacks on oppressed peoples from surviving practitioners of Hate.
  4. You cannot listen to Hate because it is full of twisted "facts" and distorted lies. Listening to Hate puts you at risk of agreeing with Hate. Remember, the First Amendment does not protect Hate.
And there you have it. It seems to work as far as I can see.

Meanwhile, I had to redo my tobacco plant labels. Wife kitteh told me this would happen, but I had to see it for myself. The permanent marker writing on the signs faded quickly in the San Diego sun. Yesterday, I went to Hobby Lobby and got an acrylic pen and redid the signs. Acrylic pens are so crude that all I could manage was a two-letter code on each sign.

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