Image Credit: Brian Hillegas.
Truth is Beauty and Beauty is Truth. That is all you know and that is all you need to know. – Keats.
So I crack open the Internet and read the news. It just about all vapes off the exhaust nozzle. DOOOOOOOMMM!!! I tell you. Doom, on a pale horse. We see it in the arts, in the realm of science, in the state of the economy, and in how things are going throughout the world. So how did it get more wrong than amateur midget-porn? Unintelligent design? No. It was studied unintelligence. John C. Wright enlightens us below.
This collapse first in one field and then another is not deliberate in the sense that the Illuminati met in their underground Cathedral of Darkness….No, there is no conspiracy. There is, however, a meeting of minds, a viewpoint, a outlook, a philosophy which the people who sacked the art world and the people sacking science fiction have in common. The common philosophy, which is sometimes called Political Correctness, or called Leftism, but which should be called Morlockery, is the embrace of illogic.
This illogic ultimately leads to a state of errant belief. Mr. Wright refers to it as “a shrieking lunatic asylum”, we here at RS.com know it as the Democratic Party Platform. It has six key facets Mr. Wright lays out below.
• Nondisprovable — his beliefs cannot be put to any meaningful test; they are articles of faith; hence
• Conformist — his truths are whatever the consensus calls true; true truth is of no interest to him; hence
• Shallow — by dividing all beliefs into pure good versus pure evil, no belief is profound; all is a bumpersticker; hence
• Irrational — the beliefs are not subject to logical examination; hence
• Unreal — the beliefs are based on emotions, not facts; the more panicky and irrational the emotion, the better; hence
• Junk Science — the beliefs pretend that they are scientific, rational, modern, when they are the opposite.
So how does this explain Modern Art and Literature, a Scientific Establishment that sanctions killing newborn infants as ethical behavior, an economy that claimed to have grown by 4% last quarter,but that still fails to provide any real material increase to most us beyond a very fortunate few? Furthermore, how does this growing preponderance of idiocy in the central portion of the North American Continent lead to unpleasant events in the rest of the world?
Questions good and fair. Art, literature, science, and we can throw in faith as well; are efforts to ascertain and effectively model certain aspects of the truth about the world we live in. Art and literature are there to convey what both right and wrong look like. (Hence the quote from Keats atop the post.) They provide us aesthetic models of the world. Science helps us figure out how things work. The artistic endeavors show us the aesthetic model that should be what the Greek Philosopher Plato referred to as The Forms. The scientific cogitative function provides us the intellectual tool set, if you will, to figure out how to get things to the point where they are more in line with our aesthetic sense of what right looks like. You are supposed to have a sense of beauty from art, a sense of catharsis from literature and a sense of wonder from science.
That brings us to where we can link in the economy and the messy, messy world to this discussion. Economics flows downstream from decision-making as do world events. Decision-making flows downstream from our cognitive models, built through our application of both aesthetics and scientific reasoning. So a screwed-up set of beliefs leads us to have poor decision-making skills based on high time preferences and disdain for traditional norms. The errant decisions produced by using the stupid decision templates then produce a low-functioning economy that may look good on paper*, but that doesn’t produce an optimal exchange and distribution of necessary resources.
This still doesn’t tell us why our dysfunction makes the world a worse place to be an American; accept that it does. Countries that undermine their own economies through poor decision-making stemming from corrupted thinking are not globally respected. To look at Libya, Egypt, Russia, Turkey, and Iraq we see several different countries where the US is held in a significantly lower esteem than we were five years ago. In every one of these places we have displayed alazy willingness to go for the short term outcome and are now seen as weak and foolish by people who do not mean us well for a variety of reasons. As Victor Davis Hanson put it:
The Obama administration often either denies any responsibility for the current global chaos or claims that it erupted spontaneously. Yet most of the mess was caused by, or made worse by, growing U.S. indifference and paralysis. Over the last five and a half years, America has had lots of clear choices, but the administration usually took the path of least short-term trouble, which has ensured long-term hardship.
The decline in the arts, the deracination of the sciences, the torpor of the economy and the spiraling chaos of the world are all coincidental; but noe of them are coincidence. Each is a traceable consequence of epistemological failure. Each can be derived, through a hideously eloquent logic, as a predicable and rational result of how Post-Modern American leadership views the world. It is philosophy in action, and as a wise man said twenty centuries ago, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ We get exactly the world we set about creating in the end.
*-Too bad you can’t eat paper.