Claire Wolfe muses on “The consequences of avoiding reality“.
Obviously the specific consequences of specific delusions are destructive enough. But what happens when some large and influential segment of the human race simply concludes that any random aspect of actual reality doesn’t count? That reality is whatever they decree it to be from moment to moment? And that becomes the everyday
madhouse“truth” the rest of us must cope with.
Yeah, that’s already happened. The Soviet Union operated on that principle. Whoever’s running the Biden administration seems well along that road. Academia … OMG. But it’s way bigger than that. It’s global — and it’s ours and our descendants to deal with.
I drew a chart of potential long-term consequences of chronic, civilization-wide (or at least society-wide) reality-avoidance. Of course, this is not only pure speculation, but speculation upon the broadest generalities. Consider it food for discussion, not actual projection.
. . .
So what do you think?
Long term (really long) where are we heading?
And what’s the best thing you and yours personally can do while we’re on the road to that eventuality? Or to avert that eventuality?
There’s more at the link, and I highly recommend that you take the time to click over to Claire’s place and read it. Her seven “alternatives” are interesting and thought-provoking.
The biggest problem I see with her alternatives is that too many people today insist that they have/know/see the truth, and nobody else does. It’s like the Thirty Years War, which was perhaps the worst (but far from the only) religious war in Europe: “Our vision of God is the right one, and we’re going to kill you unless and until you believe it too!” Nobody could/can prove, beyond doubt, that their vision was/is correct, and so the killing never stopped until the survivors were too exhausted, and their countries too destroyed, to continue. I won’t say sanity returned (it remains conspicuous by its absence until this day), but insanity could not persist because there was no longer enough blood to feed it.
Looking at the things that divide us in America today, I’m irresistibly reminded of the old conundrum of “What happens when the irresistible force meets the immovable object?” Both sides, left and right, are convinced that they know the truth, and they’re right, and that therefore (by definition) the other side is wrong. Both sides are determined to root out that wrongness, by hook or by crook, and impose their vision of rightness on the “other”. Neither side is willing to surrender, or compromise, or allow genuinely democratic elections to decide the issue. It’s all about a fight to the death. Our Founding Fathers would recognize the symptoms, and I suspect they’d shake their heads sadly, and wonder why we hadn’t learned anything from their own internecine struggles.
Far too many people have taken a stand on principle, and in the process have ignored pragmatism. Realpolitik was founded on the principle that “politics is the art of the possible”. Otto von Bismarck put it like this: “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best.” Sadly, today his sanguine wisdom is forgotten. Extremists insist that what they want must be attainable, that anything less would be an intolerable surrender to “evil” or “dark” or “wrong” forces. We hear far too much nonsense about “my” or “our” truth, and not nearly enough about “the” or “real” or “objective” truth. The former is, of course, a matter of perception, while the latter is a matter of fact – but nobody will admit that their perceptions, their opinions, don’t necessarily represent fact or reality at all.
I’m reminded of a conversation I had, a long time ago, with a very holy man. He was genuinely committed to his Christian faith, and was probably a far better person than I – but the very depth of his commitment rendered him incapable of seeing that reality sometimes didn’t conform to his perceptions. I put this example to him:
“You’ve captured a terrorist who’s planted a landmine somewhere on a network of farm paths and dirt roads. In six hours, tractors towing trailers filled with young children will be driving slowly down those paths and roads, taking the kids to school. If one of them hits that landmine, there’ll be dead, maimed and dismembered kids spread all over the road like strawberry jam – and there’s no way of warning them not to use the roads before then; no telephones, no radios, no nothing. You have to find and lift the landmine before they reach it; but the terrorist is a hard-liner who refuses to tell you anything. The only way you might get that information out of him is to torture him, even though that might not be successful. What are you going to do?”
He said frankly that due to his faith, he could never torture anybody. I pointed out that by taking that stance, he was condemning children to death and/or dismemberment, and he acknowledged that; but he said that even so, he could not torture somebody. He fell back on the old saw that “Two wrongs don’t make one right”. He was correct in that, of course. I didn’t deny that torture would be morally wrong: but I insisted that it would be at least equally, and probably more, morally wrong to allow those kids to die without trying every – every – possible way to save them. Effectively, the irresistible force had just met the immovable object. You had to choose one evil in order to avoid another. You had no choice but to choose – and to fail to choose was itself to make a choice. He couldn’t make a choice. He stood firm on his Christian principles, and said he could not go against them, no matter what the cost.
I had to admire his consistency. Personally, I don’t think I could have stood as firm. I’ve been faced with some really hard decisions in my life, and I’m sure some of my responses were morally wrong, to the point of grievous sin . . . but that’s something I’ll have to take up with the God in whom I believe when my time comes to be judged. I fear his justice, but I hope in his mercy. I suppose that’s all anyone can do.
In politics in the USA today, we’re faced with that same choice. Those who’ve stolen power have given more than abundant evidence that they’ll never surrender it. They demonstrated, during the Trump presidency, that they’d resort to any underhanded method they could think of to block everything he tried to do; and now that they’ve stolen power, I have no doubt they’ll do anything and everything they can to retain it.
Those who expect “free and fair” elections in future are living in a fool’s paradise. The powers that be stole the November 2020 election in the most blatant display of fraud and dishonesty anyone could wish to see. It was so blatant that it can’t be denied, no matter how much they try, and their lackeys in the mainstream media do so. That being the case, why do you expect them to do anything less in 2022 or 2024? They won’t back down of their own accord. They’ll have to be backed down – and that will almost certainly involve means over and above voting, because they’ll never permit or recognize the result of an honest vote. They’ve already employed dishonest means to go beyond democracy in their quest for power: consider the undermining of our justice system, just for a start. Relying upon “justice” in a manifestly unjust system is a recipe for disaster.
In so many words, the whole COVID-19 pandemic response has been yet another attempt to steamroller us into doing things their way, to force us to “knuckle under” and not resist. It’s largely succeeded in some states, but not in others – and not enough to clear the way for them to take over all power and keep it. That’s why they keep hammering away at the pandemic; because they dare not admit that they’ve been lying, and that hundreds of thousands of Americans have died as a result, or will suffer health consequences for the rest of their lives.
Unless and until Americans recognize the reality of our situation, we won’t find any solution to our current imbroglio. It’s as simple as that. That’s the reality we face. It’s one of Claire’s options . . . but I don’t see that there are, in fact, any other options if we want to save and sustain our Republic. We must uphold and defend what is demonstrably, objectively real, rational and true, irrespective of our political opinions. Any other way leads to our inevitable ruin, and the triumph of untruth, dishonesty and oligarchy.
The soi-dissant "Christian" who oh-so-pietistically denied the ability to perpetrate a "wrong," should have immediately been transported to and lashed to one of those trundling carts that were doomed to destruction. I can only wonder how long his "principled scruples" would last. All metaphorically, of course.
Even the current 'Pope' has been corrupted and compromised and endangering any 'Christianity' that is left.
I don't know that he wasn't corrupted long before becoming Pope
"Francis" is not the pope, he is an anti-Pope'; Benedict is the pope. If Bergoglio is pope then Biden is president.
Heinlein predicted it as far back as 1970. His "Crazy Years" are upon us….and we are in the decline he predicted. How long until a tyrant arises to "save" us from the chaos?
Tim: One day the American people will cry out for a Caesar, and a Caesar will come.
And the Planned and Groomed Caeser will arise (with the blessings of the Globalists) to "save" us from Chaos.
I wonder if that will be THE Antichrist or just a hubris ridden Globalist nightmare.
Humans are religious. It's IN us to be religious. That's why St. Fauci is the messiah for some, the devil for others. When we reject God, we accept any and everything else. Your view of this being like the 30 years war is accurate in my mind.
But how do you pragmatically do politics? "Those who expect "free and fair" elections in future are living in a fool's paradise." So we can't expect to pick our CEO and upper echelon anymore.
"the whole COVID-19 pandemic response has been yet another attempt to steamroller us into doing things their way" We can expect more of these crisis points to push us ever further into tyranny / oligarchy.
I would submit that PRAGMATISM is why we are here. The Deltas wanted to go full Stalin decades ago, the Romeos held them up, but compromised in Stalin's direction every time. Now, except for a few outlyers and a couple planks in the platform, we have Romney Republicans…. He looks like a Democrat to me. It's getting harder to tell some of them apart.
I'm afraid the consent of the governed is about to be withdrawn. And that is the only thing that makes our government legitimate. And makes us a peaceful as we are.
As a Christian who places faith in the Bible as God's word (seems redundant, but there are so-called "Christians who do not), I believe that the world is heading for the 7-year Great Tribulation, the final judgement and the end of he world.
My ultimate hope is in the return of Christ for his true Church, I believe before the Great Tribulation.
These Biblical realities are not avoidable; however, I believe God expects us to what we know to do, while we are waiting, but keeping our eyes on him and
to me, this means trying to reach non-believers with the gospel, speaking the uncomfortble truth to them with compassion and love.
But – since the decline into anarchy and chaos are equally unavoidable, it also means making practical prepartions for my family to survive perilous times – which will get worse -while we wait for Christ's return… generall this is ensuring we have food, shelter, and the means to defend life and property.
We sold our large home last December, and were able to reap the benefits of insane sellers market in the Raleigh, NC area. We downsized (a challenge after accumulating preparedness supples over the last 13 years) and were blessed to be able to buy our new home ouright-no mortgage, we own it – so the shelter part is also taken care of. We live in a very safe area (relatively apeaking) well away from any city.We are now working on improving our self- sustianabilty longer term..things like getting a back up generator (too many trees of solar, unfortunately) and toppin off food, water, and medicines.
Lastly we are befriending neighbors who – like the Sons of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32)- understand the times we live in and know what they need to do.
Even if future elections were to be fair, the Trump presidency proved that fair elections aren't enough. The government has grown too big, and for the majority of government employees, their idea of how this country should be run is contrary to ours. I don't see any practical way of fixing it short of a complete reboot from scratch, which isn't likely to happen, at least not in a way that provides the results we would like to see.
I personally believe that God's patience has finally worn out, and that we are beginning to experience His judgement on this once great nation. The end result will likely be the destruction of this country. Make preparations to save yourself, and your family, and forget about trying to save a country that is not salvageable.
"That's just your OPINION, man."
Humans are not very good at determining the truth. We're biased towards what we feel is true, and by our experiences. Even though you've left your previous occupation as a priest, you still have the same fundamental knowledge that your beliefs are true. You might be persuaded that one or two details are different, but there's no dissuading you from the main premise. If presented with proof that the events of the New Testament were an absolute fabrication, would you accept it? I don't think you would. I'm not even sure you should. Your moral underpinnings might be centered on a lie, but your principles of action are still seen as good–"do unto others", "turn the other cheek", etc.
When you realize that almost every other human being has the same feeling of their own truth, you understand the depth of the problem.
If it were a matter of pinning one set of truths against another, we might eventually come to some sort of neutral ground where we agree to disagree and carry on with maintaining civilization. But most belief systems exhort us to bring the Truth to others, or a terrible fate awaits them. And then there are others who are actively spreading lies to obscure the truth, or to make us question whether anything is real.
None of this is new, but it's never been this bad. They layers of deceit have never before had the depth and breadth we have now. It's hard for even the faithful to see through it, but they aren't the target. Those whose faith have wavered or been lost are the prize. And there's no logical way to separate the truth from the lies, so we end up choosing what feels right.
I think the Republic is screwed. We had a good run. Once the bombs stop falling, if we haven't irrevocably wrecked everything, something new will come along. Maybe better, maybe not. I wish them luck.
I have to wonder if that holy man was in, rather than a thought exercise, a reality exercise? When it wasn't pretend kids killed and wounded, but real kids. Kids from his church, kids he knew personally?
I'm not a fan of torture as a common practice, but in extreme circumstances, bring me a hammer, some vice grips, a flat head screw driver and a propane torch.
I can't see Saul/Paul pulling out the thumbscrews, personally. But I'm not the Apostle Paul, Lord forgive me. My faith would assuredly fail me in that scenario. If the man you speak of was truly a man of faith, I cannot condemn or judge him for its strength. But I know my weakness.
When one side is composed of people who just want to be left alone to live their lives, and the other is composed of people who rape and murder children, while also proclaiming that said child-raping murderers are 'heroes of the Revolution/Resistance/Whateverdafuckxircallingittoday' and denouncing anyone who fights back (or even just criticizes) against the aforementioned child-raping terrorists as 'racist nazis,' then it's pretty fucking obvious which side is truly evil.
And it's just as obvious what every man, woman and child who supports that side deserves.
Not saying you're entirely wrong here, Peter, just want to point out 2 details.
1) In some things, there isn't really a compromise option. For example, if one side says "we need to build a bridge here" and the other says "we should NOT build a bridge here" it does no good to then build half a bridge.
2) What is riling up a lot of conservatives is that we're old enough to remember how past agreements with the left have gone. To quote Jonah Goldberg once:
My fear that our country has been employing a “Leap Forward, Hop Back” strategy with most contemporary issues is illustrated perfectly in this health care debate. The strategy is to make an absurd leap forward that is very difficult for a large portion of the population to swallow, and then to take a small hop back to “make up for it.” The long term impact of this is the rapid accumulation of the forward motion and the acceptance of it by the American people under the guise that those in power have “compromised” by taking the small hop backwards. What they forget is the the initial large step was no compromise in the first place. It is worse than the old frog-in-boiling-water lesson. You know the old wisdom: if you place a frog in boiling water it will jump out immediately, but if you place it in cool water and gradually increase the temperature, it will happily boil to death.
While others have applied this old adage to the current debate, I think it is actually worse than what it seems. The “leap forward, hop back” is even more devious than the gradual-temperature-increase. Instead of slowly boiling the frog so that he doesn’t realize it, this strategy is like raising the heat on the frog rapidly and just before it gets to the point of jumping out, drawing the heat back a little. In this way, the frog not only boils to death without complaint, but it actually periodically thanks you for those brief moments of cool relief that you so generously offered.
Realpolitik hardly works out when the resulting agreement is one of one side only getting half of what they want, while the other side continually gets nothing.
A similar point made more aptly by Mr. Lawdog
More aptly because, unlike (pace Goldberg) whinging about it, 2A people quit compromising and began fighting back.
Another real life examples:
A German cop had custody of a man who had buried a child aluve. The man refused to disclose the child's wherabouts, so the cop hurt him until he spilled the info. Pontius Pilate is not a hero of the faith.
People who disagree about what evil is are better value than those who pretend it does not exist.