May 3, 2010

Protective Stupidity

A timely excerpt from 1984:
... the speculations which might possibly induce a sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his early acquired inner discipline. The first and simplest stage in the discipline, which can be taught even to young children, is called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.

53 comments:

adsfafafsfdf said...

THAT IS SOOOOO RACIST!!! SHUT HIM UP!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, don't understand, I'm not processing this post for some reason...

l said...

People should watch what they say. Having freedom of speech does not give one the right to say what one believes. Like Obama says, we should ignore the internet political 'echo chamber' -- and read the Huffington Post.

Anonymous said...

It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction.

http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm?frm=3891&sec_id=3891


I use a different thought experiment to illustrate this sad truth. Imagine you are addressing a room full of people. We can let them be quite well-educated people, so long as they are not trained statisticians. A room full of students from some university Humanities department will do nicely. Now say the following thing to the room: “Men are, on average, taller than women.” I can almost guarantee—it is nearly a dead certainty—that someone in the room will stand up and say something like: “What about Sally? She’s taller than any of us. Taller than you, for sure—Ha ha ha ha!” The room will then consider your thesis to have been decisively exploded. Men taller than women? Nonsense! Look at Sally!

Vilko said...

I see so much "crimestop" mindset in PC people everyday... Duh...

B feynman said...

You're wrong becaue I was watching Jeopardy the other day and the african american guy cleaned the floor with the two white people he was competing agains. Besides, I don't care to have this discussion with you, you're just wrong and creepy and I don't want to talk about it.


P.S. Orwell as a very VERY smart man. I read Homage to Catalonia earlier this year, mostly while in transit on the nyc metro. T'was an awesome experience living mentally ion a whole other place and time.

Gene Berman said...

Down to this very day, there are adults unaware--at least seemingly-- that the story we all know as "The Emperor's New Clothes" is a blatantly allegorical pronouncement on the very idea of a deity. Crimethink lives!

Anonymous said...

Orwell is a treasure, but "crimestop" is my most-often-used Orwellianism.

Our era is characterized by taboos which put blinkers on people.

Recognizing crimestop is like grabbing the shift-stick of one's paradigm, and stepping on the clutch.

Anonymous said...

"Crimestop"= PC?

Shouting Thomas said...

... the speculations which might possibly induce a sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his early acquired inner discipline.

What is really confusing is that those enforcing the "inner discipline" imagine themselves to be rebellious, daring and transgressive.

You are required to use those words to get your government grant as an artist or academic.

Parsons said...

Fine, but what has that got to do with anything you've posted?

kritisk_borger said...

Which is never going to happen in real life. People are thinking beings, not robots. Even in a place like N Korea there are people who secretly oppose the regime. They don’t however express their displeasure publicly, that is unless they have a death wish, but they still disagree with the leadership.

As was the case with the Soviet Union and other undemocratic communists regimes. There were plenty of dissidents in the former east bloc countries, even though the communists tried to eradicate any such tendencies.

So don’t worry it’s not going to happen :-)

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand the concept of protective stupidity.

Someguy

Anonymous said...

lots of whites are filled with envy and resentment(and for good reason). They are envious of the smarter Jews who make lots of money and have attained Nietzschean dominance over the US(and the world). Lots of whites(especially males) also envy and resent the athletic dominance of blacks such as Jack Johnson, Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali, NBA players, NFL players, and etc. Most blue-collar ethnic whites resent the Jews and Wasps who dominate at Harvard and Yale. Lots of whites also resent and envy the more studious and successful Asians, whether they be Asian-Indian or Chinese. As Obama has said about small town whites in Pennsylvania, much of white political culture is centered around resentment and envy. If we are to follow Kurtagic's advice of honoring and worshipping the GREAT and SUPERIOR FOLKS, we would be bowing down before Jewish intellectuals/scientists/intellectuals/writers and black athletes and singers. Nietzsche didn't obsess about race. He was for the GREAT INDIVIDUAL who transcended the collective mentality. If we are follow this principle, we white folks should abandon our collective sense of whiteness and admire GREAT INDIVIDUALS. When it comes to brain power, Jews are the masters of the universe. In creativity, homos have an edge(consider the Renaissance). In sports, blacks are #1.

Anonymous said...

you're becoming unhinged, Mr. Sailer.

Kylie said...

From 1984:

Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.

Replace "Ingsoc" with "ego" and you have the modus operandi of a narcissist. We often joke about the mindset that embraces modern liberalism being a mental disorder but all joking aside, I think it's a form or variant of narcissism. This would also explain why the left is so vicious and vile in its attacks on dissenters and critics. As a conservative (but not a narcissist), I perceive attacks on conservatism as an attack on my way of life where the leftist perceives attacks on liberalism as attacks on his ego. To the liberal, it's much more personal, literally, and therefore elicits a much more personal response.

If I'm right--and again, not being a narcissist, my ego won't prevent me from hoping I'm wrong--it bodes ill for the future of our country. The narcissist is heavily invested in being perceived by himself and others as always being right. Even moral and ethical considerations fall before the narcissist's overwhelming need to maintain his self-image, not only in his eyes but in the eyes of those around him.

Anonymous said...

Here is a truth which Eric Blair successfully avoided thinking, presumably via crimestop:

Trotsky was as bad as Hitler!

OneSTDV said...

I took a positive spin on the Harvard Law Racist issue here:

Harvard Law Racist: A Positive Spin

Anonymous said...

This topic (of Orwellian self-
slavery, potentiated by the lack
of awareness of the slavery being media injected and then self enforced ) calls forth
the degree of insight contemporary science has to offer as an antidote. H. J. Eysenck's concept of "Psychoticism" (see his co-authored 1976 book of this title ) appears useful. This concept is threaded prominently into his 1995 book entitled "Genius", which is a theory of creative ( out-of-the-box) thought. The relatively small number of both high "P" factor
a n d
high "g" factor personalities are especially endowed to see that the Emperor has no clothes but not often empathetic enough to convey this fact of life effectively. The Eysenckian concept of a "P factor" appears to have been generally rejected as formerly presented by him but is now subsumed within other recognized personality factors. The high P
person was theorized to have considerable emotional detachment and coldness and other features found sometimes in schizophrenia but without the disordered thoughts and emotions of pathology. IF there are to be leaders able to lead us out of the tapestry of current media-fed culturally systemized delusions, it is likely these leaders will have high P and a high "g" yoked up with other virtues. A very big "IF", of course in a world tending toward a new high tech Dark Age.

Anonymous said...

Do people really not understand what Steve is referring to? I thought this was his most profound post in a while. Keep at it, the truth shall set you free!!

Anonymous said...

We often joke about the mindset that embraces modern liberalism being a mental disorder but all joking aside, I think it's a form or variant of narcissism.

The attribute called "narcissism" barely even begins to describe the underlying nihilism which motivates those folks.

Anonymous said...

lots of whites are filled with envy and resentment(and for good reason). They are envious of the smarter Jews who make lots of money and have attained Nietzschean dominance over the US(and the world).

PLAGIARISM ALERT!!

keypusher said...

You are right about Volokh, he is being surprisingly brave.

Marc B said...

"To the liberal, it's much more personal, literally, and therefore elicits a much more personal response."

I never argue any point based on "knowing" the underlying psychology that is REALLY influencing my opponents position (a spirited debate of any quality relies on the merits of each person's argument), yet I do think you are really on to something here.

kurt9 said...

The liberal-left has certainly become Orwellian and this Harvard law student case is a perfect example of it. However, I can't help notice that religious conservatives also engage in Orwellian style propaganda as well. They often twist the meaning of the word "liberty" to mean its opposite or when they make distinctions between the terms "liberty" and "license". All of these are examples of newspeak.

The Left and the Right have come full circle and have evolved into totalitarian concepts.

helene edwards said...

The Anon who thinks that whites resent black athletic superiority has it all wrong. If this had been true, NBA arenas would have emptied out once all-black starting fives began showing up in the early '80's. No, what whites resent is precisely that this physical superiority is not allowed to be acknowledged. Once we start with that prohibition on the obvious, it then becomes easier to also deny black criminality, which then ensures its continuance, which then makes life more expensive than it has to be as we all scramble for a place in Marin county or analog, desperate to find the physical safety that was a given before the system of black exemptions became entrenched. Anon's teachers did a crackerjack job on him.

Anonymous said...

"I use a different thought experiment to illustrate this sad truth. Imagine you are addressing a room full of people. We can let them be quite well-educated people, so long as they are not trained statisticians. A room full of students from some university Humanities department will do nicely. Now say the following thing to the room: “Men are, on average, taller than women.” I can almost guarantee—it is nearly a dead certainty—that someone in the room will stand up and say something like: “What about Sally? She’s taller than any of us. Taller than you, for sure—Ha ha ha ha!” The room will then consider your thesis to have been decisively exploded. Men taller than women? Nonsense! Look at Sally!"

What non-Leftists don't understand is that Leftists know that women are shorter on average than men but that IT DOESN'T MATTER. If the tallest woman isn't shorter than the shortest man then they think it wrong to act as if ANY woman is necessarily shorter than ANY man. They also assume that non-Liberals think this same way.

Svigor said...

Steve, what's your beef with my observation that non-gentiles need Europeans more than Europeans need non-gentiles? I'd think it was a desire to protect non-gentile sensibilities but you've got a guy on another thread straight out asserting that non-gentiles hate Europeans so can that really be it?

It seems like an obvious observation to me, and a quick counter to Euro-baiting like the Neechee Master Race comment above. But you consistently block this argument, which I only post in response to Euro-baiting.

Anonymous said...

You're wrong becaue I was watching Jeopardy the other day and the african american guy cleaned the floor with the two white people he was competing agains. Besides, I don't care to have this discussion with you, you're just wrong and creepy and I don't want to talk about it.

I worry about posts like the above. I think anon there is being ironic. But maybe not. After all, this thread is clearly subject to a quite a noticible troll attack.

wake up said...

>we should ignore the internet political 'echo chamber' -- and read the Huffington Post.

and the huffington post publisher is a story of an immigrant made good? is that what this ariana person is supposed to be? a model immigrant? who finds big success in sham marriages and yellow journalism? only in america? how about only in a broken country?

sorry but she is from greece one of the most corrupt nations on earth and taki would agree: there it is.....

this is the sort of person who strives to become governor......remember that? remember her in that ca race?

the unctuous climber now has her own weaponized media outlet! huzzah!

Charlie said...

"Nietzsche didn't obsess about race. He was for the GREAT INDIVIDUAL who transcended the collective mentality[...]If we are follow this principle, we white folks should abandon our collective sense of whiteness and admire GREAT INDIVIDUALS. When it comes to brain power, Jews are the masters of the universe. In creativity, homos have an edge(consider the Renaissance). In sports, blacks are #1."

I swear some people in blog comments must never experience any non-blog sensory input. Have you ever actually met any Jews? Funny guys, but pretty hard to worship. And Jews sure didn't get where they are today by "forgetting about race".

Nietzsche was just a pansy. His whole idea of "La gaya scienza" (well-named too) is just an intellectualized gay crush on sexy Latin men. And he hated Germans like himself...so much for not caring about race.

Who cares who is "the greatest"? Surely not the great. All I care about is who wants to screw me over. If somebody tries to help his race at the expense of mine, I can't afford to "transcend race"; as long as other people think in racial terms I *have* to do so as a matter of self-preservation. Try "transcending race" by moving into a neighborhood with a lot of those "supreme athletes" and you'll get a quick life lesson in racial self-awareness.

wake up said...

funny how orwell is rarely at the top of best novel lists......sure he gets on the list but not the rarified air at the top.....but george orwell is obviously the timeless author of his age.....he will be referenced thousands of years after his death like plato et al.....

orwell's insights into the mindset of that special cohort of homo sapiens - the hegemonic tyrant - burn like an eternal flame......

adfafdasfsdf said...

The problem with Stephanie Grace is she's been brought up to be too nice. She could send honest emails but folded under public pressure.
She had a rubber than iron spine, just like the douche girl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO7S2loSQKI&feature=related

Which is why we all feel like this kid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKkLcZUzctY&feature=related

Anonymous said...

the unctuous climber [A. Huffington] now has her own weaponized media outlet! huzzah!

She also rose without trace into the ranks of the British punditocracy before casting her net wider - to the US. She didnt spring fully formed onto the US scene directly from Greece.

Harry Baldwin said...

wake up said...funny how orwell is rarely at the top of best novel lists......

Two of my children aren't readers. The only book they had to read in high school that both of them liked was "1984."

Actually, I don't understand why they make kids read books like "The Scarlet Letter" unless it's to discourage them about the whole idea of reading. What adult would choose to read that book for enjoyment?

rob said...

That's bizarre. Mr. Sailer made a completely blank post. Let's talk about Jersey shore.

rich s. said...

B feynman wrote of Jeopardy.
Try this: On one weekend show (not part of the normal rotation), I saw a black woman getting creamed by her 2 white rivals. Near the end of the show, one question hinted that the episode was a couple of yrs. old. So I thought to myself, why rerun such an old show?
You guessed it: The 2 leaders bet BIG and lost. So the station thought, "This show is a keeper!"

Anonymous said...

"funny how orwell is rarely at the top of best novel lists......"

Frankly, he's not a great novelist - clunky characterization and plotting - though he's a brilliant political writer.

Polistra said...

"Here is a truth which Eric Blair successfully avoided thinking, presumably via crimestop:

Trotsky was as bad as Hitler!"

Nope, you've missed Orwell's point completely, diametrically and perfectly.

Orwell's TOTAL AND CONSTANT PURPOSE in his political writings was to convince his fellow Socialists that Soviet brutality was identical to Hitlerite brutality, and that their Sovietized minds were just as stupid and evil as Nazified minds.

David said...

> Having freedom of speech does not give one the right to say what one believes.<

Yes, that's the neo-Stalinists' argument in a nutshell. It's a solid contradiction, of course; but who cares about logic? The statement is an effective communication of a mindset - in this case, the mindset of baring one's teeth. People who express this should not be surprised if the response they get is of a similar kind.

Chief Seattle said...

It recently came as a surprise to me to find that Orwell wrote something other than 1984 (or Animal Farm). Down and out in Paris and London is laugh-out-loud funny, and The Road to Wigan Pier is an analysis that will appeal to anyone interested in historical enconomics. Orwell was a real Journalist. He lived the life before he wrote it, in a way that few writers of any age attempt - Twain for sure, John McPhee to some extent.

Dahlia said...

We can help get around this by pointing out what's wrong with formulating ideas based on erroneous premises.

In all the comments I read, I didn't see a single one from "our side", myself included, who argued with the notion that "good and justice" follow from believing in the noble lie. Unfortunately, Volokh's threads were so long by the time I came across them that I deemed it not worth the effort.

For example: section 8 housing and other schemes moving people from the projects to middle-class areas in order for them to live in a better culture and absorb these middle-class values. As Hannah Rosin showed in her Atlantic article, these schemes only sent the slaughters to the sheep.

These schemes were based on the idea that nature is wholly responsible for work ethic, intelligence, etc.

And there are thousands more examples to show the harm of the blank-slate philosophy.

Mr. Anon said...

"Polistra said...

Nope, you've missed Orwell's point completely, diametrically and perfectly.

Orwell's TOTAL AND CONSTANT PURPOSE in his political writings was to convince his fellow Socialists that Soviet brutality was identical to Hitlerite brutality, and that their Sovietized minds were just as stupid and evil as Nazified minds."

This is true. Another theme that Orwell wrote about (in "The Lion and the Unicorn" for example) was how he liked much of what made England English, and that a revolution which would sweep away a nation's character was not desirable. He was a real Englishman and a real English patriot.

Sixty years on, and it is his own side - the socialists - who are trying to destroy the very concept of Englishness. I rather suspect that, were he alive today, Orwell would vote straight BNP, their previous fascist leanings notwithstanding.

Mr. Anon said...

"Chief Seattle said...

It recently came as a surprise to me to find that Orwell wrote something other than 1984 (or Animal Farm). Down and out in Paris and London is laugh-out-loud funny, and The Road to Wigan Pier is an analysis that will appeal to anyone interested in historical enconomics. Orwell was a real Journalist. He lived the life before he wrote it, in a way that few writers of any age attempt - Twain for sure, John McPhee to some extent."

I agree, "Down and Out in Paris and London" - at least the Paris part of it - was uproariously funny. Another good one of his to check out is "Homage to Catalonia". It's not funny, but it is a gripping read. Orwell was an exceptionally good writer - not just in what he had to say, but in his technical mastery of english prose.

Ack said...

Frankly, [Orwell's] not a great novelist - clunky characterization and plotting - though he's a brilliant political writer.

Yes. But James Joyce solved the *clunky characterization and plotting* hurdles -more so than any other writer

Mr. Anon said...

"wake up said...

and the huffington post publisher is a story of an immigrant made good?

........the unctuous climber now has her own weaponized media outlet! huzzah!"

Ms. Huffington gives hope to shrill gold-digging fag-hag harpies the world over.

"Anonymous said...

She also rose without trace into the ranks of the British punditocracy before casting her net wider - to the US."

Much like her fellow foreign opinion maker, or should I say, opinion buyer - George Soros. After the war, he emigrated to Britain and studied at the LSE. He eventually paid the british people back for their generous welcome by attacking the pound, and costing the british treasury billions of dollars.

Such are the tribunes of the people that liberals have appointed for themselves.

Anonymous said...

It, The Revolution, really is all about forcing another human to guess how many fingers you are holding up [though your fingers are in plain sight].

In other words, toying with another human like a cat might toy with a mouse is the ultimate affirmation of God-like status according to the "tyrannus hegemonicus" Pyramid of Social Dominance.

In that outrageous Mel Gibson Mayan human sacrifice movie: the father figure of the rural tribe warns against allowing the urban sickness to take hold. He was talking about the same psychotic dominant personality disorder.

ben tillman said...

...as long as other people think in racial terms I *have* to do so as a matter of self-preservation.

Bravo, Charlie.

Anonymous said...

"...James Joyce solved the *clunky characterization and plotting* hurdles -more so than any other writer"

If Joyce solved those problems (definitely arguable), it's not as if Orwell followed up his solutions. Considered purely as a novelist, Orwell was conventional, pre-Joyce. Without their political content his novels are nothing special.

Anonymous said...

I'm the guy who argued Orwell was, technically, a mediocre novelist. I agree, though, that he was a great journalist, and Down and Out in London and Paris - which I happen to be re-reading - is hilarious.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

I'm the guy who argued Orwell was, technically, a mediocre novelist. I agree, though, that he was a great journalist, and Down and Out in London and Paris - which I happen to be re-reading - is hilarious."

I wouldn't call him a mediocre novelist. Whom I would call a mediocre novelist are those guys..........you know........all those guys who wrote novels in the 30s and 40s whose names we no longer even remember because they were so mediocre.

Orwell was an above average novelist.

Anonymous said...

"In sports, blacks are #1."

What sport? Most sports are not domintated by blacks. Even in the Summer Olympics many whites and Asians win medals.Blacks only dominate the sprint events. Soccer is not dominated by blacks. They only do well in football and basketball and there is some discrimination against whites in those 2 sports.

azmyth said...

"Blessed is the mind too small for doubt."