May 10, 2013

Speaking Power to Truth

As the crushing of Dr. Jason Richwine reminds us, a popular pastime in 21st Century America is to speak power to truth.

As I wrote recently:

I'm reminded of a famous quote from 1984:
There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Orwell turned out to be wrong about secret policemen: over the course of the 20th Century, even they tended to get tired of killing and beating massive numbers of people. The KGB stopped shooting political prisoners or working them to death in the uranium mine, and  instead just locked them up in psychiatric hospitals.

But Orwell's real subject, the one he knew best from introspection and socializing, was the intellectual mind (e.g., Eric Blair). And, for his kind, he hasn't been proven wrong yet about the metaphorical "intoxication of power, ... the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless."

Granted, vastly swelling the population of America with disposable diaper-dropping Mexicans in the name of protecting the environment sounds pretty prima facie stupid. But that's not the point. The point is to grab any available tool to hammer The Enemy: i.e., other white people whom you find disagreeable. 

And that never gets old.

Theodore Dalrymple has famously noted:

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better."

22 comments:

The Radical Centrist said...

Hilary Clinton asks a liberal activist at the 2016 Dem convention, "Tell me, liberal activist, what is best in life?"

The liberal activist responds, "To crush the rethuglicans, to see them banned from DemocraticUnderground, and to hear the post-election lamentations of the FreeRethuglicans."


Christ Christie asks a conservative activist at the 2016 GOP convention, "Tell me, conservative activist, what is best in life?"


The conservative activist responds, "To crush the libtards, to see them banned from FreeRepublic, and to hear the post-election lamentations of the DUmmies."



The real truth is that no one of any visibility wants to fix anything, except Bush wanted to crush the enemy abroad to enhance his legacy ("I'm a war president!") and Obama wants to get back some revenge on blue collar whites for racism. The politicians are sociopaths. The party activists and loyalists are embroiled in a propaganda version of tribal warfare.

And the political commentators and pundits and bloggers just want money, and so they target the largest blocs.

The bankruptcy of the fed govt is the only change we will get. And that will be a very good thing...

Anonymous said...

Steve, I also loved your line about "Imagine a human nose being rubbed in diversity, forever."

Anonymous said...

If I were Richwine I would offer my research and my services to the Chinese. Screw this country. Let the liberal fascists continue to run roughshod over heretics--the heretics have an option.

Anonymous said...

The end of a civilization comes when it is no longer possible to speak the truth, when you are required to spout dogma and lies in order to kowtow to power. Power WANTS you to spout obvious lies in order to rub your humiliation in your face. Speaking the truth is easy - anyone can do it. But only the crushed and humiliated can speak lies that they know are lies. The scientific era is now officially over in the West. We are all Lysenkoists now.

Anonymous said...

Trotsky and Mao called it 'permanent revolution'.

Never let up lest the 'capitalist roaders' return.

In a way, it's good strategy. Capitalist roaders did return to China.

And if taboos were loosened, there would be lots of discussion of race and racial differences as such would only be natural in a nation with so many different people of varying talents.

Anonymous said...

What happens when those colored people decide to be done with both groups of the white people?

Anonymous said...

The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.

Aldous Huxley, Preface to Brave New World

corvinus said...

If I were Richwine I would offer my research and my services to the Chinese. Screw this country. Let the liberal fascists continue to run roughshod over heretics--the heretics have an option.

Strike "Chinese" and replace with "Russians".

Anonymous said...

Murray's take is nice:

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/10/charles-murray-weighs-in-on-richwine-resignation/

John Cunningham said...

the entire Theodore Dalrymple
quote is most instructive--
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

IHTG said...

DeMuth vs. DeMint. Heh.

countenance said...

I think the real dystopianism we have to fear is more Huxleyite than Orwellian.

Yes, speaking power to truth is what has to happen in these Goliath vs David battles.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the intellectual bankruptcy and corruption of the USA shocks even me.

I'm almost to the point of giving up on America. Yes, I know the dumb and corrupt have always dominated but its getting past that point. Nobody even PRETENDS to care about the country as a whole- its all "how can I make more money?" and "how can my ethnic group win more?

Bush and Obama, the WSJ and the NYT, NRO and New Republic, its like the Pigs and farmers at the end of "Animal Farm"

Mr. Anon said...

"countenance said...

I think the real dystopianism we have to fear is more Huxleyite than Orwellian."

Perhaps so. But the recent spectacle in Watertown suggests that the old fashioned form of tyranny may yet still have a lot of life in it.

Anonymous said...

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever."

At least one thing is certain it can't be forever because they're too uncontrollably destructive. They even wreck their own dystopias eventually and head off to richer pastures.

Anonymous said...

I'm not taking issue with the Orwell comparison, but I think that these beliefs are better understood as religious beliefs, not political. The reactions of the elites remind me not so much of 1984 as of pre-modern Churchmen struggling to maintain their power. The earth revolves around the sun? Different groups have different IQs? BURN HIM?

Cail Corishev said...

I'm almost to the point of giving up on America. Yes, I know the dumb and corrupt have always dominated but its getting past that point.

The most depressing thing for me is the way the working-class people I know are so willing to denigrate and abandon their fellows in other industries which are under attack. It doesn't surprise me to hear this stuff from billionaires and NYT writers. But I talk to farmers who completely buy that American programmers are lazy and unproductive so we have to hire Indians, who are really smart and work harder. Then I talk to programmers who completely buy that Americans just won't harvest food or butcher animals for any price, so naturally we have to hire those hard-working, family-oriented Mexicans to do it.

Americans just plain enjoy bashing other Americans who are outside their own small bubble. Even people of the same class aren't safe, if they're in a different industry. They've all learned to parrot the same line: "Americans just won't/can't do job X." How did we come to believe our own countrymen are so universally worthless as compared to anyone from anywhere else -- and be downright gleeful about saying it?

Harry Baldwin said...

The Dalrymple quote is great but I think there's something going on with propaganda beyond intimidation. A great number of people end up truly being programmed by it, like Pavlov's dogs. The relentless anti-gun propaganda since the late '60s had resulted in school administrations that fly into a panic when boys point fingers at each other and say "bang." This isn't intimidation, it's conditioning. Similarly, I don't think Obama couldn't have been elected had the public not been primed by all the movies and TV programs that depicted wise and capable African American presidents.

rob said...

The Radical Centrist, who before was a Lady in the Desert, then a Pistol Penis Penis Symbol snake in the grass chick, then a think another variation on the Weapon Cock Female theme, but I don't remember. I think 'she' dropped that handle after getting clocked in one or two comments.

The combo of blatant dishonesty, trying the same tactics again instead of slinking off in shame, constantly accusing other people of dishonesty, and thinking or claiming that 'she' has special insight or knowledge of the 'why am I the only one who sees' variety makes 'her' look like a sociopath. We tend to discount the view of that sort of trash.

I'm not sure if we're always right. The Sociopathic and narcissistic types tend to be very good at fooling decent people because they work so hard at. We might just be seeing a survivorship bias. The ones who can't fool people really well probably end up in prison or murdered fairly fast. Remember those like 10 or 11 year old kids who raped and murdered a little kid that they kidnapped? I think it was one of them. When he was convicted, and the parents of the boy the thing had murdered started crying he asked 'Why are you crying? I'm the one who's going to prison?' The ones who don't know that not everyone is S&N, and even though they don't 'get' it, understand that the meat-bots behave as if they do.

I'm more than willing to think that sociopathic narcissists can spot each other almost on sight. It's a helpful ability for them: monster A don't want to try to use monster B and rely. Monster B might just cut out monster A's eyes cuz he's always thought that'd be cool to watch.

TL;DR The radical centrist thinks most politicians all sociopaths. I'm going with the 'it takes one to know one.' I think she's right.

When it comes to people who aren't sociopaths 'her' analysis is hilariously bad, because 'she' radically does not get people It's laughable that Sailer quit marketing to blog for the money.
The idea that pundits are in it just for the money is silly. She doesn't understand that some people actually believe stuff.

Because the Centrist is too coy by half, I will lay out Sailer's master plan for you dimwitted rubes who are too naive to fall of a turnip truck.

1) Get and MBA
2) Leave marketing research
3) Write for national review, and be too honest
4) Get fired from NR
5) Blog and piece together a hand to mouth existence as a writer to be vilified by much more prominent people who are happy to crib from him
6)?
7) MONEY! WOMEN! POWER!

Glad Radical Centrist and I could help you rubes. Gods, your like a bunch of children!

Hal Vendor said...

Honest question: who is arguing that Gang-of-Eight-style immigration "reform" will benefit the environment?

Anonymous said...

Steve, I just wanted to post my appreciation for the great work you do. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"What happens when those colored people decide to be done with both groups of the white people?"

Well, the inner party will invoke the right of return and fly off to Tel Aviv, leaving the inscription "So long suckers" scrawled on the airport restroom wall.