*This post is unusually typo-ey and has missing words. Sorry. Written between one and two am. Those of you who program, this is like midnight code. Sorry. We’re headed out for TVIW and will be gone till Wednesday. And I’ve been getting things ready.*
I’m not a Freudian, though I spent a lot of time studying Freudian theory when I was young and stupid. My sympathies were always closer to Carl Jung, until of course I realized that both Freudianism and Jungism were just-so-stories to explain how people worked, and I moved on to writing outright fiction which has the advantage of being more fun. (Okay, I’m eliding several years as a multilingual translator and other jobs, but this makes a better story.)
However, both of them made way more sense than Behaviorism, that bastard child of Pavlov’s experiments and the reason I incapacitated myself with laughter when I stumbled on the Heinlein quote (I remember it in translation, as I first read it, so it might not be exact. The Heinleins the boys didn’t steal are packed for the move) “Every time a dog drools, a Pavlovian has to ring a bell.”
The same thing that made me rolls my eyes at the whole stimulus/reaction nonsense also made me raise my eyebrow at Asimov’s contention that he didn’t believe in the subconscious. And explained to me what I’d always felt about his characters, that they were convenient plot devices but unmemorable.
While both he and Heinlein would often go for the nutty soft science theories of the day, Heinlein is still eminently readable. You might not like the plot and disagree with the message, but his characters move right in, sit beside you and nudge you for a drink.
Asimov wrote some great (or entertaining) stories. I used to love his sf mysteries. But I read the Foundation trilogy three times and not only fail to remember most of it, but none of the characters made an impression. They were there. They did what they did, and then they were gone, like the taste of Californian wine. One moment on the tongue and gone.
There is a point to this.
Heinlein was many things, in his life, starting arguably as a socialist, back int he innocent days when people didn’t fully realize socialism is always the primrose path to communism (or fascism) and when the twentieth century hadn’t been filled with the graves of the victims of socialist experimentation. He ended, if I can believe what his widow told me (and I think I can) by voting for Reagan, having moved in a libertarianish direction. (Even if he had problems with the Libertarian Party itself.) In the middle there, he helped Ginny campaign for Goldwater. And no one can read his books without getting that most of all he put his face in the individual over the collective. No one can read his books, either, without being fairly sure that he didn’t believe humans were infinitely perfectible. Mostly his humans were humans. They smoked and spit, they cursed and sweated. Humans, like us.
Asimov was a progressive in the current mold. He didn’t believe in the subconscious. I don’t know if he believed humans were infinitely perfectible. I doubt it, because he wasn’t a complete fool. But he might have. It seems to be an article of faith among the progressives.
Yesterday I found myself in a comment section, reading comment after comment justifying things like Trump saying that he wants single payer care, because “well, he has to do something, and why not that.”
This in a conservative site, by so called “conservatives” who think that, oh, Cruz and Rubio are insufficiently conservative.
This is bad enough, because it’s a manifestation of the irrationality I keep meeting with in his supporters, even those whom I KNOW aren’t usually irrational. I’ve heard everything from “I know he probably is as bad as the rest, but whom else can I vote for?” to “But Cruz is in league with banksters” (while Trump is Simon pure) to other pieces of insanity that boil down to: he could eat a live baby on camera and I’d still vote for him.
And the reason for that is always the same “He tells it like it is.”
Um… yeah, to an extent. I mean. He tells feminists to STFU, and he talks back. But he also tells it like it isn’t, calling a “loser” to anyone who dares defy him, and generally acting like a crazy drunken uncle at a wedding. And those aren’t usually that popular.
In the end, like Ross Perot, he’s doing something, though.
It is not what his supporters think it is or the reason they tell us they like him. It’s something deeper, something I doubt he himself knows he’s tapping. And I hope to heaven he has no idea what he’s unleashing.
I’ve spoken here before of talking to my boys when they were very little, and having them be puzzled at cartoons, and how in cartoons all the girls are brave and have adventures, while in real life girls just wanted to be pretty and do quiet stuff.
In the same way, my first year in the Us, as an exchange student, I was a little puzzled at commercials, which always showed a kid of each race, or an adult of each race. In my experience of life, it was always self-segregated along racial lines.
And that’s what is driving the insanity. You see, the progressives think there is no such thing as the subconscious. So they think humans are infinitely perfectible, clay for the social engineer’s moldings.
But humans aren’t that. Humans are built on an ape-frame. That means that humans tend to resist attempts to make them over.
Only life is good and we have things to do, so we just make the right noises and exhibit surface compliance and after a while even the races mix more, and even guys make obligatory comments about how women are so much better and “strong” women and “empowering” women. And society lurches on.
But there is a tension that builds in the human animal between what they are told is the truth and their lying eyes.
It is that tension Trump is tapping and its power is so great that it’s MOSTLY sweeping under the carpet the fact he’s as much a socialist as Hillary and probably as corrupt if one judges by his lifetime of “business” which is done the way it is in crony capitalism, by taking advantage of everyone else. (But he’s a national socialist, so we have that, right?)
Reading the comments about not minding that he is crooked, not caring if he wants to institute single payer, and being okay with his support of planned parenthood, I just kept shaking my head.
But then there were the other comments, and you’ve seen them, and I’ve seen them. I remember the days when Storm Fronters got kicked out of every even semi-decent arena, and got told to take their ideas of racial supremacy and their anti-scientific belief in their racial purity and fold it all in corners and put it where the sun don’t shine.
But people are so confused that they think they have to permit anything. And so monsters of the id come out and strut about. The repressed and its lunacy, the subconscious where infantile ideas compost explodes from otherwise rational people, which is why we had precious snowflakes here trying to maintain that you have to have anglo-saxon blood to understand the Constitution. (I guess they don’t have any.) and other absurd ideas even the vile progs would disdain. (Btw being from the North of Portugal if I don’t have at least 50% anglo-saxon blood, it’s a miracle.)
And it goes back. It goes back a long time. Societies endure traumas and take damage that remains hidden, just like individuals do. It probably wasn’t the best thing to react to the trauma of WWI and WWII with the prog project of reforming Man. They interpreted it all wrong, took all the wrong lessons, and proceeded to fill more graves trying to mold us into shape.
And it spilled to the victors of those wars, too. America took damage from — not civil rights, as such, not the legislated EQUALITY of opportunity BUT EQUALITY OF RESULTS — from enforced stupidity. I mean, equal rights before the law and the right to compete equally, sure, but the only way the government knows to do that is to enforce quotas, which rob the exceptional of achievement and which distort what should be a meritocracy. Then it set about enforcing non-sexism, the exact same way. And it enforced non-monopoly and non-exploitation of workers (all of this in the name of remaking society) in such a way that only big corporations can run through all the gauntlets the government creates. The small businessman can’t. Innovation becomes more difficult.
But more importantly, the common man felt forced more and more to ignore what he saw and his own instincts. I mean, really, low flush toilets? So that you have to flush them four times, use more water and lose time too? Or perhaps our lightbulbs, which were taken from us so we could be given poisonous twists of gas which didn’t work very well? Or should we talk about California desertifying itself so that it can save the delta smelt? (Which I understand makes a good fish fry.)
The absurdities multiply and the vile progs, convinced that what they see on the surface of humans is all there is, push and push and push.
If they’d stopped pushing it would be one thing, but the latest push into every single human endeavor, from science to comic books, trying to enshrine a “the more victimy the better” ethos has driven a lot of people nuts.
And then there was Trump. No. He’s not a great savior. He’s a conventional democrat, so insulated and wealthy that he just blurts out whatever. And the media build him up. Of course they do. He’s one of them. A reality TV star. And the establishment, if they can’t have Jeb, will be happy with him. He can deal. Why, even Carter says so. He’s flexible.
But the monsters of the ID don’t care for any of that. They just care that they can dance naked in the sun after years of people not letting them out.
There aren’t that many raw racists in this country. We’re too mixed for that. But there is a fringe of every race that absolutely believes theirs is superior.
The problem is after years of lying to them and telling them that only whites are racists, you can’t put them back in the closet again. You can’t shame them.
It would be one thing if the crazy White Supremacists only went after Black Lives Matter, but they won’t. They’ll go after normal people, just like the crazy Black Supremacists do.
And it would be fine if every man who has ever made me cringe by going on about how women are smarter than men just said, “No, I’m sorry. Women have some great qualities, but for most of them spatial reasoning sucks.”
But this is not what’s happening. What’s happening is that we’re seeing men running around absolutely convinced that having a penis makes them better than any woman no matter how accomplished. Yeah, they’re a minority. But the common decency that would cause other guys to hold them in check is not there anymore (except here. Thanks guys) because after all the lies, who knows how to stop the crazy without using more lies anymore? And no one is sure where the truth is. Even when it’s rather obvious.
The repressed looms much larger than simple reality and blinds people. The unspeakable can be shouted and people are paralyzed, unsure where the boundaries are and why.
This is the result of twisting people and trying to change them beyond what human nature permits.
It will settle down. But until it does it’s going to be ugly. And dangerous. And it’s going to foist creatures like Trump on us, whose only saving grace is stroking the monsters and flattering them. And it will cause fights where no fight should be. We might even get the prog’s hope for a race war.
When the dust settles, though, where will we be? Will we have reset to pre WWII and a society of conformity which leads inevitably to 1984?
I hope not and I think our technology is pulling us the other way.
But the Monsters from the Id are as much as anything else an infantile safety mechanism, trying to drag us back to what is safe.
And in bringing our internal clock in line with reality, it’s very easy to also run back to that safe place in childhood where technology is predictable and where the “important men” (mostly women, but never mind) look after us and keep us fed and happy.
Which is why the Trump followers are okay with him mooting single payer. (I wonder if they realize that there will be no doctors and substandard care. I doubt it. And if I asked, they’d say that doctors will be FORCED to serve for salaries similar to teachers. Because you know, daddy is going to make everything work, never mind if someone has to be enslaved.)
Whether he wins or not, things are going to get very dangerous.
Prepare and be ready. And however many monsters of the ID stomp around you, remember you’re an adult and have responsibility for your actions.
In the crazy years, the best you can do is keep yourself sane.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre….