I think most of us were raised with a saying that goes “if ifs and ans were pots and pans, we’d all be fed.” Or “If wishes were horses all the beggars would ride.”
This is very important to remember. Particularly when our wishes seem to be “real.” Particularly when forming our vision of the past and the future.
Look, we can’t trust any of our institutions of learning. We can’t trust most of the research institutes, particularly in the softer sciences. The price we pay for allowing the left to take over the respected institutions, flay them, kill them, then wear their skins demanding respect, is that these institutions are not the ones you respected, and everything they say must be examined.
The downside of the death of prestige is that you can’t assume that anyone who has a college degree is literate; you can’t assume a “scientist” understands the basics of the scientific method (as proven by all those who think science is made via “consensus”); you can’t assume any statistics bandied about were collected in any rational way; you can’t afford to believe that even if the underlying statistics are right, the reporting of them is (take that thing about women losing ground, or whatever that went around; most of what it seemed to show is that when women can afford to they stay home with the children. I don’t think this is a problem, and neither should you. And if you do, you should ask yourself who died and made you the arbiter of strangers’ lives.); the census has been corrupted by counting “invisible” populations, mostly to hide the decline of big cities, and well… we know we can’t rely on economic numbers. All of this without going into the whole “hide the decline” boondoggle.
Part of the problem is that the left has “conquered” all the think tanks (well, the overwhelming majority) and all the educational facilities.
Someone here once accused me of everything I said (for a while) was “They taught you this and it was a lie.” BUT we’ve all been taught an awful lot of lies. And when the lies aren’t outright lies, they are framed in a narrative that is. And some of these narratives are seductive even to libertarians.
If you’re attuned to the psychological state of the left, which is more or less that of a collective organism (not because they’re not individuals, but because their narrative at the moment is proclaimed by myriad institutions all speaking in unison, because their opinion is “what the good people believe” and because it fits in the overall just-so story of Marxism, so that Marxist narratives are the path of least resistance) you can kind of trace what is likely to be a lie. For instance, when something calls for more government oversight/control it’s likely to be a lie. (Not always, but likely.) When something is in detriment of the economy/the US/humanity/civilization in that order, it’s likely to be a lie, and a favored lie of the left at the moment.
Since ninety one they’ve been experiencing a state of disconfirmation of their cherished beliefs and between denial and resentment, they’ve come to hate more than the US and wealth, which they already hated, humanity as a whole.
So we had the person here yesterday defending the POLITICAL SCIENCE professor who claimed civilization was a mistake because becoming non-nomad agriculturalists “exposed us to illness” and “crop failure.”
Sure, it did that. To an extent. More people together exposes you to illness, but at the same time it gives you resistance to illness. You have only to look at the meeting of Europeans and Amerindians and see who weathered it better. It wasn’t the hunter gatherers. By the sole yard stick of “who survives” the agriculturalists (for a definition of agriculturalism) did better.
As for crop failures, they happened when we were gatherers. As did sudden game death. At least as agriculturalists, we had some control and EVENTUALLY surplus which is what buys us freedom.
Yet there are many libertarians who also think pre-history was some mythical land of freedom. It’s easy to put the paradises of communists and libertarians in pre-history, due to the simple fact there are no written documents and though anthropologists tell us potsherds aren’t culture, people forget that. You can project all sorts of things to grave goods, forgetting we find a tiny minority of graves and often don’t know what those MEAN.
One thing we do know, though: Pre-historical people WERE PEOPLE. And before they were people, they were great apes. Creatures of the band. AND every band has a big man, eve when the man is an ape. Sure they range from monarchies to outright tyrannies, depending on the big man, but none of them is big on freedom. A lot of people — mostly men — don’t recognize familial tyranny, particularly when the big man is a woman, and leading from behind the scenes, but it can often be the worst kind of oppression. (One of the reasons I love Patricia Wentworth is that she GOT that. Which says nothing good about her upbringing, but there it is.)
It’s tempting to imagine this mythical individual freedom existed somewhen and that when we’re fighting for it, we’re not building something new with inadequate materials. But it goes against the (admittedly few) facts we have. And it dovetails neatly into the left’s “We’ll destroy civilization because it won’t let us have paradise.”
Reason and more than enough reason to be suspicious. And when you get suspicious, dig. Most of the narrative cannot survive a good probing. It’s built on air and bullshit. Dig. Find the facts. Do not tolerate contradictions.
IF a narrative is too seductive, it’s reason enough to probe it.
If our neolithic ancestors were so well off, why did they change? If Amerindians lived in harmony with nature, why were ecological systems way out of balance in the US? If only the US is evil, are other people not human?
Look behind the lie. The truth is usually not even that well hidden. And even if all around you believe a lie it doesn’t make it true.
Surviving the mess ahead REQUIRES telling falsehood from fact. And some of the mechanisms to reinforce the lie were planted in our head by our education. Some we’re not even aware of.
But humanity will not survive, certainly not with technology, by going with pretty lies. We need the truth to steer by.
“What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!” – Robert A. Heinlein.
(Sorry this is so late. WordPress was acting WEIRD. I speak advisedly. It outright refused to post for a couple of hours.)