Last Crusade 12: The Reality of Reality

Every age has its peccadilloes. In the modern age, blatantly to deny the obvious is our most obvious dishonesty. We live in the era of the unreal.

I can only offer, as an observation, what the passage of decades and the observation of the doings of modern men from my viewpoint, first from a law office, and later from the bullpen of a newspaper, have taught me. More proof than that is beyond my power to give: I can but point at the sight. You must look for yourself, and see.

What I observed is that modern men routinely would deny the undeniable, ignoring clear and evident dangers to life and liberty; while at the same time and in the same spirit, cower and shriek like Chicken Little at utterly imaginary and unreal threats.

One example of countless will illustrate: A modern man with a modern so-called education routinely is able to look at the evidence of thousands terrorist murders, bombings, and beheadings inspired by the Islamic faith over decades, and look at one act of violence from one semi-agnostic man with mental problems, and from this conclude that Christianity is the real and serious threat, whereas Islam is the religion of peace.

Each of the thousand acts of Islam-inspired terrorism the modern takes to be a solitary aberration or lone wolf, not related to any other, and not representative of the whole of Islam; any possible act of violence that can be attributed to a man who may or may not be Christian, however, is representative of the whole of Christianity, exposing its innate and inevitable violence nature, and sufficient grounds to condemn it, root and branch.

It only very slowly dawned on me what defined this kind of thinking. It is a loyalty to unreality as such.

The loyalist to unreality says he believes things that are obviously false, and denies things that are obviously true.

And the more obvious it is, the more blatant, irrational, absurd, mind-boggling and stupid, nay, the more insolent these false affirmations and denials, the more loyalty is thereby publicly displayed, and the greater, in his mind, is the honor.

To say that you believe UFOs are visitors from other planets, or to say you believe in ghosts, is no great honor. The evidence on those topics is obscure, and it tweaks no one’s nose to say such things.

But to say you believe a man merely by so saying can be a woman, and that society must treat him as a woman in all things, from bathroom use to pronoun use, aha! That is truly unreal. That shows true loyalty to madness.

I call it the Unreality Principle.

This odd loyalty to unreality takes place on two levels: the philosophical, and the practical.

On the philosophical level, a man who speaks on any deep issue will be debated and doubted not about the debatable and doubtful conclusions he reaches, but on the self-evident hence indubitable first principles on which all thought is grounded.

The modern so-called education teaches that there is no certainty, only probability; no truth, only opinion; no free will, no laws of logic, and no innate meaning to life, the universe, or anything.

Obviously if we lived in such a universe, no debate and no disciplined thought on any topic would be possible: imagine trying to do math in a universe where two is only an approximation of two, and twice two was only probably four.

This unreality principle applies to questions of science, law and economics as well.

A man with a modern so-called education who would never think about denying any step of the complex chain of inferences and observations leading to a concept like quantum entanglement, Darwinism, or manmade global warming, will nonetheless blandly deny that male and female are two different sexes.

A man with a modern so-called education will blandly say that goods can be consumed before they are produced, or that the prices of goods and services can be calculated without a prices.

A man with a modern so-called education to whom the legal reasoning behind institutions such as the Grand Jury or the practice of imposing penalties for perjury is opaque, will nonetheless deem it a serious and profound legal question to ask what the meaning of “is” is.

Saying the opposite sexes are also the same sex, or saying that “is” is not “is”, involves a paradox in speech beyond the level of a zen koan. Each is merely a stark denial that reality is real.

These doubts come not from liars, idiots and fools but from honest and so-called educated men who have been taught it is ethically problematical and socially unacceptable to adhere to hold indubitable first principles. They were taught that morality and courtesy consist of speaking and thinking like liars, idiots and fools.

As a result, modern conversations and debates end up, with tedious predictability, shipwrecked on the same shoal. The modern so-called educated man makes a dishonest, idiotic, and foolish demand that the starting point of the debate, the point too obvious for debate, be debated.

Typically, the demand is unspoken, for to deny the obvious in an obvious fashion would be obviously foolish.

So that modern so-called educated man does not say, “It is true that no truth is true!” Instead he says, “Anyone who says he knows the truth is a fanatic, and a danger to us all.”

Likewise, the modern so-called education man does not say, “It is objectively true for all races of man, and both sexes, that their truths are subjective and relative to race and sex, hence differ.” Instead he says, “One cannot trust what a white male says!”

Likewise again, the modern so-called educated man does not say, “I do not have free will, and thus these words I now seem to utter are merely the byproduct of a mechanical operation of moving voicebox parts beyond my control.” He says, “You do not have free will. Merely by being born white, you are the beneficiary of White Privilege, and hence are jointly and severally guilty of bigotry of which you yourself are unaware and did not intend. The words you say are due to your genetic background and social-cultural conditioning.”

Typically, these and other objections raised by the modern so-called educated man include a point that he himself tacitly must admit even in order for his objection to be voiced, such as, for example that words have meaning, or that truth is true, or knowledge is known, or that a conclusion of fallacious reasoning does not necessarily follow.

Obviously a man who says that truth is not true and knowledge is unknown and logic is illogical cannot propose a statement nor buttress it with any reasoned evidence or deduction, on the grounds that he refutes himself.

But when the self-refutation is pointed out to him in rebuttal, the modern so-called educated man ignores the point, changes the subject, or repeats his self-refuting statement as if it were a mystery of faith. Typically he denounces the opposition as morally or mentally defective for daring to see the self-contradiction in the dogma.

So the philosophers of the modern age find themselves in a kindergarten level of debate, explaining things to grown so-called educated men which any schoolchild knows, things starkly, blatantly and painfully obvious, such as that truth is true, logic is logical, and reality is real.

And, unfortunately, explaining the obvious is the most boring task to which the written word has ever been put, because everyone in the modern so-called educated audience already knows the obvious, whether he admits it or not. The speaker knows that the audience members know. And the audience members know the speaker knows they know. The whole thing is a charade without point, and therefore even the pleasure of a game of charades is lost.

Like the spines on a hedgehog or the stench of a skunk, the purpose of the demand for proof of the obvious is to create enough tedium to repel any further talk. The ritual of pretending not to know the obvious is not meant to spur conversation but to deter it.

Forcing all philosophical inquiries into the most boring channel of the stream of thought is precisely meant to run it aground. It is meant to keep active and alert minds away from certain conversations, and to deter certain thoughts from being said aloud.

If a man starts a conversation, let us say, on the topic of whether or not the President of the United States should or should not face impeachment for perjuring himself before a Grand Jury, is a Constitutional question with legal and moral ramifications requiring sober concentration and rigorous attention.

If the skunk or hedgehog can shift the conversation to the distasteful topic of whether the phrase “sexual relations” includes sodomy but not copulation, or the stupid topic of whether the word “is” refers to one act versus an ongoing series of acts, the jurors will be bored and disgusted, concentration will break, attention will ebb.  The skunk has won!

The only cost to the skunk is that he be soaked in stink. But a skunk of no character, cavorting with other skunks, does not seek for his character to smell sweet.

All human thought presupposes certain assumptions without which thought cannot exist. The belief that logic is arbitrary, for example, makes it logically impossible to affirm any conclusions necessarily implied by this belief. The chain of reasoning halts. You can still speak words, but they are jabberwocky, having no necessary relationship one to another.

Such words no longer represent reality and are no longer meant to do so: `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe has exactly as much meaning, and as little, as ‘is’ is not ‘ is’.

Contrariwise, to be fair, since Humpty Dumpty explains what some of these nonsense words mean to little Alice, perhaps jabberwocky language is more rational, clear, and real than what comes out of the mouths and pens of modern so-called educated men. I chortle at the thought.

On a practical level, the continual effort to shift any conversation about any real topic into an unreal conversation about nonsense and jabberwocky is a way to maximize the psychological profit at the minimal intellectual and personal cost.

Any man smarter than another, or more eloquent, or more expert in a given field, might overcome the case that other man is trying to make in the courtroom of public opinion. Smart people are smarter than stupid people. This is an unfairness built into human nature.

But if the other can shift the conversation to a topic where an inequality of intelligence or eloquence simply does not matter, the playing field is level.

So if the other is talking with a lawyer about the law, a field he has studied but the other has not, or talking with a philosopher about philosophy, all the other need do to shift the conversation to a topic more advantageous to hims is to throw a hysterical fit, start babbling about hallucinatory and imaginary figments flitting through the cavernous emptiness and gloom of his brain, roll on the ground like a man possessed by unclean spirits, and accuse, accuse, accuse his opponent of hurting his or someone else’s ever-so-very sensitive feelings.

No mature woman, and no sane man of any age, would dare behave in this childish, silly, and manipulative way. But when a man of ordinary decency is having a polite conversation with a crazy, mean and vindictive schoolgirl on the street, and she starts crying, screaming for the police, tearing her hair, and holding out her shivering hands to the alarmed bystanders, our ordinary man is likely to drop the previous topic, and say whatever soothing thing needs be said, or offer any apology he needs to offer, merely to lower the pitch and volume of the insane clamor.

The same principle works for a black woman smearing herself with offal, a white woman emailing in rape threats to herself, a black man spray-painting swastikas on his own house, or a Jew phoning in bomb threats to his own people’s graveyards: in each case, the attacker needs to pretend to be the victim of attack, in order to gain immunity from criticism, immunity from truth, immunity from reality. The conversation and public attention now shifts to placating, ameliorating and restoring the victim from the harms suffered. Never mind that they were self inflicted.

This same principle works also in any conversation or public debate where the topic can be shifted from the subject matter (where your intelligence or expertise might give you an advantage) to the question of whether you are guilty of problematic or inappropriate behavior by daring to discuss the subject matter.

It is considered rude, for example, to have firm opinions on any controversial topic. The modern so-called educated man has been taught, as an ironclad principle to which there are no exceptions, that there are no ironclad principles and no exceptions. Education teaches that it is not merely rude, but is discrimination, to have discriminating judgment, to detect the difference between good and evil. It is not evil to be evil, but it is evil to be certain that good is better than evil. Education teaches that certainty is the source of evil, for without certainty, there can be no conflicts of opinions, hence no tumults, revolutions or wars. They are certain of it.

So you will not be accused of some violation of an objective standard or clear rule known to all. You will be accused of trespassing on the tender feelings of someone unduly sensitive. Best of all, that someone is usually theoretical, and not present for cross-examination, such as members of a minority on whose behalf your accuser is bringing the accusation.

You see, the state of mind, including the degree of your trespass in wounding their feelings, of a purely hypothetical person not present in the conversation, is a matter where, being utterly unmoored from reality, everyone is equally an expert. I can say what a Heffalump or Woozle or other imaginary creature might find offensive as equally as you can, or Humpty Dumpty, or anyone else. Because there are no rules and no standards in a conversation utterly divorced from reality, no umpire, no arbitrator, and no restrictions, I can say anything that pops into my head.

The trouble of gathering facts and marshalling arguments vanishes. Any idiot can now suddenly voice words as loudly as any expert. And discriminating between idiotic evil and sober experience is ruled a hate crime, and out of bounds for the conversation. When all conversations are turned into shouting matches, the one with the loudest argument, not the best, wins the prize.

You are accused of some crime that has a real and objective standard, you are in the position to bring proof and evidence to bear, and there are objective grounds for saying you did or did not violate the standard. But you are accused of Anti-Heffalumpry and called a Woozlephobe, this crime is whatever the loudest and most hysterical voice in the conversation says it is.

Because, keep in mind, as a decent man all you are doing is trying to calm down and the crying and screaming, because the bystanders are looking at you askance, wondering what kind of monster would make the helpless cry. But as a zealot for unreality, the purpose of the hysteric is merely to derail the conversation. And if the only thing you can do to fend off false accusations of being a member of the rape culture, or the patriarchy, or a card-carrying beneficial of imaginary white privileges, is to shut up, rather than face the anger of the mob, you will shut up. That is the hope of the lying hysteric, who is using your own decency against you.

And it costs the hysteric nothing to ruin your reputation. The hysteric has no honor to lose. Whereas, once ruined, the costs of rebuilding your honor and reputation are high, perhaps beyond reach. So this is the white blackmail so often described by Ayn Rand: the use of your own decency, courtesy and reserve by persons who have none of these things to hinder, trip and wound you.

Here is another advantage to the Unreality Principle: the screaming schoolgirl when she makes her accusations, gets the most advantage for the least effort if she accuses you of her own flaws.

If she is a liar, she calls you a liar. That way, if ever the truth comes out about her, any unwary onlookers will simply assume you and she are both liars.

If she is motivated by hatred and malice, she will say that of you. That way, if any unwary onlooker stumbles across evidence making it clear that she is malicious, his own lazy sense of fairness will tempt him to believe you must also be malicious, at least a little, because you and she level the same accusations at each other.

The idea that you are leveling a true accusation solely because it is true, and that she is leveling a false one solely because it is false, is not likely to occur to a casual passerby. No one reading in the newspaper about what a bigot and Woozlephobe you are will care in the slightest whether you are innocent. Even people who know the newspaper lies about other things, will assume there must be some crumb of truth here, because such average, innocent people have never run across the clinically morbid form of perfect unreality in thought, word, and deed before. The unwary have never seen nor heard about someone who makes perfectly absurd and perfectly false accusations merely for the delight of falsehood, out of a deep and pathological hatred of truth and reason. Such a state of mind is unimaginable to a sane person.

Unimaginable, but not inimitable. A man who is not perfectly psychotic and not a hysterical schoolgirl, when he finds himself floundering in some intellectual endeavor, could easily adopt the same sort of rhetorical tactic. He is not a monster himself, but he can act monstrous this one time, or on this one topic. Instead of arguing the point when he is losing, he simply levels an accusation (usually a flaw he himself has, but the opponent does not). And then he stands on this dignity, if he has any, or drops into foul and abusive language, if he has not, until the opposite wearies of the nonsense and walks away. At this point, having lost any semblance of an argument, the loser can declare himself winner, and boast of this to his friends and allies.

He can use this tactic without ever once raising his voice. It is a calm and soft version of hysteria, because it is emotional nonsense utterly divorced from reality, but it does not sound hysterical to onlookers.

And if his friends and allies pull the same rhetorical stunt whenever they are floundering in the deep end of the intellectual pool, their shared sense of guilt, their desire not to mar their mutual friendship, and their need for the company of likeminded persons snugly and safely hutched on the same low moral elevation will tempt them to commend, rather than condemn, his trick.

One of several problems with this strategy of thought and speech is that honest conversation over honest disagreement is banished from the public square and private salon alike, and soon from mind and heart. Each time one gives into the temptation to escape from criticism by escaping critical thinking, one’s ability to think critically erodes.

Disciplined thought requires discipline. Discipline that runs lax and flabby decays beyond recovery. It reaches a point where all questions, no matter how honest and how sympathetic, sound to the lax and flabby ear like unprompted personal attacks, and a request please to show your work, and describe by what steps in your thinking you came to a given conclusion, stings like a slap with a glove in the lax and flabby face.

Once a certain critical mass of thinkers in a society begin copying this hysterical, lax and flabby method of rhetoric, that is, throwing a temper tantrum until the opposition is wearied into resting its case, it is taught in school as the method to be used in thought and speech. After all, the scientific method teaches the student to be skeptical about any empirical matters not confirmed by experiment or observation, so why not teach the student to be skeptical about the existence of reality? Perhaps reality does not exist, or perhaps reality exists but the human mind is not suited to apprehend it?

The fact that this stance of radical skepticism immediately contradicts itself is a fact of no concern anyone loyal to a post-rational philosophy, and the fact has no moral or ethical implications to any man to whom the ethical implications of adhering honestly to a strict discipline of honesty and clarity in thought are held in contempt. The virgin purity of truth repels them: their lust is gathered to a whore called propaganda, manipulation, peer pressure and thought police.

The upshot of this corruption, once it reaches from the schools, to the law schools, to the Courts of Law, is that even the wisest and most deeply learned minds in the land are not immune.  When a Supreme Court Justice can pen a sentence like this: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life….” And not be laughed from public office nor excommunicated from the Catholic Church of which he claims to be a practicing member, the strategy of the hysterical schoolgirl has achieve final success.

Unmoored from reality, the heart of liberty is to drift as a helpless nonentity in the blind fog, for the compass of the conscience is thrown overboard, the sails of honor and honesty are torn, and the rudder of reason is gone. You cannot sail home after scuttling the ship. Likewise, you cannot reason yourself back to truth from the stance that says all truth is relative and all reasoning is vain.