Last Crusade 34: The Strumpet Fortune

The advocates for the Devil’s party must at all costs prevent any honest argument from coming to grips with them. For this reason, all their arguments merely evade or abort rather than win the argument. The tactics studied by all their chessmasters is how to kick over the chessboard rather than play and win the game.

One such useful tactic to silence debate for the Devil’s party merely to claim that the future is inevitable, but has been revealed, usually by science, but always by some preposterous claim of titanic intellectual supremacy, only to them.

The matter is as fixed and sure as the time of the next total eclipse of the sun, and as equally immune from and indifferent to human tears, needs, or pleas as the motions of heavenly bodies.

In order to promote the idea that history has a fixed plan which human free will cannot alter, it is useful to pretend that some secret elite of smart people, as the psychohistorians from Isaac Asimov or the Arisians of E.E. Smith, have read the stars and know the future; and that the speaker is indeed a member of this elite or enjoys privileged communication with them.

Hence it is useful for those in the Devil’s party to pretend to have read books or to pretend to have the intellect needed to be an intellectual. This is usually done by mocking all opposition as being ignoramuses, rather than engaging in any sort of debate.

Sadly enough, this tactic is all too often adopted by pretend scholars of rather modest ability who have read at best a few modern restatements of ancient ideas from materialists like Lucretius or Epicurus, or Gnostics like Valentinus or Basilides, long ago explored and exploded.

Such pretend scholars rarely read deeply, hence rarely know about the rebuttals and counter-rebuttals, which men of solid education greet as familiar landmarks along the intellectual turnpike reaching back centuries, or millennia.

While it is by no means true that this happens in all cases, it happens frequently enough to merit mention: when the advocate for the Devil’s party meets opponents whose deeper and finer education he cannot match, he has no choice but to spread the peacock plumes of his vainglory, and sneer with all his force. These sneers, the unsupported puffery of his own expertise, are the sole argument he can bring. It is not so much argumentum ad verecundiam as argumentum ad ego.

Marx used this particular sneering tactic to great effect, by pretending his visions of an Armageddon-battle of worldwide revolution to be followed by the New Jerusalem of the Worker’s Paradise (where all scarcity of goods and disutility of labor were abolished, and all tears wiped away) were not prophetic visions at all, but were the conclusions of a scientific study of predictive history, whose inner workings he and he alone had deduced.

In fact, his only innovation as a writer was to elevate the old logically fallacy of argumentum ad hominem to an art form. Because he could defend none of his conclusions, Marx conveniently ruled all criticism and questioning of his conclusions to be out of bounds, on the grounds that all theories but his were penned by members of the bourgeoisie, who had been hypnotically conditioned by their material surroundings to be loyal to a given means of production.

His prediction was that the efficiency of monopolies would require all banks and business to combine eventually into one worldwide trust controlled by an ever-shrinking oligarchy, and that the so-called iron law of wages would eventually drive all wages down to the minimum needed barely to keep the workers alive and healthy enough to perform their labors. The pressures brought about by the growing misery of the poor and the shrinking numbers of the rich would result, not in reform of the system, but violent worldwide revolution.

Both woeful predictions had been exploded as absurd by economists long before Marx, a visionary pretending to be an economist, took pen to paper.

More to the point, both predictions, and all like them, fail due to their simplicity. Such predictions point at one factor and deduce what might happen “if this goes on” that is, if the one factor operates in a fixed and unchanging fashion, and no contrary factors ever come into play.

In this particular case, the failure of Marx to take into account the presence of countervailing factors betrays the fundamentally unserious nature of the analysis.

In some circumstances, economies of scale give advantage to larger competitors; but in others, the advantage is with the smaller, more agile business.

Likewise, wage rates are a product of supply and demand, not of any so called iron law of the minimum needed to keep a worker fed. Any increase in efficiency of organization or mechanization allows one worker to be as productive as many, with a corresponding incentive to raise his wage lest a competitor offer him more.

Why wouldn’t the few remaining Oligarchs of Marx’s vision increase the wages of the workingman, rather than face violent revolution?

For an economist not to take into account the fact that businesses and wage earners are in competition with each other, each seeking to outbid and underprice the other, is as absurd as an astronomer calculating planetary motions while ignoring gravity. It is relatively easy to predict that the solar system will fly apart once we ignore the force that holds it together.

There was a skit on Dave Letterman a while back, where he was pretending to be a carnival barker at the World’s Worst Carnival. One of the attractions was “The Amazing Growing Boy!!!” The carnival barker brought out a perfectly ordinary boy, and held him in front of a chart showing his growth rate: at two years old, he was one foot tall; at six years old, he was three feet tall.

Then, with a roar of astonishment, the carnival barker shouts, “And, Ladies and Gentlemen! If this rate of growth continues unchecked, but the time he reaches 20 years old, the Amazing Growing Boy will be ten feet tall! By the time he is 80 years old, HE WILL BE TALLER THAN A FORTY STORY BUILDING!!!!”

The economic theory of Karl Marx is no more serious than the Dave Letterman joke.

Imagine a biologist predicting that evolution inevitably must produce larger and ever-larger and stronger predators preying on smaller and ever-smaller and swifter prey, so all predators eventually must be a single clan of tyrannosaurs taller than hilltops chasing a single race of myriad shrews from pole to pole through every clime and island.

Such a biologist would be laughed to scorn; and yet among intellectuals, equally simplistic predictions by Marx and the like are greeted soberly.

The real joke is that so many intellectuals for so long took such writings seriously, and some, untutored by the history of the Twentieth Century, apparently still do. If the examples of the Soviet Union, Red China, Cuba and Cambodia make no impression on the devout socialist, why would the example of Venezuela?

However, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union did indeed mute the enthusiasm of many socialists in the West. Various theories by writers like Gramsci, which we may generally group under the heading of Cultural Marxism, came to the fore, including theories of deconstruction, and intersectionalism.

The basic idea of Cultural Marxism is that the culture, the arts, the news, the schools, and the habits and courtesies of the people, is taken to be the source of the oppression of the downtrodden, rather than the political-economic institutions.

Now, obviously, since none of these things, left to themselves, can or would oppress anyone, the crucial part of Cultural Marxism is to see invisible signs of oppression, hear inaudible noises, and touch the intangible.

Cultural Marxism is basically a mystical witch-doctor belief system, where nearly anything, from a pronoun in the English language, to a banana peel thrown into a tree, can suddenly, without warning, turn into a threat of oppression and bigotry as real and terrifying, for those with special magical eyeballs needed to see it, as brigade of heavily-armed Waffen SS.

Hence, the entirety of Cultural Marxism is based on something like the Hans Christian Anderson fable of the Emperor’s new clothes, wherein one wicked tailor will scream and claim that some innocent thing is actually a sign of hidden thoughtcrime, racism or somesuch, and the crowd of sycophants compete to see who can shriek agreement most forcefully, lest he too be accused of thoughtcrime.

(The example of the banana peel is true, by the way: an offcampus fraternity retreat of University of Mississippi students was cut short because the banana peel made some students feel unsafe, and some wept tears.)

Gramsci wrote in favor of a slow, passive revolution rather than an immediate violent overthrow. This is to be accomplished by mandatory education, by the subversion of language, and by silencing the Roman Catholic Church.

Control of the media, of the news, is the essential precondition for passive revolution, because then the changes to the mass psychology of the culture can be made to seem organic. The frog does not feel the water boil if the heat is applied gradually enough.

The gradual improvement of all minorities in America, at least in areas not under control of Democrat politicians, make the claim of invisible institutionalize racism difficult for all but the willfully gullible to swallow. To hide this absurdity, a variant on Cultural Marxism never foreseen by Gramsci and his fellows came to the fore, and these include deconstructionism and intersectionalism.

Deconstructionism is the theory that one can perceive sinister ulterior motives in any work of art merely by hoodoo and jabberwocky, and anyone who asks you to show your work, you can silence by screaming like a banshee, frothing like a mad dog, and calling him names.

This gives the advocate of the Devil’s party even more latitude to make up and ascribe to others whatever sinister motives he needs.

In effect, it means that doubt is not possible. Honest dissent is not possible. An openminded man waiting to be convinced is not possible. The only two possibilities are (1) total and unqualified agreement with whatever the fashionable politically correct opinion happens to be today (2) you are a hater.

Intersectionalism is the assertion that the race hatreds that allegedly divide all races of man, also somehow divide groups that are not races: men from women, normal from deviant, Christian from heathen, and sane from those suffering sexual dysphoria. By this theory, if a straight black man slaps a lesbian Korean, somehow the white male heterosexual Christian is always to blame for the violence, hence is always the common enemy.

In effect, it means anyone, even someone in no way being oppressed, can always complain about oppression.

And, once again, if anyone asks by what means the utterly imaginary Pale Male Patriarchy arranged this, you can silence him by screaming like a banshee, frothing like a mad dog, and calling him names. It is not dignified, but few indeed are the men with day jobs who will squander the time to stand and debate a monkey flinging excrement, so the tactic is effective in silencing dissent.

Nonetheless, whether in Gramsci or his deconstructionist or intersectional epigones, the insurrection and revolution is seen as inevitable.

In America, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Woman’s march protesting the election of Donald Trump, and the rise of Black Lives Matter and the importation of Antifa are meant to be precursors to that violent general uprising among the farmhands and factory hands  which forms the central leitmotif of all Marxist daydreams.

Now, since the position of modern farm hands is rather different than the position of rural peasants in the Victorian Era (when these theories were written), one would suppose that the belief in a general uprising would fail in the face of mounting evidence that proletarian class farmworkers had evolved into middle class farmers with tractors and bailing machines who live in houses with electric lights and running water.

But the facts present in the material world do not deter prophets and visionaries, whose dreams come from the chthonic gods of the caves below Delphi.

In the case of Cultural Marxism, instead of a general uprising of the lower classes against the upper, what is predicted in America is a race war of black against white, presumably with Caucasians of Spanish and Portuguese ancestry siding with the blacks, on the grounds that Hispanics are not Teutonic.

Cultural Marxism uses the same collectivist and Darwinian analysis as Economic Marxism to assert that the collective groups in America of Slavic, Celtic, or African pedigree exist only as eternal victims being eternally oppressed by the collective group of Anglosaxons.

In the same way that Marxism blithely ignores the existence of incentives which urge the economic classes to cooperate, Cultural Marxism blithely ignores the existence of incentives urging individuals across racial lines to cooperate.

The most telling of these incentives is that race riots destroy the neighborhoods in which the race doing the rioting lives. Burning down one’s own house and driving small businesses away is not a strategy with longterm positive consequences.

The other factor overlooked in both Marxism and Cultural Marxism is the simple falsehood of the collectivist model.

A factory hand in a car factory in Detroit has a clear common economic interest with his employers, since a loss to them is a loss to him; but, according to Marxism, he allegedly has a unity of interest with a factory hand in a Honda plant in Japan, even though no possible benefit to one helps the other.

Likewise, in Cultural Marxism, Barack Obama is classified as ‘a person of color’ and thus is said to have a unity of interests with the inner city blacks whose misery he exploits for votes, but not to have a unity of interests with, for example, the Caucasian owners and investors of Wall Street Banks, who are his employers.

As if a black man running a plantation in the Antebellum South, or a slave-trader from the Africa coast, had interests in common with the black slaves he sold or worked, but not with his customers and partners.

Identity politics is Cultural Marxism, pure and simple. It is the idea that a unity of interest exists whenever a crackpot political prophet says you and another man have some surface feature in common.

So, gingers of the world, unite! The war between redheads and all the inferior hues of hair is unavoidable!

By this logic, the real and organic bonds of loyalty, patriotism, economic partnership, and even family love, all must fall away in the face of the magical surface feature.

This entails the idea, in America, that a race war is inevitable, and that therefore one must help to bring it about.

Of late, some pundits and agitators allegedly on the Far Right, where, for some reason, no one but those who believe Leftwing collectivist ideologies lodge, have joined in the choir of Gramsci style predictions, and called the race war inevitable. They warn that your skin color is your uniform, and even if you are not interested in racial identity politics, racial identity politics is interested in you.

Of course, the fact that racial identity politics is a political stance, where one has a unity of interest with likeminded people even of different races, causes the advocates of this position no pause.

Black Lives Matter is funded by George Soros, a Jew, and supported by the white Leftwing partisans occupying the media and the academia.

When blacks of a conservative frame of mind, such as Thomas Sowell or Alphonso Rachel denounce the movement, it is their mind, not their skin color, which speaks for them. But by the logic of racial identity politics, any black activist seeking race war should cleave to Sowell, not Soros, and act only on the alleged unity of interests he has with him.

The irony of having non-Whites support the White Lives Matter style movement, and having Black Live Matter terrorists killing black police officers again causes the advocate of this position no pause, no scruple, no hesitation.

Likewise the illogic of urging anyone to support and advance a cause said to be inevitable: when is the last time someone asked you to support the next total eclipse of the sun?

In all cases, the pretense of inevitability is used to silence dissent. There is no point in discussing how to avoid the unavoidable.

Race relations in America are better than they have been in generations, and yet the press, hoping to spark a race riot, reports and magnifies each and every smallest conflict.

A banana peel in a tree is taken as a sign of that the BLM and KKK will be fighting pitched battles in blood soaked streets tomorrow, but the fact that a black man can hold any office in the public or private sector, including President, is not mentioned. The race war is inevitable.

The only inevitable theory of history I believe is the theory that whatever you hear some intellectual predicting so-and-so event must happen because it is an a historical inevitability, that such an prediction will be proven inevitably wrong. Both the Thousand-Year Reich predicted of Nazi Germany, and the Worker’s Paradise predicted of Soviet Russia have yet to eventuate.

Me, I am a Christian. I think history is a story told by a Great Storyteller. He is not to be mocked, and no mortal can foresee his plot twists, even when he has prophets deliberately do a bit of foreshadowing or give the audience a glimpse of ‘scenes from our next episode’.