Almost since the very beginning, this site's Official Motto has been "I couldn't possibly fail to disagree with you less." Exactly what that means is delightfully, and deliberately, unclear, unlike most such utterances, which simply send the mind reeling down a Möbius strip of confusion thereby, of course, ending up where it started. An example:

We sincerely hope and insist that peaceful means should be used to solve the Taiwan issue ... China has never committed to not taking nonpeaceful means to solve the Taiwan issue simply because such a commitment would make peaceful reunification impossible.

Chen Defu, Chinese Embassy Press Counselor, letter to editor of The New York Times, 7/18/89, page A20

This isn't by any means the source of stereotypical Chinese inscrutability, but its application for poster child thereof is under consideration.

Still, as I wind down my days on this side of the dirt, one phrase occurs to me even more often than my Motto, and that's Roger Murtaugh's classic Lethal Weapon utterance: "I'm getting too old for this shit." And I'm persuaded that while my age is increasing rather quickly, though no more so than anyone else's, "this shit" is piling up at an unprecedented rate, to the extent that we all run the risk of being covered up by a veritable mountain of it.

The tricky part, of course, is identifying the source of said shit. I am increasinly persuaded that the source, arguably the Single Worst Thing Ever Written, is this sentence right here:

Es ist nicht das Bewußtsein der Menschen, das ihr Sein, sondern umgekehrt ihr gesellschaftliches Sein, das ihr Bewußtsein bestimmt.

Karl Marx, 1859, in the Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Translation: "It is not consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness." This is, of course, complete and utter horsepucky: there are things in our genomes that will never, ever respond to social conditioning. However, there are people who inexplicably cling to this nonsense, and this is the inevitable result:

Of course the state doesn't have control over every aspect of public and private life. But it is undeniable that it's seeking it. More importantly, the people who want the state to have ever more power, those who are convinced that the individual can't be trusted, those who agitate for every group to be considered as a group composed of equally privileged/victimized widgets, are pushing shock-troop like into every facet of our lives. No facet can be free of social-justice ideology. You shouldn't be able to collect stamps or arrange flowers without being told to check your privilege and without being examined for thought crimes. No fun, no relaxing, no mindless activity can remain free of ideology. And absolutely no human relationship, be it friends, acquaintances or lovers can remain free of Marxist-Leninist ideology and classifications.

Social justice is to justice what social disease is to disease: a particularly virulent variant, passed on by those who think they're actually doing something else. It was always thus, even before Krazy Karl; but today's crusaders for damned near everything have gained enough attention in the culture to be able to complain about their perennial marginalization and how it's always Someone Else's Fault. I would argue that if there is a perimeter at all, there must be margins, and if your plaint is being heard at all, by definition you must not be there; but this requires both logic and comprehension of human nature, which are today forbidden.

The red-headed stepchild of Marx's dictum is the feminist argument "The personal is political." It is so only if you believe that there exist only political solutions to your personal problems. And if you wail "But we have no power!" I will point out that if you truly had no power, you'd be out on the margins with all those other folks who have surrendered personal agency in the hopes of getting free stuff.

And now you know the present-day definition of "power": it's not the ability to get what you want, but the ability to force other people to give it to you. Invariably this is explained away as a moral issue; but it's the morality, not of the human, but of the parasite. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting too old for this shit.

(I am indebted to Severian at Rotten Chestnuts for reminding me of this Marxist claptrap and giving it the back of his rhetorical hand.)

The Vent

  9 May 2015

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