“…but don’t give yourself away” —Rick Nielsen
I commented recently on a post by Free Northerner regarding a conversation he had with a pair of females. They accused him of being an asshole, a common response when those of the fairer sex find themselves confronting uncomfortable truths.
I wrote a long comment in which I linked to several of my posts and probably scared the shit out of the guy. However, in a collective response to the myriad of advice his readers gave him, he wrote:
@ Martel: The wrong kind of asshole is a good way of putting it. Your advice is good; I simply have to find the right balance between accepting and acquiescing.
I thank him for the first sentence but must give credit for the phrase to Roissy. Regarding the second:
Accept it completely and without question.
Don’t acquiesce one single bit.
Each of these deals with one of the two fundamental principle of Truth. Soon I’ll expand on all three and how they formed the foundation of Western Civilization, became (nearly) exemplified in America’s founding documents, and how recognizing and finding the correct balance between the three forms the basis for successful societies, groups, and individuals. For now, a quick summary:
“Accept” applies to “A is A”, or what I abbreviate as A. A is the unabashed recognition of how things are. It incorporates a correct understanding of math, science, logic, economic law, the principles of cause and effect, the Law of Unintended Consequences, etc. However, it also includes human nature, how people are. Christians describe this as our fallen nature, Game-adherents emphasize our biological constraints, but each ostensibly grasps how people really are, albeit with a somewhat different emphasis.
“Acquiesce” refers to the Ideal, how things should be, or what I abbreviate as G. Regarding human nature, if A is the choice most people are going to make, G is the choice they should make. A is what we are, G is what we should be. A is our animal nature, the primate within; G is our spiritual nature, our Individuality. (G refers to a heck of a lot more, but for the purpose of this post, this will suffice.)
I was introduced to an underdeveloped variation of this dichotomy in college and recognize how hard it can be to grasp. I was a junior taking a seminar with fourteen seniors, almost all of whom were headed to law school, but I was one of only two students who didn’t have to rewrite a paper in which we had to incorporate the concept. We continually conflate the harsh realities of life with our ideals. We pretend the former don’t exist because we cling to the latter, or if we accept the former, we let the latter fall by the wayside. Neither approach is correct, for G without A results in destructive delusions. A without G leads to cynicism, submission to our lower instincts, and stagnation.
In how we wish to govern (or not govern), conservatives and libertarians strike a relatively healthy balance between G and A (there are substantial disagreements, I know, but I’ll have to get into those later). When analyzing whether or not to advocate a policy, we sometimes actually take human nature into account. If you require a business owner to pay more for labor, he’s probably going to try to make do with less of it. An old lady is less likely to get mugged if her potential attacker supects she might be packing.
Lefties don’t do this. Somehow we’ll be able to reduce the cost of healthcare by utterly ignoring the law of supply and demand. Raising tax rates by 5% means we’ll have 5% more tax revenue because nobody will alter their behavior to change how much tax they owe. We can eliminate poverty by paying poor people to stay poor and disincentivising entrepreneurship. In terms of policy, how they think people should be completely crowds out the realities of how people are. G trumps A every time. If the legislaton is meant to make healthcare cheaper, that’s what it’ll do. Just pass it and then we’ll find out what’s in it.
In terms of politics, it’s reversed. Lefties understand that people vote based on what’s cool, that repeating some dumb slogan enough will change people’s minds, that jealousy affects how we vote, that us vs. them can be a great way to rally support. Alinsky was an evil SOB who had no grasp whatsoever of A in terms of what policies might actually work, but he understood A to its core regarding how to get those policies put into place.
Conservatives (and to a greater extent libertarians) fail to grasp this. Ryan was respectful to the clownish Biden during the debate, mistakenly assuming that a populace addicted to reality TV is going to take class into account when deciding who to vote for. We cite the Constitution repeatedly to voters who haven’t the slightest idea what’s even in it. We assume that the best way to handle an unabashedly biased media is to act as if it’s an objective arbiter and let it harangue our candidates in countless debates. We allow ourselves to be accused of racism for virtually every criticism of Obama while letting Harry Reid get away with egregious accusations against Romney scott-free.
We MUST adhere to Truth, but the political battlefield is under the aegis of A, we treat it like it’s G.
So back to the Northerner.
Rhetoric is no longer what it should be. Man is fallen, and American Man is falling further fast. Women are women, but you can build shit out of wood.
Successful Game requires the complete acceptance of how women are (A) in order to get them to do what they should (G). A PUA doesn’t worry about feminizing himself when dealing with women, he accepts them for what they are, and through this acceptance, he brings them into his own frame. In no way does his acceptance of her reality diminish him.
If you’re not a lefty, you probably have at least some grasp of Truth, a decent idea as to what the government can or should do. If you’re dealing with a lefty, you’re talking to somebody who has some really messed up ideas. Not unlike the cute redhead who completely defies male standards by getting turned on by being treated like dirt, a lefty defies objective standards by believing that making the entire US a gun-free zone will somehow reduce crime. Furthermore, the way you reach your conclusions isn’t the way they reach theirs. In fact, how you think may well be an anathema to them.
However, everybody’s right about something, and as people our minds fit certain patterns. Perhaps repetition is a really dumb way to come to a conclusion, but millions of unthinking American myrmidons believe “we don’t need more gun laws–we should enforce the ones we have” as well as “Republicans are for the rich.”
Leftism corrupts many of our noblest instincts (concern for the downtrodden, etc.). Why can’t our more banal instincts like solipsism or emotional maleability be used to advance productive policies? Leaders as varied as Hitler, Reagan, MLK, and Churchill have all been master manipulators.
Should you have to manipulate people to get them to see what should be obvious to anyone with half a brain cell? No, but you do. Work through the emotional and ignorant nonsense, and then you can focus on dialectic. (Dialectic is the only way to ensure that somebody remains converted. Without it Axelrod’s rhetoric may well just switch them back. But that’s for another day.)
We instinctually understand A in how governments and economies run. They get A regarding how to get people to do what they want. Our understanding of A is an advantage they will never have (they are leftists, after all), so if we can get A as well as they do when we sell our ideas, we may actually have a chance to turn this thing around.
At least we’ll have more of a chance than we do now.
It takes a lot more than that to scare me. Hehe…
Anyway, good post. It hits on the distinction I’m trying to understand in these matters. Linking ti to politics clarifies it some.
Great post Martel. I really am liking reading through your material. Thank you for having this blog up and running.
Great post. One error: When analyzing whether or not to advocate a policy, we sometimes actually human nature into account. Makes no sense – the word actually needs to be something else….?
I should have said “we sometimes actually[take] human nature into account.” Will edit.
Lefties don’t do this. Somehow we’ll be able to reduce the cost of healthcare by utterly ignoring the law of supply and demand.
No, we don’t ignore it. Leftists say “end all wars and close all military bases abroad, including the drug war, and subsequently we will have enough money to finance another freaking moon landing AND provide health care for every man, woman and child”… but that is considered too outlandish. However, when Ron Paul says it, the libertarians proclaim him a genius.
I am willing to vote for the man (I voted for RP in SC primary) who says these unpopular but realistic things, but I don’t see the right wing people willing to do the same for Jill Stein or others who share this view.
Leftists compromise, rightists don’t.
That stuff would save money in the short term (esp the drug war which costs us money AND enriches our enemies). However, the idea that we can expand coverage while simultaneously restricting the profit people can get for providing said coverage DOES defy economic law. The old way sucks (part capitalist/part socialist), and I fault the right for not addressing the problems with it. However, if you mandate people get insurance, insurance WILL get more expensive, as will requiring that insurance companies expand coverage.
Paul wanted to do much of what you mentioned, but he didn’t support anything even close to nationalized health care. The savings would have gone to cut government, not just expand it in a different direction.
Righties didn’t vote for Stein because they only agree with small parts of what she believed; true believers went for Gary Johnson. Also, many did vote for Hillary in the primary against Obama in 08.
The GOP in Washington DOES compromise (admittedly somewhat less today than under Bush). Bush’s bank bailouts, NCLB, the prescription drug benefit, and “compassionate conservatism” were all compromises.
Each side believes that the other never gives and inch and that their own side compromises too much.
How was the bail-out a compromise? Baling out the rich was in the interests of the rich, that is to say, the party that worships wealth. That was a Republican thing that benefited the 1% of the people, the oligarchy. It was not about the working class–nobody bailed all those people out who believed in their subprime mortgages. And why not?
Let me guess.
I regard universal health care as a payback that BigPharma owes us for robbing us blind for over 60 years. But you should know that in some countries like Japan and Taiwan, BigPharma costs have been reduced because they know they simply won’t have any business if they don’t. In the USA, we have allowed them to set the costs (to include their astronomical profits), and consequently, we have had the highest Rx prices in the world. Just across the river from Detroit, in Windsor, Ontario (one mile away), the Rx prices are as much as 75% less for the same drugs. That is the price of giving into big business and rolling over for them, not the price of nationalized health care. If we allow them to continue dictating the terms, of course, they will… and costs WILL be astronomical, but as the movie (that I linked) illustrated–doesn’t have to be.
Just like there are divisions on the left of which most on the right are only vaguely aware (which I’m addressing in my next post) there are divisions on the right of which most on the left are only vaguely aware. This demonstrates one of them.
The right could be divided into three camps regarding the bailouts. First, there were those who saw them as being in their own best interest, bankers and the like who just want more money. These are the business class that Adam Smith derided who care nothing about principle but care everything for their own wealth. These are the crony capitalists whose party loyalty will switch on a dime depending on which party will best support their bottom line. Often it’s the Republican Party, but not always.
Second, there were those who hated the bailouts but who were scared shitless that without them our entire financial system would crumble.
Third, were the libertarians and Republicans who eventually formed the Tea Party. To these folks, government bailouts are bad, period.
There are multiple reasons to support policies that often favor the rich like low taxes (basically three, but two are relevant to the question at hand). The first is that you’re rich and want lower taxes. Simple enough.
However, there is a principled reason for which the left gives us little credit. We support economic freedom whether it directly benefits us as individuals or not. Yes, it bugs us when tax rates are high, but it also bugs us when some schlub who wants to drive a cab can’t because only large taxi companies can afford the requisite medallions. We opposed the bank bailouts because it was income redistribution, and we oppose income redistribution whether it’s from rich to poor or poor to rich. Some guy who runs a body shop should not have to pay for the mistakes of a highscool dropout who’s had four kids before her 20th birthday OR for some fatcat at Goldman’s mistakes.
Often, these policies favor the rich, but that’s not why we favor them. There’s a principle at stake whether or not anyone else is aware of it. In “What’s the Matter with Kansas” the author looked down on some of these folks for working against their own economic self-interest. He doesn’t get it. To them it’s not about self-interest, it’s about principle, about right and wrong, the belief that no man has the right to another’s wealth, including him.
There are Republicans who don’t believe this, who simply want to subsidize better industries than the Democrats. These are the ones we’re trying to overthrow.
There are divisions on both the left and right. Among the more important among BOTH is insider vs. outsider. The leftist and the tea partier BOTH oppose crony capitalism, and they’ve protested side by side against GE. The OWS was shocked to see the Tea Party there with them, but if they had been paying attention they wouldn’t have been.
”Republicans are for the rich.”
But Obama, a liberal, okayed the bailout. Thats my point. Liberals are not leftists. Please stop confusing the two.
The leftist and the tea partier BOTH oppose crony capitalism, and they’ve protested side by side against GE. The OWS was shocked to see the Tea Party there with them, but if they had been paying attention they wouldn’t have been.
I wasn’t. 🙂
My daughter’s mother in law is a gung-ho libertarian; a NH Free-stater… my daughter and her husband frequently joke that their moms are both crazy. So, we finally friended each other on Facebook, and discovered we DID have much in common.
Its not so odd our kids are married to each other! 😀
Those who believe in ideals will always have more in common with each other than they will with cynics who just want power, even if those ideals sometimes contradict.
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