Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The All, Every Operator

If one is determined to think as sloppily as possible, if incompetence is a primary goal, then one can scarcely do better than to assume homogeneity among heterogeneous groups, and at that to assume the wrong characteristics.

As one obvious example, anti-white bigots assume both that all whites have benefited somehow from oppressions of blacks that happened a hundred years ago and only in some parts of the country, AND that all whites, then and now, hated black people; that even if they thought they were not racist, that they WERE racist; that it was somehow in their DNA.

There is no justification for this belief, other than that it provides a simple solution to a complex problem.  Simplistic thinking meets emotional needs.  It meets the need for control.  It meets the need to alleviate the anxiety of uncertainty.  It can provide a pseudo-intellectual rationalization for the expression of fundamentally anti-social emotions, among people who want to retain a sense of their own goodness and moral rectitude.

I think one could think of the need for abstraction where people are concerned as in most cases nascent or explicit psychopathology of one sort or another.

Clearly, we are animals.  We need one another.  We need safety and security.  We need the feeling of meaning, which is likely tied to the feeling of belonging.

But the specifics, what people believe and why they think they believe it, are extraordinarily varied.  It is bigotry, pure and simple, to say things like "all whites are racist", much less "they, who did nothing to us, who took nothing from us, owe us".

Most people are simple minded children, and the abuses are worst among those whose "educational" attainments would, had their education actually been effective, have warranted trust in them on the part of the masses; as things stand, Buckley's comment that he would rather trust the leadership of the country to the first 100 people in the Boston phone book than to the faculty of Harvard is as true as ever.

Uneducated people guess and know they are guessing.  The allegedly erudite err with confidence, often, and never look back.

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