Some ideas are so common-sense that they are non-controversial entirely in almost any context. Almost, until that context shifts to humanity.
For example, Darwinism makes perfect sense to us for other species. The eagles eat the slow and stupid mice, and mice get smarter. Well… not that much smarter, but it at least keeps them from getting dumber. The lions cull the slow and sick wildebeast, and the herd is healthier as a result.
But if you apply that theory to humanity, human pretense kicks in. What if I were the slowest wildebeast in the herd? What if I were the baby born retarded or with an incurable disease? What if I were the mouse that got distracted for a moment by something on his iPhone, and the eagle tore me apart in squirming, screaming agony?
Human pretense: the idea that we are somehow different from and above the rules of our world, simply because we are the ones observing the world that we know. We see the world through our own eyes without seeing ourselves as part of the process, and thus we assume that how things appear to us is their essence, and that we are essential to the operation of the world. Thus the ego, solipsism, eventually individualism, and finally Crowdism and its subset Leftism (and most Conservatism) are born.
When an idea conflicts with this pretense, it becomes a special category of things which are OK in any context except the self-referential. Just like we refuse to acknowledge that humans are made of tasty meat that tastes like pork, that we die just like any other animal, or even that our living and dying is beyond our control, for social reasons we refuse to mention these normal things which are taboo in the human context.
One idea of this type is the simple homily demography is destiny. It means many things, but the simple point is that the species and individuals who reproduce are the ones who will endure. Nothing else really matters on the same level. If that group is displaced or becomes mixed, it is erased. Wise words from Ann Coulter on this topic:
Democrats haven’t changed anyone’s mind. They changed the people.
More white people voted for Mitt Romney this year than voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980. Barack Obama lost white voters by 20 points — the widest margin since 1984.
But in 1980, whites were 88 percent of the electorate. In 2012, they were 72 percent of the electorate. Not only that, but the non-white electorate is far more Democratic than it was in 1980.
If the same country that voted in 1980 had voted in 2012, Romney would have won a bigger landslide than Reagan did.
This can be interpreted other ways as well. If our society does not breed intelligent children and raise them well, our homegrown idiots will take over just as surely as immigrants will. “Demography is destiny” means that at every level, what matters more than our laws and economics is the biological composition of our nation. That in turn contradicts our pretense that we can make some laws and have “solved” the problem.
Human pretense makes us feel in control. It is like the satisfying feeling one gets from having arranged the living room furniture in the perfect order, or made intelligent compromises in a business deal. For a moment, it is all about us, and by implication, we can never die and have no need to improve ourselves. Uh, reality knocking…
Another common sense idea is that “people act in self-interest.” It is socially permissible to mention this when Wal-mart raises prices on adult diapers or watery beer, but to mention this in the context of government is a strict no-no. Government, we must believe, is a wise adult in loco parentis who always acts in our best interests, not as Mencius Moldbug and friends would tell us, a self-interested actor in a market for services.
This ugly issue reared its head with the question of the European Union. At first, it was sold to us as a trade union, which meant that trade within Europe would become more efficient than trade with outside parties, keeping more money in Europe. That was not a terrible idea, but then the EU concept began to grow, and eventually, the real agenda peeked out:
This writer generally has little time for conspiracy theories, but Richard Jeffrey, chief investment officer at Cazenove Capital Management, makes a compelling case.
Throughout the current crisis involving Greece and Europeâ€™s banks, there has been a widespread assumption that the euro zoneâ€™s problems have been caused by a mistaken belief that if the political will were strong enough it would be possible to overcome the clear economic flaws in the systemâ€™s design.
The idea that the architects always knew the system would break down but reasoned that such a collapse would enable them to bring in the deeper union that many of them favored suggests something more than naivety.
People act in self-interest.
Tags: ann coulter, demography is destiny, european union, mencius moldbug, richard jeffrey, self-interest, taboo