Friday, March 13, 2015


"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."
-Marcus Aurelius

For those of you who are not conservatives, I'd like to give you a glimpse into what its like to live in today's world.  For those of you who are, maybe this will help you clarify and think through some things you face and frustrations you feel.
Imagine that you are sane.  Now, imagine that you wake up one day, and almost all of the rest of the world has gone insane.  Not 'wow things are crazy' but actually, clinically raving lunatics.  They're mentally damaged - nearly everyone - and so many are so that they declare this totally normal.
So now having mumbled conversations with yourself or your dog, seeing things, deciding you are an important historical figure and living that out, etc, that's all perfectly normal and the average person is this way.
Now imagine you have to try to work and live among these people all the time.  They argue down is up, that they are swimming in the ocean instead of driving a car, that they are a talking goose, that women are actually made of small bits of straw, that cats are the highest being and should be venerated and protected, pretty much every day some new insanity is insisted upon.  Not just by a few people, but by many, in places of authority, education, entertainment, and in the news.
These ideas aren't argued for, they are simply assumed, insisted upon, and forced upon everyone else.  Movies and TV suddenly take one of these ideas and present it not just as normal, but so normal and right that anyone who differs is portrayed as not confused or wrong but evil, as a horrific person that must be stopped.
Imagine that you're part of a small group that sees how crazy this is, how foolish the world has become, and all around you it keeps getting randomly and irrationally worse.  That each day you wonder what lunacy you're going to have to deal with.
Imagine that life, what stress it is on you.  More than a few would likely start to give in.  After all, so many people must be right, they can't all be crazy. It must be sane people that are damaged and they should change, keep up with the times.  Its all around you, surely it can't be all that crazy, right?
More than a few would pretend to go along with it, just because its safer that way and they won't stand out, be noticed, be attacked or accused.  People who know better would begin to dress with their pants on their head and hats on their feet, fake talking to an invisible person near them, and go along with the scene.  You meet girls that way.  You can't get hired if you don't play along.  People stare at you and think you're weird if you don't act the same.  All your friends are saying it, and you don't want to seem odd.  And besides, the cool people all are this way, it must be cool for me to do it too.
And you know, if you fake something long enough, at least part of you begins to believe it and live it for real.
Such a world would be a mad world, run by fools.  It would be upside down, wrong, basically messed up at a fundamental, core level.  And most of the people who are insane in it aren't actually trying to cause trouble or hurt you, they are either just living their lives or going along so they won't be hurt themselves.  They're part of the crowd, the mob.
Thus it feels to live as a conservative.  You know what is right, you know what is sane, and you know what the problems are with what the left keeps pushing the nation into.  You can see right through the lies and insanity, but few want to listen, and the ones in power have the might to punish you for not being one of them.  Just ask the groups audited and leaned on by the IRS under Lois Lerner, by the EPA, by federal programs such as Operation Choke Point.  Ask cake companies penalized for not making someone a cake, and told that they are violating a basic constitutional right... to have a cake baked for you.
This isn't odd, its insane.  Being told that men can marry men is like being told that cats can fly and rule the world.  Its not a different viewpoint, its lunacy.  And every day it seems like the lunacy gets pushed further and further.  Either you go along so you're with the current... or you have to fight it every stroke of the way and get bashed by debris as you fight.
Every day.
A while back, Bill Whittle did a bit in which he discussed the concept of "gaslighting" which comes from an old psychological thriller by the name Gaslight.  In essence, the villain who among other things keeps changing the level of the lights in a house and when his wife says they are changing, he says she's crazy, and its always been the same.  After a while she starts wondering not what is wrong with the lights, but what is wrong with herWhittle explains this concept and how Gaslighting is used in modern culture to get you to start questioning what you know to be true because why would people lie?
Theodore Dalrymple earlier explained this concept in terms of what totalitarian communist nations would do:
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control
Its the same kind of crazy: you're confronted by what you know is nonsense over and over by authorities and what feels like a majority, until you break and give in, or the fight becomes overwhelming.  And most give in, after a while.
The Big Lie follows the same pattern - people are more likely to believe that an authority or group of people considered authorities are somehow right even when they are saying things that are in direct opposition to what they know to be true.  If the entire government of the US said, without blinking or correction, that up was down, after a while, the meanings would switch.  Its how the Ministry of Information in 1984 worked.  We have always been at war with Eastasia.  We have never been at war with Eurasia.
All the books say it.  All the authorities say it.  Your neighbors start to say it, having fallen for it or wanting to be accepted and go along.  How long will you fight for what you know to be true?
In a world where people have rejected absolute, objective standards - where there's no outside standard of right and wrong that we can appeal to and look toward - all that's left is what you feel inside and what the majority seems to hold.  Or what people in power insist upon.
And without that rock solid foundation to stand on, you have no footing to push back against it all.  And even the strongest of us, the boldest, the most eager to fight back eventually get ground down and either give in or fall by the wayside.
That's what its like folks.  That's what conservatives see in the world around us.  A world where even people who claim to be conservative keep giving in on things like abortion, promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality, and so on.  Where even people who are supposed to be conservative shout "there ought to be a law!"
And on the left, the same people who would first shout "lunatic" when someone called their opponents communist or extremist.... are the first to shout "fascist" and extremist against their foes.  The hicks and knuckle dragging idiots on the right are rightly mocked and derided for saying Obama is a double secret Muslim, but praised and endeared for saying President Bush deliberately sent planes into the Twin Towers - or set bombs and blamed Muslims.
Say that Democrats are riddled with communists who hate America and many on the right shun you.  Say Bush killed thousands of Americans to start a war to avenge his daddy and you get a seat of honor at the Democratic National Convention and nobody blinks an eye.
I imagine it was awfully hard for folks in the 1930s to fight against racism and poor treatment of women.  They probably thought the world was crazy and it was a hopelessly immense burden to lift it all.  So I'm not saying there's no hope here.  Only that the cultural tide is so vastly against what I know to be true and good and just that its like living in a mad world run by fools.
And I want to encourage people on the right to stand fast, to not give in, but at the same time to be patient, understanding, compassionate, and gentle with those who have.  Not everyone who goes along with the madness is themselves insane.  For some its a matter of survival, coping with family and friends, or just plain lacking the footing to push back.


mushroom said...

You are right on the money.

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly. We can plant seeds of sanity with well timed and innocent questions to those who are salvageable members of the herd. Those seeds will grow. Truth does have a history of prevailing.

JoelAT said...

My only issue with this is that Conservatives for the most part do not believe in absolute truth either. Its not a political or philosophical issue, it is a moral one. Pragmatism has become the moral center of mankind, probably from long before this country even existed.

Anonymous said...

Read Ionesco's play Rhinoceros. Written in the 1950s (I think) it deals with this very syndrome

AGoyAndHisBLog said...

There's a perfectly rational explanation for this phenomenon, which is backed up by clinical research and associated data collected in multiple countries across very different cultures.

The very serious problem facing society and civilization is that this isn't a function of "cultural tide". It is a manifestation of a very fundamental aspect of human psychological development. And if we don't get a handle on it, our society will be dismembered by it.

Can't soundbite it though. If interested...

Arlene said...

Exactly. Just that. Exactly right. Thank you, Arlene

Anonymous said...

The point of standing and fighting against the lunacy is not to win.

As a conservative Christian I believe that eventually all will come to ruin outside of Christ.

For me.. instead... the cause of fighting is this..

to not become a lunatic myself.

Bill Henry

John said...

It isn't a straight function of Conservatism, age has a lot to do with it. I while ago I commented elsewhere that the support some issues get seems more effected by the age of the person than if they label themselves R or D, Conservative or Liberal.
For a couple of post I listed my age and those who replied and agreed were all over 45. Anyone in their twenties or thirties mocked or obviously didn't even understand what I was talking about. I think it has something to do with what has happened to our public schools.

John (65)

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking that "Double Secret Muslim" thing is not so far fetched. :)

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing tale of being so certain of yourself that you never bother asking yourself if you could ever possibly be wrong. No, EVERYONE ELSE is insane, I'M sane, me, the one person who is going against the grain. Introspection is that much of a danger to conservatism?

Steve Brown said...

Well said. I can't see a light at the end of this dark tunnel. Catholic Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who once again has entered the hospital, said: I except to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.

JRS said...

You forgot to mention that Jesus is going to drop down out of the clouds and carry us away from all these troubles (at least some of us). Delusional thinking is nothing new, IMHO it is a coping mechanism when people are overwhelmed by the pace of life...and who wouldn't be these days when science fiction is quickly becoming science fact? I recommend you be adopt a more forgiving attitude, none of us are above it all.

Guildofcannonballs said...

A good post, but I am not arriving at the same logic contained within it. The spirit is grand however.

Everything seemingly insane is done by Leftists after calculation for power; the useful idiots Lenin labeled don't consciously understand that*, and the useful 'wise' of the GOP simply don't care rhetoric works better than logic when in the public process of winning votes that can result in more action than impotently screaming at conservatives they had better shut up and take it, whatever it may be that day, including paying taxpayer dollars to enrich Planned Parenthood by harvesting human body parts in utero so top execs can buy a Lamborghini.

"I support equality for everyone, everywhere, especially those outside the mainstream without a genuine American voice heard to their own concerns. For this reason I cannot support gay marriage as proposed today as it discriminates on persons, places, things, ideas and events that could potentially be discriminated against using the current language, and that will NOT happen on my watch Sir." You see, if you aren't against gay marriage but instead righteously against discriminating against those not identified as straight or gay it is harder to be labeled a homophobic simpleton, though of course the label will be weaponized and hurled anyway at some point. The idea is prove to everyone capable of learning that that label doesn't fit you. That label, hater in today's vernacular, only applies to the folks wanting to limit American's freedom to gays and straights 2 at a time.

"Trayvon was a young American and it is horrible what happened that night, especially for the young man's suffering family. I had to ask myself Can I cast aspersions/stones and for me, I cannot, at least not without looking into the soul of everyone involved, like Bush looked into Putin's soul."

These "insane" people that write the talking points the media and pop culture will absorb know how you will respond to various stories using facts and evidence such as forensics in addition to eyewitness accounts, as they know the facts too. They also know showing you had AA after losing to 7-2 offsuit only makes losers feel good or bad, as opposed to as indifferent as possible which ought be the goal of the process in order to reduce emotions clouding judgment.

If you can't understand why attaining power is something Leftists are experts at please reconsider your presumptions, even though I agree they squander most power gained with an attitude of nihilism dominating I can't describe with enough vitriol, and hence won't try.

Churchill taught Obama how to write history, and Obama did "win" as he told the Way-Worse-Than-Lowell-Weicker (from a quasi-Buckley perspective including detestment of abortion) GOP at the time.

Some people are not going to understand why when the debt becomes an issue like global bullcrap is now, Obama won't take nor will even be assigned all or most of the blame since the GOP controlled congress' purse power theoretically (and eminently arguable). The GOP thinks anyone that doesn't understand that everything they did was the most Milton Friedmanesque conservative use of government imaginable is ignorant, that's all. They are just ignorant, them over there who didn't know Ted Cruise would cost the GOP the darn Senate in 2014 with his wild whacko crazy talk.

*They understand to not rock the boat, just not why to not rock it. I Kid Rock it and have no such qualms having the song "Cocky" from his album of the same title in my brain's deepest of unconscious, and up all the way through each reference made, including a verse or two as well as the entire lyrics copied and pasted but discluding any Freudian slips.