We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

“But she knows me !”

Late one night near the start of the 1930s in Germany, Leni Riefenstahl dropped in on friends whose house she chanced to pass as she returned from the very first Nazi rally she attended. For ten minutes, she raved about the the glorious future awaiting National Socialism, the insight of Hitler  – until the expressions on the faces of her stunned-into-silence hosts finally penetrated the haze she was in and she recalled that this married couple (that she’d been friends with for years) were two of her several Jewish friends. She murmured something about how she was sure that aspect of National Socialism would not amount to anything that need concern them. Then she finished her coffee and left. She never came back. Her circle of friends changed to contain fewer Jews, then fewer still.

(Leni’s next chance to meet Jews in numbers came in the early 1940s, when she borrowed concentration camp inmates to be extras in crowd scenes in her films, returning them to the camps after their scenes were shot. The couple who gave her coffee were not among them. Before that night, they were typical intellectuals, sure that National Socialists were all very stupid self-defeating people. That a girl like Leni – clever, strong-willed, career-minded, inventive, unorthodox – could become one was incomprehensible to them, so incomprehensible that it shattered their intellectuals’ conviction that they were the ones who understood things. Therefore they fled Germany early and so they lived – long enough to tell the story of that night on a television programme I watched long ago.)

I was reminded of this by the woman named by Sarah Hoyt in a recent post. Like the rest of Sad Puppies, Sarah has been accused of every sin in the politically-correct calendar by SJWs who’ve never met her, but also, to her astonishment, by Rose Beteem, a woman who knows her, who knows her views, who knows she’s from Portugal and can look like she comes from somewhere south of it, who knows Sarah is no more plausibly accused of all these -isms and -phobias than Leni’s friends were of starting WWI. Sarah was astonished that Rose could do that since “she knows me.”

I wasn’t. Beteem’s knowledge of Sarah Hoyt is part of her experience. Beteem’s knowledge that all Sad Puppiers are vile people, guilty of every -ism and -phobia, is part of her political theory. To be politically correct is to value theory above experience. Khrushchev noted the strength of Stalin’s tendency to believe a thing if he’d read it in a book or report, whatever the counter-evidence. In C.S.Lewis “That Hideous Strength”, Mark treats a sociology report on agricultural labourers as the reality and the actual agricultural labourers he meets as irrelevant because his modernist views meant “He believed as firmly as any mystic in the superior reality of that which is not seen.”

Treating the theory you’ve been taught as a surer guide than your own experience is the essence of political correctness. SJWs don’t just refuse to learn from the past; they resist learning from their own present. If this ever changes, they become that well-known type who is a socialist at 20 but wiser at 40. Otherwise, don’t rely on their knowing you to make a difference.

[All quotations are from memory. Khrushchev’s remark is in Robert Coquest’s, “Stalin, Breaker of Nations.”]

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18 comments to “But she knows me !”

  • Włodek P.

    What on earth is a Sad Puppy? 😯

  • ‘Sad Puppies’ is a campaign to resist politically-correct corruption of science fiction awards (the Hugos and similar). In recent times, the awards were being more and more obviously given to the most politically-correct books rather than the best books or the books fans liked best. The campaign attempts to restore literary and SF criteria to the judging of awards that are supposed to be about those criteria, not about politics.

    Typing “Sad Puppies” into a search engine gave me pictures of sad puppies as the first link, the wikipedia article about the campaign as the second link and a Breitbart story on the campaign’s 2015 success as the third link. (I recommend reading the wikipedia article with caution: there are several tens of SJWs who squat on wikipedia pages like that, enforcing and re-enforcing the PC view.)

  • Paul Marks

    The socialists reacted to 1989 (the collapse of the Soviet Union and the other East European Marxist regimes), by redoubling their efforts in the education system (and so on). Via the schools, the universities and the the entertainment media (the leftist stranglehold on culture) the socialists have worked tirelessly to turn the young (or as many of the young as they can) into monsters – and have them stay like that all their lives.

    The present “SJWs” do not even know their doctrines are Frankfurt School Marxism – and they know nothing of they tens of millions of people murdered by the Marxists over the last hundred years. They have been taught that the doctrines they have been carefully taught are objective fact – and that if anyone opposes these doctrines (even their own parents or people they have been friends with for many years) then they are “racists”, “sexists”, “homophobes” (and so on) and must-be-exterminated.

    The SJWs are not stupid – indeed they are often highly intelligent and cunning. But they are totally conditioned (brainwashed) and utterly ruthless. They will stop at nothing to wipe out the reactionaries – even their own relatives or former friends.

    The present masses of SJWs (not all of them students – indeed many of them successful in business and so on) are a tribute to the efficiency of modern conditioning methods (the education system and the media – especially the entertainment media) and a real challenge to those of us who believe in Free Will – moral agency.

    If so many people (many of them highly intelligent) can be conditioned (brainwashed) by the education system and entertainment media to ignore the evidence in front of their eyes, and to be filled with fanatical hatred even for their own parents (who have done nothing apart from love them and care for them) and long standing friends, are humans really beings? Do we have Free Will – or are we morally worthless robots who can be programmed to ignore all evidence and to hate (fanatically hate) people who have shown us nothing but love all our lives?

    The fate of civilisation may rest on whether people really are just robots who can be programmed in this way. If they (we) are just robots – then the socialists will win.

    For those who do believe in moral agency – that humans are beings, (that we have Free Will) the question is how can the “SJWs” be reached? How can their conditioning be breached – so that one can reach their souls (their moral selves) trapped somewhere within them.

  • John Galt III

    Paul,

    We will end up in civil war. You can’t reach the SJW ‘s anymore than you could ‘reach’ Leni Riefenstahl, devoted National Socialist (Nazi’s) or International Socialists (Communists) in the 1920’s and 1930’s. You fight and beat them or they win.

    Everyone must ally against the SJW/Islam Parties. We win or they win. Same thing as 1920-1990.

    The police are not there to help us. They work for the bad guys and are paid by the bad guys for the most part. Read Tommy Robinson’s book ‘Enemy of the State’ if you still believe the police give a shit about you. They don’t. In America we can arm ourselves in Red States. Blue Sates (our Western Europe clones) are Eloi hellholes.

    The Eastern Europeans are fighting back against the pathetic Western European self-haters, so at least you can remain in Europe and learn Polish. Otherwise get the hell out. It is way too late.

  • PapayaSF

    I am really starting to despair for the sanity of the world. Certain pleasant-sounding, universalist notions (e.g. “all people and religions are the same”) are being used as excuses to (essentially) destroy traditional Western civilization, which is supposedly the source of all that is wrong with the world, because it’s run by “cis-het white males.” Once the Third World entirely floods it, then somehow multiculturalism and diversity and anti-racism will triumph, and it’ll be rainbows and puppies from then on. Never mind the looming bankruptcy of every welfare state. Never mind the explicit, oft-stated Islamist plan to conquer the world and create a universal theocratic dictatorship. Never mind the obvious cultural clashes. The response of Sweden and Germany to immigrant crime is very telling: stop reporting statistics, tell women to cover up, and persecute anyone who points out the obvious.

    I think we are approaching a need for national lifeboat ethics. Not everyone in the world can be saved, so save the countries that can be saved. The West needs to stop Third World and Muslim immigration, take no Muslim refugees, and try to save itself before it’s too late. Poland has the right idea.

    It pains me as a self-identified libertarian of many years to say this, but I see no alternative.

  • bobby b

    1. Certainly, don’t read Wikipedia to learn about Sad Puppies, or in fact anything which might have a “liberal” take versus a “conservative” take. Wikipedia has been completely dominated by SJW editors who change facts to fit their beliefs. At the very least, if you DO read Wikipedia, also look at the same entry in Infogalactic, which is the Wiki version edited by conservatives. The Sad Puppies link is here. The stories they tell are quite different.

    2. There’s an interesting discussion going on at Instapundit tonight, and on its parent site PJ Media, where writer Andrew Klaven wrote a short article holding that the protest at the Julius Ceasar play (in which a Trump-like character is murdered, bloodily and to great audience glee, every night) was a mistake, as it should be our side upholding freedoms. Approximately 700 comments between the two sites, and Klaven’s view is NOT winning. My co-conservatives are far more angry than I had thought.

    3. I had six people contact me today asking if they could buy an AR from me. None of them hunt. Things are getting serious.

  • Fraser Orr

    FWIW, I think the conclusion here is not correct. You should not elevate your own experience above a more careful analysis, since your own experience has a terrible sample bias problem. Which isn’t to say that you should be too ready to believe “official reports”, since they obviously have their own biases.

    As a libertarian I am constantly confronted with examples of where “the market doesn’t work.” It takes some examination to understand the real root causes to understand that the conclusion is based on falacies about the market or the world, and it takes a broad context to understand that sometimes the market’s results aer sub-optimal but often the best of the alternatives.

    How can I advocate against tariffs to ensue that this steel mill stays open — don’t I care about the workers? How can I not recognize the cruelty of the dementia tax? How cruel am I to suggest that the this grandma can’t afford health insurance while CEOs jet around in private planes? The answer to many of these questions are befuddled by looking only at the evidence of your own eyes and missing the underling causes and the bigger picture.

    Political correctness is the confusion of what ought to be with what actually is. It is a magic spell, a belief that by saying what ought to be that somehow that that will be manifest in reality. But the truth is that it is only by dealing with reality as it is that we can make the world as it ought to be through hard work, convincing argument and sound analysis. Magic words don’t work.

  • Frederick Davies

    Or as William Briggs and Bill Whittle say:

    “Love of theory is the root of all evil.”

    See here and here.

    FD

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Fraser, maybe you can explain how the market works in one area of interest- diamonds. Hasn’t DeBeers managed a diamond cartel for decades, without the cartel falling apart? How is this an example of market efficiency? Anyone?

  • JS

    Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray:

    I would never claim to be an authority on either economics or diamonds but aren’t diamonds different to many commodities in that outside of industrial diamonds they have little or no unique practical use.
    Indeed their value is largely in the fact that they are expensive and confer perceived status. Without training and very close examination most of us aren’t be able to tell the difference between diamonds and good costume jewelry, so it can’t be entirely down to aesthetic worth, yet people still pay extraordinary amounts for the real thing.
    If people really needed cheaper real diamonds then I suspect that the monopoly would have come under greater pressure long ago (see the failed attempt by the Hunt Brothers to corner the market in silver).
    And if diamonds really were cheap and plentiful I suspect that most of the people who wear them now wouldn’t bother or be wearing something like rubies, sapphires or emeralds instead.

  • Myno

    A free market does not obviate itself from being cornered. Monopolies, “natural” and “otherwise”, may be potholes in the smooth road of libertarian life, but the market looks best in the long run… where unexpected competition changes the game enough that… well. Ever since gemstone quality diamonds can now be grown in a $49.95 DiamondPatch kit from Amazon, de Beers is finding itself in the enviable position of looking to its future investments rather than its past manipulations. You have to accept that you are going to lose occasionally, to win overall with your continued and appreciated support of the Free Market as both the pinnacle of human creativity for the generalized solving of problems, and as a cultural and metaphysical foundation for the advancement of that amazingly curious naked ape of which we’re all so fond.

  • Jacob

    “Stalin’s tendency to believe a thing if he’d read it in a book”
    I don’t think Stalin believed in anything except his own power, and I don’t think he read that many books.

  • Spruance

    There is a fine treatise of IYIs, Intellectuals Yet Idiots by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, which tends to confirm old prejudices of mine. It is therefore a reading worth the time. 😎

  • Jim

    I’ve been saying for some time now that I consider a great deal of the Left to be mentally ill. They have constructed a version of reality in their heads, and are attempting to make reality fit to it, rather than adjusting their views to fit reality. This is what mentally ill people do – I have a friend who is a paranoid schizophrenic and when not medicated believes he is King Arthur, that the world is controlled by two entities called Green and Blue, and that only he can save humanity (he told me all this in one rather fraught encounter when he was off his meds – I was looking round the room for anything to hand to lump him with if it kicked off, fortunately it didn’t). He also considers anyone who tries to gainsay his views when he is in this state as enemies. Not only does he believe all this, he also acts as if it were true and attempts to do the things he considers necessary to ‘save the world’. Fortunately so far he has never been violent, he has threatened people though.

    This virtually to a T the behaviour of much of the Left at the moment. They have their world view that is immune to gainsaying, and anyone who tries to put an opposing view is automatically considered evil and deserving of harm, maybe death. Any evidence that counters their world view is ignored or considered false information by the evil forces that are surrounding them. Reality and theory are totally separated.
    I have often considered that there are a lot more people who have degrees of mental illness out there than we generally realise. Most of the time they can function relatively OK, if surrounded by good people who try and keep them on the path of sanity, however if they are steered in the wrong direction (by SJW or Islamic types) their inherent bias towards fantasy thinking will mean they go down the wormhole when a more sane person who stop and think ‘Hang on a minute here!’ I think the reason we are seeing more of the misdirection now is the internet – its all there on everyone’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, and 100% accessible to all, whereas in the past such people would probably never have been exposed to such twisted thinking. Now they are, and they lack the critical faculties to determine what is true and what is false.

    I don’t really blame such people for their views or even actions, as they are no different to my friend when he’s off his head, they don’t realise they have a problem. The people I reserve my utter hatred for are the people who know full well what they are peddling is bullshit but do it anyway because they know the weak minded will fall for it. The current leaders of the Labour party are prime suspects…………

  • Jamesg

    Jim, maybe my experience is not representative, but the few times I’ve called out SJW virtue signalling nonsense amongst people I know they’ve quite quickly backed down. Perhaps these are just amateur SJWs, not the full on brainwashed. But I live in hope that if it ever got really bad a collective shout of STFU would restore normality pretty quickly. The British certainly are rather good at bringing people down to earth, especially with some pointed piss taking.

  • Jamesg

    Anyone old enough to remember when these everyday phrases used to just get dropped into conversation?

    Each to their own.
    Live and let live.
    He’s entitled to his opinion.
    It’s a free country.

  • Fraser Orr

    Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray
    > Fraser, maybe you can explain how the market works in one area of interest- diamonds. Hasn’t DeBeers managed a diamond cartel for decades, without the cartel falling apart? How is this an example of market efficiency? Anyone?

    Government interference of course. DeBeers managed a cartel primarily because they owned the government of South Africa from whence came nearly all diamonds. However, the DeBeers cartel has been severely weakened by the discovery of diamonds in Australia, a source that they have been unable to control, and they now no longer control the market.

    http://www.kitco.com/ind/Zimnisky/2013-06-06-A-Diamond-Market-No-Longer-Controlled-By-De-Beers.html

    This is compounded by the fact that diamonds are a very odd market (as someone else pointed out.) Intrinsically diamond alternatives such as CZ are in almost every respect superior to real diamonds (hardness being perhaps the only exception.) However, through great marketing DeBeers have managed to make them seem cheap and nasty. Diamonds are valuable precisely because you have one and she doesn’t. So, unlike in most markets increasing the price actually makes them more desirable (if less accessible.)

    So the diamond market is really a silly vanity market that doesn’t matter to the economy as a whole (because they add no value.) The market in commercial diamonds (for use in drilling, grinding etc.) however, does follow normal market trends, and DeBeers doesn’t even work in that market AFAIK.

    But I’ll grant your point, the diamond market definitely is an outlier.

  • […] it as a commenter at Samizdata suggested, when one of the regulars there linked to a recent Sarah Hoyt post? I have often […]

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