Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Left isn't winning by having good arguments - it wins because people are punished for arguing against the Left


This is one of the things I find most frustrating, and increasingly frustrating: not so much that it happens, but that so many people cannot see that it is happening.

An example is research into intelligence, specifically into the combination of the inheritance of intelligence and group intelligence differences.

The FACT is that people presenting arguments or evidence to show differences in heritable intelligence between groups, have been severely punished by Leftists since the mid-1960s.

To put in mildly, this state of affairs severely distorts both research and public discourse, with incredibly far-reaching maladaptive consequences for social policies; yet, people do not take account of this distortion, or assume that they can readily correct for it.


The same applies to arguments about sexual orientation, immigration, poverty, the redefinition of marriage...  the list is a long one.

Leftism has not won these arguments, the Left has simply punished those who argue on the other side: and when I say 'The Left' I mean particularly Leftist intellectuals in the mass media, public administration, the education system, and bureaucracies generally.

While at the same time denying that they are doing this! And being believed!!


The consequence is on one side to sustain a truly deplorable state of dishonesty, and on the other side a near total lack of awareness of this state of dishonesty.

There have been plenty of examples of coercive repression of opposition, indeed something of the sort is necessary to stable government - yet has there ever before been a situation where so many people are unaware of the coercion, deny the coercion, or think that it doesn't make any significant difference, or that they personally can easily 'see through' the dense cloud of swirling lies which surrounds them?


What can be concluded?

Our society is far more corrupt than people realize - why wouldn't it be? What's to stop it? But just how corrupt it is impossible to know, even approximately, since any 'evidence' consists of lies built upon lies.

Our society is far less smart than people realize, because good arguments are punished and demonized so bad arguments (or no arguments at all, but merely faked moral outrage/ scapegoat hatred) wins vital arguments by default.


In sum, we live in a world ruled by dumb liars, who get dumber and more dishonest every day - who think they are smart reality-perceivers because they are talking so loud and fast, and because nobody argues against them except disgusting losers - and this continues because the dumb liars rule a world inhabited by short-termist secular hedonists who do not have any reason to care whether or not the above description is true; since they regard truth as whatever is expedient en route to happiness, and reality as something socially constructed and open-endedly re-definable.



o'rety said...

Very good post. Sums up my own sentiments nicely.

Tucker said...

Leftism has not won these arguments, the Left has simply punished those who argue on the other side

It follows that a main point of reactionary strategy should be to push for laws allowing opinions that are currently disallowed. It would be as simple as that to reverse much of the present damage.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Tucker - That has been the strategy from secular libertarians for 40 years plus - from when there were no 'hate crime' pseudo-laws against disagreeing with the Left. It hasn't worked.

What you suggest is, indeed, against human nature - since people cannot be neutral about things which matter to them (or rather, extremely few people can be neutral. I know this from multiple personal experiences of PC conflicts.).

So it is not a matter of being free to disagree, it a matter of supporting what is true, and not what is a lie.

Anti-Democracy Activist said...

Sorry, no. While I do not disagree that the left are totalists and authoritarians, that's not why they win. They win because they present an option of ease, license, immediate gratification, and lack of consequence.

Christianity offers the Kingdom of Heaven - ultimate bliss and beauty, but hard to get in to. It has to be earned, and the path to it is narrow and rocky. Leftism offers Cockaigne - a twisted and materialistic perversion of Heaven, with low, earthly pleasures available in abundance. The Sexual Revolution, the welfare state, the drug culture, abortion on demand, the "destagmatizing" of virtually every imaginable deviancy - these are the artifacts of creating, not the Heaven upon the Earth that Marx promised, but Cockaigne upon the Earth.

Of course it's a sham, an illusion, a set-piece, and a counterfeit. Of course it is, to borrow a lovely word from the left, unsustainable, and can only lead to ruin and tragedy in the end. Yes, yes... but what has reality to do with anything?

Speaking of illusions, we can't afford the illusion that the only reason we're not winning is because we're not allowed to get the message out. No, it's much worse than that. It's that all we have are truth and reality, which are not weapons as powerful as one might wish. Give people the choice between a pleasant illusion on the one hand and warts-and-all reality on the other, and they'll choose the illusion every time. Off to the feelies and centrifugal bumblepuppy for them.

Bruce Charlton said...

@ADA - Fair enough, at a deep level (as I have argued elsewhere) it is all about secularism - and there is the facilitating effect of prosperity as a side effect of a high concentration of genius... and so on.

BUT - what I am describing above has become more and more significant since the mid sixties - and now the mass of fair minded, decent, tolerant, well-informed people are terribly wrong about many, many things because of what I describe above. It is a dismaying business.

Tucker said...

So it is not a matter of being free to disagree, it a matter of supporting what is true, and not what is a lie.

Well, I don't think we are entirely in disagreement here. Surely you must agree that a starting point, anyway, is that we need to be allowed to express the truth!

Bruce Charlton said...

@Tucker - That's true enough. But the laws and practices supposed to guarantee 'freedom' have been over-ridden very easily, simply by arguing that 'other things are more important' such as preventing suffering, preventing health hazards, preventing violence or whatever.

So if we really wanted to be able (for example) to espouse Christianity (and its principles and implications) in public discourse, then we would need a system of laws and practices that were not neutral but *supportive* of Christianity.

Alex said...

Our society is far more corrupt than people realize....

Yes: most emphatically so. An impotent minority is, of course, aware of the parlous state we're in. But those who rock the boat get thrown overboard.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Alex - aside from the obviously corrupt areas of politics, public administration, law and the media - education, science and medicine are also extremely corrupt - for example what are nowadays called 'exams' would have been called 'cheating' fifty years ago. And of course several of the large churches are corrupt - misleading and being dishonest as a matter of routine

Bruce Charlton said...

NOTE - It was the experience of writing about IQ and social class in 2008 that finally and irrevocably persuaded me that strength of reasoning and quantity of evidence had nothing to do with winning arguments in the public arena.

My argument and evidence, which are merely some assumptions and their necessary mathematical consequences, were subjected to an international multi-media firestorm ALL of which completely/ totally ignored ALL the arguments and evidence (that is, ignored every single element of reason or citation or scientific consensus).

The sum total of Leftist discussion on the issues which challenge Leftism is simply SHUT UP!

Anonymous said...

"Speaking of illusions, we can't afford the illusion that the only reason we're not winning is because we're not allowed to get the message out. No, it's much worse than that."

It is worse than that.

The way it is worse is that those with the power have it by showering handouts upon people whose average IQ is 75-80. These people don't know what a budget is, but they understand when their EBT cards are full and when they are empty.

The big cities control the political landscape. This is the problem.

There's two solutions-force the left to fully implement their "minority"-favoring policies, even when the minority is us. That will be like pulling teeth, but you might be able to do it if you can shame them from a big enough soapbox. This solution is called populism.It will go over pretty good with the kiddies.

The other solution is a coup followed by reactionary politics. Some sort of authoritarian regime to drown out populism forever after the right sorts are in charge.

If both strategies are pursued simultaneously it would be significant pressure on the left,forcing them to fight a two-front war and eventually victory by attrition would result. One strategy,however, would necessarily have to be a feint;unbeknownst to its advocates,though, or they wouldn't push with enough vigor or believably enough to get others on board with them.

As you say, the situation is worse than the mere fact that people don't know. It's that they don't WANT to know, and that's as bad as it gets.