Tuesday 6 April 2021

A world unable to learn

I continue to be incredulous at the way people are immune to the experiences of 2020-21; even when discussing phenomena directly affected by the changes, such as politics and society. 

From the severity and universality of what has happened, and the fact that it is unprecedented in human history; it would only make sense if people tried to comprehend and understand what has happened to them personally  (and to those they know and love best) over the past year - and what this implies about the world they live-in.  

Yet, it is very clear that this is only seldom the case; and that most people regard 2020-21 as being merely 'events' within exactly the same framework as they held prior to this epoch. 

It is all the same old parade of entertainments; the regular Punch and Judy fights (with all parties and individuals invisibly controlled by the same puppeteer) which they view, get emotional about, and comment-on in the mass media and 'private' discussions. 

People focus on much the same things, in much the same way, as they always did; their attitudes to the various branches of the Global Establishment have not changed; their evaluations of the personalities and institutions has not changed; their discernments of the goodies and baddies of the world have not changed.

All that has changed is that people are more fearful and despairing, more credulous and insane, more easily manipulated, more foolishly optimistic and existentially hope-less than ever before. 

People talk about birdemic news to the exclusion of everything else - yet it still remains just 'news', un-real, beyond experience and discernment; merely a context for enforced obedience and directed resentments.


The world has darkened by the will of Men; but the darkness is explained-away as if a natural disaster. And the deliberate and extreme crippling of human fellowship and initiative likewise made into a thing necessary, inevitable and thus beneficial.

Passivity, obedience, un-consciousness are the new triad of virtues.  

We must not just obey the always-changing, never-coherent rules of our new world government and their prison warders; but must show (repeatedly) that we regard them as Good, and on the side of Good. We must display our conviction that those who disagree with Them (in small or in large) are The Problem (and as such will need, sooner or later, to be eliminated).

We must not only obey Big Brother, but also love him. He wants not just our hands and brains, but also our hearts and minds. And he has them... 

And by the way we interact, by the absolute failure to notice the biggest change in the history of the world and its cause; it is clear that Big Brother does indeed have the hearts and minds of a large majority in 'the West'; and of nearly-everybody with power, influence, high status and wealth.  

But the truth is that our hearts and minds are free; and that freedom is a fact. 

So if BB does have your heart and mind it is because you, personally, have gifted them. 

And you are unavoidably, personally, responsible for the consequences which will follow. 


JohnB said...

"But the truth is that our hearts and minds are free; and that freedom is a fact."

I take great comfort from this statement; and I believe it to be true also. As you mention, the events of this past year - compleat with so many formerly 'cherished' institutions brazenly caught with their pants down - should really have caused the scales to fall from the eyes of many. I do have quite a lot of personal acquaintances who thankfully saw through the whole thing after a month, but I remain convinced that most still trust BB above all else.

Everyday, I take a walk at lunch time and remind myself of what is true and what is not. What can be verified and what cannot. 'There are Moorhens in the pond', 'This is a Willow tree', 'That car is red' are all statements of fact. Having said that, the most devout leftist could easily be convinced that this was not so. I also remind myself of statements of faith, seeing that the events of the last five years have most certainly pushed me closed to Him. It is refreshing and a joy.

During 'this virus business', one statement that I frequently heard from drones was 'Well, I am not an expert in medicine so I don't really know...'; which preceded a small sentence usually uttering tacit support for the hysterical government measures. It staggered me that these people thought there was only a 'medical' dimension to the discussion. I suspect many people do not like thinking for themselves anyhow - it's hard. Very hard. It also opens the mind to the brutality of reality, which I guess takes a mental fortitude all of it's own to deal with - perhaps religion helped with this in the past?

Dr. Charlton, I must say as an aside, I have compleated your book on the corruption of science and found that it tallied with my own experiences as an engineer working within large (and even small) companies. I shall not go into the myriad problems but your book was a very, very insightful read and I appreciated every word.

Bruce Charlton said...

@John - Thanks for the comment - and your remarks on Not Even Trying. As I've said before, I have a special fondness for this book since I think it is better written than any of the other books I did; but it has always been the least popular, and least read (not that any of my books were much read!). So you are now one of a small and very select band of 'admirers' - just a couple of dozen of us, I think!

Hari Seldon said...

>During 'this virus business', one statement that I frequently heard from drones was 'Well, I am not an expert in medicine so I don't really know...'


I have also heard that argument (or attitude) expressed, always with the implication that the "experts" should therefore be trusted absolutely. When I point out that a large number of experts *oppose* lockdowns and masks (actually almost all experts, it seems, before March 2020), the response is that, well, yes there are always "cranks" on the other side, but the "overwhelming majority" of experts support these measures.

But how would these people know? Have they done research and counted the number of experts on both sides of the debate? Of course not. Since they have already decided that government policy is correct (even though it changes on a weekly basis), they automatically rule out any expert opinion that contradicts it. That is why I have stopped trying to engage with these people; the discussions are completely circular, leading nowhere and persuading no one, although they do sometimes clarify and refine my own thinking about the issues.

Doktor Jeep said...

So how does one find the remnant?

Bruce Charlton said...

@DJ - In a world being-created by God who is our loving Father; anyone who is aligned with God, loves God, chooses to work-with his destiny; will (sooner or later - but in time) find what he most needs.

JohnB said...

Hari Seldon,

There are only really two ways that we can glean facts about the world: we either verify them for ourselves, or we take the information from a trusted source. At the moment, trusted sources are few and far between it seems. You're correct that these people have not sought to verify anything... it's a good example of individuals concerning themselves with matters that are just not that important. The most obvious instance of this is what is now termed 'climate change'. The public sellers of it are frequently hysterical, yet the consequences are always far off and never imminent.

Good luck convincing me to buy and expensive electric car when, day after day after day, nature does pretty much the same thing.

You are correct again to note that we should not engage with these people. There are better things to do; like verifying truthful things for yourself. A man could study stone masonry, botany, gardening, woodwork, mathematics, computing &c, and this would perhaps give him an appreciation for what it true. For what matters. It can never be taken away; of course, one needs discipline to do this, which most people are lacking.

One book that always impresses me, but I am not sure how well known it is, is E.F. Caldin's The Power And Limits Of Science. It contains a good run down of the scientific method (real science) as well as it's limitations when 'applied to society'.

Bruce Charlton said...

@John - "A man could study stone masonry, botany, gardening, woodwork, mathematics, computing &c, and this would perhaps give him an appreciation for what it true."

"Would perhaps", but looking around one can see that in practice "would perhaps" means "almost never" - unless he is already a Christian.

That is the one thing needful from which much else may follow, but without which no secular fix (such as the risible connection of non-leftist-values with *weightlifting* that one too-often sees on the alt-rightish blogs!) has any traction.

A said...

This struck me too, as it is Spring, that gardening could bring you closer to God - but when I think of many actual neighbors into gardening who are anti-God liberals.

Christianity necessarily and always comes first and can work in any situation.

Bruce Charlton said...

@MA - This is one of the things that has changed over the past couple of generations (50+years) - when people had a basis in Christianity, all sorts of 'wholesome' activities *seemed* to have an intrinsic value - because they synergized with the religion. That's gone - and stuff like gardening, crafts, arts, country walks etc are now revealed as neutral rather than beneficial. Plus, all of these have been corrupted (to varying degrees) by evil-motivated content (e.g. the arts), a politically correct focus, repurposing (e.g. making country walks into a sport) and/or sheer commercialism (gardening is now more like landscape design).

BTW, if you like gardening as a spiritual activity you might enjoy Jeremy Naydler's Gardening as a Sacred Art.