Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Government By Wishfull Thinking

Way back in the depths of time, Greek philosophers ended up with two basic and incompatible ways of looking at the universe. One way was materialism, which says that there is a material universe which behaves in a consistent way, and if you study it you can learn the way it works.
That’s the world view of engineers and scientists — and businessmen, for that matter. It’s the world view of people who understand and use mathematics, and statistics. It is a place where cause leads to effect. It’s the place that game theory studies. It isn’t necessarily inherently atheistic; a lot of religious people live in the materialist world.
But there are people who don’t. A different epistemological view is teleology, which says that the universe is an ideal place. More or less, it
exists so that we humans can live in it. And human thought is a fundamental force in the universe. Teleology says that if a mental model is esthetically pleasing then it must be true. Teleology implies that if you truly believe in something, it’ll happen. Wikipedia says:
A teleological school of thought is one that holds all things to be designed for or directed toward a final result, that there is an inherent purpose or final cause for all that exists.
And in its modern form that final result is presumed to be creation of a world of peace and harmony, a utopia, in which all men live in peace and brotherhood, in harmony with nature.
At least, that’s the distorted form of Teleology that has come down to some of us in the modern era, mainly on the left wing. Aristotle probably wouldn’t recognize his red-headed step child as it exists today, though. Like many philosophically pure ideas adopted into popular culture, it’s gotten mutated nearly beyond recognition and almost all the mutations were negative.
One way to compare and contrast those two world views is to consider what they think about socialism. Materialists look at history since Marx and point out that socialism has been tried many times, in many nations, in various forms, and it has always failed. In places where it was fully implemented the result was decline and economic collapse. When it was only partially implemented you got slower decline. It often looks like it’s working in the early stages, but in the longer term it has never succeeded.
So to materialists, it’s apparent that socialism is a nice idea, but one that doesn’t work and shouldn’t be adopted.
To teleologists, none of that matters. What matters is the fact that it’s a beautiful idea. It’s how things should be. In a world in which socialism was implemented and which worked the way the teleologists think it should work, you really would have a utopia. The fact that it’s invariably failed when used doesn’t change any of that. (When asked to explain all the failures, usually the answer is, “They didn’t do it right.” But for teleologists, a long string of failures doesn’t matter because fundamentally teleologists don’t believe things like that make any difference.)
It’s teleologists who drive around with bumper stickers that say, “Imagine world peace.” I can imagine it just fine. I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime, though. Why would they want me to imagine it?
It’s because teleologists believe that human thought truly affects things. Of course it does; thought precedes action, and actions change history, right? Yeah, but that’s not the point. Teleologists believe that thought directly affects things. The mere act of thinking about something and wanting it a lot directly changes reality, even if the thought doesn’t get translated into action.
It was teleologists who were mainly involved in the anti-war movement about five years ago when it was at its greatest. I remember reading about how they’d have a demonstration somewhere. Lots of people would come out. They’d parade about carrying signs saying, “End the war!” Someone would burn a giant mockup of President Bush’s head. And afterwards they’d all talk about how successful the demonstration had been.
Successful how? It didn’t have any political effect that I ever noticed. The war didn’t end because of the demonstrations. So what was it that they thought was successful? Well, if you asked them they’d talk about how there was all sorts of positive vibes. How good it felt to be out there. And how so many people were feeling the same thing. Which sounds like masturbation, if you’re a materialist, but genuinely makes sense for a teleologist. They really thought that if enough of them got together and wanted the war to end strongly enough, it would spontaneously end. Not because getting enough voters on their side would have electoral consequences, but because the act of wanting it would directly bring that about.
To a materialist this sounds like insanity. It is, as Chip Morningstar memorably put it, “epistemologically challenged”. And it doesn’t survive real world test. But to teleologists, “real world tests” don’t matter. The teleological world view inherently rejects all of that stuff.
Why does teleology (in this mutated form) matter? Because right now we have a teleologist as our President.
Matthew Continetti says that we’re in “a year of magical thinking.” And to someone who has grown up with a materialist view of the universe, it could certainly seem that way. But what’s really going on is that Obama has this kind of world view. And that explains everything he’s done.
It explains his foreign policy. To a teleologists, it just makes sense that everyone should want to get along. If you unclench your fist and hold out
your hand, everyone else will unclench their fists, and become your friends. So Obama is doing that, and as we know the result has been a shambles.
It explains his economic policy. Teleologists inherently don’t believe in unintended side effects when it comes to implementing their idealistic policies. Obviously it should be possible to provide free health care to everyone without wrecking the economy; it’s just how things really should be, so that’s how it will be. Where will the money come from? That’s the kind of question that materialists ask; teleologists don’t concern themselves with such trivial. It’ll happen somehow, because it’s obviously how it should turn out. To say we shouldn’t do it is to be heartless, uncaring — and those things are more important than mundane claims that it won’t work. If you just believe, it will work.
Of course, it won’t work. The materialists are right about that. But when it fails (if it gets tried) the teleologists will blame the negative vibes of all the materialist doubters for the failure. If only they’d come on board and supported it, then it would have come out OK.
It explains his dealings with Congress in general. He has been telling Congress in very general terms what he wants from them, and seems to think that this is all he really has to do. He wants the bills enough so that Congress will spontaneously create exactly the bills he wants and send them to him as soon as he says. Nothing else need be done by him except to want them.
The teleological world view on the left has been a factor in American politics to a greater or lesser extent since the 1960’s, but this is the first time it was largely in control. And the most likely outcome of it is to make most Americans understand just how deeply worthless, and outright damaging, it is. Which, in the long run, will be very good for America.
The only concern is that we can come through the remaining three years of Obama’s first (and almost certainly his only) term of office without sustaining irreparable damage. If Congress had moved at the speed Obama wanted them to, we might have suffered such damage, but now that we’ve almost made it through his first year and are moving into an election year, with public opinion polls moving strongly against Obama and his policies, I am becoming cautiously optimistic that we can survive this. writen by Steven Den Beste original post by Hotair.


  1. Though we criticise Obama for his lack of success with foreign and internal policies, we shouldn't forget that it was not Obama who started the war and caused economic crisis. It was Bush and his government. The war policy of The States destroyed both its own and the world's economy. Can you give me the numbers of America's interior and foreign dept?
    Like Bush doesn't know the difference between a Sunni and a Shi'i, Palin doesn't know where is Iran and Iraq.
    As for socialsm, those who claimed they were socialists or communists did'nt experienced these systems as they should have been. How can we call Stalin as a communist? He was a definite fascist. He wasn't different from Hitler. Bourgeoisie weared socialsim and its true leaders like Parson down.

    I will edit a post on my thoughts on the war later. I have a post on climate change. Visit, pls.The second post.

  2. So now it's Bush's fault that some countries economy is failing? And do the Muslims know the difference between a Lutheran and a Roman Catholic? Why must we be the ones to be blamed for everything. Why is it that the common denominator in almost every war is Islam? We can start with India and Pakastan and end in Iraq where the Sunni and Shi'i are killing each other for religous reasons. Couldn't we also say that it was the terrorist that started the instability in the world that helped cause the decline in the human condition? Or is it easier to blame Bush because he never fought back when blamed? I do appreciate hearing your opinion though.

  3. Our President has Apoligized for are Arrogance,Bowed to Forgein Leaders and at this point we should be done kissing ASS but it Appears to some we have not done enough KISSING!

    As Bad as we are suppose to be I do not remember ANY Countries with their HANDS out refusing OUR DOLLARS in Aide. I do not remember ANY Country refusing our FOOOD!

    The main reason other Nations that actually DO hate us is for one reason. We as a Nation have done more than ANY Nation on the Planet and some of OUR haters are still stuck in the time of JESUS and people that AINT OUR fault. Why they HATE us its called ENVY. The only way the Bitchers here will be Satisfied is if WE bring OUR standard of living Down to Third World Countries and hopefully that AINT going to HAPPEN!

  4. Chris thanks for ur visit to my blog i am very glad and ur blog is like a discussion board on political issues

  5. Great post Chris. These liberals are living in a fantasy world of sugar plum fairies and unicorns pooping rainbows. It's play-time for them while real people are losing real jobs and real businesses are going under. The Hypocrats are trying to ruin this country ASAP with their wishful thinking. I wish they would just go on back to dream land and let the grown ups take care of everything.

    This reminds me of the study that found that liberalism is a mental disorder. That explains a lot. And remember when Donald had that list of how liberals are like little kids?!

  6. What was I saying? Something about the GOP Strategy of offering up amendments, all of which died, with reciprocal amendments from the Dems, was just allowing the Democrats to improve the bill and buy time for 60 votes?

    Guess what? That’s what happened.

    Now the GOP has a choice — keep up the “messaging amendment” or actually fight. Their choice.

  7. They tabled the amendment that Senator Nelson offered for the health care rationing bill - the one that would have aligned it with the Stupak amendment for the House version - on a largely party-line vote (54/45, with Byrd not voting). Senator Nelson, despite vowing to filibuster*, is even now revising and extending his remarks:

    A few reporters waiting outside the door asked him how it would effect his decision on whether to support the final effort.

    “I want to continue to work on this,” he said, not ruling out his support, at least “not at this point in time. I want to continue to work on the project we’re working on… This makes it harder right now [to support the bill]. We’ll have to see if they can make it easier.”

    (H/t: Hot Air) The NRLC has already announced that they will now oppose cloture of the health care rationing bill. Mind you, they also promised to score the vote on Nelson-Hatch, and it got tabled anyway. Nelson’s not up for re-election until 2012 anyway, and the man will be 71 by then; he might decide to just retire. So don’t rely on him keeping his word. The Senate is full of Democrats who talk big about their conservative principles, right up to the moment where they have to fight for them.


    “It is Stupak language,” Nelson said. “I’ve said at the end of the day if it doesn’t have Stupak language on abortion in it I won’t vote to move it off the floor.”

    Asked whether that meant he was intent on stalling the bill, Nelson said: “I just said that, didn’t I? This isn’t anything new, I’ve said this for a long time and people are finally hearing it.”

  8. He better know the etnicity of a country he invaded to "liberate".

  9. It would be nice if he knew everything but people do make mistakes. Afghanistan made a big one by siding with the terrorist and not the UN. They knew what would happen and they made the choice for war. Do you know how many people a year died under the Taliban and S.Hussein? We saved lives buy getting ride of these crazy dictators. A lot of people forget the dancing in the streets in Iraq and Afghaniustan. Women in this part of the world are free now and most people agree with that. One question though, what does the etnicity of a people have to do with liberating them from opression? If you were held captive by someone would you pray every day that someone would liberate you?

  10. Are you sure that women are liberated? How? And of course, i agree with you that Taliban and S. Hussein are dictaors. They have noting to do with Islam. Taliban is just misusing it as S.Hussein did.

  11. Didn't the Taliban follow the Quaran literaly? Aren't they the "orthadox"muslims? Are you saying that the videos of woman walking free in Afghan are false? Are women in Iraq and Afghanisatn not more free now then before? Why is it almost always a Muslim doing the terrorism if it isn't because of their beliefs? I haven't seen many non Muslim terrorist in the last 30 years. So why is that?

  12. Chris, you didn't write this blog did you? by chance is it written by STEVEN DEN BESTE. i ask because i found it at hot air and it was posted on the 6th.

  13. Chris, they are misusing Islam. The real concept of Islam orders peace and equality. Have you read the Quran? I am telling you these from a very objective aspect because i am an unbeliever. I have no symphaty for any kind of religion but I have to tell the truth.
    Taliban used to rape them and American soldiers are going on. This is the only thing that has changed. Of course the war supporter media will show the good side. Or else how come they justify that bulshit?

  14. I have read the Koran English version and I have spoken to many Arabs that told me the Arabic is a little different on the way it talks about non-Muslims. Since I don't read Arabic it's all secondhand but I have verified it with other sources. I live in SE Michigan and we have a large group of Arab/Jews. Ask a Chaldian what they think of Muslims and the way they treat non Muslims.

  15. Joe it was sent to me and I posted it. You could be right.


Please keep it clean and nice. Thank you for taking the time to post you thought. It means a lot to me that you do this.