Michael R’s Comment of the Day really doesn’t refer to anything in the post itself. It was sparked by Commenter Other Bill’s statement objecting to Ethics’ Alarms use of the term “The Great Stupid” to describe the current cultural chaos, “What’s going on is a slow motion, Marxist-inspired, relentless revolution.” I like “The Great Stupid,” which is not to say that the rise of Marxism wasn’t the Greatest Stupid of Them All.
I know I’m repeating this story, but it’s relevant. In my lucky two-hour private session with futurist Herman Kahn (above) then widely regarded as the smartest man alive, we discussed the craziness of the Sixties. He opined that throughout human history, various civilizations periodically forgot what they had learned over generations, represented by traditions, values, and practices that were taken for granted but not thought about any more. “This always leads to extended periods of mass stupidity and resulting human and societal disasters, after which society is reminded why they had the rules, traditions and values for so long. Sometimes, but not always, the damage can be repaired,” he said. Herman’s example of damage that could not be repaired was the sexual revolution, particularly the end of society’s disapproval of having babies out of marriage. Another, my personal “favorite,” is the reversal of society’s formal disapproval of recreational drug use.
Right now, an epic number of really bad ideas are being accepted by people who should know better, and not all of the idiocy can be explained by Marxism. Defunding the police? Marxists need police to keep the unenlightened in line—that’s just stupidity. Allowing a single incident in Minnesota to trigger widespread riots, property destruction and death based on false information and emotion? Stupidity. A lot of the bad ideas slithering around now are best explained by the lack of critical thinking skills in the public at large, due, not to Marxist education, but to incompetent education.
Here is Michael R’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Afternoon Ethics Delights, 4/6/2021”:
The recognition that this is the third and fourth generation of communist activists in the colleges is important. It explains why everyone now seems to be incompetent. When communist activists didn’t have complete control of academia, they were taught by people who actually knew how things worked and were taught useful information. Communism doesn’t work with reality, so this became a problem. As communists took control of entire departments, they devolved into pure ideology detached from reality. As more departments fell, this ideology became the controlling voice in the universities and took over all of administration and student life. It also made the fields incompetent.
Let’s take the example of polling. Why can’t polling organizations seem to produce an accurate poll? My suspicion is that they don’t know how anymore. People figured out how to get polls that reflected public opinion pretty closely. Then, they found that polls didn’t just reflect public opinion, they influenced public opinion. Then it was time to ‘cook’ the polls, while passing the polls off as impartial. I remember reading that one poll claimed that people aged 18-25 in Columbus Ohio gave you an accurate representation of the opinions of the US. Well, that is just the Ohio State students and no it doesn’t. However, if you claim it does, you can pass your poll off as ‘impartial’. Now, when this was done, everyone knew it was hogwash. If you teach this to gullible college students and it comes from ‘respected’ polling researchers, they will believe it. They believed all the lies told about the methods used to skew the polls. The old pollsters are gone, all that is left are the pollsters and the bag of lies they believe. I don’t think they can make an accurate poll because everything they have been taught was designed to create inaccurate polls.
Now, expand this to just about every field of knowledge. Look at Modern Monetary Theory, the philosophy currently running our economy. It holds that the government can never go bankrupt because it can just print more money. In it, the government is funded by printing money (borrowing) and the purpose of taxation is solely to further societal aims. You might wonder about hyperinflation, but MMT states quite clearly that increasing the money supply does not cause inflation, so there! If it does cause inflation, you can just redefine inflation so it doesn’t. BTW, we are changing the CPI again this year so that it reflects the FED’s assertion that we have 2% inflation. Using the original CPI, we have had 10+% inflation each year since 2008.
…sigh. I just realized I started a post about lefty college professors and ended it with what is wrong with the FED.