Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Liberalism is a bad sales job, and therefore will always have a division in its midst between those who are being duped and those who are doing the duping. Just like an ass will always have a crack.
I was expounding on this point last night on my Hello Kitty of Blogging account.
Left-wing policies hurt the very people they’re supposed to help; right-wingers know this, by-n-large, but do the lefties? The answer to THAT question is key to understanding the left-wing movement in modern America.
It is the Pareto Principle in action. Eighty percent of this knowledge that left-wing policies are bad, is monopolized by twenty percent of the left-wingers, with the remaining eighty percent of them doe-eyed, innocent, mostly well-intentioned. And there’s some selfishness in there too: They figure if we have some sort of wealth-redistribution scheme underway that isn’t underway already, they stand to benefit.
This mixture of good intentions and soft selfishness, is worthy of discussion. At the very heart of this thought process, this “bigger half of the ass,” the duped-people subscribe to a number of articles of faith:
1. Capitalism — and there is remarkably little confusion about what exactly that word means — doesn’t work. It is a sucker’s game.
2. It is like multi-level marketing. It will pay off, for those who are in early and out early; the ones who fail to bail out will be left holding the bag.
3. HOWEVER…individuals cannot make the decision to bail out, it takes a certain number of people to pool their resources and bail out together, stiffing everyone else.
4. So, fuck everyone else and let’s get ours! Are you with me?
So these eighty percent of the liberals who possess no more than twenty percent of the understanding, seek to form a community. It is greater in size than a single individual, but it is less than everyone, because someone has to be left holding the bag. They feel like they’re in the Prisoner’s Dilemma: “If A betrays B but B remains silent, A will be set free and B will serve 3 years in prison…” That’s the plan, A is going to betray B, they figure they’re A, except there is some antecedent action in the story — B has already stuck it to A in some fashion, so B has it comin’. That would explain all this chatter we’ve been hearing for the last couple of years about “the ninety-nine percent,” “one percent,” et al. One percent of the people have 99 percent of the wealth and vice versa…massive inequality…they seem to inwardly sense that these stats are made-up and can’t be trusted, but it doesn’t matter because there is some inequality there, of which the homily is only tangentially representative, the way an ancient fable might be only figuratively connected to something that actually happened. The inequality directly translates to injustice. You have more than me, that somehow can’t possibly mean you did something to earn the loot that I didn’t do — that is, in some way, preemptively eliminated as a possibility. If you have something I don’t have, there must have been an equal allotment of whatever it is, and then when I wasn’t looking you must have stolen my share.
So they’re in the prisoner’s dilemma, but it isn’t a dilemma for them at all, because, payback. The only “dilemma” is to do the getting-out, right now, and screw that other guy before he figures out what’s up. And they can’t do it alone. They need to do it as part of a group.
The dupers — well, they’re easier to study, even though they’re deeper thinkers. They’ve simply found a way to provide this temptation and take their cut. The more the dupees are duped, the easier it is to dupe them some more, so you have to ask yourself: Why would the dupers ever stop? Of course they wouldn’t and they won’t. There’s no incentive to make an honest living here. We can’t make them listen to reason. The way to save the country is to ram something up that ass, split it in half. Separate the duped from the dupers who are duping them.
There’s a trick there. Clearly, if what’s motivating them is “fuck everyone else and let’s get ours” then they aren’t entirely well-intentioned. Nor can it be said they’re entirely missing the capacity for good intentions, either. What they’re missing is maturity. They don’t trust capitalism. Maybe they feel they’ve been given the shaft by it. And they probably have. Capitalism does give a lot of people the shaft. The case could be made that it gives everyone the shaft. Look into the lives of the people who win at it all the time; look closely, and you’ll find they haven’t always won. They lost here and there, it’s just nobody ever talks about it. As you gather more and more information, you see a pattern emerge strongly suggesting that that’s the real secret to success. You just get up after you’ve been knocked down. Acquire new relationships, get rid of others, after you find out some people are going to do right by you and others aren’t.
But you find this all out after you have paid attention. Our modern society’s current infatuation with hardcore liberalism, the extremist techno-liberalism that pretends to be building great and grand new things while it does nothing but wreck the wonderful things that were already there…it is rooted firmly in a case of cultural ADD. Few-to-no people can pay attention to anything for too long. Liberalism is an easy sell in this landscape, because “get that guy before he gets you” is such a short and seductive message. The rebuttal against it is considerably longer, lacking that adrenaline surge associated with sweet, sweet revenge. It’s boring. And it consists mostly of unanswerable questions, like “If you’re building something great and grand, then what exactly is it? And how well does it work?” That doesn’t excite the attention-span-deprived, and it doesn’t draw in the selfish, because it doesn’t offer them anything.
To save the country, we need statements.
And we have to aim them at the early-recruits. The ones who are not quite yet at the stage of “fuck that other guy before he fucks with us.” That’s too late.
The target audience has to be the “centrist” who has just read some sad-sack story. Gay guys who can’t get married, single mom with breast cancer losing her health insurance, young dude who can’t get a job, Yale law school slut who has to pay for her own contraceptives…
I’m coming to be aware of a lot of this fresh-recruit propaganda has to do with economic classes. That’s been going on since at least the 1930’s, but with a hardcore liberal President we’re living under a renewed push. So-and-so works really, really, super duper hard, and yet he only makes one eight-hundredth as much as the boss. Or one ten-thousandth. So unfair!
How do you talk to people who are falling for this? After all, we all know how it plays out: If it isn’t fair, we need some external influence to make it fair, involving student subsidies, minimum wages, more regulations, and higher taxes. By the time someone asks the obvious question of “Waitaminnit, how do these things actually improve anything for anybody, long-term?” everybody’s lost interest and moved on to something else. What a short path it is between sympathetic murmurs and destructive impulses. Actually building something is pretty tedious. Takes a year to build the barn and a day to knock it down.
I went on to suggest the following…
Here’s how you talk to the ignorant, mostly-innocent, mostly-well-intentioned majority:
“I notice, Republicans [conservatives] do not seem to want to hurt poor people, nearly as much as democrats [liberals] want to hurt rich people…”
“Yes, they want fewer poor people the same way democrats want fewer rich people, but they don’t want the poor people to go away the way democrats want rich people to go away. They seem to want the poor people to stop being poor, which, I think, for the most part, those poor people would be just fine with that…democrats, on the other hand, appear to want to bring ACTUAL harm to rich people.” And discuss from there.
Of course, we don’t know any of this for sure. It’s an easy thing to target a class and say there’s something wrong with it being there. Much more difficult to say what exactly you want to have happen to the people who are in it. Adolf Hitler did manage to get that done, eventually, but what about the rest of us. I think if we can all agree on anything, we can all agree that’s not a good model for us to follow.
The right-wing has a ready solution for this, and quite a lot of distance between them and Hitler’s final solution, because our poor people don’t want to be poor. Well, by-n-large they don’t. Lots of people who can’t get jobs, want to be able to get a job. It’s not so easy to say the same thing about rich people. Isn’t this just obvious? Rich people would rather be rich than poor…poor people would rather be rich than poor…
While we’re still in “no duh” territory, it becomes obvious that the lefties want to do something destructive to the rich people, while they’re observing worriedly that there, ya know, are some rich people. More rich people than they’d like. How do they intend to thin the ranks? Load them up in boxcars? Banish them? Vaporize them? Make them poor? Does it really matter which one it is? It’s all destructive.
A right-winger wanting poor people to be rich, is not similarly destructive. That’s, like, uh…the way it’s supposed to work. Remember that?
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