Ironism

Amerika, like the projects before it, broke new ground with a few ideas. The first was to view politics as an instance of herd behavior; another was to oppose diversity itself instead of the groups involved. Now it expands into inspection of human motivations and how those result in a distorted worldview.

Few think about ironism, mainly because the word is rarely used in what would be its consistent sense, namely to speak of those who advocate an approach to reality and moral choice rooted in irony, or things not being what they seem to be. Ironists extend this inversion beyond appearance and deny that things are as they are.

There is great power in denying that things are as they are. One becomes instantly messianic because people cannot tell the difference between more accurate perception, as happens with upsets in the scientific field, and simply projecting a conjecture as a replacement for reality itself.

Ironism becomes self-reifying, or manifesting itself by pursuit of itself, because it changes the human social order to be reality-denying and then only reality-deniers win. This is why once-thriving societies just drop off the map and fall out of history; their people went into denial, a form of insanity, and become incompetent, at which point the societies failed to do anything of relevance and withered away.

In other words, once ironism begins its cancerous work, soon only the bad will win, and the good will lose, which becomes important because the good are what make civilization possible. The bad are what unravel civilization and replace it with people living third world style, in anarchic personal lives bonded into thronging herds.

One of the approaches that Amerika has taken over the years is to view politics as philosophy because every organized system of thought or behavior reflects an underlying way of viewing the world and sense of purpose within it. This reveals some surprises.

For example, under the surface of “collectivism” we find that in fact, individualism motivates each member of that group. This is why idiots bleat about collectivism a lot; they do not want to acknowledge the sin they share in common with that collective, which is the desire to be above anyone who might tell them “no” or that their ideas are unrealistic. This is why conservatism fails, for example.

When we look deeply into individualism, we find that some people are merely bad, and they choose badly, going with their herd animal nature instead of observing, understanding, and adapting to reality. Since they are one step removed from nature through the cooperation and judgment of others, they exist entirely in that bubble.

Soon that bubble expands to include others as they seek to find compromise with the bad ones. This leads to an eternally recurring pattern where human groups become inverted, then ironic, and through that, act against all sensible and natural instincts, propelling them down a path of both self-destruction and a generalized “impulse to destroy”:

We know very little of the Adamites, but the picture that emerges of them – one that comes primarily from their enemies – was of a people more like the Hippie subculture of the 20th century rather than the Middle Ages.

For example, the chronicler Laurence of Brezova writes:

Wandering through forests and hills, some of them fell into such insanity that men and women threw off their clothes and went nude, saying that clothes had been adopted because of the sin of the first parents, but that they were in a state of innocence. From the same madness they supposed that they were not sinning if one of their brethren had intercourse with one of the sisters, and if the woman conceived, she said she had conceived of the Holy Spirit.

The scholar Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who later became Pope Pius II (1458-1464) also noted their supposed sexual activities:

They indulged in promiscuous intercourse, but no one might take a lover without the consent of Adam, their chief elder. When one of these brethren ardently desired a sister, he took her by the hand, and, going with her to the chief elder, said, “My soul is afire with love of this woman.” Whereupon the elder would reply, “Go, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.”

These views of Adamites were not necessarily new – in the early centuries of Christianity there was a sect called Adamites and that St. Augustine even mentions they practiced nudism while rejecting marriage.

Wherever ironism goes, the result is the same: invert all that works and replace it with whatever affirms the power of the individual over reality and common sense.

They seek this inversion through “reality is not as it seems” because they desire to cover up something, specifically that natural selection applies to humans and so we are unequal in character, ability, intelligence, and talent because these are inborn and we cannot alter them.

For them, every fact is something to be interpreted in a way that advances the ideology of Leftism. The best way to do this is to read the facts backward, so that effects appear to be causes. Witness a mundane example of backward thinking:

The research, published in the journal Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, indicates that a chronic lack of money can be damaging to people’s health and wellbeing – something which currently isn’t widely acknowledged by policy makers and mental healthcare providers.

Edited by Dr. Jaime Delgadillo, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield, the international collection of research featured in a special edition of this journal indicates that people living in poverty are more likely to develop mental health problems, which could be related to their increased exposure to adverse life events and a chronic state of unmet material and emotional needs.

The studies presented in the journal examine the relationship between social inequalities and psychological care. Together, the findings show that people living in poverty are less likely to start treatment for mental health problems. Once they do start treatment, they are more likely to have ongoing mental health problems after the treatment is completed, and they face a range of material (e.g. lack of transportation) and social (e.g. stigma) barriers to accessing support. The studies also indicate that people living in poor neighbourhoods are less likely to recover from depression and anxiety symptoms after psychological treatment, compared to people from more affluent neighbourhoods.

Turning this around:

The research, published in the journal Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, indicates that bad health and low wellbeing can cause a chronic lack of money – something which currently isn’t widely acknowledged by policy makers and mental healthcare providers.

Edited by Dr. Jaime Delgadillo, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield, the international collection of research featured in a special edition of this journal indicates that people with mental health problems are more likely to be living in poverty, which could be related to their increased proclivity for adverse life events and a chronic state of unrecognized material and emotional needs.

The studies presented in the journal examine the relationship between mental health and social inequalities. Together, the findings show that people with mental health problems are less likely to start treatment for living in poverty. Once they do start treatment, they are more likely to have ongoing mental health problems before and after the treatment is completed, and they face a range of material (e.g. lack of transportation) and social (e.g. stigma) barriers to accessing support. The studies also indicate that people living in poor neighbourhoods are less likely to recover from depression and anxiety symptoms after psychological treatment, compared to people from more affluent neighbourhoods.

The last two lines did not require writing because they baldly stated facts, which is why this study gets away with what it does. The earlier material interpreted those facts backward — as our counter-inversion shows — and used those facts to make broad proclamations about policy.

Later facts however simply state the association the study found, which is that some people achieve both wealth and mental health, while others achieve both poverty and mental disease. That is the opposite of the lede which the story chose:

a chronic lack of money can be damaging to people’s health and wellbeing

In fact, as anyone with experience in the world can tell you, poor mental health leads to poor decision-making which leads to having less money. In order to support the dogma of egalitarianism, however, they have to flip that around and blame a lack of money for the mental health issues of the poor.

Since the dawn of time, the riff of ironism has plagued humanity because people want to believe it. Like a good cult, it excuses their failings and blames someone else all in the same statement, while giving a sense of meaning to lives that doubtless need more of it.

Once they are hooked, they cannot remove the parasite because it has become part of what supports their self-esteem. Caught in hopeless contradiction, the civilization collapses, and the last thing that most people try to do is loudly bleat proclamations of innocence as the result of their actions brings their world down around them.

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Secret Courts Guarantee Abuse

Michael Ledeen is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

I testified against the Patriot Act because I feared the abuse of secret tribunals.  I’m usually far off in my predictions, but it was obvious from the get-go that the FISA courts would be abused by the Intelligence Community, and indeed those secret courts have almost always done what the FBI and CIA asked, even when—as in the case of General Michael Flynn—the IC had to ask several times, and even when the “evidence” consisted of an unverified “dossier” produced by a political campaign.

The Intelligence Community has long considered itself a state within the American state, dating from its creation just after World War II.  Most of the time, the IC has used its power to support presidential policies—the CIA snooped on the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2014, and on the McGovern campaign, and the FBI spied on the Goldwater campaign– but when a president acted against the IC’s convictions, the spooks advanced their own interests and beliefs.

No sooner had President Truman recognized the state of Israel, than the CIA swung into (illegal) action, secretly creating the American Friends of the Middle East, which brought Middle Easterners to America, published their views, and lobbied Congress, all against Israel.  In the words of Hudson’s Michael Doran, 

AFME was a remarkable instance of a CIA-confected front organization designed to counter official government policy, in this case by seeking to delegitimize Zionism in domestic American politics.

Truman quickly understood what was at stake.  “It’s become a government all of its own and all secret.  They don’t have to account to anybody.”.

It was, Truman recognized, part of a broader problem: bureaucrats who saw themselves, not mere elected officials, as the only legitimate policy makers.  “The civil servant, the general or admiral, the foreign service officer,” Truman insisted, “has no authority to make policy. They act only as servants of the government, and therefore they must remain in line with the government policy that is established by those who have been chosen by the people to set that policy.”

This enraged the president, who was also furious at the State Department’s opposition to his Middle East policies.  Yet bureaucratic action against presidential policies remained common.  As Truman discovered, the IC used “intelligence” to undermine presidential policies and advance its own.  This was demonstrated in the 1970s, when a private-sector group of analysts known as “Team B”—led by the recently-departed Professor Richard Pipes of Harvard–successfully challenged the CIA’s view of Soviet military strength, and the CIA’s conviction that we had very little to fear from the Kremlin.

Back in the Truman years, the president was able to appreciate Soviet intentions better than the IC, ironically thanks in no small part to his own intelligence operation in cahoots with Israel.  Ironically, Truman opened a secret back channel to Tel Aviv at the same time the CIA was sabotaging American cooperation with the Jewish state, via the legendary spook James Jesus Angleton, whose point of contact in Israel was Ben-Gurion’s personal secretary, Teddy Kolleck.  The two worked closely with Israel’s domestic security service, the Shin Bet, debriefing Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Empire.  Angleton, like most CIA officials, suspected the Israelis of collusion with the Soviet Union, but in time he realized this was not true.  Angleton subsequently received the text of Khrushchev’s speech about Stalin’s crimes…from the Israelis.  He was subsequently outed by CIA chief William Colby, with whom he had had many disagreements.

Bureaucratic arrogance is an ongoing problem, nowhere more than the Intelligence Community.  The problem is more grave today, with the advances in electronic snooping, the courts’ willingness to let the intelligence agencies pry into all manner of communications, and the zeal with which the media report improper leaks.  As Lee Smith recently tweeted:

They (the IC) ran a counterintelligence investigation of a former rival spy chief, Mike Flynn, a retired 3-star General. Abuse. Then they leaked intercept of his conversation with Russian ambassador. Crime. Now our 3d world press hires our 3d world spy chiefs.

Secret tribunals guarantee this sort of corruption.  Yes, there are cases where decisions on spying on Americans must be secret, but we pay a terrible price for them.  And as things stand, the snoopers have all the cards.  The game is totally rigged.

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In the Shadow of Mount Ararat: Israel and Armenian Genocide Denial

Amid the latest spat between Israel and Turkey, the Knesset is poised to vote on legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Such proposals have been fielded before, but this instance is notable because the government has neglected to submit a defense of its official Armenian Genocide denial policy to the Knesset, heretofore the typical response to such motions.

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Gallup Shows Support For Gun Control Drops Over Time

Immediately after Parkland, support for gun control was huge. It seemed like everyone wanted new gun control measures to be put in place. Oh, maybe not your average Bearing Arms reader, mind you, but in the population as a whole? It was big.

Many of us knew that all we needed to do was hold on for a while. It always seemed that historically, gun control rhetoric gained support initially after some kind of attack, then dropped back down after a time. People apparently jumped on the gun control bandwagon based on emotion, but then soon jump back off because they realize they were being dumb.

At least, that’s what it sure looked like. It seems that Gallup agrees.

Americans’ support for tougher gun laws hit a 25-year high in March. In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in a March Gallup poll, 67% of Americans indicated their support for tougher restrictions on guns. This was the highest level of support for more stringent gun laws in the U.S. since 1993. Americans’ support for tougher gun laws has generally trended up since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, and has now returned to levels last seen prior to 2000.

In other words, people aren’t jumping up and down for gun control anymore.

It’s not really surprising, though, when you think about it. After something horrible, people are looking for answers, for something that will make damn sure nothing like this happens again. I get it. This is a reaction that I think is probably pretty normal. Even ardent Second Amendment supporters can start to rethink their positions for a brief time.

But in the end, there’s the reality that the problem wasn’t the tool used in the shooting, but the tool using it in the first place. Vehicle attacks like the one recently in Toronto illustrate just how the problem rests in the people, not the weapon (it should be noted that the Toronto van attack had more casualties than the Santa Fe High School shooting).

People settle down, let things simmer, then realize that guns aren’t really the problem, so their minds change on gun control.

That means there’s a brief window for lawmakers to push through anti-gun bills through legislatures with anything approaching public support. That’s what happened down in Florida, when they passed a law making it illegal to sell a firearm of any kind to anyone under 21, not just the handguns as the law previously stipulated.

Unfortunately, though, lawmakers have a problem. They may pass those laws with public support, but by the time re-election comes around, that same public isn’t in favor of those laws. That previous support won’t necessarily protect them from the angry mob known as the electorate, especially when pro-gun activists are very good at mobilizing to oust traitorous politicians who betray their trust. Having the support of the public in one instance doesn’t insulate you later.

What lawmakers need to understand is what we’re seeing from Gallup. Just weather the storm and it will end. Despite the media push after Parkland, it too has failed to create real, lasting support for anti-gun extremism. That’s a very good thing.

The post Gallup Shows Support For Gun Control Drops Over Time appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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Incels Are the Product of an Incomplete Sexual Revolution

We all need more freedom to openly discuss—and engage in—sex. Instead, we all too often pounce on provocative opinions and hem in what is Couple in Beddeemed “acceptable” bounds of debate. This is a shame.

Consider the rhetorical maelstrom created when George Mason University economist Robin Hanson recently suggested that the Toronto attack— in which a self-described incel (an involuntary celibate) mowed down 10 pedestrians — shows that we should worry not just about income inequality, but also the sexual inequality that is leaving too many men sexually frustrated. Hanson, whose blog Overcoming Bias is dedicated to raising uncomfortable questions that cut against ingrained thinking, mused that “cultural elites” might consider “redistribution” schemes that could help incels get a fair share of the action.

This was a provocative suggestion, no doubt. But Hanson wasn’t really serious about it. He is a libertarian, after all, so talk of “redistribution” was more in the vein of a thought experiment. Still, many people were understandably offended by even the hint of a suggestion that men are “owed” sex, or that this particular man was somehow justified in his violence because of some societal failure to keep his sexual drive satiated. This was, after all, the second instance of incel violence in four years.

But almost everyone reacted poorly.

Liberals roundly pilloried Hanson. Slate‘s Jordan Weissman called him “America’s creepiest economist,” before doing an entirely tendentious interview with him with the aim of exposing Hanson as a nutjob. Wonkette‘s Robyn Pennacchia accused Hanson of “singing the songs of horny men.” Motherboard‘s Samantha Cole declared that Hanson really wants “women to f–k violent men.”

Such high dudgeon does little to advance the cause of mutual sexual understanding among men and women. The fact of the matter is that although the sexual revolution offered the possibility of more sexual fulfillment, it also produced new frustrations and challenges.

The New York Times‘ Ross Douthat, who defended Hanson (and came in for a heap of criticism as a result), rightly pointed out that the “Hefnerian” ethos that the revolution generated has made the “frequency and variety in sexual experience” the “summum bonum of the human condition.” This might work for the “beautiful and rich and socially adept in new ways.” However, it poses special problems for people who lack sexual draw and confidence.

Many feminists consider any discussion of the innate differences between male and female sexuality verboten. But it is hard to deny that evolution has wired the two sexes differently when it comes to sex. The qualitative sexual experience of men and women might be similar. But, by and large, as evolutionary psychologist Diana Fleischman points out, men tend to desire more sexual partners, need to know someone for less time before wanting to have sex with them, and have lower standards for sexual liaison. By contrast, women tend to be more discerning and discriminating (because they bear the brunt of producing offspring).

The sexual openness of today’s liberated women often means that men’s more easily stimulated sexuality is constantly triggered. However, social norms still put the onus on men to approach women and open themselves to rejection. The combination of heightened desire and increased risk from assertive women adds up to constant inner anxiety for many young, inexperienced men venturing into the sexual world. This doesn’t mean that incels are right or owed, or that sex actually ought to be redistributed, or that incels are the “real” victims here. Indeed, incel forums can be dark and degraded places where misogyny and violent rhetoric often runs amuck. But ferocious and reflexive demonization from the left isn’t helping matters. It is still necessary to understand the root cause of these new sexual pathologies.

Now, none of this exonerates conservatives, of course.

All too many social conservatives want to shut down pornography, tighten controls on prostitution, and restore puritanical norms from a time when men and women could only try to meet their sexual needs within the confines of life-long matrimony. This obviously should not (and will not) happen, if for no other reason than it traps too many couples in emotionally and sexually dead marriages.

The trouble with the sexual revolution isn’t that it happened, but that it was incomplete. The problem is not that sex has been over commodified as hardline feminists and conservatives (talk about strange bedfellows!) like to assert; the problem is that it hasn’t been commodified enough. The sexual industry in the broadest sense hasn’t matured enough yet to cater to the myriad and diverse needs of lonely single people (of both sexes). Where are the Dr. Ruths for single people facing confidence issues or looking for advice? Is it really a surprise that young men turn to each other for solace in the deep recesses of the dark web — and that the result is often very ugly?

Progressivism’s promise is to move toward social arrangements that increase the number of winners and diminish the number of losers. But until we achieve a utopia where everyone wins, we’ll have to figure out ways to offer relief to the losers. This will require liberals to start taking the plight of people like the incels seriously, and stop penalizing intellectual mavericks like Hanson who have the nerve speak up on their behalf. And it will require conservatives to stop romanticizing an imperfect past and look for viable solutions that don’t involve turning back the clock.

This column originally appeared in The Week

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Israel Strikes Iranian Targets in Syria After Golan Heights Attack

Israel’s military carried out strikes against Iranian targets in Syria after it said Iranian forces based there fired rockets on the Golan Heights, in what appeared to be the first instance of a direct attack by Iran against Israel from Syria.

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Bitcoin Cash Wiki Article Suffers From Edit Warring and Vandalism

For instance looking at the discussion on the editor’s ‘talk page’ and the Bitcoin Cash article’s revisions page many of the arguments and edits revolve around calling the cryptocurrency … comment content based on politics or personal opinions.

Read more from Bing News on Cryptocurrency…