I’ve been pondering deliberate thoughtlessness — and so far my brain has not imploded.
I came up with that turn of phrase — deliberate thoughtlessness — as a way of describing the amazing ineptitude of the ruling class. As you can see from the photo, the coinage itself is not unique to me. But the words got stuck in my head like a popcorn hull between molars, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since.
I wrote this in passing in a Facebook comment:
Deliberate thoughtlessness is ubiquitous where, logically, it should not be possible at all.
Why, in logic, should deliberate thoughtlessness be an impossible state of mind to attain? To deliberate is to think. To think thoughtlessly should not be possible, but the miracle of waste creation that is Marxism makes it achievable even so. (Note that ‘waste creation’ is another seemingly logically-impossible notion, and yet Marxism makes it real.)
What is it that I’m talking about?
If you think about the way an old-school logic teacher might guide you, again and again, back to the way of rigor and merit in your arguments, leading you away (leadership is what puts the duc in education) from demonstrably fallacious claims — turn that all ass-backwards and think of an anti-logic professor instead.
What would an anti-logic teacher teach? Fallacies, obviously, along with every style of demagoguery, question-begging, subject-changing, specious conflation — all the rank nonsense you see and hear everywhere.
But here’s the real trick, the magical mystical Marxist miracle: The point of the entire dysenterprise is to give incompetents the cargo-cultish ‘benefits’ of mastery — without going to all the work and bother of, you know, mastery — so the better way to teach anti-logic is simply to teach nothing, but to tell students that they are even better educated than those stuffy old rigor-mongers.
Anti-logic is simply the puerile logic of children, so wasting twelve or sixteen or twenty years in pre-school results in — ta da! — the American electorate. They cogitate, they ruminate, they definitely fulminate, but they have never been taught how to ratiocinate. And that term — ratiocination — is an extremely useful word for thinking. If you love it as I do, it reminds you by its very being that reason is proportionate to the facts, but if you cannot define that one word with complete rigor, ex tempore, while standing on one foot — that alone is all the proof you need of your own egregious miseducation.
And that Americans are miseducated is news to no one. People will exaggerate their ignorance, but it’s rare to find anyone who denies it — and, of course, it shows, anyway. And yet they’ve been told all along that one opinion’s as good as another, and, besides, there are spoils to be had for spouting your pet dogma, especially the parts that denounce the other guy’s pet dogma. Children may or may not apprehend facts, but they always have a position.
Does deliberate thoughtlessness begin to sound like Lord of the Flies? That’s because it’s working just as unplanned. Who fears the mob? The people who bow to it. Why do they bow to it? Because they’re afraid not to. Why are they afraid? For the same reason every child is afraid: Because they don’t know how to think their way out of their problems. And the name for this vast legion of people is: legion.
When I say that, to save civilization from tyranny, we have to turn around, this is what I mean. Marxism is the anti-everything, the deliberate negation of virtue in the service of vice. To return to a truly human civilization, each of us as individuals must return to truly human values. Hence, Man Alive, along with everything else I have ever written.
Marx has successfully pointed almost every mind in the-West-writ-large away from the values human flourishing requires. Where it has gained political power — as here, as now — Marxism has resulted, necessarily and invariably, in the progressive destruction of all human values, leading eventually and inexorably to the mass slaughter of millions of human beings — each one perfect in se, innocent of every crime except for being temporarily accidentally anti-dead, a common nuisance easily corrected by the simple expedient of doing nothing, or at least nothing productive (note that duc again). This is fact, and therefore it is repellent to the puerile minds of children.
Deliberate thoughtlessness is a new way for me to talk about the idea of inversion. I use that word all the time, and it’s not a metaphor, it is a literal description of this tragically ubiquitous ass-backwards actually-inadvertently-Marxist frame of mind. And again, this is what I mean by turning around, undoing this catastrophic inversion of values.
I’ll have more to say about this. For now it’s enough to note that deliberate thoughtlessness is simply another Marxist cargo cult. If people who toss around weighty ideas are highly respected, then, dagnabbit!, It’s Just Not Fair!™ for the world to make no room for make-weights. As with all cargo cults, the premise is absurd — philosophers may wear spectacles, but donning a pair of eyeglasses won’t make you a sage — but the end-consequence of deliberate thoughtlessness, for the self-inflicted victim of that intellectual abomination, is doubly tragic: He cannot correct the defects in his thinking because he has never cultivated the means of discovering and correcting errors in his thinking.
As with all of what I have to say, I think those laboring nearest me in the vineyards of the mind are one step beyond where they need to be. The solution to our political problem — pandemic deliberately thoughtless slavery — is moral philosophy, not political philosophy. And there is no way to argue logically with deliberate thoughtlessness. Your arguments may resound with fundamental truth, but the response will always be, “Neener, neener, neener, la, la, la.” To reason with children, you must scale your arguments down to the size of their minds. And then pray they are actually listening and learning, when they are decades late to the party.
To think about this is to despair, I’m afraid. We are just now being lectured about justice by a nation of people who plausibly cannot read with rigor and beyond all doubt cannot think their way out of an unfenced pasture. This is tragic, particularly since the designated victims of deliberately thoughtless slavery paid a hundred grand per numbskull to educate those folks. But, except in very rare cases, this generation of Americans will die as they have lived, desperately eager to be good, but having unthinkingly robbed themselves of the means to learn how to be good.
Justice emerges from rigorous thought. So long as we live in a world epistemologically dominated by deliberate thoughtlessness, there can be no justice — and soon there will be no peace.