Note: The weekly Taki post is up. The topic this week is something I hope to dive into on the podcast this week. The revolution from above will be a new favorite phrase. There is also the Sunday podcast up behind the green door.
One of the distinguishing features of conservatism is the habit of attacking its own side during conflicts with the Left. In fact, these self-criticism sessions are usually triggered by left-wing criticism of the Right or in anticipation of such criticism. Somewhere in the middle of the fight, usually when things are looking up for the good guys, conservatives will attack their own team over some small issue. The claim is that the people in error are undermining the fight against the left with their bad ideas.
A recent example is Heather MacDonald taking to the pages of a center-left platform to criticize vaccine skeptics as knuckle-dragging primitives. You see, there are people opposed to the Left who do not hold the same opinions as Heather MacDonald with regards to the vaccines, so those people must be corrected. Sure, things are going badly for the Left on the Covid issue but removing that fly from a friend’s face with a hatchet is too important to wait until after the fight.
There is no question that many people opposed to the strip-mining of what is left of our liberties over the Covid issue are wrong about a lot of things. Some think the vaccine changes your DNA. Some think the vaccines are entirely fake, part of some plot to control society. If you look hard enough, you can probably find people who think the vaccines are an alien technology developed at Area 51. Covid is a ruse to experiment on the public with this new extraterrestrial technology.
America is a big country, so you can find just about every crazy idea imaginable if you look long enough. Why does Mx. MacDonald think these people are worthy of a public tongue lashing? The stated reason is those vaccine skeptics are acting as irrationally as the people they oppose. Some of them think vaccines in general may not be all that safe and are refusing this vaccine. Imagine that? People in the middle of a heated partisan fight putting aside reason to score points against the enemy?
Presumably, Mx. MacDonald thinks these people are harming the cause in some way, so they must be silenced. The claim appears to be reason. You see, by tolerating the unreasonable on her side, it would harm her claims to being the most reasonable person in the room. Therefore, reason compels her to root around the ranks of the people opposed to the Covid madness, looking for the unreasonable. Tone police the unreasonable and then reason will triumph!
Of course, the question is, unreasonable to whom? Politics is always a partisan business, so the central questions are who? and whom? Only unreasonable people think politics can be a right answer business. In most cases, there are many possible right answers, as right is determined by preference. In a democracy, right is determined by convincing the people wielding power behind the scenes that the mobs will be sated with one approach or another. All politics is partisan.
Mx. MacDonald thinks these knuckle-dragging anti-vaxxers are making her look bad to someone, so who is it? That is the key to understanding conservative perfidy and failure over the last half century. What matters most to them is the people in the managerial class and their place in it. It is very important to someone like Mx. MacDonald to never be associated with someone like Alex Jones, who thinks vaccines are making frogs gay and lowering the sperm count of American males.
What reason tells us is that defeating the forces of darkness that have launched the revolution from above is the only concern. If that means siding with people who line their clothes with aluminum foil, so be it. Nothing can come before the destruction of radicalisms in all its forms. This is what reason demands. Otherwise, if the radicals get their way, these people fetishizing their rationality will be keeping the rest of us company in the reeducation camps.
Politics is an ugly business under ideal conditions, because people inevitably assume that the other side of the fight is filled with bad people. After all, they have the wrong opinions and refuse to change them. That means things are said that are not true and not very nice about the other side, but that’s just the nature of it. This is something the people who never stop talking about their rationality should know by now. Reasonable people understand the reality of the human condition.
In the case of the Covid war, there are people making wild claims about the vaccine, mostly to get attention for themselves. That is an argument against social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. These platforms made it easy for stupid people to get on-line and have an opinion. This drew in the sorts of people who look to exploit the mob for their own benefit. This is also the argument against democracy, as laid out in Federalist Papers 10, but here we are anyway.
The thing is, Alex Jones claiming the vaccine will alter your DNA is no nuttier than much of what is in the mass media. In fact, a ridiculous claim is far less harmful than the plausible, but inaccurate claim. Few people will think the vaccine will turn you into Big Foot, but most people will believe we need to make kids wear masks. Far more people have been harmed by official lies than by goofballs on the internet. Again, this is something the “rational conservatives” should understand.
None of this is to say that there can never be criticism of allies or even a break with people who harm the cause. This has always been the problem with outsider politics, which tends to get overrun with weirdos. The issue is timing and intent. Privately chastising an ally for screwing up is reasonable. Dismissing wackos who are harming the cause is prudent. These are exceptions to partisanship that are required in politics, but conservative have made them their purpose.
This is why conservatives always lose. The main principle of the conservative is to conserve their reputation at all costs. No cause is ever so dear as to lead them to spend a penny of their reputation on it. Put another way, for the conservative, there is never anything worth fighting for, so they are always willing to cede the battle to the other side, no matter the cost. The Left sends thugs carrying bats and knives, while the Right sends out dandies dressed like interior decorators.
The test in these matters is this. Is the world better or worse with a small group of people who think vaccines alter your DNA? The obvious answer is the world is not affected in the least by people with crackpot ideas. Is the word made better or worse by allowing the evil of progressivism triumph? The answer is obvious. People fetishizing their rationality should be able to grasp this. Instead, for generations they have come to the opposite conclusion and lost every fight.
The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!
Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.
The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.
Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb. Just email them directly to book at firstname.lastname@example.org.