Clusterfuck Nation – Blog
July 10, 2017We’re Good People, Really We Are!
The disgrace of America’s putative intellectual class is nearly complete as it shoves the polity further into dysfunction and toward collapse. These are the people Nassim Taleb refers to as “intellectuals-yet-idiots.” Big questions loom over this dynamic: How did the thinking class of America sink into this slough of thoughtlessness? And why – what is motivating them?
One path to understanding it can be found in this sober essay by Neal Devers, The Overton Bubble
, published two years ago on TheFuturePrimaeval.net — a friend turned me on to it the other day (dunno how I missed it). The title is a reference to the phenomenon known as the Overton Window. Wikipedia summarizes it:
Devers refines the definition:
This raises another question: who exactly is in this corps of “respectable people” who set the parameters of acceptable thought? Primarily, the mainstream media — The New York Times
, The WashPo
, CNN, etc. — plus the bureaucratic functionaries of the permanent government bureaucracy, a.k.a. the Deep State, who make and execute policy, along with the universities which educate the “respectable people” (the thinking class) into the prevailing dogmas and shibboleths of the day, and finally the think tanks and foundations that pay professional “experts” to retail their ideas.
The Overton Window can be viewed as a mechanism of political control, demonizing anyone who departs from the consensus of respectable thought, and especially if they express their heresies in public speech. This has consequences.
We’re now living under that condition of “intellectual martial law.” The consequent degradation of thinking means that the polity can’t construct a coherent consensus about what is happening to it (or devise a plan for what to do about it). This is exactly the point where the Overton Window turns into an Overton Bubble, as described by Devers. The bubble comprises ideas that are assumed to be self-evident (though they actually aren’t) and notions that are potentially destructive of society, even suicidally so. Here is a partial list of the current dogmas and shibboleths inside today’s Overton Bubble:
Ꜿ Russia hacked the election of 2016 (no evidence required).
Ꜿ Russia (Vladimir Putin in particular) is bent on destroying the USA.
Ꜿ All immigrants, legal or illegal, have equal status before the law.
Ꜿ National borders are inconvenient, cruel, and obsolete.
Ꜿ Western Civilization is a malign force in human history.
Ꜿ Islam is “the religion of peace,” no matter how many massacres of “infidels” are carried out in its name.
Ꜿ Men are a negative force in society.
Ꜿ White men are especially negative.
Ꜿ Brownie points given for behaviors under the rubric LBGTQ.
Ꜿ All discussion about race problems and conflicts is necessarily racist.
Ꜿ The hijab (head covering worn in public by some Muslim women) is a device of liberation for women.
Ꜿ There should be a law against using the wrong personal pronoun for people who consider themselves neither men nor women (recently passed by the Canadian parliament).
Ꜿ A unifying common culture is unnecessary in national life (anything goes).
Ꜿ Colonizing Mars is a great solution to problems on Earth.
That list defines the general preoccupations of the thinking classes today — to the exclusion of other issues. Here is an alternative list of matters they are not generally concerned about or interested in:
Ꜿ The energy quandary at the heart of our economic malaise.
Ꜿ The enormous debt racked up to run society in the absence of affordable energy inputs.
Ꜿ The dangerous interventions and manipulation in markets by unelected officials of the Federal Reserve.
Ꜿ The extraordinary dysfunction of manipulated financial markets.
Ꜿ The fragility of a banking system based on accounting fraud.
Ꜿ The dysfunction and fragility of the American suburban living arrangement.
Ꜿ The consequences of a catastrophic breakdown in the economy due to the above.
Ꜿ The destruction of planetary ecology, threatening the continuation of the human race, and potentially all life.
I guess I sort of understand what the man is aiming at, but, frankly, he appears to be a bit of a crackpot, no?
But yeah, I do like "The Clusterfuck Nation".