Speaking Truth to Power


I’m so old I remember when it was fashionable for those on the left to favor non-violent protest. Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Vaclav Havel, and Desmond Tutu were honored by the Left as heroic figures because they engaged in speaking truth to power rather than violent revolution.

Fashions change.

These days, it may seem the Left has taken Noam Chomsky’s analysis to heart—power knows the truth already and is busy concealing it—but I don’t believe that’s what’s motivating them. Given the Left’s move from liberalism to marxism, their worldview is no longer centered on truth. Instead, it is all about power. Truth has become, if not irrelevant, their enemy.

The Left is now speaking shouting power at truth.

The Left fails to understand is that there is nothing more powerful than Truth in the long run. They have chosen poorly.

Cultural Appropriation


I’d like to suggest that people who find my culture offensive should stop appropriating the things we have created.

I’m an engineer. In my culture we rely on certain facts of nature (as we understand them) being actually true. For example, engineers believe, based on the evidence, that 2+2=4, and we rely on the mathematical principles behind that fact in order to design and build things that people can use.

It’s come to my attention that there’s a bunch of wokies trying to sell the idea that 2+2=4 is not a universal truth but some sort of tool used to oppress minorities. (Note: Engineers are a very tiny minority group within humanity.) While I believe that the wokies are foolishly wrong in their worldview, they have the right to be wrong. However, I also believe that, given their worldview, they are acting immorally (if Morality is connected to Truth) when they appropriate my culture’s concepts and artifacts for their own purposes.

For example, if 2+2 can equal 5, then 12 percent can equal 22 percent. I picked those numbers because, to the extent that most of wokies pay income taxes, they are probably in the under $40k bracket. If they were withheld at the next higher marginal rate of 22 percent instead of the lower rate, they would have no grounds for complaint by their own logic. But most would surely complain.

Also, most, if not all, of the wokies I’ve encountered, seem to have cell phones, and cell phones use microprocessors which rely on the mathematically logic behind the truth of 2+2=4 in order to operate. Is it moral for them to be appropriating that artifact from my culture?

Well, that depends on how “moral” is defined. Morality is a body of standards or principles derived a particular definition of what is Good. If the definition of Good is connected with Truth, then what is moral may be quite different the if the definition is connected with Power. The wokies’ worldview is marxist and rooted in Power. For them, life is as O’Brien explained to Winston Smith: “The object of power is power.” Truth can be arbitrary for them.

IIRC, O’Brien was also a proponent of 2+2 being 5 or 3 or whatever it needed to be.

I don’t think that I would like to live in a world in which most of the power was in the hands of the wokies. Therefore, I propose this strategy—Don’t let the wokie win.

The Flip Side


Last Friday, I posted about double standards. As I’ve read the comments, it seems that the tweet from The Babylon Bee that I referenced may not have been satire. The standard we hold our side to is sometimes not as strict the standard we require the other side to meet.

And that brings me to something else that has bothered me since I first started following politics—the lies that each side tells about the other. Since I’m on the Right, I’ll use my side’s misbehavior as an example. I’m sure that the Gentle Reader can think of plenty of examples on the Left.

IMHO, Barack Obama was the worst President of my lifetime. He’s certainly in the same league as Carter and Buchanan. There’s enough truthful stuff to be said in criticism of him and his presidency that there’s simply no reason to resort to telling lies about him. We stand on firm ground when we hold any politician to account for his own lies (“If you like your doctor, …”). We stand in quicksand when we slander a politician or anyone else with lies.

The Truth is out there. Which side are you on.

Losing Control of the Narrative


Winston Churchill once remarked:

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

That says quite a bit about the elections this year. We’ve seen more than the usual share of malicious attacks and ignorant derision, and most, but not all, of course, has come from one side. Thus far, after each outburst, the truth has wound up taking center stage in spite of significant campaigns to confuse the public. As Stacy McCain writes, the truth has been going viral.

When I was working in radio in Nashville back in the ’60s and ’70s, their were only six effective daily news outlets in town: The NBC outlet (WSM-AM/TV), the ABC outlet (WSIX-AM/TV), the two separately owned and staffed CBS outlets (WLAC-TV and WLAC-AM), the morning paper (The Tennessean), and the evening paper (The Nashville Banner). Only one, the Banner, had a conservative point-of-view. In the early ’70s, the Nashville media market began to “diversify” when WPLN joined NPR. Nashville was not unique in left-wing dominance of its news media.

The media landscape isn’t like that anymore. The cost of entry into the news business has essentially evaporated. A $300 laptop and a cup of coffee at Starbucks is all that it takes to access the world via the Interwebs. The result has brought about the left’s worst nightmare, even worse than math for President Obama. They’ve lost control of the narrative.

Chairman Mao once said, “Let a hundred flowers bloom.” That might have been controllable. Millions of flowers are simply too many for them.

UPDATE—Several folks roughly my age at those news operations have gone on to other things. I’ve gone from WLAC-AM to working at Goddard Space Flight Center. Oprah Winfrey moved on from WLAC-TV and Pat Sajak from WSM-TV to other work in television. And Al Gore has moved from The Tennessean to Current TV.

UPDATE 2–An excellent example of viral truth may be found here. Brava, Danielle Saul!

Quote of the Day


It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes. It may even lie on the surface; but we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions — especially selfish ones.

—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn