The Cult Of Silly People

From FP Magazine:

“How Did Obama Lose Karzai?” … “Karzai now appears mistrusting of the West’s long-term commitment to his country. He considers the Americans to be hopelessly fickle, represented by multiple military and civilian envoys who carry contradictory messages, work at cross-purposes, and wage their Washington turf battles in his drawing room, at his expense, while operating on short fuses and even shorter timetables.”

We have a president, who is part of a philosophical wing, dominated by a left coalition, that believes ‘silly things’. Like jimmy carter, obama is a president who believes ‘silly things’. But what silling things?

The left’s feminine assumption is that we can all agree – like women in a tribal cave. They assume that there is a consensus to reach. Or that such a consensus would persist. Or that such a consensus is advantagous.

[callout]Only a fool thinks he can fly. But at least he is dangerous only to himself. It is the fool that thinks people can agree, who is dangerous to all of us.[/callout]

Except that to do anything substantive at all, humans must take risks to cooperate in large numbers. Groups require a hierarchy in order to make decisions. People attach utility and status signals to their positions in those hierarchies. They have many investments, both personal and collective, and those investments are in both means and ends. Having taken those risks, people have ‘interests’. Each person has a set of interests. Each group one or more interests. These interests include both means and ends. Means conflict even if ends do not.

Humans cannot agree in large numbers. Interests are always in conflict, because even if ends are not, the means and the organizations of humans needed to achieve those ends are not.

THe difference between silly people and sane people is in this simple understanding of the limits of human cooperation.

Our president, like all leftists, is a man raised on feminine rather than masculine virutues. He values the famlial model, not the political. Families can agree on ends and means. Political groups cannot agree on means, even if they can agree upon ends. And they rarely agree upon ends, because do to so would be to the advantage of some at the expense of others.

Marginalism suggests that if we have sacks of flour in store for the winter, every sack we sell has a different value, whth the first having the least, and the last having the most. It explains why water has much use value but little trade value, and diamonds have little use value but high trade value. But marginalism applies to human sentiments as well: humans recalculate their preferences each step you take toward achieving them. Humans seek opportunity. THey seek ‘relishes’.

Only a fool thinks he can fly. But at least he is dangerous only to himself. It is the fool that thinks people can agree, who is dangerous to all of us.


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