Assumptions, premises, postulates, stipulations…call them what you will. There’s no getting away from them. We all have them, because we must have them. There is no system of rationality that obviates the need for a set of assumptions beneath its reasoning.
Sometimes, in attempting to understand some strange aspect of reality, we leap to conclusions that are absurd, specifically because the assumptions from which we started were wrong. That’s so often the case in analyzing the statements and behavior of political personalities that it’s a national tragedy. Yet we seldom realize our errors in that regard in time to correct course.
An old saying – actually, I don’t know how old; it could be quite recent – runs thus:
That which can be adequately explained
This is sometimes called “Hanlon’s Razor.” Many people who affect an air of wisdom will cite it in support of their convictions, especially when they need to exculpate some politician or regime they favor. But in fact, the notion expresses an assumption: i.e., that stupidity is far more often “at work” than malice. Moreover, it omits to consider the special properties of the political context.
Have a recent emission from Dinesh D’Souza:
I have a high regard for D’Souza, though we don’t always agree. But his statement above deserves close scrutiny. From what assumptions does it proceed? They would appear to omit the possibility of malice from consideration as the motive force behind the Usurper Regime’s “energy policy.”
How likely is it that a national policy that explicitly strangles America’s domestic suppliers of fossil fuels in the name of “climate change,” while seeking to pay tyrants and despots for imported oil to replace what we would have produced for ourselves, is not founded on malice? There’s no need to trouble ourselves over the Regime’s “justifications,” as there’s no sense whatsoever to them. Imported oil and gas are just as “polluting” as the domestic product, if not more so.
The unwillingness to entertain the possibility of malice leaves only stupidity and / or insanity as explanations. The “Hanlon’s-Razor assumption” short-circuits the analysis.
As politics is the pursuit of power over others – at some times for personal profit; at others, for power or the love of it itself – malice, broadly understood, is an explanation far more consistent with the evidence than stupidity. This is especially so as regards the Usurper Regime, whose figurehead is plainly a victim of advanced ingressive senility. No one who’s been watching developments these past three years can plausibly attribute any aspect of Regime policy to the “mind” of Joe Biden. His consciousness teeters at the edge of extinction. He’s barely capable of walking across the White House lawn.
On the other hand, the redirection of America’s energy supply to overseas suppliers has immense political advantages. The foremost of them is this: The Regime can decide upon the suppliers and set the terms of acquisition. You and I aren’t able to call up Vladimir Putin or Nicholas Maduro to dicker delivery schedules and prices. Neither could we contrive a “gratuity” or an “expediter’s fee” for the service. That we must pay elevated prices for these alternative supplies is of no moment to the Regime. It’s not their money they’re spending, after all.
So why not malice? Why not the rapacity of a Regime composed of persons devoid of consciences, who seek an inescapable grip over every aspect of American life, commerce, and society? That Regime has already half-crippled our children with its insane masks-in-school policy. It’s compelled millions of American adults to accept an experimental, highly dubious drug for the privilege of continuing to earn a living. It’s practically closed down our seaports with its demands that dockworkers and truckers be injected with the aforementioned drug. Its armed agents have arrested dozens of Americans for the heinous crime of standing outside the Capitol Building, and continues to hold them without trial, and in some cases incommunicado.
Why not malice? Must we assume stupidity? Is it a moral imperative?
Yes, Our Lord said that we should “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” [Matthew 7:1] But that was about assessing the state of others’ souls. It doesn’t preclude judging behavior or the motives that propel it. Especially when the persons involved have extensive records for deceit and demonstrated malice. Ask Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh about their confirmation proceedings.
I could be wrong. But then, all the air could collect in one corner of the room, asphyxiating me. “You pays your money,” et cetera.
Well, it COULD be BOTH.
But, more than likely, not malice. Just a bone-deep assumption that what is good for THEM is more important than OUR needs, the Constitution, societal norms, and any ‘silly’ rules.
In other words, a rather remarkable level of self-centeredness.
Should we be surprised? These are – generally – people who thrive on adulation and toadying. They come to rather expect that their opinions and desires have more importance than any needs of the “little people”. They have an exaggerated sense of how big a piece of the pie would be ‘fair’ for them to get – and, it often is a massive piece.
The Entitled Elite (trademark pending) can only manage that at a distance. Bring most of the services and jobs of government closer to home – state, local – and a LOT of that fancy-pants attitude will lessen. Probably not completely gone, but less.
As “our needs,” the Constitution, societal norms, and “the rules” are there to protect us, that qualifies as malice.
Francis, I think your assumption has validity. To assume the “usurper regime” has malice toward the supposed people who elected them would explain a great deal. Furthermore, the malice that the left has hurled at Trump and his supporters would support that idea.
I would posit that perhaps that a combination of malice, greed, stupidity, arrogance and in general don’t give a shit about anybody but me and MY plans attitude is a more complete thought. We could go on for many paragraphs detailing malice and greed etc and be right back where we are – that is glued, screwed and tattooed. I wish it were different but, as my wise mother-in-law used to tell me “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”.
Are there solutions to the above? Sure, thousands of them but, many are even less palatable than the current level of incompetence emitting from the festering asshole we call Washington DC. We could:
Bounce the current lot of idiots from DC and replace them with less repugnant idiots. Eeewwwww
Pray to God for divine intercession. Btw, I do this already. Prayer works but, be careful what you ask for – might get it
Hope things get better…..they will not – this is cowardice at it’s worst
Go to the bunker and let God sort it out. When head is in the sand ass is presented for use by whoever..
Nothing – this is another approach of cowardice
Or……maybe we need leaders who have a vision, a plan or whatever you want to call it. We had one and the usurpers cheated and got their sorry schmucks in office. I don’t try to preach to the choir but, dammit, we need to get serious about this or all the things our forefathers fought and died for will melt away. THAT is a crime we can never recover from nor mitigate. Once freedom is gone it never returns without blood and sacrifice and I don’t think most of this namby-pamby generation has the stones for it.
Two points:One: I like Heinlien’s addendum, “… but don’t rule out malice.” Two: The phrase “adequately explained” is important. “Stupidity” as an explanation seems to be the complete opposite of “adequate” (satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity). I find it extremely difficult to believe that those in charge (and they are far more numerous than just the President) are collectively THAT stupid as to do the things they’re doing. Malice is a far more satisfactory and acceptable explanation in this case.
Every single person on the planet is his/her own sovereign entity, beholding to no one but God. All his/her rights were given to him/her by God, no one else, and can never be taken away from them by anyone other than God. Remember that.
However this winds down, or up, whichever way you perceive it, we will all die and our souls depart our sorry useless carcasses for other horizons. None of this will end up well for anyone.
Freedom is the ability of every person to make personal choices without a government permission slip — to exercise free will. Free will is the natural characteristic we share in common with God. He created us in His image and likeness. As He is perfectly free, so are we.
When the government takes away freedom — whether by fiat or legislation or referendum — it steals a gift we received from God, it violates the natural law and the Constitution, and it prevents us from seeking the truth. Freedom is the essence of humanity. No one can achieve potential or happiness or truth without it.
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them to obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.Robert A. Heinlen