January 23, 2005

Of Bozos and Buttinskys

Michael B of 2blowhards.com takes a Parthian shot at the auto-da-fé of Harvard's Larry Summers currently being played out in the smallest brains of academia, and helps my evolving theory of The Buttinsky Party.

As far as I can tell, Regular People, bless 'em, never disbelieved that gals and guys differ somewhat, and on deep levels. Regular People know this from experience, and aren't about to let theory-spinners tell them otherwise. But I'd have guessed that even our academic elites -- however self-regarding, self-deceiving, self-important, and naive we know them to be -- had abandoned their attachment to the ideology of "everyone is alike in every possible way and the only thing that explains differences in outcomes is Pure Evil, except when it has to do with academic elites being smarter than everyone else."

I'm surprised to discover that so many are still in such high-minded denial of basic facts of life, aren't you? God knows I wouldn't ever have expected Elite People to say, "We made a mistake. Sorry. We'll try to do better now." No, they're too puffed-up proud and full of grandstanding moral fury ever to eat humble pie, however much good that might do them, and however much good it might do the world. But I was under the impression that they'd moved on a bit -- that they'd let go of their Blank Slate insanity, if only to embrace some other kind of fashionable nonsense.

I wonder if my cluelessness about these people has to do with the fact that I've given up having anything but passing interactions with them. Blank Slaters have nothing to tell me I haven't heard a zillion times before. And what's the point of dealing with fanatics more than is necessary? I don't know about you, but I find that trying to hash out (or even joke about) intellectual/artistic /political matters with Blank-Slate maniacs saps energy that I need for more important matters, like programming the Tivo and taking naps.

Hilarity ensures in the comments as some defenders of The Buttinskys take the position of "hold your tongue about truth and lie for the greater good."

Posted by Vanderleun at January 23, 2005 8:31 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

The Summers Episode allowed me to see the following parallel...

Summers was 'forced' to repeatedly apologize for offending women. Last summer, many on the Left wanted Bush to apologize or, at least, recognize a mistake he'd made (read: We went to Iraq for the wrong reasons.)

The parallel I see is to the stereotypical Communist (typically Chinese or North Vietnamese). Their approach to law-breakers is to 're-educate' the criminal by forcing him to recogize and apologize--to confess--to crimes against the State.

The Lefties--both foreign and domestic--like the idea of making their political foes apologize for the errors of their thinking.

Posted by: azlibertarian at January 23, 2005 9:04 PM

Excellent point. Every college campus has now become a Re-Education Camp.

Posted by: Van der Leun at January 23, 2005 10:03 PM