Category: Ideas and Reflections

The Rule of the Experts, Part Three

One of my most popular and widely referenced articles, back in my “conservative media” days, was a piece entitled “Parasitocracy,” which has subsequently become the opening essay of my Limbo series, Progressivism 101.  That essay sprang to mind as I read this headline from NBC News: “Fauci warns reopening states: You can’t ‘leap over things.’” One of the most important things that the...

The Grateful Slave

A man claims ownership over you. He declares his authority to restrict your movement completely, and to limit your social interactions indefinitely as he sees fit. He browbeats you with belittling criticism and public shaming for your every breach of authority. He chains you to your post, sending his guards to discipline you severely if you should attempt to escape. All the while,...

The Last Adult in the Room

During this Pandemic that Ate a Planet, Sweden and Sweden alone has refused to be sucked into the vortex of self-interested media fearmongering, progressive globalist propaganda, and totalitarian social experimentation. She has refused to succumb to the abject, life-annihilating terror of death; refused to play the immature game of prolonging the inevitable by hiding under the bed hoping that somehow an unpleasant reality...

The Rule of the Experts, Part Two

Two things may be said of experts and specialists in general: (1) They are often proved wrong in the end, particularly with regard to their areas of specialty — and not merely wrong about details, but about the premises and presuppositions upon which they established their reputations as experts and specialists. In other words, it typically turns out, in hindsight, that for the...

Signs of Life

We live in the age of The Group. Group fear, group laughter, group compliance, group protest.  As I have said many times, following Socrates, every crowd is dumber than its dumbest member. “Group activity” and “group thought” are euphemisms for death and stillbirth, respectively. No group achieves more of positive value than any individual member, acting alone or in coordination with one or...

The Rule of the Experts, Part One

An honest search for knowledge inevitably and necessarily opens out on other avenues of inquiry beyond the one originally embarked on. The moment one begins to feel “knowledgeable” about X, further questions present themselves — questions which, if examined with the same honesty with which you set out on the initial investigation, typically complicate the original knowledge. Specifically, the whole truth you seemed...

The Irony of Nihilism: Mortal Dread

One of the paradoxes of this age that has forfeited all belief in a reality beyond immediate sense perception, and all humanity beyond the material mechanism, is that people, though no longer believing they exist, have become hysterically obsessed with prolonging their “life” (i.e., their illusory appearance of self-moving unity) regardless of the cost. No price is too high to pay for a...

The Philosophical View

An enthusiastic and diligent student who has been studying Plato with me for several months — we were in the middle of a close analysis of Book III of the Republic several weeks ago, when coronavirus “social distancing” interrupted our conversation — sent me an e-mail yesterday to share his distress over the current situation. You know, students like me don’t know how...

Quick Takes on Quicksand

I see a headline today, “Hundreds crowd newly reopened Florida beaches,” accompanied by a photo of a bunch of people walking along a shoreline, expressionless, like zombies. That’s about right. “Permission granted,” says the government. “We should go outside today Martha,” says the Sheep-Man. “The governor says it’s okay.”  The whole view reminds me of that scene in Jaws when the beaches reopen...

Happy Easter from Rock Bottom

A note on this Easter weekend when the idea of rising from the dead seems particularly appealing and urgent, but also especially miraculous and implausible. With charming irony, I see that a “major disaster” has been declared in all fifty U.S. states for the first time in the nation’s history. I cannot disagree with that assessment, although I strongly disagree about the identity...