Monday, April 20, 2020

George Packer: "We Are Living In A Failed State"

This is shit, so far as I can tell.
But, again, just couldn't finish.
I generally think Packer is pretty good. Better earlier, but still pretty good. But this seems like pure TDS, IMO.
We live in a failed state? Really? I don't see how that could be a whole lot farther from the truth. Excepting for NYC, our pandemic mortality rate is near Germany's--a country that liberals basically can't stop praising on this score. We've come in way, way, way under predictions. Ridiculously under. We were told that the sky was falling--it hasn't, and it isn't going to. We were told that we'd exceed hospital capacity all over the country. That was about as false as it could be.
   Here's a standard progressive line now:
Like a wanton boy throwing matches in a parched field, Trump began to immolate what was left of national civic life. He never even pretended to be president of the whole country, but pitted us against one another along lines of race, sex, religion, citizenship, education, region, and—every day of his presidency—political party. His main tool of governance was to lie. A third of the country locked itself in a hall of mirrors that it believed to be reality; a third drove itself mad with the effort to hold on to the idea of knowable truth; and a third gave up even trying.
   That's utter shit. What did Trump do that was intended to "immolate what was left of national civic life"? I do think there's some truth in the claim that he hasn't tried to be president of the whole country so much as president of the conservative rear-guard against progressive efforts to destroy the country. The same charge could be leveled at Obama, though with less justice. Progressives, of course, make no effort whatsoever to aim for the good of the whole country, nor even to see us as a unified country. Nor a country at all, really, since they now portray nationalism and borders as inexcusable evils. And those who believe in them as irredeemably evil. So...yeah, I do think there's some truth in the charge against Trump...but insofar as he's conducting a defense against the scorched-earth culture war the vanguard of the left is prosecuting against American and Western culture...that's an excuse.

   And as for giving up on the truth...that's the craziest joke of all the crazy jokes. there's simply no doubt--as I've argued before--that that's far and away something afflicting mostly the left. The right's crimes against truth--which have, at times, been egregious--now pale in comparison to what's happening on the left. At least the intelligentsia of the right still believe in truth. That can't be said about the intelligentsia of the left. The left's rejection of truth afflicts it from stem to stern and top to bottom. Theoretical issues aside: this is a faction that woke up one day and declared that men could be women simply by putting on dresses. And that to even question this was tantamount to an act of violence. Even the right--for all its religious nonsense--has nothing to compare to that.
   And as for expertise... Progressives like to say that conservatives are anti-truth because they are skeptical of experts. Other confusions aside, they are so locked in the leftist echo-chamber that they can't see the most obvious thing about that. Conservatives are skeptical of experts because the left has colonized universities and the media. What we get is a steady drumbeat of, in essence: Experts say progressives are right and conservatives are evil, insane. Conservatives are right to be skeptical of certain kinds of expertise. They keep being flamboyantly wrong, for one thing--see, e.g. fat and carbs. And the long string of environmental disasters that weren't...right up to the one that currently isn't and isn't going to be, anthropogenic global warming. If you want conservatives to respect expertise again, make it respectable. De-politicize it and pressure the media to report on its findings honestly.
   The left is Lysenkoist--they colonize areas of expertise and bend them to their nefarious political purposes. That's more anti-truth (or, really: anti-inquiry and anti-knowledge) than anything the right is doing.


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