Personally I’ve never understood why The Bell Curve‘s conclusions are problematic. “Equality” is not the same as identicality. Differences between human groups are not fundamental and variations between them are to be accepted. It’s a wash in the end. But even if you wished to erase all differences between people, there is no more dangerous ground to begin upon than the untruth.
Leaving aside the question of whether this applies to race, Glazer’s objection certainly applies to the liberal enterprise in general. Reality is cold; it is full of unwelcome news. People are always dying of cancer; or don’t have enough money to pay for everything they want; or wake up to read that China has landed a probe on the moon. Stuff happens and to solve it requires competence. To pretend to solve problems using only a teleprompter requires a big slug of illusion. Did they think illusion was free?
If self-deception were free it would be easy. Glazer’s argument that it was better not to know the truth was of course anticipated by Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor, the fable of tyranny as heroic fantasy. In that story the merciless old Inquisitor is outraged to find that Christ has really returned to earth, but he finds that Christ’s message of freedom and voluntarily love will disarrange the obscurantism they have so successfully sold the low-information faithful. And so he has Christ clapped in irons for the crime of telling the truth. The Inquisitor
follows “the wise spirit, the dread spirit of death and destruction”, i.e. the Devil, Satan. He says: “We are not with Thee, but with him, and that is our secret! For centuries have we abandoned Thee to follow him”. For he, through compulsion, provided the tools to end all human suffering and for humanity to unite under the banner of the Church. The multitude then is guided through the Church by the few who are strong enough to take on the burden of freedom. The Inquisitor says that under him, all mankind will live and die happily in ignorance. Though he leads them only to “death and destruction”, they will be happy along the way. The Inquisitor will be a self-martyr, spending his life to keep choice from humanity. He states that “anyone who can appease a man’s conscience can take his freedom away from him”.
And so it is with us moderns. Obamacare will never work on an actuarial basis. It replaces a bankrupt set of programs like Medicaid, with its bankrupt self. But at least we can fool ourselves into thinking it actually does something.
The only difference between the Grand Inquisitor and modern liberalism is that the Inquisitor knows the bill will come. Not just in this life, but possibly also in the next from the Wise Spirit. From the things that don’t exist according to the liberal creed which purposely defines them out of existence, the better not to think about it. Modern liberals claim they would have voted for Romney had they but known the truth.
But they always knew the truth. And now the truth is here, so pay up.
Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.
The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
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