The left in the U.S. has a problem with unintended consequences.
No, I don’t mean that they are plagued by unintended consequences. That’s true too, but it goes deeper than that. They don’t see – and refuse to admit – unintended consequences exist or are possible.
This is partly due to the people who self-select to be active on behalf of the left, particularly the extreme left.
Yes, a lot of them are very smart, but despite that, they have a certain type of mind: they have a mind that tends to Manichean systems and just-so stories.
This is because the entire Marxist system of thought is a collection of “just-so” stories that have little or no contact with the real world. People are viewed as widgets, members of groups that are assigned a role in the pageant of history. Oppressed, oppressors, haves and have nots, battling for supremacy ad infinitum.
People who fall into this system of thought are often smart misfits. They are good with abstractions but lousy with people. Good at seeing patterns, but awful at comprehending chaos (and that life is chaos).
Both tendencies are exacerbated by an “educational system” that has stopped teaching or challenging students; that teaches “science” as a sort of religion decided by majority opinion; and that makes seeing or pointing out facts that don’t fit the narrative (or really any type of rebellion against orders from above) a punishable offense and a sign of being dumb or somehow “not well.”
It is also not helped by the family turmoil of the last few decades. Humans are first socialized in the family. If your family is a hot mess or your parents are driven by our extortionate tax system to both work outside the home and leave you in the power of low-paid, low-educated, unable-to-punish-you hirelings, you’re not going to be properly socialized. No matter how smart, you’re never going to get people at an instinctive level. (If anyone wonders about the plague of autism – by which they actually mean various levels of Asperger behavior – this is a more likely culprit than vaccines.)
Anyway, what it results in – and it is an awesome, in the sense that it inspires awe, spectacle – are adults and otherwise smart human beings who not only buy half-baked pseudo-scientific ideas, but who then solve “problems” by the stupidest most ass-backward methods imaginable.
Examples abound, but my absolute favorite (not) is water conservation.
Look, I live in Colorado. While it’s completely insane to conserve water in most of the Southeast (there is so much of it you breathe lungfuls of it every second), in Colorado we’re always open to ways to save a bit on water. Those big, beautiful lawns of the Midwest would set us back $500 a month on water, easy, for instance.
However, the ways the left has chosen to conserve water – across the entire country, including where daily humidity is at least 80% every day – end up costing a lot more water.
Take the low-flush toilet. Please. I’m not using it.
Three houses back we had to change a toilet. In a Victorian. With pipes the size of my thumb, and encrusted with 100 years of mineral deposits because the water in Colorado is like melted granite.
We weren’t completely stupid, but we also weren’t prepared to drive hell for leather to Canada for a high-flush toilet. So we ordered an air-assist.
Even with the air-assist, you had to flush the toilet at least twice to get a little bit of toilet paper to go down. (Look, I had toddlers. Do you know how many times you flush just a little bit of toilet paper? It starts with “What do you have in your mouth? Ew! Spit. Spit.” And there go the three or four folds of toilet paper, being flushed.) For anything more substantial? Well, without getting into details, it took anywhere from four flushes to… My record was standing by the toilet flushing for an hour. I started listing “flushing the toilet” as a hobby.
Now, besides the incredible waste of human time, and the low-grade annoyance, what is the actual result of low-flush toilets? Um… so, the tank holds a third of what a regular tank holds. You might save a little bit if what you’re flushing is a tiny bit of paper. But I bet that you waste a lot more water with the four-plus flushes. I bet as use of those spread through houses, the water used in flushing went up. Not that anyone will do a test of this, of course. The left gets these regulations passed, makes everyone’s life worse, declares victory, and moves on.
Though a lot of people have noticed the issues with washers and dishwashers. We used to have a low-water-consumption washer. Actually, we had three over ten years because the idiotic things don’t last.
Top of the line. State of the art.
Well, first, again, like the toilet, it wasted my time to a level unimaginable. While I had teens in the house, each load of washing would take two to three hours to go through. I have this theory that most people who decided these machines were the thing to do never do their own laundry. I was always doing laundry, always keeping an ear out for the bing of the washer or dryer.
The second thing is that our clothes started to smell. And I don’t think it was just us, because at the same time, the laundry aisles were colonized by an array of deodorant this and that.
The third thing is that my eczema went wild. Now, there might be other reasons for it, but part of it is that people with reactive skin cannot have their skin in contact with residual detergent (and dirt… those things never rinse). So, I started having to wash the clothes once with detergent, then again with just water. And if it was a large piece, a third time to make sure.
But it’s the same with every other “environmental” regulation. For instance, recycling paper is more harmful for the environment than pulping trees raised for paper. It is also more expensive, so the Clinton-era regulation that some percentage of a book be made of recycled paper took the price of the average paperback from under $5 to $8. And on and on.
However, their latest move, the punitive shutdowns, face mask regulations, and riots, all to make sure that Orangemanbad isn’t reelected, might be the most complex accidental suicide ever.
Oh, I know how they saw it: tank the economy (they care nothing for the suffering of business owners or the destruction of cities) and make everyone crazy with being shut in and exposed to CNN and presto, change-o, their spokeszombie, Joe Biden, walks into the White House.
They might – with the aid of a massive ocean of fraud, even bigger than the in-your-face fraud of 2018 that gave them the House – be able to steal the election. Maybe. I’m hoping the American people aren’t quite so gullible, but it’s possible.
… On the other hand, the unintended consequences of their pyrrhic victory (if it turns out to be a victory) are the most culture-changing event since WWI.
In one fell swoop, with their shutdown theater, they’ve managed to fatally wound several institutions that the long march gave them decades ago: publishing, entertainment, and academia.
Publishing was already wounded and limping from having made their bet on paper bricks instead of e-books. Trust me, as someone who works in the field, even bestsellers were starting to feel insecure and a dear friend told me he expected we’d be all-indie in five years. With the prolonged shut down of the bookstores (and the houses themselves), I don’t expect much fiction publishing will survive another three years. (Nonfiction and academic is a different matter, but given what is happening to academia, I suspect that too will be a problem.) Hollywood was also hailing. For decades, they’ve made most of their money abroad. Well, the everything-trans trend is playing very well in other countries. And now they shut down moviemaking, and (I suspect) most movie theaters, with the Covid Kabuki. Academia… well, not only are they running around like chickens with their heads cut off, but many parents have found out what their kids are actually learning in college. I heard enrollment for fall is down. WAY down. Oh, yeah, and the public schools are a complete mess and people who never considered it before are now thinking of homeschooling. Particularly since so many of them are working from home.
And that’s the other side of it. The left has benefited from institutionalized youth, unmoored from their families. They’ve profited from being able to indoctrinate other people’s children since they, themselves, rarely reproduce.
Winnie the Flu has sent most white-collar workers home—where they can raise their own kids and supervise the kids’ education.
But wait, there’s more! I’ve noticed through the summer that a lot of people are driving everywhere instead of flying. We too have rediscovered the road trip (and have one planned for later this summer, a combined family/business trip). I guess—thanks to the TSA nuttery, now that compulsory wearing of masks has been added—for many, it was the last straw. Sucks, of course, for the industry. On the other hand, many people are driving cross-country.
For years, the left has profited from portraying anywhere outside the large cities as a cross between fundamentalist hell and some kind of 19th-century holdover. Well, the people who are now driving across the country—seeing that smaller towns, rural areas, and places they looked down on are just like where they come from, only pleasanter—will start distrusting the media a little more. (I remember the idiot who came to my blog years ago who told me that Colorado Springs, a city of half a million people, must have “like, two traffic lights”)
And with being able to work from anywhere, the big cities are emptying.
Add to this that they have dealt the economy a pretty big blow, and it’s unlikely that in the future there will be many openings for HR diversity officials, phone sanitizers, or grievance-mongers in corporations. At any rate, with most people working from home, there’s less opportunity for woke women to be oppressed by the male gaze and other outrageous offenses that needed mediation.
So most young people, now at loose ends, will have to find what jobs they can. And many of them won’t be in echo chambers.
Also, with the riots, frankly, the cities are emptying. This means the enclaves, where the young affluent gathered to reinforce the lessons they learned in college and out-left each other, will be ghost towns. And the young will be emulsified through an older population that knows better while struggling to make ends meet.
There is every chance, one by one, they’ll do what previous indoctrinated generations, who didn’t gather in “young and hip” enclaves did: come to believe their lying eyes over the Marxist narrative they were taught.
Yes, the left might manage to win the elections in November – though I hope not – but doing so will have cost them all the gains from the long march and all the advantages they had over the right for a half-century of life.
Be not afraid. In the end, we win, they lose.
Because they never see beyond what they want.