Free the cows!

Politicians, even the relatively benign ones, think the public is stupid. It is a safe bet, becoming safer every year. Repeat anything a sufficient number of times, and among those who know nothing about a subject, a consensus may be formed; quickly, when fear can also be manipulated. For well over a century, this has been the secret for the rise of the Left. It is based on sloganeering. It helps, to start, if one’s slogan is plausible — liberté, égalité, fraternité, sounds nice — but it ignores what is specific. This is because, the moment it gets real, it becomes incoherent. It is a blank face, a portrait of nothing. And nothing can’t do anything at all.

Repetition is key. The rise of totalitarianism has roughly coincided with the rise of democracy. I do not mean “fake” democracy, but the real thing: decision-making by genuine majorities. As anyone with any knowledge may know, the majority in society will share some conception of right and wrong, and this may well be reasonable. We may count on it for our everyday survival. But when they, or we, are put in unfamiliar territory, we are lost. We depend instead on leaders and guides. Our freedom is quickly surrendered to them. We start doing idiot things, like everybody standing six feet apart, or worse, two metres.

Our recent Batflu experience has brought home to me the novel virus in our modern world. We are, more and more, in starkly unfamiliar territory. In consequence, we are becoming unfamiliar to ourselves.

Trust may come from experience, but in order to acquire any experience one must start from trust. This is so even with freshly-born children: we don’t know them yet. So far as they are to acquire virtues, we must beat them in. And they will generally resist, and often defeat us. Parents, for the most part, learn this groundwork, which the childless never learn. The idea that people without children, or even the prospect of children, are entitled to the vote, horrifies me. They do not know the groundwork of human life. Their desires must necessarily be whimsical.

Perhaps I oversimplify. Parenting takes many forms. We call a celibate priest, “father,” and I’ve known old spinster ladies who were mothers in their kind. A child has not only biological parents, but the world into which he is born. He is parented, to old age, by the heroes he has chosen; by neighbourhood and nation. He is reared by the Church, though indirectly; or, mostly for worse, by the equivalent of a church. I did not mean “parent” quite literally.

It is this modern freedom from “parentage” that concerns me. Everyone traditionally came from somewhere. No two came from exactly the same place, not even siblings; but some commonalities had always been conceded. The expression, “assume a spherical cow of uniform density,” &c, explains why all statistical “sciences” are false and inapplicable; and yet it remains true that “a cow is a cow is a cow.” But now we have a society that, increasingly, believes itself to consist of spherical cows. And we are sloganed to, about our round-cow “rights,” constantly.

This, at heart, is our “globalist” new territory.