Friday, November 20, 2020

Adventures In Wokistan: Ayn Rand, and Governor Newsom

 I've never read anything that Ayn Rand wrote.

At the age when many young people are either assigned or discover The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged I was trying to absorb a fire hose of other information and didn't have time. Then later, upon learning that former Fed head Alan Greenspan was an acolyte of Rand's, and applying that earlier fire hose of information, I didn't have an interest.

But I have studied power and was reminded of a Rand quote when Governor Newsom was photographed at a political strategist's birthday dinner, surrounded by donors and lobbyists with nary a mask or social distance to be seen:
"To Newsom's right was Dustin Corcoran, CEO of the California Medical Association (CMA). 
To the governor's left was CMA lobbyist Janus Norman." 

And that juxtaposed with this, from Deadline Hollywood:

Entertainment Industry as essential workers?

The facile explanation is that this is just hypocrisy. But the Rand quote from Atlas Shrugged could just as well apply. The characters are Floyd Ferris, PhD and Hank Rearden (businessguy/industrialist):

“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed? said Dr. Ferris. We want them to be broken. You better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. 

You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There is no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of lawbreakers and then you cash in on the guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, That’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.” 

CliffNotes describes: "Dr. Floyd Ferris The day-to-day head of the State Science Institute, Dr. Floyd Ferris is a murderous bureaucrat with an unquenchable lust for political power...." 

Once everyone is a criminal and law enforcement is arbitrary then it is just a hop, skip and a jump to Kafkatrapping. From our introduction to "The Cult Dynamics of Wokeness":

...In Wokistan the rhetorical game is always about power. The woke are never happier than when they can assume the moral high ground. I say assume because possession of said moral high ground is belied by the attempt to use same as a weapon.
These are the crybullies.

Second, the tricks of cult rhetoric are some of the nastiest you are likely to come across. Manipulative is just the beginning of the descriptors.

I. There is lots of "Kafkatrapping", the term being based on Kafka's story The Trial, where any attempt by the accused to defend himself was taken as agreement with the premise and proof of guilt.

II. The rhetorical manipulation continues with a favorite of wife-abusers and other nasty critters: passive aggressive argumentum: "It's your fault, you misunderstood what I (said, meant, did, etc.)"
They will slide very easily into straight up gaslighting where the intent is to portray the victim of the attack as crazy/delusional/a bad person, whatevs.
I should probably do a post on all this but for now some seriously good analysis of the psychological manipulations to expect when engaging with the Woke....

I'm starting to think Governor Newsom doesn't really care all that much about Covid-19.