The Left’s Departure From Reality Has Dire Consequences

August 24, 2017

— by Polydamas

Ayn Rand once wrote “You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality”. People may choose to build a city at the foot of a volcano. They can persuade themselves that they are perfectly safe, that the volcano is nothing more than a big mud cake. In other words, they can evade the reality of the situation. However, no one can avoid the consequences when the volcano eventually erupts and spews lava. The people, who clearly perceive reality, will understand the existential danger to themselves, escape to safety, and live to fight another day. Other people, who deny reality and engage in wishful thinking, will fail to grasp the danger to themselves and suffer the dire consequences.

One of the best distinguishing characteristics between people who recognize the supreme nature of reality and the people who seek to evade it lies in their respective assessments of the vast gulf between actions, thoughts, and feelings. Let us illustrate the differences between them with the following scenarios:

Scenario 1:  Person A secretly has feelings of hatred against person B. Person A never acts upon the feelings of hatred and never says a word to person B. Is there any immediate danger to person B? No. As long as person A never acts, person B has nothing to fear. Person B does not have any justifiable reason to attack person A because the line between bad intentions and deeds was never crossed.

Scenario 2:  Person A openly has feelings of hatred against person B. Person A has even said something hateful against person B. Person A never acts on the feelings or the words of hatred toward person B. Person B is justified in being vigilant. However, person B does not have any justifiable reason to attack person A because the line between bad intentions and deeds was never crossed.

Scenario 3:  Person A openly has feelings of hatred against person B and has even said something hateful against person B. Person A gathers weapons, formulates a scheme to attack person B, scouts a location, trains and practices how to attack person B. Person A gets an opportunity to attack person B. Person B reasonably believes that there is an imminent danger to life, safety, and limb. Person B has a justifiable reason to defend against an imminent attack and may even preemptively attack person A because the line between bad intentions and deeds was crossed.

Scenario 4:  Person A absolutely loves person B and has said so. However, person A is crazy and wants to sacrifice person B to some bloodthirsty deity figment of the former’s imagination. Person A gathers weapons, formulates a plan of attack, scouts a location, practices and trains, and gets an opportunity to attack person B. Person B reasonably believes that there is an imminent danger to life, safety, and limb. Person B has a justifiable reason to defend against an imminent attack and may even preemptively attack person A regardless of person A’s subjective love for person B.

People who do not have a firm grasp on reality are unable to make the crucial distinction between their subjective perception of other people’s intentions and the other people’s actual deeds. They mistakenly see an existential threat where none exists.

Person A in Scenario 1 may be a closest hater, and may even be a racist, sexist, anti-semite, homophobe, or whatever antisocial tendencies society may condemn. Yet, the deeply-closeted person A in this scenario is not dangerous.

Person A in Scenario 2 is a known hater and may even be a racist, sexist, anti-semite, homphobe, or whatever antisocial tendencies society may condemn. Person A in this scenario has not crossed the line between words and deeds. Any danger from person A is not imminent but remote. Person B is not justified in physically attacking person A. However, person B is justified in using words to counter person A’s hatred, racism, sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia or whatever.

Person A in Scenario 3 is a danger. Person A’s bad intentions coincide with preparation and an opportunity for bad deeds. Person B is justified in neutralizing this threat at the point of attack or even beforehand in a preemptive fashion.

Person A in Scenario 4 is a danger, notwithstanding person A’s subjective good intentions. Person A’s preparation and opportunity for bad deeds justify person B in neutralizing this threat at the point of attack or even beforehand in a preemptive fashion.

The four scenarios discussed above are simply different applications of the libertarian non-aggression principle. The non-aggression principle prohibits one human being (or nation state) from initiating violent force or threat of force against another human being (or nation state). In the parlance of cowboy westerns, the first cowboy to reach for his gun is the initiator of aggression, which completely justifies his would-be victim in drawing his gun even faster and first shooting his would-be attacker. There is no requirement that the would-be victim allow his attacker to shoot first or draw the first blood as the libertarian non-aggression principle is not a recipe for assisted suicide.

Here are the facts. Nearly two weeks ago, on August 12, 2017, a motley assortment of Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan racists, and their ilk applied for and received a permit to march in Charlottesville, Virginia. They were violently confronted by the anti-fascist counter-demonstrators of Antifa.

Now, we at The Cassandra Times strongly and unequivocally state that we have zero love for Neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan moral and ideological degenerates. If a natural calamity befell them, say the Earth were to open its mouth and swallow them alive like the biblical Korach, we would celebrate this fortuitous occurrence as an example of divine justice or karma.

The salient question is not whether the ideology of the thugs of Antifa is superior to the ideology of the white supremacists. This is not a referendum on the abhorrent belief structure of Neo-Nazis. There is no issue of moral equivalency. Instead, the salient question here is who had the legal right to march in Charlottesville, Virginia, the answer being the white supremacists, and who did not have the legal right to violently attack the white supremacists, which was Antifa. Regardless of the supremacists’ ideology, Antifa was in the wrong because it violated the non-aggression principle. Antifa crossed the line between words and actions when it first initiated force against the white supremacists.

With the above established, we do not believe that the black-clad, shield-carrying, bat-swinging, and masked so-called leftist anti-fascists of Antifa were in the right here. Whatever moral condemnation may be rightfully leveled against the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists, Antifa thugs violated the non-aggression principle by initiating violent force against the former. Under our Constitution, even reprehensible speech by moral and ideological degenerates is entitled to protection. The Constitution does not discriminate in its protection of political speech between despicable political speech and enlightened political speech. It allows the citizenry and the free marketplace of ideas to sort out the worthwhile from the worthless.

The same non-aggression principle analysis applies to 20-year-old James Alex Fields, Jr. who used his Dodge Challenger to mow down 32-year-old paralegal and Antifa sympathizer Heather Heyer and 19 other people, yet with a different conclusion. Heather Heyer and the 19 other people in the street did not initiate any deadly force against James Alex Fields. James Alex Fields had no right under the non-aggression principle to initiate any force, much less deadly force, against people who were not then personally attacking him.

The untimely death of Heather Heyer is tragic and deeply regrettable. However, it was the result of the evil and unjustified actions of one man, James Alex Fields, not his intentions or ideology. Whether he killed her out of hate or out of love makes no difference, she is still dead by his unjustified actions. There are ample grounds for charging James Alex Fields with murder, giving him a fair trial, and putting his fate in the hands of a jury of his peers. Should a jury of his peers find him to be guilty, he should be subjected to the maximum punishment allowable by law.

The inability of leftists to distinguish between the reality of actions and ephemeral intentions and words permeates the national discussion. Instead of focusing on the specific culpability of James Alex Fields for initiating deadly action, Democratic operatives and their lapdog mainstream media divert the discussion to leftist narratives about the belief structure of Neo-Nazis, their racism, anti-Semitism, and discrimination.

We at The Cassandra Times are libertarians. We agree with President Donald Trump on some issues and disagree on others. We do not consider his even-handed pronouncements on the tragic events that took place in Charlottesville to be advocating inappropriate moral equivalency between white supremacists and their opposition. Donald Trump’s words appear to correctly recognize that the line in the sand is one of actions, not intentions. Using a vehicle to purposefully run over non-threatening people is a clear violation of the non-aggression principle regardless of ideology. It would be equally wrong for a Neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan member to murder a non-threatening member of Antifa as it would be for a member of Antifa to murder a non-threatening Neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan member.

The inability or unwillingness of leftists to distinguish the facts of reality from the flights of fantasy was masterfully explained by cartoonist Scott Adams of Dilbert fame in his superb August 17, 2017 blog post “How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble” which is respectfully reproduced below (http://bit.ly/2wVF7vA). According to Adams, a mass hysteria bubble is a mass hallucination with “strong emotional content and it triggers cognitive dissonance that is often supported by confirmation bias”. The hysteria bubble was triggered when Hillary Clinton lost the presidency on November 8, 2016 after her followers were duped by Democratic pollsters and operatives who assured her followers that her presidency was inevitable. Since then, they have blamed the tragedy of her crushing defeat upon every far-fetched fantasy that imputes to Donald Trump both endless evil and unlimited power.

A leftist narrative that significantly departs from reality has dire and deadly consequences. For example, three years ago, on August 9, 2014, an 18-year-old African-American teenager named Michael Brown was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. The leftist narrative was that a white police officer executed an inoffensive African American teenager who peacefully surrendered and cried “hands up, don’t shoot!” Eyewitnesses swore that Michael Brown “put his hands in the air being compliant and he still got shot down like a dog”.

In reality, the hulking Michael Brown never surrendered to the police officer. He never cried “hands up, don’t shoot!” Rather, he struggled with the police officer and tried to take away the officer’s gun. Incontrovertible DNA evidence belonging to Michael Brown was found on Darren Wilson’s body and clothing, proving that he was physically assaulted by Michael Brown. It was Michael Brown who violated the non-aggression principle, which justified Darren Wilson in shooting in self defense.

The leftist narrative “hands up, don’t shoot” was built upon a lie, a fantasy devoid of reality. The narrative continued to rip the fabric of race relations in America, which was already frayed by the shooting death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. The fraudulent narrative about Michael Brown’s shooting death resulted in a nationwide rash of murders and attacks on police officers in retaliation. A few months later, on December 20, 2014, New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were ambushed and executed in their patrol car in Brooklyn, New York by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, a 28-year-old African American.

This rash of violence continued almost two years later, on July 7, 2016, when former United States Army Reserve veteran, African American Micah Xavier Johnson donned ballistic body armor, hunted down, and murdered five white Dallas police officers in retaliation. They were Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarripa. Nine other officers were injured. Johnson shouted that he wanted “to kill white people, especially white officers”.

We at The Cassandra Times hope and pray that the mass hysteria bubble will subside quickly, the fraudulent narratives cynically peddled by political operatives, grievance hustlers, and the infotainment industry will be debunked, and that the tragic yet unnecessary loss of lives and limbs will be minimal.


How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble

Scott Adams

Scott Adams’ Blog

August 17, 2017

History is full of examples of Mass Hysterias. They happen fairly often. The cool thing about mass hysterias is that you don’t know when you are in one. But sometimes the people who are not experiencing the mass hysteria can recognize when others are experiencing one, if they know what to look for.

I’ll teach you what to look for.

A mass hysteria happens when the public gets a wrong idea about something that has strong emotional content and it triggers cognitive dissonance that is often supported by confirmation bias. In other words, people spontaneously hallucinate a whole new (and usually crazy-sounding) reality and believe they see plenty of evidence for it. The Salem Witch Trials are the best-known example of mass hysteria. The McMartin Pre-School case and the Tulip Bulb hysteria are others. The dotcom bubble probably qualifies. We might soon learn that the Russian Collusion story was mass hysteria in hindsight. The curious lack of solid evidence for Russian collusion is a red flag. But we’ll see how that plays out.

The most visible Mass Hysteria of the moment involves the idea that the United States intentionally elected a racist President. If that statement just triggered you, it might mean you are in the Mass Hysteria bubble. The cool part is that you can’t fact-check my claim you are hallucinating if you are actually hallucinating. But you can read my description of the signs of mass hysteria and see if you check off the boxes.

If you’re in the mass hysteria, recognizing you have all the symptoms of hysteria won’t help you be aware you are in it. That’s not how hallucinations work. Instead, your hallucination will automatically rewrite itself to expel any new data that conflicts with its illusions.

But if you are not experiencing mass hysteria, you might be totally confused by the actions of the people who are. They appear to be irrational, but in ways that are hard to define. You can’t tell if they are stupid, unscrupulous, ignorant, mentally ill, emotionally unstable or what. It just looks frickin’ crazy.

The reason you can’t easily identify what-the-hell is going on in the country right now is that a powerful mass hysteria is in play. If you see the signs after I point them out, you’re probably not in the hysteria bubble. If you read this and do NOT see the signs, it probably means you’re trapped inside the mass hysteria bubble.

Here are some signs of mass hysteria. This is my own take on it, but I welcome you to fact-check it with experts on mass hysteria.

1. The trigger event for cognitive dissonance

On November 8th of 2016, half the country learned that everything they believed to be both true and obvious turned out to be wrong. The people who thought Trump had no chance of winning were under the impression they were smart people who understood their country, and politics, and how things work in general. When Trump won, they learned they were wrong. They were so very wrong that they reflexively (because this is how all brains work) rewrote the scripts they were seeing in their minds until it all made sense again. The wrong-about-everything crowd decided that the only way their world made sense, with their egos intact, is that either the Russians helped Trump win or there are far more racists in the country than they imagined, and he is their king. Those were the seeds of the two mass hysterias we witness today.

Trump supporters experienced no trigger event for cognitive dissonance when Trump won. Their worldview was confirmed by observed events.

2. The Ridiculousness of it

One sign of a good mass hysteria is that it sounds bonkers to anyone who is not experiencing it. Imagine your neighbor telling you he thinks the other neighbor is a witch. Or imagine someone saying the local daycare provider is a satanic temple in disguise. Or imagine someone telling you tulip bulbs are more valuable than gold. Crazy stuff.

Compare that to the idea that our president is a Russian puppet. Or that the country accidentally elected a racist who thinks the KKK and Nazis are “fine people.” Crazy stuff.

If you think those examples don’t sound crazy – regardless of the reality – you are probably inside the mass hysteria bubble.

3. The Confirmation Bias

If you are inside the mass hysteria bubble, you probably interpreted President Trump’s initial statement on Charlottesville – which was politically imperfect to say the least – as proof-positive he is a damned racist.

If you are outside the mass hysteria bubble you might have noticed that President Trump never campaigned to be our moral leader. He presented himself as – in his own words “no angel” – with a set of skills he offered to use in the public’s interest. He was big on law and order, and equal justice under the law. But he never offered moral leadership. Voters elected him with that knowledge. Evidently, Republicans don’t depend on politicians for moral leadership. That’s probably a good call.

When the horror in Charlottesville shocked the country, citizens instinctively looked to their president for moral leadership. The president instead provided a generic law and order statement. Under pressure, he later named specific groups and disavowed the racists. He was clearly uncomfortable being our moral lighthouse. That’s probably why he never described his moral leadership as an asset when running for office. We observe that he has never been shy about any other skill he brings to the job, so it probably isn’t an accident when he avoids mentioning any ambitions for moral leadership. If he wanted us to know he would provide that service, I think he would have mentioned it by now.

If you already believed President Trump is a racist, his weak statement about Charlottesville seems like confirmation. But if you believe he never offered moral leadership, only equal treatment under the law, that’s what you saw instead. And you made up your own mind about the morality.

The tricky part here is that any interpretation of what happened could be confirmation bias. But ask yourself which one of these versions sounds less crazy:

1. A sitting president, who is a branding expert, thought it would be a good idea to go easy on murderous Nazis as a way to improve his popularity.

or…

2. The country elected a racist leader who is winking to the KKK and White Supremacists that they have a free pass to start a race war now.

or…

3. A mentally unstable racist clown with conman skills (mostly just lying) eviscerated the Republican primary field and won the presidency. He keeps doing crazy, impulsive racist stuff. But for some reason, the economy is going well, jobs are looking good, North Korea blinked, ISIS is on the ropes, and the Supreme Court got a qualified judge. It was mostly luck.

or…

4. The guy who didn’t offer to be your moral leader didn’t offer any moral leadership, just law and order, applied equally. His critics cleverly and predictably framed it as being soft on Nazis.

One of those narratives is less crazy-sounding than the others. That doesn’t mean the less-crazy one has to be true. But normal stuff happens far more often than crazy stuff. And critics will frame normal stuff as crazy whenever they get a chance.

4. The Oversized Reaction

It would be hard to overreact to a Nazi murder, or to racists marching in the streets with torches. That stuff demands a strong reaction. But if a Republican agrees with you that Nazis are the worst, and you threaten to punch that Republican for not agreeing with you exactly the right way, that might be an oversized reaction.

5. The Insult without supporting argument

When people have actual reasons for disagreeing with you, they offer those reasons without hesitation. Strangers on social media will cheerfully check your facts, your logic, and your assumptions. But when you start seeing ad hominem attacks that offer no reasons at all, that might be a sign that people in the mass hysteria bubble don’t understand what is wrong with your point of view except that it sounds more sensible than their own.

For the past two days I have been disavowing Nazis on Twitter. The most common response from the people who agree with me is that my comic strip sucks and I am ugly.

The mass hysteria signals I described here are not settled science, or anything like it. This is only my take on the topic, based on personal observation and years of experience with hypnosis and other forms of persuasion. I present this filter on the situation as the first step in dissolving the mass hysteria. It isn’t enough, but more persuasion is coming. If you are outside the mass hysteria bubble, you might see what I am doing in this blog as a valuable public service. If you are inside the mass hysteria bubble, I look like a Nazi collaborator.

How do I look to you?

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