Sunday, July 03, 2016

The Fool’s Gold of Pragmatism

I made the remark during a recent email discussion of my eviction by my former landlady because I was seen as a “risk” to my neighbors, and that it was more “pragmatic” to remove the “threat” by throwing me to the ISIS wolves. Rather than thank me for defending her rights, she wished to eliminate the potential “threat” to her tenants and property.
I am a Muslim. I am reason-proof.
 The situation, inaugurated when the FBI/NCIS paid me a visit on May 18th to inform me that my Rule of Reason site was on the radar of ISIS and other Islamic terrorist organizations, but the agent advised me that I was in no imminent danger. Thousands of Americans have been “targeted” by ISIS activists, or by wannabe terrorists. Their landlords or bankers have not told them to get lost. It is hard to ken the mentality of a person who would pretend that evicting me – an unprecedented event in my life – would somehow magically ward off any murderous Islamic mischief from her other tenants.
 The best way, according to the landlady, to avoid any potential unpleasantness with Muslims and Islam, was to extinguish the red light that was Edward Cline. Get it off the property and as far away as possible. Deny that he existed.
 I was instantly relegated to the status of a post WWII displaced person. I am currently “living out of a suitcase” in a dump of a motel. It has been a very stressful and costly experience for me. Not even several stories about the sheer irrationality of her actions have swayed the person I have not so fondly nicknamed, “The Bitch of Buchenwald.” As Daniel Greenfield noted in his article, the landlady acted, for all intents and purposes, and whether or not  she knew it, as an agent of ISIS. There are scores, even thousands of her ilk in our federal, state, and local governments. Obsessed with not rocking the Islamic boat, though that boat has rocked with increasing frequency with hundreds of lives lost just in the West.
See a recent article, “The Totalitarianism of Modern Airports” and “Last Call” in a note with more details.
 See also Matt Bracken’s Western Rifles Shooters article, which is another major article about my unprecedented, scandalous and bizarre eviction.
 Pragmatism is fool’s gold. The pragmatic, to the anti-intellectual, is that which “works.” It is a series of actions which result in a “desired” result, which series eschews reason and logic. Turning the ignition key of one’s engine gets it started. Mixing egg yolks with some milk will produce scrambled eggs. Pragmatism sans reason is on a mental level of remembering how to tie one’s shoelaces. It is the mode of primates and other animals. That is the top level of animal actions. We don’t need reason, said John Dewey, the premier American philosopher of Pragmatism. But “thinking” without thinking is not the “practical” mode of men. Mental labor is required of all actions taken by men. And thinking requires the employment of Aristotelian logic.
 I can tie my shoelaces because I have automatized the actions needed. My fingers seem to operate without my having to think about the requisite actions to loop the laces and fix knots. But on a deeper level, beneath layers of years and practice, from the first time I needed to tie my own shoelaces. Reason governed the course of my actions, and still does.  
Dewey wrote in his 1938 Logic: The theory of Inquiry.
He defined with precise brevity the criterion of validity common to these three schools, which lack agreed-upon definitions:
But in the proper interpretation of "pragmatic," namely the function of consequences as necessary tests of the validity of propositions, provided these consequences are operationally instituted and are such as to resolve the specific problem evoking the operations, the text that follows is thoroughly pragmatic.
I think the key term in Dewey’s definition is “consequences.” Theoretically, in the Dewey world, one could just as easily fix a plate of scrambled eggs by becoming a whirling dervish. Perhaps in the cartoon world, that would seem to be possible. But it has nothing to do with reality, with actually preparing scrambled eggs.
Primates cannot fix a plate of scrambled eggs. They are “programmed” by their biology to take the correct steps to ensure their survival, from “learning” how to peel bananas to fishing for ants to eat in the dirt with a twig. I think that one of the most disastrous results of projecting human actions onto animal behavior has been to confuse volitional human behavior with animal behavior. It has been a train wreck in the field of teleology, and it has had dire political and educational consequences. Perhaps I have it backwards, and the train wreck is caused by instead deducing human actions from animal actions. Divorcing human actions from reason also gives rise to other debilitating and vicious notions, from racism to sexism to “white privilege.”
Syllogisms? We don't need no stinkin' syllogisms!
Pragmatists seek consequences. They want results. They take actions. But the actions they take are only coincidental to their actions. The actions they take merely parallel the course taken by following rules of reason.
To Dewey and his Progressive followers, Aristotelian logic and reason were merely “optional” and not the end and be-all of human existence. Reason was not the only “logic” available to men to ensure their survival.
Logical positivism also figured in Dewey's thought. About the movement he wrote that it "eschews the use of 'propositions' and 'terms', substituting 'sentences' and 'words'." ("General Theory of Propositions", in Logic: The Theory of Inquiry) He welcomes this changing of referents "in as far as it fixes attention upon the symbolic structure and content of propositions." Yet Dewey was not entirely opposed to modern logical trends. Concerning traditional logic, he states:
 Aristotelian logic, which still passes current nominally, is a logic based upon the idea that qualitative objects are existential in the fullest sense. To retain logical principles based on this conception along with the acceptance of theories of existence and knowledge based on an opposite conception is not, to say the least, conductive to clearness – a consideration that has a good deal to do with existing dualism between traditional and the newer relational logics.
This “dualism” is now proposed to allow Islamic Sharia law and “customs” to coexist “peacefully” with Western values of freedom and the independent mind and freedom of speech. There is Western logic and there is Islamic logic. Aristotelian logic is “nominal.”
In education, school children are now being taught how to “tolerate” Islam and Muslims by “experiencing” what it is like to be a Muslim.  Instead of being taught the principles of freedom and being introduced to John Locke, the thought of the Founders, and the efficacy of the individual and of capitalism, they are being taught how to bow, scrape, and grovel before an “all-knowing,” brutal, and whimsical deity.
But they cannot coexist. One must supplant the other. The “coexistence” has been anything but “peaceful.” No matter how many times Pragmatists follow formulaic, predetermined courses of actions to contaminate or merge Western culture with Islamic culture, Western culture must first defer to Islam and then either self-destruct or be destroyed by Islam. Islam, as a totalitarian ideology, does not defer to freedom of any kind – except the “freedom” to kill.
Pragmatism is the fool’s gold of action by men seeking to preserve their lives and values. It can only guarantee their eventual – and often immediate – extinction.

1 comment:

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