I just recently realized that two of my favorite idiocies are linked by a similar failure of cognition; the lack of the ability to time-bind.
People who deny the largely obvious mechanism of evolution often refuse to look at evidence for it altogether, as that would violate their “faith.” Embracing deliberate ignorance from parental or societal conditioning is comprehensible, if nauseating. Still, look at the inhumanities perpetrated by fundamentalists worldwide. That is the most blatant example of the results of deliberate ignorance.
Many otherwise tolerable folk, even absent fundamentalist fanaticism, simply fail to comprehend the vast sweep of time life has had to fall into successful patterns. They have an insufficient mental model to allow grasping the concept of the ball of life being, as it were, shaped by the pinball machine of changing conditions, not being rolled through a predetermined course by a consciousness. They do harm sometimes by coloring a publicly-mandated educational system in the tints of their own mental inadequacy.
More sinister is the economic/social religiosity of Marxists and their fellow thinkers, knee-jerking away from any rational discussion of economics or the philosophy of personal liberty. In their worst manifestations, usually linked with borderline personalities like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, the Kims . . . they have slain and enslaved millions.
Again, there are others, far more numerous, conditioned by schools and social interaction, who move in the same direction as those extreme avatars of central control. Ignorant of the mechanisms of capitalism, they’re often acting from the human reaction of compassion alone. In their mass and gradual devolution from a constitutional republic to a mobocracy they do as much harm as the tyrants, albeit through their franchise and not the employment of armies.
How, you may ask, are these errors of thought linked by a lack of time binding? With the anti-evolutionists, I have already explained. With the socialists, the redistributionists, the levelers, the regulators, the taxers, the welfarists, the equal-results egalitarians, the rest of that foul flock, and lots of simply well-meaning but historically oblivious voters, it is another lack of time sense. They are willing to use governmental force in the immediacy of RIGHT NOW to cure injustices perceived. They ignore the historic rising tide of increasing capital goods, capital concentration (and redistribution), research, and technological growth through uncoerced market forces that brought us from common infant death, outhouses, and widespread starving poverty to a country in which most of our poor have adequate clothing, televisions, indoor plumbing, and access to libraries. Those changes took a century. They want to “achieve” change faster than even an unfettered economy could accomplish it by further hobbling the economy. They want to mandate social mobility by hamstringing the mechanisms that once permitted it.
Blinded by their religiosity they cannot comprehend their own ignorance. By pulling down the almost-successful to benefit the non-productive (yes, Obamacare) they both ensure the continued societal-burden status of their “beneficiaries” and destroy the very vessel that would in time actually benefit them.
California is leading this lemming-like stupidity.
Now the Grumpy Libertarian has had his grump for this week.
Have a merry Christmas, or a happy Hannakuh, or a festive Festivus. Have fun, read some basic economics, and think about how, in near-time, we can turn this sorry state around.