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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Ideas don't have consequences

The American Conservatives points out that if they did, all the neoclowns in the media would be unemployed:

When the University of Chicago Press brought out Richard Weaver’s book Ideas Have Consequences in 1948, it was instantly hailed as a landmark text on American conservatism. The title itself has become a sort of rallying cry for the conservative intelligentsia. I’d wager that 98 percent of those who utter the phrase “Ideas have consequences!” have never read the book, nor even heard of Richard Weaver.

What’s ironic is that Weaver himself hated the title. He hated it so much, in fact, that he nearly pulled the book. Looking back, his objection was prophetic. When it comes to the American right, ideas—good or bad—have no consequences whatsoever.

Take the war in Iraq, the greatest policy snafu in American history. Our crusade to depose Saddam Hussein was built on lies: that he was in possession of nuclear weapons, that he was sheltering Al Qaeda, etc. Granted, many of those lies came straight from the “intelligence community.” But, from day one, there were voices on the right who called B.S. Many of them gathered together in a magazine called The American Conservative; maybe you’ve heard of it.

Even if one can be forgiven for trusting the U.S. government back in those halcyon days, pro-war pundits also promised that Iraq would be over in five months, tops. That wasn’t just wrong; it was insane. The idea that we could purge the Iraqi government of Ba’athists right down to the last postman, install a stable transitional government, and leave Afghanistan a functional modern democracy—all in five months—was insane. Anyone who repeated that line was either stupid, evil, or both.

Some, like Bill Kristol, went even further. In November of 2002, he said: “We can remove Saddam because that could start a chain reaction in the Arab world that would be very healthy.” That’s nuts. It’s just nuts.

Now, tell me this. Once every single argument in favor of the Iraq war was proved categorically false, did anyone lose their jobs? Did any politicians or pundits suddenly disappear from the airwaves? Did their bad, stupid, evil ideas have any consequences? (For their careers, I mean. Their ideas certainly had consequences for the hundreds of thousands of dead soldiers and civilians.) Of course not.

What about those hawks who referred to the war’s critics as “unpatriotic conservatives”? Most of them are making six figures in the legacy media. Others are “senior fellows” at any of the millions of think-tanks across the Beltway. Because ideas don’t have consequences.

It is astonishing how many conservatives still listen to morons like Ben Shapiro or definitely-not-methheads like Jordan Peterson despite the fact that their ideas have repeatedly been proven to be false, harmful, or false and harmful.

Yes, people are wrong from time to time. Even smart, handsome individuals who correctly call economic crisis in advance are occasionally wrong. But there is a difference between not being perfectly omniscient and repeatedly pushing bad, stupid, and evil ideas on the public.

Also, America First is the new Tea Party. The once-nationalist rhetoric has already been subsumed and subverted by the Buckley wing of the Republican faction of the bifactional ruling party.

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40 Comments:

Blogger wahr01 April 28, 2021 8:18 PM  

"Also, America First is the new Tea Party. The once-nationalist rhetoric has already been subsumed and subverted by the Buckley wing of the Republican faction of the bifactional ruling party."

They data-mined all the influencers and silenced them in early 2017.
By spring of that year it was all grifters.

Blogger John Rockwell April 28, 2021 8:23 PM  

It's their job to render the opposition ineffective. And to be Grifters.

They don't believe in those ideas themselves.

Otherwise they will implement those ideas like Lenin did.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 April 28, 2021 8:25 PM  

Remind people that everyone who led us into war with Iraq are now all open Never Trumpers. That should be sufficient rhetoric.

Blogger eclecticmn April 28, 2021 8:27 PM  

Thomas Sowell wrote a lot about the lack of cost for being wrong in many pseudo scientific fields. In engineering, science, and medicine there can be personal consequences for being wrong. NN Taleb called such opinions free options or some such as there is no cost. They never have to bet money on their being right.

I recall during the Iraq war GWB believed that some Jeffersonian democracy would spring forth in Iraq. The GOP did not argue because he was GOP. The Dems did not argue because that would be 'racist' or something.

Baath party? I recall that after WWII was over many did not want to employ any Nazi party members in the new govt. Gen Patton said that many joined just like they might the Dem or GOP party. They dog piled on him.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the govt did not realize that chaos would follow in Iraq. They certainly knew before Libya. After Iraq and Libya they certainly knew before Syria. As Putin later said "Do you realize what you have done?"

Blogger Jack Amok April 28, 2021 9:19 PM  

Ideas don't have consequences, actions do.

Maybe convincing the Right that having ideas was good enough and no actions were needed was part of the plan all along.

Blogger Derangement Syndrome April 28, 2021 9:24 PM  

How many people in the government who failed on 9/11 were fired?

The answer is zero, in fact many were PROMOTED!

This doesn't just effect "ideologues", our government officials have paid no consequences for their bad ideas either.

Just for perspective, numerous military personnel were fired after their failure to prevent the Pearl Harbor attacks.

That doesn't happen anymore, unless they say something negative about trans people or donate to an unapproved political cause.

Blogger Doug Cranmer April 28, 2021 9:34 PM  

"Even smart, handsome individuals who correctly call economic crisis in advance are occasionally wrong."

OMFG. I was laughing. Vox has a sense of humour!

Blogger Canadian Warlord April 28, 2021 9:47 PM  

Bad ideas on the left are never scrutinized. It's the media and it's presentation that's the underlying symptom, together with the giant problem of no critical thinking by the public.

Blogger Jack Morrow April 28, 2021 10:12 PM  

There was a newspaper columnist in San Antonio a few years ago bemoaning the fact that his predictions were correct and yet his work was still appearing only in the local paper while (((Bill Kristol))) was consistently wrong and still getting back page columns in national magazines.

Blogger David McCarthy April 28, 2021 10:21 PM  

"There is a difference being perfectly omniscient and repeatedly pushing bad, stupid, and evil ideas on the public"

I would argue they are not just different but in fact more like the opposite of each other. Not being perfectly omnicient is a human necessity by definition. So what we are looking at is wicked vs non wicked.

Handsome though? I mean.. I think we can agree that that's in the eye of the beholder

Blogger Sean Carnegie April 28, 2021 11:03 PM  

How many of those that led the West into Iraq are now staunch pro-lockdown, mask-wearing, civilization haters?

Blogger Lazarus April 28, 2021 11:04 PM  

Bush's impetus to go into Iraq was fueled by Jewish activist Natan Sharansky, who wrote The Case for Democracy.

In the book, Sharansky and Dermer argue that the primary goal of American foreign policy, as well as that of the free world, should be the expansion of democracy. The book advocates a moral foreign policy based on belief in the universality of freedom and human rights. Sharansky and Dermer argue that nations that respect their citizens will also respect their neighbors.



https://infogalactic.com/info/The_Case_for_Democracy

Blogger Stilicho April 28, 2021 11:38 PM  

Also, America First is the new Tea Party. The once-nationalist rhetoric has already been subsumed and subverted by the Buckley wing of the Republican faction of the bifactional ruling party.

Who pays enough attention to Buckleyites for them to take over anything at this point? Aside from Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney that is.

Blogger Reader April 29, 2021 12:19 AM  

We have been conditioned to expect ZERO results, and put up no real opposition (see 2020 election heist), all the while our country is destroyed by a small minority of commies. Communists could not have had their way with America for the last 60 years if they had had any real opposition.

Tanks and big guns in the hands of a competent, determined military unit always have consequences. Indeed, we could quickly make up for decades of inconsequential ideas.

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel April 29, 2021 12:29 AM  

Taleb rightly points out that unless one has "skin in the game", especially a risk of serious loss linked to a failure of prediction, calculation or design, a person can't be considered an expert.

Fauci makes recommendations that aren't even consistent (nobody needs a mask, everybody needs a mask, wear two masks) and won't even attempt to issue some sort of quantitative or objective criteria.

Where's the consequences for the ruin he's caused? There is none. He's apparently had over 300 ego-stroking, bank account enhancing media appearances. He gains with others' disruption and loss-he's an anti-expert, but people are cowed by the title "Doctor".

I wonder if in 3-5 years, when the slip and fall lawyers are advertising did you wear a powder blue mask during the pandemic? Manufacturers knew the risk of inhaled polyester resins and did nothing.. but they won't be suing the "your mask protects me, my mask protects you" propaganda spewing politicians or their prostrating corporate servants who demanded "all customers must wear masks", "mask up" and other idiocies.

Blogger google is evil April 29, 2021 12:37 AM  

What is the issue w/ Peterson?

Blogger John Rockwell April 29, 2021 2:18 AM  

None of the neocons actually have to test their ideas on the field of battle with their necks on the line. And dying if they failed.

Else they would change their tune.

Blogger FrankNorman April 29, 2021 3:03 AM  

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the govt did not realize that chaos would follow in Iraq. They certainly knew before Libya. After Iraq and Libya they certainly knew before Syria. As Putin later said "Do you realize what you have done?".

I think that the truth of the matter is that they don't. They really don't. Based on my own experience with those sort of people, they live largely in a bubble constructed out of whatever makes them feel good. All perceptions of external reality are heavily filtered in terms of what fits the narrative. And the narrative itself has just one purpose: self-promotion.

The only way you can get one of them to acknowledge being wrong is if he or she can look superior by doing so.

Blogger Silex April 29, 2021 3:36 AM  

The "policy snafu" of war on Iraq started in 1991, but that's usually ignored. Just about everybody jumped on that bandwagon. One notable exception was Pat Buchanan, who said that the only people beating the war drums were the Israel Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the U.S. Ben Shapiro cut his teeth attacking Buchanan as an "anti-semite" when Shapiro was David Horowitz' protegé on FrontPage magazine, just as Horowitz had done. Attacking Pat was like a right of passage for them I guess. Horowitz probably couldn't really fit the bill as the premier neocon because he was a former handler for the Black Panthers and got (or had) a woman killed in that capacity. But no problem, he just remade himself as lefty-denouncer in chief. He got a lot of attention then faded away rather quickly, and, voila, the Shapiro star is born!

Blogger Jpc April 29, 2021 3:48 AM  

As Putin later said "Do you realize what you have done?"

More appropriate.
Do you care about what you have done.
And the answer is no!
Ideas only consequences for the little people.

Blogger Meanoldbasterd April 29, 2021 5:17 AM  

OT: it's a terrible crime when someone infiltrates OUR society!!! https://m.jpost.com/israel-news/haredi-rabbi-accused-of-being-a-covert-messianic-missionary-666517

Blogger Harambe April 29, 2021 5:47 AM  

google is evil wrote:What is the issue w/ Peterson?

He is a crackhead and possible schizophrenic. Also he never has a straight answer for a simple question, which is a giant red flag.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 29, 2021 6:31 AM  

I skimmed the article, basic stuff that has been said here for years. The comments were as interesting and I found no evidence of the usual female thought minder setting the limits to debate as with Dreher's pieces. But since it was a negation of the Right that would be expected no need for a minder.

The last sentence in the last comment said it best, "We are doomed" which I hope the author meant by that the end of the American Empire which has turned into the worst equality cult the world has ever seen. As a white man I take a bit of good measure that I in fact do not measure up to the American Empire's elite's standards of whatever they are.

Blogger RedJack April 29, 2021 7:10 AM  

Funny how it is posted all over the media.

Blogger Maniac April 29, 2021 7:15 AM  

"One notable exception was Pat Buchanan[.]"

He and Ron Paul made me realize that I didn't need to betray Conservatism just because the W. Administration had. God bless them.

Blogger Doktor Jeep April 29, 2021 7:43 AM  

Now, how do we get people to realize that protests are equally ineffective?

Hard mode: convincing boomers that they did not "stop the Vietnam war".

Blogger Jpc April 29, 2021 8:34 AM  

That's worked out well with the benefit of hindsight!

Blogger Jamie-R April 29, 2021 8:37 AM  

I'll continue to be the counter to any of this stuff that has developed over the last 30 years. Nothing has mattered for 143 years, your last President was named Andrew Johnson and it was 1869, who gives a crap what William Buckley thought, while he was doing pointless disenfranchised conservatisms William Stephenson was setting up your CIA after WWII, a foreign agent of your most dire enemy setting up the blackmail operations to be used against your political class. Always outmaneuvered by the British, like Cornwallis against Washington without the French help. If you had a real Republic more than half of this stuff would not even matter, including racial divisions, because you'd have tangible outcomes related to observation and legitimately elected officials by vetted voting. It's not that I don't think General Flynn, the DIA, and President Trump were part of a group that started unravelling this in 2014, the question is why did American leadership ever allow the 20th century to begin with these things in place, because it only got worse.

Blogger Damelon Brinn April 29, 2021 8:56 AM  

Who pays enough attention to Buckleyites for them to take over anything at this point?

It doesn't take much. The first Tea Party groups formed locally and organically to fight corruption in their local governments. But then some wealthy Republicans dumped money into forming a national organization, and the local orgs jumped at the chance to join up. Strength in numbers, right?

Now some of those groups have gone back to doing their own thing locally, some still calling themselves the Podunk Tea Party, others being the same general group of people organized under another name. But the national organization managed to waste a lot of their effort for several years. Hopefully they'll have learned their lesson and won't join up with the next shiny national "conservative movement" that comes along.

Blogger theartistformerlyknownasgeorge April 29, 2021 9:00 AM  

"Ideas don't have consequences, actions do.

Maybe convincing the Right that having ideas was good enough and no actions were needed was part of the plan all along."

It's beliefism. It's that somehow holding the "right" beliefs somehow means anything about your character.

There's also the idea that if you simply tell people about a planned change (diet, exercise, ect), you get a similar feeling of accomplishment as actually doing it, which often leads to relaxing and not actually doing it.

Often done in the name of "Accountability", but it is accountability without any teeth...like out government.

Tell someone who will call your BS when you fail if you actually want accountability. Most of your peers want you to fail ala crabs in a bucket.

Blogger OneWingedShark April 29, 2021 9:07 AM  

Damelon Brinn wrote:It doesn't take much. The first Tea Party groups formed locally and organically to fight corruption in their local governments. But then some wealthy Republicans dumped money into forming a national organization, and the local orgs jumped at the chance to join up. Strength in numbers, right?
Just remember: the biggest success of the Tea Party is the slimeball and non-Citizen Ted Cruz being installed as Senator.

Blogger Canadian Warlord April 29, 2021 10:19 AM  

Jamie-R, re. republic death 1869,
I believe American leadership (or their voters) allowed this due to expanding wealth. Calms many waters. Which is why things might get crazy now as people become poorer.

Blogger Dave April 29, 2021 11:24 AM  

One never realizes how much they have been brainwashed until they see it starting to unravel. So many threads...so overwhelming.
I did however enjoy every time Noam Chomsky ate Buckley's lunch. Even when I called myself a conservative. :-) Should have been my first clue.

Blogger eclecticmn April 29, 2021 11:36 AM  

9. Jack MorrowApril 28, 2021 10:12 PM
There was a newspaper columnist in San Antonio a few years ago bemoaning the fact that his predictions were correct and yet his work was still appearing only in the local paper while (((Bill Kristol))) was consistently wrong and still getting back page columns in national magazines.


There is a small conservative group on line with a little bit of a MN focus. Itasaboutliberty. They formed after they were banned from the powerline blog comments because they mocked Bill Kristol.

Blogger eclecticmn April 29, 2021 12:00 PM  

19. SilexApril 29, 2021 3:36 AM
The "policy snafu" of war on Iraq started in 1991, but that's usually ignored. Just about everybody jumped on that bandwagon. One notable exception was Pat Buchanan, who said that the only people beating the war drums were the Israel Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the U.S. Ben Shapiro cut his teeth attacking Buchanan as an "anti-semite" when Shapiro was David Horowitz' protegé on FrontPage magazine, just as Horowitz had done. Attacking Pat was like a right of passage for them I guess. Horowitz probably couldn't really fit the bill as the premier neocon because he was a former handler for the Black Panthers and got (or had) a woman killed in that capacity. But no problem, he just remade himself as lefty-denouncer in chief. He got a lot of attention then faded away rather quickly, and, voila, the Shapiro star is born!


Good history reminder. As I recall, Ossama bin Laden did not care about Palestinians much back when. What he cared about was the presence of US troops in Saudi. He called US female troops "whores in the temple." Correct me if I am wrong about the Palestinians.

After 9/11 Buchanan said "They're over here because we're over there."
The screaming and butt hurt was massive. "OMG he is blaming us for 9/11."

For a great perspective and history about the US support for terror read "The Management of Savagery" by Max Blumenthal. Yeah, rapid lefty.
Also there is this video. This had to move from the Politics and Prose DC book store to another location because the DC powers were butt hurt.
https://youtu.be/3ActAKgwVMU

For people crying "Antisemitism" tell them that great powers have often tried to keep their enemies fighting each other. I recall the Brits were good at that.

Blogger Gen. Kong April 29, 2021 12:29 PM  

In clown-world, ideas only have consequences for those who refuse the ticket. Kristol, Bolton, and the rest are all ticket-takers and no consequences happen regardless of how disastrous the results of their advice.

Hopefully they'll have learned their lesson and won't join up with the next shiny national "conservative movement" that comes along.

You need to read through The Gods of the Copybook Headings a few times. If enough had learned the lesson from the Tea Party fiasco, we wouldn't be faced with its latest updated version. Empty promises of 'hope-n-change' from the likes of Liz Cheney, Mitt Wormney, Jorge P. Bush, et al are more than a little like the old slogan for Colt-45 Malt Liquor: It works - every time! They'll just drag another counterfeit 100-dollar note through the conservatard trailer-park and chuckle at how many line up to join in their drag-queen parade.

Blogger KingKrawFish April 29, 2021 12:36 PM  

“We would’ve won the wars if dem durn libruls hadn’t made us fight with one hand tied behind our back!”

—GW-supporting BoomerCons

Blogger xxxx0xxxx April 29, 2021 1:42 PM  

Jordan Peterson is a lefty liberal, and some of his ideas are terrible, but at least he recognizes that his socialist upbringing was a pack of lies, and presents a cogent analysis of why they are a pack of lies.

So don't be so hard on the guy, he's trying, and he's paying for it with addiction and the hate he receives...

Blogger rumpole5 April 29, 2021 3:24 PM  

Agreed. This is one blog that one should read with caution when drinking liquids.

Blogger Valar Addemmis April 29, 2021 5:48 PM  

xxxx0xxxx wrote:So don't be so hard on the guy, he's trying, and he's paying for it with addiction and the hate he receives...

What addiction? He's assured us in no uncertain terms that it's not meth.

It's an absurd frame to focus on someone having the same enemies as you, or on what your enemies have done to them. Instead ask what they've actually done to your enemies. Otherwise, you're just that omega that runs around white-knighting a girl because she spoke to you. Clean your room, but also have some self-respect.

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