The first thing to accept is that you don’t have to do anything crazy to go completely crazy – a series of rational small steps will get you there. A to B seems at least OK. The same with B to C, all the way to Z. Twenty five rational, or semi-rational, steps and you’re there. Compare A to Z and you realize that you’re in cloud cuckoo land. How did you make that journey?
Society has unwritten rules which are discarded with peril. Almost all of us can’t recite these rules even when we wish to flaunt or eliminate them. Many don’t even know or acknowledge the existence of such rules. Economists who are disciples of Adam Smith cite the presence of an “invisible hand’ which guides the economy when allowed to. No state I know of can allow this hand completely to go its independent way. But many refuse even to concede the existence of such a guiding hand or if they do, see it as malign.
So I’ll give another example of spontaneous rules which everyone will recognize – language. Every widely spoken language has a complex grammar. The rules of each such grammar can be articulated only by those who have consciously studied them in detail. But all who are fluent in that language observe these rules without hesitation or effort. Ask a fluent speaker why a particular form of a verb or pronoun is used and he will not be able to quote the rule that he instinctively observes.
Frederich Hayek, perhaps the greatest political economist of the 20th century, was also a sociologist. He observed that every human society, as is true of language and economics, followed a complex set of rules that had a nature, character, and definition which though observed by every culture, was largely invisible. When these rules are broken, it is usually the result of a conscious effort to improve society by freeing it from supposedly arbitrary and capricious dictums that seem to the rule breaker to oppress a segment of the social order. Those who would break the rules of society are typically ignorant of their existence much less of their content. And they never understand the consequences of their rule breaking.
Arnold Toynbee observed that great civilizations are not murdered; they commit suicide. By definition, the current great civilizations do not include those environs where any semblance of order has given way to tooth and fang. I am concerned with the West as one great civilization with many different components. Also, do not confuse sanity and order with perfection. Neither are injustice and sanity incompatible. They can exist simultaneously. The pursuit of justice is both admirable and desirable. But one can go crazy in its pursuit if good judgment is abandoned.
I picked 25 steps as the route to insanity solely because it’s the number that takes one from A to Z. The actual path to lunacy can take more or less strides. The key is that each step seems logical and can be justified even if it’s controversial. Also, there are almost a limitless number of paths that can get you to Bedlam.
Let’s start with marriage which suddenly has become a dangerous subject. I am completely agnostic (whatever that means) on the subject. If a man wants to marry a monkey, let him. All that matters is love, mutual affection will also do. So will friendship. Well, let’s concede that any reason will suffice.
Gender is the obvious next target for reassignment. Just because you have never heard of 5 -α reductase deficiency or total androgen insensitivity syndrome or any edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders prior to the current one should not prevent you from making gender an optional construct. The DSM, including the current one, was meant to be generously interpreted. So a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Incidentally, the German language is ideal for this issue and the one immediately below given its endless ways of saying the and a. Just because almost no one has a problem knowing what gender is, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t spend a lot of time trying to solve a virtually non-existent problem – ie, the wonderfully suppositious gender dysphoria.
Which logically brings us to pronouns. There’s no big deal offending anyone by inadvertently (or horrors, on purpose) using the wrong one. Use them anyway you want. Singular, plural, smural. What’s in a pronoun, an endophora by any other name would scan as well. Invent new ones; it’s fun. If you’re gender fluid, they can be a lifesaver.
Profanity is another arena ready for change. At first glance it may appear to the unenlightened that the boundaries of forbidden words have been expanded. In fact they’ve been narrowed. For every good old Anglo-Saxon nasty word that’s now in common parlance, a score of new outlawed words or phrases has taken the place of the old cuss words. And that’s reasonable. Keeps the superannuated off balance.
Sex and children. This is a tricky combo. They ought to be unrelated, yet the latter often follows the former. Those in favor of severing the connection and inevitably reducing the number of children around face the conundrum that they may soon be outnumbered by the offspring of those who have a different conception of reproduction. It’s obvious what the winning long term strategy is, even if it’s the ungraceful choice.
The US military has been for most of its existence a mercenary band. During this time its responsibilities were modest. Conscription was only used when the demands on the military were high. Now the US has the largest military budget in the world devoted to an armed force that is entirely for hire. But this system is used to pacify civilians by not conscripting them. Paying somebody else to fight your battles has a long history. What could go wrong with a large standing mercenary armed forces tacitly disliked by the country’s elite?
College should be free, especially considering the character of a typical baccalaureate program. Health care should like wise be free, as should haircuts and pedicures. Taxes should be fair. Fair is defined as an assessment made on people who make more than the person who thinks that they should be fair. If we carry this scheme to its logical end, the entire tax burden will fall on Jeff Bezos. Serves him right for losing my umbrella.
Speech should be free as long as it’s not too offensive. Since we’re making Bezos pay all the taxes, he can decide what’s offensive and what’s over the border. Speaking of borders, we can all emigrate to Canada and become lumberjacks.
Religion being so last century, we should get it out of sight. The only exception is if we suspect that some sincerely religious folks will blow us up if we’re not tolerant of their world view. This is a problem that moving to Canada will not solve.
Drug addiction is like Churchill’s description of Russia, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. It’s dangerous because it’s illegal which is why it’s illegal – I think. We hate tobacco, love marijuana, think addiction is a disease, but nevertheless jail people for having this disease. We encourage treatment of this disease though few believe it works. We blame doctors for over prescribing pain meds, but criticize them when they under treat pain. We expect the government to fix the problem, but it’s too consumed with whether it should pay for gender transition therapy in Navy Seals to focus on the issue. I’d go for the Major ———- de Coverley solution. So let’s bite the bullet, seize the horse by the reins, take a giant step forward, and in the immortal words of de Coverley, “Gimme eat. Give ‘em all eat.” Bezos will pay. Problem solved.
We’ve made a lot of progress with science. If some guy in a white coat is telling me what I want to hear it’s science. If his news is unsettling, it’s not science. Humans killed all the mega fauna in Australia and the Americas soon after they arrived there. So I can’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be screwing up the climate as well. If we don’t want wait for technology to catch up with the problem, it’s going to cost a lot of money to fix tomorrow’s problem today. But you know who we can get to pay.
Where are we right now on the road from A to Z? I suppose it depends where in the West you’re situated. If you live along the coast of California, you’re just about there. It’s not even safe to name a horse there. The above suggestions are just a few of the steps that you can take to go completely mad without ever once doing anything overtly irrational.
Mao famously said that a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step. We’re all Maoists now, we’re just headed for a different destination.