The Politically Incorrect Show - 27/11/2000
[Music - Die Fledermaus]
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Monday November 27, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
[Music up, music down!]
Sent to the libertyloop over the weekend was an article by an American physicist, Dr Robert Kocher. It included the following:
"Reality; A is A; what is, is; are equivalent to the protons, neutrons, and electrons of chemistry that must be accepted. Does the outcome of the philosophical question of whether reality or proof exists decide whether we should plant crops or wear clothes in cold weather to protect us from freezing? Har! Are you crazy? How many committed deconstructionist philosophers walk about naked in subzero temperatures or don't eat? Try creating and living in an alternative subjective reality where food is not needed and where you can sit naked on icebergs, and find out what happens. I emphatically encourage people to try it, with the stipulation that they don't do it around me, that they don't force me to do it with them, or that they don't come to me complaining about the consequences and demanding to conscript me into paying for the cost of treating frostbite or other consequences (sounds like there is a parallel to irresponsibility and socialism somewhere in here, doesn't it?)."
Dr Kocher is here attacking one of the great, if not the greatest, myths of our time: that because our knowledge of reality comes to us via the senses, it is not reality that we have knowledge of - meaning that what we have is not really knowledge at all; that reality, if indeed there is such a thing, is different from the one we perceive & for ever undiscoverable. As Ayn Rand would put it, we are blind because we can see, deaf because we can hear. This silliness has been around for millennia - the Sophists had a pretty robust version of it back in Ancient Greece, saying that nothing exists; if anything did exist we couldn't comprehend it; if anything did exist & we could comprehend it, we still couldn't communicate it. One can understand this stuff gaining currency during the infancy of philosophy where absolutely everything was up for challenge; that it has survived into the twenty-first century, & even has the imprimatur of some modern physicists, is nothing short of staggering. Yet survive it has - the catchcry of a phalanx of phony philosophers & wannabes right here & now is: how do you know? By which they mean - you CAN'T know, ha, ha! How do they know you can't know? Again quoting Rand, blankout!
This would be funny if it weren't disastrous. Chronic scepticism of this kind is like the HIV virus - it may hover harmlessly enough for a while, but sooner or later unleashes a full-on orgy of destruction, in this case developing into full-blown nihilism: nothing-worship. If you want to understand why the world is the way it is, think of it this way: our culture has AIDS. Paintings fluked by donkey-tails; plotless novels; music without melody; politicians without principles & the unthinking sheeple who empower them; talkback mentalities chained to the mundane concretes of their small lives, unable to abstract & think in principles - all of these & a host of other things are symptoms of one disease: this "idea" that we can't know anything, that all ideas are therefore equally valid (or more accurately, equally invalid), so that ideas per se are a waste of time. I confidently predict that this illness will further manifest itself over the next couple of hours in the absence of a single comment on this editorial, while caller Ron will be champing at the bit to bore us rigid with the interminable details of a stuff-up in his ACC payment.
Actually, there IS an antidote to repair to - the same one that ultimately will find a cure for literal AIDS: the reasoning mind. At the end of his epic work, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, Dr Leonard Peikoff put it this way:
"'All things excellent,' said Spinoza, 'are as difficult as they are rare.' Since human values are not automatic, his statement is undeniable. In another respect, however - & this is Ayn Rand's unique perspective - the task ahead is not difficult. To save the world is the simplest thing in the world. All one has to do is think."
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