WBP

James Lindsay’s advice about helping your leftist friends find the Woke Breaking Point quoted on Rod Dreher’s blog is excellent.

I once used exactly this method to help a friend who was in an abusive relationship.

It’s hard to reach the woke friends because they tend to be in a deep quarantine, and it’s not a discussion you can have over the phone. But the strategy is great.

Crazy Stories

My husband doesn’t have time for news, so I give him updates on major news stories. It used to be fun but it isn’t any more. He started looking at me like I’ve been in the sun for too long and have become loopy. I find myself constantly repeating, “I swear to God this happened exactly like I’m telling you. No, for real. Please Google it. I swear!”

How do I tell him the noose story without sounding like a total basket case?

A Scary Garage

We are surrounded by batshit crazy people:

Forget the massive freakout over a garage pull rope. There were 15 FBI agents investigating it? A US Attorney is issuing a statement about it? Because we don’t have anything more serious going on?

Is everybody completely and totally nuts?

How Morality Is Born

People are born without a sense of morality. Little kids are vicious, brutish, and completely self-centered animals. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a survival mechanism.

Very slowly do the little animals turn into human beings. The first step is the awakening of an imagination.

Then, a sense of self that is separate from others begins to form. It’s a painful process, which is what causes the “terrible twos” and the horrid threes. During this time, a little kid gets a sense of the foundational loneliness of all human beings, and that causes extreme, uncontrollable rage. That rage is directed, first and foremost, against the mother who betrays the kid but turning out to be a completely separate person. (Eventually, the kid learns to enjoy and value her separatedness but that is a long journey that doesn’t end until adulthood).

At some point during the childhood you see the birth of an aesthetic feeling in a kid. A sense of beauty is slowly formed.

Finally, little by little, a capacity for kindness, a sense of empathy, and the beginnings of morality start to appear in a little human being.

I recently observed Klara developing a sense of morality. We were reading a children’s story about a shark and a crocodile. A shark was mean to a group of fish, bullying them and making them terrified. Then the fish recruited a crocodile who terrorized the shark into submission. The shark started groveling for mercy.

“I want to be the shark’s friend!” Klara declared. “Now he is lonely and scared, and nobody wants to be his friend. But I do.”

Not wanting to beat on somebody who is already down, being able to show mercy to a defeated enemy, siding with the underdog because he’s an underdog, reacting with compassion to signs of weakness – this is the foundation of morality that only human beings are capable of.

You can’t teach people to have this feeling by lecturing them about it. It’s got to awaken internally. If it doesn’t, a person might be able to fake empathy but will never really feel it. But it’s absolutely crucial if you are going to be a fully functioning human being.

Imagination, a sense of self, an aesthetic feeling, and a sense of morality make us human. We develop these capacities in early childhood. If that process is broken in some way, we end up with stunted human beings who don’t live to the full potential of humanity.

Not the Real Leftism

USSR wasn’t real socialism. Cuba and Venezuela aren’t real socialism. CHAZ isn’t real leftism. New York Times isn’t real leftism.

Every single time it’s tried, the result is identical. Totalitarianism, persecution, violence, fear, silencing of dissidents, destruction of the cultural legacy. Every single time.

But instead of concluding that this is the nature of leftism, we keep hearing that it’s not real leftism. If only it were this mysterious “real” kind, things would be absolutely peachy.

Slate Star Codex Is Gone

Scott Alexander has deleted his enormously popular blog Slate Star Codex after NYTimes promised to dox him and put his life in danger.

This is how the public space will be cleansed of all dissident voices, one by one.

Now let the yes-butchiks explain how it’s not a big deal.

Ridicule

After what we’ve been seeing in the past few weeks, anybody who ever dares to suggest there are crowds of white supremacists in this country who are an actual threat to anybody should meet with complete and utter ridicule.

Inane fantasies of scary armed right-wingers should die of decrepitude. The same goes for authoritarian Republican presidents.