The Overton Bubble, ie. Intellectual Martial Law

Neal Devers, The Overton Bubble:

The trouble with the Overton Window as a mechanism of political control, and with politicization of speech and thought in general, is that it causes significant collateral damage on the ability of your society to think clearly.

If some thoughts are unthinkable and unspeakable, and the truth happens in some case to fall outside of polite consensus, then your ruling elite and their society will run into situations they simply can’t handle….

An unwise political elite is one incapable of thinking clearly about their strategic situation, acting in concert, or sticking to a plan….

An insecure political elite is one which has either no sufficient mechanisms of political power short of the politicization of speech and thought, or is faced by such powerful but somehow never decisively powerful enemies that they need to permanently escalate to a state of vigorous politicization of speech and thought. We can compare this state to “intellectual martial law” for its structural similarity to the physical-security equivalent.



A Raven and a Swan

I had no idea that Aesop was trans-species-phobic.  I’m glad I found out!  Here’s the proof:

From Aesop for children:

A Raven, which you know is black as coal, was envious of the Swan, because her feathers were as white as the purest snow. The foolish bird got the idea that if he lived like the Swan, swimming and diving all day long and eating the weeds and plants that grow in the water, his feathers would turn white like the Swan’s.

So he left his home in the woods and fields and flew down to live on the lakes and in the marshes. But though he washed and washed all day long, almost drowning himself at it, his feathers remained as black as ever. And as the water weeds he ate did not agree with him, he got thinner and thinner, and at last he died.


A change of habits will not alter nature.


Deny Natural Law And The Race Will Perish

Defy the commandments of the natural law, and the race will perish in a few generations; co-operate with them, and the race will flourish for ages to come. That is the fact; whether we like it or not, the universe is made that way. This commandment [God’s natural and moral law for the universe] is interesting because it specifically puts forward the moral law as the basis of the moral code; because God has made the world like this and will not alter it, therefore you must not worship your own fantasies, but pay allegiance to the truth.

~Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker


The Concentrated Madness of the Moment

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes:

Here is a quick and generally reliable rule to follow. If people have always said it, it is probably true; it is the distilled wisdom of the ages. If people have not always said it, but everybody is saying it now, it is probably a lie; it is the concentrated madness of the moment.

Source: qtd. in

The Spiritual Logic

William Gairdner on the spiritual logic underlying monotheistic religion:

The secular Westerner looks at the universe and says: “Because there is no God, the universe must have created itself by purely physical means, so there is no ultimate truth, no Why.”

But the Westerner of faith (and the Muslim) says: “As nothing can come from nothing, the universe cannot have created itself, because for anything to create itself, it would have to precede itself in existence – which is clearly a logical impossibility. Hence, the universe must have had a beginning and an eternal or uncreated creator. So absolute truth must exist somewhere, and therefore I must humble myself before this truth and strive to know it in whatever way I can.”

Anyone can follow the logic embedded in this spiritual conclusion without necessarily belonging to an organized religion.

Read more:

They Can Make You Commit Atrocities


“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”



Factual versus Political Truth

Alfred Jacob Miller - Storm- Waiting for the Caravan - Google Art Project

William Gairdner on Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Report regarding Canada’s residential schools:

What is the factual, versus the political truth, about the 3,201 children who were “killed by relentless waves of epidemics” in our residential schools in the 135-year period since the 1880s?… Mr. Clifton attests that residential school staff often “worked around the clock to protect students from such diseases,” and that all Canada’s residential schools had good infirmaries. So, is the number of deaths of native children…really proof of poor care and abuse of those children, as the summary of the Report suggests in morally-judgmental terms? Perhaps not.

Read more:

Brian Giesbrecht on the Residential Schools Legacy:

The residential schools story is now well known to Canadians.

It is accepted wisdom that residential schools were created to strip aboriginal children of their culture. The children who attended the schools were often physically and sexually abused by their teachers, and returned to their communities as broken people, resulting in the alcohol abuse, domestic violence and general social breakdown that plague so many aboriginal communities today. That story is accepted with few questions from the media, and now taught in our schools.

But how much of that story is true?

In the first place, the numbers simply do not support it.

Read more:

This is consistent with documents I have read from the 1800’s.  One such document was a first person account of the travels of an Anglican priest through Southern Ontario.  The priest documented that some Native American tribes asked to convert to Christianity because they had concluded that the Christian God was much more powerful than their gods given how advanced the “white man” was.  These tribes also voluntarily sent their children to residential boarding schools where they could be educated in the “white man’s” ways.  Some of the children did succumb to illnesses at those schools, but they were not deliberately infected or maltreated.  The priest’s own daughter died at one point in his journeys.  Given the prevailing political truth of these days, since the priest’s own daughter died, was she abused and poorly cared for, too?

[Note: I have misplaced the citation for this book, but when I find it I will post it]