2013 October 06 Sunday
Yeats: The Worst Are Full Of Passionate Intensity

Every time I hear a bad policy being advocated by someone in denial about human nature I hear lines from William Butler Yeats:

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 October 06 11:30 AM 

Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) said at October 6, 2013 12:19 PM:

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

I agree with this. But why is this the case?

Randall Parker said at October 6, 2013 12:58 PM:

Puzzle Pirate,

An important question. I think the Dunning-Kruger Effect provides part of the explanation. But only part.

Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) said at October 6, 2013 1:06 PM:

" I think the Dunning-Kruger Effect provides part of the explanation. But only part."

On the part of "the worst" I agree.

But why do the best lack all conviction?

Randall Parker said at October 6, 2013 1:22 PM:

I think of the worst:
- Some are ignorant and dumb.
- Others are manipulators who know exactly what they are doing.
- They've got 3 key institutions: the media, the universities, and gov't bureaucracies.

Of the best:
- They've been brainwashed, kept ignorant of evidence.
- They've been shamed, marginalized.
- They are too individualistic to unite against their enemies.

I'm probably missing reasons.

Bob Arctor said at October 6, 2013 10:42 PM:

"They've got 3 key institutions: the media, the universities, and gov't bureaucracies."

I'd say they have at least four (maybe more than that), the last one being the finance industry. This is arguably the most important one, as without this one their stranglehold on the other three is unsustainable.

For the "Of the best" reasons I'd add one more: the vast majority of them believe (against all evidence) that they still run this country, and that all of our problems are the result of a small group of malefactors and/or idiots within a basically decent, sane, and fair system. Removal of these people, which of course is going to happen any day now, will result in all of those problems being immediately and magically solved.

Jeff said at October 7, 2013 7:49 AM:

The reason the worst are the most passionate is related to genetics; there is no other explanation for explaining behaviors that often strengthen during adulthood and endure through old age. Even if you were raised communist and totalitarian, in modern America you have unlimited opportunities to self-correct your beliefs with information from unlimited sources including your own two eyes. Therefore, it must be genetics that underpins the horrible left. I think the most obvious place to look is to examine the genetics of Jews from Eastern Europe. How the hell are so many of them so brilliant, yet so many suffer from a belief in collectivism. Oppenheimer could manage the creation of the bomb, but he was unable to rationalize just how evil is communism and totalitarianism, a much less cognitive demanding task. This is more evidence of genetics in play. Staying on with the Jewish questions, Murray says that during the writing of the Bell Curve, Herrnstein was completely against asking questions about Jews. In my opinion, this reticence is related to genetics because it is so common among Jews, yet so uncommon among Anglo-Saxons who will readily consider the warts of their people and their own actions. If you find the reasons for Jewish communism, or can develop a solid anthropological rational for it, then it may go a long way to explaining the effect in other populations. Jews would seem to be a good candidate for evaluation given the dichomoty between their high intelligence and their unbelievably stupid and ill-honorable belief in social engineering.

A few ideas:
1. lower testosterone levels lead to unfair practices. We know that people with high T are more fair than those with low T. We know that intelligence leads to sensory seeking. Maybe leftism and social engineering are the result of low T people seeking adventure and sensory enjoyment in a way that appeals to their intellect but minimizes their chances at direct physical contact? High T people may like competitive team sports; low T people like running or hiking. High T people like being honorable, low T people like being manipulative (these are pretty much established). Surely those on the left are lower T than those on the right, so there is likely some relationship. Low T people cannot admit the truth. Case in point; read the NYT article on the leftist who says that no men encouraged her to be a physicist so she became a professor of creative writing. What she cannot admit, yet what is readily apparent, is that someone without the talent to find her own way is going to be of zero importance to uncovering the truths of the universe. If she were truly brilliant, then she could have gone the way of Julian Simon and used her massive intellect to build a fortune on Wall Street, then turn around and use that fortune to fund science for girls. But she didn't and she never mentions in her writings about all the other roads to scientific importance that she could have taken: she doesn't do this because she is low T and is manipulative. At least that is my take. Leftism and feminism may be related to strong religious beliefs shuttled down a different street and they may also be related to narcissism intersected with the abject reality that the narcissist is not special and then all of this is governed by lower levels of testosterone that lead to manipulation.

J. said at October 7, 2013 10:28 AM:

Typo, for Julian Simon read James Simons.

I think you're holding intelligence fixed in your ideas about T. You ought to mention that.

Sam said at October 9, 2013 11:09 AM:

Jeff said at October 7, 2013 7:49 AM:
"...If you find the reasons for Jewish communism, or can develop a solid anthropological rational for it, then it may go a long way to explaining the effect in other populations..."

Here's your answer. I don't see it as complete but it's a good overview.

Eustace Mullins The Biological Jew

This book is so far out of mainstream thought that it might bother you a bit. You might not even believe its premise possible. I think it's fairly accurate and describes the behavior of Jews very handily. You may believe that humans could not have this level of instinctual behavior hardwired. I suggest you look at the Minnesota and other twins studies. The extreme similarity of psychological behaviors between separated twins is astounding. It's not true in all cases but enough to give you pause that any amount of "head start" training is going to fundamentally transform the basic psychological behavior of any group of human beings.

I personally don't believe that taking out one group will solve all problems but it couldn't hurt. I know you've seen this before in kids. A group of kids are fairly well mannered individually but when they get together as a group or have that one trouble making kid added to the group they all get into trouble. I see the Jews as the trouble making kid. They exacerbate all the negative tendencys in societies. In field after field they corrode. Look at modern art, legal profession, finance, etc. etc... Everywhere they go they have the greatest passion for the worst. I don't think it's even conscience in most of them they just act that way. Dogs bite, snakes slither and Jews destroy countries. Just the way it is.

J. said at October 9, 2013 2:25 PM:

I'm out of this thread.

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