Wednesday, October 14, 2020

So.... Cracked is back to gun control...

And doing so in a article that....  questions if free speech and representative governance is good.

Buckle up.

After a part decrying free speech for the commoners we get this part:

For example, after every mass shooting, my feed is full of celebrities saying "Get rid of the guns" and columns about how it's time to repeal the 2nd Amendment, pointing out that half-measures like background checks and mental health interventions won't stop similar attacks. The problem is that, even without looking at polls, you have to know that Americans really, really like guns. If you do look at the polls, you'll find that only one in five Americans want to repeal the 2nd Amendment and only one in nine feel strongly about it. Yet, when we see a video of sprawled corpses in a shopping center, millions of well-meaning people think, "It'd be nice if we could just, you know, do it anyway."

This is coming to a head sooner than you think. What happens when those exact same voters stand in the way of fixing global warming, aka, the thing that could collapse civilization? In order to curb emissions in time, we apparently have to ban new gasoline cars within 15 years or so, and beef consumption has to drop dramatically even sooner than that. But Americans love their gasoline cars even more than guns (more than 97% of new car buyers still choose gas over electric, with huge gas-guzzling trucks being the fastest-growing market), and they love their hamburgers and steaks even more (Americans average more than a pound of beef a week, only 5% of us are vegetarians).

So....  the whole "background checks and red flaws" are just half measures?    And the mentioning of Celebrities filling my twitter feed, right after decrying free speech....

So much for "nobody wants to take your guns" or... nobody wants to take your cars or meat...
And note this is *AFTER* the item where the writer muses that most of the populace just can't handle free speech.

That's actually the unspoken tension behind every argument about censorship or "cancel culture." Speech only exists in human brains, so the problem isn't the comedian's bigoted joke; it's the assumption that some segment of the audience will not have the brainpower to know what to do with it. You're giving a blowtorch to a toddler. 

Blow-torch toddler.  But guns should be banned because Celebrities want it.

If society can't be saved without a strong majority of citizens on board, and we secretly believe that most of them are immune to both reason and empathy, then what are we suggesting be done? This isn't a rhetorical question! We literally will have to answer it! Shit!

So....  what is the answer?

If right after complaining about people having free speech....  one complains about what to do to with a majority of voters who "are immune to both reason and empathy",  what conclusion would you come to?

Followed by an item about.... dropping testosterone?  And bemoaning some culture war: 

That is, in fact, the larger problem -- our addiction to antagonism has made us even worse at processing information than we already were. When every spoken word is seen as a shot fired in some goddamned culture war, then facts are useful only as ammunition.

Yeah shame that.

ANd then gets into a neo-luddite rant about automation.  Which then goes to "twitter feed solutions"

The obvious solution, among the people in my Twitter feed, is a Universal Basic Income. To make up for paychecks lost to automation, the government taxes the corporations and gives us a monthly check just for existing. This would apparently mean that a skilled and ambitious minority will continue to do the tasks too advanced for robots, but the hundreds of millions displaced by self-driving cars, delivery drones, and retail kiosks will just become full-time consumers, I guess? Planted on the sofa, staring at a screen and getting zombified by social media dopamine drips?

That's the positive solution!

But what about people who still have to work?

He or she then passes by a porch full of stoned, giggling UBI neighbors, still up from an all-night gaming session (it doesn't matter if this characterization of the neighbors is unfair -- what matters is the perception). You're saying this person won't feel any resentment toward them? That they won't feel like their own vote should count for more, that the system shouldn't be geared more toward the needs of the "producers?"

Well....  given earlier you proposed that some people can't handle free speech, and that people who like such icky things as guns.... meat... or cars.... can still vote is "problematic".....

Again, what solution comes to mind?

And to be clear, I'm not pointing the finger at anyone but myself here. I don't have children, even though I have a yard, a spare bedroom, and a penis that almost works too well. Shouldn't I be forced to raise at least two replacement kids and train them in some high-value task? Shit, am I even doing a high-value task? I make a good living writing escapist novels with increasingly stupid titles. Isn't that a frivolous inefficiency in the system? Shouldn't somebody be forcing me to write patriotic propaganda or cautionary tales about climate change?

Umm....  doesn't that sound pretty fascist?  So much for, I can do what I want as long as I'm not hurting anyone else....

But it gets better

I spent thousands of dollars on vet bills when my dog got cancer; would that be allowed in a perfectly just and efficient society? In fact, should people capable of treating cancer even be allowed to waste their talents on dogs?

Should. Be. Allowed.   We have a man who literally is bemoaning not just that people are allowed to care for pets, but that veterinary workers are ALLOWED to provide such care.

Nobody is taking your veterinary oncologists.

If you want to know how compassionate, caring, eco-woke people can end up oh-so-reluctantly endorsing fascism? Here you go.  (And for more examples the comments can be pretty chilling)

And this shows why a grounding in what was once called Classical Liberalism is so *vital*  because without a foundation of: "Yeah individuals for all their flaws have rights in what they can say and do"  you end up with....

"Well, maybe for the good of all free speech, universal suffrage,  self defense, vehicular mobility should be replaced by food rationing,  assigned labor serfdom,  censorship of books,  full rationing of medical care"  And not one wiff or worry about the corruption or /who/ would be running such a state?

I mean going "*We* need to take away all the freedoms and inefficiencies of liberal democracy, for the duration of the emergency" sounds a /bit/ familiar no