‘Sometimes, the First Duty of Intelligent Men Is the Restatement of the Obvious’

 

The title above is a quote from George Orwell, of course. Chesterton said something similar:  “Every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things.” It’s important to remind ourselves of what makes Western Civilization so great, of course. But there are other reasons for their emphasis on the obvious. As Orwell explains: “So much of left-wing thought is kind of like playing with fire by those who don’t even know that fire is hot.

So many leftists from Western countries passionately promote ideas that would quickly destroy the culture that has given them such wonderful lives. Everyone from Bernie Sanders to Greta Thunberg to Barack Obama to John Lennon to Pete Buttigieg to Susan Rice to David Hogg to Anderson Cooper to AOC to Mark Zuckerberg to Elizabeth Warren to all the rest of them. They each have their own pet causes, but they band together in agreement on issues that would destroy their ability to promote their own pet causes. Or even live their lives. It’s remarkable.

Republicans can talk policy specifics at times, but they should focus on the restatement of the obvious. Those basic concepts that support Western culture. They should point out the destructive impact of Democrat policies on the culture that has given us all such wonderful lives. Any question that any reporter asks should be diverted into a simple explanation of obvious things. Over and over and over again.

Orwell was right. The first duty of intelligent people is the restatement of the obvious. Western culture depends on it. Obviously.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Dr. Bastiat

    The title above is a quote from George Orwell,

    Suicidal or stupid? You decide!

    • #1
  2. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The title above is a quote from George Orwell,

    Suicidal or stupid? You decide!

    I decided. They look determined to assist palestine. They are domestic enemies

    Let’s air drop Them over there so They can help fight for palenstine.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):
    Let’s air drop Them over there so They can help fight for palenstine.

    I’ll contribute.

    • #3
  4. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The title above is a quote from George Orwell,

    Suicidal or stupid? You decide!

    It almost seems reflexive, doesn’t it? Must stand for whatever normies are against.

    • #4
  5. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    I’ve written about this before… We need a  490BC Project.  That is as opposed to a 1619 Project.

    https://ricochet.com/805870/we-need-a-490-bc-projecthow-the-ancient-greeks-created-and-saved-western-culture/

    In 490 BC, at Marathon, the Greeks saved Western Civilisation from being suffocated in its crèche by the Persian empire.  Perhaps they can save us again.   

    When Americans knew classical history, they could reach beyond partisan differences by drawing on the shared roots of our civilization. American students once learned, for example, about the Greek victory at Marathon in 490 B.C. This kept Greece from being swallowed up by the Persian Empire and ushered in the Golden Age of Athenian democracy which, for all its shortcomings, was a pathbreaking achievement. Democratic Athens, counterbalanced by Sparta’s tripartite system, led to broad-based polities and ultimately the Roman Republic. From there we trace a clear line to Magna Carta and the Renaissance republics, to the Enlightenment, and ultimately to the American Founding in the years around 1776.

    Without classical knowledge, Americans are likely to misconstrue the achievements of 1776—not to mention other significant historical moments (as evidenced in recent inconclusive contentions over the events of 1619). Unfortunately, contemporary school curricula leave students with major gaps in their knowledge of classical history and the humanities more broadly.

    • #5
  6. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The title above is a quote from George Orwell,

    Suicidal or stupid? You decide!

    I decided. They look determined to assist palestine. They are domestic enemies

    Let’s air drop Them over there so They can help fight for palenstine.

    Hamas would probably force them to be involuntary suicide bombers.  

    • #6
  7. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Promoting LBGTQ+ is by definition slow suicide. Fetishizing abortion accelerates it. Opening the borders to drugs, thugs, and traffickers is a death wish nonpareil

    • #7
  8. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The title above is a quote from George Orwell,

    Suicidal or stupid? You decide!

    • #8
  9. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    My contribution to “restating the obvious” is more to remind my friends of life outside Western (in my case Christian, since these discussions usually happen in an American Christian church setting) culture. I do find that well-meaning people forget that most cultural foundations that they take for granted are not historically normal, and in many cases not  even normal today. We (American Christians) are so thoroughly embedded in a culture shaped by Western Civilization that we cannot imagine that any other exists. Even after I explain it, many just cannot believe that there really are people in the world who don’t think it’s wrong to enslave or to kill or to maim or to rape people just because they belong to a different tribe, or who think it’s good to escalate violence until one party completely dominates the other, or who think sacrificing children to a “god” is a good idea (and that one I point out that in America we do that today – killing children to appease the “gods” of power or fame or money or convenience), or any of a number of other practices one can read as behind the various laws G-d laid out in the Torah to steer His people to a better world and closer to Him. 

    • #9
  10. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    But what if the obvious is racist, sexist, and homophobic just like math or having to repay student loans?  If we declare something a hate crime or denialism or just icky and like everybody in the entire dorm agrees, doesn’t that make for a new truth, especially if there is a consensus?  The cool profs say that if we swallow the fruits of their courses we will be as gods or at least freed from the tyranny of whatever god created this totally oppressive reality.

    • #10
  11. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    But what if the obvious is racist, sexist, and homophobic just like math or having to repay student loans? If we declare something a hate crime or denialism or just icky and like everybody in the entire dorm agrees, doesn’t that make for a new truth, especially if there is a consensus? The cool profs say that if we swallow the fruits of their courses we will be as gods or at least freed from the tyranny of whatever god created this totally oppressive reality.

    A tale as old as time.

    • #11
  12. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    But what if the obvious is racist, sexist, and homophobic just like math or having to repay student loans? If we declare something a hate crime or denialism or just icky and like everybody in the entire dorm agrees, doesn’t that make for a new truth, especially if there is a consensus? The cool profs say that if we swallow the fruits of their courses we will be as gods or at least freed from the tyranny of whatever god created this totally oppressive reality.

    A tale as old as time.

    Only dumber.

    • #12
  13. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge
    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr.
    @BartholomewXerxesOgilvieJr

    The more I think about it, the more important this idea seems. Our political discourse, when it’s substantive at all, tends to be about details of implementation. Tax rates, immigration policies, student loan debt relief, whatever. But we live in a world where most voters don’t seem to comprehend basic ideas like what borders are for, what “rights” are, or the fact that the government can’t create money from nothing. To debate the details without a foundation of basic principles is an exercise in pointlessness. Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, as they say.

    • #13
  14. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    But what if the obvious is racist, sexist, and homophobic just like math or having to repay student loans? If we declare something a hate crime or denialism or just icky and like everybody in the entire dorm agrees, doesn’t that make for a new truth, especially if there is a consensus? The cool profs say that if we swallow the fruits of their courses we will be as gods or at least freed from the tyranny of whatever god created this totally oppressive reality.

    You’re really good at that.

    You’ve lived in DC too long.

    • #14
  15. Morley Stevenson Member
    Morley Stevenson
    @MorleyStevenson

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The title above is a quote from George Orwell,

    Suicidal or stupid? You decide!

    I say both.

    • #15
  16. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The title above is a quote from George Orwell,

    Suicidal or stupid? You decide!

     

    Or this one, which I grabbed recently:

     

    • #16
  17. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The title above is a quote from George Orwell,

    Suicidal or stupid? You decide!

    Embrace the wonderful power of “and”

    • #17
  18. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The title above is a quote from George Orwell,

     

    Suicidal or stupid? You decide!

    I decided. They look determined to assist palestine. They are domestic enemies

    Let’s air drop Them over there so They can help fight for palenstine

    The world needs a QFP Make A Wish Foundation.

    • #18
  19. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    But what if the obvious is racist, sexist, and homophobic just like math or having to repay student loans? If we declare something a hate crime or denialism or just icky and like everybody in the entire dorm agrees, doesn’t that make for a new truth, especially if there is a consensus? The cool profs say that if we swallow the fruits of their courses we will be as gods or at least freed from the tyranny of whatever god created this totally oppressive reality.

    You’re really good at that.

    You’ve lived in DC too long.

    If you think this is only a DC phenomenon…

    • #19
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    If you think this is only a DC phenomenon…

    But I wanna be sheltered and believe it’s not contagious.

    • #20
  21. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    In 490 BC, at Marathon, the Greeks saved Western Civilisation from being suffocated in its crèche by the Persian empire.  Perhaps they can save us again.

    Excellent.

    I have learned other lessons like this from ancient history by reading and listening to Victor Davis Hanson. But hardly anybody looks at the past for insight.

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    In 490 BC, at Marathon, the Greeks saved Western Civilisation from being suffocated in its crèche by the Persian empire. Perhaps they can save us again.

    Excellent.

    I have learned other lessons like this from ancient history by reading and listening to Victor Davis Hanson. But hardly anybody looks at the past for insight.

    Only for incitement.

    • #22
  23. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The title above is a quote from George Orwell,

    Suicidal or stupid? You decide!

    Very good! And apposite.

    • #23
  24. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    But what if the obvious is racist, sexist, and homophobic just like math or having to repay student loans? If we declare something a hate crime or denialism or just icky and like everybody in the entire dorm agrees, doesn’t that make for a new truth, especially if there is a consensus? The cool profs say that if we swallow the fruits of their courses we will be as gods or at least freed from the tyranny of whatever god created this totally oppressive reality.

    A tale as old as time.

    People who are ignorant of history think every “new” thing they here is a brilliant revelation.

    • #24
  25. Macho Grande' Coolidge
    Macho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    But what if the obvious is racist, sexist, and homophobic just like math or having to repay student loans? If we declare something a hate crime or denialism or just icky and like everybody in the entire dorm agrees, doesn’t that make for a new truth, especially if there is a consensus? The cool profs say that if we swallow the fruits of their courses we will be as gods or at least freed from the tyranny of whatever god created this totally oppressive reality.

    A tale as old as time.

    People who are ignorant of history think every “new” thing they here is a brilliant revelation.

    This applies at work, too.  It’s very exciting!  For me.  To see a new crop of “leaders” get rotated in at much higher pay rates, and re-discover the problems and solutions that I had already advised the last clown about, and then think they’ve “added value”.

    • #25
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