deep space dalrymple

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deep space dalrymple

Post by dusty » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:15 pm ... dalrymple/

i didn't see this one coming! dalrymple's soviet travelogue is an old favourite of mine, i think there's a few quotes in the roots of sjwism thread. will post some thoughts once i've listened to both parts

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deep state
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Re: deep space dalrymple

Post by deep state » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:26 pm

good timing as I have been telling myself i need to get back over here and put some time into it!

will try to post more regularly if others will do the same.

accompanying essay on TD here: ... ne-1-of-2/
The question of why, exactly, the proverbial road to Hell is paved with good intentions is one that’s both central to our social predicament and, as such, that has been strangely under-examined. How did this become an axiom for human existence? What is it about human intentions that they so often bring about the opposite results? In our recent conversation, Dalrymple addressed this uneasy correlation between Hell and (apparent) benevolence by pointing out that, “There are people who desire providential roles for themselves, because a providential role, as a very important role in society, answers your problems as to what you do with your life and what life is for.” The desire to do good, Dalrymple noted, is generally mixed up with the desire to feel good about oneself, and this mixing of motives may be at base of how and why progressive politics in the UK and elsewhere have ended up creating so much misery for so many.

Another important point which Dalrymple brings up consistently throughout his work is that helping others (which is central to the desire for a providential role) invariably requires finding others who are unable to help themselves. If people with good intentions are drawn to help the helpless at least partially in order to secure a providential role for themselves (a role which not only makes them feel virtuous but also righteous, morally superior to their fellows), then, in an odd but inexorable way, they become dependent on the helpless being helpless, i.e., dependent on their assistance. At the same time, for people to feel good about playing a providential role in society requires that the ones being provided for fully deserve it; in our current ideological paradigm, this means they must be painted as wholly innocent victims of misfortune. If they are seen as in any way responsible for their misfortunes, this makes them less eligible to receive the benefits of providence. But by being absolved of responsibility for getting into their situation, they are stripped of the power for getting out of it. Casting less fortunate people in the role of helpless, blameless, irresponsible victims and passive receivers of providence (innocent because powerless, and vice versa) suits both the bestower and the receiver of providence. It also more or less guarantees these roles remain fixed and unchanging.

Where this really becomes the high-road to Hell, however, is in the extent to which those implementing misconceived policies that are supposedly progressive, benign, and humanitarian, directed towards the establishing of equality and the abolition of misery, when faced with results that constantly belie the nobleness of their intentions, fail to admit failure. Rather than opting to re-examine their intentions, and risk losing their self-designated roles as agents of providence, they feel compelled to “double down” and retreat into the assumption that their intentions and their methods, rather than being fundamentally unsound, are simply insufficiently funded, supported, or implemented. This was very much the central question in my conversation with Dalrymple, i.e., at what point do incompetence and malevolence overlap and become indistinguishable? Dalrymple response, characteristically, was a rare blend of succinct, droll, and ominous:
I suppose there comes a point when good intentions actually turn into malevolence, or at any rate, people who started off with good intentions become malevolent because they’re not prepared to change their mind about the results of their activities. And actually, their pride is more important for them than actually doing good. . . . It’s when you let your pride and your desire to feel good about yourself overwhelm the evidence that what you’re doing is actually harmful, that you become malevolent.

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