Monday, December 7, 2020

“Good” Ideas Must Be Mandatory! Anna Karenina Today

The linked article is about mask shaming and its use to deny freedom of association. Trust me, at least in on strange mind, there is a relationship. 

The picture indicates to me that it is hard for a "normal male"  (evil in these "woke" times)  not to notice pretty women confident in their femininity. Are conservative women in general are more attractive? Kristi Noem comes to mind, but a glance at the winning Republican congresswomen this cycle seems to indicate something of a general rule.

Yes, I know there are many physically attractive leftist women, however it seems that often their physical attractiveness is overshadowed by their screeching demands for fealty to their political beliefs, which are  in direct opposition to their exploiting their physical beauty while declaring at least male appreciation of such to be sexist. The fake is inherently unattractive when exposed. 

I'm finally reading Anna Karenina. I read a lot, but very little fiction, and even less romance. Psychology, culture, and especially the interplay between our physical and spiritual nature, are however of significant interest, and in those areas, Anna just kept showing up as a "must read" - it is easy to see why. 

A paragraph that struck me is: 

Vronsky heard with pleasure this light-hearted prattle of a pretty woman, agreed with her, gave her half-joking counsel, and altogether dropped at once into the tone habitual to him in talking to such women. In his Petersburg world all people were divided into utterly opposed classes. One, the lower class, vulgar, stupid, and, above all, ridiculous people, who believe that one husband ought to live with the one wife whom he has lawfully married; that a girl should be innocent, a woman modest, and a man manly, self-controlled, and strong; that one ought to bring up one's children, earn one's bread, and pay one's debts; and various similar absurdities. This was the class of old-fashioned and ridiculous people. But there was another class of people, the real people. To this class they all belonged, and in it the great thing was to be elegant, generous, plucky, gay, to abandon oneself without a blush to every passion, and to laugh at everything else.

It appears that there is something like "human nature" that demands a class structure, and generally the pride/arrogance of the upper class.There can be the occasional just and moral king, but that is the exception.  There are similarities to the classes in Anna to the classes today. The lower class maps to at least the upper class imagination of the "deplorables". The upper class is much like today's "woke elite". The biggest difference is that the upper class  in 1878 Russia was not yet using the power of government to overtly oppress the lower class by removing their devotion to religion, morality, family and community, as the soon to come Communist party would quickly do. 

As I'm fond of saying as a computer scientist devoted to binary, "there are two classes, those who divide the world into two classes, and those who don't". 

In a more or less free and "natural" society people "sort" by a complex set of factors, some "good", some "bad" ... we won't go into that complexity here. The point is that it really isn't binary, there is lot more complexity than "two". 

As a culture shifts toward totalitarianism, it becomes more and more binary and the binary categories become  more and more mandatory -- as in the ideas that are declared to be "good" -- eg wearing/not wearing a mask, celebrating various sexual preferences, genders, etc, or not celebrating such, fealty to "The Party" (Democrat, globalist, woke, etc), or "deplorable", etc. 

The list goes on and becomes both more and more oppressive and foundational. Everything becomes political, and everything is mandatory -- thus in the mind of the oppressors, "good". 

"We are all in this together ... wear a mask".  


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