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Tuesday, July 11, 2006 

Factists

Can facts hate? Of course not. But I'm sure every rational and semi-objective human being in the United States has casually mentioned a fact only to be subjected to angry and hysterical denunciation as a racist, fascist, or some other kind of -ist. You might have even been foolish enough to justify yourself by pointing out that the fact was, in fact, a fact--the truth. You were probably surprised when the denunciation resumed, only louder with more personal invective.

I've been planning on posting on this very question for some time but kept blowing it off. However, I came across some posts on Unabashedly Unhyphenated and the Freedomfolks and the topic generated the suggestion of a Factist Blogger Group, which I've volunteered for. This seems like as good a time as any to make that long-delayed post. KD (at UU) suggests starting with a definition and offers up his take:
Factism - The doctrine that facts subvert misrepresentation, particularly as used in a politically correct manner.
I was thinking along these lines:
Factism: (1) A stubborn belief in the existence of one objective reality in which everyone lives and is subject to. The fundamental nature of which is immutable and impervious to human whim. (2) An equally stubborn belief that facts can't be dispensed with by ignoring them or proclaiming the opposite to be true. (3) The offensive and outrageous belief that (1) and (2) are good things.
Non-factists aren't against facts, per se, only facts that conflict with what they want to be true or believe ought to be true. Example:
Non-offensive fact: The nations of Africa are no longer under European colonial rule.
Factist statement: Since the European powers have left Africa has gone to hell in a handbasket.
A lot of us who are reasonably objective have a hard time wrapping our minds around the seemingly bizarre concepts of subjectivists. To us, a rock hard fact is a comfort in a sea of chaos. To them, a rock hard fact is a speedbump on the superhighway of whim indulgence.

To illustrate I offer up two examples that opened my eyes. Both occurred at the Solano Community College near the SF Bay area. Both occurred, in fact, while I was sitting on the exact same bench on campus.

In the first instance, I was debating some topic with an acquaintance when a young 20-something woman that he knew approached. She was greeted and stood there listening to us talk. At one point, I supported a point that I was making by citing some statistics on Black-on-Black crime that had been recently released. She cut me off and snarled out, "You can't say that!". I was quite shocked at her needless hostility and offered what I thought was a reasonable response,"But, it's true!" "That," she sneered, "is WHY you can't say it." She then proceed to stomp off in a snit." Naturally, the remainder of our conversation was dedicated to figuring out what had just happened.

The second time, I was chatting with the same acquaintance, when another woman approached. This one, it turned out, had just turned 20. We were discussing a political science professor who was frustrating the hell out of us by spending only about 10 minutes per class on topic and the rest badmouthing Republicans. (He especially hated the mayor of San Diego for some reason.) When the young woman arrived we were grousing about college academics that use their classes as captive audience for their outrageous political views.

The conversation went something like this:

Her: Yeah, I know what you mean. I don't think Republicans should be allowed to teach college. Isn't there some kind of law?

We courteously explained that she had the positions reversed, which she found--disturbing.

Her: You mean you guys are Republicans?
Us: Yeah.
Her: But why? (obviously in distress)

We explained as best we could our political philosophy.

Her: (incredulously) Did you guys vote for Bush (in '92)
Us: Yes.
Her: Why?
Us: Because we don't want to live through Jimmy Carter again.
Her: Why? What was wrong with him?
Us: Come on, don't you remember what it was like when Carter was president?
Her: (without hesitation) No.

I admit that stumped us for a while until we realized that she was only 8 years old when Reagan became president. So we told her what it was like. We told her about double digit inflation, double digit unemployment, stagflation, national malaise, gas lines, even-odd rationing, the gutted military that still couldn't meet recruitment quotas, the national humiliation of the Iran hostage crisis for 444 days, the "rescue" mission that wound up needing to be rescued when it crashed in the desert, and everything else we could thinks of. None of which she had ever heard of. As we spoke the began to scowl more and more before she finally spoke.

Her: "I don't believe it!"
Us: "But, it's true!"

She gave us a contemptuous look and said something that absolutely stunned me.

Her: "I won't believe it until I see it on TV."

At this point she flipped her long blond hair behind her shoulder, whipped around and walked off. I yelled after her.

Me: "But that's when you should stop believing it."

She gave a snort but otherwise kept going.

My take home point on this, besides the factism thing. Is that for some people, TV is realer than real. It is the ultimate arbiter of what is and what isn't. But that's another post.

Amazing! True but still amazing!

I like the “speed bump” explanation. I laughed at that thought but it is true. I remember back in the 60s some people I knew would ask me how I could study math and science since there is no room for opinion. The “Humanities” and “Social Science,” I was told, were so much more creative.

Facing reality was never a strong desire for my friends on the left. I think it’s worse now ... these people are the professors today.

I agree, though I am a leftist of sorts.
But as I see it subjectivism can be found across both left and right, atheism and religion, skepticism and non-skepticism.

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  • I'm dostrick
  • From Texas, United States
  • The All Seeing Eye. A symbol of the Enlightenment and I like to think one day it will be a symbol of me. *** Middle-aged juvenile delinquent. *** Meyers-Briggs INTP if you follow that. *** My primary interests are in history, philosophy, languages, and literature. All the things that guarantee you'll never get a well-paying job.
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Factists

Quotes

You can't run as a phony patriot and then claim your victory is a mandate for surrender.

--Ann Coulter--


If you kill them, they’re martyrs. If you lock them up, they’re martyrs. So kill them.

--Allahpundit--


The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow.

--Ayn Rand--


There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world.

--Thomas Jefferson--


For everyone but America the free world is mostly a free ride.

--Mark Steyn--


The fact is that political stupidity is a special kind of stupidity, not well correlated with intelligence, or with other varieties of stupidity. At the higher levels of the intelligentsia, the correlation may actually be inverse: the more brilliant you are, the stupider your politics. Albert Einstein seems to have thought well of Stalin; Hitlerism got its start in the universities.

--John Derbyshire--


One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

--Robert A. Heinlein--


An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile--hoping it will eat him last.

--Winston Churchill--


One day, our grandchildren may ask us what we did when Islamic fascism threatened the free world. Some of us will say we were preoccupied with fighting that threat wherever possible; others will be able to say they fought carbon dioxide emissions. One of us will look bad.

--Dennis Prager--


Nothing could be more jolting and discordant with the vision of today's intellectuals than the fact that it was businessmen, devout religious leaders and Western imperialists who together destroyed slavery around the world. And if it doesn't fit their vision, it is the same to them as if it never happened.

--Thomas Sowell--


It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.

--Calvin Coolidge--


It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.

--Samuel Adams--


The flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.

--Thomas Jefferson--


All government is an ugly necessity.

--G. K. Chesterton--


America learned the hard way: it's the world of September 10th that's really crazy.

--Mark Steyn


Public schools are forbidden from mentioning religion not because of the Constitution, but because public schools are the Left's madrassas.

--Ann Coulter--


We expect nothing from the MSM. It never disappoints us.

--Joe Guzzardi--


The world will not greet you with open arms, but with a clenched fist.

--Barry Goldwater--


Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.

--Benjamin Rush--


Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like a fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

--George Washington--


It should be the highest ambition of every American...to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.

--George Washington--


"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

--C. S. Lewis--


Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggy" until you can find a rock.

--Unknown--


"They must cast off the European skin, never to resume it. They must look forward to their posterity rather than backward to their ancestors."

--John Quincy Adams--


I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.

-€”Benjamin Franklin--


There is nothing a nonconformist hates more than another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the existing standards of nonconformity.

--Unknown--


Male White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (W.A.S.P.) oppression must end.

--ER--


[I]n Her Majesty's northern Dominion the public health system is such an article of faith that no private hospitals are permitted: Canada’s private health care system is called 'America'.

--Mark Steyn--


When I sell out, this is where the blogads will go. Please remember, it's not for me. It's for the children.

--ER--


Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

--Theodore Roosevelt--


It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

--Unknown--


Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.

-- G. K. Chesterton--


"A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."

--Robert Frost--


A formula that makes religion and politics easy to understand: (Islam - Allah = Communism)

--Unknown--


It seems amazing that no Continental politician is willing to get to grips with the real crisis facing Europe in the 21st century: the lack of Europeans.

--Mark Steyn--

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