Tag Archives: Fanaticism

The Fanatic’s Ball, by The Zman

Fanatics are dangerous, especially when they get a hold of a government. From The Zman at theburningplatform.com:

The great British evolutionary biologist, J. B. S. Haldane, famously said that fanaticism is man’s greatest invention. The obsessive, uncritical belief in an idea or cause is the opposite of the sober-minded and rational. The fanatic is intolerant of anything that contradicts his views, while the rational man is willing to update or even abandon his views when presented contradictory information. The fanatic sees only that which confirms his fanaticism and refuses to yield in his opinions.

The fanatic, of course, has been in the middle of every man-made social disaster since the French Revolution. It was fanatics who brought on the Reign of Terror and it was fanatics who brought on The Great Terror. Fanatics let loose by Mao in the Cultural Revolution terrorized the Chinese population. Man’s greatest invention turns out to be man’s most terrible invention. Once it is let loose, it is not easily put back on the leash, at least not until it runs out of things to smash.

This year has seen the fanatic set free to run wild in our streets. They were deliberately agitated and let loose by the petty men of the ruling class, frustrated that the people’s champion had not been vanquished. It’s hard for modern people to understand how the French radicals, for example, could have killed so many in the name of the revolution, but current events make this much easier to comprehend, even if we have not reached the bloodbath stage yet.

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How Fanatics Hack Our Minds (And Why We Let Them), by Barry Brownstein

Life doesn’t usually present stark either-or choices, it generally presents a spectrum of options. Fanatics don’t see that. From Barry Brownstein at aier.org:

In his 1841 book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles MacKay wrote, “During seasons of great pestilence men have often believed the prophecies of crazed fanatics, that the end of the world was coming. Credulity is always greatest in times of calamity.”

During the COVID-19 crisis, there has been no shortage of “crazed fanatics.”

In a recent interview, Bill Gates claimed that “normalcy will only return when we’ve vaccinated the entire global population.” Acknowledging that the “economic hit” will be immense, he proclaimed, “but [we] don’t have a choice.” That is, no choice other than to go down the path Gates prescribes.

Then, to deflect criticism from his prescribed path, Gates sets up a mystical strawman opponent who wants to “ignore what’s going on here.”

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel was an architect of Obamacare. Emanuel too proclaimed, “We will not be able to return to normalcy until we find a vaccine or effective medications.”

Rhetorically, Emanuel asked, “How are people supposed to find work if this goes on in some form for a year and a half? Is all that economic pain worth trying to stop COVID-19?”

Emmanuel didn’t invite a dialogue on his questions. He answered his questions with the cry of every other fanatic, “The truth is we have no choice.”

Fanatics proclaim their way is the only way forward and want us to believe “we have no choice.”

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