Debunking Stupid Liberal Memes, Part V: “You Can not Simultaneously Prevent and Prepare for War”
Back in 2006, Bill Whittle wrote a brilliant piece entitled “Seeing the Unseen” in which he dismantled many of the typical Liberal mantras, most of which could be found proudly and ignorantly plastered on the back of their car bumpers. This post by Mr. Whittle was the first one I read by him and it made me an instant fan of his work. Read on and you will soon see why:
My first paying job in my life was teaching astronomy at the Miami Space Transit Planetarium. I have been fascinated by the stars and planets for as long as I have had a memory. I bow to no one in my respect and admiration for Albert Einstein’s stunning insights into the nature of space and time, matter and energy. That a young Austrian clerk sitting in a Swiss patent office could puzzle out the structure of the Universe using only logic and imagination is in my mind the greatest feat of intelligence in human history.
With that said, why aren’t the cosmological theories of George Patton or Dwight Eisenhower ever the subject of bumper stickers? Probably because cosmology is well outside their realm of expertise.
E=mc2 is a statement of such beauty and elegance that it commands belief in an ordered and structured universe. Human nature is not so ordered and structured. Psychology is not as predictable as gravity, and it is a mistake to think that it is. Human beings are subject to Murphy’s Laws, not Newton’s.
Quoting Einstein is an appeal to authority. But politics is not an area where Einstein is an authority. I give Einstein’s opinions on spacetime great weight; his opinions on politics and human nature, not so much. No one holds Einstein up as a great authority on fashion, grooming, family life, football or hairstyling. Why? Because the modern era’s greatest mind clearly didn’t know diddly-squat about them.
Even in some areas where Einstein was an expert — quantum gravity, for example — he was flat-out wrong. “God does not play dice with the Universe,” he wrote, trying to come to grips with quantum probability theory. Well, turns out God does indeed play dice with the Universe, despite what Einstein says. Einstein refused to follow the quantum evidence based on the fact that he had a clear emotional aversion to the consequences of that theory. As a victim of national militarism in Germany, he quite naturally had an emotional aversion to that too. But history is the laboratory of human behavior, and history shows wherever you care to look that while being prepared for war may not guarantee peace, being notoriously unprepared is as sure an invitation to war as you are likely to see. To quote a politician on politics, rather than an astrophysicist: ‘Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because America was too strong.’ There is much more refined political wisdom where that came from, if you are inclined to look.
Quoting Einstein on politics is like catching a review of the latest Rob Schneider movie with the banner THE GREATEST COMEDY EVER MADE!! The source is never Variety or the L.A. Times, but rather the Palatka Times-Dispatch or the Oshkosh Super-Coupon Review. The quote is huge, the source type microscopic, because the authority is not much of an authority at all. (The smaller the source font on the screen, the more suspicious you should be.)
There is a restaurant near Santa Monica Airport, called The Spitfire Grill. It’s done in a WWII motif. In the restroom, at about eye-level for a person remaining still for a few moments, is a magazine page from 1947, talking about Soviet atrocities on local populations. The last sentence of the article almost took my breath away for its courage and moral clarity. It said:
PEACE IS FOR THE STRONG!
Gravitational lensing during a solar eclipse proved Einstein correct. History, recorded again and again through the ages, does the same for this unknown article writer, no matter what The Great Man had to say.
The day may come when the lion and the lamb lie down together, but if it does, we’d better damn sure be the lion. I don’t know who came up with that line, but I wish to hell it had been me.
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