Conserving Grammatical Orphans

Over the last several weeks, Vox Day has been writing on his blog about whether to engage SJWs with rhetorical (emotional[1]) arguments or dialectic (logical[1]); depending on which they can either understand, or maneuver around. He also talks about it in his book SJWs Always Lie[2]. It’s a fair point, but–as I’ll get into in my review–I’m not convinced attacking SJWs is usually worth the effort. What I want to talk about is why Vox (or anyone) finds it so much more useful to take a rhetorical tack against others.

There is this philosophy of education called Trivium. Homeschoolers will probably be familiar as it is heavily (and rightly) emphasized in homeschool social circles. The Trivium supposes that there are three methods of transferring knowledge, and not just knowledge but thinking capabilities. It is sometimes represented as a three-spoked wheel, but for our purposes I will prefer a triangle with three strata.

The flat bottom of the triangle represents grammar; which is the rules and data and sheer brute learning; often by memorization. You can think of this as counting: You teach the child 1, 2, 3, etc.

The middle tier is logic. At this level the student learns to take rote rules and prove other rules. Often those proven rules have been memorized as well, but at this mid-level of knowledge and thinking they can figure out why the rules were made, and how they enforce each other. You can think of this as addition, multiplication, and simple algebra built upon counting. 5+4=9 because 5+one, two, three, four fingers is nine fingers. You get the idea.

The pointy top tier of the Trivium triangle is rhetoric, and if is concerned with using the knowledge and thinking of the grammar and logic tiers to build new arguments and alternative ideas to explain concepts to others, or to build new models of explanation to replace old ideas. It’s at this level where Pythagoras was operating when he came up with his famous theorem.

If there is anything of which we can say it is good that Jerusalem took it from Athens, the basic idea of the Trivium is one of those good things because it is essential, and, I believe, unavoidable for any learner.

The reason dialectic fails against SJWs (Honestly, it fails against more than they) is because the foundation of grammar has been obliterated from the liberal arts. This is almost always what is being talked about when we blame some nonsense on deconstructionists, or “Cultural Marxists”[3].

As an example: When considering homosexual marriage, the grammar is

  1. Homosexuality is unnatural
  2. Marriage is a commitment between a man and a woman which is centered on exclusive sex and procreation.

From there, one can calculate the logic that children aren’t produced by homosexual unions, homosexual unions are decidedly non-commital in practice, homosexuals are the emotional result of pederasty…there are a lot of logical arguments for the grammar against homosexual marriage.

But if, as Western society has done, we forbid the foundational layer of the pyramid that is grammar, and if, as we have also done, pervert the grammar to say that marriage is the death throes of lust, then our calculus at the rhetorical stage is all jacked up. We will make confused and irrational arguments, and we will believe them because thinking them through destroys what little foundation we have left; however perverted those foundations are. We will want to conserve them. It’s a fact of human nature that not even SJWs and other avowed liberals can elude.

What Vox is saying is to pile up the rhetoric; which inverts the pyramid. As it is already on an eroded and crumbly basis the inversion is too much strain for the untrained mind (and modern minds are almost all untrained) to bear. It has to either flee, or surrender it’s foundational teachings altogether.

This is why the liberal arts programs are so useless when–in truth–properly formed liberal arts are indispensable. In these times that means it is necessary to form them outside of state schools.

[1] Using Vox’s basic and easy-to-understand definitions.

[2] I bought it shortly after release, and I’ll write a review soon.

[3] Here I don’t wan’t to argue about whether or not those terms are accurate descriptors, but make clear the sort of knowledge that has been purposefully removed, and who is associated with those terms.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Conserving Grammatical Orphans

  1. I haven’t read the book, but I wonder if part of the point of saying “SJW’s Always Lie” is to point out that they further erode the solid core of fact (grammar, in your definition) upon which all reasoning and rhetoric should be built.

    This denial of reality can be seen throughout our society.

    Vox’s tactical recommendations may well help win battles against SJWs, but likely will not achieve strategic victory for the overall war.

  2. I think Vox Day is generally on the right track on this one.

    Have you followed the Hugo awards at all? Along with gamergate, what has recently happened with the Hugo awards has basically been the most most successful SJW pushback in decades.

  3. I haven’t read the book, but I wonder if part of the point of saying “SJW’s Always Lie” is to point out that they further erode the solid core of fact (grammar, in your definition) upon which all reasoning and rhetoric should be built.

    Should go read the book instead of wondering, then.

    The point of saying “SJWs Always Lie” is that They Always Lie. They’re fundamentally dishonest actors and will lie even when it serves no purpose. Dialectically it is not true, but rhetorically it is. That is why it is a highly effective and informative rhetorical attack.

    “Why is this feminist making up nonsense to attack me? Oh right, SJWs always lie.”

    It’s about understanding the SJW mode of operation so as to understand how they will attack you, and how to effectively fight back.

  4. Removing the redundancy:

    Marriage is directed to procreation.

    [It’s more complex and subtle but this is the foundation]

    Even for conservatives, pro-lifers, etc. if they are married (or wanting to be), ask how large a family they want.

    Contraception turns any marriage into a “Gay Marriage”.

    As to SJWs – remember it is rare that you and an SJW are arguing in private. There is an audience, who is also likely uninformed or confused. Sometimes dialectic will work, but only if they can keep up. Rhetoric is usually more effective because SJWs are so shallow, it has to be about feelings, and you merely have to prove that the SJW’s prescription is worse than the disease they wish to cure.

  5. Contraception is a symptom of the redefinition of marriage. It isn’t any more or less moral than gay marriage, polygamy, or any other deviant behavior described in the Bible. During the sexual revolution, the west’s worldview shifted from an us-centered sexual experience to a me-centered sexual experience.

    Based on rhetoric, I think what you said is fair, though. It’s important to speak dialectic to those people who can still understand it. In my experience, the converts dialectic will win you can only be taken by use of superior dialectic or social force.

    Cane, I like what you’re getting at in this post. As conservatives, our job isn’t to conserve things as they are, even if they have been rotted through under the foundation…instead we should make an honest evaluation, condemn the salvageable buildings, and shore up the others.

    This goes to why you should never grant a definition to a SJW. They almost always will follow the tactic of: “Win the debate by defining the debate”. To them, any debate about social policy is a show of force, rather than two people engaging in a reasoned discussion.

  6. To my way of thinking the points made in this post are conservative points. This whole series of commentary about conservatives is reading like a tail chasing a dog. I understand that the term originated as such, to conserve, to hold fast to status quo, etc. And I usually like to be a stickler for original intent in definitions. On this Ive had to let that go because, while I can rattle off some things Id suggest as part of the definition for conservatism, Id fall short, Id differ from others, and there would be a plethora of examples to throw in my face where self identified conservatives failed to walk the principles out consistently.

    At first blush it seems to be not so different from the birthing of the term churchian in lieu of Christian. But it is significantly different because there is one thing that moves the churchian to Christian, not a long list of principles and their wide ranging applicability.

    Best I can do is say I know it when I see it which hopefully means I know its foes and its fauxs.

    I’m late responding from several posts back but wanted to correct the notion that I think the attacks on conservatives come either from liberals or from opportunists. The implication was that I do not recognize that some criticism is deserved, well placed, valid. I’m not sure how that can be construed.

    Ive spent as much time as anyone actively pushing back on those themes where conservatives, and subset socon, and subset socon Christians….have it wrong.

    I do not understand the dichotomy that’s arisen. To claim to be a conservative, among a group that would overlap 70% or more ideologically, should not draw the type of prearranged scuffles or the random pot shots that it does. I don’t care as much about the term or its definition as I do the fact that, as Cane states somewhere here (and I wrote about somewhere as well) , some of these folks are the most likely to be able to get up and get moving when the time comes. It will not be the ones verbally “Mensa-ating” all over the comboxes.

    This post makes the sad observation that folks simply don’t do logic anymore. Women dont do it well for the most part and they are in charge of the first plantings in the fertile minds of young children. This applies to home school and other.

    I see this in business. I am often in the HQs of major oil companies….meeting with men and women about things, and lacking a template that some literally hang on the wall, there are few capable to shake hands, get serious, lay out facts, meet minds, and summarize……anymore. The primary concern is how everyone feels during and after the meeting. Sure, may have been a few million bucks of biz discussed….but dear…..did you feel heard? Good then, now go and confess your recent near miss safety violation…..whats that….you’ve had none…..nah, you know that won’t do. All fall short of the glory of the safety program… now be a team player and list something stupid that you did on that form and file it.

    /tangent

    The funny thing about hammering conservatism, distancing from it, and funnier still for those who distance from any nomenclature that becomes common because they wanna be special, is that if their movement took off and went mainstream, they have to break away with nuance. Add an extra “neo” to the new club name….like that.

    This is a prime example of how men prefer to be their own club, and accentuate the differences between their.s and other’s

  7. Cane,

    Good stuff. Vox is doing good work puncturing the illusion that logic ought to win the day, and if we are losing to SJWs, we just need to logic harder!

    I’ve started saying that it’s impossible to reason with people who reject logic and reason as a tool of patriarchal oppression.

    Ceer,

    To them, any debate about social policy is a show of force, rather than two people engaging in a reasoned discussion.

    This is precisely the point that C. S. Lewis makes in The Abolition of Man.

    peace,
    Zach

  8. @sirhamster

    Good point – I should read the book.

    You are certainly right that there are folks who love to lie even when the truth would serve them better.

  9. @ Empath

    “This post makes the sad observation that folks simply don’t do logic anymore…

    I see this in business. I am often in the HQs of major oil companies….meeting with men and women about things, and lacking a template that some literally hang on the wall, there are few capable to shake hands, get serious, lay out facts, meet minds, and summarize……anymore.”

    There appears to be a link between the phenomenon you mention above and level of education. I spend my time at the wellsite. I’ve never been to HQ. The mostly uneducated, mostly Mexican men with dirty calloused hands at the wellsite will look you in the eye, give you a firm (sometimes bone crushing) hand shake and get right down to the business of how to accomplish the mission efficiently and safely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s