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PANDA’s Nick Hudson on Covid and the death of logic – Part 2


Yesterday we published the first part of Nick Hudson’s recent talkOrigins and Trajectories of the Covid Phenomenon, which addresses perhaps the most fundamental question of all: What are the ‘knowledge’ roots of the widespread logic failures responsible for global Covid response? In the second part today, he hones in on the specific ideologies to blame. The three Ms – Marxism, Malthusianism and (post) Modernism – are what constitute, he argues, the shaky foundations of the current globalist agenda.

LET’S switch now to the actual errors in thinking that are embedded in the political agenda which we now confront. As we progress through our observations and conclusions, I hope it will become clear why I’m doing it this way rather than just first stating what we believe is going on. Let’s start by focusing on what parts of the narrative are false, starting at a high level and working our way down into the details of the approved false Covid narrative which has been so actively promoted.

There are three major errors in thinking that all relate back to a failure to regard proper epistemology. As a memory aid, I like to present these as the ‘three Ms’. The first M is Marxism. The key relevant feature of Marxism is that it is based on a view of the world that is fundamentally utilitarian – that we can somehow measure and manage all variables of human existence to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number. That there is a sort of spreadsheet for society out there, a computerised artificial intelligence algorithm. That, if we only have sufficient data, we can create, populate and optimise an algorithm which will enable an elite central leadership to make decisions that may be hard for some specific individuals, but which will benefit the overall majority of individuals. Given sufficient data, such an algorithm will contribute to enabling a greater good. Once this can be achieved, off we go into the sunset with our new system, our new spreadsheet, and we improve the world by adding life years or reducing some disease, or whatever. People entranced by Marxism tend to focus myopically on single goals, without any recognition of the existence of trade-offs for other goals, benefits and risks, and they often do so without stipulating (or even allowing discussion of) why that goal is essential to achieve or even whether it is a good idea in the first place.

This is utilitarianism, where the ends justify the means, and it’s a universal feature of Marxist thinking. The opposite of Marxist-utilitarianism is a virtue or value-based system where you negotiate the world by way of an evolved system of values; something that comes to us from the dawn of time, the early days of civilisation and culture; a set of cultural rules, norms, taboos and explicit values that give us a way to negotiate all social interaction and cultural discourse. And because it’s evolved, that system is capable of embedding knowledge. Again, the complexity inherent in human culture and societies means that the system defies parsimonious deductive analysis; comprehension requires evolutionary explanatory knowledge.

At the level of global society, we are in a situation where we are dealing with a spectacularly complex story, and any changes will have unexpected and unintended consequences. This is the law of unintended consequences (often referred to as ‘blowback’ within the intelligence community), because you cannot foresee all the effects of your change. And that’s why wise people understand that it is important to let systems, our societies, evolve over time in response to small innovations on the margin that are tested, criticised, refuted, and then further modified in an evolutionary process interacting with the real world.

If we change a rule, reject a value, or something like that, it might improve things but it could equally have catastrophic consequences. And those outcomes may not be immediately evident. What we’re really talking about here is the epistemological grounding for ‘small c’ conservatism – the idea that you need to be gradualist whenever you are trying to meddle with a complex system – an ecology, the human body, the immune system, society, culture, all of these things. Wherever our problems lie which we would like to solve, we must approach development of solutions by a gradualist method.

So, that’s the first M. We’ve got this kind of Marxist construct of the greater good, utilitarianism and a whole lot of philosophical structure baked into that story. The second M is the idea of Malthusianism. Thomas Malthus was a continental philosopher-economist who argued that we would eventually run out of everything. If we kept on growing the number of people on the planet, we would face a population crash, a disaster, misery for all souls on the planet.

Malthus’s idea gained immediate currency after it was first proposed, and reappears in various guises over the last two hundred years. We encounter it in these notions such as ‘green planet’, ‘spaceship earth’, and the now ubiquitous ‘sustainability’. Behind all of them is this Malthusian idea that there’s something finite that we mustn’t use up.

Now, how does that contradict the epistemology we covered? Well, in our theory of knowledge, which embeds the idea that there’s infinite scope for knowledge growth, we can always solve problems. We can always improve and add to the knowledge base. There’s no fundamental reason why we cannot continue doing so indefinitely, creating better and better explanations about the world and how it works, and thereby solving our problems and escaping Malthusians traps all the time.

And that is what in fact has happened over the past two years, when Malthusian fearmongering about the finitude of resources has reared its head. We’ve continually escaped the bounds. There was this idea that the earth’s maximum population should be 100million people. Then it was 500million people. Then it was a billion—that was going to be the disaster number. And now we sit on eight billion. And the idea, again, is that that’s too much, that we’re going to run out of stuff. And again, what the Malthusians are doing, is failing to acknowledge our capacity to solve problems and promote growth. So, that’s the second M of Malthusianism that’s baked into the worldview of the approved corona narrative.

There is a dangerous interplay between our first two Ms – between Marxism and Malthusianism. Because Marxism, with its centralised, authoritarian world view destroys the capacity for error correction, it also destroys the capacity for problem-solving and growth. This makes Mathusianism a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Then the third M is an idea that’s known as post-Modernism or post-Modern relativism. This idea that there isn’t actually anything called reality or truth. In this view, all perspectives are subjective and there is no basis for adjudicating among them. What becomes accepted dogma is simply the dogma of the most powerful person in the room. There’s no need to argue for a correspondence with reality. Reality is fabricated by a dominant narrative.

And we see lots of signs of this relativism. For example, we have identitarianism, the idea of ‘identifying’ as something that you aren’t. It’s a claim to knowledge that no sensible person would make. I, as a male, do not know what it is like to be a female. That’s an obvious statement. I have no idea. I can’t possibly know what it’s like. But when relativism abounds I can make the statement that I identify as a woman. That’s acceptable in the world of postmodern relativism. It’s an acceptable move to make. Why? Because correspondence with reality is not required. My subjective interpretation is as good as anybody else’s. In this relativist world, people have become very comfortable with the idea that they just assert something, shout out the critics, and then whatever nonsense they are talking becomes the truth. And if you contradict their personal truth thus asserted, you are guilty of misinformation, or bigotry or whatever. There’s no need for them to debate and indulge in a rational exercise of ensuring a correspondence between their views and reality.

So, those are the ‘three Ms’, Marxism, Malthusianism and post-Modernism (a little cheat there for the third M). And each of them runs into trouble in light of the epistemological grounding I started with.

You can listen to Nick Hudson’s talk from which these extracts are taken here:

In the final part tomorrow. Nick turns to the detail of the Covid narrative, every element of which on examination turns out to be false.

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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