The Squad’s Rejection of Objectivity

There is an idea out there that I … do not have objective decision-making because of who I am, where I come from, and my perspective.  But I reject that.  We say there is nothing objective about policy-making, we all inject our perspective, our point of views, our lived experiences and the voices of our constituents.

                      ---Ilhan Omar, to House of Representatives upon being removed by vote from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Feb. 2, 2023

Ilhan Omar, somehow, managed to say, with considerable contempt and sanctimony, not to mention falsehood, both that she is capable of being objective and that she is not capable of being objective.  

The blatant falsehood is that she claims she was removed from the committee because of her race, gender and religion.  Actually no, she was removed for her past long history of despicable anti-Semitic remarks.

Further, Omar says she “rejects” the “idea [that] is out there” (in the stratosphere or something) that she is not capable of being objective.    

Not apparently having mastered the most basic first year college logic course, she immediately followed this by admitting that she is not objective because, wait for it, nobody is capable of being objective. 

Her reason for excusing her inability to be objective is equally peculiar: that nobody is capable of being objective because “we all inject our perspective, our points of view, our lived experiences and the voices of our constituents.”   So, she both is and is not capable of being objective.  That’s an Omar first.

If, however, Omar thinks no one is capable of being objective, then what does she think people are doing on the floor of the House?  Having a cafeteria food fight, like a bunch of children?  Indeed, Omar’s, so to speak, “argument” that since people have different perspectives, points of view and lived experiences, there is no such thing as objectivity. That is precisely the argument used by the ancient Greek Sophists in the time of Socrates and Plato (5th century B.C.), who employed fallacious reasoning in order to “win” arguments, that is, to cheat to get what they want.

So, for example, in the last year of the Biden administration, a record number of immigrants died (853) at the U.S. southern border attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. 

Omar thinks that is not an objective fact that is relevant to U.S. immigration policy?  Really?  Drugs, including fentanyl, being smuggled into the U.S., are killing an estimated 100,000 Americans a year.  Really?  A pile of dead kids is about as objective as one can get. 

One should not be surprised.  This is what one gets when what is left of our universities stops teaching people to reason properly and replaces it with “post-modernism” and political indoctrination.  

Wikipedia notes that:

[C]ommon targets of postmodern critique include universalist notions of objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, reason, language, and social progress. Postmodern thinkers frequently call attention to the … socially-conditioned nature of knowledge claims and value systems, situating them as products of particular political, historical, or cultural discourses and hierarchies. … [It] is broadly characterized by tendencies to self-referentiality, epistemological and moral relativism, pluralism, and irreverence.

Having rejected objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, and reason, everything becomes, predictably, quite simple.  It turns brains into mush (very useful for the Left).  Men become women by saying they are women. Complimenting someone on their appearance becomes a “micro-aggression.”  Asking a question becomes racism.  Belonging to the disfavored political party becomes white supremacy.  Making disgusting anti-Semitic remarks becomes being victimized because of one’s race, gender, or Muslim religion.  Or, to put it somewhat differently, everything becomes like being in a playpen with other children.

There was a time, long ago, when our schools and universities taught students, not what to think, but how to think responsibly.  They taught students that if they wished to reach the truth about various matters, they must undergo a long period of intellectual discipline.

Those days are, however, long gone, destroyed by vengeful children and weak administrators, often troubled and sometimes malevolent, as full of themselves as they are of political agendas. Unfortunately, since objective reality, truth, morality and reason are limiting concepts, that is, concepts that place limits on what one can responsibly think, say, or do, then abandoning them, with the post-modernists and their self-absorbed progeny, means that there are no longer any limits on what one thinks, says, or does. 

The 19th century Russian novelist and forerunner of existentialism, Fyodor Dostoevsky considered the inevitable social consequences of this kind of decadence in his great novel, Crime and Punishment

A university student, Raskolnikov, concludes that since God (i.e., no longer acknowledged), reason, morality, truth, objectivity, etc., “are dead, everything is permitted.” 

In order to prove his dedication to this brave new abstraction, Raskolnikov murders an old woman for no reason at all (but he does decide to take her money as well).  Does that sound familiar to anyone watching the news these days?  Is it any wonder, against this background, that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and many Democrats recently melted down in response to a Republican House bill that would require medical care for a baby born alive after the doctor’s first attempt to abort (kill) it failed.  So if the baby defies the odds and survives the abortion, the doctor gets a second shot at killing it? 

Satan would be ecstatic. 

By the way, by the end of the novel, Raskolnikov has learned that ideas that sound interesting in the ivory tower do not generally work our very well in real life.

In real life, Dostoevsky left the Left and became a Christian.

It is not even clear that “Squad” members even know what they are saying much of the time.  This is no surprise since what remains of our universities have taught them self-indulgence, not self-reflection.  Thus, when “the Squad” tells you that no one is objective about policy, they have thereby admitted that they are not being objective when they advance their policies at the southern border, that they are not being objective when they vote for the trillion dollar omnibus bills, that they are not being objective when they defend their policies on election laws, that that they are not being objective when they defend their policy on reparations, that they are not being objective when they defend their policies on policing, etc.

We accept their admission that they’re not being objective about any of their policies, that is, their admission that, like the ancient Greek Sophist Gorgias, that they are nihilists that believe in nothing, so that what they give us instead is theatre, arms waving, voice shaking, tears and anger, not rational argument. That was, by the way, already clear to us.  And that is precisely why nobody has any reason to take any of them seriously.  They are, as Dostoevsky writes, elsewhere (“The Grand Inquisitor”), “little children rioting and barring out the teacher at school.” 

Note: Omar’s vague formulation (“The idea is out there” somewhere) is a not innocent vagueness.  It is a strategy to be elusive, to escape accountability.

Image: Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

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