Bath towel rationality

One of the great pleasures of being out on one's own for the first time is finally having the freedom to break all the pointless rules and rituals imposed in the parental domicile. However, such pleasure is often short-lived.

I spent my whole childhood wondering why my mother bothered to wash bath towels.  We used them only after bathing; after bathing, we are clean; therefore, bath towels, though wet, must still themselves be clean and, hence, in no need of washing.  The argument was as simple as it was compelling.  Upon presenting it to my mother, not only did she fail to come up with any kind of response, but she also had no rationale for her outmoded laundry dogma.

I remember vividly my first night in my own place, thinking I'd never again have to submit to a bunch of old people, who obviously never seriously considered whether their bath towel rituals really made any sense.  It was the dawn of a new era of rationality – home economics would at last be governed by true scientific principles!

I was in the grips of a theory.  Like anyone enslaved to an intellectual passion, my mind worked overtime to explain away the counter-evidence, which, in the form of noxious odor, all too quickly began emanating from my towels.  "Smells are subjective," I said on day eight.  "I'm likely just imagining things."  "Must be coming from the toilet," I rationalized on day 11.  "My roommates' cats must have peed on this towel!" – my last line of defense as I stood shivering and wet, unable to deny the overpowering stench, which instinctively forbade me from allowing the foul cloth to touch my skin.

I was reminded of my adventures in olfactory denial by an article in The Hill:

Rational conservatism involves being informed both by empirical facts and logic. We should base our principles on those grounds, to eventually make or influence policy that leads to the benefit of everyone. Instead, conservatives have relied on antedilvuian wisdom and antics that have been passed down through culture and tradition as the governing force of our ideology.

The authors make this point to argue that people like Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, who believe that whites have as much right to be racially conscious as anyone else, should be shunned by right-thinking conservatives.  As a Jew, I'm not sure whether I have any skin in this game, since most people who visit sites like Taylor's view me as less white than Mnguni, the first king of the Zulus.

But it does seem mashugana to me that everyone can be racially conscious except, if I may use a term one encounters only on white nationalist websites, white goyim.  (And we Jews do owe white nationalists gratitude for keeping Yiddish alive.  One never encounters it anywhere else.)  This asymmetry in acceptable race consciousness is bound to be detrimental to whites.  And, regardless of past inequities, no one is required to drop all defenses.

But whether or not people like Jared Taylor should be persona non grata, the authors' claim about conservatism is patent nonsense.  Conservatism's central attitude is one of intellectual humility.  Any revision in our basic traditions has infinitely more unintended consequences than even the greatest mind can foresee.  But our traditions must have something going for them, since they've got us to where we are now.  Or, as Edmund Burke put it:

[T]he real effects of moral causes are not always immediate; but that which in the first instance is prejudicial may be excellent in its remoter operation; and its excellence may arise even from the ill effects it produces in the beginning. The reverse also happens; and very plausible schemes, with very pleasing commencements, have often shameful and lamentable conclusions. In states there are often some obscure and almost latent causes, things which appear at first view of little moment, on which a very great part of its prosperity or adversity may most essentially depend.

Any view that requires Burke to be posthumously excommunicated from conservatism is a non-starter.

But I've got to run.  George Soros and Bibi Netanyahu are stopping by to plot the destruction of Christian America.  And I've got to make sure my towels are clean.  Oy vey!

One of the great pleasures of being out on one's own for the first time is finally having the freedom to break all the pointless rules and rituals imposed in the parental domicile. However, such pleasure is often short-lived.

I spent my whole childhood wondering why my mother bothered to wash bath towels.  We used them only after bathing; after bathing, we are clean; therefore, bath towels, though wet, must still themselves be clean and, hence, in no need of washing.  The argument was as simple as it was compelling.  Upon presenting it to my mother, not only did she fail to come up with any kind of response, but she also had no rationale for her outmoded laundry dogma.

I remember vividly my first night in my own place, thinking I'd never again have to submit to a bunch of old people, who obviously never seriously considered whether their bath towel rituals really made any sense.  It was the dawn of a new era of rationality – home economics would at last be governed by true scientific principles!

I was in the grips of a theory.  Like anyone enslaved to an intellectual passion, my mind worked overtime to explain away the counter-evidence, which, in the form of noxious odor, all too quickly began emanating from my towels.  "Smells are subjective," I said on day eight.  "I'm likely just imagining things."  "Must be coming from the toilet," I rationalized on day 11.  "My roommates' cats must have peed on this towel!" – my last line of defense as I stood shivering and wet, unable to deny the overpowering stench, which instinctively forbade me from allowing the foul cloth to touch my skin.

I was reminded of my adventures in olfactory denial by an article in The Hill:

Rational conservatism involves being informed both by empirical facts and logic. We should base our principles on those grounds, to eventually make or influence policy that leads to the benefit of everyone. Instead, conservatives have relied on antedilvuian wisdom and antics that have been passed down through culture and tradition as the governing force of our ideology.

The authors make this point to argue that people like Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, who believe that whites have as much right to be racially conscious as anyone else, should be shunned by right-thinking conservatives.  As a Jew, I'm not sure whether I have any skin in this game, since most people who visit sites like Taylor's view me as less white than Mnguni, the first king of the Zulus.

But it does seem mashugana to me that everyone can be racially conscious except, if I may use a term one encounters only on white nationalist websites, white goyim.  (And we Jews do owe white nationalists gratitude for keeping Yiddish alive.  One never encounters it anywhere else.)  This asymmetry in acceptable race consciousness is bound to be detrimental to whites.  And, regardless of past inequities, no one is required to drop all defenses.

But whether or not people like Jared Taylor should be persona non grata, the authors' claim about conservatism is patent nonsense.  Conservatism's central attitude is one of intellectual humility.  Any revision in our basic traditions has infinitely more unintended consequences than even the greatest mind can foresee.  But our traditions must have something going for them, since they've got us to where we are now.  Or, as Edmund Burke put it:

[T]he real effects of moral causes are not always immediate; but that which in the first instance is prejudicial may be excellent in its remoter operation; and its excellence may arise even from the ill effects it produces in the beginning. The reverse also happens; and very plausible schemes, with very pleasing commencements, have often shameful and lamentable conclusions. In states there are often some obscure and almost latent causes, things which appear at first view of little moment, on which a very great part of its prosperity or adversity may most essentially depend.

Any view that requires Burke to be posthumously excommunicated from conservatism is a non-starter.

But I've got to run.  George Soros and Bibi Netanyahu are stopping by to plot the destruction of Christian America.  And I've got to make sure my towels are clean.  Oy vey!