Monday, September 10, 2012

The Origins Of Bad Ideas

How a man lives matters.  Character matters.

Well, it matters in the sense that the man in question is producing “new” ideas out there to be picked up by other people.  There has been no shortage of such philosophers in the whole of human history.  I suspect that there were plenty in prehistoric times as well.

But how they live is the best metric you can use to both understand their ideas as well as make a more accurate judgment as to what their ideas are worth.  In many cases, you’d be surprised at the lifestyles of the progenitors of the current mainstream ideas.

John Maynard Keynes, for example, who wrote The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, has had a huge influence on the economic policies of Western civilization.  Like it or not, most politicians follow Keynes’ ideas over all other.  Even many of Milton Friedman’s ideas grew out of Keynes’ own ideas.

But if the mainstream media highlighted Keynes’ personal life, I’m sure a good number of people would be rejecting his ideas flat out.  John Maynard Keynes was a bisexual who preferred relationships with men over women and a prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group.  He was known to have funded their arts through his own investments and, as such, funded a lot of perverse and controversial things in his day.

Now, I’m not saying that his ideas about sex and sexuality were incorporated into his economic ideas, but I have to say that he was most certainly influenced by them.  You don’t live a life of perverse hedonism and then turn around and not produce a work, a theory, or an idea that is not influenced by it.  In Keynes’ case, it was clear that he believed that debt did not matter, that the investment would pay off over time if applied properly.  This perfectly reflects a life of investing and profiting off a predictable market in order to fund his more unsavory personal life.

Karl Marx was a big moocher in his day.  And not a common beggar who would get money from friends but a man who would literally blow the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a few months, all of which was other people’s money.  He must have been a very charismatic man as more than once he bankrupted so many suckers with his extravagant lifestyle.  This was a man who probably never earned an honest dollar in his life.  Note that I am well aware that Marx did not deal in dollars in his day, but it is easier for me to use such terms.

It is no small wonder that Karl Marx would write a book that emphasized communalism and the shared used of resources among the people.  In truth, he knew that his political and economic theories would ensure that someone like him would always have the best stuff without the effort of working for it.  What a despicable man he must have been and his good friend Friedrich Engels was a huge fool to boot, allowing Marx to take advantage of him is so many ways.

Alfred Kinsey loved to shoved objects down his urethra (I apologize for such imagery but I must be honest) in order to gain some kind of sexual gratification.  It is no wonder that this professor of bugs would then write a flawed set of books detailing his warped studies on human sexuality.  Now that we have properly tallied the population, it turns out that the homosexual population is not 10% as Kinsey once said, but closer to 1.5% with the whole of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender being probably no more than 3% of the general population.

But Kinsey wanted to be seen as normal.  He wanted to put his perversions, of which not even many homosexuals engage in, to be generally accepted as normal and he hated the world for rejecting his lifestyle.  So he produced a study, of which he was know to have thrown out his own research.  In other words, he produced works designed to influence the public into deviant lifestyles.

I know I’ve picked on a few prominent men, so I think it is high time I at least tell you that I live in a condo with my wife and that I don’t lead an extravagant or overly hedonistic lifestyle.  But that doesn’t make my ideas any better than others as I don’t know much myself.

But I’m not so dense as to not see the origins of bad ideas.