The Moron Manual
"Facts are never given immediately and never accessible immediately; they are established, 'mediated' by those who make them..."
That is from Repressive Tolerance by Herbert Marcuse, one of the great moron thinkers. It expresses the most powerful and fundamental of all our truths.
THE MORON TRUTH: Facts are not absolute.
We need not go the entire distance with some moron philosophers who insist that there are no absolute facts of any kind. Remember, our purpose is defense; we can leave annihilation to others. For our purpose, it is safe to admit that a man struck dead by lightning is really dead from real causes. What we want to do is what the thinkers give us permission to do: pick and choose.
Suppose you want to raise money to "Save the Whales." It is historical "fact" that John D. Rockefeller saved the whales by making kerosene cheaper than whale oil. However, Rockefeller was certainly no friend to morons. Therefore, while this is a known fact, it is not an acknowledged fact. We are not required to deal with it merely because it is true. Either we are in charge of things or not. If so, then the important thing is not that a fact is true, but that we acknowledge it.
Naive young morons, upon taking up a Grand Cause, are often cruelly disillusioned to discover that their cause does more harm than good. Their pain is quite unnecessary. If they would listen to their famous and influential betters, they could see how easily ignored such things are.
Do you know, for example, that the average full-time farmer is a millionaire? This is shown by U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, so it is a known fact. But it is not an acknowledged fact, because it would seem odd when so many billions of dollars are given to farmers each year in subsidies. So most people don't know it, and the convenient actions can be taken without disorderly carping and complaint.
One might read on page 43 of U.S. News & World Report for June 12, 1989, that we pay 13 billion dollars a year more for clothing than we would have to if the government did not restrict free trade to help out clothing makers. This was a known fact, but not an acknowledged fact. Congress passed further restrictions on free trade.
At about the same time, there was a debate on raising the minimum wage. A serious mistake occurred: a fact was acknowledged. Congress members argued about how many millions would be thrown out of work by each incremental rise in the minimum wage. The result of this mistake was that the minimum wage—always a boon to working morons—was not raised until later. We must guard against such lapses.
It is sad to watch television news people—ordinarily so committed to the care of morons—fall into this error again and again. Because it is good theater, they "confront" subjects with "the facts." The subject is supposed to fall apart. Sometimes this happens. But it need not. Facts must be mediated. They must be interpreted. The subject need only say, like any good bureaucrat: "Sir, you are not in charge of the facts; I am."
Of course, he must not say it in those words. People tend to be sensitive in this area, so diplomacy is important. But it takes no great effort to say things correctly. A few simple rules are all one needs.
THE MORON RULES OF DIPLOMACY:
- Offer help.
- Ask for help.
As we will discuss later, morons are in charge of things because our morality is the accepted one. Our diplomacy is based on this morality.
THE MORON MORALITY: Help!
People believe in help. The most savage torture-murderer you can think of would be helped into the electric chair. The compulsion to help is universal. Speaking in terms of help always has a beneficial effect. It is not necessary to say, "I am in charge of the facts." Instead, say, "Let me help you understand." This has exactly the same meaning, but in much better terms. Even better: "Please help me understand what you are trying to say." This is a request few people—and no intellectual—can turn down.
Let us use an admittedly ridiculous example:
Sensible people never let themselves get caught up in such tomfoolery, you might say. Fortunately for us morons, they do:
It would be easy to fill this manual with such examples, but it would not be necessary. The underlying principle is all you need.
THE MORON MANDATE: Take Charge of the Facts.
Remember, you have as much right as anyone to be in charge of the facts. They do not control you; you control them. Never make the mistake of acknowledging a fact you dislike. But always be diplomatic.
It can take tremendous, dedicated effort to find out what the facts are. It takes no effort at all to deny them. This is because we do not try vulgarly to refute a fact; we simply fail to acknowledge it. We take charge, and direct attention elsewhere. Once you have developed a little skill in this area, you—like a new congressman—will be amazed how easy it is to ignore facts.
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