I am a blogger, an artist and a writer.

The underlying theme in my work of all sorts is ethics and critical thinking;  skills required to discern the right and wrong in any particular case. 

That is what Graphictruth is "about," to the extent of my ability to manage - the application of critical thinking to the dangerous truisms, moralisms and unsupportable assumptions that seem to be the summa logica of the leadership, "moral" and political, of our time. 

I doubt that what I'm saying is inapplicable to other nations, but I've seen the rising tide of stupidity overtop the levees in These Assorted States of Decay with despair for decades now.

Critical thinking is the Art of being Correct and that is entirely distinct from The Art of Being Right as  Schopenhauer ironically demonstrates in his very short and fairly readable essay.

As you read it, consider how familiar the tactics described in the latter are used by those barely familiar with the former against those with no familiarity with either. Baffled explorations of the results may be found in many places, one of course being "What's the Matter with Kansas?"

You might be tempted to think of critical thinking as a partisan art. I might be tempted to suggest (from the depths of my own well informed bias) that would not only be true, but obvious.

Nonetheless, some of the greatest practitioners of the art have been rock-ribbed Conservatives, such as Barry Goldwater, Ron Paul and the much lamented William F. Buckley Jr.

They may or may not be correct on any given issue - but the odds are better that they are than the odds of anyone of any particular dogmatic preference stating a conclusion reached without benefit of critical insight. One of them may well offer up an incomplete argument, or argue from what seem to be well founded premises that turn out to be set upon sand and wishful thinking, but one will at not least be engaging in disputation in defense of willful stupidity in the face of an all-too-well-armed reality. 

Indeed, many conservatives (increasingly a group wishing to distinguish themselves from Republicans) would insist that the critical facility is essential to their philosophy. 

Conservatism (with or without an initial capital C) has as it's foundation the idea that sudden change of any sort, without due and cautious examination, is a far more dangerous thing than hewing to current practice. Conservatives uphold and defend the status quo by reflex.

Even if the present evils are understood by all - at least they are understood by all, and that cannot be said about some ideological panacea, such as, say, Communism. Or NeoLiberalism. Or, indeed Dominionism. The conservative response to radical proposals is "you first." 

And most properly - there can be no critical thought without data and evidence. Those who dismiss the necessity for either - well, whatever they are, they are not proper Conservatives. A conservative has a precise account of what they are conserving and reasons for conserving it. Or to put it more bluntly - there is a difference between a Conservative and a Hoarder. Saving things worth saving, preserving things worth preserving, resisting and directing change without being crushed by it - that's the entire idea. 

"How will we pay for this? Do you have numbers, or are you just guessing? Have you given any thought to the opportunity costs here?" 

Everyone should have a little conservative sitting upon their left shoulder, reminding them that novelty is no substitute for sound policy.

William Graham Sumner offers a useful summary of critical thinking:
The critical habit of thought, if usual in society, will pervade all its mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators ... They are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain. They can wait for evidence and weigh evidence, uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence with which assertions are made on one side or the other. They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens.
Dr. Martin Luther King said:
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically . . . The complete education gives one not only power of concentration but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.

I say it's a useful tool for the detection and subsequent verbal kneecapping of the lyin' bastards that rule - and those who wish to rule. 


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