You’re in luck if you want a deal on a battery car. Even with government incentives that penalize Kansas farmers to underwrite the purchase of Teslas in Beverly Hills, e-cars aren’t selling. General Motors has abandoned its e-car production targets. Mercedes Benz is offering discounts of up to $5,000 to buyers of its electric vehicles. Ford has stopped construction of a huge car battery factory in Michigan.
I hate to be an Ayatollah Youso, but I did ‘told you so’. Starting from about five years ago I repeatedly dismissed e-cars as virtue-signaling curiosities driven by shortage-philosophy rather than by economics. In other words, no matter how hard the government tries to force them on us, the customers don’t want ‘em.
Actually, I don’t hate reminding you of things that I told you–it is fun. So here are two more: I also told you that neither electric airplanes nor self-driving cars are going to be moving you around anytime in the foreseeable future. Remember when you couldn’t open a newspaper or magazine without seeing articles, with pictures no less, promoting battery planes and autonomous cars? Seen any lately?
My point is not that I was a prophet. Of course, I have no such powers. But I do know that in the way the world really works, money matters, and even the government can ignore economic reality for only so long. And I do know the difference in energy density between a tank full of AVGAs and a big heavy inefficient battery. No, I am no prophet, but I do know how the world REALLY works, and one more way that it works is that people make mistakes. And large numbers of people make large mistakes.
A really large mistake America made was promoting progressivism. And a really large mistake that 70% of self-identifying American Jews made was throwing their weight, resources, and influence behind that tragic and ill-advised movement. Progressivism led to Leftism, and Leftism led to rabid secularization, and secularization led to abandonment of a Judeo-Christian, Bible-based Morality Matrix.
Schoolchildren used to be taught a moral system that included the words, “Thou Shall Not…” Progressives protested, “We can’t teach morality because there are many moral matrices, so whose should we choose?” The result was a terrible mistake. We taught several generations of American youngsters no morality at all.
Because we humans have souls, unlike camels, cats, and cows we feel a deep need for a self-defining morality. This need is no less compelling than our needs for oxygen and water. Thus, those children chose their own moral matrix. They appointed their own emotions and feelings as their ultimate arbiters of morality. The years went by, and those children became university students and university professors.
When you have no imparted and time-tested morality matrix, you construct your own. Using your feelings and emotions, one of the easiest avenues to a morality matrix is to impart virtue to the ‘underdog.’ The victim is automatically virtuous. Of course, real life is more complicated. Some people are indeed complicit in their own misfortune, and the Judeo-Christian Bible-based Morality Matrix takes that into account. When a bully inadvertently starts up with the Karate Kid and gets pulverized, he is not a deserving victim; he is getting his just desserts.
But lazy and immature people, tragically deprived of their Judeo-Christian Bible-based morality matrix ‘feel’ that victims are automatically virtuous. In fact, the less successful the victim is at running his own life, the more of a virtuous victim he really is. And, because being a victim is so rewarding, lazy and immature people regard themselves as the biggest and most virtuous victims of all. It follows that any speaker or thinker who challenges their worldview is a villain and must be silenced.
The Jewish leaders who are finally withholding funding from the Ivy League universities to which they send their children, for years have tolerated campus violence against Heather MacDonald, Charles Murray, Milo Yiannopoulos, Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, and others. But now that the lazy, morality-matrix-deprived are attacking Jews, they suddenly see it as a huge problem. If those same Jewish ‘leaders’ had fought for Heather’s rights and safety a decade ago, Jews on campus might be safe today.
It’s a lot easier to recover from mistakes concerning the direction that technological development will take than it is to recover a society from mistakes about morality. Yet, the stakes are greater, and the effort must be made.
This Thought Tool is dedicated in memory of Avner Goren who was murdered on October 7, 2023, and with prayers for the safe return of his wife, Maya Goren, 56, who is a hostage in Gaza. We share in the sorrow of their four children.
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