Historically, Hungary as a political formation had always been ruled by a single tyrant who had been assisted by a small and tightly-knit group of criminal elements strenuously opposed to any reforms or the slightest improvements in the fabric of the existing societies. Consequently, internal stability had been maintained by totalitarian oppression that had generated extreme fear of and blind submission to the tyrant de jour. This eternal constellation of Hungarian political culture has been lost on the member states of the European Union when they decided unanimously to embrace the country as a new member of their organization. To add to the insult of being insufficiently informed to the injury of incompetence, the European Union has to deal with a new Hungarian tyrant who has been the sworn enemy of any democratic form of government.
Personality wise, the reigning tyrant of Hungary Viktor Orban is a duplicitous little weasel. His main motivation has never been of making sense of the world in unbiased terms but the restoration of a cruel and oppressive government at home and illusionary revanchism with respect to Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia and Croatia abroad. Thus, fighting a two-front war against the constitutional democracies of the European Union as well as Hungary’s not so glorious past over the future, Viktor Orban’s so-called “illiberal democracy” smacks of an idiotic allegiance to a destructively tyranical mixture of ethno-fascism and the sham doctrine of the Bolsheviks’ fallacious ideological superiority. His enthusiasm for the one-man rule has yielded a rich harvest for him, his family and his loyal accomplices in robbing Hungary blind of its minuscule wealth. Moreover, his devotion for tyranny has made him dim-witted to the unlawfulness of his absolute powers. Furthermore, his lust for illimitable powers has allowed him to put his nefarious personal interests before the ideas that should have governed the future course of the nation. Finally, too much power has rendered him uncomprehending of the might of mutually beneficial cooperation in international politics. Clearly, trying to balance his domestic and foreign policy corruptions, he has created – wittingly or unwittingly – a considerable mass of dubiety.
Plainly, Hungary never had more than the thinnest layer of precarious internal peace, which had continually been challenged by pervasive corruption and regularly eliminated by rival indigenous as well as foreign tyrants fighting for absolute domination. In this sustained surge of tyrannical assertions, the people had been unable to take hold of any democratic principle, which had been the very negation of individual liberty. Thus, after two lost wars and a brutal Asiatic occupation of Hungary by the Soviet Red Army throughout the 20th century, generation after generation had existed in chains, which again had been a blatant violation of their sovereignty.
The recurring sham elections since 2010, have perpetuated the tyrannical nature of Hungarian political culture. Clearly, Hungarian political history is nothing other than the sad documentation of the people’s endless oppression by a small criminal cabal with an arrogant mentality. Crazed with fear to the point of utter desperation, the current Hungarian tyrant Viktor Orban has resolved to discard any limits to his powers. A Constitution that is nothing but a Stalinist window dressing of his tyranny, a never ending state of emergency allegedly because of the pandemic and Russia’s illegitimate war on Ukraine, a judiciary that is utterly politicized in his favor, an economy that is irredeemably under his exclusive control, and the military as well as police forces that are ready to brutally quell any internal opposition, have become self defeating, and even suicidal instruments of his absolute powers. In foreign policy, senseless opposition to any unified action by the European Union and NATO against the two tyrannical Asian powers, which have been camouflaged by counterfeit national interests, but in reality are solely designed to protect his domestic tyranny and the all pervasive corruption, highlights the illegitimacy and the usurpation of political, economic, financial and social powers in the hands of a single individual. Without a shred of doubt, Viktor Orban is a demolition tyrant and Hungary is speedily becoming a failed state. Unquestionably, neither the European Union nor NATO can tolerate a politically deceased member state. His tyranny has already devastated Hungary. Unless preempted by both organizations, he will surely destroy it because, lacking the instruments of checks and balances, Viktor Orban will maintain his tyranny by oppressive violence. If both organizations were to avoid their own self-destruction, they must act in unison decisively. First, they must declare that they will never tolerate a tyrannical regime in their midst. Second, the vicious circle of official intimidation that has led to paralysis by fear must be broken. Decisions by the European courts must be swift and unambiguous against the intermittent violations of the rule of law by the Hungarian courts. OLAF’s investigations into official corruption by Viktor Orban, his extended family and close associates must be conducted with professional alacrity. Direct fundings to the current Hungarian government must be stopped until a full accounting of the utilization of past funds are cleared from any wrongdoing. The refunding to Hungary can only then begin again. Otherwise, the Hungarian catastrophe will continue to threaten the Free World unabated.
It seems critical theorists won't stop until they've denied, rewritten, and scrubbed every semblance of Western Civilization from the education system.
It started on July 5 when Nikole Hannah-Jones, who penned the lead essay for The New York Times’ 1619 Project, was trolled with a meme. The meme came from philosopher James Lindsay, whose upcoming “Cynical Theories” book on identity politics co-written with Helen Pluckrose is already an Amazon bestseller. Lindsay summarized the exchange:
[I]t appears someone put this Woke Mini into the employ of satirically replying to Nikole Hannah-Jones on the fifth of July in response to her tweeting, ‘I wonder if folks always talking about ‘standards’ ever stop to consider that it’s their so-called standards that are the actual problem.’ Hannah-Jones decided to make fun of me by quote-retweeting this delightful troll, including the image of the ‘2+2=4’ Woke Mini, and adding the comment, ‘Using Arabic numerals to try to make a point about white, Western superiority is just so damn classic.’
Referring to George Orwell’s 1984, and poking fun of wokesterism, Lindsay quipped: “2+2=4: A perspective in white, Western mathematics that marginalizes other possible values.”
Hannah-Jones’s response energized Twitterati who mostly appear to be employed in education bureaucracies. They attempted to prove that in certain instances two and two equal five.
One of these was Kareem Carr who, according to his profile, is a Ph.D. statistics student at Harvard University He offered several examples of situations in which he claimed 2+2=5, including: “Imagine a system where we can only measure things to 1 decimal place. So 2 could mean 1.5 to 2.4 … 2.4 + 2.4 is 4.8 … in our theoretical system, this would look like 2+2=5. Again pretty normal to have an error in measurements in normal life.”
“Second example. Imagine computing distances between airports on cost. Is it possible that flying from airport A to B is $200 and B to C is $200 but flight from A to C is $500 … happens all the time. Again pretty typical everyday example.”
In the first instance, Carr proves that 2+2=5 when one makes a measuring error, then rounds up. Yet mathematical notations have the language to express errors and approximations, and it’s not “equal to.”
The second example confuses prices with distances. Carr might as well say that an airline offered a discounted $500 ticket for $400, thereby confirming that 200+200=500.
Carr should know better. A theorem is proven wrong if we find a set of values for which it doesn’t hold. Truly showing that 2+2=5 means that 2+2 is not 4. Yet this is not the point Carr and the rest of the woke math team want to advance. Rather, they are saying that 2+2 can sometimes be construed as equaling four, so who is to judge?
As one observer noted, they are deconstructing math here or using the methods of post-modernism developed for humanities. But these methods simply don’t apply to other fields of inquiry (indeed, whether they apply in the humanities is still an open debate). The humanities rely on gathering then interpreting information, whereas mathematicians derive knowledge through deduction, or discovering universal laws under which systems operate.
That 2+2=4 is a simple truth, just like the fact that there are two easily recognizable sexes, male and female, is indisputable common sense. To get people to agree that it’s not is disorienting. Lindsay says this is intentional:
…the activists are seeking a radical rewriting of the entire rational project, and any reason that doesn’t forward their favored actors as the sole arbiters of what is true and correct needs to be deconstructed by rhetorical tricks and marginalized by moral and, perhaps, physical force and intimidation. They’re seeking a revolution.
The wokies are not interested in truth, Lindsay goes on to explain. Their objectives are purely political: to identify “systems of oppression,” and transfer political power to preferred groups. To this, Lindsay adds:
This is … a breakdown of the fundamental logic of civilization, which depends entirely on the ability for each citizen to generally understand something of how that civilization operates. It is also a replacement of that fundamental logic of civilization with the fundamental logic of something more basic and less able to meet the needs of the people who will still be forced to live within it: self-interest, cronyism, corruption, and an unstable form of uncivilized might-makes-right that will surely eventually collapse into the more brutal and familiar stable sort in which whomever can kill enough people gets to make the rules.
While I agree that people incapable of clear thought are a threat to democracy and civilization, to call the 2+2=5 crowd revolutionaries gives them too much credit. They are long marchers, grifters, and cowards with an insatiable quest for power. There is no point in having a revolution when they can simply issue a ukase mandating everyone acknowledges that 2+2 is not necessarily 4.
Because it relies on logic and is independent of fact-gathering, mathematics is the single most liberating field of knowledge. It stands free from ideological contamination and depends solely on an individual’s ability to reason. Because identity politics is the ideology of bondage, it cannot easily coexist with math.
The hard left may never convince Americans that their fake math is right, but they don’t need to win by persuasion when they have pawns strategically positioned in the nation’s school districts and education schools. Seattle Unified School District made the news last school year with their ethnic mathcurriculum, which twisted knowledge into identity.
SUSD is at the forefront, but not alone in their fight against reason. Consider, for instance, Rochelle Gutiérrez, a math education professor at the Illinois School of Education who champions something called “living mathematx” and “rehumanizing” math for non-Caucasians.
Gutiérrez was involved in a mutually affirming Twitter conversation with Angela Knotts, a co-director of the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative, an educational consultancy that advises school districts around the country. Here is a snippet: “A5 – I think there is an implicit question here which is, Why do we teach math as a ‘core’ subject in the first place? What is the historical legacy of school math? Also, who was/is intended to benefit & how? #cmcmath #mathequity”
It seems a bit self-defeating for an education bureaucrat specializing in math to call for the eradication of her field, but Gutiérrez enthusiastically picked it up: “Yes! This is a part of what I’ve been referring to as defunding maths: literally defunding it from K-12 curriculum (requirements, testing) & society (STEM funding and salaries) but also figuratively from our minds (giving the current version more value than other subjects/gifts).”
The remarks almost make it seem like these gals are not so much in favor of eliminating math as they are for eliminating clear thinking on public school properties, and redistributing wealth from high-achieving people to politically preferred ethnic groups.
Next, Mathematical Association of America, a professional organization to which 25,000 educators belong, ran interference for the 2+2=5 bunch. MAA published an essay by Dr. Keith Devlin, who, without linking to the actual debate, assured readers that the Woke Math proponents never said two and two is five.
He further stated that of course arithmetic is cultural because we belong to the culture that understands what two and two add up to. If other cultures don’t have this knowledge, they are well-advised to appropriate it from us, and we shouldn’t shy away from teaching it.
There might not be very many people subscribing to such bizarre opinions, and they might not have many followers, but every last one of them has institutional power to destroy mathematics and with it the future of our children. If there ever a cause for conservative canceling, we should cancel these specialists. They do not belong in education.
Obama and the rest of the world need to come to the aid of a Sudanese woman sentenced to death.
It only took about a month, but now the entire country is following the unfolding story of the more than 200 Nigerian girls who were abducted from their school by an Islamic terrorist group called Boko Haram, which reportedly means “western education is sinful.” News accounts indicate the group’s leader has repeatedly threatened to sell the girls, leading some commentators to upbraid the United States and the Obama administration for its seeming indifference to their plight.
Negotiations between the Nigerian government and the kidnappers have repeatedly broken down, according to news reports, as tensions rise. Though they have now reportedly been located, Nigerian Defense Chief Air Marshal Alex Badeh said Monday there would be no effort to rescue them, lest they all be killed. Continue reading