I do not need to see blood in the streets before I propose that Trump is a menace. I have an epistemic reason to believe this. My understanding of presently known facts about this country, and this man brings me to this belief. My conclusion is a priori rather than exclusively a posteriori.
A priori (“from what is before”) is coming up with a conclusion from a theoretical deduction, obtained through shared knowledge and known entities. A priori is how people often come up with conclusions for multiple scenarios in humanities or math.
A posteriori (“from what is after”) is coming up with a conclusion from actual observations or experiences. It is what people call empirical evidence. A posteriori is how people come up with a conclusion for various scenarios in the sciences.
The United States is currently in a period where observing to “wait and see blood” is dangerous. I don’t need to literally see the dead people to understand that the current administration is dangerous.
I have noticed this situation amongst some of my associates who were political science, history, or philosophy majors because they seem to want to put strict a posteriori conditions on what is currently happening in our political arena before they act. Not only that, but they want to mock and laugh at anyone who presents them with historical evidence or has the audacity of thinking independently from what they view as valid empirical evidence.
We actually do have a posteriori evidence on how fascism happens. Still, certain individuals dismiss this evidence since it did not occur in the United States, and conditions were slightly different. You know “not being in the United States.”
Due to the “philosophy” of American exceptionalism, these individuals put no credence to how Italy under Mussolini, Spain under Franco, or Vichy France, Chile under Pinochet, Argentina under Perón, and Brazil under Vargas became authoritarian dictatorships.
While this is infuriating, we don’t necessarily need that evidence to predict what will happen if Trump gets a second term.
We can use the a priori method to come up with a reasonable conclusion for a man who:
- Has engaged in stochastic terrorism.
- Violated the Constitution numerous times.
- Actively infecting others with a contagious disease, he contracted owing to his rampant narcism.
That information, combined with the known facts:
- US high unemployment rate.
- US death rate from COVID compared to other first world countries.
- His policies have almost exclusively benefited the wealthy.
- Proof in the Bob Woodard book, “Rage,” that he lied to us.
- The Vanity Fair article that shows he used Jared Kushner to try to kill us.
- Proof that his Vice President, Mike Pence, lies to us.
We don’t need to wait for Trump to come to the balcony and announce that he is a fascist. It is obvious what his plans are.
In the case of Trump, with the present known information, a priori thinking leads to the same conclusion as a posteriori thinking.
Both ways of thinking are valuable, and they both have times and places.
Empirical evidence is not the only evidence that offers a valid path to come up with a reasonable conclusion.
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”Mark Twain
To have your thinking ruled exclusively by empirical evidence is to allow yourself to be manipulated by liars who use data points to peddle ideas such as scientific racism. But if you are going to dismiss data and history, the answer can’t just be waiting until presented with empirical evidence that fits ideas that you feel to be true like a glove.
It certainly can’t be the answer if people’s lives will shortly be on the line.
Blood on the streets evidence is what we want to avoid.
Sometimes you have to think independently, to save lives.
Right now, we need to be thinking deductively and independently.
Just because we have never seen a specific scenario occur within the United States, it does not mean a scenario could never happen.
We need to act before we get overwhelming empirical evidence, which will look like (more) mass death and (more) explicit human rights violations.
Our current state of affairs is not going to suddenly level up with a signed letter and heart stickers that say, “I’m taking away your voting rights and then shooting you in the head in the middle of the night.”
I do not understand how people with libraries full of philosophers from Kant to Fanon cannot pivot in their thinking during this current time simply because “this never happened before.”
Political purity on human made concepts seems to forget that humans in their very nature are fallible.
It’s almost as if some people have a lack of situational awareness. I wonder if they understand that it isn’t actually another person there when their face stares back at them in the mirror.
How is anyone still discussing “safe state” strategies and “the law” at this point? The current administration has repeatedly broken the law, violated our ideals, invoked violence, and threatened the United States’ democratic process.
How can we entertain, enabling a fascist? How can we continue to dismiss both historical evidence and deductive thinking?
Any vote that is not Democrat is enabling this fascist. I understand that is hard to accept, but we need to be be cognizant of that.
This administration will take any opportunity to exploit any fragile point in his opposition.
Thinking deductively and independently saves lives. Pure reason is how we decide how to proceed in practice with the least amount of bloodshed.
There is absolutely no reason that we should all have to wait until a military marches in and starts “disappearing people” before calling Trump a fascist dictator. We must take full control of this situation before it gets any worse. If specific individuals want to dismiss both deductive logic and historical evidence, I must begin to suspect their true motives. A person who ignores all evidence during this time is either ignorant or an accelerationist. Both groups are dangerous to the unorganized and unprepared left and the general United States public.
Pure reasoning and deduction are not games. They are paths to guide us in a practical situation.
As a philosopher, what we are experiencing now is what anyone who studied philosophy has been trained to do. Our philosophy degrees are not to look back and quote the dead, but to look forward and, through thought, guide humanity to continue on the path of life and peace. Everyone needs to learn to pivot. After we remove this fascist, we can continue to have discourse on improving society, but if we do not get rid of him, this will be a moot point. I’m not ready for silence, are you?