Monday, October 24, 2016

In History but Not Of It

Does history reveal a principle? Or does one require a principle -- a kind of master key -- in order to approach and understand it? It reminds me of an Aphorism, that Truth is in history, but history is not the truth.

History is not the truth. But Truth is in history. This aphorism rings a bell, but now that I'm staring directly at it, the meaning eludes me. I'm going to let it stew for awhile in the right brain, and come back to it.

The Christian view would be that history requires a key, and that this key is Christ. Whatever else Christ is, he is the key to history. For example, think of how the early Christians read Christ into their own backstory, the Hebrew Bible. Christ was not only the key that illuminated it, but the telos toward which it had been heading all along.

Which brings to mind another Aphorism, that Everything in history begins before we think it begins, and ends after we think it ends.

Take again the example of Christ. Upon his death -- his "end" -- the disciples discovered that his "beginning" was not merely with his birth; rather, that he was prior to any physical beginning ("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God"). The same principle allowed them to understand previously mysterious utterances such as "Before Abraham was, I Am."

And of course, his end was only a beginning, and this beginning has been handed off from person to person down to the present day. When does it end? "I am with you always, to the very end of the age." So in reality, he is before the beginning and after the end. No wonder history is not the truth -- for one thing, it is in time -- it is time -- whereas truth is timeless.

So, to say that truth is in history is another way of saying that the eternal is in time, and that this is what we call history. If the eternal is not in time, then history is indeed a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing more than tenure.

You might say that history is transfigured in and by Christ. Note that the reverse is not true -- that Christ is not transfigured by history.

But what exactly do we mean by transfiguration? It is "a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state." Surely history could never accomplish this to anyone, at any time. Nor could Darwin, for that matter -- which is why, for example, The laws of biology alone do not have fingers delicate enough to fashion the beauty of a face.

For what is beauty if not a kind of transfiguration of matter? From whence does this power come? From matter itself? How could that be? You might well say that "Truth is in matter, but matter is not the truth." For in beauty, the wall of matter is turned into a window of spirit, revealing a metaphysical transparency that surely transcends any version of vulgar materialism.

Beauty is here to teach us. Pay attention! For it is one of the primordial links between man and God. It begins before we think it begins -- in spirit -- and ends after we think it ends -- it has no expiration date.

How did we get here? Well, I have a pile of books on my desk which might go to the subject of Cosmic Principles (our recent cooncern), one of which is Christopher Dawson's Dynamics of World History, which I read about twelve years ago. I pulled it down because I thought it might shed some light on this path we've been exploring the last couple of weeks.

Dawson was a great historian, and a Christian historian. This does not mean that he was merely a "historian of Christianity" -- although he was that too -- but that for him, Christianity was the key that opened the whole existentialada; it is the truth of which history is the reflection (not to put words in his mouth; I'm sure he would express it differently).

Here are a few notes I scribbled to mysoph in the back of the book. They must be important, or I wouldn't have bothered plagiarizing with them).

"Every historian has a meta-history; the best ones know it."

"Secularism is religious emotion divorced from religious belief."

"Contempt for religion is a historically conditioned product of a particular historical time and place; worship of rationality is irrational."

"History is not complete; we participate in it. And yet, it is complete. It has an end."

"When contemplating the past, we see something unfolding in time. Or is it a timeless paradigm, an act of imagination in which elements of the past are held together in our imagination?"

That last one brings to mind an Aphorism: Authentic history is the transfiguration of the raw event by intelligence and imagination.

Here is something from the introduction, written by Dermot Quinn: "The fact does not tell the story; the story, as it were, tells the fact.... To see meaning beyond the local is to see it in the local."

And here we are again, seeing truth in the facts, even while facts are not the truth. So I guess my right brain figured it out.

To really round this off, we could agree with the well known gag that "the past is a foreign country." If so, then Christ would be the key to trancelighting it into terms we can understand.

"History and theology are nothing if not meditations on the nature of Time itself. Their shared object of inquiry is human time, sacred time, even that mysterious eternal moment that is Christ Himself" (Quinn).

And "to the Christian the mystery of history is not completely dark, since it is a veil which only partially conceals the creative activity of spiritual forces and the operation of spiritual laws" (Dawson). (All Aphorisms courtesy Nicolás Gómez Dávila.)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Principles of the Unprincipled

We're on the subject of principles, in particular, those cosmic principles that cannot not be true -- for example, that truth exists and man may know it. If it doesn't exist, then you may stop talking -- and thinking -- now. And forever. There would be no point. Except mere animal satisfaction and survival. Which also would have no point.

Speaking of which, why is it that man is subject to distinct joys and pleasures of which the animal can know nothing? Why are there pleasures of the mind and joys of the spirit?


An intelligent idea produces sensual pleasure.

Very good. I--

I'm not done!

Go on then.

It is impossible to convince the fool that there are pleasures superior to those we share with the rest of the animals.

Like aesthetic pleasure?

Exactly. For To be stupid is to believe it is possible to take a photograph of the place about which a poet sang. And When things appear to us to be only what they appear to be, soon they become even less.

Each of those aphorisms reveals a principle. In fact, what makes the Aphorisms so resonant is that they usually do that -- it is the secret to their power (that and the poetic means of expression). Come to think of it, I can think of few things more powerful than a Cosmic Principle beautifully expressed.

Think of the alternatives: there can be truth expressed in a banal or shabby way, just as there can be falsehood expressed in a beautiful way.

Then again, I'm not so sure about the latter, for awareness of real beauty tends to converge upon truth. We'll leave music and painting to the side, but can a person who loves truth be fooled by a beautiful falsehood masquerading as truth?

You will recall how the media swooned (and still swoons) over Obama's rhetoric, but to me it always betrayed its inner ugliness, its hidden agenda. You can't put lipstick on a pig.

Or, you can. But it's still going to be ugly -- perhaps even more ugly in a way, in the sense that its essence is being distorted. There is such a thing as "ugly cute," as in the case of certain dog breeds. The AKC doesn't downgrade a pug because it doesn't look like a lab.

This morning in a link at Happy Acres I was reminded of what ugly falsehood in puffed-up rhetoric smells like. It is by the professional negro Tavis Smiley, who claims to be frightened that Donald Trump will literally bring back slavery.

Before addressing the aesthetic barbarism, the man is quite obviously hallucinating, in that he is seeing something that does not -- and will never -- exist. Scott Adams discussed this yesterday:

"In nearly every scenario you can imagine, the person experiencing an unlikely addition to their reality is the one hallucinating. If all observers see the same addition to their reality, it might be real. But if even one participant can’t see the phenomenon – no matter how many can – it is almost certainly not real."

To suggest that America under Trump will enslave blacks is, to put it mildly, "an unlikely addition to reality." (Of course, Adams goes too far in suggesting that if a single person doesn't see a phenomenon, it isn't real, for "negative hallucinations" are actually more common than the positive variety, plus it ignores the qualifications necessary for vertical perception; but these are subjects of a different post.)

Here is an example of elaborate falsehood, or a kind of ornate vacuity; note also the pomposity, an important feature of this type of crude persuasion:

"I’m not sure [Trump] and I share an understanding of what makes a nation truly great. For me, it starts with how you treat the children, the poor, the aged and infirmed, how you embrace equality as you labor for equity. Equality means that everyone gets the same in America, whether they need it or not. Equity says we commit to ensuring that all fellow citizens have the basic resources that will give them commensurate opportunities to contribute meaningfully to our society."

Is there a principle in there somewhere? Everyone gets the same in America, whether they need it or not. Okay. My question for Mr. Smiley clown: Are you getting the same as everyone else? Or is Time paying you more than it pays, say, its janitors?

"While I’m not an angry black man, I do have a righteous indignation that burns inside me about the myriad of injustices that result in a daily contestation of people’s humanity."

Translation: you're an angry black man yelling at your hallucinations.

And frightened by them, in that these hallucinations are indeed "hair-raising, bone-chilling, spine-breaking, [and] nerve-wracking."

This illustrates one of the elementary principles of developmental psychology, called "projective identification." It is more primitive than mere projection, such that the person projects unconscious material (e.g., thoughts, desires, emotions, impulses) into the environment, and feels them returning in a (usually) persecutory manner.

A common example would consist of projecting anger into someone else, and then re-experiencing it as fear. In reality, the person is just fearful of his own projected anger. I want to say that this is a particularly transparent case, but the process is ubiquitous on the left. It is the only way to make sense of "trigger warnings," "safe spaces," "dangerous speech," and the like. These people are literally afraid of their own shadows. But then, Jung is wasted on these youths.

I don't want to leave on such an aesthetically depressing note. Let's conclude with some aphorisms that beautifully illuminate the type of intellectual and rhetorical pathology exemplified above:

'Social justice' is the term used to claim anything to which we do not have a right. And 'Social' is the adjective that serves as a pretext for all swindles.

As for how to avoid vacuous bloviating,

The fewer adjectives we waste, the more difficult it is to lie. And Prolixity is not an excess of words but a dearth of ideas (Aphorisms of Don Colacho).

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lord Save Us From the Bullshit!

While idly perusing Instapundit this morning, I was reminded of the great Law of Brandolini: that The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.

The law is self-evidently true, but why? Why is it so difficult -- if not impossible -- to correct people? I no longer even try, at least with most volks. I had never thought about it before, but it must be because I intuitively understand the Law -- that to set them right will require a major commitment of time and energy.

Now that I think about it, when I was a liberal, I was pretty much oblivious to the Law. Indeed, I assumed that people were quite susceptible to correction with the usual simplistic leftist memes. But in reality, calling someone racist, sexist, or homophobic is rarely convincing. It is emotionally satisfying to the liberal, but merely off-putting to most everyone else.

In a way I envy my son, because he will not have to spend half his life refuting the bullshit he spent the other half assimilating. When I look back at the bullshit I once believed, it's appalling. Why did my parents not protect me from the bullshit? No doubt because that was when the culture and educational establishment were just beginning to take on their present outlines of being the primary transmitters of bullshit. Who knew then that our entire reality was being systematically turned upside-down and inside-out by the left?

A few prescient people, but they were on the fringes. But there is no doubt that a number of 20/∞ visionaries began noticing it by the 1950s, which is precisely when the modern conservative movement got off the ground. The movement is indeed reactionary, in the sense that it is a reaction to all the bullshit.

I just read a book -- not recommended -- on this very subject, called First Principles: Self-Governance in an Open Society. The reason it is not recommended is because the primary sources discussed by the author are so much better than the author's own analysis, which is on the banal side. However, he cites all the right people: Hayek, Weaver, von Mises, Kirk, Buckley, Paul Johnson, Hazlitt, Milton Friedman, Gilder, etc., each of whom, in his own way, attempted to cut through the bullshit.

But why does it take so much energy? I was thinking of this yesterday morning on the way to work while listening to Rush. He was discussing the wikileaks material that is so devastating to Clinton, and was, as usual, full of passion (in a positive way; there was no hysteria, anger, or resentment, as with the left).

I thought of the energy it requires to rouse this level of passion day after day, year after year. But as alluded to above, I no longer wish to do that. I want to have a calm and tranquil life. I don't like the tension. I am pleased that lightning rods such as Coulter, Milo, or David Horowitz exist, but I certainly wouldn't want to be them.

The other day in a comment, Rick asked a question about my transition from left to right, but my response was lost in the digital ether. I remembered that back in the 1990s, when writing about politics from a liberal perspective, I came to a number of conclusions that not only contradicted the party line, but pretty much blew up the whole thing -- although I didn't realize it at the time.

Specifically, I remember writing something about the noxiousness of political correctness, about the intellectual incoherence of relativism, about the bizarre conclusions of feminist extremists, and about the left's magical use of language to alter reality. In each case I naively assumed that I was just saying ideologically neutral things with which any reasonable person would agree. I mean, who could support the linguistic tyranny of political correctness, or believe that men and women are identical, or think there is no objective morality?

Right away I was in violation of Brandolini's law, as I had no idea how much energy it takes to refute these things. Indeed, you could literally spend your entire life doing so, to little wholesale effect. For example, I'm thinking of the hundreds of hours it took for Dennis Prager to get through to me. Just to refute the simple bullshit! But I'm not sure that anything short of this would have succeeded in penetrating my thick skull.

Back to the book alluded to above; in fact, back to the thread we were on prior to that, which was "principles of history."

Actually, I am more interested in Principles as such. I often think of putting together a list of simple, straight-forward principles which not only cut through the bullshit, but permanently inoculate the mind against taking it on board to begin with. Any intellectually honest person would be compelled to assent to these principles, on pain of logical incoherence, absurdity, or self-refutation. Merely to utter one would be to slay a spiritually and intellectually destructive dragon -- like holding the Cross before a vampire, or the Enquirer in front of Hillary.

Where and what are these Principles?

As I have mentioned before, the first one is surely that Truth exists and man may know it. What is the alternative? That truth doesn't exist? Or that man cannot know it? Either one is the end of all rational thought, for it is to condemn man to an absolute and irremediable cosmic stupidity.

Now if Religion is true, it seems to me that its very purpose would be to incarnate these Principles without which our minds cannot be saved -- especially from themselves. Or in other words, religion is here to save us from the bullshit, precisely. Or, let us say that a religion is true insofar as it conveys to us the Principles and cuts through the bullshit.

I want to say that Thomas Aquinas did this, but again, think of the energy he expended to get the job done! How many millions of words did he write? You could literally spend your entire life studying him, but is there an easier way, a Raccoon way, a Tao te Slack?

It seems to me that the Ten Commandments would be a fine way to start. The first three, in one form or another, are absolutely essential to mental hygiene, that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; that Thou shalt have no other gods before me; and that Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.

For me, this is all really a way of saying that Truth exists and man may know it: that Truth is what saves us from slavery and sets us free; that we are not It; and that attempts to fashion our own truth separate from the one Truth are doomed to failure.

There is another principle we've often discussed, which happens to be the founding principle of the United States: that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thus, our founding document takes Principle One and Commandments one through three for granted. For example, recall that Jefferson's original idea for the design of the seal of the United States was Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt; or Hamilton's crack that the sacred rights -- and I would add principles -- of mankind are written in human nature "by the hand of Divinity itself, and can never be erased by mortal power"; or Jefferson's gag that "the God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time."

It only makes sense, because truth and freedom must be complementary. That is to say, an unfree being could never discover truth, and if truth doesn't exist, then we are hardly free -- rather, just condemned to meaningless horizontal drift through the cosmic bullshit.

To become cultivated is to understand that a particular class of questions is meaningless.


The leftist emulates the devout who continue venerating the relic after the miracle has been proved to be a hoax. --Aphorisms of Don Colacho.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Light Pollution

I've read of certain songwriters who always have their ears open for snippets of conversation they can incorporate into lyrics, or which can sometimes inspire a whole song. Smokey Robinson did that a lot -- he overheard someone say "I second that emotion," and the song wrote itself. Similarly, John Lennon turned a couple of Ringo-isms into songs, "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "A Hard Day's Night."

So, I was at the seminar last Friday when the presenter made an offhand reference to "light pollution." He was talking about how many more stars are visible in the desert, away from all the light pollution of the city. It immediately occurred to me that there is a post hidden in that term -- either that or a hit song.

Our ancient furbears wouldn't have comprehended the idea. For them there was light and darkness, the former an unambiguously good thing, the latter a dangerous -- and even dark! -- quality. You couldn't have too much light. But you could certainly have too much darkness. Remember, before the invention of electric light in the 19th century, darkness was total. Nowadays we rarely encounter anything like it, even, say, while camping. That's only pretend darkness.

It is important to bear this in mind whenever we encounter the symbolism of dark and light in premodern literature -- for example, "the Light shone in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it," or "I am the light of the world." Those were very bold and vivid statements in a world that couldn't just flip a switch to illuminate their space.

From the earliest times, it seems that light and thought have been equated. To prove that claim, I'm looking in the index of my Familiar Quotations, but the references are too numerous. Too much light! Here's a line by Paul from 1 Timothy: "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of day: we are not of the night, nor of the darkness." Here's one from Ecclesiastes: "Wisdom exceeds folly, as far as light exceeds darkness." And from 1 John: "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."

Interesting. The 18th century poet Thomas Gray writes of the possibility of too much light, or at least more than we can handle: He saw; but blasted with excess of light, / Closed his eyes in endless night. And Matthew Arnold makes reference to Light half-believers of our casual creeds, / Who never deeply felt, nor clearly willed...

Here's a crack by Goethe: Someday perhaps the inner light will shine forth from us, and then we shall need no other light. Ah. Here's a good one from Theodor Roethke: Who rise from flesh to spirit know the fall: / The word outleaps the world, and light is all.

Here is a cosmic -- if somewhat pantheistic sounding -- sentiment expressed by Jean Toomer : Beyond plants are animals, / Beyond animals is man, / Beyond man is the universe, / The Big Light, / Let the Big Light in!

Ooh. This was still the common sentiment when I began attending college: "A university should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning" (Disraeli). It has since become a place of darkness, thought control, and indoctrination.

There are obviously many more, but let's move on.

I'm thinking of the Upanishads, which often symbolize God as the sun and Light as wisdom or liberation. The Isha Upanishad says Worlds there are without suns, covered up with darkness. To these after death go the ignorant.

Well, not anymore. Now you can just go to college. Progress!

To darkness are they doomed who worship only the body, and to a greater darkness they who worship only the spirit. What is the solution to this conundrum? Incarnation. You know, the Light becomes darkness that the darkness may become Light.

It seems that there was once a recognition that all light was of the Light. For this reason, you wouldn't confuse a candle with the sun, nor would you utilize a flashlight to try to locate it. Which is why you don't go searching after God with just the light of (lower case r) reason. Rather, reason itself is a reflection of the Light you seek.

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad lays out the Whole Point of it all: Lead me from the unreal to the real, / Lead me from darkness to light / Lead me from death to immortality.

Now, light pollution. What could that be? Think of standing in the middle of the Las Vegas strip. Plenty of light there. But try seeing the stars. There won't be any. Except the living dead ones on stage.

I would say that for human light to be functional, it must be a prolongation of the divine light. Or at least it cannot presume to exist independently without taking on a kind of darkness. In other words, knowledge must be illuminated by wisdom. Scientism, or positivism, or pragmatism, for example, are knowledge without light. And for certain souls, they can become so bright that they obscure the very Light from which they emanate.

But the liberal media are the quintessential case of light pollution. Being in and of that world is analogous to standing on the Vegas strip and seeing nothing beyond it. Academia is only slightly better. Or worse. I can't make up my mind. Consider:

"32 Percent of Millennials Believe George W. Bush Killed More People Than Stalin." Whose fault is this? Is it the fault of the light pollution of the media? Or the propagation of darkness by academia?

I reject this false alternative. It's both.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

What Did You Do in the Spiritual War?

What if a spiritual war were going on and no one recognized it?

"Modern Western populations," writes Bruce Charlton, "are only semi-human in their mass perceptions and responses -- since they lack the stable centre of religion, and are metaphysically incoherent; they live inside an artificial and distorted world; and their minds are continually filled-with and distracted-by lying nonsense -- all of this in an unprecedented fashion and degree."

Concur. Our adversaries live inside a Matrix -- which has been carefully constructed for them by forces beyond their conscious control.

Thus, "the true agenda of evil is not just beyond their belief, but beyond their comprehension -- lacking God, they cannot recognise nor understand the nature of evil (and are, indeed, inclined to deny its truth and rationality)" (ibid.). As did our anonymous but always illustrative commenter yesterday, when I merely pointed out that the suppression of truth is the essence of evil. He even went so far as to suggest that doing so violates none of God's laws.

No, it's worse than that, for truth is one of God's names; to attack or thwart it is to smite the Creator. It is to pound another nail into the Cross.

We've been toying with the idea of "principles of history," but maybe we should be talking about the principalities of history. Or worse, perhaps history itself is a principality -- you know, a kind of satanic playground. That would explain why the war has been going on for, oh, 50,000 years.

Is there any reason to believe such perfect nonsense? I don't yet have any central thread, only a pile of books on my desk which may lead in the right direction. For example, of the appeasers of the 1930s, Manchester writes that "like all fundamentalists" they "held facts in contempt." But it was more than mere facts; rather, their minds attacked the conclusion to which the facts inevitably led.

The conclusion was known, but had to be rendered un-known. For example, upon reading a damning book called The House that Hitler Built, Neville Chamberlain wrote that "If I accepted the author's conclusions I should despair, but I don't and I won't" (in Manchester). Well, that was easy!

Let's try it out: If I accepted the idea that the Iranians cannot be trusted and that the nuclear agreement isn't worth the paper it is written on, I should despair, but I don't and I won't.

Or, If I accepted the idea that the left wishes to foment racial antagonism and a war on the police, I should despair, but I don't and I won't.

I feel better already!

Our anonymous commenter criticizes us for supporting Trump. If he has any better ideas as to how to stop Hillary and defeat the left, I'd like to hear them. As Prager has said, Trump is like using chemotherapy to fight cancer: yeah, it's going to make you sick and cause a lot of damage, but what choice do you have?

"Historians a thousand years hence," Churchill told parliament, "will still be baffled by the mystery of our affairs. They will never understand how it was that a victorious nation, with everything in hand, suffered themselves to be brought low, and to cast away all that they had gained by measureless sacrifice and absolute victory -- gone with the wind!"

Yes, historians will be baffled. But what about Raccoons? Should we be baffled by America's entirely self-willed decline? I don't see why. Let us consult one of our Vertical Fathers, Don Colacho. "Civilizations are the summer noise of insects between two winters."

Better bundle up.

"The external adversary is less the enemy of civilization than is internal attrition."

Oh, that and demographic flooding. Which is why the left favors open borders, which is just genocide -- and worse, pneumacide -- by other means. The left can't defeat our ideas, but they can stampede over them.

"Those who live in the twilight of history imagine the day is being born when night is approaching."

The Obama era, dawn of a new day!


"Modern history is the dialogue of two men, one who believes in God, another who believes he is god."

I disagree. Dialogue with Obama is impossible.

"Falsifying the past is how the left has sought to elaborate the future."

Which is why if we don't somehow take back the educational system -- now a wholly owned and operated franchise of the Dark Aeon -- a deepening metastasis of the left's grim utopia is inevitable.

Out of time here. And tomorrow must be sacrificed to the serpent of Continuing Education, so no post. BTW, I was surprised to learn that as many as 24% of psychiatrists are Republican. Among woolly-headed and thoroughly feminized psychologists the figure is surely lower. But if you're out there, please show yourself. I am occasionally asked for a referral to a sane therapist.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Patterns of Cosmic Stupidity

You know how Hillary and Obama don't want us to refer to "Islamic terror," because if we do, then normal, peace-loving Muslims will want to chop off our heads?

Well, some things never change. Back in 1937, outgoing prime minister Stanley Baldwin joined his successor, Neville Chamberlain, in expressing the sentiment to members of parliament "that if they felt they must deplore totalitarianism and aggression, they must not name names."

"It was important," implored Baldwin, "to avoid 'the danger of referring directly to Germany at a time when we are trying to get on terms with that country'" (Manchester).

Consider this an open thread, since I don't have much time this morning -- in fact, for the rest of the week. It's October, and it's an even-numbered year, which means I have until the end of the month to complete my 36 hours of discontinuing education. Something has to give, and you're looking at it.

TRIGGER WARNING: some readers have expressed the view that my deployment of any salty language diminishes the blog. TURN BACK NOW.

Recall that we were just about to dive headlong into Principles of History, if there are any. The above example may or may not reveal a principle, but it certainly suggests a pattern.

But why should naming evil cause good people to want to turn evil? That doesn't make any sense. And why should evil people care if someone calls them evil? Evil people don't care what others think, except insofar as they can manipulate them.

Another parallel: Obama and Clinton say that naming the evil is a great recruiting tool for the evildoers. Therefore, appeasing them should lessen their appeal and thin their ranks.

Okay. How'd that work out? "Time increased Hitler's momentum.... Now that England had shown the white feather, recruits swelled in the ranks of the Nazi parties in Austria, Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland, western Poland, and the Free City of Danzig." Hmm, exactly the opposite of what the Theory of Appeasement would predict.

Besides, if going after enemies creates more of them, why does the left never stop attacking our deplorable asses??

You know how the Palestinian cause -- not to mention Bernie Sanders and liberal fascism in general -- is so popular on college campuses and among Hollywood and media eliterates? Well, by the mid-1930s, "Nazism had become fashionable in London's West End. Ladies wore brackets with swastika charms; young men combed their hair to slant across their foreheads.... The Fuhrer still had many admirers in Parliament and a lofty one (King Edward VIII) in Buckingham Palace."

Each generation must learn anew the same lessons. Especially this one: "History is mankind's painfully purchased experience, now available for free, or merely the price of attention and reflection" (Thomas Sowell).

Oh, and one more -- a memo to the Kaeperdicks among us: "There is not one of our simple uncounted rights today for which better men than we have not died on the scaffold or the battlefield" (Churchill).

Monday, October 10, 2016

Principles of History

Are there any? Supposedly not. As far as I know, that idea is rejected by contemporary historians as an outmoded relic of history. In other words, historians used to think history meant something. Now we know it means nothing -- that any patterns we see are superimposed, that it never repeats itself, and that it has no intrinsic direction.

Even if true, how could one know that?

But more to the point, I really don't feel like blogging this morning. Last night, before going to bed, the idea of writing about this subject popped into my head. Must have been a side effect of what I was saying the other day about my never-to-be-written book, Ground and Principle. In short, what is the ground of history? And does it reveal any abstract principles that are always present?

But this morning my mind is on strike. I think it has to do with the Dodgers playing at 1:00 on a Monday afternoon. What the heck? Since when doesn't Los Angeles get a prime-time TV slot?

Stupid Cubs. Just because their streak of futility is of cosmic dimensions, and may finally end, they get the late game. Which throws everything off for Bob. Now I have to hurry up and get my work done before then, which means I should probably get to it right now instead of wasting timelessness blogging.

No, I can't just record the game. That's fine during the regular season, but I can't bring myself to do so for a playoff game.

So here we are, at loggerheads with ourselves. Well, I'm going to force myself to blog, just to show my mind who's in charge.

I just googled "principles of history," and the first thing that comes up is R.G. Collingwood's book of the same title. I've read several of his books, including one called The Idea of History, but not that one.

As to the latter, it says in the introduction that Collingwood began working on it during the late 1930s, when the "revolt against civilization" represented by communism and fascism "had to be resisted at all costs."

That's a good point: fascists and communists certainly had their theories of history, as do Islamists. How do you defend against people who believe that history has ironclad laws assuring your destruction? "Ha ha, the joke's on you, because history means nothing and is going nowhere!"

That's pretty much what we tell the Islamists -- which only means that they are motivated to fight for their principles, whereas the left is too broadminded to have any worth defending.

One of Collingwood's historical principles was the gradual "elimination of force from the relations between people." Woo hoo! Now there's a principle worth defending. Our persistent troll doesn't understand that this is ultimately the principle we are defending in supporting Trump, since Obama and Clinton and the left in general are always about the increase of force between people. Indeed, this goes to the very Principle of America -- its reason for being -- i.e., the principle of ordered liberty.

Last night's question about supreme court appointments was instructive. Trump's was simple, as it should be: that he'll appoint judges who will support and defend the constitution. But Clinton promised to appoint judges who will ignore the constitution and crank out opinions based upon leftist ideology. Her answer was really quite remarkable.

"I want to appoint Supreme Court justices who understand the way the world really works, who have real life experience." Excuse me, but WTF is that supposed to mean? Besides, "understanding the way the world works" is precisely what a liberal cannot do and remain liberal. Liberalism is rooted in a mis- (and sometimes dis-) understanding of both human nature and of the operating principles of spaceship earth.

This actually goes to our subject, because if there are principles of history, it would mean that they transcend perspective. One, er, principle that seems to animate contemporary historians is that history is irreducibly perspectival, which is why we have all these intellectually worthless (if not harmful) disciplines of black history, or queer history, or Chicano history, and all the rest.

I mean, feminists say that math, objectivity, and the scientific method are oppressive tools of white male privilege, so you can imagine what they do to softer subjects. I say: Teach women not to rape history!

When "principles of history" popped into my noggin, the first example I thought of was Churchill, who clearly saw certain patterns and principles at work in the 1930s, but was ignored or vilified by elites who knew better. It is rather remarkable that most everything he said would equally apply to the Islamist threat -- which again goes to the idea that our struggle is against more enduring powers, principalities, and Cosmocrats of the Dark Aeon.


"If you want to stop war, you gather such an aggregation of force on the side of peace that the aggressor, whoever he may be, will not dare challenge..."

Is that just an opinion, or a principle? For the likes of Obama, it amounts to a lie, hence his reckless project of disarmament and weakening of our military.

Churchill reasoned that "to urge preparation of defense is not to assert the immanence of war. On the contrary, if war was immanent preparations for defense would be too late."

But his opponents -- which was pretty much Everyone -- "repeatedly refused to believe that Hitler was what Hitler was. They had, in short, developed the political equivalent of a mental block." They "believed they were preserving the peace when in fact they were assuring the inevitability of war." And "inevitability" implies a kind of principle at work.

Indeed, Churchill spoke of "the features which constitute the endless repetition of history," of the "long dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind."

Unteachable? Here is what the London Times wrote of a speech of Hitler's in 1936, that it was "reasonable, straightforward, and comprehensive. No one who reads it with an impartial mind can doubt" the peaceful intentions of the Fuhrer. Are these same idiots running the NY Times editorial board and the DNC? No, but the same principalities are.

Must stop. Work to do.