The Triumph of the Will and the Reign of Nothingness
It is a truism that ideas have consequences, but even ideas must take a back seat to the values that shape the ideas one is capable of thinking. One of the greatest benefits of a proper religious grounding is that very early on you internalize the value that your problems are your fault and that it is essentially a sin to externalize blame onto others. This is one of the sharpest divides between classical liberals and leftists, the latter of whom propagate the doctrine of victimology, i.e., the systematic shifting of blame to others. For the leftist mind, to the extent that your life is a failure, it is not your fault, but because of racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, white European maleism, whatever.
The point of this exercise is not to identify any real entity but to create a locus of blame, so that one’s existential problems may be externalized and spuriously relieved. The more mature culture is the one that produces individuals who locate existential problems within, and can both tolerate and transcend them--for example, tolerating the constitutional envy we discussed yesterday. There is no way to eliminate envy “from the outside,” which, after all, is why it is one of the commandments. The commandment does not say, “you shall try to eliminate envy by empowering a huge collective to give to each envious person according to his insatiable needs.”
The envious person unconsciously says, “if I can’t have it, then no one can. I will destroy the object of my envy.” Thus we can see how unhinged envy is at the basis of pure nihilism, and why our enemies are so frightening. Think of Hitler’s scorched earth policy of destroying every square inch of land as his armies retreated. If he could not rule the world, then he would take the world down with him. This is what is so frightening about the prospect of nihilsts with weapons of mass destruction, for they truly do not care about the world so long as the world does not comport with their fantasies of how it ought to be.
Clearly, the Islamists operate by this principle, and one naturally worries about the extent to which normative Islam is informed by the same toxic attitude. For even if we were to disregard all of the hideous violence that emanates from the religion of peace, we would still conclude that this is a religion of perpetual outrage based upon the behavior of its most visible spokesholes, such as CAIR or Juan Cole.
The constant perception of victimization--even amidst the outrageous and widespread victimization of others--must come from something deep within Islam itself, unless this is merely a modern deviation. Despite it all, I am still open to that possibility, although I haven’t been able to find a single example of a truly interior Islam outside Sufism (which in my view is more Vedanta than Islam). In proportion to the billion or so normative Muslims, there are only a handful of Sufis, and frankly, even many of them tilt toward the dark side.
Still, if forced to choose, I would prefer to live in a world of interiorized Sufism than exteriorized Christianity, which, let us be honest, did once exist in the form of pogroms, inquisitions, witch hunts, and the like. The problem was clearly not with Christianity--which is perfect in its reflection of timeless truth, subject as always, to limitations in one's capactity to receive--but within the psyches of the flawed humans who exteriorized it. Furthermore, the sort of inner Christianity I value is compatible with Sufism, whereas it would be regarded with great suspicion in a world of exteriorized Christians. In such a climate I would probably be regarded as a conjuror or witch. Who knows what they would think of Petey.
The gospel of nihilism is in fact a war against truth and therefore a war against God, even though it is fair to say that few nihilists are aware of this fact. But the only reason we have a word called “truth” is because it is a reality that is vouchsafed by God. Being that we are in the image of God, we are informed by an intellect that may know truth, a will that may choose the good, and an interior “eye” that may perceive beauty. The leftist attacks and undermines all of these things, and in so doing, destroys both man and God. Leftism is ultimately a program of radical immanence that cuts us off from our roots--which, as expressed in the Upanishads, are aloft, not below.
For to say that absolute truth does not exist is to say precisely that human intelligence does not exist. To say that morality is relative is to say that anything is permitted and that man is therefore nothing, for he has no essence. And to create new forms of merely human “art” that celebrate ugliness, depravity, and naturalism is to sever mankind from the higher planes that distinguish us from the beasts and make us human. It is to reduce man to his animal nature--except he becomes a pathetic animal with no nature, truly a nothing.
In this regard, the existentialists were correct in drawing out the implications of their philosophy of stupidity. To return to our original point about values, every man is faced with two, and only two, choices that will determine everything else: essence or existence. For the religious man, essence is prior to existence and determines existence. God knew you before you were bearthed and begaialed and keeps a running count of every hair on your head.
For the leftist, existence determines essence. You are an accident. You have no a priori transcendent essence, but your essence is determined by accidental factors such as race, class and gender.
It is probably no coincidence that the largest constituents of the left always include the young and unmarried. As one matures, gets married, and has children, one naturally evolves away from leftist ideas, obviously not everyone, but a clear majority. This is because concrete reality has a way of clearing aside so much abstract intellectual theory. There is a reason why Marxism only exists in universities, and that you will never find a businessman who operates his business along the lines of Marxist doctrine.
Likewise, as a parent, it has been very obvious to me from the moment he arrived here that my son has his own unique essence. He is not a reflection of me, let alone “my flesh.” Rather, just as each face is unique, his essence has been palpably present from the start. I could no more believe that his being was determined by race, class and gender than I could believe that he came from a pumpkin patch. But that is what the left would have you believe.
It is one thing for an adult to believe such leftist claptrap. If they want to ruin their lives in their adolescent rebellion against God, that’s fine by me. But to ruin a child’s life by inculcating him with these dysfunctional values is an unforgivable sin. For example, to raise a black child in contemporary America by telling him that this is a racist country, that white people hate him, that he is a victim from the start, and that his efforts will be for naught, is soul murder pure and simple.
Likewise, to brainwash an Arab child into believing that 15 million Jews in the entire world are the cause of a single problem among the world's billion Muslims--let alone all their problems--is a heinous form of abuse, because when you create a victim, you create a nihilist. Why? Because once victim status is secured, then you are no longer burdened by a conscience. You may destroy and kill plentifully, because the order of the cosmos is unfair and illegitimate, and anything you do to set things right is inherently moral, no matter how immoral. One is sanctioned to abandon oneself to one’s most primitive instincts. And the violence will not end until the Old Order is overthrown and the New Man is created, free of the existential categories that define man to begin with.
Meaning has been vanquished. Man is liberated from himself. The Triumph of the Will and the Reign of Nothingness are complete. God and man are dead. Long live the Beast!
And whoever must be a creator in good and evil, verily, he must be an annihilator and break values. Thus the highest evil belongs to the highest goodness: but this is creative. --Nietzsche
Nothing makes me more certain of the victory of our ideas than our success in the universities. --Adolf Hitler
When our liberty is lost we are compelled to serve sin: that is, we will sin and evil, we speak sin and evil, and we do sin and evil. --Martin Luther