Left and Right: What You See is What You Beget
I’m going to attempt yet one more time to explain as clearly as possible the philosophical, metaphysical, and spiritual basis of my opposition to leftism. I realize that I (apparently) have some left-leaning readers, for which I am grateful, and by no means do I intend to be needlessly inflammatory or offensive. Please again bear in mind that I am not talking about this or that issue or person, but about a primordial error--lie, really--that I believe is at the heart of leftism.
Furthermore, please remember that I am not talking about “Republicans” and “Democrats.” These are political parties, not philosophies. More often than not, in terms of specific policies and practical matters, one party is no better than the other because their primary mutual concern is always power, self-preservation, and votes. This is why we are often powerless to enact polices even when there is overwhelming support among the citizenry: reducing the size of government, simplifying the tax code, ridding ourselves of illegal immigrants, shunning the U.N., promoting school choice, etc.
The principles I will be discussing are very simple, really, and yet, they have profound implications as they resound through historical time and space. For if your fundamental conception of reality is in error, then your system is built upon quicksand and will eventually collapse. Even more so is this true if you have a fundamentally erroneous conception of human nature. In that case, you will eventually receive sharp blows from reality, but you will not know why, especially if your conception of reality is also faulty. Nothing will work, and you won’t know why. You will simply tinker about the edges of the monument to your folly.
Those of you who were conscious or sober during the Carter years will remember that that was a time when nothing worked. It was also the last time that we had a federal government completely free of the conservative principles that eventually rescued us from Carter’s disastrous mismanagement of the country, a mismanagement that we--and the rest of the world--will likely pay for with blood and treasure for the rest of our lives.
Forget 9/11--to this day, Carter’s abetting of the fall of the Shah of Iran represents the singular achievement of the Islamic terrorists we are fighting today, infrahuman monsters who are on the brink of possessing the greatest terror weapon known to man. Carter didn’t lift a finger to assist our friend the Shah, whom he considered a violator of human rights. And yet, the Khomeini regime murdered more people in its first year than the Shah’s secret service allegedly had in the previous twenty five (and don’t forget, the Shah was dealing with people like Khomeini; oh, how we could benefit from his likes today, someone who would regard Abu Ghraib as a reward for good behavior).
Just consider what Carter’s mindlessly liberal policies did to the economy. At the time he left office, annual growth rates were roughly half of what they had been in the 1960’s. Inflation was at a staggering 13.3% in 1979, while mortgage rates had climbed to 20%. Unemployment had reached almost 8% in 1980 (much higher in minority communities, which are always the most harmed by liberal fiscal policies), and the crime rate had increased 50% during the 1970’s (again, always more damaging to minority communities, both in terms of victims and the percentage of those imprisoned).
And yet, Carter famously blamed the nation's ills on our own selfishness, on a “moral problem” afflicting Americans, lecturing us that we would just have to get used to the idea of a permanently lowered standard of living in the future (a classic case of Carter projecting his own envy and greed into Americans, as we discussed yesterday). Carter is still venerated in liberal circles today, to such an extent that at their 2004 convention he was given an honored seat next to Michael Moore.
I’m digressing, aren’t I?
As I was about to say, in the final analysis it all comes down to two questions: 1) What is the nature of reality?, and 2) What is a human being? In both cases, ontology is prior to epistemology. If you get your ontology wrong, then anything else you “know” will be infected with that same ontological poison. Yes, sort of like that ultimate ontological choice faced by Adam. We are all faced with that same choice.
Yes, because of the liberty implanted in our soul by God, we can even choose to not be what what we are and to live in illusion. Of course, we can also choose to be what we are and to live in reality. But that’s not really a choice, is it? It’s more of a simple acknowledgment that follows from seeing clearly. For the most important things are not proven but seen in the palpable superabundance of their metaphysical clarity, by means of the uncorrupted intellect.
In fact, that introduces the first of the fundamental choices faced by our proto-Adam (who is always you and I). For scripture does not have to do with what happened "once upon a time" in the past, but with what always and inevitably happens in the now. You have the same choice right now: is there a source of truth higher than, and independent of, man? Or, are we the Last Word of the cosmos, able to arrive at the truth of our situation by means of sensory data and rational operations alone? If you choose the latter, then you have, with the wave of a hand, obliterated any antecedent, hierarchical reality that can only perceived by the the intellect properly so-called--the nous, or eye of the soul.
That’s okay--I mean, if the transcendental realm is just an illusion or comforting dopiate for the contemptible grazing multitude anyway, then the leftist is morally obliged to sweep it away. Morally obliged because... because... because why? Doesn’t moral obligation imply a universal, and therefore, transcendental, standard? No. Please. It is simply because the leftist knows what is best for you. Unlike you, he doesn’t live in illusion. His eyes have been opened. He is, in all humility, the measure of all things: a "humanist."
But respectfully, Mr. Leftist, how do you know that? I mean, how is it that you know anything at all? Specifically, you deny that transcendental realm which logically ends with the absolute and infinite One. Therefore, all reality is relative, contingent, and accidental. But your knowledge claim implies an absolute standard, does it not? If it doesn’t, then honesty compels you to acknowledge that your beliefs are arbitrary, does it not? Therefore, is it not an act of bad faith to make any appeal to truth, a truth that you have already a priori thrown overboard?
Since the leftist cannot appeal to truth, is it not accurate to say that, in the final analysis, truth for the leftist will be a function of power? In other words, truth will be purely a matter of convention, enforced by coercion, either physical coercion or through more subtle pressure, such as political correctness. For it is not possible to reject truth just once and be done with it; you can throw it out with a pitch-forked tongue, but truth, like nature, will always come rushing back in. Rather, the leftist will have to establish structures and mechanisms to prevent or discourage people from finding truth or even believing that it exists, things like universities, which are actually relativities in disguise. To become a king in the secular realm, it always helps to have attended one of our Elite Relativities.
Now, relativity always engenders the spirit of rebellion, which is not to be confused with the spirit of liberty. Scratch a leftist and you will always find a rebel. It won’t even matter what he is rebelling against--it can be “the corporate mentality,” or “heteronormativity,” or “sexual standards,” or “the class system,” or “rigid gender relations,” or “White European males,” or “the Western Canon,” or “arbitrary standards of beauty,” or “societal hypocrisy.” It doesn’t matter. Is not a passing state, but an abiding ontological stance at the deepest core, a result of that that primordial act of rebellion (which is ongoing). It is a chronic malady or “pneumapathology” against the Absolute and anything that reminds one of it. It is de facto an egoic state, at war with anything that calls to mind the contingent, derivative, and dependent nature of the ego. Therefore, this rebellion, no matter how attractive it may appear on the surface, is always a self-justification for the fallen ego. The policies it pursues will always be a symptom of the illness it proposes to cure.
There is no “perfect” or "ideal" rebellion, any more than there is ideal ugliness or untruth. Rather, rebellion is always reactionary--it is a “running from” disguised as a “running to.” Liberty, on the other hand, is not derivative of anything. It is a spiritual gift, ours to receive or reject. Liberty itself exists independent of free creatures, whereas rebellion only exists in them. Liberty is “an immutable essence in which creatures may either participate or not participate.” It is “the possibility of manifesting oneself fully, or being perfectly oneself,” a reflection of the “ineffable liberty of the Infinite” (Schuon).
The leftist would like to bestow this gift of liberty upon you, as if it ultimately derives from him, not from God. But what he really wishes to bestow upon you is the gift (or curse) of rebellion. Thus, he speaks only of rights, not of responsibilities, including our ultimate responsibility to the Source of our liberty.
For liberty is meaningless if it is not used as a means of assent (and ascent) to Truth. In other words, if liberty is not “oriented” to anything other than itself, then what is it, really? It is a monstrosity, a terrible mistake, a cancer on the body of nothingness, just as the naughty existentialist says it is. For freedom in this sense is mere nothingness. Since you have no essence, no choice is any better than any other choice. So the key instead becomes commitment. It doesn’t matter what you choose, so long as you are committed to that choice. Since you are not real, the act of choosing--especially rebellious choosing--gives you a sort of bogus or counterfeit “solidity.” Then you are authentic, which is the “highest” you can be in the ontological flatland of secular leftism. To rebel--especially if you do so with "attitude"--is to exist.
So you may have noticed that the far left historically reveres not the heroic conformist but the authentic rebel: Che Guevara, Mumia, Arafat, Malcolm X, Michael Moore and the Islamist “freedom fighters” of Iraq, Mother Sheehan. In order to succeed in leftist politics, you will always have to cast yourself as a rebel and an outlaw.
But our founding fathers were not rebels. Rather, they were revolutionaries, for to re-volvere is to turn around, to roll back, to return to the source. And what did their revolution involve? It involved an undoing of mankind’s primordial rebellion, for, as Jefferson wrote, “the God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” This is a self-evident truth, something that can only be seen by the higher intellect, never proven, much less granted, by the rebilious ego.
Well, I can see that I’m just getting started. Better save some blogviating for tomorrow. But not before a cosmic doggerel and puny show, respectively:
Sheol is out, summa vacation in the pneumatosphere. Off to see the River Man, starry-eyed and laughing, cloud-hidden, who-, what-, why- and whereabouts unknown, bathed in the white radiance of ecstacy central. In the garden mysty wet with rain, eight miles high, far from the twisted reach of yestomaya & no todeity. Insinuate! Now put down the apple and back away slowly, and nobody dies. Here, prior to thought, by the headwaters of the eternal, the fountain of innocence, the mind shoreless vast and still, absolved & absorbed in what is always the case, face to face in a sacred space.
Let's blake for a vision: ah, remama when she satya down in a crystal daze, grazing in the grass, loose & lazy beneath a diamond sky with both hands waving free, into the blisstic mystic, no you or I, nor reason wise, a boundless sea of flaming light, bright blazing fire and ecstatic sinder, Shiva, me tinders, count the stars in your eyes. A church bell in the distance, chimes of freedom fleshing. The key to your soul, egnaughted in wonder. Om, now I remurmur!