Thursday, February 08, 2007

L. Bob Gagdad and the Cult of Merry Raccoons (2.21.10)

"What we see in this post is a drift towards a 'cult' mentality. All cults require a dire threat from the outside in order to create an 'us against them' atmosphere. Without the external threat, a sufficient level of internal cohesion cannot be created.

"Bob has stuck out his neck and declared that leftists pose the threat of actually destroying mankind by blocking all people's access to God.

"This is just flatly ridiculous on the face of it. Please don't buy in."


D'oh! I hate it when people find out the truth about Transdimensional Order of the Friendly Sons & Daughters of the Cosmic Raccoons.

But what took this genius so long to figure it out? Without an external threat, how can Dear Leader be expected to maintain internal cohesion and cult discipline -- as the left does by villifying George Bush and promulgating apocalyptic fantasies of global cooling.... er, nuclear winter.... ahh, global warming.... umm, climate change?

As you are about to see, I've been playing up this dire existential threat in order to create a "Coon against the world" siege mentality ever since my very first post on October 5, 2005 (which we celebrate as intergalactic "Coonday"). In what follows, I'll go through that post paragraph by paragraph and demonstrate how the left really is such a boon, I mean existential threat, to our sacred fundraising efforts on behalf of the cult:

1) "I don't think it's healthy to orient your life around politics 24/7, as does the secular left, for which politics is their substitute religion. Politics must aim at something that isn't politics, otherwise, what's the point? Politics just becomes a cognitive system to articulate your existential unhappiness. Again, this is what leftists do -- everything for them is politicized."

This is axiomatic. In a famous remark that reflects one of the defining characteristics of modern conservatism, Eric Voegelin noted that the very basis of the leftist project is to "immamentize the eschaton," which, in plain language, means to horizontalize the vertical. Just as the Roman Empire collapsed partly as a result of "horizontal barbarians," the leftist represents a kind of bovine, ham-handed (as if cows could have hands) "vertical barbarian" for whom nothing transcending the immediate senses is ontologically real.

Thus, for example, all truth is relative, free will is attenuated through the cult of victimology, envy (perhaps the greatest enemy of spiritual fulfillment) is promoted as a defining virtue, and transcendent moral obligations are reduced to an arbitrary cultural agreement. Leftism is defined by an externalizing consciousness that locates the reason for unhappiness or failure outside the self. On the other hand, one of the greatest gifts of a proper spiritual education is that it forces one to locate the reasons for one's unhappiness within. Every leftist politician arrives with the perverse gospel that, "it's not your fault! You are a victim! Don't be responsible for your life! Liberty is a pernicious illusion anyway! Transfer your power to me, and I will rescue you!"

2) "One of the general purposes of this blog is to try to look at politics in a new way -- to place the day-to-day struggle of politics in a much wider historical, evolutionary, and even cosmic context. History is trying to get somewhere, and it is our job to help it get there. However, that 'somewhere' does not lie within the horizontal field of politics, but beyond it. Thus, politics must not only be grounded in something that isn't politics, but aim at something that isn't politics either."

Here again, it goes without saying that this is a kind of talk that is unknown -- because unknowable -- on the left. Their project always involves the diminution of spiritual freedom in order to attain a purely worldly goal that horizontal leftist elites deem worthwhile. Thus, a few days ago, Hillary Clinton promised that if she is president, she will confiscate the profits of legal corporations at the barrel of a gun and use them in the way she sees fit. Likewise, she will no doubt attempt to take health care out of our hands, and essentially appropriate a substantial portion of the economy through government rationed healthcare.

3) "This is not an abstract, impractical or esoteric notion. The ultimate purpose of politics should be to preserve the radical spiritual revolution of the American founders, so that humans may evolve inwardly and upwardly -- not toward a manifest destiny but an unmanifest deustiny."

This one almost goes without saying. The left does not value spiritual liberty but horizontal equality. Once you recognize this distinction, you will see how it animates nearly every one of their domestic policies. To the extent that they value freedom at all, it is only the shadow version of true liberty represented by license -- which is generally much closer to vice than it is to liberty. Just as our freedom to know is only meaningful if we use it to conform ourselves to truth, our liberty is only meaningful if we use it to conform to virtue.

4) "For example, when we say that politics must be grounded in something that isn't politics, we are simply reflecting the philosophy at the heart of the American revolution, that the sacred rights of mankind, as expressed by Alexander Hamilton, are written in human nature 'by the hand of Divinity itself, and can never be erased by mortal power.' In short, human beings possess a 'spiritual blueprint' that is antecedent to politics, and which it is the task of politics to protect, preserve and nurture."

Here again, this idea is entirely foreign to the left, which is a wholly materialistic philosophy. For them, the purpose of politics is hardly to preserve and protect our liberty, but to impose ideological conformity and to diminish freedom through government intervention. There is probably no place less intellectually -- let alone, vertically -- free than liberal academia, which eliminates dissent through political correctness and speech codes.

5) "The founders, who were steeped in Judeo-Christian metaphysics, did not believe in mere license, which comes down to meaningless freedom on the horizontal plane. Rather, they believed that horizontal history had a beginning and was guided by a purpose, and that only through the unfolding of human liberty could that 'vertical' purpose be achieved. Our founders were progressive to the core, but unlike our contemporary reactionary and anti-evolutionary leftists, they measured progress in relation to permanent standards that lay outside time -- metaphorically speaking, an eschatological 'Kingdom of God,' or 'city on a hill,' drawing us toward it. Without this nonlocal telos, the cosmos can really have no frontiers, only edges. Perhaps this is why the left confuses truth with 'edginess.'"

Running out of time here, but the left is engaged in the perpetual project of denying and undermining our unique Judeo-Christian heritage. As I have said before, they are callously destroying the vertical habitat in which the Raccoon actually lives.

6) "Liberty -- understood in its spiritual sense -- was the key idea of the founders. This cannot be overemphasized. According to Michael Novak, liberty was understood as the 'axis of the universe,' and history as 'the drama of human liberty.' Thomas Jefferson wrote that 'the God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.' It was for this reason that Jefferson's original idea for the design of the seal of the United States was Moses leading the children of Israel out of the death-cult of Egypt, out of the horizontal wasteland of spiritual bondage, into the open circle of a higher life. America was quite consciously conceived as an opportunity to 're-launch' mankind after such an initial 100,000 years or so of disappointment, underachievement, and spiritual stagnation."

The left believes there is nothing special or exceptional about the United States -- unless it is exceptionally bad, as famous leftists such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Michael Moore have been saying for years. Just the other day, John Kerry mentioned at an international conference that the United States is a pariah among nations. I give him credit for his honesty, as all lefists believe this, but, like Yasser Arafat, never reveal their true feelings to the wrong audience.

7) "Although it may sound slightly heretical, without human liberty, the Creator is helpless to act in the horizontal. This does not diminish the Creator but exalts him, for a moment's reflection reveals that an intimation of our spiritual freedom absolutely belies any mere material explanation found within the horizontal confines of history. For ours is an inwardly mobile cosmos, and as the philosopher of science Stanley Jaki writes, our free will brings us 'face to face with that realm of metaphysical reality which hangs in midair unless suspended [vertically] from that Ultimate Reality, best called God, the Creator."

Again, true freedom can only involve aligning our will with the Creator, otherwise there can be no such thing as liberty -- just as there can be no such thing as knowledge unless it involves aligning ourselves with Truth.

8) "Tip O’Neill is evidently responsible for the cliché that 'All politics is local.' The greater truth is that all politics is nonlocal, meaning that outward political organization rests on a more fundamental, 'inner' ground that interacts with a hierarchy of perennial and timeless values. Arguments about the surface structure of mundane political organization really have to do with whose nonlocal values will prevail, and the local system that will be established in order to achieve those nonlocal values."

What leftist would ever say such a thing? Since a leftist is by definition a metaphysical yahoo, his only recourse is to ridicule that which he does not understand.

*****

So that pretty much lays out the basis of our little cult in my very first post. The question is, do we really have an enemy -- i.e., is the left really opposed to the Coon platform -- or are we pretty much "on the same page," with only minor quibbling at the margins? You know the drill -- we're all Americans and we all want the same things. We just have slightly different strategies for achieving them.

I do not personally adhere to this sanguine view of our differences. I will speak only for myself. When you talk about the differences between me and a typical leftist, you might as well be talking about different species. The left, of course, is obsessed with trivial racial differences, but the difference between me and a leftist is infinitely greater than any differences based on race, class or gender. I am a member of the same race as anyone who shares my values. Therefore, Tom Sowell and I are members of the same race, just as Margaret Thatcher and I are members of the same gender. On the other hand, the girlish John Edwards and I are the opposite sex, and Al Sharpton is from another planet altogether. "Race" hardly defines our differences in any meaningful manner, and yet, the racist left believes that it is All Important.

There is a reason why leftism is an ideology that appeals to losers, misfits, the envious, the unhappy, and the addle-brained young. It is not that leftism creates the demand. Rather, these people demand an ideology to cater to their various pathologies and deficits. In other words, it is a demand-side politics that arises from certain unfortunate but ubiquitous trends in human nature. However, once the ideology is created, then its central task will be the creation of more lost souls who demand the ideology of leftism. Here again, this is one of the keys to understanding most any leftist policy, which fosters dependency, envy, narcissistic entitlement, and victimization.

55 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When you talk about the differences between me and a typical leftist, you might as well be talking about different species."

The transitionary stages of the Supramental evolution are currently being realized.

You are a different species.

2/08/2007 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous JP said...

This will sound trivial but what is your typical day like? Do you write these before going to work? How do you divide your time during a typical day? It's kinda off the topic but I'm just curious :)

2/08/2007 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Cool cult! Where do we sign-up/in? Do we get to sacrifice Leftist Trolls? Wear coon-skin caps and have a secret handshake?

Viva La Liberte!!!

2/08/2007 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous the flawed voice of reason said...

Well, I stand rebuked on the cult issue. I think that to formalize a cult, the leader must ask for tribute in the form of money or daughters; this Bob does not do.

But, I saw something in today's post that summarizes what I was trying to say about the leftist threat--no matter how severe, these matters are never completely in human hands. See this section
of today's post:

"..the sacred rights of mankind...are written in human nature 'by the hand of Divinity itself, and can never be erased by mortal power.'"

Leftists are a mortal power; they can't eclipse or stop God lovers from loving God. They can make conditions tough for it, but cannot prevail.

There; that's all I wanted to say and now I will be quiet for a long time.

2/08/2007 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous goy said...

"When you talk about the differences between me and a typical leftist, you might as well be talking about different species."

Like sheep, sheepdogs and wolves. Like Greys and Pinks. Minimally, very different tribes.

2/08/2007 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

What -- the coon cult is cancelled? That’s just great. Now what am I going to do now with the secret coon handshake, head bob, and temple ceremonies I’ve been working on (at Bob’s secret bidding, I might add)?

I have yet to meet a leftist who was not either an unbeliever (in God) or a confused believer. Since the first kind is, in their minds, their own god, the only question is who “deserves” the power to decide for everyone else. It is by necessity of their belief system, that “everything is politicized”. The confused believers are the “innocents” who know so little about what they say they believe, that their emotions compel them to the left. This often appears to be an uncomfortable place for them, but it just “feels” right.

2/08/2007 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger The Bunnies said...

"Leftists are a mortal power; they can't eclipse or stop God lovers from loving God. They can make conditions tough for it, but cannot prevail."

In one superficial sense, I guess this is true. One can access the Divine whilst withering away in a gulag, but it's certainly more difficult. We can access the Divine under any circumstance, but Liberty allows us to not only endure, but thrive.

I find many increbibly moving stories of how those enduring the holocaust still managed to remain spiritual beings. Nevertheless, even though God was present in Auschwitz, the vileness of what went on there should be obivous, and the beauty that happened there was relegated to small but heroic sacrifices instead of any great awakening. Nobody's life there improved.

Granted, we don't have any gulags here in America, but if we don't keep the left in check in both the vertical and horizontal senses, that won't last for long.

Only in Liberty can we be what we were made to be. That's not to say that everyone who has liberty will appreciate it...

2/08/2007 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous the drive-by poet said...

The Violent Space
(or when your sister sleeps around for money)

Exchange in greed the ungraceful signs.Thrust
The thick notes between green apple breasts.
Then the shadow of the devil descends,
The violent space cries and angel eyes,
Large and dark, retreat in innocence and in ice.
(Run sister run--the Bugga man comes!)

The violent space cries silently,
Like you cried wide years ago
In another space, speckled by the sun
And the leaves of a green plum tree,
And you were stung
By a red wasp and we flew home.
(Run sister run--the Bugga man comes!)

Well, hell, lil sis, wasps still sting.
You are all of seventeen and as alone now
In your pain as you were with the sting
On your brow.
Well shit, lil sis, here we are:
You and I and this poem.
And what should I do? should I squat
In the dust and make strange markings on the ground?
Shall I chant a spell to drive the demon away?
(Run sister run--the Bugga man comes!)

In the beginning you were the Virgin Mary,
and you are the Virgin Mary now.
But somewhere between Nazareth and Bethlehem
You lost your name in the nameless void.
"O Mary don't you weep don't you moan"
O Mary shake your butt to the violent juke,
Absorb the demon puke and watch the white eyes pop,
(Run sister run--the Bugga man comes!)

And what do I do. I boil my tears in a twisted spoon
And dance like an angel on the point of a needle.
I sit counting syllables like Midas gold.
I am not bold. I cannot yet take hold of the demon
And lift his weight from you black belly,
So I grab the air and sing my song.
(But the air cannot stand my singing long.)

--Ethridge Knight

2/08/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Damn. I've never been in a cult and was really looking forward to it.

I was all ready to head out into the desert somewhere, get naked and drink fermented peyote beer... wait a second, that's Burning Man. But the point is I was really getting into this cult thing when someone from the reality-based community had to come along and upstage the Dear Leader with a polished and irrefutable rejoinder of sparkling quality and fulsome finality.

I guess its back to Gaia-worship and cocaine for me.

2/08/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous the drive-by poet said...

That should be "Etheridge" not "Ethridge". My apologies dear departed brother, who sang such a blue tune of prison-war-heroin-unfiltered camels in life and inspired multitudes with song and community and hope. Your name is not to be lost in the nameless void, for you found it lying in the dust on the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

2/08/2007 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

On a serious note, I'd like to know what people think of another sub-species that I encounter quite frequently: the conservative atheist.

Personally I find the Ayn Randian, Capitalism Magazine set to be far less destructive than the Left in the short run, but I cannot see how they are anything but an impediment to eschatological progress in the long run.

What, if anything, prevents the atheist right from being as much of a threat as the atheist Left? Does/can a spiritually free leftist exist? If so, where do they fit in this picture?

2/08/2007 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

man as GOD. It's just plain ugly ..................

2/08/2007 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger The Bunnies said...

smoov:

I'll offer my thoughts on the conservative atheist, since you asked.

At the end of "We the Living" (Rand's least-read novel), the heroine, Kira, dies. The evils of socialism destroyed her. That's it. End of story.

I contrast that with the ending of Braveheart, in which, even though the guys on the battlefield didn't end up winning the war, "they won their freedom."

In the first case, since we have no soul and there is no Eternity, evil forces can in fact defeat us. Of course, I believe that every time Pol Pot killed some poor sap for wearing glasses that it was a victory for evil, but Dearest Pol could never truly destroy anyone's soul. The Killing Fields "too shall pass." Although we should do all we can to make sure that they don't happen again, and we should be very aware of the corrupting influences of leftism, we can also have faith that there is more at work here, that God survives regardless.

I suppose in a nutshell I would say that atheists on the right subconsciously grant leftism more power because they implicitly believe that the left can "win," because the horizontal is all there is, and they can take that over.

Believers know that by fighting evil with everything we've got, we "win" even if events don't turn out how we want them to. My victory ultimately depends on my relationship with God, not with who becomes our next president.

2/08/2007 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

So, if I read between the lines on the Racoon's tail, the lefties aren't so much for things (in this case, license) as much as they are against things?

Why do I ask? cause that giant whooshing sound is the sound of most of your posts flying past my head. As Shakespeare might have put it, of the Coonifesto, only a little I can read.

2/08/2007 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Last night I was a guest speaker at the monthly seniors meeting and dinner in my local Orthodox community. I gave a short talk about Pilates, movement, spine, breath, exercise and general health followed by chair exercises. The age range was from about 65 to 97. Suprisingly the 97 year old was in the best shape!

I sat next to a couple who had been married for 61 years. The husband was an American GI who liberated his future wife from a concentration camp in WW2. Now, that's a great love story! It just shows you how out of the depths of depravity and cruelness; goodness, light and love can emerge.

2/08/2007 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous the drive-by philosopher said...

Smoov wrote:

"On a serious note, I'd like to know what people think of another sub-species that I encounter quite frequently: the conservative atheist."

Good question. If I may be so bold as to posit a few common errors that people can fall into regardless of political orientation. Bob spends a lot of time criticizing the left, but many of his positions represent implict criticisms of other (erroneous) viewpoints as well.

1. Attempts to immanentize the eshcaton are against coon law. Renounce the idea that utopia is attainable on Earth through mere human agency. All attempts to create heaven on earth have only led to hell.

2. Attempts to reduce the spirit to the mundane, or in any way to deny the vertical, are against coon law. This is really the big one Bob attacks, as it applies to bad ideas across the spectrum - Marxists, materialists, reductionists, logical positivists, fundamentalist, basically anyone who denies the ontological reality of metaphysics and tries to reduce all truth to the mere material or verifiable. Randian Objectivists fall into this error, but so do Christian biblical literalists in their reduction of Scripture to mere words, and Islamists are no less 'materialistic reductionist' in their spirituality either.

3. Those who deny that higher truth exists and is accessible, are against coon law. Relativists, postmodernists, and others would have us believe that language confounds our ability to access truth, and therefore all that really matters is the power games we play with language. While partially correct about language, they go way too far to the point of denying real distinctions of value.

4. Those who deny that liberty and order need one another to exist, and would therefore destroy order to obtain freedom, are against coon law. This is what I call "the barbarian impulse" and may be similar to what Bob refers to when he speaks of barbarians sacking Rome. (maybe that would be a good future post Bob?). In any case, I have seen a rise in recent years, particularly among younger GenX'ers and GenY's, distinctly anarchist tendencies. Radical individualism and freedom without order (which is NOT "liberty") are growing in popularity, and there seem's to be a mistaken idea that the American Founder's were radical individualists when in fact that had a firm conviction in the fallenness of man (and thus the need to restrain base impluses with good government (while simultaneously restraining government - a tricky proposition to be sure!).

5. Anyone who denies the fallenness of man is against coon law. This goes back to Bob's developmental psychology in which we must all experience an egoistic "fall" as part of the process of human transcendence. What characterizes so many "hellish" ideologies is they begin with an empirically incorrect view of human nature, usually starting with the idea that we are all inherently good and therefore don't need grace. The result is mischief.

Anyway, those are a few of my gleaning from my own life, which has led me from error into a classical liberalism view of politics, economics, and society. It is human liberty that forms the crux of Creation, the inherent respect of all for all because all are in the image of God. Until we conform to that we remain fallen in my opinion.

2/08/2007 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

"Leftists are a mortal power; they can't eclipse or stop God lovers from loving God. They can make conditions tough for it, but cannot prevail."

Yes, a mortal power which can so demoralize a culture and bury its collective mind parasites so deep that it takes the culture decades and even centuries for it to recover if ever.
So lets cut leftists a break, Eh? They're not so bad. :(

2/08/2007 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>> . . . the very basis of the leftist project is to "immamentize the eschaton," which, in plain language, means to horizontalize the vertical<<

As someone once said, Liberalism (leftism) is Christianity without Christ.

To wax Christian-esoteric for a bit: there are esoteric sources that say that had not Christ entered into the material dimension 2000 years ago, all human life, maybe life, period, would have had to end - such was the extent of spiritual degradation at that time that the "sacred project" was on the brink of complete failure.

Leftism as we understand it didn't exist prior to the time of Christ. What did exist was the unholy ethic of "might makes right", symbolized of course by the Roman empire.

I tend to think that the governing spirit of leftism, very well camouflaged in equality-bantering and the ape-of-god pose, is, at root, "might makes right".

Because of Christ's intervention "rescue plan", there has been considerable human spiritual progress the last couple of millennia. The spirit of the lie thus resorts to camouflage and deception in order that might-makes-right can seize the day. Scripture warns that even some of the Elite will be deceived.

At the end of the day, however, leftism is might-makes-right - the triumph of brute animal instinct - whether in the form of gulags or PC-controlled campuses.

2/08/2007 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

the conservative atheist

Hmmm...I can't say that I've encountered such. Of course, I live in a liberal, lefty loony-bin so that may have some bearing on the number of such persons I might encounter.

I would posit that the CA is less of a threat because they see the revealed Truth' to be the cause of liberty (with responsibility). There is an implied chain of liberty for me and thee.

While they don't accept the notion of a Creator handing us certain inalienable rights, they'll allow that those rights are indeed inalienable, and part and parcel of our humanity.

The LA see those rights as being handed out from the government, and they go thru the progression of 1) I have received the Truth', 2) I'm from the government and I'm here to help you whether you want it or not, and 3) if you disagree with me about the received Truth' it is because you can't handle the Truth', and thus you need to be re-educated, or otherwise have your government issue rights reduced.

With the LA, we don't see a we'll just have to agree to disagree respectfulness. Failure to acknowledge their Truth', or to gasp challenge their Truth' can not be tolerated. In fact, that is why politics seems to be so personal for them, and why they'll launch such vile and demeaing attacks on those that oppose them.[*]

With the CA, there's enough...maturity(?) to allow others the freedom to be wrong', so long as they aren't trying to cause the CA direct or indirect harm.

Note: them ' marks are mathemagican speak for prime. So Truth' is a human-limited, perceived notion of The Truth. So, in a mathematical sense, as one climbs the vertical, the closer one's Truth' resembles Truth.

[*] I haven't fully thought about why the lefties make it so personal, it just seems to me that they do. I need to contemplate that notion some more.

2/08/2007 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

"[*] I haven't fully thought about why the lefties make it so personal, it just seems to me that they do. I need to contemplate that notion some more."

Because power politics is their religion.

2/08/2007 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Atheist conservatives are an interesting group. I suspect that for some, at least, there must be some profound experiences in their past which make them certain that if there is a God (and they won't admit there is), he's a right bastard; they have seen the fallenness of man, and decided that they want no part of a creator who would allow it. I have a lot of compassion for this group, as well as an abiding suspicion that O finds the whole thing hilarious.

I like to read, on occasion, Kim du Toit's blog. He's an atheist and a passionate conservative, as well as a huge proponent of personal responsibility (especially in the form of gun ownership). He has a lot of very verticle insights into life and world affairs (if often phrased in very horizontal terms - he reminds me of a grizzled drill sargeant - definitely not for everyone). He will not debate theology. He knows where he stands, and doesn't care in the slightest where anyone else stands. Though an atheist, he has stated that he would prefer his daughter to marry a Christian, because he knows a Christian man would more likely share his values and beliefs about life than any other. To me, he seems to fall under the category of "you may not believe in God, but God believes in you."

I suspect that, when he dies he will be properly annoyed to find out that this life isn't all there is, but perhaps at that point he will see the humor in it as well.

2/08/2007 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Wahrheit said...

Dear Bob,

How can we have a cult if you keep laying things out in plain language like this?

A good old fashioned cult needs a secret doctrine as you well know--the esoteric parts that only the 'inner squares' get to hear.

So I'm sorry to say that we're just not meeting cult standards here at The Coonland Magic Kingdom. Instead of this straighforwardness, please develop some gibberish, quickly, and charge lots of money for it. We all know, because it's been repeated over and over, that people don't value that which is freely given.

Or could this be Something Completely Different(???)

2/08/2007 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Of course, I may be totally off base in my previous comment. Oddly enough, at his site there is a comment thread today werein his wife more clearly states her views. I think Dart Aggie summed it up better than I did.

2/08/2007 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Who wants to take a bet that this guy is totally 100% on-board with Al gore and the global warming schtick? HAAAA

*walks away backward from the presence of dear leader bowing respectifully every few inches* heeeeeeeee

2/08/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous sawdust said...

The jihadists also seek to appear as something they are not.

2/08/2007 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger The Bunnies said...

I guess I'll clarify my understanding of Rand in response to drive-by:

1. Rand is too utopian (Galt's Gulch). On this I agree.

2. I think Rand thinks she opposes vertical truth more than she actually does. For all her worship of the material plane, her heroes have experiences that one can't describe as anything other than spiritual. When Jesus says, (and I paraphrase) that he preferse the guy who says he won't work but does over the guy who says he'll work but doesn't, I think that Objectivists fit into the former category and most New Agers fit into the latter. Of course, it's best to be spiritual and acknowledge it as that, but that's far better than training people to be infantile leeches because you care for them.

3. This criticism reflects a complet misinterpretation of most atheistic-yet-traditional philosophy. Objectivists (as one group) deny relativity as strongly as anyone out there. When it comes to combatting the whole "we can't know what's real" school of thought, they are our allies.
Much of Rand's objection to religion stems from a confusion between irrational and super-rational. Truel religion is super-rational (paradox, losing one's life to save it, etc.), whereas lower religion and leftism are irrational (2+2 can equal 5 on Thursdays if Allah feels like it, detroying wealth is the best way to make us happy, etc.)
I agree with many of Rand's criticisms of religion, for she criticizes the tendency of certain folks to use it as an escape from reality instead of a fulfillment of it. She simply believes that all religion is the bad kind, and close-mindedly won't accept that it can be any other way.
4. Too many people confuse libertariaism with libertinism (including, unfortunately, some libertarians). However, even most libertarians recognize that a moral order needs to exist for society to function healthily, and this applies to both Christain libertarians and Objectivists, although their moral codes differ. They just don't think that the government should be what enforces morality (other than rights preservation, etc.)

Describing man's fall and the various views on it would take forever, and this post is already too long.

Still, although these atheists aren't necessarily on our side in every respect, you won't ever find them trying to make us wards of the state, so they are our allies politically.

2/08/2007 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

OT but Coonish Kwel

Go to Google Images & type in:

"Guido Daniele"

2/08/2007 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C. said...

Bunnies: I think you may have nailed the reason why the religious and secular conservatives have gotten along so well to date: deep down, we know that neither side wants to subjugate or force its will upon the other. We don't want to make them religious at gunpoint, and they don't want to forcibly secularize us either. But both sides of this particular debate must keep in mind that there's ANOTHER party to the debate, and they tolerate nothing less than absolute ideological fidelity. So the Objectivists and the Christians have a common enemy which, in all its po-mo subjectivist and antitheist glory, stands for everything they both hate.

I don't know WHERE this rant came from, but it felt oddly like a dip into O's teacup. Just flowed out of me.

2/08/2007 01:38:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Jacob - >> . . . they don't want to forcibly secularize us either<<

Not sure about Rand herself. Hers was a real will-to-power uber philosophy. Her personal life - which was a mess - revealed that she bore an utter contempt for those who she deemed weaker than herself. I think the world in which Rand held power would be pretty hellish.

Rand to WF Buckley - "You are much too intelligent to believe in God." What this comment seems to reveal is that Rand was smart enough, IQ-wise, to see what "worked" economically and to a certain degree, socially. Thus, her "conservatism".

I would guess, however, that in terms of intuition and openness to the higher senses, she was dead, and thus her atheism.

There is the possibility that at one time she was open to the higher senses, but that the sin of spiritual pride - always a danger, even with respect to the saints - seduced her into a heartless atheism.

2/08/2007 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous ms. e said...

will said:
"Scripture warns that even some of the Elite will be deceived."

Yes! And in addition to all the other various fools and knaves mentioned in various posts today, let us also beware-of-rats-in-coon's-clothing.

Thank you for pointing this out Will. Yesterday I posted a link in my comment to an analysis, by the conservative Episcopalian, David Virtue, of the new Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Virtue writes: "she has revealed herself to be the mistress of a post-modern deconstructed gospel that pushes earthly salvation, while placing atonement and eternal salvation right outside the orb of Christian conviction."

Virtue concludes: "The Anglican Communion is on the brink of collapse. The divisions seem irreconcilable. The truth is the train has left the station and next week it will stop in Dar es Salaam, where Mrs. Schori might be invited to get off, graciously of course, and if she doesn't, the other primatial [Episcoonpalians] might alight, cross the tracks and jump onto a kingdom train that is bound for glory."

Amen.

A parting thought:

L. Bob Gagdad and the Cult of Merry Raccoons - The United Front Against Bullshit.

2/08/2007 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

ms e said: "L. Bob Gagdad and the Cult of Merry Raccoons - The United Front Against Bullshit."

That's what I'm talkin about!

2/08/2007 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found out about this organization. Check it out.

The Foundation for Economic Education

fee.org

2/08/2007 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Smoov said... "...Personally I find the Ayn Randian, Capitalism Magazine set to be far less destructive than the Left in the short run, but I cannot see how they are anything but an impediment to eschatological progress in the long run."

Coming from that wing, I'd like to reply. The Randian's at least, are very familiar with the hierarchical and highly integrated structure of knowledge and values, and with which the consideration of the Vertical fits right in - the difference is they don't allow for the existence of anything from outside a human consciousness that cannot be tied down to the physically perceivable and verifiable, from consideration.

The Randian Objectivists do believe in man's non-corporeal spirit (a specific reference to this can be found in Harry Binswangers lectures on consciousness), it's just that they believe that it winks into and out of existence with the life of the body.

"What, if anything, prevents the atheist right from being as much of a threat as the atheist Left?"

The Objectivist, because man's free will is absolutely central to the philosophy, and that it follows logically from the structure of man’s nature (which fits nicely with “endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights…”), would and do fight tooth and nail against any imposition of policy that would limit or impose on others freedom to believe differently than they do. They believe that there is Right and Wrong, and that to live in conscious violation and contradiction of that, would mean hell on earth – in fact because their values originate wholly and completely from this world, with no refuge in the next, they would be as fierce, if not more so, a defender of what is Good and True – here and now, to the death.

Also, whereas the leftist has no problem embracing contradictory claims and values, and thinks nothing of saying one thing and doing another, the Objectivist considers Truth to be One, integrated, inviolable whole, and would have little difficulty working alongside of raccoons and other non-literalist believers.

Where the Objectivist will throw up objections (from within proper boundaries of Individual Rights) would be from Literalist Religious interpretations and pronouncements such as "the Bible says no working on Sunday, therefore no business shall open for business on Sunday, on penalty of law". That would be a deal breaker. For me too.

“Does/can a spiritually free leftist exist? If so, where do they fit in this picture?"
I would think that for someone who actually understands the meaning and implications of leftist thought, from the roots out - I would think not. However, those whose interest and understanding of leftist thought extends no further than a general assumption that "People should be free to choose, we should be nice to the homeless and help the elderly, especially with their healthcare", I wouldn't think such a person would have any difficulties with being spiritually free.

2/08/2007 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

The bunnies said "...I suppose in a nutshell I would say that atheists on the right subconsciously grant leftism more power because they implicitly believe that the left can "win," because the horizontal is all there is, and they can take that over."

That probably does for the typical ‘Republican‘ RINO type of conservative atheist, but as I noted above, the Objectivist atheist does subscribe to a limited form of the Vertical, and believes that precisely because the leftist's beliefs have no basis in reality, that they are the weakest and most pathetic of enemies - numbers being their only, and from the perspective of history, a fleeting source of power.

2/08/2007 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

The drive-by philosopher said "... anyone who denies the ontological reality of metaphysics and tries to reduce all truth to the mere material or verifiable. Randian Objectivists fall into this error..."

Most of what you noted I agree with, but I beg to differ on this. Randian Objectivists are most definitely not materialists - they do not believe that consciousness can be reduced to materialist or determinist causes. They believe that a proper set of ethics can be derived from the facts of Reality, but while Free will and the spirit of Man are to an Objectivist direct results of reality and the nature of man, they do not believe they are reducible to materialist causes - they do however believe that the soul extinguishes with the body.

They also do not believe in any form of Utopia, and that because man has Free Will, he is fallible, and therefore will always be subject to error and imperfect.

2/08/2007 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Will said “…I tend to think that the governing spirit of leftism, very well camouflaged in equality-bantering and the ape-of-god pose, is, at root, "might makes right".”

Hmm… with a small clarification, I think that the desire to deny reality, to "have their cake and eat it too", is the defining spirit of leftism, and the resulting expression is necessarily “might makes right”.

2/08/2007 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous ms. e said...

Van's da Man on Rand

I'm not familiar with Harry Binswanger's lectures. I dropped out before Nathaniel did.

My hunch about what goes on in between the winking goes something like this:

I am not my mind, body, actions or awareness. I am that nonphysical being who animates my mind and body and who functions through my awareness, which is how clearly I see, understand and evaluate, both consciously and non-consciously, everything that affects my life. In other words, it is how clearly I see, think and "put it all together".

2/08/2007 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

annonymous, fee.org has LOTS of good stuff

2/08/2007 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

is another good one

2/08/2007 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

And last one from Hilsdale College, click the drop list and take a look at their available guest speakers speeches, everyone from Thomas Sowell to Victor Davis Hanson, Margaret Thatcher, John Stossel, Clarence Thomas.... mucho good reading.

2/08/2007 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

True atheists of any stripe are still their own gods -- by definition. In the end, with no source of absolute Truth, they will resort to their own sense of right and wrong. It's hard to know which form is worse, right or left, when it comes down to life and death issues. Either can have sincere, high-minded motivation, but they're still both just lost, empty flatlanders vying for power.

2/08/2007 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Wow, Van - you're on a roll tonight. I can't find anything within my experience to disagree with what you've said.

Nomo, however - while that may generally be true, I've encountered a few atheists who really seem to be motivated by O; it's just that they've buried that voice so deep inside them, they think it's their own. As long as they follow it, how is that bad?

I can stand in a spring breeze and claim that there's no such thing as wind, and come up with a series of perfectly logical and reasonable explanations for why my hair is moving in odd patterns. I might even, if I were very "certain" that I was right, move in accord with the blowing of the breeze so that it appears that the motion is my own doing, thus "proving" there's no wind. That doesn't change the fact that the wind is blowing, and that I am responding to it accordingly. I would probably feel a bit sheepish once the breeze became a gale, though.

I sometimes think God actually holds a special place for those who won't or can't believe, but still align themselves with his will. After all, it seems to me much more difficult to align yourself with what is right and good when it is easy to justify doing what is wrong.

I have two dogs. One is sweet and submissive. She is very smart and obedient, and I rarely if ever am annoyed with the way she acts. The other is also smart (though perhaps a little less so), but she is also stubborn, demanding, and often conflicted about whether she wants to be dominant or submit to my will as "leader of the pack". I love her just as much. She is often annoying, but she can't help being who she is and her annoyingness is offset by the fact that she is also sweeter and more affectionate. She may be stubborn and feisty, but she is not bad in any sense, and not deserving of being cast out.

As above, so below.

Some people are in the light whether they admit it or not.

2/08/2007 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C. said...

I've encountered a few atheists who really seem to be motivated by O; it's just that they've buried that voice so deep inside them, they think it's their own.

You just summed up Bill Hicks and Penn & Teller more effectively than I could ever hope. Like the standard Raccoons, they have a low tolerance for doubletalk, political correctness and BS - but they can still let worldly concerns get in the way of Truth. See, for example, the Prophet Hicks ranting about the supposed idiocy of creationist Christians, then turning around and insisting with equal fury (and in almost the same breath) that God is more real than any Christian could ever imagine. Or Penn & Teller stating that the PC police are bad, and that priests and preachers are worse - which is certainly the impression they seem to have.

"Nothing will make you an atheist faster than reading the Bible from cover to cover." - Penn Jillette, paraphrased

2/08/2007 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous GM Roper said...

Bob, a tour-de-force. I highlighted it inBrief Politico-Therapy: A quick tour of the Psych-Bloggers

2/09/2007 12:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

I should like to imagine a book being written in the not-too-distant future titled, "My Life Among the Coons. Slacking Towards Gno-More-Ah!"

Also, in the light and delight of discovering we are The Coon, what more should we require in life than the good company of other funny 'coon faces and mischievious meditations on Serious Matters? Is there a Coonholm Syndrome for those who find themselves a victim of our infectious disregard for decorum? Against their horizontal will, almost, some find themselves freely ensnared in the Coon-Cult and come to love their non-captors despite the lack of discipline in the ranks, (konks on the brain-pan from Dupree notwithstanding).

Petey's sad little tin cup doesn't rise to the heady heights of exacting sacrificial daughters, but good 'coons will toss in a few fiddler crabs or grubs from time to time. That should buy us a bit of Cult-cache, don't you think?

I'm not giving up on our cult-status just yet. Heck, I even got me a new title, somehow, so I'm pretty much indoctrinated beyond retrieval.

Cult of the 'Coon. Consider us the alternative to Clan of the Cavebear.
(Has Darryl Hannah ever played a human being?)


Uh-oh. Word-veri is, "mozes"...

2/09/2007 01:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Juliec said "... I can't find anything within my experience to disagree with what you've said."
Just give me time...
;-)

2/09/2007 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan of Argghh! said... "My Life Among the Coons. Slacking Towards Gno-More-Ah!"

Priceless!

"Heck, I even got me a new title, somehow, so I'm pretty much indoctrinated beyond retrieval."

Joan you Cosmic O-Retemptress, you'll always be a Sophia-la-go-go to me!

2/09/2007 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

And I too have been meaning to speak up about this Cult stuff, being a titled Cult member and all... ya know, I've been waiting for my 72 voidgens for quite awhile... I check the mail daily, but they're gnowhere to be foumd, what gives?

2/09/2007 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

julie:

I've encountered a few atheists who really seem to be motivated by O; it's just that they've buried that voice so deep inside them, they think it's their own. As long as they follow it, how is that bad?

Form my perspective as a junior kit it seems that the genuine conservative atheist comes upon his "right thinking" (to the extent that this is the case, which it some times emphatically is not) by accident. Since he is by definition not grounded in Truth his positive qualities seem to me to be tenuous and impermanent.

2/09/2007 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Which is why such are so rare, I think, Smoov.

But the by accident is only to him. He who is an advocate of Truth is a servant of God; even if he does not recognize the truth to of God himself.

I would say this:

The power of this Truth is, one need not believe in the messenger himself to access it.

Which is to say, if taking a Sabbath stops one from going insane, it does not matter if one believes the law comes from God himself to have the positive effect of it. In fact, The benefit of the Law is in its doing.

The problem is, the strongest motivation for right-doing comes not from pride or uprightness, but from faith in the messenger of the Law.

Another mystery of the faith is this: The Law brings death, but Christ Life. But being the Logos, Christ IS the law.

Paul says: "Only he who atoneth can judge" (paraphrase) which is Christ. And thus, Christ is indeed the law which condemns and the spirit which grants mercy.

So he who serves the Law, the Truth serves God. Without believing in God, it may be impossible to be counted among his friends, his heirs, his children. (Or even more, to be drawn up into him!)

But if they are faithful unto the law, then perhaps they grab the very bottom of Jacob's ladder and refuse to rise above it.

As for whether Christ himself knows them, that is not something one can even know.

Bob about your comment of God being unable to do anything without us, I think you're incorrect, but only in a certain way. God certainly could evaporate all of existence now if he so desired; we've certainly earned his ire. But what God wants is something he cannot make happen. Is that not a mystery? Of all the things God could do, he actually created something that he could not do-- which is force us to serve him.

For he wants our heart, which is not something he can take and also have. Because it must be given.

And so, without our assent, or faith God is indeed powerless to bring about what he desires for the world, which is for us to do his will, willingly.

Ancient Israel proves this without a doubt; the same generation that had the pillar of fire and smoke, the splitting of the waters, the water from the rock, is the same generation that could not trust in God enough to enter the rest he had for them.

God could not make them believe or have faith; so our power is to choose. And our choice makes all the difference.

Interestingly, it was the generation who had not come out of egypt via miracles that had enough faith to enter their rest.

But the next generation after that-- unfaithful again. What's the O to do?

(rakes the sand around some rocks.)

The vertical garden; gotta make sure it is well kept.

2/09/2007 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

PS. I guess this is a side point maybe, but since Christ is both the message and the messenger...

By believing the message, you are in effect believing in the messenger; even if you don't believe it.

The new testament, that is, last will and testament of the man Jesus, is this thing....

Hmm. I'd rather not talk about it. This deep and abiding truth speaks on its own accord.

2/09/2007 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

So he who serves the Law, the Truth serves God. Without believing in God, it may be impossible to be counted among his friends, his heirs, his children.

I dunno. Cyrus the Persian was called the annointed. That had to be a shock to the sons of Judah and Benjamin. How could a gentile be saviour of the remenants of the Hebrews? The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. Then there's that Roman centurion who had great faith that all Jesus needed to do was to will it be done.

For some, the Truth and her Creator are so overwhelming that they can not help but reflect it in themselves, even if they know not the name I Am Who Am.

2/09/2007 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"...a leftist is by definition a metaphysical yahoo, his only recourse is to ridicule that which he does not understand."

Good one Bob! Hah! Leftists are wailer trash.

2/09/2007 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van said-
"And I too have been meaning to speak up about this Cult stuff, being a titled Cult member and all... ya know, I've been waiting for my 72 voidgens for quite awhile... I check the mail daily, but they're gnowhere to be foumd, what gives?"

Van, Van, Van...you have to check the femail in the femail box to obtain the 72 voidgens.
You may already be a winner!

2/09/2007 07:31:00 AM  
Anonymous juliec said...

The last thing I need is 72 voidgens ; )

Can I get raisins instead?

2/09/2007 08:28:00 AM  

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