Being Truth vs. Doing the Lie
But this only goes to show what has happened to language and its relationship to intelligible, which is to say, higher, realities. For example, the cardinal virtues -- prudence, justice, courage, and temperance -- represent one such intelligible reality. But children and even (or shall we say, especially) college students are no longer taught about intelligible realities. Rather, they are specifically taught to have a cynical and jaundiced attitude toward these fanciful cognitive atavisms of a less enlightened age. (Speaking of which, Dr. Sanity has a wonderful post this morning on the Evolution of Education into Indoctrination.)
Therefore, it is probably no surprise that the cynical, sneering Bill Maher would conflate courage and recklessness -- for that is what courage is when it is exercised in the absence of prudence, which is to say, judgment. Otherwise, why would courage be a virtue? Courage easily becomes demonic if not grounded in truth, or being. At best, it becomes neutral -- say, someone like Evel Knievel, who only hurt himself with his daredevil stunts.
But we are fighting entire anti-civilizations whose so-called bravery is the worst kind of evil in action -- say, the depraved Palestinians, who are utterly lacking in temperance, prudence, and justice, to say the least. Therefore, most anything they do is going to be profoundly evil, whether it is "courageously" blowing themselves up, "justly" engaging in a farcical democracy, or "prudently" educating their children.
But the same holds true of our own left, who may not engage in literal suicide bombing (although they certainly ally themselves with those who do, such as the Palestinians), but whose philosophy is a kind of intellectual suicide. I mean this literally, for it is death to the intellect properly so-called, as exemplified by the case of Bill Maher above.
This is why, no matter how "intelligent" Maher is, he is simultaneously stuck on stupid, since his higher intellect has been purged by his disordered passions. One could say the very same of celebrity journalist Christopher Hitchens, whose bilioligerent psyche has been completely hijacked by his liver. No, I am not speaking of his dependence on alcohol, but of his irascible and choleric soul -- another intelligible reality for those with ears to hear it.
Who actually listens to the content of what this drunken ghoul says when he's aggressively mutilating yet another recently deceased body? I was no big fan of Falwell's public persona, but Hitchens' grotesque and tasteless comments transparently reveal only the state of his own bitter and petty soul. What a necrophiliac, a "lover of death." One actually feels the vicarious embarrassment for him that he is incapable of feeling toward himself. In this regard, the shameless individual is another variant of the reckless person.
Bill Mahar would probably consider it another form of courage -- of "speaking truth to power" -- to use the gift of speech in such a recklessly vile manner, but that is what the left habitually does. We recently touched on the importance of passion, but again, if one's passions are not rightly ordered, they can rapidly become channelled toward great evil.
This is why it is not accurate to say the left is merely "passionate," which is what one might assume of their many varieties of compulsive "activist." Rather, they are specifically intoxicated, or drunk with passion. They have the same native passion as anyone else, but it is utterly lacking in prudence -- indeed, celebrates the absence of prudence as a kind of liberation -- which in fact it is: from the vertical. It is a centrifugal liberation that leads down and out, to the terminal moraine of the untutored senses, which empty into the meaningless sea of barbarism.
You might say that prudence consists of doing the truth. As Josef Pieper writes, it is "the mother of the other virtues," since justice, courage and temperance can only exist because of it: "Prudence is the precondition for all that is ethically good."
This is undoubtedly why leftism is fundamentally the philosophy of the young and immature ("skulls full of mush"), the terminally tenured (who have often never had to set foot outside the fantasyland of leftist wackademia), and the very stupid (for leftism is a coalition of the over- and undereducated, the latter ceding their power to the former for the mutual benefit of each, i.e., the elites get to feel good about themselves while the grazing multitude gets to have its constitutional envy translated into political policy). Not to mention assorted misfits, deviants, outsiders, cosmic losers, and the implacably embittered, who are all important constituents of the left.
Thus, leftism inevitably tends toward "doing the lie," or putting the lie into action. Lying has always existed, but lies can only cause limited damage when they are confined to individual heads. But somewhere along the line, we allowed this country to go off the rails and accede to the malignant collectivist fantasies of the left. Their takeover of academia, the mass media, most all professional groups, and most of the permanent structure of government is quite literally a form of (collective) body-snatching.
Let's take a very obvious example, the two recent GOP debates, the first one hosted by a leftist MSM outfit, the second by the non-leftist Fox. The MSNBC debate was a farce and a joke, presided over by the fundamentally unserious buffoon, Chris Matthews. The second was sober, serious, and substantive. But is is no surprise as to why. Again, the left is intoxicated. Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are loud and drunken clowns. There is no "sobriety," much less gravity, about them.
Naturally, the Democrat party refuses to have a debate hosted by Fox, any more than Christopher Hitchens would enter detox, for it would expose them as the unserious twits that they are. This would also explain the otherwise inexplicable affinity the left has for that institution that has perfected "doing the lie," the U.N. For what is the U.N. but a den full of liars and therefore tyrants, thieves and murderers? Someone who threatens to courageously speak truth to this demonic power -- e.g., John Bolton -- is himself demonized by the left. This is no coincidence, but an inevitable result of the left's assault on intelligible realities. The more someone speaks truth, the more they must be demonized by the left.
This is what is actually behind their effort to resurrect the so-called "fairness doctrine," which is simply an attempt by them to extinguish a little non-leftist light that has entered the media in the form of talk radio. They cannot actually succeed in their satanic project of destroying truth -- which is to say, intelligible reality -- but they can certainly put up road blocks to delay or prevent its discovery.
One huge roadblock the left has erected in the path of Truth is called "higher education." Political correctness is simply the left's means of foreclosing intelligible reality and their "muscle" for ensuring doctrinal enforcement. Furthermore, their attack on religion is nothing more or less than the attempt to oust a competing religion, not religion as such, for no one is more of a loony religious fanatic than a gaia-worshipping greenhouse gasbag or a ranting neo-Marxist hack such as Christopher Hitchens.
As Pieper writes, "to do what in reality is right and good presupposes some knowledge about reality; if you do not know how it is with things and how they stand, you are in concreto (practically) unable to choose what is ethically good. The mere 'good intention,' the desire to be just, for instance, does not suffice at all."
But as we know all too well, this is what the left is all about: good intentions. However, at the same time, their good intentions are rooted in an ontology that denies the Real, which is to say, the objective truth of intelligible realities -- for example, objective morality. Instead, it is grounded in an explicit philosophy of moral relativism, multiculturalism, and totolerantarian "diversity."
Therefore, the left inescapably embodies the misosophy of Doing the Lie, which can only redound to great evil, including the abolition of man -- since it is founded on this very abolition. Which is not very courageous, but very C.S.