Monday, November 05, 2007

The Minus Religion (-R) of the Left: Passion, Cynicism, and Moral Inversion

I don't know how I can top Dr. Sanity's post today on The Postmodern, "Present-Tense Culture", just as I don't know how I can come from behind and pull out the Best Religious Blog award (vote here). But we shall try.

Exactly how and why did we get to the pathological situation described by Dr. Sanity? Her diagnosis is accurate, but what is the exact mechanism of this spiritual disease of illiberal leftism?

The "present-tense culture" described by Dr. Sanity (and by Mark Steyn in the essay she cites) is surely one of the most prominent symptoms of the disease, for it represents the very opposite of the deep and perennial truths disclosed in the course of man's 40,000 year old sojourn from pre-human to nearly so. In reality, present-tense culture is already outmoded the instant it appears. Since it is "of the moment," the moment has already passed by the time this offal stuff reaches the consew(m)er -- that "muddy stream where only monsters can swim," as Alan Bloom wrote (quoted in the Steyn piece).

Not so when a genuine artist or intellectual is able to transmit a bit of the noetic light of the Real through sound or object. Exactly why is the wisdom of the Bible so much deeper than any silly atheist rant against it? Because, as Schuon explains, those who articulate the perennial philosophy, "even if they wrote two thousand years ago or lived at the utmost ends of the earth, always have the freshness and perfect 'timeliness' that comes from truth expressed with intelligence; real wisdom does not fade with age any more than does real art." But spiritually crimped and time-bound postmodern relativists abolish truth "in order to set in its place a blind and heavy" pseudo-reality that collapses and crushes the hierarchy of being under the dead weight of its existential blandfill.

Or as Steyn describes it, "A classical education considers society as a kind of iceberg, and teaches you the seven-eighths below the surface. Today, we live on the top eighth bobbing around in the flotsam and jetsam of the here and now. And, without the seven-eighths under the water, what’s left on the surface gets thinner and thinner."

So what is most "up to date" is already old and faded, while what is old and venerable, or Ancient of Days, is quite literally ever-new and, more importantly, ever-renewing, Rocky Mountan fresh from the spring. It is of coors "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," in Petey's psychobobbling glossolalia.

Back to our discussion of Polanyi, whom I believe nailed the causes of the problem. As we were discussing a couple of posts back, the materialist metaphysics of logical positivism -- even though such a philosophy is riddled with self-contradiction -- undermined any claim to an objective moral order. But the destruction of traditional moral ideals in no way abolishes the moral impulse, any more than the destruction of sexual mores eliminates the sexual impulse. Rather, it leaves the impulse there, but with no wisdom to guide or channel it. Thus, the radical secular modman is a dangerous combination of fanatical passion and hard-headed, biting cynicism, ahistorically focused like a laser on the now, which can never, ever, live up to his unhinged moral passion.

Steyn describes it perfectly: "By using the now-common relativistic formula, all individuals and thinkers in the past are ridiculed, demeaned, and scorned because they fail to live up to postmodern and politically correct standards of conduct. Thus, their ideas are considered meaningless and described as 'hypocritical' -- the absolutely worse possible sin from the leftist perspective."

That the Founding Fathers "could not entirely break out of the culture of their time, but still could push the envelope of civilization forward is irrelevant to the postmodern left. From the left's perch of moral superiority they blithely dismiss these 'white males' as hypocrites with no moral standing. Thus are the foundations and the generationally built constructs of civilization invalidated and destroyed....

"By disgarding reason and reality; by abandoning the past and embracing moral and cultural relativism, the left has brought us to this place where we are morally and physically paralyzed.... This is their quest. To establish themselves as the arbiters of moral behavior by behaving immorally; of being 'reality-based' without the necessity of having to acknowledge reality; of speaking 'truth' to power, without being capable of recognizing truth (isn't all truth relative, after all?)." (Please read the whole thing -- it is filled with similar gems.)

We have seen this pattern again and again since the French Revolution, and it never changes. Today we recognize it as the leftist assault on liberalism, but the deep structure is always the same, for it is also the now attacking the past, a false rationalism assaulting tradition, narrowly construed "facts" undermining wisdom, and ultimately the oedipal triumph of children abolishing parents. One of the lessons of history is that, in order for culture to function, children cannot succeed in their perennial effort to overturn the world of the parents. That the baby boomer generation was the first to accomplish this mission only explains everything about their politics, for it is nothing less than the impossible Triumph of Infantile Fantasy.

Again, the problem with the left is not its "immorality," but precisely its unhinged, out of control morality. There is no sanctimonious moral scold like leftist moral scold -- for example, you are the moral equivalent of Hitler if you don't believe in Al Gore's weather hysteria. Today at American Thinker there is an excellent article on how the left has used the bogus issue of torture as a platform for their insane moralizing. And because of their insanity, they have defined torture down -- tortured its definition, as it were -- so that they could use it as a bludgeon to sadistically attack the country they despise so much.

By redefining torture, the left is able to disable its own collective superego, which would normally prevent the naked expression of their death wishes. But if you brand something evil -- even if it is not -- you can essentially express your most base impulses with moral impunity. And of course, part of the unconscious game is to project this into conservatives, as if they are the violent ones. The left does the same thing by defining down rape, racism, "homophobia," anti-Semitism, etc. Do you see how it works? A couple of weeks ago Ann Coulter was a victim of the leftist hate machine for simply echoing Christian doctrine. They falsely labeled her an "anti-Semite," which then sanctioned -- literally -- the same moral outrage that would normally be reserved for an Adolf Hitler. Of course, they did the same thing to the Dartmouth lacrosse team and to Rush Limbaugh with the phony "phony soldier" controversy. Truly, it happens every day.

And "sadism" is the precisely correct word, for it represents the opposite of sublimation, which is the transformation of a lower impulse into something socially beneficial. In Polanyi's analysis, the left systematically engages in the opposite, or what he called moral inversion, "a condition in which the passions for high moral purposes operate only as the hidden force of an openly declared inhumanity."

In other words, the "passion for high moral purposes" is necessarily hidden by the leftist from himself, who would otherwise regard himself as a hypocrite for holding such sentimental and unprovable ideals -- no better then the religious person he despises! So the leftist is barred from ever examining the source of his own moral passions, allowing them to perpetually operate in the dark. This explains so much -- including why left wing talk radio is so boring, not to mention unsuccessful (since they cannot give reasons for their irrational convictions, and thus appeal to the mind), why they do not learn (since they are always in the now and under influences unknown to them), and why they never need apologize (since they are by definition operating out of their intrinsically superior morality that is guided by unexamined good intentions, which are by definition good).

This means that leftists can never be bad, no matter how much untold damage they cause. They always mean well. And they can never recognize the actual Good, since it can never live up to their unhinged and unexamined moral fantasies of the way things ought to be.

So, what is the specific source of the left's moral passion? Polany felt that it originated with Christianity, which introduced an entirely new kind of morality into the world at large. I don't have time to do justice to the subtlety of his argument here, but if you take the deep moral passion generated by Christianity -- for example, for justice, equality, fraternity, liberty, etc. -- and remove the Christianity, you're going to have problems. Essentially it is the problem that Voegelin called immamentizing the eshchaton, which is a fancy way of saying tyranically imposing the vertical on the horizontal, thereby destroying both. This happened all over Europe in the 20th century, causing millions upon millions of deaths.

As Polanyi described it, "Since no society can live up to Christian percepts, any society professing Christian percepts must be afflicted by an internal contradiction, and when the tension is released by rebellion its agents must tend to establish a nihilistic Messianic rule.... It can then only hold on by proclaiming itself to be the absolute good: a Second Coming greater than the first and placed therefore beyond good and evil. We see arising the 'amoral superman'" (or woman, as the case may be; click to enlarge).

It would undoubtedly surprise the proudly infrahuman, anti-Christian rabble of dailykos that they are actually messianic Christians, but there you go. They fall into the category of (-R), of fanatical Christianity with the Christianity removed. It is the subject of another debate whether our Islamist enemies are Muslims with the Islam removed or reinserted.

To be continued....

MEMO -- We're now mischieviously sneaking toward second place. Victory is achievable, but it will require a two-day surge with more paws on the ground, so get out and vote. The comedic possibilities of a Raccoon winning this contest are truly Infinite.

28 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Reading Steyn and Dr. Sanity speak of the iceberg of history, I can't help envisioning the Tree. Our popular culture is full of leaves who deny that the branches, the trunk and the roots are relevant to their existence.

11/05/2007 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

This post gave me a good visual of postmodernism whithering on the vine of Judeo-Christian ethics from which it has esentially cut itself off. Clueless to the fact of the vines' nurturance. Egotists trying to re-invent the wheel.

And reading Dr. Sanity's piece;

"So Bloom is less concerned with music criticism than with what happens when a society’s incidental music becomes its manifesto."
Well, it was twenty years ago today—1987—that Professor Bloom taught us the band had nothing to say."
Which has been my thought all along when the music discussions come up here. Pop culture is nothing more than historically rotating superficiality, and shallow minds being given relevance.
It's fun but not particularly deep.

11/05/2007 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Re the captivity to the present tense. Today there was a comic strip that hid the joke in the metaphor of the Tortoise and the Hare. Pleasantly surprising. I thought we had already reached the point that no one will laugh at a joke based on Aesop unless it is footnoted, or references an advertisement.

they can never recognize the actual Good, since it can never live up to their unhinged and unexamined moral fantasies of the way things ought to be

"Wheat and tares," that Most Radical of ethical directives. Here I go again, as though my Bible
contained only the 13th chapter of Matthew:

[Jesus] told another story. 'God's kingdom [here] is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. That night, while his hired men were asleep, his enemy sowed thistles all through the wheat and slipped away before dawn. When the first green shoots appeared and the grain began to form, the thistles showed up, too.
The farmhands came to the farmer and said, 'Master, that was clean seed you planted, wasn't it? Where did these thistles come from?'
He answered, 'Some enemy did this.'
The farmhands asked, 'Should we weed out the thistles?'
He said, 'No, if you weed the thistles, you'll pull up the wheat, too. Let them grow together until harvest time. Then I'll instruct the harvesters to pull up the thistles and tie them in bundles for the fire, then gather the wheat and put it in the barn.'


Freeze-frame shot of the uninstructed farmhands. weedkiller in hand, entertaining the best of intentions. The Left is the most frightening, laden with proposals for force-backed schemes, premature, fact-impoverished, darkly angelic. Though virtually everyone has lesser-to-greater fantasies of improving the landscape by chopping off some piece of Reality in a tunnel-vision snit. I know I do, daily, but fortunately lack much power to execute. That tendency may be one of the consequences of the Fall into "knowing
good and evil." In contradistinction to dwelling on the good, as much as possible ignoring the rest unless it salts the fields or blows up buildings.

Meditations on the Tarot differentiates experimentation (the Serpent's temptation), particularly engineering our fellow man, from the simplicity of knowing and doing the Good (Edenic blessedness). Or, for Niebuhrians, accepting the imperfections and muddling through.

11/05/2007 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"One of the lessons of history is that, in order for culture to function, children cannot succeed in their perennial effort to overturn the world of the parents. That the baby boomer generation was the first to accomplish this mission only explains everything about their politics, for it is nothing less than the impossible Triumph of Infantile Fantasy."

Since the frenchy enlitenmeant took 'I think therefore I am' and declared that 'They thought the world was so, therefore it is, so there!', they've been playing philosophical 'Lets Pretend', and then pretending its not pretend.

The lefties don't wanted to work to bring something about, they want to declare that it is as they say, and the rest of us are just big meanies for not admitting it. As RueSo said, people are born Noble savages, pure and good - so there's no need to put effort into learning to be civilized or anything else, we're already better than that, just stop stopping us from letting our utopia's bloom! If you don't stop stopping us, we're going to call our Big Brother and make you stop!"

But when you want something to 'BE', not want to bring it about or create it, but just. want. it. to. be. what. I. Want. Now. you're faced with coontradictions, and the easiest way out of those is to throw a tantrum and blame the coontradiction for being so coontra to what you're dictatin'.

Sadly, reality believes in spanking. Sadder still, spanking doesn't work if the kids convinced they're all right.

"They falsely labeled her an "anti-Semite," which then sanctioned -- literally -- the same moral outrage that would normally be reserved for an Adolf Hitler."

Speaking of playing let's pretend, did anyone see Alan Colmes trying to put on a stern and morally outraged grown up face while trying to tell Ann Coulter how anti-semitic she was? That was a hoot.

11/05/2007 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Branches

Tree of Might, True Vine
A Revelation of Fire
He is Yggdrasil

What happens when the wild shoots are not grafted?

11/05/2007 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

River said "What happens when the wild shoots are not grafted?"

Or worse, when Fenrir lifts a leg up on Yggdrasil?

wv:hfnldaa - not quite, try again, its 'Heimdall'

11/05/2007 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Reading this piece, and Dr. Sanity's, I was reminded of C.S. Lewis' repeated use of "consuming" imagery in describing Hell, especially (and literally) in "The Screwtape Letters". Hell and Heaven both seek union of the cosmos. The difference is that Hell seeks it by consumption. Heaven seeks it by consummation.

Lewis' devils constantly mocked the laughable idea that God genuinely wanted union via Love, to offer it freely and without condition. Lewis alluded that their cynicism was born out of their ignorance (and therefore fear) of even the basic concept. It was simply inconceivable ("You keep using that word. I dunna think it means what you think it means.").

The "fanatical passion and hard-headed, biting cynicism" Bob describes are much easier to understand when you realize that it is merely the expression of Hell's most genuine, ravenous desires.

11/05/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Staging
marching to zion
beautiful city of god
third of four faces

11/05/2007 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thus, the radical secular modman is a dangerous combination of fanatical passion and hard-headed, biting cynicism...

Like the movers and shakers of the Early Roman Empire. Cynical and skeptical, hard-headed, practical to the point of ruthlessness, yet they'd consult soothsayers or astrologers or omens to see whether they should get out of bed in the morning.

11/05/2007 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Paul said "C.S. Lewis' repeated use of "consuming" imagery in describing Hell, especially (and literally) in "The Screwtape Letters"."

I suppose that would be the nature of the Vital Man, the man of apetite... horizontal man consumes the many things from below, and passes over the One from above...

11/05/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whenever I try to go to the New Criterion I get the following message "The server at newcriterion.com is taking too long to respond" and it times out.

Is this some sort of leftwing conspiracy!?!?

Any thoughts?

11/05/2007 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We're now approaching second place. Victory is achievable, but it will require a two-day surge with more paws on the ground, so get out and vote. The comedic possibilities of a Raccoon winning this contest are truly Infinite.

11/05/2007 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous said... "Cynical and skeptical, hard-headed, practical to the point of ruthlessness, yet they'd consult soothsayers or astrologers or omens to see whether they should get out of bed in the morning."


Ayn Rand said, speaking of the worst examples of both, that the Atilla's and the Witch Doctors (the mystics of muscle and the mystics of mind) couldn't exist without eachother.

Both have denied a chunk of Humanity, which the other does have a distorted grasp of, and they feed and feed off of (there's that apetite again) eachothers spiritual illness.

11/05/2007 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"The comedic possibilities of a Raccoon winning this contest are truly Infinite."
Ohh...See!Ohh...See!Ohh...See!Ohh...See!Ohh...See!...

11/05/2007 02:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a weird world, where the only things conservatives know for sure is that leftists are wrong about everything. anyway, back to ya'lls circle jerk. lemme throw you a boner - leftists postmodernist antichristian materialist wrong wrong wrong!

11/05/2007 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "...know for sure is that leftists are wrong about everything"

Well you got one thing right today... too bad you don't believe it's right, but then I guess that just goes back to the fundamentals - if you start out your equation with 1 + 1 = 1.1, then no matter how elegant (oops... that presupposes truth and beauty)... uhm... intricate your calculations, you're just gonna be wrong all the way down.

11/05/2007 03:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

because if there is one thing that is exactly like math, its politics. pass along the suck!

11/05/2007 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

"That the baby boomer generation was the first to accomplish this mission only explains everything about their politics, for it is nothing less than the impossible Triumph of Infantile Fantasy."

No need to watch Kid Nation on TV...we already have it.

11/05/2007 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Some commentary on Steyn's essay, as it relates to today's post (and Dr Sanity's):

Though I have never read Bloom's book, as a music aficionado I too might take issue with some of his generalizations about modern music. I truly get his central point about our musical matrix and ethos being mired in the immediate present, the Beatles, Duran Duran, and even Nirvana being "so yesterday" in our frenetic rush to be current and go with "what's hot", like fanatical stock market gurus; anything older than 50 Cent and Kanye West becomes yesterday's news.

However, I would take issue with the idea that ALL rock music is stuck in such a rut. I think as a Coonhead my general attraction to the cooniversal whorledview of this site perhaps explains my love of Prog Rock. I think when Bloom complains about the total lack of musicianship of Rock Era musicians, he is mostly right. But I think of Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, both members of prog rock groups, and both superb, CLASSICALLY TRAINED musicians. Emerson or Wakeman would be just as able to play an entire movement of Handel, Mahler or Prokofiev as they would to play Roundabout or Karn Eval 9. Wakeman's little foray into Brahms on the Fragile album was a great musical education for me; now I recognize that Brahms symphony whenever I hear it. And I keep remembering the photo I saw once of Renaissance key player John Camp wearing a "Prokofiev Rules" t-shirt. Classical (and Jazz, and Celtic, and other venerable influences, are there to be found in modern music if one knows where to look. And the same with classical poetry; Peter Gabriel, in his Genesis days, was fond of citing Greek mythology. And plenty of Ayn Rand's philosophical thought can be found in the lyrics of Rush (though I don't agree with a lot of them). And lots of Tolkien references can be found in everything from Rush to Led Zeppelin (Tolkien, of course, got most of his ideas from Early Germanic mythology, as did Wagner). I don't think the landscape of modern art is quite as bleak as Bloom (or Steyn) paints it, but it's almost that bleak, admittedly. The problem is not so much the art but the observers, who, being products of our bankrupt educational system, are incapable of seeing the meaning, or lack of it, in any work of art, literature or music, past or present.

I think that the three qualifications that Steyn cites (sex, hate, and smarmy coombaya pseudo-brotherhood) are right on the money when it comes to most modern music. Most stuff on the airwaves for the past 30 years either spoke of sex, drugs, adolescent fantasy, or leftie political ideas. Those of us who like Prog Rock, and the classical and jazz pieces that inspired it, are in the great minority, but we are here and breathing.
Notice I am not howling with indignation and victimization about Bloom's musical ideas; I'm just doing the proper Coon thing and adding my own 50 Cent. :D

11/05/2007 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

tsebring--

Cooncur. It's all about the K (the kundalini, the force, the shakti), not "culture." The latter is just a way for a certain type of person without the K to feel superior. Some have it, most don't. Van Morrison has it. Stevie Ray Vaughan. Duane Allman. Louis Armstong, certainly. John Lennon. Coltrane. James Brown. Johnny Cash. Keith Jarrett. Etc., etc. Like grace, it blows where it will.

11/05/2007 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Bob,
that's a helpful insight...the K (or is it the C, Coondalini)as a driving force behind music. Supposedly before his fall, Lucifer was the angel that created music; don't know if Scripture supports that, but it might explain how it can be so easily used for evil as well as good. It also reminds me of the creation myth in Tolkien's Sylmarillion, where the harmony of the Valar is disrupted by Melkor, who thinks he can do it better, but who brings only dischord.

I thought about the musicians that you cited as well; prog does not have a monopoly on true intellection through music. Kind of torn about John Lennon, though; his music was genius, but some of his words were pure poison ("Imagine" I'm sure has become the anthem of many a postmodern atheist, and "Give Peace a Chance" became the pacifist anthem for many years). Still, the Beatles were pretty much the progs of their time, at least from '66 to '70. But they're also good examples of how drugs, pseudo-religion, money, and venomous reptiles called Yokos can ruin a good thing.

11/05/2007 08:55:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Another insight that I forgot to mention; Bloom was right on when he said that to be able to compare the Beatles with Malher, you first have to know Mahler. Ah, but you also have to know the Beatles. Bloom I think is missing out when he opts out of the cultural mileiu entirely because he sees it as bankrupt; as I have said, there are nuggets of gold to be found in the swill, and, the main point being, the whole picture of how culture works and doesn't work can only be seen in its totality if you at least have some inkling of the new as well as the old. That doesn't mean you immerse yourself in Britney Spears and Kanye West to educate yourself (like they do in some schools these days), but that you at least know who they are and what their music sounds like (just a listen to the samples on Amazon is usually sufficient). As excruciating as it often is, I sometimes listen to samples of the "hot" stuff just to give it a critical analysis of sorts (it usually rates F-) and file it away in the memory banks. You must know your enemy, after all. And, who knows, you may actually find something interesting and inspiring in the s***pile, like Charlotte Church or Glass Hammer. I'm reminded of this little ditty that my sister's Girl Scout troop used to sing at their meetings:

Make new friends,but keep the old
One is silver and the other's gold.

11/05/2007 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Tsebring:

re Lennon -- the K is amoral, or at least becomes so, upon contact with the human element. In the past, it was safeguarded by religious tradition, but in the modern world there are no such safegards for an unhinged, activated K.

Interestingly Elvis was very aware that the force that moved through him was essentially spiritual, and he struggled to work with it. The Beatles too recognized it, what with their dabbling in yoga, but only George made it a lifelong commitment. I think this is why the quality of his body of solo work vastly surpasses the others.

11/05/2007 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

As Bob has referenced before, regarding the Word and His words, here is one of many astounding claims made by Jesus that have indeed held true - and it appears in 3 of the 4 gospels: Matt 24:35, Mark 13:31, and Luke 21:33. This is important. I suggest reading the words (the whole Bible, that is) for yourself first - then perhaps listen to what others have to say. There is only one Bible. There are countless commentaries, countless reflections - but mirrors are still only mirrors. Fear God, but do not fear that He might actually want to "speak" to you directly, "in person".

"No guru, no method, no teacher..."

11/05/2007 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob,

On average, would you say that the Beatles dabbling in yoga and drugs had a positive or a negative effect on the American culture since these people were put on pedestals and looked upon as having found "the way" (along with many other musicians) which many young people would emulate. Given the rebellion of the 60's against the establishment and religion, I see their influence as a negative in many ways given that most who chose to emulate haven't the foresight to struggle through and continue the journey, seeing nothing beyond. I hear multiple examples of the arrested development daily from the talking heads in the mainstream media and leftist politicians still stuck at fourteen. I feel this is a direct result of not wanting to lose the "cool" they thought they had attained by their fantasy connections to these cultural "icons", and as a result, they resist the growth into truth.
As an example, I read an article by a jounalist entitled "Respect for the Boss" or "Respecting the Boss" I don't remember exactly. It had nothing to do with respecting his employer but was an article about how he had taken his kid to a Bruce Springsteen concert and had tried to instill the sort of reverence towards the Jersey Trash that he himself had. Reverence? Give me a break, but this pathology is rampant in this society particularly in the journalist and leftist political classes and in my humble opinion is by far a net negative to this country. I mean look at what being dead heads, self admitted no less, has done to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. ;^)


Also, the little voting box on the "Best Religious Blog" website doesn't work for me. Any ideas?

11/05/2007 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

And I'm not putting down yoga in any way but I see the 60's rebellion types using it as a "screw you Mon and Dad and the religion you rode in on" attack on tradition which was directly aided and abetted by John, Paul, Ringo and George. One could argue that they were just doing their thing and people took it the wrong way but the messages they gave out, in my opinion, spoke differently.

11/05/2007 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Hoarhey:

Hard to say, since many of the cultural changes attributed to the Beatels seem to me to have been more or less inevitable, whether we like them or not. I just don't see how I could have not rebelled against Christianity as a young adult, since nowhere did I encounter someone capable of giving it a good account.

So part of the rebellion may be attributed to the weakness of the existing culture, or at least its weakness in being able to articulate its values and the reasons for having them. In the long run, this strengtghened the concervative movement, but even now, there are few conservatives who do a decent job of articulating classical liberal values, so the rebellion continues....

On another level, speaking as an individual, I believe it is possible to strengthen one's faith by seeing how concepts from one tradition illuminate neglected aspects of one's own. Also, it helps demonstrate that these are universal principles, not merely subjective or made up.

11/06/2007 06:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Jake Was Here said...

Ayn Rand said, speaking of the worst examples of both, that the Atilla's and the Witch Doctors (the mystics of muscle and the mystics of mind) couldn't exist without eachother.

Both have denied a chunk of Humanity, which the other does have a distorted grasp of, and they feed and feed off of (there's that apetite again) eachothers spiritual illness.


No matter where I go, I keep running into Rand. Something odd about that.

11/06/2007 03:02:00 PM  

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