Thursday, January 24, 2008

Political Truth and the Cosmic Errors of Liberalism (1.10.11)

I believe contemporary liberalism (i.e., leftism) is not just historically, accidentally, or "merely" in error, but intrsinsically, cosmically, and "principially" (if there is such a word) so. It is wrong not in this or that elaboration of its principles and policies, but in its very substance. As such, it's like trying to use defective bricks to erect a building, or magical thinking as the basis of science.

I hope it goes without saying that contemporary "Republicanism" is hardly the opposite of leftism. Rather, it's more like an obstacle, or bump in the road to socialism. More often than not it's just the crooked officer who wants his piece of the pie and can be appeased with bribes. Although more people call themselves conservative than liberal, there are in fact more "principled" liberals than principled conservatives.

Schuon is never explicitly political, but he frequently slips in a page-stopping observation that is pregnant with political implications. It would be strictly impossible to be a student of his and also be a leftist, just as it would be impossible for any seriously religious person to be a leftist. Not that there aren't religious leftists. It's just that their values are deeply at odds with the "perennial religion," and when push comes to shove, it is clear that they derive their values from politics, not religion; or, if from religion, they deeply misunderstand its esoteric and often even plain meaning. Rather, they simply use religion as a vehicle to advance their political agenda, an agenda that is rooted in ungoverned feeling. Everyone knows this, which is why the Democrat candidates are so awkward and unnatural when they talk about religion.

Edwards is a case in point. From where did he derive his mandate to end poverty -- as if such a thing could be possible, given the constants of human nature? He never explains how the sudden conversion to this mission came about. If it's just his ideology, that's one thing, i.e., the usual Marxist politics of envy, resentment, victimhood, entitlement, and theft. But if it is a "religious" impulse, he needs to explain his reasoning, and how and why it is permissible to force his religious beliefs on the rest of us, for it is hardly self-evident that "charity begins with government coercion."

To the contrary, there is reason to believe that charity ends with government coercion, for it places man either at odds with the collective or helplessly dependent upon it -- a helplessness that will be encouraged as "normative" once the system is in place and human nature, i.e., "gravity," takes care of the rest. Furthermore, this kind of socialist "charity" easily goes "hand in hand with complacency, which annuls its spiritual quality" (Schuon). Socialism never cures human selfishness but breeds it.

A spiritual virtue -- let us say charity -- is "nothing other than consciousness of a reality," in this case, the reality that all men are created equal and that our neighbor is equally precious "in the eyes of the lord." This is fundamentally a consciousness, not merely a "sentiment." If only the latter, then it is likely to be perverted by various forms of "intelligent stupidity," discussed in the last couple of posts.

Thus, "when virtue is purely sentimental, in the sense of being ignorant of the reality to which it relates, it may have a relative utility, but it is nonetheless a spiritual obstacle and source of errors" (emphasis mine). Again, true charity is rooted in consciousness of a reality. It is the very opposite of, say, self-created victims exploiting our sentiments to perpetuate their victimhood and therefore legitimize the presence of their hand in our pocket.

Metaphysical truths, in order to be effective, must become operative in the will. Thus, to transfer responsibility for a dimly perceived spiritual truth to the collective is to render it inoperative, since it relieves man of having to be personally conscious of the principle. But demagogues and narrow-minded moralists don't like to be reminded if this complexity, as they imagine that their "straightforwardness" absolves themselves "of the need for reflection."

For example, a John Edwards or Dennis Kucinich flatters himself by thinking he "speaks truth to power," when he actually speaks seductive lies to the powerless in order to keep them that way (and to keep voting Democrat). After all, it isn't as if the simple behavioral principles for avoiding poverty aren't well understood. But since they require the cultivation of certain timeless virtues -- and don't allow the sentimental liberal to feel good about himself -- the liberal isn't interested.

Is there a single leftist who understands the following principle?: "Too great an indulgence toward others is often caused not by an innate weakness of character but by an actual inability to conceive the frailty of men and the malice of the devil." And the reason they can't conceive of the frailty of men is that it would require too much painful self-examination.

One immediately thinks of the Hollywood left, who presumably project their deep character flaws into those they presume to rescue, which then absolves them of the need to root out their own frailties and rise above themselves. But "to take fallen man as the human norm is to end up idealizing not man but the human animal, the thinking beast." This is why no one is more anti-human than a humanist, for they undermine man's sufficient reason for being, not to mention his rootedness in the transcendent.

A Bill Clinton embodies the "qualities" of earthly intelligence and oily charm; or cunning and seduction; or calculation and hypnosis. As Harvey Mansfeld wrote, he is "the envy of vulgar men," and deservedly so. But as Schuon explains, "cunning" is no more a normal mode of intelligence than paranoia is a normal mode of perception. The latter is not perception but apperception, i.e., the systematic confirmation of one's malevolent suspicions. Keith Olbermann has to be the current poster boy for this dark side of human "knowing"; he is as brutally charmless as Clinton is "charming" to the willfully naive.

Suspicion becomes "illegitimate as soon as it becomes a tendency and a kind of principle, for then it engenders a sickness of the soul that is incompatible with virtue and hence sanctity." "Bush Derangement Syndrome" reflects this principle "gone wild," and we can see the dreadful consequences for the soul drowning in its dark waters. Rational thought becomes impossible, since it it organized by hate, not love. It is similar to moralism, which sunders beauty from truth. In fairness, one also sees this latter problem in certain annoying precincts of the religious right. Morality should never be made to look "disproportionate" by detaching it from truth and beauty. Moralistic virtues merely imitate their archetype, and can in turn become "a form of idolatry" (Schuon).

Here is another principle to which liberals are oblivious: "Rights that are defensive for an isolated individual become aggressive for a collectivity." The latter situation arises from envy and entitlement, not any virtue. As Schuon explains, "There is no legitimate connection between humility and a mere leveling down, for such a leveling is a form of pride since it denies the natural hierarchy of values and men; by this negation it is also opposed to dignity. Humility -- or simplicity -- is never a synonym for egalitarian mediocrity or weakness." Racial quotas based upon group identity are an affront to cosmic reality.

But "To take a collectivity as such as an intellectual norm means the progressive strangulation of intelligence." It means ignoring the reality of man's fallenness, however you wish to conceive it. It amounts to saying that man has "unlimited rights," but no responsibilities. "The consequences of such an attitude are evident: it opens the door to all the vices of human nature and unleashes the downward force of its fall; this is enough to prove it false."

Sorry I have to end abruptly.... no time to edit or spell check.

All the Schuon quotes taken from Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts

BTW, I hope you've all seen these videos of someone being dragged before the leftist inquisition. I think I have a man-crush....

19 Comments:

Blogger NoMo said...

Hmmm. Schuon and the Shroud of Turin...its becoming clearer now.

8^]

GREAT POST!

wv: heeeelvg (shouldn't I win something for that?)

1/24/2008 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger debass said...

The twentieth century has taught us that when the collective becomes overburdened with dependents, the "final solution" is usually the cure. THis is always the last resort of socialism.
Dr. Sanity has an excellent post on victimhood.
http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2008/01/victimhood-101-short-course-on-how-to.html

1/24/2008 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Speaking of magical thinking, Scott ott, writing about the free pork for politicians, I mean, economic "stimulus" package“, hits a home run.
Sure it's satire, but it would be fun to see just how contorted many politicians get when asked the obvious questions, which, unfortunately, reporters ask.
"It just makes sense,” said White House spokesman Dana Perino, “that if $800 per person would stimulate the economy, then giving back all the money to the people would spark a capitalist revival and a golden age of prosperity.”

We would probably see a lot of choking, if reporters took statemwents like this and put them in the form of questions.

1/24/2008 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Never ask. Not sure what happened to never, 'cause I did type it.

1/24/2008 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Rather, they simply use religion as a vehicle to advance their political agenda, an agenda that is rooted in ungoverned feeling."

And those political-religions will change as needed.
Just take a look a Obama's church.
They really aren't black supremicists, it's all a misunderstanding, you see.
I mean sure they honored Louis (Ihate Jews and white trash)Farrakhan recently, but it's not like they honored his ideas.
He is black afterall.

Move along, nothin' to see here.

1/24/2008 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"But if it is a "religious" impulse, he needs to explain his reasoning, and how and why it is permissible to force his religious beliefs on the rest of us, for it is hardly self-evident that "charity begins with government coercion.""

Oh man! That is good! Bravo zulu, Bob! :^)

1/24/2008 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Anyone wondering where Ben gets these crazy ideas need only click here.
:)

1/24/2008 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Speaking of the collective - there seems to be a lot of talk about how the coming prez election is going to be the watershed election of all time, etc. The simple facts don't seem to entirely warrent this view, not any more than the usual prez election, at least since McGovern took his party to the far left.

I am wondering, however, if the "collective" isn't sensing on the subliminal level a tipping point of the kind to which Bob refers when he speaks of a "normative once the system is in place and human nature, i.e., "gravity," takes care of the rest."

Now that would be a "watershed" event - I can't think of a more terrifying one. Considering the role the USA plays in the great spiritual/historical drama - it's the last spiritual gasp, so to speak - if socialism/fascism does become the normative here, as no doubt Hillary intends it to be, it would basically spell universal spiritual failure, on the collective level at any rate. You know, a final slap in the face of the divine progressive schematic.

Severe consequences would have to be coming, one way or the other. Maybe something like that is in the collective wind.

1/24/2008 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

"BTW, I hope you've all seen these videos of someone being dragged before the leftist inquisition. I think I have a man-crush...."

Oh yes. I have a man-crush too, though, I'm a female so it's not too unexpected. Mine's a stranger-crush. At any rate YES I've been watching, reading, and sharing. I have a political-articulator-crush.

Have you caught the humorous, supportive "9 little known facts" clip? Very funny. I crack up each time I watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AmpkysC0mY

1/24/2008 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

My heart especially goes pitter-patter when he says "...and I hope I call her a thug" in the closing arguments video. Or any time he says "thug." It's great stuff - calling it as it is. That lady probably never expected to hear that.

1/24/2008 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Elephant - oh my, yes *swoon*
It seems there aren't nearly enough men like that in the public eye these days.

1/24/2008 05:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jwm here:
I've seen the Ezra Levant videos and they are superb. That's the kind of smackdown you usually see delivered in some ham handed Robin Williams role. (only in reverse) But it's real life. What's really scary is the way that the left driven noise machine has been warning us for so many years about some imagined right wing theocracy taking away all our freedoms, man. Peculiar how the way to escape the racistsexist homophobeislamophobe juggernaut is to implement speech codes, thought codes- in short, the whole ugly morass of political correctness. You want see the future of America if the libtards get more power? Watch those videos. And England is far, far worse. I remember the early days of the war on tobacco. It's funny how few people were bothered by so-called "second hand smoke" until the mid eighties or so. Now you can't even smoke outdoors in some places. Outdoors. Or how many people never ever realized that smoking was bad for them until they found out they could sue the tobacco companies for their decision to burn three or more packs a day.
Now it's global warming. Just wait and see how many things will be restricted, prohibited or taxed in the name of saving the earth. Just wait.

JWM

1/24/2008 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Aquila said...

Gagster,

Thanks for posting the Ezra Levant video. Thank God at least one North American has the balls to stand up to creeping shari'a and its "cultural sensitivity" Trojan Horse, and do it in such an eloquent manner.

I only hope and pray that if *I'm* ever hauled before one of these social-worker Star Chambers, that I show at least a fraction of Mr. Levant's courage and articulation in telling them where they can put their speech codes.

1/24/2008 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Deere Rakoons,

Sir Ezra Levant Hath a Blog!

1/24/2008 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Iowahawk found a copy of AHRCC Investigator Shirlene McGovern's report.

1/24/2008 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy J. said...

Great post! And great comments. I've had some laughs and learned some things. Doesn't get any better.

1/24/2008 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Thus, to transfer responsibility for a dimly perceived spiritual truth to the collective is to render it inoperative, since it relieves man of having to be personally conscious of the principle."

If that idea alone could be taught and learned, all the programs from the New Deal on would drop from the gov't rolls of their own dead weight.

No wonder it isn't taught... let alone discussed.

A four pawed thumbs up post today... er... yesterday... eh... this one.

(shuffles off to pour more coffee)

1/25/2008 05:12:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben said "...'that if $800 per person would stimulate the economy, then giving back all the money to the people would spark a capitalist revival and a golden age of prosperity.'

We would probably see a lot of choking, if reporters took statemwents like this and put them in the form of questions.”

LOL! No doubt! Scott Ott (www.scrappleface.com) gives the best news analysis of all the talking heads combined, and he does it in pithy one liners that transform the the most depressing cultural obscenity into a tummy rumbling laugh!

(subscribe to the free email updates, your inbox will thank you!)

1/25/2008 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Elephant said "... Or any time he says "thug." It's great stuff - calling it as it is. That lady probably never expected to hear that."

What is really illustrative, is the 'lady''s reaction after the restating the Rights and Principles involved, through which she sits blasse faced, and after he says 'those are my closing remarks', she blah's 'eew k, mine too'.

Monty Python could do a better send up of the soul of a souless buearucrat.

1/25/2008 05:36:00 AM  

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