Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Spiritual Fascism and the Nonviolent Darwinist Resistance to Transcendence (6.13.09)

As Charles Darwin wrote, "While nature, making procreation free, yet submitting survival to a hard trial, chooses from an excess number of individuals the best as worthy of living, thus preserving them alone and in them conserving the species, man limits procreation, but is hysterically concerned that once a being is born it should be preserved at any price."

Nah, just pulling your leg. That was Adolf Hitler explaining his values -- which he derived from immanent nature, not the transcendent Absolute -- in Mein Kampf. Am I invoking Godwin's law this early in the morning? No, not at all. As someone once said, fascism in all its forms is the violent resistance to transcendence. Therefore, Ray, or Charles at LGF, or the goons at dailykos, or any other flatland guardians are not Nazis, since they engage in non-violent resistance to transcendence, as do the ACLU, or People for the American Way, or any other anti-religious activist and/or bigot or plain old ignoramus.

Nor should we let religion off the hook, for when it goes off the rails and descends into madness, it seems that it is often a result of a violent resistance to immanence. When this happens -- when people insist on the absolute truth of a transcendent ideal to the total exclusion of immanent reality -- it can often result in violence. In fact, this is what we see in the Islamists: a violent rejection of the modern world in favor of their transcendent ideal of a new Caliphate.

On the one hand, the left-fascist "takes heaven by storm"; he does this not in order to enter it (via contemplation, meditation, prayer, intellection, etc.), but to destroy it by imposing his one substance/one level ontology "from below." On the other hand, the religious fanatic (one hesitates to say "right fascist," since it is a contradiction in terms that invites the absurd charge that a true conservative liberal could ever be fascist) takes earth by storm, not in order to understand it (a la the scientific method) but to impose his own single-level ontology "from above."

Obviously, the freedom-loving Raccoon has no desire to live in either form of spiritual tyranny, i.e., the twin terrors of absolute immanence or absolute transcendence. We firmly reject reductionistic Darwinism to the extent that it interferes with the absolute prerogative of our interior evolution, AKA, the Adventure of Consciousness, or What It Is All About. The Raccoon knows that the only cure for the senses is the soul, and that the only cure for the soul is the senses, within the vertical trinitarian space that recoonciles them.

Now, religion in general and Christianity in particular disclose a metaphysic that carefully balances transcendence and immanence, at least if properly understood on the esoteric plane.....

Excuse me for just a moment. I just remembered a dream. I was at Tower Records -- which no longer exists, and was even "crumbling" in the dream -- and there was none other than Gerard Vanderleun behind the counter. He directed my attention to the book section, letting me know that all of the books were on sale for only $3.00 each. I went through all of the titles; I remember that one of them was a coffee table book about Orson Welles, containing great photographic examples of the composition of his camera shots. In the distance, I saw an unhealthy looking Tony Snow, also working in the store; he was cheerful despite his sad situation.

I ended up purchasing two books, one of which was a new, three-volume edition of the Bible, put out by Alice Coltrane's Vedantic Center (she was the widow of saint John Coltrane and a unique jazz musician in her own right [are there any other jazz harpists?] who later became known as Swami Turiyasangitananda. When I hear Alice Coltrane "jam" on the harp, I am not the only person who conjures aural images of hipster angels in Jazz Heaven.)

We'll get back up to the dream later. Anyway, when we say that "the word became flesh," what we are ultimately saying is that transcendent reality, or the ultimate principle, is present in what we call the material realm (which is actually a realm of pure dynamic or energic activity). In fact, this Ultimate Principle is the "stasis" amidst the otherwise "total activity" that would be incomprehensible in the absence of the Principle which both "penetrates" and "contains" it. It is why the world is intelligible to man's intelligence.

Thus, when the Darwinist protests that "you don't have to be religious to be moral," he is mouthing a pure absurdity, for he is presupposing eternal principles that cannot be explained on any Darwinian basis -- again, because Darwinism only accounts for change of outward form, not the permanence of what not only transcends form but in-forms it to begin with, i.e., transcendent interiority.

Our materialist trolls would have us believe that merely "having morals" is somehow synonymous with knowing the Good and acting in conformity with it. All people have morals. The question is, are they Good? And for the last time, it is a strict impossibility that one could ever arrive at the Good through natural selection alone. Frankly, it is an absurd argument that no remotely sophisticated person could take seriously.

It is absurd because we know that virtue is consciousness of a reality, not some simply defined behavior. Yes, we have moral codes, but the code -- even (or especially!) the Ten Commandments -- represents a "descent" from the Principle. This is why it is possible for the true saint to transcend them back to their divine Source -- back atop Mount Sinai, so to speak. But there is a world of difference between transcending this plane from above vs. obliterating it from below. Our generation very much confuses license below with freedom and transcendence from above (bonehead comedians who lauded George Carlin's "fearlessness" come to mind, but nihilism is not transcendence).

You might say that the saint is no longer "constrained" by the plane of morality because he now contains it. He is his own decalogue, or word made flesh. He has become Virtue Itself, and radiates it from every pore -- just as the sage radiates intelligence from every limb. Again, remember the man who wished to meet the great rabbi, not to learn Torah from him but to watch him tie his boot laces, to see the divine intellect in action.

When asked whom they would like as a guest at their "ultimate dinner party," many people naturally say "Jesus." But we already have a good idea what he would say. I would actually like to see him move. I would like to see how he carried himself, his gestures, his eyes, his posture, for you must know that they were enshrouded in the utmost nobility, dignity, majesty, authority, radiance, and benevolence and/or severity. He moved and spoke out of the Great Silence.

Far, far beyond (and above) the words, those with eyes to see must have recognized the eternal stillness of the "unmoved mover" animating his every gesture from the inside out (which is another way of saying "from the top down" or from static whole to dynamic part). Every movement must have revealed the Transcendence that lends Immanence its metaphysical transparency to the uncreated intellect. Obviously we see the same principle at play in a great work of art, but this would be that very principle "made flesh," not just canvas or stone

Now, back to my dream, a dream of transcendence that has shaped this post from the inside out. Vanderleun is a fine example of a man who struggles with his own immanence -- as do we all -- but whose writing constantly reveals a preternatural gift of transcendence, perhaps even "in spite of himself," so to speak, an ability to ascend from the penthouse outhouse to the outhouse penthouse.

Likewise, John Coltrane was a man who was as "low" into immanence as it is possible to be, trapped in the ravages of a heroin addiction which he transcended in 1957. Of this, he wrote that "During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music." Later, he wrote that his aesthetic-spiritual goal was to inspire people "to realize more and more of their capacities for living meaningful lives. Because there certainly is meaning to life." I cannot say that I don't try to do the same with words.

In the dream I am "in the tower" where they "keep the records," but the tower is crumbling and "going out of business." In such a situation, precious things are almost being given away for free. No one recognizes their true value. Eternal wisdom can be had for a mere $3.00. Heck, Petey gives it way, since no one wants to buy it.

About that dialectical triple "Vedanta Bible" of Alice Coltrane's. If you want to live on the other side of the looking glass not so darkly, I believe you must, in a sense, restore the immanence of Vedanta to the transcendence of the Semitic religions. But you certainly needn't do this by blending the two. It's already all there, just waiting to be realized, for the transcendent became the immanent so that the immanent might become transcendent. But be sure and realize this before the tower crumbles and goes out of business, for the naught is coming, the cold and dark winter snow in which nothing grows and no man can evolve.

*****
Obama as anti-word made flesh, or the embodiment and unification of wimps, weirdos, and wackademics. Nonviolent resistance to transcendence, indeed.

105 Comments:

Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"As someone once said, fascism in all its forms is the violent resistance to transcendence."

Speaking of which, it sure would be nice if Townhall and Fox News quit giving Pat Buchanan a voice.

The guy gets more disgusting all the time, and now he's trying to blame the US and our Allies for the Holocaust, and today the scumbag said this (for starters) at Townhall:
"Did Hitler's crimes justify the Allies' terror-bombing of Germany?"

WTF? Terror-bombing? So now Buchanan is racist, anti-semite AND anti-American. Not to mention a freakin' lunatic!

I don't usually read this Nazi-lovers columns, but after reading about him at Hot Air and seeing him on Fox I had to be sure.
Yep! No doubt about it, Buchanan isn't a crazy paleo-con, he's a freakin' Nazi-lovin' facist!

Why in the hell is Townhall printing this anti-American, anti-Jew garbage?
Why is Fox News helping this bitter old man sell his book of lies?

Godwin's Law is clearly called for when talking about Buchanan.

Damn! I love readin' Prager, Sowell, and a few others at Townhall, but they gotta dump Herr Buchanan ASAP. Maybe we should send them a deluge of e-mails or somethin'. What were they thinkin'?

Okay, back to readin' Bob's post. I gotta cleanse my mind.

6/24/2008 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Here Gerard is taking a long nap, and he visits you in your dreams! You two are tricky!

Yesterday in a comment, I reacted to your quote of Gampopa, about "...a man who returneth empty-handed from a land rich in precious gems..." by referring to a man's obligation to seek clarity, and Truth. Having investigated the subject a bit further, I'd say that this explains what I was trying to express.

A reductive Darwinist, and the other folks you linked to that type, would likely consider an "obligation" to God or Reality to be pure fantasy. But the sense that there is a "need" to pay the debt of one's existence is something that seems to beckon to many Raccoons.

Maybe it's a Raccoon thing.

Not sure why I wanted to amplify this point beyond my own noggin', but I did. Thanks for the on-going revolving look into this subject!

6/24/2008 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"But the sense that there is a "need" to pay the debt of one's existence is something that seems to beckon to many Raccoons."

Indeed.

Gerard does get around; he popped up in one of my dreams, back in March.

6/24/2008 08:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Did he not also give you the eucharistic cookie?

6/24/2008 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous wizard said...

Pat Buchanan is just exercising his right to engage in non-violent resitance to political irrelevance.

Of course, if you wanted to engage in non-violent resistance to immanance, you could vote for Pat Buchanan in 2008.

6/24/2008 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Walt, it’s a Raccoon thing alright. If you catch one, you’ll know you’ve got him when he beggons: “Lemme go, I’m only borrowing.”

6/24/2008 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Wo

6/24/2008 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

(Sorry... frontal lobe's stuck in the spin cycle)

6/24/2008 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Allowed versus wise;
funny how well they match up.
A great induction.

6/24/2008 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous chandler said...

Thanks for the link to the American Thinker piece on the three strands of leftist beings...absolutely brilliant...

6/24/2008 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gerard said...

Ummm... ummm.. ungh....wha.... what?

Who is that that disturbs my sleep?

Here in my ascendent bunglow with a garden growing in the gutters on the roof?

6/24/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

We are all of us in the rain gutter, but some lotus are looking at the stars.

6/24/2008 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Still trying to catch my balance, I oh! Ben! There it goes! Grab it... !Ohh man... Raccoon balance is a tough thing to catch. In the meantime, Ben, Victor Davis Hanson dealt with the populist thug here Reply to Patrick J. Buchanan - Pseudo-Historian, Very Real Dissimulator, and gave him a real drubbing.

6/24/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Wow, Julie, you're looking good -- a beautiful subject portrayed beautifully. Your husband appears to be a proud guy as well as a lucky one.

Even at the earliest point in Church history, there were people who wanted to do what Jesus did without being who Jesus is. Simon Magus and the seven sons of Sceva come to mind.

I have thought that a good balance might be to bow before the Transcendent and push the Immanent into the wading pool when it's not looking.

6/24/2008 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, this post is remarkable in that the purpose of your blog was revealed, which is to help bring deeper meaning to your readers' lives through the written word.

At your task I think you succeed quite well.

A further refinement would be to instruct your readers to stop being so reactive against trolls and instead use the standard practice of taking them into your collective arms.

You are the body of Christ so don't use His limbs to be needlessly cruel to the ignorant. Justice tempered by mercy is called for here.

That being said, I reveal myself as a troll and I am ready to recieve your collective love. Lay it on me brothers and sisters.

My troll creed is that I am "the malleus mallificarum." I will turn the treatment upon those in need.

6/24/2008 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

We have never once turned away a spiritually homeless troll who is hungry for truth. We are not here to argue, but to be of help. But we cannot be of help to those who are here to argue. Which is why we laugh at them, for laughter is the second best medicine for breaking through the ego.

6/24/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

We'll get back up to the dream later. Anyway, when we say that "the word became flesh," what we are ultimately saying is that transcendent reality, or the ultimate principle, is present in what we call the material realm (which is actually a realm of pure dynamic or energic activity).

Right - the word is continually made flesh - not in the sense of the Incarnation Proper, but in the sense of if God is the Logos his order - his word - is continually being made 'flesh', i.e. material. Among the infinite books written about the things which Christ did among them ought to be included that he affirmed in his existence that God was not distant, aloof or asleep, but continually being expressed in his creation. Eckhart expressed this in a way that bordered on Pantheism, i.e, Is-ness is God.

A brother said he felt that Eckhart had fallen into Pantheism. Do you think this is a valid charge, Bob, or do you think he safely grinds the guardrail between the skate park of Truth and the traffic Jam of heresy?

I have always when reading anything of his noted that he seems to speak esoterically, i.e. pointing the very boundaries of the expression of Truth.

It may be this tendency of his - the esoteric one - to make Schopenhauer believe he was a Brahmanist instead of a 'blessed beam of intense darkness'.

6/24/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Mr. Troll: You may feel the love, and if we do it correctly it should burn until you're holy.

Refiner's fire, and all that.

6/24/2008 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

(checks his prayer book)

Ah, here. Corporal acts of mercy...

'Admonishing Sinners'

Lets get ready for some balls-to-the-wall MERCY!

6/24/2008 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

NO, I definitely don't think that Eckhart fell into pantheism, although he may have fallen up into a kind of Christian non-dualism that is also implicit in Denys, John Scotus, Nicholas of Cusa, Henry Suso, John Tauler, and many others.

6/24/2008 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Part of the problem is that Eckhart used language in such a sophisticated, playful, and paradoxical way, that one can get lost in the denotation instead of the connotation. He was trying to use language to break the shell and bore into the kernel.

6/24/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Even while recognizing that there can be no kernel without a shell, and vice versa!

6/24/2008 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob,

You are goooooooood, one heaven of a spiritual detective.

6/24/2008 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I just remembered that Orson Welles -- who had planned to play Jesus Christ in his next film after Citizen Kane -- is the one who bestowed the nickname of "The Great One" on one of our patron saints, Jackie Gleason, AKA Ralph Kramden of the Bensonhurst Raccoons.

6/24/2008 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon,

You're not here to be truly loved, you're here because your ego drags you here in its need to feel more pious than others.
How about you open your own blog and begin working your enlightened miracles?
Feel the love?

6/24/2008 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

I assume everyone has noticed how the great Lileks can find transcendence in the most ephemeral of ephemera... Conversely, it is amazing that the less gifted among us can see only transience in even the most eternal things....

6/24/2008 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Anonytroll should keep the toll houses in mind. We should not seek to be loved but to love.

6/24/2008 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Anecdotally, while I am fully in the spiritual camp, it is only because God worked a triage on my soul back in 1966. My mom put us in church in high school but the church we attended had an illness that didn't become visible until years later. It soured me though. But later as I said, something happened, and I became a different critter, oddly enough something like you racoons.

The whole point of this is to talk of my Dad, who until very near the end of his life was a pretty convinced atheist. On his deathbed he changed his mind. Throughout his life he acted better than most Christians and Unitarians that I know. He was highly principled. I would say of him that I have known few who had higher moral values, reminding me of a severe Calvinist in some ways even though he would not darken a church door, never did, since he was far too ill with cancer when he took last rites.

If you want to think of him as a closet religious really angry with God, I wouldn't argue too much, since I have said it myself. However I know that in his conscious mind he mostly put the whole God thing into a category marked "beside the point". We had many philosophical discussions before I left home, and he just got impatient with God talk.

6/24/2008 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

I would like to point out yet another term that distinguishes...

Pantheism is the identity of God with many forms.

Panentheism is God found within or at the heart of many forms.

In both cases a tree or a man may be said to be holy but not in the same way.

Mathew Fox is a champion of Panentheism.

6/24/2008 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

But he is also a believer in liberation theology, AKA a Marxist in Christian garb.

6/24/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

From his 95 theses:

21 Economic Justice requires the work of creativity to birth a system of economics that is global, respectful of the health and wealth of the earth systems and that works for all.

Sounds like the typical Marxist code to me.

6/24/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous christpher said...

If you choose to reject the theology, which I am also not much interested in that is fine with me, but the term still holds as a distinction. I was thinking there are many panentheists and that the Brahman/Atman identity in Hindu thought may well be panentheistic.

6/24/2008 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

By the way, a Marxist does wear Christian garb for he is rooted in a godless reaction to Christendom

6/24/2008 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

Feel the fire. It does burn, but in a good way.

6/24/2008 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Panentheism is a heresy, only inasmuch as it is the chief understanding of God. That is, often a Panentheist will reject Christ but affirm that 'God is Is-ness'. It's real basic - you can't reject the Incarnate Word while affirming the incarnate word. In doing so you've created an unintentional falsehood.

Or at least in this case, this is my best understanding of the subject.

6/24/2008 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "...instruct your readers to stop being so reactive against trolls and instead use the standard practice of taking them into your collective arms."

Ooh... look ... another anonymous troll... how original... how brave... how... boring. We have no collective arms, we beat our trolls the old fashioned way, One Om at a time.

Go find a name or remain a ninny.

Now go put you ficarum back in your malleus, zip up your mali and begone.

6/24/2008 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Chris: In Christ The Eternal Tao, Damascene points out that we can fully activate the 'psychic being' or 'nous' but this, no matter how clear and perfected, IS NOT GOD. That is to say, it is not divine; it contains God in the sense that it is in his image (body/spirit mind/son nous/father) but it isn't in its essence Him. More specifically it means that we can not submit to it as we should God.

This Nous, or Psychic Being appears to only be good or 'single' (let thine eye be single) inasmuch as it is in a state of complete humble obedience to God.

The brilliant light of the Human Intellect is like unto darkness when compared to the uncreated light, or so this is what the Fathers say.

Thus I enjoy the title "Intense Beam of Darkness" given to the brilliant intellect of Bion; this Intellect which is 'beyond knowing' is in the darkness of the dissolution of ego and utter rejection of autonomy...

I've got the map, now I just gotta figure out how to take the journey.

6/24/2008 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I am almost certain that Orthodox Christianity is explicitly panentheistic.

6/24/2008 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

See here.

6/24/2008 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ew, though. The whole 'parsing' thing bothers me. Yes, that is correct. I believe the prayer that I say when I remember to, says "The Spirit of Truth, who fillest all things..."

But, I think the distinction holds.

It makes me scratch my fuzzy chin to think that E.O.C. is the only group under that distinction?

In the words of the pre-eminent and ven'rable Homestar Runner:

Wiewd.

6/24/2008 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"...It is absurd because we know that virtue is consciousness of a reality, not some simply defined behavior. Yes, we have moral codes, but the code -- even (or especially!) the Ten Commandments -- represents a "descent" from the Principle..."

Yes! And, as you said, that is what makes it possible to travel back up them, to touch the core virtue via any facet of its expression - so utterly and completely different than the endless leftie inspired 'codes of conduct' and mania for rules masquerading as 'laws' and 'rights'.

Still dealing with the frontal lobe spin cycle from todays post and Vanderleun's... left work early and made a two hour short cut out of my 30 min drive homewards. Took some pictures, watched the river rising, smelled the mist.

Now to grab some coffee (no Ximeze... not from that place... the one next door. It'll have to do), and go home... maybe clean the 9yr old's fish tank.

Then maybe sit on the deck and see what someones eyes look like.

6/24/2008 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

BTW, Ben. You might check out Buchanan's own column today - not sure how to interpret it against what you saw at Townhall (Hitchens is involved).

6/24/2008 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

By the way, yesterday was post number 1,000.

6/24/2008 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

In this case, there is strength in numbers!

6/24/2008 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Regarding the -ism discussion, I have to agree with the following definitions:

Pantheism = An identification of the universe with God. God is the universe. God is creation.

Panentheism = Belief that God is in the universe. It differs with pantheism which states that God is the universe and all that it comprises.

Deism = God exists, but is not involved in the world.

Theism = God exists, and is involved in the world.

Polytheism = Belief in many Gods.

Monolatry = Belief in more than one God but serve and worship only one, i.e. Mormonism.

Henotheism = Belief in one God without denying the existence of others.

Monotheism = Christianity =
Only one God in existence, anywhere, anytime (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8; 45:5,14,18,21,22; 46:9; 47:8; John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:5-6; Gal. 4:8-9)

Too simplistic?

6/24/2008 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Here's to 1,001!

6/24/2008 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Panentheism and monotheism do not conflict in the sense that it can be a characteristic of a Panentheistic God that He is as well the only God. And as well, that God exists infinitely whereas the universe in which we reside almost certainly had a beginning.

So while currently also present, meaning immanent, there is also at least one transcendant dimension beyond the beginning. But the nature of infinity demands that God is then infinitely transcendant as well as infinitely immanent.

Thus the whole of infinite God is in some sense present at any point you care to identify on this planet and elsewhere.

6/24/2008 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Coongratulations, Bob!!!
Wow! 1,000! A cool grand! A thou spot! :^)

6/24/2008 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Nomo-
Yes, he mentioned Hitchens in the last two I read, and, from what I read, Hitchens was right.

I've read enough of Buchanans rewrite of history. Heb may parse words after the fact, but he blamed England and the US for the Holocaust, and called our bombing of Germany terrorism and criminal.

Frankly, that's all I need to see, to realize that Buchanan is either a troofer idiot, or a Nazi sympathiser.

His last book, before this one, pretty much convinced me he is racist and anti-semite, and now I'm convinced he's a fascist.
He does support white nationalists in Europe, as well.

Other than that, I know little about him, but I certainly don't remember him being this way during the Reagan Presidency.

However, his last few columns were made for the Daily Kos or Stormfront, not Townhall.
I really do hope that Townhall and Human Events shun this idiot.

I don't care what good he might have done in the past, because when he denigrates Jews and our Heroes of World War Two, and sympathises with Nazi's, he becomes more than just a little bit crazy.

In fact, I see essentially no difference between Buchanan and Wright. They are two sides of the same racist, fascist coin, and they are not Patriots in my book!

Sorry for the rant, Nomo. It's not directed at you.
It's no wonder that MSNBC uses Buchanan as their "conservative" voice.
I expect it from them.

Townhall, Human Events, and Fox News have no excuse, and they owe their readers and listeners an apology.That is, if they don't wanna alienate conservative/classic liberals.

6/24/2008 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Hey, Ben, I always respect your opinions - just tryin' to get as clear a picture as I can.

6/24/2008 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I understand, Nomo.
You'll get a crystal clear picture if you read Buchanans last two columns at Townhall.
He's literally trying to rewrite history to make us look like the bad guys that "overreacted" to Hitler's aggression.

I'm sure 6 million Jews, and millions of others would like to hear how Hitler was misunderstood.

Sounds just like Obama talking about Iran's top terrorist, in that respect.
Or the pacifists of WW2 trying to vindicate their horrendous judgement (or lack thereof).

6/24/2008 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

(This is a complete and utter departure from the conversation, but it had me laughing so hard I was almost crying, so I'm sharing. It's about The Talk; part 1 here, part 2 here. Food and beverage alerts in full effect)

6/24/2008 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, there is so much conservative intellectual firepower in the world, but the MSM always goes to the nut Buchanan, or the ghoul Novak, or the twirp Tucker Carlson, or religious kooks, so they can make the movement look bad.

6/24/2008 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Our generation very much confuses license below with freedom and transcendence from above (bonehead comedians who lauded George Carlin's "fearlessness" come to mind, but nihilism is not transcendence).

Precisely! Carlin spoke out against PC speech codes and hate speech laws, and the "right" of anyone not to be offended, but for entirely different reasons than we do.

Carlin wanted a licientious freedom, while we want responsible Liberty.

I reckon that about the time I decided to grow up (or began the process) I no longer found Carlin to be very funny.

He lacked that timeless humor of a Roy Rogers or Bill Cosby.
His bitterness, sadly, prevented ever knowing true Joy, but the bitterness was only a symptom of his nihilism. Sad.

Now I can't understand why I ever valued the hedonism I once thought I enjoyed...but that's a good thing. :^)

6/24/2008 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Lileks summed it up pretty well:

I suspect... he was one of those people who found hypocrisy to be tremendously revealing. If a word is spoken in private, it should be spoken in public.

Said one obit: “he Manhattan-born comedian always said his often-cynical satire simply reflected his real-life disdain for mankind's greed, stupidity and inconsideration."

Some projection there, perhaps. I never heard Carlin be as hard on himself as he was on his favorite strawmen. That wasn’t his job, of course, and you can’t fault him for the routines he didn’t do. But the more you confront and accept your own human faults the less outrage you find in the small mishaps of others, and I never got the feeling Carlin spent a lot of time interrogating his own character with the same confident derision he brought to things much greater than himself.

****

The abominable Chris Matthews said he admired Carlin "because a comedian's job is to find out where the line is, and then cross it."

That attitude sums up the left pretty well, as they must politicize everything. The real purpose of a comedian is to be funny. What novel concept!

6/24/2008 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie-
Those links were hilarious! LOL!
Thanks!

6/24/2008 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie,
That link hit home on a couple levels... definetely an ISS moment!

6/24/2008 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

My pleasure, Bros - see, some people do still know how to be funny ;)

6/24/2008 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben, did you see the VDH link about buchanon above? Lays him out as only VDH does... like a biology professor calmly slicing the guts outta the frog and laying them on the table for viewing.

6/24/2008 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I also laughed when you mentioned Chris Matthews and his retarded comment, Bob.

Why is everything "good" in the leftyverse involve crossing the line?

Brings to mind:
"Protest is the highest form of patriotism."
Stuff John Kerry thought Jefferson said.

"Well, it sounds like something Jefferson might have said!"

"Margeret Cho is funny because she crosses the line!"

"Obama is smart because he going to do the opposite of everything W is doing, which means it will work."

"We didn't divulge secrets, it was investigative reporting." NYT

"It's a consensus. That's what science is. The debate is over! I have a liberal arts degree and now I'm an expert (high priest, actually) on Global Warming."
The Goracle

"False but accurate." Rathergate

"I know! We'll raise gas taxes and give those taxes back to the hardest hit; the poor. But no more drilling!" Typical leftist energy plan.

"Drilling for more oil won't lower the price of gas." A lefty economistactually said this on Neil Cavuto's business news show.
Cavuto's jaw just dropped.

It's difficult to think of anything the Left does that doesn't "cross the line" of ignorance and get lost in the endless depths of utter stupidity.

6/24/2008 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van said...
Ben, did you see the VDH link about buchanon above? Lays him out as only VDH does... like a biology professor calmly slicing the guts outta the frog and laying them on the table for viewing.


Ha ha! Aye! Thanks, Van!
BTW, I like your analogy.
VDH dissected Buchanan in splendid fashion.

I would also like to see Mark Steyn tear him a new one. :^)

6/24/2008 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Damn! I'm gonna hafta stop writing such long comments. Pithyness is next to Peteyness. :^)

6/24/2008 06:14:00 PM  
Anonymous George Costanza said...

Peter Jennings got a nose job.

“He did?”

Probably.

6/24/2008 06:45:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

"Nor should we let religion off the hook, for when it goes off the rails and descends into madness, it seems that it is often a result of a violent resistance to immanence. When this happens -- when people insist on the absolute truth of a transcendent ideal to the total exclusion of immanent reality -- it can often result in violence. In fact, this is what we see in the Islamists: a violent rejection of the modern world in favor of their transcendent ideal of a new Caliphate."

Could not this be said of the left as well, since their leftism is really a utopian, Godless religion itself that seeks to impose a pacifistic, smiley-faced, vaccous koombaya collectivism upon mankind in absolute ignorance of the reality of the fallen nature of man? Or could it be that the leftist's inept attempt at transcendence without a Divine Center of Reference ironically creates a greater hypo-immanence than that which he seeks to transcend? I just saw that American Experience episode on PBS about the Summer of Love; sure looked like a religion to me. All Hail the Power of Leary's Name.

6/24/2008 07:04:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

"Are there any other jazz harpists?"
Kind of; I'm thinking of Andreas Vollenwieder, although some might say he is more New Age.

6/24/2008 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Tsebring:

Good point. Ultimately extremes meet. It's just that political religions of the left "immamentize the eschaton," while religious nuts do the opposite.

6/24/2008 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben said “Why is everything "good" in the leftyverse involve crossing the line?”

Because they have nowhere to go, but outwards! Perpetually in search of a new boundary line.

Leftism is about perception over conception. From it's root source, the denial of volitional choice, Free Will (Rousseau, Condorcet, Godwin), in favor of attributing your life and character to the results of an environmental pin ball game. It took the focus of thought from seeking deeper meanings and the hierarchies that naturally follows from that, to seeking something ... else....some other thing...quickly.

The problem is, they aren't seeking meaning – for them there really is none – they’re seeking movement, action, spark! A jolt!

Problem is, that once you've seen each side of the jolter... it's known... no surprise left... booorrr-riiiinnnngggg! Next! It always requires mooorrreee… and when that which was more… has been absorbed… next!

The interior conceptual hierarchy, opens up access to infinite vertical depth... there is always a deeper meaning and consideration to be found, and they lead to wider Truth, and ever deepening understanding, soul and the inwardly outward.

But the only lure and interest to the flat exterior world of the leftist, is perceptive glitter and jolt. Even their neuroses are based about things that they dwell on, their image, sensory stimulation, and ... of course... the environment.

And anyone that brings that new boundary to their reach…Ooh! Hadn’t seen that before! Wow! Praise! Hero! Next!

6/24/2008 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

(Not our Godwin of course... that Godwin...great, great, great Uncle Godwin?)

6/24/2008 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

(family karma... Bob's gotta put back into the world, what uncle helped remove)

6/24/2008 08:15:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Van said:
"...It took the focus of thought from seeking deeper meanings and the hierarchies that naturally follows from that, to seeking something ... else....some other thing...quickly.

The problem is, they aren't seeking meaning – for them there really is none – they’re seeking movement, action, spark! A jolt!

Problem is, that once you've seen each side of the jolter... it's known... no surprise left... booorrr-riiiinnnngggg! Next! It always requires mooorrreee… and when that which was more… has been absorbed… next!"

You're describing addiction in a nutshell - just a non-chemical poison of choice. Same internal lack that creates space for the lure to take hold, same behavior, same result.

Splains plenty

6/24/2008 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know Vans entire post seems a little useless. Either you don't have free will due to the leftist natures-pinball game or you don't have free will because God's omnipotence can't overcome his omniscience. Either way God doesn't have control and you're still stuck with the way things work. But if you consider God's omnipotence to be greater than his omniscience, well then he isn't really omniscient is he, so why is he God?

6/25/2008 12:39:00 AM  
Anonymous matthew said...

Fascism the historical reality and philosophy should be distinguished from 'fascist' as derogatory term (same as 'communist' or 'anarchist'). A well-done fascism can be just as good and benign a form of government as democracy, monarchy, or communism. See Gabriel D'Annunzio's Fiume regime, which pretty much invented fascism, and had an anarcho-syndicalist constitution!

Carlin's cynical humor was brilliant. That he did not give a comprehensive philosophical underpinning for his views in no way means he ACTUALLY was a nihilist, only that such a digression wouldn't have served his goals as a performer.

Besides, he DID worship-- the sun! and he did pray-- to Joe Pesci! and found that his prayers were answered!

6/25/2008 02:29:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "Either way God doesn't have control and you're still stuck with the way things work. But if you consider God's omnipotence to be greater than his omniscience, well then he isn't really omniscient is he, so why is he God?"

matthew said "See Gabriel D'Annunzio's Fiume regime, which pretty much invented fascism, and had an anarcho-syndicalist constitution!"

matthew, say hello to aninnymouse, aninnymouse, say hello to matthew. You are going to be seat mates so please help each wherever you can, and welcome to kindergarten.

You can see that you have so, so, so much to learn, and so far you've only had so-so success doing so on your own - fortunately, however, you're in the right place.

Mind your manners and pay attention.

6/25/2008 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ok kiddies, here's your first two lessons (matthew! aninnymouse! Sit!), now pay attention -
Freedom of Will, Knowledge of Truth, Nobility of Soul , and
Degrees and Chimes of Freedom Fleshing .

Now I'm sure you've heard that children should be seen and not heard, but if you must comment, please try not to drool.

For extra credit, here's one of mine,
The Self Evident Truth Of Free Will
and one just starting off,
Liberal Fascism - Getting to the Root of the Matter.

(what... no apple?)

6/25/2008 05:33:00 AM  
Anonymous matthew said...

Van,

for such astonishing condescension, you sure don't back it up with anything substantial. Do you know anything at all about D'Annunzio's Fiume? Do you even care to know or do you just want to speak to little kids?

6/25/2008 06:20:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Matthew, do you know anything at all about Communism?

6/25/2008 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

matthew: Oh, come on. The ironist schtick is old. 'Anarcho-Syndicalist'? So, what, basically, um, Mob business rule with the help of a weak government? Who wants that?

From your attitude I can tell its like learning about Focault: as soon as you have you wish you hadn't.

6/25/2008 07:16:00 AM  
Anonymous matthew said...

I am a professional historian. what do you want to know? i have a pretty detailed knowledge of how the Russian and Chinese communist experiments devolved into disasters. Also some of the abortive workers' movements in 1830, 1848, 1870, and 1919. The Spanish Republic in 1936 showed promise until the Stalinists derailed it.

The best communist societies I've learned from have been Israeli kibbutzim and Basque Mondragon cooperatives. Also a variety of AmerIndian societies who might be termed roughly communist, tho their values differed considerably.

D'Annunzio's Fiume was an interesting and mostly consensus consortium of the Italian constituencies of the town, with a large voice for workers' groups and unions, as well as for the variety of businessmen. The constitution had some pretty radical provisions. The trappings of fascism were mostly invented during this escapade.

Like most political structures and tools-- including democracy-- they can and often are abused. but throwing the baby out with the bathwater is just stupid (as with democracy or communism-- or anarchy or monarchy, for that matter)

6/25/2008 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Not a great fan of democracy either.

...

It worked out great for the Greeks, right?

6/25/2008 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Matthew: If I read you right, you're talking about arrangements -within- communities, which are - as has been proven - not models for wider society or civilization. Communism works within small groups (communes?) - monasteries are 'communistic' but only work because of specific conditions. When the coercive aspect of Government is introduced - since for instance monastic life is voluntary and self-selecting (or Self selecting?) - many forms that work in a community such as syndicalism turn simply into monsters.

The USA is the first 'higher order' government system, probably. One that starts with the recognization of the monstrosity of Government and seeks to restrain it rather than empower it.

6/25/2008 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Matthew, I don't have my library here at work, but most recently "Six months that changed the world" by Margaret MacMillan covered the highlights of the Fiume folly, and d'Annunzio in general. I know it's been touched on in other books I’ve read of WWI and the period as well, and it has come up in my researching the history of Liberalism, from Classical Liberalism to modern leftism.

I'm sorry, but I have difficulty in taking any proposition that any shade of anarchism, fascism, communism, marxism, totalitarianism, etc, etc, etc could in any way shape or form, result in a proper form of governing. It completely misses what is required for an individual to live a life they can be responsible for, within the context of their city, state & culture.

Any of these ism's results in some form or another of substituting what one person decides is good, and forcing that decision into the life and decisions of the citizen, in ways that not only overrides but eliminates the option for them to even consider one or more facets of their lives. It makes them not only unfree, but unable to fully live their life in a way they can be responsible for.

And it all ultimately rests upon conceptions of Free Will, and what are the proper and necessary Individual Rights that must be defended against assault from within or without, by their Gov't (and especially from their own gov’t) – that is the civilized form of Gov’t - in short Classical Liberalism. That form of gov't and conception of man as free, responsible and able to live in Freedom.

6/25/2008 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Oh... Matthew… I hadn't seen your 07:50:00 AM comment yet,
"...I am a professional historian..."

that's probably the root of your problem... yeah... that's probably what enables you say something like "The best communist societies I've learned from have been...". If you're starting from 1830, you're too late in your studies by at least 200 years.

6/25/2008 08:45:00 AM  
Anonymous matthew said...

You just don't you understand. Communism, fascism etc. have been tried and failed for the distinct reason that the right people to pull it off correctly weren't in charge.

6/25/2008 08:54:00 AM  
Anonymous matthew said...

Obama and his cadre just may be the one's to do it right. They are the change I've been waiting for.

6/25/2008 08:57:00 AM  
Anonymous scatter said...

History is too serious to be left to the professionals!

6/25/2008 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Note, this isn't strictly an issue of the form of Gov't itself. Though not the Founders ideal of a constitutional gov’t of democratically elected Representatives, the British governance of Hong Kong as a Crown Colony and with the inestimable aid of British Law and educational systems (nothing like todays), still did a more than adequate job of enabling the average citizen to live a life free of improper intrusions by Gov't into their lives, and by upholding their basic Individual Rights (I suppose for a history professor I need to add "including Property Rights").

An interesting experiment is in play now (interesting from an outsiders point of view, sickening from the insiders point of view) in Hong Kong since the disgraceful turnover of it to the ChiCom's, in how the increasing interference, rules, regulations and enforcement of 'Peoples Freedoms' is eroding their actual Rights and quality of life.

6/25/2008 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

matthew said "You just don't you understand. Communism, fascism etc. have been tried and failed for the distinct reason that the right people to pull it off correctly weren't in charge."

Yep. Just as I suspected... Leftus Historitis... probably terminal, though there is a slim chance of recovery.

6/25/2008 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

matthew said "Obama and his cadre just may be the one's to do it right. They are the change I've been waiting for."

Ooh... not good... 99.999% probability of the disease being terminal for this patient.

6/25/2008 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Oh lord Matthew, not that tired sh*t again.

Seriously, can't you come up with something more original?

Regurgitating canards may have gotten you brownie-points with your professors last week, but won't fly around here.

You'll need to do better if you want any respect in this venue.

6/25/2008 09:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Robinson said...

Matthew, can you say, "100 percent failure rate"?

6/25/2008 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Johan said...

Matthew said:
"You just don't you understand. Communism, fascism etc. have been tried and failed for the distinct reason that the right people to pull it off correctly weren't in charge."

Oh dear, let me guess... It would all work out just perfect if only You and your gang where the ones in charge, right Matthew?!

And you're a teacher? Poor children.

6/25/2008 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous matthew said...

I'll be looking for a position in Obamas education department, thank you very much.
We've much work to do!

6/25/2008 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous the real matthew said...

Someone just sock-puppeted those last three posts that were allegedly by me.

for the record i don't like Obama much. And i'm much more anarchist/ consensus leaning-- someone is pulling some BS by posting as me. I don't know, Robert, what the level of moderation here is, but it's pretty disturbing.

Anything actually deliberately called 'communism' really couldn't predate 1848 and Marx, of course... My main period of study for the last three years has been AmerIndian Eastern Woodlands societies in the 1600s-up to about 1830. There WERE some large-scale consensus-based polities, most notably the Iroquois and Creek confederations. There's no GOOD reason that taking the best of the various 'ism's can't work on a large scale; but it's precisely the absence of coercion that's the key.

6/25/2008 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well van danced around that one.. too bad he hasn't learned enough himself to teach others, or know himself. It's a shame, all talk, no walk. You want to learn something, you can't offend anonymous, it's like trying to leave a mark on water. Completely useless.

6/26/2008 01:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More than likely Matthew it was Godwin himself doing the sock-puppetry, he has at least 2 sock-puppets on his own website, with suspicion of a few more. He has issues. Profound issues.

6/26/2008 01:20:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "Well van danced..."

Yes I have at that, something the thing with no name will ever do. And laughed too.

Still laughing.

6/26/2008 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

matthew said "anarchist/ consensus leaning..."
A Gov't based in Anarchy and Consensus, is just Thuggery by another game. If you don't understand the need to provide for Law, Objective Law, for the benefit of honest disagreements, let alone for the deceitful and power luster’s, you have no understanding of humanity at all. Once you do grasp the need for the most basic of laws, it then becomes obvious, for those thinking in a developed human fashion, that there needs to be an hierarchy of Laws and a recognized structure for administering and updating them.

Sorry, but to declare yourself "anarchist/ consensus leaning..." is at best juvenile and naive, for that to be the declared position of someone who claims to teach history, it is sickening and horrifying.

6/26/2008 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Corrction. I am Petey's slack puppet.

6/26/2008 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I gotta signed copy of Bob's first issue! Truly a collectors item! So valuable it's not for sale! Ho!

6/26/2008 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Nan said-
"Ooh... not good... 99.999% probability of the disease being terminal for this patient."

That's an accurate diagnosis, Van!
This patient is terminally stupid.

6/26/2008 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Um...Nan is Van's navigator...or somethin'. Heh.

6/26/2008 06:44:00 AM  
Anonymous matthew said...

That Native American wannabe who just posted is not the real me. I am a dyed in the wool communist and no Amerinjun is going to speak for me!
Viva Obama!

6/26/2008 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous matthew said...

Sock puppet my ass.

6/26/2008 08:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, somebody's being a complete moron, I doubt the person who's trying to keep his name somewhat good is the sock puppet.

Van, when I said dance, it was more like a stumble. And why are you laughing? I suppose the answer I seek couldn't come from you, because you have no idea how to respond. Typical. Stumbled around it again, only this time it reminds me of a drunkard. I mean honestly, what was so funny? You could come up with a witty reply instead of laughing about it. Between the choices possible, you chose the one that makes no sense. What's your next response, that I don't get it? Yah, that's the exact same response as every other person who has totally no idea how to get out of making themselves out to be a moron. You probably should just go ahead and keep laughing, because coming back to it again without an actual response would just prove that point.

6/26/2008 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "why are you laughing?"

Heh. Why am I laughing, and what am I laughing at? Well, at you, of course.

Why? I guess I should have figured that you’d be too slow to figure it out… here, let me spell it out for you.

Lets see... you are so low on the blogosphere food chain that you don't even have the guts to come up with a made up nic, let alone one with a profile or blog attached.

You are indistinguishable from any of the hundreds of other nameless thoughtless texthards who drop in here vying to out do each other in the stupidity of their comments.

In your 'original' comment... (or the previous aninymouse at 6/15/2008 12:39:00 AM – have to assume it was you – one of the hazards of your being a know nothing and a no-name), you’re making a comment that not only shows you haven't bothered to look through the site you are commenting within, but it’s a comment that is barely up to kindergarten level on the philosophical scale, all the while puffing yourself up as though you are making a forceful, useful and valid point.

Then you come back and make some attempt at commentary about my reply to matthew, in which you say nothing whatsoever about it, you make no historical, political or philosophical points, other than to make what you hoped would be... what... an injurious insult to me? From someone with no name, no sense and no understanding on any issue you've raised...?

I'm sorry, but in short, I was laughing at you - and I'm still laughing!

You can disagree with me all you want, I'd actually enjoy that, and if you were capable of making and sustaining a point, I might even benefit from it - but you couldn't even rise to the level of being wrong...!

Thanks for the chuckle and have a nice day!

;-)

6/26/2008 07:04:00 PM  

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