Thursday, August 21, 2008

Careening Through History Without a Rear View Mirror

I probably shouldn't even try. It's already 6:40, I have a dental appointment at 2:00, and I have to get a lot of work done in between. Nevertheless....

I guess one thing we're trying to do here is figure out if any general principles can be derived from something that seems so uniquely evil, i.e., the Nazi phenomenon. And not just banal things like "don't appease evil," or "genocide is bad," or "get rid of that stupid little mustache."

One of the important contexts of Nazism was romanticism, which was itself a reaction to the alienation that was felt as a result of the industrial revolution in particular and modernity in general. Veith writes that "people felt alienated from nature, from society, and -- because their identity had become such an enigma -- from themselves. The rationalism of the Enlightenment, which seemed responsible for this malaise, was answered in the 19th century by Romanticism."

Interestingly, romanticism is a regressive phenomenon that occurs in the context of progress, almost the way that a child will regress in the midst of psychological development. As a matter of fact, that's happening to my son right now, as he has suddenly developed the urge and the capacity to toilet train himself. Clearly, his ability to do this is a result of countless synaptic connections taking place below the surface. As a result, he's being ushered into a whole new and unfamiliar world. His desire to sit on the toilet is just the tip of the assberg, so to speak.

To cite one obvious example, he sees that most of his friends are housebroken, and he's suddenly self-conscious about it -- which is to say, a tad ashamed. But just a few weeks ago he wouldn't have had this introspective capacity, nor the ability to look at himself from the standpoint of the Other, which is a prerequisite for shame. This is why two year-olds and trial lawyers do not feel shame.

But just as with every previous developmental leap, he is clearly experiencing a lot of ambivalence about his new capacities, so he's also engaging in more regressive behavior -- at times more clingy, or more angry, or more frustrated, etc. One can well understand why. Just think back on your own relatively sudden transition from child to adolescent. I remember it well. One day you're hanging out with your friends, playing baseball, joking around, hating girls. The next day....

It's very disorienting. And it's now understood by developmental neurologists that one of the reasons it's so disorienting is that the brain literally disassembles at these developmental cruxes, and then reassembles at a "higher level," so to speak. In other words, human psychological development is not like an addition to your house, or building a new floor above the existing one. Rather, it's more the way a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. It's a transformation, not just a transition.

Anyway, it's these "in between" phases that are fraught with such difficulty, those interstices between one stage and another. That is precisely where a lot of the mind parasites get imported, because that is when the brain is much more "fluid," open, and unstable. Could the same thing be true of history? The first thing that comes to mind is Marxism, which specifically developed in that gap between the premodern and modern world. It is fundamentally rooted in the myopic fallacy that things were getting worse for the average worker, when the reality was that, for the first time in 10,000 years, they were actually getting dramatically better.

In this regard, Marx was not just economically illiterate, but completely ahistorical, a malady that continues to afflict the left to this day. The free market will eventually solve most problems that leftist solutions will only perpetuate or aggravate. But the leftist relies upon people being riveted only on the now, which then requires some sort of radical solution to redeem the future.

For example, how many Americans realize that gasoline actually reached its peak price in the early 1960s if adjusted for inflation, while it reached its low point in 1998? For the demagogues of the left, it is vital that you not know that, just as it was vital to Marxists that people be unaware of the fact that for the average laborer, the 18th century was almost a straight upward line in terms of increasing affluence.

So, let's play with this idea that sudden progress is going to bring with it sudden regression -- or at least make certain people more vulnerable to it. Yesterday we mentioned the 1960s. Why would the most affluent and pampered generation in history suddenly revert to neo-paganism, earth-worship, deconstruction, moral relativism, and a rejection of the very civilizational inheritance that allowed such unprecedented affluence to begin with?

It reminds me of an unfortunate incident that occurred last Sunday, when Mrs. G backed her car out of the garage, and in the process managed to amputate my driver's side view mirror. So for the last few days I've been rolling the Coonmobile without one, and it's more disorienting than you might think. You realize the extent to which successfully moving forward requires you to keep one eye riveted on the past. Without that view of the past, it can sneak up on you in surprising ways. Your every move risks colliding with someone else's unfolding line of spacetime. Furthermore, I found myself reflexively looking for the past in the usual place, but finding only a "hole" -- except that the hole was filled with the present.

It is no exaggeration to say that in the 1960s, the baby boom generation gleefully tore the rearview mirror off the vehicle of civilization, while simultaneously believing that they could put the pedal to the metal on the engine of progress. Is it therefore surprising that so many fatal accidents occurred? The breakup of the family, soaring crime rates, a naturalistic or surreal art that became a celebration of the primitive and subhuman, a deteriorating educational system at all levels, a general recrudescence of neopaganism, with its cult of the body and exaltation of the instincts, women emulating men, men emulating women, the rejection of our own Judeo-Christian wisdom tradition, etc. All because a few adolescents tore the rear view mirror off Dad's car. You know, guys like Obama's good buddy, Bill Ayers.

We all know that conservatives realize that liberals are usually well-intentioned but merely ignorant (or immature, or stupid), while liberals imagine that conservatives are evil -- that they are driven by sinister motives. You know the drill -- if you want to liberate the Iraqi people, you really want to enrich oil companies, or if you think Obama is a vacuous celebrity, you're really a racist, or if you think global warming is a hoax, you really hate the environment, etc., etc., etc. Being that leftists flatter themselves by calling themselves "progressives," like a child, they imagine that the conservative must be the opposite. You might say that they imagine that conservatives want to drive the historical car by looking only in the rear view mirror.

But obviously, if you try to do that, you will be no more successful than the leftist who tries to go forward without reference to the past. You'll inevitably get into a lot of accidents, but they will be of a slightly different nature.

Now, as it so happens, there are conservatives who do try to do that. But I don't like to call them conservatives, since it conflates them with the true conservative, who tries to drive forward while having a deep and panoramic view of the past, where objects may be much, much larger than they appear in your mirror.

I realize I'm rambling here, but one theme that leapt out in this book on Hitler is the parallel between the Nazi movement and the traditionalist movement as articulated by people such as Guenon, Schuon, and Coomaraswamy. First of all, let's eliminate up front the idea that I am calling them "Nazis," or some other such nonsense. However, you don't have to search very far before you discover a persistent critique of Traditionalism, to the effect that it is essentially a fascist movement. That is, it is entirely backward looking, authoritarian, cultish, romantic, and very openly repelled by all things modern.

As it so happens, Schuon spent most of his childhood in Basel, which is situated right over the border between Switzerland and Germany. He was born in 1907, and there seems to be little doubt that his childhood was immersed in the volkisch sentiments of the time, as discussed yesterday. For example, he writes of Basel as a "fairy tale city," where he developed a deep appreciation of its romanticism. His biography notes that he was "Germanic to the core," and "impregnated from childhood by that poetic and mystical culture whose particular expression in fairy tales and traditional melodies he never forgot.... His sensibility led him quite naturally in the direction of German romanticism, nurtured by the Middle Ages, at once chivalrous, enchanted and mystical."

But at the same time, he felt profoundly alienated, as if he were more comfortable in the past than the present: "An introvert, he felt like a stranger, misunderstood by those around him." This led him to explore museums "for the traces of past wisdom which seemed to him like windows opening onto a lost world." He was too young to have taken part in World War I, but interestingly, he reflexively blamed the war on modernity, when in fact, as we shall see, neither it nor its second act, World War II, can be understood outside the context of that same backward-looking romanticism that led Schuon in a very different direction. In other words, these wars may have used modern means developed by science, but they were thoroughly rooted in magic and mythology. Just as the current war against Islam, these were medieval people with modern weapons.

I want to re-emphasize that in no way do I intend to denigrate Schuon, whom I consider to be one of the most profoundly gifted spiritual geniuses in human history. But he's definitely not an "American" thinker, a metaphysic which I believe has the best chance to synthesize past and present into a viable future characterized by real progress. But now I'm out of time, so I'll have to continue this line of thought tomorrow.

48 Comments:

Blogger NoMo said...

Bob - Yeah, re: toilet training a boy. Having just recently gone through it with our grandson, I suggest leaving some cheerios near the toilet. They make for a fun (and critical) floating target. That, and/or keep a mop handy. Talk about careening.

8/21/2008 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Bob

Since I haven’t thanked you lately, thank you for your incredible insight and knowledge and ability to put it into a readable format. I learn something with each of your intelligent and inspiring posts.

I realize this sounds like a kiss up but I in fact have a pair and would rather go to a biker bar and take them all on than brown nose anyone. I just really appreciate your blog and feel like I should let you know from time to time how great I think it is, again thanks.

8/21/2008 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Thank you. It's actually important to me that I occasionally get that kind of feedback, not for ego gratification, but merely to know that my efforts are not totally in vain, and that I'm not just tossing bottles into the ocean. There's great joy in being deeply understood.

8/21/2008 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous christopher said...

"The first thing that comes to mind is Marxism, which specifically developed in that gap between the premodern and modern world. It is fundamentally rooted in the myopic fallacy that things were getting worse for the average worker, when the reality was that, for the first time in 10,000 years, they were actually getting dramatically better."

I would state this another way, which is that even if the plight of the worker was getting in some ways "dramatically better" Marx realistically saw such a gap between the haves and have nots that any progress noted was too little by far and far too late. Thus the inevitablility with which he saw the outcome of revolution. Of course he was wrong, in that his sense of rectitude was formed humanistically in the absense of God. That means that any "revolution" would be forced and ultimately unviable.

And GBob, this is one of the primary examples of how philosophers can stand on the shoulders of Tradition and insist it is no longer required - Marxism is a Christian heresy - that the ideal life in Christ (communism) can be realized without Christ at its heart (Marxist based Communism).

8/21/2008 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Christopher:

You are dead wrong. Marx did not realistically see a gap between the haves and have-nots, since, for the first time in history, it was not a case of "have-everythings" and "have-nothings." Thanks specifically to the free market, previous have-nothings began to have something, in an upward trend that has continued to this day, whereby poor Americans live beyond the dreams of royalty a century or two ago.

8/21/2008 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

"You don't have to search very far before you discover a persistent critique of Traditionalism, to the effect that it is essentially a fascist movement."

Yes, there's more than a grain of truth to that charge (eg, Julius Evola).

"It is entirely backward looking, authoritarian, cultish, romantic, and very openly repelled by all things modern."

You say that like it's a bad thing... ;-)

8/21/2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Classic -- Life of Brian meets Life of Barack.

8/21/2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

I'm standing at the chalkboard writing 100 times: I will not drink coffee in front of the monitor.

8/21/2008 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Interestingly, romanticism is a regressive phenomenon that occurs in the context of progress..."

Still reading, but I just had to blurt out again. Certainly Romanticism was regressive, but in the philosophical context at least, it had nothing to do with progress... proregress perhaps. From this never-ending post I've been trying to work on, hopefully will put up tonight,

"This dissolution of our ability to grasp reality and the consequent inability to know ourselves, was soon reflected in the destruction of Art. The first signs were a passionate desire to return to more authentic, back to nature drives in Painting, Poetry and Literature in the Romantic movement. Sturm und Drang, anxiety and despair were the new keywords which replaced dignity and nobility… did such art elevate? Examine Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther”, , about a sensitive, angst ridden artist ‘in love’ with someone else’s girl, who eventually after there was no more room to wallow in, commits suicide. The results of this runaway best seller, was an epidemic of suicides that swept Europe. Art always gets and conveys the message of its theme, even when we sophistically seek to evade it, but nevertheless the message was all is hopeless, you are unable to know anything, give up and die. Within the century, Art would go from the Heights of William Bougerreau, down through an inevitable chain from one obvious conclusion to an even more obvious conclusion, that if we can know nothing, things are not what they appear, why bother trying to represent them? Brush work is unnecessary, representation is unnecessary, form and recognition are uneccessary, nothing depends upon nothing else, just capture the ‘essence’ (of…? SHHH!) of them… how? Well… passionately, with angst undefined edges to cramped and densly slashed lines on down to the 2-Dimensionaly thin shallows of picasso (summed up perfectly in the link “…You had to be taught to love Picasso, because nobody would love him otherwise. But people don't need to be taught to love Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Bouguereau, or for that matter Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, or Tom Sawyer...”, the splattered filth of Jackson Pollock, and novels that have no plot or point to make, but just express the authors authentic feelings….

The result was that soon after the onset of the Romantic movement, Art reduced itself to art, and no longer does anything to inspire and restore, but inflame anger, depress, and tear down. Contemplation and Reason are out, Action and Powerlust are in. Sigh. The nausea builds… "

8/21/2008 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My studies of Romanticism, which centered on the English poets circa Wordsworth and Keats, led me to the conclusion that Romanticism was a version of the Yoga brought forth by Rishis of the Indus Valley many centuries ago. It struck me as an original Western variant of the same line of thought, independently arrived at.

English Romanticism involved a concentration of the powers of consciousness either on natural beauty or on concepts like Truth and Virtue. Via heavy dyana, enlightenment would dawn in the mind, and the equivalent of the Psychic Being would come forward to rule the nature.

English Romanticism, therefore, represents a very straight line of upward evolutin and was by no means a regression.

American Trancendentalism, same thing.

8/21/2008 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

On today's topic, here's an interesting quote I grabbed from an anti-"Bushite regime" blog:

"This was one of the greatest shortcomings of the counterculture that arose in the 60s. We –and I was a member of that tribe– simply tore down a great many of our society’s moral structures and assumed that all would be well. We had half-baked theories of human nature, and of society, that justified “letting it all hang out” and “doing our own thing” and “if it feels good, do it.”

History has shown that we were naive. Not all has been well. Indeed, I would argue that this naive miscalculation is part of what has led, ultimately, to the rise of the dark and destructive forces from the right embodied by the current dangerous Bushite regime."

http://www.nonesoblind.org/blog/?p=1503

I got there from ponerology.blogspot.com, another odd blog.

I love the Internet.

8/21/2008 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "You are dead wrong. Marx did not realistically see a gap between the haves and have-nots, since, for the first time in history, it was not a case of "have-everythings" and "have-nothings." Thanks specifically to the free market, previous have-nothings began to have something, in an upward trend that has continued to this day, whereby poor Americans live beyond the dreams of royalty a century or two ago."

Hmmm... how can I put this... let me see... yyyYYYYEEESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ahem. pardon me.

8/21/2008 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

And what Jim said.

(though from experience, I prefer to keep my pair well out of range of the biker's kick)

8/21/2008 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger jp said...

You know, it just occured to me that I have no idea what Marx actually said about anything.

8/21/2008 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous petey said...

He said, "don't worry, just keep working. I'll take care of the thinking."

8/21/2008 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

jp said "You know, it just occured to me that I have no idea what Marx actually said about anything."

Well... the short answer is that he took Hegels ideas, got rid of all of those pesky things that still looked like principles, and spat out Marxism.

Believe it or not, he was a reporter... (isn't that shocking?!), and his reporting on things like our civil war are easily available online. Easier reading than his Das Kapital, etc.

Bunch of selective and equivocating (not to mention just plain ignorant) whooie through and through, but he did manage to come up with a catchy name for free market economics - 'Capitalism'

8/21/2008 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Marxism is a result of trying to read Hegel whilst standing on your head while your head is up your ass. Small wonder that it is so difficult in practice.

8/21/2008 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

But the leftist relies upon people being riveted only on the now, which then requires some sort of radical solution to redeem the future.

And since they can not deliver upon their promises, the relegate their failures to the past. Which they promptly ignore because it is in the past. And make more promises to redeem the future.

The more cynical (experienced?) among them know they can promise anything they like. As Scott Adams (Dilbert's Laws of Work) notes,
It doesn't matter what you do, it only matters what you say you've done and what you're going to do.

8/21/2008 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Say.... no wonder Leftist 'thought' is so indubitably convoluted.

Another mystery solved!

8/21/2008 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous hodge podgist said...

Christopher,

With your decades long conflation of Marxism, Christianity, Communism, Budhism, Maoism, Progressivism, Hinduism, Conservativism, Compassion over Truth, etc. with no overarching ordering, compatibility or coherant understanding of the subtle differences between the philosophies/religions and their ultimate and proven manifestations in the world, "You are dead wrong" goes without saying.
Your worldview seems just a haphazard selection of unexamined and incompatible feel-goods thrown into a bag, and your non sequiturs make as little sense now as when you first arrived.
Has your life philosophy been carefully crafted to project an "image" or are you truly interested in following truth where it leads? I ask this because your foundational constructs appear a bit shaky and disjointed. Words have meanings.

8/21/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

This seems apropos today. I'm definitely going to have to see this movie now.

8/21/2008 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

From Julie's link "In just this past year, counting both narratives and documentaries, we’ve seen nearly a dozen, high profile anti-Iraq War films and not a single one has made a profit or argued the other side.

And yet, more are on the way. There’s no secret as to how this happened..."

Correct, no secret whatsoever. Leftist's learned their economics from Marx.

8/21/2008 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Lizard rap.

8/21/2008 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Hmm, this is something I largely agree with, Bob. What confuses me is how many people I know feel profoundly -guilty- of what they possess. I can't figure it out. Mostly I feel annoyed with my need to have certain possessions; but there are a number of things

I desire to do that require at least a certain number of possessions. A person who gets married, for instance, has committed themselves to having possessions.

In Orthodoxy there is a strange divide between people who are essentially Romantics and people who are not. Some Romantics can be found clearly by their tendency to 'be more strict than the Saints'...

Not to be judgmental here, but it's a funny problem. I don't think it is Orthodoxy (which in and of itself can contain and reconfigure anything, no matter how modern, post-modern or romantic) but an issue we tend to have as people.

I know that certain of my own romantic ideas were 'disabused' or so to speak. Crushed into bits is more like it, replaced at first by a shock and possibly a fear, but eventually consolidated into determination...

I also recall someone who is a bit more public spending a whole blogpost agonizing about how hard it is to get out an icon of the Theotokos and actually pray correctly. No kidding! Just do it!

Venting a bit here, but I am repulsed both by this 'drama' that oozes out of some thing, and also by the severe and block-headed rationalism...

Rock and hard place, man..

8/21/2008 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Er, coherency has not been my strong suit lately...

8/21/2008 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

From Cuz's liz'ard rap,

"...he's still smarter than you, he studied bi-alah-gee..."

Now that was funny... even if it was rap.

(Ok, sure, it may not be exactly what they meant, but it still works)

8/21/2008 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob,

Even though you were referring to a young person's growing stages in the post, I thought your description of transformation -- "the brain literally disassembles at these developmental cruxes, and then reassembles at a "higher level" -- was an important distinction.

While the word "transformation," or the phrase "transformation of being" is found repeatedly in spiritual literature, I think it's pretty easy to just read the words as "change," and to not understand the concept.

But "disassembles . . . and then reassembles at a higher level" conveys the meaning -- and perhaps in part because it gives the mind an image, albeit one derived from animation.

8/21/2008 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I remember reading about how, for example, with teenage boys, the wire that connects the impulsive center is temporarily unplugged from the judgment center, with predictable consequences. I then understood why I jumped out of those moving cars -- although adding beer to the mix probably helped eradicate whatever frayed threads remained between impulse and judgment.

More generally, watching Future Leader grow up is very much like seeing someone have a series of strokes in reverse.

8/21/2008 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

“It's very disorienting. And it's now understood by developmental neurologists that one of the reasons it's so disorienting is that the brain literally disassembles at these developmental cruxes, and then reassembles at a "higher level," so to speak. In other words, human psychological development is not like an addition to your house, or building a new floor above the existing one. Rather, it's more the way a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. It's a transformation, not just a transition.”

I understand that adding marihuana at that time stops the disassembly at what ever age the child is at and forever keeps them at that emotional age. Any thoughts on that?

8/21/2008 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“But just as with every previous developmental leap, he is clearly experiencing a lot of ambivalence about his new capacities, so he's also engaging in more regressive behavior -- at times more clingy, or more angry, or more frustrated”

“these "in between" phases that are fraught with such difficulty, those interstices between one stage and another. That is precisely where a lot of the mind parasites get imported, because that is when the brain is much more "fluid," open, and unstable.”

I believe this happens again around…well, my son just “turned” 15 last month. He clearly shows concern at times for the man he knows he is to try to become, as if time is running out. I tell him he has plenty. The “what will I be” has set in. How couldn’t it? He mentioned to his mother how adults are asking him “what do you want to be?” And his man in the future is definitely pulling on him…but he has no experience there, only as his father’s son. At first I thought the mood swings were puberty, the physical changes. But he felt bad after outbursts at his mother. Those sorts of things were a clue it wasn’t just physical. He’s seen what the outbursts have done to someone he knows he loves. He’s making his own man. It’s happening. The outbursts nearly gone.

This is getting harder for me too because I know there is only so much I can do for him. I can nudge and encourage but have to check I’m not projecting. Harder still because we genuinely have many things in common :-) But many things he has to experience for himself. I can’t just tell him what to do. Outwardly he doesn’t want that anyway. Inwardly he still does.

8/21/2008 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Good points Walt. And I like the "...example, with teenage boys, the wire that connects the impulsive center is temporarily unplugged from the judgment center, with predictable consequences...", as well.

Should go along way towards explaining things, should any of my kids ever find out about my friend David driving us 80mph down the highway between Vegas and Phoenix, with me half out the window, walking the length of cars as we passed them. Never forget the look on one family man as he looked over to see a pair of size 12 sneakers treading across his window.

And still breathing. Amazing.

No 'M' involved... quite abit of Pina Colada's though.

I'll have to look very deeply for a stern look and a grave lesson should that ever get out to the wrong young ears....

Loose wires indeed. Disassembling and reassembling... without a doubt. Transformation... thank God!

8/21/2008 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ricky said "This is getting harder for me too because I know there is only so much I can do for him. I can nudge and encourage but have to check I’m not projecting. Harder still because we genuinely have many things in common :-) But many things he has to experience for himself. I can’t just tell him what to do. Outwardly he doesn’t want that anyway. Inwardly he still does."

How familiar is that?! Long may it ring down the centuries....

8/21/2008 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Van,
Yes the prodigal son just transformed for me. It has a lot to do with and for fathers as well.

A few months ago I realized he’s never been in a fight. I guess I should say “not that I know of.” But he never walked in with a shiner or a split lip.
That must sound strange. But I don’t know what to make of it. We were in them all the time. Well…not all the time. Nothing major of course. Just swinging fists.
I don’t know…
Maybe it’s time to put down the wii and buy some real boxing gloves :-)

8/21/2008 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Fellow fathers, sometimes you just got to grab on to this, no matter what happens in the meantime. And sometimes the meantime can seem like a long time!

8/21/2008 09:44:00 PM  
Anonymous slim pickens said...

No 'M' involved... quite abit of Pina Colada's though

Pina Coladas?

Ya know, Van, I don't mind ya givin' me headaches with them loooong comments a'yoorn. But if yer a'drinkin' them sissy drinks, I ain't shore we can be friends.

Slim's word a'wisdom fer the day: Don't order no drink with an umbrella in a biker bar, less'n yer female er Barney Frank.

8/21/2008 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Jim,
"I understand that adding marihuana at that time stops the disassembly at what ever age the child is at and forever keeps them at that emotional age. Any thoughts on that?"

Though Bob may have more insight, in my experience, alcohol and certain types of trauma can have that effect. It's absolutely tragic. It would be unsurprising (to me, anyway) if marijuana did too.

8/21/2008 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"A few months ago I realized he’s never been in a fight....But I don’t know what to make of it. We were in them all the time."

Have you Father-guys read The Prince of Frogtown, Rick Bragg's extraordinary memoir? Fathers & sons, tough kids & momma's boys, fatherhood & guy-childhood, that's what it's about.

8/21/2008 11:03:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>> . . . he's (Schuon) definitely not an "American" thinker, a metaphysic which I believe has the best chance to synthesize past and present into a viable future characterized by real progress<<

O so definitely. Obviously, if one is confronted with a choice between regressive Romanticism and Ahrimanic "progress", the rewind/fast-forward on the horizontal scale, the only answer is a vertical transcendence that integrates past/future and, yup, transcends them.

And there ain't no transcendence without individualism and the self-awareness therein, which is where the American metaphysic comes in. Personally, I think Nazism was, in a sense, a stab at progress, and a spiritual progress, to be sure. Doomed to failure, of course, because it, like communism, attempted to transcend collectively, an impossibility. I think we should make no mistake, though - there is a meta-power in the collective that can be harnassed, channeled. Thus Nazism was a mysticism gone bad, and when mysticism goes bad, it becomes evil.

Personal responsibility arises from genuine individualism and self-awareness - meaning the attempt to overcome one's self-love, one's own lower instincts. When the emphasis is on a collective responsibility - meaning making sure you recycle and pay respects to Gaia, etc. - and personal responsibility is distinctly de-emphasized, then we're veering close to a mysticism gone bad.

8/22/2008 02:17:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Thanks, Ximeze. Haven’t read it. Looks like my cup of tea.
Hahaa!
Seriously, it does look good and will likely get it.

Thank you too, Nomo. Yep, I let my son know what I don’t approve of and what I do. Sometimes by just a cringe or a non-laugh. I think it works because of the things he tells his mother but not to me. In other words, I make sure he sees how I spend my time, what I reject, etc. Walk the talk.

8/22/2008 05:04:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Van,
“...about my friend David driving us 80mph down the highway between Vegas and Phoenix, with me half out the window, walking the length of cars as we passed them. Never forget the look on one family man as he looked over to see a pair of size 12 sneakers treading across his window.”

Way to cheer me up.

:-)

But…here’s the question. Who would Van be without those sorts of things? I mean, I have them too (but not the same size sneakers :-) But lookie how well Van turned out.

The fact that my son has never been in a fight… I mean, does this mean we could actually prevent our sons from doing all these things? I think that’s where our culture is headed.

Would Bob be who he is without that “lost period”, or me without my own? (for lack of a better way to put it)

I think Dory put it best, “If nothing happens to him, then nothing will happen to him. That doesn’t sound too good for little Harpo.”

8/22/2008 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Slim said "Pina Coladas?
Ya know, Van, I don't mind ya givin' me headaches with them loooong comments a'yoorn. But if yer a'drinkin' them sissy drinks, I ain't shore we can be friends."

Lol, yeah, I know. In our defense, it was our first time legally walking into a liqour store, which was what we did soon as we hit Kingman Az (Arizona back then the drinking age was 18), and as we were gawking the eye hit 'Pina Colada' as in "I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at trader Vic's" from Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London... and we proceeded to make an effort to become werewolves.

Nah... music... no influence on kids whatsoever... just a myth.

yeahRIGHT! No need to worry though, never aquired a taste for foo-foo drinks.

And as Ricky said " I let my son know what I don’t approve of and what I do. Sometimes by just a cringe or a non-laugh."

Same here, heavy on the cringe & head shake.

8/22/2008 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ricky said "The fact that my son has never been in a fight… "

To which I would add "that you know of". That is what I keep in my head when sometimes I marvel at how little trouble my kids have been... that's just the impression my parents had of me. Keeps me on my guard.

"I mean, does this mean we could actually prevent our sons from doing all these things?"

In my never ending quest to impress people with deep literary allusions, do you remember the Star Trek NG, when Picard is going in for a new mechanical heart, and regrets the youthful brashness that got him stabbed in a bar fight? Q offers him the chance to go back and change it, he does, does all things sensible, and ends up as a clerk even lower than Brocoli on the enterprise under #1 as Captain.

"I think that’s where our culture is headed."

God save us from 'too good' parenting. It's ok to let them know what we disapprove of, but our lessons of right and wrong only go sooo deep, they've got to actually learn them. And be lucky enough to survive them.

That's the hell on earth of parenting, knowing that you don't even know what you don't know.

8/22/2008 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Will said "When the emphasis is on a collective responsibility - meaning making sure you recycle and pay respects to Gaia, etc. - and personal responsibility is distinctly de-emphasized, then we're veering close to a mysticism gone bad."

Definitely. The spell's gotta be broken... takes us rowdies in the back heckling and calling B.S. and that the emperor not only has no clothes, but is packing cellulite to boot.

8/22/2008 05:50:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Also worth mentioning, I think, re: the desire for Romantic regression is the archetype of the Universal Shaman, he who will ameliorate suffering and bring spiritual wisdom to the masses.

There was a time, I believe, when the embodiment of this archetype was a necessity - I believe that there existed sun-kings, pharaohs, etc., who were imbued with a divinity that did indeed allow them to instruct humanity.

Needless to say that time is long gone or should be. We're supposed to be responsible for our own spiritual progress. Still, many Obama worshippers seem to regard him through the lens of this ancient archetype.

8/22/2008 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

will: I think the coming of Christ was what changed that. He destroyed our binds to death and to the demonic (or other-than-God spiritual) powers. On one hand it made us now actually responsible for our progress and destiny (rather than simply being led about until we fell into Hades to wait for our redeemer) but on the other hand it meant that the old power structure which we had our infancy as mankind in was now dead.

Thus the power that Universal Shamans (sun-kings, demigods, pharoahs) used to draw on has long lost its real potency.

Does that resonate with you at all? I believe that Lewis believed this to be the case, and so did many of the saints. That the cosmos itself had changed in a fundamental way with the crucifixion and resurrection...

8/22/2008 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

An Interview With Miguel Serrano
"Esoteric Hitlerist"
http://web.archive.org/web/19990508174215re_/www.satanism.net/iss/wot/Miguel_Serrano.html

[[fyi]]
Serrano knew Jung, Hesse, pushing 100 now...

8/25/2008 04:08:00 AM  
Blogger xlbrl said...

Joseph Schumpeter
The capitalist achievement does not typically consist of bringing more silk stockings for Queens, but in bringing them in reach of factory girls in return for steadily decreasing amounts of effort.


Garet Garrett
In the sense that there is a Communist ideology there is no capitalist ideology and never was. Communist ideology begins with the idea of a designed society, conceived by reason alone, directed by master minds, with nothing left either to God or the spontaneity of the human spirit.
Capitalism was not designed. It came not from thinking but from doing. In the beginning and for a long time it had no more theory about itself than a tree; like a tree it grew, and its only laws were remembered experience. When the writers of political economy began to provide it with a theory they had first of all to study it to find out how it worked. Many capitalist were innocent of its existence. What could theorist tell them about what they were doing every day?

All theory is against freedom of the will, all experience for it--
Dr. Johnson

Economics is a subject that does not greatly respect one’s wishes--
Kruschev

10/11/2009 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Xlbrl said "...In the sense that there is a Communist ideology there is no capitalist ideology and never was..."

Garet Garrett is someone I only recently became aware of, and have as of yet read very little of, but what I have read, I've found to be of high quality.

10/11/2009 12:59:00 PM  

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