Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Metaphysics of Envy and the Revenge of the Left

I was going to discuss the tenth commandment later in the week, but since it illuminates the tempest of the day, I think I'll get right to it. In particular, I was reading an article at American Thinker, Sarah Palin and the Narcissistic Wounds of the Left, when an important point clicked into place. The click was so loud, it made my household gnome, Petey, jump out of his skinlessness.

Lewis notes how, for the left, Obama "is entitled to the presidency." You see, for them "It's only justice. Think about that word 'justice' and try filling in 'revenge.' 'Social justice' means the revenge of the poor against the rich, of the radical women against the men who've stood them up and hurt their feelings all their lives, and the revenge of black people finally doin' down the whites -- as Jeremiah Wright makes so abundantly clear."

What the left calls "social justice" is actually "the revenge of the psychologically oppressed against people who look happier and more satisfied with their lives." As such, it is intimately related to the psychoanalytic understanding of envy, which is an unconscious mechanism that goes about destroying what one does not have, in order to eliminate the emotional pain of not having it.

Frankly, that was such an important point that I didn't get any further in the piece: when the left talks about "social justice," what they unconsciously mean is social revenge. Ah ha! Suddenly their nonsensical economic proposals make sense! They're not supposed to make sense to the conscious mind, which demands logic and reason, but to the unconscious mind, which demands passion, instinctual release, and emotional satisfaction. Guffaw ha! It's like the keynes to their whole economic kingdumb!

As with the Islamists, the emotional thrill of hacking off someone's head is the sufficient reason for doing so. The rest is commentary and pretext. Likewise, the emotional satisfaction of "sticking it to the rich" is the sufficient reason for sticking it to them. Who cares if the economy will shrink? It feels good. The intellectual justification is just a thin veneer on the surface of the emotional drive, which is destructive, not creative. The same with such self-defeating policies as rent control, anti-free trade, a "living wage," socialized medicine, and "windfall profits taxes" (let's hope that Sarah Palin is not actually in favor of them, or that she will be quickly disabused once someone explains their folly to her).

Then it suddenly made sense to me why the Democrat base is composed of the under- and overeducated. Many if not most intellectual mediocrities with too much education -- New York Times idiotorialists and the like -- live in a kind of detached and abstract world. As such, they long for "authenticity," or some such replacement for actual being, the latter of which results from the higher unification of truth and action, or will and beauty, or virtue and truth.

This is why left-wing intellectuals identify on the one hand with the impulsive underclass (not so much the poor, but the depraved poor), but also why they patronize and defend the worst kinds of so-called art, which are really more about a flight from being, into a kind of human-animal mockery of it. This downward flight of intellectuals has been going on ever since the Romantic movement began its counter-revolution a couple hundred years ago. No matter how much they flap their lips it's a fall, not a flight, but it feels like one until you hit bottom. Unless you keep digging. Which is the job of liberal arts departments.

There is intellectual truth and emotional truth. Again, in a healthy -- which is to say, whole person -- these will converge and harmonize, but in the unhealthy person there will be a radical disjunction, which will cause one side of the union to atrophy. Thus, one can obviously be an emotional thinker with no real intellect. But one can also be an intellectual with no emotional (let alone, spiritual) intelligence.

An Al Gore comes immediately to mind, someone so caught up in his abstractions about the weather, that he has no idea how emotionally motivated they are. As such, he mainly communicates hysteria, but without even being aware of it. In other words, you can be sure that he imagines himself to be an "intellectual," when he is really more of a frightened child. If it weren't global warming, it would be something else -- something to organize and contain his emotions.

This is why communicating this hysteria to others is Gore's urgent "life's mission," and why it is so impervious to reason and evidence that contradicts his alarmism. He doesn't want to calm down, as the emotions make him feel alive. He needs everyone to feel as alarmed as he is, in order to "normalize" it. A large part of craziness involves the unconscious need to create a congenial environment wherein it will feel like normality. Think of college campuses, which have literally become a kind of psycho-emotional environment for the worst kinds of soul pathology hiding under the cloak of "education."

Lewis writes that the Left feels "entitled to power, because in their own eyes they have Truth and Morality on their side. They are Mahatma Gandhi, they are Dr. King, they are the vanguard of the marching proletariat. It's not just Big O who has the incomprehensible egomania. His inner circle and vast numbers of his supporters do, too. Entitlement, grandiosity, narcissism: In psychiatric thinking they all suffer from secret feelings of inferiority, narcissistic wounds to their self-esteem. Every time they lose, those nagging feelings come up again. So they are always overcompensating, trying to bully reality into the shape they need."

As a friend was reminding me the other day, the left cannot argue in good faith, since they do not see the political spectrum as a "polarity," so to speak, between left and right. Rather, they see it as a continuum, with the right as a kind of atavistic holdover from an earlier age. They are more sophisticated than we are, so they needn't bother even seriously contending with our arguments. Again, it is a breathtakingly transparent projection.

This is why the left is so hysterical about Sarah Palin. On the one hand, they flatter themselves with the notion that they represent the province of "strong women," but obviously the opposite is true. The left is the province of weak and victimized women who cannot get through life without Father Government protecting them. It is the same with blacks. They are the party of weak, dependent, and victimized blacks who cannot get by without the assistance of white liberals who can assuage their unconscious guilt by pandering to blacks. It's just an unconscious dance of mutual projective identification. Who said white folks can't dance?

It reminds me of a joke Louis Armstrong once made. Here was someone who had to deal with the worst kinds of actual racism, but was never a bitter or angry man. When asked about his secret, he said words to the effect that it was easy: just get some powerful white man to put his arm around you and menacingly say, this is my nigger. Armstrong was only half-joking. The racists of the contemporary left are dead serious.

Therefore, hell hath no fury like a leftist who encounters a female or African-American who doesn't need him. Thus, the high-tech lowbrow lynching of Clarence Thomas and the current unseemly attacks on Sarah Palin. How else to account for the shroud of discreet silence over the John Edwards affair vs. the airing of every possible rumor and smear about Palin and her children?

Now, what does this all have to do with the tenth commandment, “thou shalt not covet?” I'm tempted to just post it later in the week, since this has already gone on longer than anticipated. Yes, that's what I'll do. Class dismissed.

Related: Yearning for the Mud, @ American Digest. Reminds me of how the malignant narcissist confuses his feces with milk. So think twice before you rely upon the MSM to keep you abreast of the news, because that's no breast.

73 Comments:

Anonymous Djadja said...

On Palin and windfall profits, Friends of the Earth Action Vice President Brent Blackwelder says Palin “has been a friend of Big Oil, opposing a windfall profits tax on the oil industry that could fund affordable clean energy for more Americans." Palin said in Alaska “we made sure the oil and gas resources are properly taxed because an earlier version [of the tax] had been corrupted by corrupt politicians…”

9/02/2008 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

I keep wondering, "How do you have a discussion with someone who is disordered?" They aren't aware of disorder - no one is.

It's a bit like talking with someone who doesn't believe anymore in grammar. Only life can break that for you, once you stop having your needs met because you aren't making any sense. No one can talk you out of that.

So to covet is a disordered desire for something. How can something be disordered if you don't believe in order in the first place - no purpose, no 'telos' for anything? "If God does not exist, then everything is permitted," in the words of Dostoyevsky.

Then the spirit of faction overcomes politics, IS politics in its purist form. It's just a question of how hard you can push to get what you want in the war of all against all. There is no such thing as coveting, it's all back on the menu because there is nothing you are trying to achieve beyond what your will tells you you want. It's like being a toddler all over again.

If you argue with a toddler, you will always lose. Why? because he doesn't want you to win, so you never do. We discipline toddlers, we don't argue with them.

9/02/2008 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Djadja said...

True, Phil, but how do we discipline the Left? Even losing elections doesn’t help. I think all we can do is let racoons be racoons and let the dead bury their dead.

9/02/2008 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

By the way Bob, Theodore Dalrymple (See a lot of quotes here) Is an unusual figure. I think he is an atheist, but I can't figure out why.

...

9/02/2008 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger lance said...

While I am willing to agree that for some the concept of "Social Justice" is a form of Revenge. I do not agree that it is the same for all. I know several good Christian people who up until the last eight years with Bush had consistently voted Republican. They believe strongly in a form of "Social Justice" by way of soup kitchens, a weekly dinner for the homeless as well as a back to school supplies and a clothing drive. But these people are voting for Obama. For them the desire for a "change" any kind of "change" is enough for them to vote differently then they ever had before.

I think "social justice" is about what is doing right to help others. To lump the concept in with a bunch of angry screaming leftist does it a disservice. Because ultimately the angry screaming leftist is just as off base as the angry screaming conservative.

I had hoped that with this election there would have risen up a more moderate middle ground independent voice that may actually moved the country forward for the benefit of us all. But it appears that actually we now have more of the same. On both sides of the political isle.

9/02/2008 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"when the left talks about "social justice," what they unconsciously mean is social revenge. Ah ha! Suddenly their nonsensical economic proposals make sense! They're not supposed to make sense to the conscious mind, which demands logic and reason, but to the unconscious mind, which demands passion, instinctual release, and emotional satisfaction. Guffaw ha! It's like the key to their whole keynesdumb! "

That does put it into a more sensible light, doesn't it? Anger, hatred or deceit never quite satisfied as an explanation, and so misguided cluelessness has always had to do.

Click indeed!

9/02/2008 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

River said "I think he is an atheist, but I can't figure out why."

River, Dalrymple I suspect is still stuck where I was (not to in anyway try to compare myself to him), he grasps Truth, capital 'R' Reason and the emmence value of Western Civilization... he's just still stuck on the "talkin' snake" stories as being representative of real Religion, and absent externaly verifiable tangible objective evidence (as opposed to internally objective evidence gathered through introspection - every bit as objective, but unverifiable through having others examine the same evidence you find within you) to the contrary, is quite satisfied with the Truth of the matter which he can see.

BTW, his little book In Praise of Prejudice is an insightful gem, well worth the price.

9/02/2008 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

If 'justice' is the justice of men, I would prefer the worst injustice to social justice.

9/02/2008 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Lance, I'm curious. If they were Republicans up until the last eight years, what about Bush did they find so appalling that they're willing to vote for Obama over McCain?

As I understand it, a big part of why Bush's numbers have been so low is that the left hates him no matter what (so there's 50%), while the right generally thinks he's not been conservative enough (so there's the other 20 - 30%, or whatever it is). It's less hatred than disappointment, and for conservatives the problem generally isn't that we want someone who is less conservative to take his place.

I think a lot of people want so badly to see a black president that they're willing to overlook the real problems he'll bring to this country if he has the chance to implement the policies he wants. Having a black president means (in their minds) they can assuage their guilt over racism (whether they themselves are really racist or not). Is that the kind of "change" your friends want? A politician with different stripes? Because otherwise, I'm not sure I understand where they're coming from.

9/02/2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And for today's demonstration, the deranging power of Leftist envy. Key quote (from a DU comment thread):

"I will attack her for whatever reason suits the purpose of making her look bad to my audience.

When I am among secular people I will attack her for being a religious zealot. When I am among people from church, I will attack her for being of a heterodox denomination. When I am among liberals I will attack her for her conservative views. When I am among conservatives I will attack her for her for anything they are prove to view as shortcomings in ideology. When I am among women, I will deride the obvious pandering of her nomination and the fact that McCain must not think much of womens’ intelligence, when I am among conservative men who dislike women in authority, I will rub their noses in it.

If I can attack her for opposite reasons over the course of an afternoon, I will consider it an accomplishment.

Same goes for Johnny Boy.
"

9/02/2008 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Lance said "While I am willing to agree that for some the concept of "Social Justice" is a form of Revenge. I do not agree that it is the same for all. I know several good Christian people who up until the last eight years with Bush had consistently voted Republican."

It has a lot to do with which type of person you are speaking to, their grasp of the issue, and their response to it. There's a vast difference between the black masked thugs rioting in St. Paul, and Joe Lieberman. As I commented to a similar point by Skippy on Saturday's post,

"The issue comes down to how much thought they give to the issues. The Democrat agenda DEPENDS on people not giving the issues much thought. They depend on people seeing Welfare as Generosity soaking the rich as stopping Snidely Whiplash from grabbing all the cookies off the table and keeping people from getting what they deserve, of Diversity as being polite to people because they're people no matter their appearance, and stopping overzealous puritans from putting people who don't believe as they do into stocks in the public square.

Every remark and response they make will be to deflect any 'threatening' delving into Ideas, Principles, their sources and implications, preferably in a manner that doesn't invite further thought, which usually means insult, ridicule and demonization.

For the person who gives the issues little thought and buys into themes of Generosity and polite manners, those people could very possibly be closer to us in temperament than some republicans. The ones who have gone beyond the surface, who understand that the issues truly come down to matters of force and infringing upon peoples liberty, for forcing people to behave as decreed - for those people, there is no hope, barring a sudden and massive change of heart and mind (a 911 moment perhaps), they are lost."

Even for someone who looks at the issues and principles involved, but doesn't fully investigate, understand and integrate them down to the root levels, they haven't really grasped the philosophic principles, and are still operating on the basis of the emotional themes of generosity, not the actual principles involved. But those people, operating out of 'good intentions' will never be coaxed into donning black masks & throwing bottles and smashing windows. Those are the ones who are operating not out of emotional themes of generosity, but of envy, resentment and revenge.

9/02/2008 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gerard said...

"This downward flight of intellectuals has been going on ever since the Romantic movement began its counter-revolution a couple hundred years ago. No matter how much they flap their lips it's a fall, not a flight, but it feels like one until you hit bottom. Unless you keep digging. Which is the job of liberal arts departments."

Thanks. I need a quote to begin my morning mediation. Now I have one.

http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/bad_americans/yearning_for_th_1.php

9/02/2008 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve B said...

I think this is a perfect opportunity to review Lee Harris's concept of the Fantasy Ideology:

"It is a common human weakness to wish to make more of our contribution to the world than the world is prepared to acknowledge, and it is our fantasy world that allows us to fill this gap. But normally, for most of us at least, this fantasy world stays relatively hidden. Indeed, a common criterion of our mental health is the extent to which we are able to keep our fantasies firmly under our watchful control.

Yet clearly there are individuals for whom this control is, at best, intermittent, resulting in behavior that ranges from the merely obnoxious to the clinically psychotic. The man who insists on being taken more seriously than his advantages warrant falls into the former category; the maniac who murders an utter stranger because God — or his neighbor’s dog — commanded him to do so belongs to the latter.

What is common in such interactions is that the fantasist inevitably treats other people merely as props — there is no interest in, or even awareness of, others as having wills or minds of their own. The man who bores us with stories designed to impress us with his importance, or his intellect, or his bank account, cares nothing for us as individuals — for he has already cast us in the role that he wishes us to play: We are there to be impressed by him. Indeed, it is an error even to suggest that he is trying to impress us, for this would assume that he is willing to learn enough about us to discover how best we might be impressed. But nothing of the kind occurs. And why should it? After all, the fantasist has already projected onto us the role that we are to play in his fantasy; no matter what we may be thinking of his recital, it never crosses his mind that we may be utterly failing to play the part expected of us — indeed, it is sometimes astonishing to see how much exertion is required of us in order to bring our profound lack of interest to the fantasist’s attention.

To an outside observer, the fantasist is clearly attempting to compensate by means of his fantasy for the shortcomings of his own present reality — and thus it is tempting to think of the fantasist as a kind of Don Quixote impotently tilting at windmills. But this is an illusion. Make no mistake about it: The fantasist often exercises great and terrible power precisely by virtue of his fantasy. The father who demands his son grow up and become a professional football player will clearly exercise much more control over his son’s life than a father who is content to permit his child to pursue his own goals in life.

This power of the fantasist is entirely traceable to the fact that, for him, the other is always an object and never a subject. A subject, after all, has a will of his own, his own desires and his own agenda; he might rather play the flute instead of football. And anyone who is aware of this fact is automatically put at a disadvantage in comparison with the fantasist — the disadvantage of knowing that other people have minds of their own and are not merely props to be pushed around.

For the moment I stop thinking about you as a prop in my fantasy, you become problematic. If you aren’t what I have cast you to be, then who are you, and what do you want? And, in order to answer these questions, I find that I must step out of the fantasy realm and enter the real world. If I am your father, I may still wish you to play football, but I can no longer blithely assume that this is obviously what you have always wanted; hence, I will need to start paying attention to you as a genuine other, and no longer merely as a ready-made prop. Your role will change from “born football player” to — x, the unknown. The very immensity of the required mental adjustment goes a long way toward explaining why it is so seldom made and why it is so often tragically impossible to wean a fantasist even from the most destructive fantasy.

Fortunately, the fantasizing individual is normally surrounded by other individuals who are not fantasizing or, at the very least, who are not fantasizing in the same way, and this fact puts some limit on how far most of us allow our fantasy world to intrude on the precinct of reality.

But what happens when it is not an individual who is caught up in his fantasy world, but an entire group — a sect, or a people, or even a nation?"

Taken from his article in Policy Review: http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/3459646.html

9/02/2008 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"The man who bores us with stories designed to impress us with his importance, or his intellect, or his bank account, cares nothing for us as individuals — for he has already cast us in the role that he wishes us to play: We are there to be impressed by him."

Thank you, Steve - you perfectly summed up the mindset of many of our trolls.

9/02/2008 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve B said...

Julie,

Don't thank me, thank Lee Harris for his penetrating insights. Also we can thank Dear Leader for directing me to Lee Harris over a year ago (as well as Theodore Dalrymple and a host of other great intellects)!!

I don't post often but I am a daily reader of this site - This community has been a treasure trove of wisdom which is helping me overcome my education.

9/02/2008 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

From that perspective, I can see why writers do want *some* kind of response. Otherwise it can be at times difficult to know if we're actually reaching someone - if what we think is relevant is actually relevant - or if we've just made it up in our minds.

One of the key goals of trolls on this site appears to be to try to make Bob think the latter, or to convince us commenters the same.

9/02/2008 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Oops - thanks to Mr. Harris, then. But thank you for the link - that is an excellent article, with much food for thought.

9/02/2008 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

The politics of wishcasting, via Mushroom.

9/02/2008 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Oh, by not getting further along in the AT item, you missed the homage to Scatter:

"A normally sane leftist friend of mine literally screeched "Old! Old! Old!" about John McCain, like an enraged chimp doing a threat display. If he'd had any bushes within reach he would have pulled off the branches and brandished them, or thrown them around in his personal fireworks display."


From comment posted by Ranger Joe:

"This morning on 'Fox and Friends' Peter Doocey did street interviews with the convention 'protestors'. One women was reluctant to talk to him because she thought he was an 'organizer' of the anarchy. Whyzatt? She opened up to him and could not ID pictures of Dick Cheney et al. I say these people are useful idiots and paid mercenaries of Sauron Soros from Mt.Dumb...er...Doom. Young Doocey's closing comment was classic..."They have a cause...but they haven't a clue!"

Sauron Soros?

Bwaaaaaaaaahahaha

9/02/2008 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Lance, in another time and with another version of that which currently plagues us, your friends were referred to as "useful idiots."

Thanks, Steve, for the reminder on Harris. It's disturbing to see myself as the fantasist, insisting that I will somehow shake the (emotional) convictions of those in the thrall of leftism. But lately, it's been sapping my time, energy, and even self-confidence.

Something UF wrote brought home to me that reason not in the service of others or in an effort to get closer to God is vanity.

I will not argue with liberals anymore.
I will not argue with liberals anymore.
I will not argue with liberals anymore.
I will not argue with liberals anymore.
I will not . . .

9/02/2008 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

I will not argue with li...


Every time I try to finish typing that sentence, by keyboard doubles up in fits of laughter. Oh well,

A flogging I will go,
a flogging I will go,
until the liberal at last says doh!...
a flogging I will go

9/02/2008 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

As an aside, any Raccoon interested in playing around with some musical ideas (even just a little bit!) is invited to the slacketeria.

9/02/2008 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

The rage of the Left over the Palin nomination is in direct proportion to its threat to them. This is aimed at undecided 'swing' voters.
Will the Left overplay their hand on this? Will just plain folks wake up to their sheer viciousness?

9/02/2008 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

The rage of the Left over the Palin nomination is in direct proportion to its threat to them. This is aimed at undecided 'swing' voters.
Will the Left overplay their hand on this? Will just plain folks wake up to their sheer viciousness?

9/02/2008 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>What the left calls "social justice" is actually "the revenge of the psychologically oppressed . . . <<

To wax a bit meta on What It All Means Deep Down - it's this psychological factor looms large, I think, when considering ultimate ramifications. Such a negative psychology, such negative emotions do create thought-forms, *substantial* thought-forms that go on to fan the flames and create an ever bigger appetite for, and an eventual addiction to, the negative emotions. Such thought-forms, are, as it is said, like little tribal gods demanding blood sacrifice. Always been true, post-Eden, of course.

What I fear is that BHO-worship has focused, emphasized, increased the creation of the negative thought-forms of the left, to a degree never seen in the USA, at least. It could be that negative emotions are increasing due to some kind of Universal Quickening and that BHO was "called forth" to give them shape and a real sense of mission.

In any event, I think the negative thought-forms are wholly in command of a good segment of our population and that for the aforementioned reasons, they are getting more negative by the day.

9/02/2008 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

last post was me, Will, sorry, the meta-waxing and all.

9/02/2008 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Lance said:
"I had hoped that with this election there would have risen up a more moderate middle ground independent voice that may actually moved the country forward for the benefit of us all."

Sorry Lance, just don't get the desire for 'a more moderate middle ground independent voice'. Sounds pretty wimpy fence-sitter to me. Passive, consensus-driven models may get you points in conflict-resolution class, but not in a war of ideas.

What on earth does 'actually moved the country forward for the benefit of us all' mean? How does 'moderate middle ground' move anything?

Don't fool yourself, this is a battle to the death between Good & Evil, not some kumbaya game played by useful idiots & fellow travelers as they skip down the yellow brick road.

9/02/2008 04:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Scott Hebert said...

Wow, I found this site and link from theAnchoress, and this is amazing. I will make a point to frequent it in future.

9/02/2008 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Thanks, but frankly, the previous 1063 posts were better than this one.

Hey, my mother's maiden name was Hebert....

9/02/2008 05:28:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Amazing, the web of coincidence- my first grade teacher- a good candidate for the best I had in twelve years of school was named Pauline Hebert. She gave me a book entitled, "A Place on Earth" when I left the school in the middle of the sixth grade to move from Michigan to California. I still have the book.
Lance- I wouldn't hold out much hope for some concilliatory figure arising to bridge the left/right gap in the near future. Just the opposite is more likely.
In a way, I fear an Obama loss almost as much as I fear an Obama presidency. (well- kinda' sorta' almost) The same people who beat the "selected not elected" drum on Bush will go apesh*t with conspiracy fever if their messiah loses to some old white guy and a moose hunting broad from Alaska.
Those who are already gluttons for resentment are going to feast like flies on a turd wagon. I would not be surprised to see Rodney King style rioting.

JWM

9/02/2008 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

You say some of these people are overeducated? I don't think so. I would use the term miseducated.

9/02/2008 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"I would not be surprised to see Rodney King style rioting."

Yeesh, I hope it doesn't get quite that bad. Trouble is, I think they'll go apesh*t either way. If McCain wins, there might be riots, but more likely there'll be more demonstrations, puppets and drum circles. San Francisco will vote for secession, DU and the Kos Kidz will continue frothing at the mouth, muttering to each other about NeoCon conspiracies, that kind of thing.

On the other hand, if the big O wins, after eight years of literally deranging frustration they won't be content to just gracefully take charge and do the best they can for America. Nope, they feel victimized, and by gaia they're gonna have their reparations, if not by blood then by torment. They'll be rushing to ram their policies down our throats, ostensibly because it'll all be "for our own good."

It's all about the feelings - they've been feasting on anger and frustration for eight years; the only thing that will make up for it is an equally powerful feeling of power and wrath. They won't be happy; rather, it'll be an anti-happiness, a dark kind of in-your-face-ness, a determination to victimize the right in equal (or preferably greater) measure to how they think they've been victimized. Mere happiness or contentedness will be inadequate, because those relatively calm feelings won't fill that raging void they've been feeding since the 2000 "selection."

Interesting times....

9/02/2008 06:45:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Spengler has weighed-in on How Obama Lost The Election.

Ouch

9/02/2008 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Bravo Zulu!
Great post, Bob, and great comments!
Whatta feast for the soul n' mind!
I just wanna say...THANKS to y'all!

And a big THANKS to you guys who rarely comment. Lotsa good stuff you're contributing.
I hope I see more of you guys in the future. :^)

9/02/2008 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

River said-
"I think he is an atheist, but I can't figure out why."

I have wondered the same thing about Berlinski.

Van has explained it well in past posts, how folks can get to that point where they recognize "we hold these Truths to be self evident" but can't make that final leap as to where Absolute Truth comes from.

In other words, the root, the POINT of it all.

At one time in my life I was an agnostic, but that was a lie.
For I wanted to be an agnostic but I could not believe it in my bones.

Because when tragedy struck in my life, and death became imminent! I immediately discarded that lie. Not out of fear so much, but out of humility.

It comes down to...accountability, I think, and accountability is a cornerstone of honor.

It's easy to avoid that final leap...that G-d does, in fact, exist!

As Bob has said many times (and I'm paraphrasing here), Truth is Truth and it IS I AM, whether I think so or not.

I realized that I couldn't even lie without the Truth.
I had always gnown that, but it took imminent death for me to admit it, to embrace it.

Humility is the beginning of wisdom, as the Scriptures say, and it's just as true today as it was since the beginning of time.

That is what Berlinski, Rand, and Darlymple is or have missed.

It's like they know there must be a Being that embodies Truth, but they can't say it or go that far.

They can't wrap their minds around the Grace and Mercy that will set them free from that final chain of pride and ignorance.

It's always there, available at a word: Lord!
But it takes a broken heart to become whole.
It takes pain n' anguish to realize Joy and Hope.

And only if we accept G-d, and make that final leap.

This ain't about talkin' snakes, it's about Truth Incarnate!

Just some of my thoughts on the matter of Spirit. :^)

9/02/2008 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

My thoughts on "Societal Justice", that Julie and Van responded to so well:

Justice must be an individual realization!
Because Justice, Absolute Justice, is a result of Absolute Truth, and it can only be properly understood on an individual basis, which is Liberty personified.

For Justice, like Truth, is G-d, or O, if you please.

When Justice is Realized, by I Am, then "societal justice" follows.

9/02/2008 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

And what River said. :^)

9/02/2008 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Lance-
Please don't confuse Justice with Charity and Mercy.

Doin' the right thing in accordance with Truth, through O, results in Justice.

It can't be obtained through men.

9/02/2008 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van-
I believe I speak for all the Raccoons in sayin', we are overjoyed that you made that final leap to O! :^)

9/02/2008 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie-
Thanks for that link. As ugly n' vlie as it is, it demon-strates the palpable bitterness of envy.

Bitterness, like cancer or AIDS, eats a person up from the inside, only envy is far worse, because it eats our very spirit, soul n' mind!

These leftists are consumed with hate. So much so they become hate personified.
Spiritually healthy, or somewhat healthy folks are natuarally repulsed by the evil of envy.

9/02/2008 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ximeze-
Sauron = Soros.
Right on! If Soros ain't an example of posessed, I don't know what is.

9/02/2008 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Well said, Steve B.! Thanks!

9/02/2008 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Shoprat said...
You say some of these people are overeducated? I don't think so. I would use the term miseducated.

Good point! I concur! I'm sure that's what Bob meant, in his own way, but I appreciate the clearafication. :^)

9/02/2008 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Will said-
"To wax a bit meta on What It All Means Deep Down - it's this psychological factor looms large, I think, when considering ultimate ramifications. Such a negative psychology, such negative emotions do create thought-forms, *substantial* thought-forms that go on to fan the flames and create an ever bigger appetite for, and an eventual addiction to, the negative emotions. Such thought-forms, are, as it is said, like little tribal gods demanding blood sacrifice. Always been true, post-Eden, of course."

I gnew it was you, Will!

"like little tribal gods demanding blood sacrifice."

That sums the extreme left up in a nutshell.

9/02/2008 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger lance said...

I do not have answers for the questions that Julie asked. The people I speak of are all in their late 30's to mid 40's and a active in a relatively large Protestant Christian church. They range in work from public school teachers to electricians and I do not think any of them could be thought of as liberal intellectuals. They are home owners and some of them have even been missionaries. I am not totally sure what it is about the last administration that has led to this change of politics for them. But it exists and is a reality for them.

As to some of the other comments I don't think that they are useful idiots. These are sincere caring people who really want to help others.

As for myself, I do have moderate views and maybe that is a response to all the anger on both sides of the issues. I do not think of my self as a coward or a fence sitter and as far as issues of faith goes I am searching for what the "truth" is. I do not think of myself as a troll here nor do I intend to behave like one and I appreciate the mostly polite responses that I get to my honest questions. Van especially has been both helpful and understanding in his answers to my questions.

I find Bob and his writings very though provoking. I enjoy the discussions that result on the comment page.

But I really do not care for the patronizing tone of Ximeze, I do not see this as a battle between good and evil. I just do not understand and maybe that is a failing on my end. I do not know.

But, I am willing to admit that I do not know everything and that is why I continue searching.

9/02/2008 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Lance,

"They range in work from public school teachers to electricians and I do not think any of them could be thought of as liberal intellectuals."

I think Van's response ("It has a lot to do with which type of person you are speaking to, their grasp of the issue, and their response to it.") reminded me of where they're likely to be coming from. I have friends who vote Democrat, but are fairly conservative in a lot of ways. They're good people (of course, or I wouldn't call them friends). If the Democratic leadership had more in common with their day-to-day values, I'd be a lot less concerned about having Obama as president.

9/02/2008 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man o man, the "burning man" festival in Nevada was a leftist hotbed if I ever saw one.
Wall to wall lizards saying "the destruction of faith is the beginning of evolution."

Yes, its an actual bumper sticker. There was one that said "Praise be to Darwin" yes, it acutally said that. Fwah.

9/02/2008 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger stevencmorrison.com said...

If the left would actually be concerned about the values they espouse instead of being against the right, being against Bush, etc., they might make some headway for their causes. But they opposed Clarence Thomas, they didn't applaud when two different blacks were appointed Secretary of State (Powell and Rice) and they are viciously tearing at Palin - a woman's woman.

9/03/2008 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Lance said "As to some of the other comments I don't think that they are useful idiots. These are sincere caring people who really want to help others."

I've no doubt they are sincere and caring people, I myself know many who fit that description, and vote with the left. And no they are not idiots, I know I'm not the smartest one in the room when we get together. But leftism (or evil for that matter) don't require idiots (rhetoric aside, what use is an idiot? Who's going to vote along with someone they know to be an idiot?), but they are worse, they are uninformed in the area of the Principles of our form of Gov't, and in order to endure, our form of Gov't requires that it's people understand it. Our Gov't, and our lives, have changed in direct relation to our diminishing understanding of the Classical Liberalism of the Founding Fathers.

Americans are, by and large, generous, sympathetic people, people who have lives that they are doing their best to not only pursue happiness within, but doing their best to catch it.

Because Education has been corrupted into indoctrination, most people are unaware of the proper role of Gov't in that pursuit, and the real harm that misgovernment can have upon their lives, and no longer understanding the principles from which this country was formed, it is easy to miscast what is proper and what is improper. It is the simplest of tasks to present leftist policies as simple extensions of generosity, politeness and generally ensuring fair play, and a long chain of explanation and examples to illustrate the chain of Principles that Classical Liberalism is the culmination of.

For a properly Educated person, an unprincipled assertion can be dismissed out of hand in the blink of an eye, but for a person, let alone a people, who have not been educated in those principles, the lie can be put across in a sound bite, while the Truth requires an Education. Lies benefit from ignorance, Truth is hindered by it. It takes a full understanding of the True Principles of Liberal Gov't (Capital 'L' Liberal as the Founding Fathers understood it, Classical Liberalism, not the perverted leftist little 'r' liberal), to understand that Gov't can ONLY help by restricting itself to defending our Rights, and can only do HARM by promoting secondary issues related to and done in the name of those Rights. (BTW, any and all arguments the left make supposedly in favor of Rights, are always based on secondary attributes. 'Trust Busting' is done in the name of promoting competition, as if competition was the central tenet of free market economics - Capitalism - it is not, it is a common (though not necessary) secondary attribute, Freedom and secure Property Rights are the central issues, which of course, 'trust busting' destroys).

Consider that the arguments against any kind of gov't intervention in the economy, and which explain how such intervention corrodes and destroys our Rights, have been essentially unchanged for 150 years (see Fredrich Bastiat's "What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen", or "Economic Sophism's" , or The Law), while the lefts sophistry in trying to put them across changes with each campaign season. There's a reason for that.

And since it's been awhile since I linked, if someone really wants to understand Classical Liberalism as the Founders did... you can't beat the excellent presentation of the The Founders Constitution, from the University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund. It goes through the Constitution, line by line and hyperlinked to the relevant material which the Founders had in mind during the constitutional debates, and much more.

9/03/2008 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Lance said,

“These are sincere caring people who really want to help others.”

I believe it.

We’ve all know, “Give a man a fish, feed him today. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life.” That is a two-part instruction to restore a man’s God given freedom. The first part, by itself is good and necessary but enslaves one to another man. The second part frees him; restores him, to his Life, to its true source, his first Provider; to God.

Good intensions are good, but ultimately not enough. This is not to say your friends are evil or idiots, but the point being that they may be undoing their own good beginnings just to get through the day. Obviously, many times, you have to just get through the day or there will be no mission. But there are only so many hours in a day.

9/03/2008 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Oh, and Lance, no you're not a troll, honest questioning and disagreement is the exact opposite of that, and highly valued.

(Try to cut Ximeze some slack though, she suffers from soccer enjoyment... yeah... I know, sad)

9/03/2008 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

One more thing…

Good and evil? There is a long line between the two points. One of the most dangerous lessons demostrated before us countess times throughout history, by those in a position to direct history, is the doubt in the existence of evil; or The Evil One. Make no mistake it exists, history tells us, and he will take you (or use you) any way you show up. Best intentions and that’s it? Climb aboard. He’ll take it from here.

9/03/2008 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

On a lighter note…

New bumper sticker:

Can’t vote for the Mimbo
McCain/Palin 08

9/03/2008 06:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who remembers Gerald Ford? We had inflation and a simple-minded 1940's style song ("We're gonna whip inflation na-aaa-ow") The country giggled and threw the bum out. And as a reward to ourselves, we replaced him with the worst president ever.

Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before things can improve. I was not going to vote for that office because it was two people too close to the same. I believed we needed to hit rock bottom again in order to improve.

With the naming of Palin as VP, this might give her a chance to hit prominence on a national level, and I guess I will vote now. She is the only person on a national level who has gone after corruption. Yes, in her short career, she has already gone after more corruption than Joe Biden in all of his 30+ years!!!

She must be forced to resign so that the Repubs will look bad. Unfortunately, in the old days, the political parties would fight this out. However, the media has determined that their help is necessary and really wants to help fight this holy war.

9/03/2008 06:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lance said,
'While I am willing to agree that for some the concept of "Social Justice" is a form of Revenge. I do not agree that it is the same for all.'

Lance, this statement - and the rest of your comment - clearly shows that you are not one of the dysfunctional left that Dr. Bob is talking about. Well said, and thank you! ... but you *are* surrounded by the thoroughly dysfunctional, self-centered, projecting narcissists in your party nonetheless! Isn't the foaming rabidity of their hatred for Sarah Palin illuminating?

9/03/2008 07:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Palin is a traitor to her own party however, and it seems as though her actions to take on corruption were really a basis to move her campaign for governor forward over actually ending corruption.

You could also point out her treacherous nature in joining a party that wishes to have her home state secede from the US, "Alaska first, Alaska always."

But, on the topic of the post, Godwin, in his stupidity, instead of talking to liberals to see where they stand, he feels he suddenly has a revelation about the thoughts of people he clearly never talks to about politics. Its one thing to not know your "enemy"--it sounds ridiculous but that's how Godwin seems to treat them--but entirely another to know them as something they aren't. And this instance, you won't hear any liberal say they're voting for Obama out of revenge. Literally, how do you get revenge through voting? Aha, I'll show them, I'll vote for Obama. Why did they always vote for the democrats then? What about moderates then? Do you ever get outside of republican blogs/news? How many friends do you have outside of the internet? For the sake of sanity, please get out and talk to people, because if you went out and had a decent debate in real life, you'd realize that people aren't really as cynical as you.

And what the hell is this anyway? It took you long enough to figure out something like that but that's like the guy who cheats on his girlfriend and when she breaks up with him he calls her a month later and says, "I get it, you were mad because if forgot your birthday."

This goes beyond the stupidity you could even argue. I mean honestly, I can't argue it, it's so absurd because I could literally be screaming at you why people are mad, and you'd be in that little world you created.

9/03/2008 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Re: Berlinski and Dalrymple... having been doing Orthodox services for a while now, I think part of the problem is that there's always something a little silly about religion proper. I guess the whole 'come as a little child' thing -- but I think the silliness is actually beneficial, provided that there also is real substance there. One is sort of humiliated on one hand, but in reality one is simply humbled.

With Hitchens this is obvious; pride of intellect disallows him to consider anything in the religious direction as fallacious, because it contains as much silliness as it does seriousness (it's a big cosmic joke, y'know...) and his self-importance cannot bear the thought of putting his face on the floor for something he can't see.

For the others it's just perhaps that they need for a bit more light to break through before they notice where it's actually coming from.

Perhaps what is required is the impact of a few more bombokaliai: Truth & Beauty bombs...

9/03/2008 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

last anony: You let slip the mask with your last sentence. How about using words to communicate rather than to obfuscate?

Start over.

9/03/2008 07:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As a friend was reminding me the other day, the left cannot argue in good faith, since they do not see the political spectrum as a "polarity," so to speak, between left and right. Rather, they see it as a continuum, with the right as a kind of atavistic holdover from an earlier age. They are more sophisticated than we are, so they needn't bother even seriously contending with our arguments. Again, it is a breathtakingly transparent projection."

I think that this is a solid argument, but I caution that people don't base their decisions ultimately on whether your political beliefs are outdated, but mostly on the fact that those old beliefs put a great emphasis on government restricting morality(which isn't to say that I'm assuming you believe that, but that's how the left sees it) Personally nobody cares what you believe, but how you act on it is what matters.

9/03/2008 07:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well River it wasn't the last sentence that let it slip but considering you ask me to start over and you didn't catch it all I'm guessing you're the one who really needs to start over.

Peruse it, and don't make me work harder for your lack of comprehension.

9/03/2008 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

US OUT OF MY COCYTUS!!!


lol

9/03/2008 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

"those old beliefs put a great emphasis on government restricting morality" - what can this mean? that the government has no authority to dictate morality? Is that really what the left believes? Or aren't they just trying to insert their own morality and legislate it?


"Personally nobody cares what you believe, but how you act" One might wonder why you care so much what Bob believes, but that said, a society is more than a collection of acts.

And what the heck is "personally nobody" - how can nobody be personal?

9/03/2008 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

There, that's a start!

I think your second comment was far better than the first in style, tone and composition.

9/03/2008 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Hey, nobody is supposed to know how to pronounce my name. That's the fun part. Everyone wonders if the pronunciation sounds dirty, but I never (ever) say how it is pronounced. It could be 'Koh-See-Tuss' or 'Koh-Key-Tuss' or 'Kah-Kit-Tuss' or 'Kah-Ky-Tiss' or whatever. It's not a spoken name but a written name - so the pronunciation is up to you!

9/03/2008 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse @ 07:28:00 AM belched "This goes beyond the stupidity you could even argue. I mean honestly, I can't argue it, it's so absurd because I could literally be screaming at you why people are mad, and you'd be in that little world you created."

I think I can speak for most here, in saying 'thanks' for providing a live demo of the topic of today's post.

9/03/2008 08:36:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Hmm, my vintage is showing.Note to self - Object lessons:

1) Do not use vintage political terminology, especially Soviet Era/Cold War & assume anyone under a certain age will be familiar with it

2) Use quotation marks, moron, that's what they're for

"useful idiot"
In political jargon, the term "useful idiot" was used to describe Soviet sympathizers in western countries and the alleged attitude of the Soviet government towards them. The implication was that though the person in question naïvely thought themselves an ally of the Soviets or other Communists, they were actually held in contempt by them, and being cynically used.

The term is now used more broadly to describe someone who is perceived to be manipulated by a political movement, terrorist group, or hostile government, whether or not the group is Communist in nature.

"fellow traveler"
In some political contexts the term fellow traveler refers to a person who sympathizes with the beliefs of a particular organization, but does not belong to that organization. The phrase must be understood as referring to people who "walk part of the way" with an organization, without committing themselves to it. Since the Russian Revolution and rise of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, the term has most often been used for a sympathizer of Communism or particular Communist states, but who is nonetheless not a "card-carrying member" of a Communist party.

9/03/2008 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! I can't believe someone with the same Greek name as me posted:

>>Well Palin is a traitor to her own party

For exposing corruption, you are a traitor? Now we know why Dems won't rat each other out. It is more important to toe the line than to do the right thing. Thanks for the insight!

And then they went on to spew:

>>it seems as though her actions to take on corruption were really a basis to move her campaign for governor forward over actually ending corruption.

That's funny, that is the kind of thing that will actually END corruption. Kinda dumb, huh? But now we see that she had an ALTERNATIVE AGENDA!! Sure wish five hundred other people in government would get an alternative agenda. We could go a long way toward cleaning this mess up, instead of getting much more of the same. Kinda reminds me of Jim Wright, disgraced speaker of the house, who said "I'll resign if it will stop the mindless cannibalism".

That wasn't a "party" thing. He was referring to the fact that politicians all had us over a barrel and were mining our vital fluids. He just got out of the way so that politicians could CONTINUE to suck the lifeblood from the taxpayer, without distraction. Kind of like the guy who said Palin was a traitor to her own party. FLEECE THE CITIZENS WITHOUT CONSCIENCE!!!

Gawd, that makes me sick! Except that person went on even further:

>>You could also point out her treacherous nature in joining a party that wishes to have her home state secede from the US, "Alaska first, Alaska always."

No one can argue against that. When you make a baseless argument, how can one possibly defend against it? Drink some more Kool-Aid and live happily in your little world. And take your meds...

9/03/2008 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I don't like the term "social justice." I like the old-fashioned term: charity.

9/03/2008 04:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole concept of "social justice" requires some sort of central authority to make the judgment. With socialism, that is the ruling elite, who decide what is best for everyone(whether they choose it or not), and then enforce their mandates. This is considered "social justice". In a free society, on the other hand, the concept of "social justice" is meaningless, because things are accomplished by "free people making free choices" with minimal interference from any centralized authority.

9/03/2008 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Palin is a hypocrite, for all the corruption she fought against, she started back up once she got in office. Well, I understand you don't want the facts to get in the way so this was just another hurdle you'll be clearing to finish line where the winner gets a dunce cap.

9/04/2008 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Pay attention to the PUMAs (Hillary supporters). I've said in more than one forum that they are going to see the attacks on Palin as exactly the same attacks they saw on Hillary. And they are not going to like it. The "mainstream" feminists like Gloria Steinham will fall in line behind Obama. But the ordinary women will see this for what it is; yet another attack on a woman just because of her gender.

9/04/2008 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Oh and anonymous (why is it that they are too lame to even attempt to come up with a login?) that story about her being part of the Alaska Independence Party is bogus and is being spread by the Obama campaign. You might bother to get out into the Net beyond Daily Kos and you would find these things out.

I, for one, would not trust anyone wedded to any party. It tends to lead to very stupid choices, such as my voting D from McGovern to Clinton. I don't do that any more. They've got to earn my vote by putting up competent candidates.

9/04/2008 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Oh and anonymous (why is it that they are too lame to even attempt to come up with a login?) that story about her being part of the Alaska Independence Party is bogus and is being spread by the Obama campaign. You might bother to get out into the Net beyond Daily Kos and you would find these things out.

I, for one, would not trust anyone wedded to any party. It tends to lead to very stupid choices, such as my voting D from McGovern to Clinton. I don't do that any more. They've got to earn my vote by putting up competent candidates.

9/04/2008 05:45:00 PM  

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