Sunday, August 16, 2009

Left Wing Pagan Gnosticism and Other Boyish Peccadillos

In discussing the genealogy of liberal fascism, we're getting an interesting variation of cousin Godwin's law, whereby the trolls themselves loudly insist that they are not Adolf Hitler -- as if that will put the genealogy back in the bottle. I suppose it falls under the heading of "methinks thou doth protest too much." Can't I just accuse people of being totalitarian liberal fascists without them assuming that I'm accusing them of being Hitler?

What? Oh. Right. That's how fascists operate. Accuse the accuser of being guilty of accusation.

Anyway, back to The Twisted Cross, which discusses the deeply spiritual nature of fascism, which is first and foremost a secular gnostic political religion.

Speaking of which, I wanted to briefly mention a point. As you all know, I was once a leftist myself -- HEY, WHO ARE YOU CALLING STALIN?!!! -- which it is almost impossible not to be if you are as educated as I once was. You don't even have to think about it, because you simply pick it up through kosmosis by spending so many moons in the rarified error of that lunar 'batmosphere. Eventually your common sense is eclipsed.

It's not just that all of one's professors are explicitly liberal. It's the way they implicitly think about the world -- the problems they notice, the questions they ask, the topics they emphasize, the things they exclude or take for granted, the jokes they make, the things that cannot be joked about, etc.

But if you are intelligent, you don't just leave it at that. Rather, you want to dig a little deeper. This, I believe, is where the gnostic element of (-n) fits in. What makes human intelligence human (and often all-too-human) is our ability to see beneath the surface and unify phenomena on a deeper level. But obviously it is possible to not only get things wrong, but to do so in a systematic way, e.g., Islamism, scientism, atheism, phrenology, etc.

This I think is why leftists always believe such conspiratorial nonsense. In my case, because I knew that there was more to reality than met the eye, I began reading things by Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Edward Herman, Michael Parenti, Eric Hobsbawm, the Frankfurt School of psychopolitical loons, you name it. I didn't even know that these people were Marxists, nor would I have cared if you had told me. I subscribed to The Nation and thought it was actually "objective." I listened to Pacifica radio. I even contributed money to them! How will I explain this to God?

What made it all so seductive was the gnostic element -- the idea that I knew what was really going on beneath the surface of politics. For a godless intellectual, it provides you with the key to the world enigma, or perhaps the business end of the world enema. But if you don't destroy your soul in the process, you soon notice that this "key" only gives access to a dead and repetitive world of compacted fecal matter. Really, it's more of a hammer that reduces every problem to the same dreary nail: power. Corporate power. Class power. Race power. Gender power. Able-bodied power. Heteronormative power. Phallic power (guilty!).

In the end, it's an all-purpose tool that works not because it actually opens anything, but because it smashes it. This is one of the reasons why the left doesn't create anything. Rather, it can only destroy. It cannot create a medical system. Rather, it can only socialize and vampirize an existing one. It cannot create wealth. It can only redistribute it. It cannot create a wonderful group like the Boy Scouts. It can only try to destroy it in court. It cannot create a beautiful institution such as marriage. It can only erode it by redefining it out of existence.

It reminds me of this post about the romanticism of Woodstock at American Thinker. The boomer-left regards Woodstock as some sort of important cultural-spiritual moment (you should hear how they talk about it on PBS, perhaps similar to how a Muslim talks about his pilgrimage to Mecca). But as the author writes, it was really just "five hundred thousand or so young people getting high and watching some bands. That's about all there was to it. They got high, goofed off, made a mess, and then went home and left a pile of trash for someone else to pick up. A real new world creation."

Not that there's anything intrinsically evil about it. There is a place for irresponsible fun, especially when one is young. Just don't elevate it to a metaphysic.

But "Somehow, the fact that The New World that was being created was totally dependent on the Old World's sanitary, transportation and economic structures was totally ignored by the media and the 'Counter Culture.'"

The problem is that "Leftists, being the simpletons that they are, tend to make life-long friends with their basic assumptions about the universe rather than continually updating their thinking as new data become available. They lock in on a mindset and never again question it, like grade schoolers deciding on their favorite color, or flower, or ice cream flavor. Woodstock imprinted strongly on the non-thinkers. They imagined this magical world of fairies and elves and LSD and pot and Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin and this big evil edifice that is America."

The point is that in order to live in fairyland, someone has to defend the country. Someone has to pick up the trash. Someone has to raise the next generation. Someone has to actually create wealth and employ people.

The pagan aspect of Woodstock -- and of the counter-culture in general -- is no coincidence (bear in mind that the "counter-culture" is now the culture, and that cultured people such as yourselves are now the counter-culture). Indeed, so permeated with romantic mythology was this event, that it would have been appropriate if the film had been directed by Leni Riefenstahl.

Referring again to Coming to Our Senses, Berman quotes H.G. Baynes, who observed in 1941 that "the present division in Europe has to do with the pagan-Christian conflict," and that National Socialism was "the shadow of Christendom." Hitler regarded Christianity as a "civilized veneer that had suppressed a true, pagan Germanic culture."

The essence of paganism is the denial of transcendence, while the essence of fascism is the tyrannical suppression of transcendence.

But like the unconscious, the transcendent can't actually be denied. Rather, it can only be split off and projected elsewhere. The neo-pagan simply locates transcendence within immanence, which results in everything from the gaia-worship of the environmental hysterics, to the sanctity of feticide, to the blood fetish of the diversity mongers, multiculturalists and race-baiters. Instead of the world being a window into the transcendent, it is a doorway into the mud. This is why leftism isn't so much a movement as mere "movementism." It never really gets anywhere, but the fun is in getting there and wallowing in it.

This is not to say it isn't fun to jump into the mud, especially when one is young. This is why leftism is always a children's crusade, including, of course, those permanent children known as the tenured. If voting were restricted to the people who are actually forced to pay for government, an Obama wouldn't stand a chance. But the youth vote ensures a kind of tyranny of the irresponsible over the responsible, the young over the mature, the takers over the makers. Imagine if you ran your family that way!

As Goldberg writes, "Historically, fascism is of necessity and by design a form of youth movement.... The exaltation of passion over reason, action over deliberation, is naturally a youthful impulse. Treating young people as equals, 'privileging' their opinions precisely because they lack experience and knowledge, is an inherently fascist tendency, because at its heart lies the urge to throw off the 'old ways' and 'old dogmas'...."

In short, leftism is an ahistorical blast from the past because children are.

85 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting--so you didn't actually have anything else to back up your claims from yesterday--all you did was talk about Nazi's, and then you have the audacity to bring up Godwin's Law when people notice you claim your article is about "the Left" and then you spent the whole article talking about Nazi Germany.

Just saying.

8/16/2009 08:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

The secret protects itself. It's childproof.

8/16/2009 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This shows how the left is merely animated by movement, not principle. When Bush was President, there were hysterical screams of illegal wars, dead bodies we couldn't photograph, Haliburton, "going it alone," "world bully," bankrupting the government, etc. Now they couldn't care less.

8/16/2009 08:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it shows that since things are settling down in Iraq, far less people are dying, and we have a president who is committed to getting us out, activists believe their efforts are now better spent elsewhere.

But I suspect you knew that already.

8/16/2009 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This is how a person of pallor is treated in America! No justice, no peace!

8/16/2009 08:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How positively relevant.

8/16/2009 08:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Skippy Gates said...

Yo' mama! Police brutalaty is allways relevent in AmeriKKKa!

8/16/2009 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

Anonymous, Bob has now taken it as axiomatic that Nazis were leftists and exemplify leftist ideals, as demonstrated by the noted scholar Jonah Goldberg.

I used to think this was just amusingly stupid, but realized just now that it's a grave insult to the many German leftists who resisted Hitler and were murdered for it. I wonder what they would think of an American schiesskopf twisting history to advance his tendentious and tedious agenda.

8/16/2009 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

I blame Truman for starting a cold war against all those leftists who fought against Hitler!

8/16/2009 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gerard said...

Don't feel bad. I actually worked for Pacifica Radio.

My explanation to God will be:

"Mistkaes were made."

8/16/2009 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

I was thinking more of people like those described here, here, and here (last one Polish, not German, but that doesn't matter for the purposes of this argument, and he's famous enough to have been portrayed by Hank Azaria on TV so maybe even you would have heard of him).

8/16/2009 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

Excellent post Bob. Raccoons may want to look at this new book review at Voegelin View, as it echoes, albeit w/o wit, Bob's post.

Gnostic Wars: The Cold War in the Context of a History of Western Spirituality.

A quote: Rossbach’s well thought-out description of gnosticism:

            “Gnosis promotes the soul, in its self-understanding, to an absolute position high above the un-reality of cosmic ignorance and suffering. From this outpost, the world must indeed appear as a totality, a 'system'. Through gnosis the actual experience of alienation is transformed into the 'distance' required to be able to observe the cosmos from outside. The moral significance of this transformation, however, lies in the absoluteness of the boundaries which it creates between human beings. For if gnosis elevates the soul above the cosmos, beyond Plato's chorismos, the unbridgeable gap which the classical thinker perceived between the human and divine realms mutates into a gap between those with gnosis and those without. The common bond of mankind is effectively broken between these two groups as soon as both consider themselves in possession of absolute vision. They will then fight a war driven by gnosis, a 'Gnostic War.”

8/16/2009 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Apropos passage I just read in The Conservtives, about Whittaker Chambers:

"Few English-language writers ever did a better job of explaining the immense attractiveness of communism as a selfless cause. As you read, he draws you in to share the thrill he felt as a young man in joining the Communist Party to participate in its world-changing mission."

8/16/2009 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

QP:

Thanks for the tip. That book sounds fascinating.

8/16/2009 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Gazriel said...

Differentiate your real Self
From your thinking self
All identifications are unreal
Accept for One
Political, religious, or pagan
Until you are truly Free
Your mind will have all the fun
Feeding a frenzy of death fright
Projected onto left and right
The Stranger will strangle your Heart
And there will always be a fight
Integrate the seeming opposites
By falling into surrendered Love
God above is the only answer
Making room for pagan ritual
Traditional Catholic ceremony
The leftists sensitive heresy
And the Gagdaddy's surly tongue

8/16/2009 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous coonified said...

"I even contributed money to them!"

Holy shit! Really? You were that deep...never realized. I'm glad I got out early; and I'm glad I haven't gone to college yet. I'm thinking about it, though. Just another couple of years and my mind is going to start flowering. I can feel it coming, just like a pre-flower before the fruit. It's weird in that I'm weird enough already! It's going to be weird to be able to see my eyes again, to incarnate upwards into them. I remember you saying that your son couldn't see his eyes that one time, well, I know exactly what that's like, except I have had to raise myself up and out of it, cause I passed out and split off downwards, if that makes sense.

I feel like I'm going to be another Schuon, or something like it. The largest portion of my intelligence has been underground my whole life, and now I see the reason for it: it couldn't fit into the world. I'm defiantly a savant in a way, cause none of my friends understand what the hell I'm talking about; and they definitely don't have the intellect either, at least not in the same way. I search the internet in vain to find others like me, but this is the only place where I fit; and I don't even hang out here.

I looked into Schuon's eyes the other night, took a long hard look to see where he was...and I'm going there. In a way, it's already happened. (which was part of the problem) I've come to almost identify with both Aurobindo and Schuon. Those are some big shoes to fill...makes me feel uncertain, because I'm sure that they didn't have to go through what I've had to in order to be what I am now. Hell, I'm almost positive that without Freud, I would have wasted away-- I suppose its different times, different problems, and therefore different dependencies on axial figures in order to live.

8/16/2009 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Both Schuon and Aurobindo suffered greatly in the course of their transformations. The former talks about it in his unpublished autobiography, the latter in some of his letters to disciples.

8/16/2009 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Anon "No, it shows that since things are settling down in Iraq, far less people are dying, and we have a president who is committed to getting us out, " - umm, you again show your confusion. That situation existed under Bush... and the current president declared that we could never get to that state until we were out of there.

By the way, what is the exit plan and success criteria dear president has for Afghanistan? Why are we still escalating troop levels and spending? and the KosKids are where?

I know, reality is what you say it is.

godinpotty: Lots of leftists fought against each other (see Trotsky) - that doesn't make them any less leftists. Why don't you make actual arguments that Nazi's weren't leftist (you know, supported with facts and other tedious stuff) - even better, start a blog about that and prove Goldberg wrong. He wrote a well researched book that you can try to refute. Perhaps you might even read it first!

8/16/2009 11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The situation in Iraq eventually improved under Bush, and the activism against the war lessened as a result, pre-Obama.

As for arguments that Nazi's weren't leftist, if you look at political alignment as a circle, left and right actually meet at totalitarianism. The Nazi's undoubtedly had numerous aspects of both ultra-left communism and ultra-right fascism. As such, you must realize that while certain liberals were over-the-top with their comparisons of Bush to Hitler, you are doing the *exact same thing*, and as such are no better than they are.

An actual intelligent discussion may be found here, not that I'd expect any of you to want to read it:

http://www.americasdebate.com/forums/simple/index.php/t5909.html

8/16/2009 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That's plain kooky. Left and right may meet in totalitarianism, but conservatism cannot, since one of our core principles is a small and limited government. We are quite literally a 180 from totalitarianism.

8/16/2009 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But, you see, we're not the ones calling you Hitler.

8/16/2009 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Dream fragment recalled from last night: Our pinhead President was sleeping on his back; I photographed him, which killed him; and then escaped, avoiding capture thru rest of dream....any Freuds out there? :)

8/16/2009 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This is definitely an asymmetrical situation, in that Obama wants me to pay for his and everyone else's healthcare, whereas I don't want him or anyone else to pay for mine. One side wants centralized and authoritarian control, whether you call it fascism or socialism.

That's one thing that confuses me about the '60s. I was just a kid then, but my take away points were "freedom" and "don't trust the government." I wonder why the left came away with the opposite conclusions.

8/16/2009 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a fair point. You have every right to disagree with Obama's plan for health care.

However, Hitler is not known for his health care initiatives. Hitler is known for his trying to take over Europe and his murder of millions of Jews. You no doubt took issue with liberals who compared Bush to Hitler, and rightly so; but given that Bush was no champion of small government himself, I'd suggest that Bush and his unjust wars had more significant parallels with Hitler than Obama does. Long story short, if you are on a quest for "Truth" here, you may want to try and grasp that basing a scathing critique of "the Left" solely on Nazi Germany is pretty much the height of absurdity and intellectual dishonesty.

8/16/2009 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You must have missed the memo in the first paragraph. This is not about Hitler, but about fascism as gnostic political religion. At risk of belaboring the obvious, not all fascists are nazis.

8/16/2009 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And only a perverse kind of logic can accuse President Bush of fascism for liberating a nation from fascism.

8/16/2009 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still talking about yesterday's article.

And, I'm not saying the Bush government was fascist (in fact, I will state that it was not), but no one ever seemed to care about "liberating a nation" (I wish the people well, but we'll see how it turns out) until it turned out there weren't any WMDs. And, given your earlier assertion that liberals don't care about Iraq any more, I maintain that Republicans don't really seem to care about Iraqis any more, given that they've given up trying to justify the war somehow and have moved on to other things.

8/16/2009 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"Hitler is not known for his health care initiatives. "

No, but that doesn't mean he didn't have any. The "eternal and unalterable" Nazi Party platform of 1920 affirmed that "the common good must come before self-interest." It made "a concerted appeal to socialistic and populist economics," promising guaranteed employment, confiscation of war profits, nationalization of trusts, shared profits with labor, expanded old-age pensions, and more. To suggest that any of this is "conservative" is sheer lunacy.

8/16/2009 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anon:

We could never, ever agree, only clarify our differences as sharply as possible. I am a conservative who specifically wishes to conserve our nation's tradition of classical liberalism guided by Judeo-Christian principles, whereas you are not. We get that.


I'm out. Back to my book.

8/16/2009 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

The irony is that leftists are the conservatives while conservatives are the revolutionaries. Obama: "The more I change things, the more things will remain the same."

8/16/2009 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using the terms of Ken Wilber (levels and lines of development), it would seem to me that the Nazis had reached formal operational thinking in the cognitive line, while retaining a highly ethno-centric level in the moral line. In the spiritual line it is fairly obvious that they existed at the magical level.

Obama has reached formal operational thinking in the cognitive as well, but his morals come from a world-centric, post-modern stance, not the ethno-centric plane of Hitler. While it strikes me that his spiritual line most likely matches the rational, scientific, atheistic/agnostic stance of the "orange meme" (according to Wilber's chart or Spiral Dynamics), he plays at being a "believer" in the exoteric sense, catering to the "religous types."

8/16/2009 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't like the whole color-code scheme, for the post-modern and the ethno-centric are on the same plane of immaturity and are equally destructive. Postmodernism is a gateway drug to far worse things.

8/16/2009 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Indeed, the term "deconstruction" was coined by a Nazi.

8/16/2009 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous J.W. said...

Anon. said;
"I maintain that Republicans don't really seem to care about Iraqis any more, given that they've given up trying to justify the war somehow and have moved on to other things."

Do you mean moving on to things like fighting authoritarian socialists trying to shove yet another government ponzi scheme down our throats?
Without Obama and his agenda our troops would still be on the front burner as it should be. He's hung them out to dry as he "changes" America.

8/16/2009 02:07:00 PM  
Anonymous J.W. said...

Republicans as a party are in pure reaction mode now that they are completely out of power. Obama and the Dems drive the agenda now and if he/they wanted to put the troops first on the agenda, it's certainly his choice.
If you look at any of the videos where he has adressed the troops other than the one where they pre-selected Obama supporters, put them in the front rows and handed out digital cameras to them, (All the same model I might add), the troops are ominously silent in their reaction to him and he knows it (and resents it). They realize it's going to be a hard slog with little support from him beyond what it takes to fool the public into thinking he cares. He has more important things to attend to.

8/16/2009 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

In his splendid book, Salvation is of the Jews, Roy Schoeman, once the youngest professor at the Harvard Business School, had a vision that changed his life. He wandered about a bit before encountering and then converting to Catholicism.

In his book, among other things, he goes into the ideological foundations of Nazism at length . What he found was a massive program of eugenics based on some crazy-ass occultism.

You'll find Madame Blavatsky and theosophy, Wotanism, a gnostic nature worship similar to a lot of New Age stuff, and an expelled monk, Adolf Lanza, a virulent anti-Semite who hated Christianity almost as much.

At the base is the Thule Society which I had never heard of before. They believed that Aryans once had superpowers in Thule, a lost land mass like Atlantis, but closer to Scandinavia. Those superpowers were lost when the later Aryans intermarried with Jews and Pygmies but could reappear again if blood purity could be restored and the race of Jews exterminated.
.

The Thule Society was the direct prescursor to the Nazi party, Dietrich Eckart, a member of Thule Society claimed to have initiated Hitler into occultism when visiting Hitler in Landsdorf prison. Hitler called Eckhart his John the Baptizer and dedicated Mein Kampf to him.

The Christians were next after the Jews and plans were made up for the 'National Reich Church." All crucifixes, bibles and pictures and statues of saints were to be removed. In its place nothing but Mein Kampf , a sword, the swastika and Hitler their Messiah.

8/16/2009 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

goddinpotty is all wet. That the internationalist (Comintern) leftists were at serious odds with the nationalist leftists (National Socialist) in inter-war Germany, can not be gainsaid, but it is not probative of the notion that one side was "left" and the other was "right". The "right" conservative position on the central european political spectrum of that era favored Crown, Church, and Country. It was not viable after the Great War. Neither Comintern nor the Nazi's were its heirs, and to assert that one was is a distortion.

8/16/2009 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous coonified said...

I know some of Aurobindo's followers complained that he didn't have to suffer like they did; and I think I know what they meant. I think. I'll never know for sure what he went through, but I envision the difference this way:
some descend are protected for special purpose. That is, they are at an early age stronger than the majority of seekers, and not as prone to splitting and collapse. I suppose they're just stronger babies, or had better mothers. Or both.

The point is that they never lost their mind in the same way. They are what I would have been had I not split off. I'm pretty sure that I'm a lifetime ahead of myself, and so that much behind myself now. Aurobindo would always have a job; he was writing poetry at an early age, which reflects his mental health; heck, his entrance into the spiritual life was a consequence of his inherent sophistication!

I know he suffered, especially later in life when he was transforming the subconscious. Hmmm...that's it: In one letter a questionnaire asked his opinion of Freud in relation to yoga, and he does say that yoga should not start with the darkness of the subconscious, but with the light above, and then the mind and body, and so on. I defiantly agree with that, though my night terrors and migraines started when I was two. I even had a cat scan of my brain when I was three! And as far as I know, I didn't choose that path.

But I do know that the Mother suffered, having read Satprem's biography on her. She's actually kind of depressing later on as she's wasting away from old age. I think she went a little crazy, no offense to the mother lovers. I consider her suffering near the end to be a reflection of what Aurobindo had been through in his life.

I'm not complaining either. If my illness recovered is my talent, and this is something that almost no one has, I'll take it! I'm on my way to being wealthy!

(I read both of Aurobindo's tomes of letters before even knew about you (UGA library is great. They have Schuon and Balthasar too. 20 mins away). Actually, I would say both Freud and Aurobindo were necessary for me to survive. Freud for his phenomenology, and Aurobindo for the descending force (which actually makes Freud useful, cause you can't recover by way talking or of libido below))

8/16/2009 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

anon 12:30 - let me quote from George Bush's speech of Tuesday, March 18, 2003 before committing to attacking Iraq (link included below for full context)

"Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them. If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you. As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free. In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near."
Link to full text of speech

One can disagree with the validity of the causus belli but not that the stated strategy was that a liberated, free Iraq would cease to be a threat.

8/16/2009 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Alan:

Imagine how quickly the liberation would have occurred if the international left had supported it instead of denouncing it at every turn. There was once a time that the left at least gave lip service to being anti-fascist.

8/16/2009 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Alan, obviously a politician is going to try and justify a war any way he can, and try and curry favor with the citizens of the countries he's invading, but shame on you for pretending the war wasn't really justified via nonexistent WMDs and tricking the public into thinking Saddam had something to do with 9/11.

But I guess you can feel free to go on believing that Dick Cheney being up at night worried about the Iraqi citizens is the reason we went to war.

You people are so goddamned dishonest.

8/16/2009 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

(-?!)^2

8/16/2009 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Really, it's more of a hammer that reduces every problem to the same dreary nail: power. "

Yep.

It's misintegration, shortcuts, etc. Instead of observing and understanding nature, obeying nature and then through efforts consonant with that, commanding nature to produce wealth & prosperity... the leftist mind see's what they don't have, what they do want, and how the wealth and prosperity others have is keeping them from having what they want, and they set about organizing communities into large numbers in order to use their power to get from One point to the next, without creating what is necessary to get there.

They want to just take it instead... problem is, that the wealth and prosperity don't exist as things in themselves, but as the result of processes that obey and respect reality. Trying to take the results force, without engaging in creating them, brings nothing but emptiness and destruction.

8/16/2009 03:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't like the whole color-code scheme, for the post-modern and the ethno-centric are on the same plane of immaturity and are equally destructive. Postmodernism is a gateway drug to far worse things."

That is ike saying, "I don't like the way reality works."

Do you deny that in order for Hitler (or anyone who is racist, for that matter) to develop into transcendent insight and universal compassion that he would have had to pass through modern and post-modern moral stages, "orange to green?"

Seems to that is just the way things work. Unless, of course, you believe that there is 'evil' without the possibility of redemption.

8/16/2009 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anon:

Yes, I disagree with you and with the whole color scheme. Virtue is consciousness of a plane, not a plane of consciousness. This is why any normal human can distinguish between right and wrong and govern himself accordingly. You needn't be special to be good. Rather, you must be good to be special.

8/16/2009 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "You people are so goddamned dishonest."

psst! Stop struggling with the lid, as Petey said "The secret protects itself. It's childproof."

You and potty are proof positiive.

8/16/2009 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless "the secret" is that none of you actually believe this nonsense and it's just some form of bizarre performance art...who cares?

8/16/2009 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Van - lordy, ain't that the truth.

Nony - I wonder that every time one of you adamantine-skulled masturdebaters charges in armed with (-?!)^2 in a desperate bid to demonstrate how completely you don't understand the material. Why do you care? The secret protects itself...

8/16/2009 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

Alan@11:05: Why don't you make actual arguments that Nazi's weren't leftist (you know, supported with facts and other tedious stuff) - even better, start a blog about that and prove Goldberg wrong. He wrote a well researched book that you can try to refute.

Goldberg's book has been amply critiqued and refuted elsewhere. I provided links. Here's that again:

And then you can read a review by someone who is not a moron. The phrase "excruciatingly dreary nonsense" sort of leaps out. Here's another, by Dave Neiwart, whose a journalist who knows something about actual fascists.

More funadmentally, it is obvious that Goldberg's work is not serious. There are plenty of perfectly legitimate historical questions about the rise of mass political movements in the early 20th century and their relationships to each other: what did they have in common; how they were different. Did communists and Nazis employ some of the same tactics? Yes. Did they share some of the same values? Yes (notably, a disdain for liberalism, which is why the term "liberal fascism" achieves some sort of apotheosis of stupid). Were all leftists communists? No, in fact the communists and the social democrats were at each other's throats, which was a major reason they couldn't mount an effective opposition to Hitler. Weimar politics was not simple and it was not at all pretty.

But Goldberg (and the even more pathetic creatures who treat him as if he's some sort of intellectual) is not interested in understanding what might have animated these movements; his goal is to associate people like Obama and Hillary Clinton with Hitler, which makes about as much sense as associating Ronald Reagan with Genghis Khan because they both rode horses.

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers."
-- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

8/16/2009 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh goddinpotty, clearly we just don't get it.

What a cop out.

Incidentally, given the theme of today's post, I should mention that in elementary school, I was part of a secret club. We had secret codes, and a handshake, and everything. And we were really cool.

Haven't had much desire to be part of one since then, though.

I will say--and this is genuine without a trace of sarcasm--that I appreciate Bob's letting our comments stand here, even if he ignores our points, pretends we're stupid, and/or calls us trolls.

I shall be coming up with a name for myself tomorrow, as there seem to be at least three anonymous's here.

8/16/2009 04:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie, quit trying to impress us with your Bob-like fauxcabulary, think for yourself, and try and explain why we're off-base. For starters, do you believe it is valid and appropriate to criticize today's American Left solely based on Nazi Germany? Do you believe Democrats are just like Hitler?

8/16/2009 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "do you believe it is valid and appropriate to criticize today's American Left solely based on Nazi Germany? Do you believe Democrats are just like Hitler?"

For my part I believe you are too willfully stupid on the matter to differentiate between what we've repeatedly said, and this foolishness you continue to repeat.

I left two coments at the end of Friday's post which should give you much more to ignore and misrepresent.

Enjoy.

wv:compli
Fate

8/16/2009 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what comments you're talking about...but since they are apparently from before the Nazi Germany post in question, you can go ahead and let me know whether you're being unintelligent or dishonest.

8/16/2009 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

ninny, I said "I left two coments at the end of Friday's post"

You said "I don't know what comments you're talking about..."

I'd said "For my part I believe you are too willfully stupid on the matter to differentiate between what we've repeatedly said, and this foolishness you continue to repeat."

Case closed.

8/16/2009 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt; all I saw was a bunch of uninteresting horsecrap that isn't relevant to what I've been talking about.

8/16/2009 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

New symbol: ⊗

8/16/2009 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse said "all I saw was a bunch of uninteresting horsecrap that isn't relevant to what I've been talking about."

You & potty will shout over and over "Answer MY QUESTION!", and when we answer it, you'll say "THAT'S not an answer! Answer like I expect you to! CONFESS!!!".

Like I said, too willfully stupid to differentiate or understand. Poor kids. You may not like the answer, but being as it is the truth, it is the only one you're going to get.

Here, I'll summarize it again, and then you can scream "I Know YOU ARE A NAZI so what AM I?!"

Ready? Here we go, using the terms we've got to work with,
- the Right believes that individual rights are derived from the nature of man and depend upon the choices he makes out of his own free will. Liberty requires that each person be left free to live their own life, to create their own circumstances - which is only possible when their right to property (the result of their time and effort) is considered inviolate. Because of these beliefs, the Right's economic policy is Capitalism - the economic realization of individuals being free to make choices.

- the Left believes in Determinism, that circumstances and environment are what really form a persons 'character' and circumstances, that free will is an illusion. Since people aren't responsible for their lives, society is, and is obligated to alter them, through force if needed, and since a person isn't responsible for their circumstances, property can't possibly be thought to belong to an individual, society has a larger claim upon all within it, and it can and should claim as much of peoples property and 'freedoms' as are needed to reform the people into a utopia. Because of these beliefs, the economic policy is some variant of the socialization of property, that all that is belongs to all, and all options must be justifiable to all.

Socialism, communism, marxism, progressivism, fascism & social democrats all have the same fundamental philosophical beliefs, but with many variations between them, some significant, on how to realize those beliefs. You could NOT say that a fascist was the same as a progressive, but you could say that there are many things they will agree upon, particularly in economics.

And of course there is one more thing you could say about proregressives, fascists and democrats - they all are on the Left.

Enjoy.

8/16/2009 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes;

"It strikes me as ironic (if not hypocritical) that many of the idealistic youth of the '60s who complained, "The Man is keeping me down," now are "The Man," and attempting to grow the power of the federal government to Orwellian proportions.

"The same people who led us in a round of John Lennon's "Power to the People" are now attempting to take power from the people, relinquishing it to the hands of Big Brother Government.

"Many who fearlessly stood for our First Amendment rights, including freedom of peaceful assembly, now ridicule, malign and intentionally falsely report the growing grassroots Tea Party movement, a movement that, at its core, is for the return to smaller, decentralized government and an increase in individual freedoms and responsibilities - one with no political party affiliation."

8/16/2009 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

5:02 -
(And yes, I realize what a complete waste of time this is, but I'm tired, wired and procrastinating, and right now this is more entertaining than actual work...)

Solely based on Nazi Germany? Of course not. Why keep it so narrow? It also bears a resemblance to fascist and socialist regimes that have popped up all over the world in the past century. Don't you find it just the least bit disturbing that Obama voiced his support for Zelaya, a would-be usurper who tried to retain control over his country after he was lawfully voted out of office according to the dictates of the Honduran constitution? It was no military coup - the military stepped in to perform their duty to protect their country and their system of government.

But back to the point, the argument in question isn't really about whether leftists are just like Hitler. I'll give you credit and pretend that you are smart enough to grasp that, but have latched onto this one point because it almost always derails the discussion exactly as you've been trying to do for several days now. The point isn't at all whether leftists = Hitler. The point is that leftist policies and culture bear a striking resemblance to many of the policies and culture that were present during the time when, for instance, the Nazi party began to hold sway over the minds of many Germans.

Leftists ≠ Hitler.

What they do resemble are the Germans who were angry and demoralized after the First World War, seeking not only social stability and economic recovery in socialist policies, but also a replacement for the sense of purpose that had been lost in their defeat. Along with the diminished role of Christianity, the Germans experienced a diminished sense of self. The Nazis were able to use that dynamic to gain control, by offering them everything they wanted: social reform, a renewed sense of purpose, a religious conviction that they were going to change the world - that it was their divine right to do so. And enough Germans were starving for that kind of feeling of empowerment that a charismatic monster was able to step in and take control where, in a healthy society, he would have been laughed off the stage.

So today in this country we have a charismatic man elected to office on a wave of religious fervor, who has promised people that they will be taken care of. That they will feel a renewed sense of hope and purpose in their lives, if they'll just do what he wants them to. A man who has vastly and egregiously overstepped his bounds as president by ordering the government to take over private businesses, with very little in the way of censure from the left (who seem not to care overly much about all the people who have lost their jobs and livelihoods as a result of government-mandated closures of privately-owned car dealerships).

No, leftists are not Nazis. But there are enough parallels between the behavior of this administration and the current culture of the left and the culture existent prior to the rise of the Nazi party that any true student of history should feel no small sense of alarm.

8/16/2009 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob,

Is that the symbol for "gaze" or "moron"? I've misplaced my decoder.

8/16/2009 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good question. I would just say that ⊗ Is the opposite of ʘ.

8/16/2009 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"⊗"

Oh... I was thinking it was No O.

8/16/2009 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is everyone backing down from the fact that Bob's post from yesterday claimed to talk about the Left, but really only focused on Nazi Germany?

Thank you Julie for actually being the FIRST PERSON here that will go on the record as saying that "leftists" not being the same as Hitler; although you can't resist drawing parallels, and I will re-emphasize that similar and stronger parallels existed in the Bush presidency. Let's be fair. You really think "today in this country we have a charismatic man elected to office on a wave of religious fervor, who has promised people that they will be taken care of" sounds more like Obama then, I don't know, Bush during the 9/11 period with the evangelicals on his side? The left isn't really about "religious fervor"...it's not our fault that many of your buddies decided to paint Obama as a Muslim or the Antichrist.

Van, if you really do believe that those on the left think "property can't possibly be thought to belong to an individual", etc., you're delusional. That's as extreme as someone claiming all right-wingers want to load Jews into ovens. And--this is important--are you saying that no evil leader has ever been right-wing? Who do you think are the five worst right-wing leaders, of all time, worldwide? Or do you believe that professed adherence to right-wing principles guarantees a trustworthy and benevolent politician?

8/16/2009 06:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies for some poor grammar; it's late and I didn't proofread.

8/16/2009 06:45:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Uhhhhh!
I pick moron.

8/16/2009 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Of course I drew parallels. That's the freakin' point.

...similar and stronger parallels existed in the Bush presidency.

And therein lies the fundamental divergence. Quite simply, you are wrong, and the argument remains at the same impasse it has foundered in for several days, wherein you keep trying to belabor the point and it's vaguely entertaining for us to take shots at you for it. But since there's not a thing that I or anyone here can say, nor a single factual example that can be offered that will persuade you otherwise, I revert to the earlier assertion: the secret protects itself. Either one sees or one does not. Clearly, you do not, and the only question that properly remains is why you care, in the slightest, what we think, given that from your perspective it is we who do not and will not see.

Crap.

Didn't I last make this argument about a year ago? To the same ninny? I really need to get to work...

8/16/2009 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse "Why is everyone backing down from the fact that Bob's post from yesterday claimed to talk about the Left, but really only focused on Nazi Germany?

Thank you Julie for actually being the FIRST PERSON here that will go on the record as saying that "leftists" not being the same as Hitler"

aninny, no one but you and potty are under the stupid misconceptions you are, and it’s you who are dead set on seeing nothing else. You are well over a year late to the party, yet you insist on acting as if you are the first to bring such startling news to anyone's attention.

"... sounds more like Obama then, I don't know, Bush during the 9/11 period with the evangelicals on his side? "

I didn't vote for Bush in the 2000 primaries, because it was obvious he was a

... wait for it...

progressive

republican, it was obvious that he would propose and support the likes of his education bill, prescription drug program, immigration bill. Given the unsettling option of progressive republican vs full out leftists such as Gore and Kerry though, well... I'll choose death by slow acting poison over piano wire any day. It remains however, that the one truly fascistic thing Bush did, was the bank bailouts and forcing of the banks to 'sell' shares to Paulson's Treasury ... and not a peep was to be heard out of the left. Why do you suppose that was?

"Van, if you really do believe that those on the left think "property can't possibly be thought to belong to an individual", etc., you're delusional."

First off, we're speaking of philosophic fundamentals, not what is commonly done, said or thought acceptable. The right claims to support free enterprise, and as a philosophic fundamental 'they' do, yet in practice they are little better than democrat-lite in the laws and regulations that they support and propose. However, if you look at the fundamental 'principles' behind any leftist economic policy, it is inescapable that their philosophical belief is that people have no inviolable right to their property, in their view the state that has first claim to it. Refute it if you deny it - no assertions please, show me how your principles prove otherwise.

"That's as extreme as someone claiming all right-wingers want to load Jews into ovens."

No... since it has only been a party of the left, nazi's, who wanted, and did, load Jews into ovens... it would be stupid to claim that right-wingers wanted to.

Which of course is why you said it.

8/16/2009 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

I've put up three extensive posts on topic of "Liberal Fascism", what it is, and is not, and its roots
Liberal Fascism - Getting to the Root of the Matter
The New Scholastics Liberal Fascism
Liberal Fascism: The Spiral of Knowledge,
(and still haven't properly reviewed the book itself, that'll come after my series on Justice is complete), if you actually want to discuss the matter, with honest questions and points, I'll be thrilled to get into it, but to point by point refute points we've refuted ad-naseum here already... my interest wanes.

"Who do you think are the five worst right-wing leaders, of all time, worldwide?"

Since you've yet to agree to what I've defined as right wing (or left wing - see the horsecrap at the end of last Friday's post for a brief clue as to their roots), nor have offered your own definition, your request can't be granted; here's why:

"Or do you believe that professed adherence to right-wing principles guarantees a trustworthy and benevolent politician?"

If you had any understanding of Classical Liberalism, you'd know that its principles forbid trust in, or expectation of, benevolent politicians - let alone govt.

Here's a good starting point to begin reading about the political requirement for a Liberal (in its true Classical meaning, which though mostly forgotten today, is the only meaning of 'right-wing' I'll grant) government is the Founders Constitution. And if you make a careful examination of the documents linked under each of the sections and articles as listed there, that will lead you into the second requirement, and more important requirement - a citizenry with a proper Liberal Education, without which, no govt, law or nation can be reasonably, cautiously, considered either trustworthy or benevolent.

Here, start with the Preamble.

8/16/2009 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "Crap.

Didn't I last make this argument about a year ago? To the same ninny? I really need to get to work... "

Heh... I feel your pain. Wish I could express it so briefly.

;-)

8/16/2009 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Doublethink.

8/16/2009 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Van - once I get the rant out of my system, it dissipates quickly. Also, I finished my work for the night, so no incentive to keep putting it off :)

In other news, why it's called the Stupid Party.

8/16/2009 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The Fascist solution to healthcare.

8/16/2009 08:59:00 PM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

And Hitler was a vegetarian!

8/16/2009 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous The Pearl Notsee said...

GIP, anon, anin, etc., (You know, the one's with the ⊗ tats)-

No pearls for you!

8/16/2009 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

GIP-

And Hitler had a funny 'stache.

8/16/2009 10:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

It's funny how so many on the left called President Bush "Bushhitler" (and still do), without realizing that Hitler instituted draconian gun control laws.

Lessee, now who is for gun control (and banning)?
The ideology that wants to disarm their citizens is the one that's fascist.

8/16/2009 10:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Of course we're not sayin' Obama is Hitler. Hitler never denigrated Germans when he visited other countries.
And Hitler had that funny 'stache.

8/16/2009 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

OTOH, Obama ain't fond of the Israel. But in his defense, israel is a democratic, so at least Obama is being consistent.

8/16/2009 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"You don't even have to think about it, because you simply pick it up through kosmosis by spending so many moons in the rarified error of that lunar 'batmosphere. Eventually your common sense is eclipsed."

Ah yes, the dark side of the loons has it's own gravitational pull.
Thankfully it wasn't a permanent eclipse. :^)

8/16/2009 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"This is one of the reasons why the left doesn't create anything. Rather, it can only destroy."

That's true. There's nothing about leftist ideology that has done one iota of Good (good intentions don't count).
It CAN'T. Because it is anti-liberty at it's root and everything they wanna do takes liberty away, for the "good" of the borg...I mean, hive...I mean, collective.

Parasitick is right. That's why democrats are the party of envy n' bitterness (the two go together).
"what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine" is their not so unspoken motto.

8/16/2009 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Treating young people as equals, 'privileging' their opinions precisely because they lack experience and knowledge, is an inherently fascist tendency, because at its heart lies the urge to throw off the 'old ways' and 'old dogmas'...."

Yep. Which is why the left is so enamored with a grossly overweight (and imbalanced)(unhinged, actually) sense of "self esteem." Particularly among individuals who haven't earned anything on their own.
"Yes we can!" Redistribute (steal) the wealth.
And feel good about it.

There's those damn parasites again. In Obama's healthscare "plan" leeches are a feature.

8/16/2009 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

"Did communists and Nazis employ some of the same tactics? Yes. Did they share some of the same values? Yes"

Did they walk like ducks? Yes.

Did they quack like ducks? Yes.

Mallards and mergansers. All Ducks.

8/17/2009 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger pst314 said...

"However, Hitler is not known for his health care initiatives."

Bzzzzzz! Wrong! Health care (and other social welfare programs) were a big part of the Nazi political platform. Liberals and leftists may have forgotten this, but it is nonetheless true.

8/17/2009 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger pst314 said...

"Anonymous, Bob has now taken it as axiomatic that Nazis were leftists and exemplify leftist ideals, as demonstrated by the noted scholar Jonah Goldberg."

Leaving aside your sneering, let me point out that leftists of the 1920's disagreed with you: They referred to the Italian and German fascist movements as leftist, both in their speech and in their writings.

8/17/2009 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger pst314 said...

A sixties anecdote: A professor of history, and pre-WWII refugee from Europe, read a series of stirring quotations to a crowd of student radicals, who cheered wildly until he informed them that all the quotes were by Mussolini. He later commented that the fascistic nature of the "movement" was immediately clear to him and that he was deeply worried by how none of the campus "progressives" could see this.

8/17/2009 10:56:00 AM  

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