Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dude, Where's My Future?

Lately I've been sleeping until 6:30 instead of 5:30, which really leaves insufficient time to write something that needs to be written. So instead of forcing the issue, I'll just rewrite something that didn't need to be rewritten. It's a reflection from almost one year ago on the election of Obama, in the context of Letter XI of Meditations on the Tarot, The Force. Let's see if my coonvision was remotely accurate, or if I was just blowing off steam.

But first, a list of top ten reasons why I felt that Obama's election would be a good thing:

10. Booming business for cult deprogrammers.
9. Big blow to racial grievance hustlers; Al Sharpton will have to go back to mugging individuals instead of corporations.
8. Terrorists won't hate us as much when they kill us. Plus, we can fight them here rather than way over in Iraq, thus saving gas money.
7. Everything is Obama's fault.
6. AM radio will go back to playing music instead of abusing free speech with conservative talk.
5. People will be more serious about preventative health instead of relying on "doctors."
4. Jews will no longer run the world.
3. We can play the race card in international relations.
2. We can blame the young for their own future problems, since they supported Obama by a 2-1 margin. Who cares if they want to spend their inheritance on their selfish grandparents?
1. Conservatives get the #1 draft pick in '09.

Letter XI, The Force, is a timely symbol for the events of the day, as the force of the left ascends on the political wheel of fortune. However, we can draw consolation from the fact that, being that leftism is a closed intellectual and spiritual system, it is already "on the way down," outward appearances to the contrary notwithstanding. In short, its end is in its beginning, as the poet said. The higher it ascends in its intoxicated reach for power, the further it will fall. The concrete fact of Obama shall soon enough kill the empty idea of Obama. Nature hates a vacuum, while the left requires one, into which they can project their dreams and fantasies. But soon enough they will discover that Obama is not the man of their dreams.

The following passage by UF is perfectly apt today: "Plato has never had success as a revolutionary and never will do so. But Plato himself will always live throughout the centuries of human history... and will be in each century the companion of the young and old who love pure thought, seeking only the light which it comprises." In other words, you can never really have a "revolution" of people oriented to the white point of wisdom discussed in yesterday's post. Rather, you can only have evolution.

For one thing, it is an individual endeavor, not the sort of thing that could ever occur on a mass scale. And the left is a mass movement, which automatically condemns it to mediocrity and banality. It is led by a herd of elites who imagine themselves superior, but nothing could be more mundane -- and self-contradictory -- than the idea of "mass excellence."

In contrast to Plato, Karl Marx has enjoyed over a century "of astonishing success and has revolutionized the world. He has swept away millions -- those who went to the barricades and trenches in civil wars, and those who went to the prisons, either as jailers or as prisoners."

Really, can you name another philosopher who has enjoyed such a literally smashing success in such a short span of time? But you -- yes, you there, "as a solitary human soul, a soul of depth and sobriety, what do you owe Karl Marx?"

I don't know yet. Ask me next April 15th.

The point is, "Plato illumines, whilst Marx sweeps away." Obviously, it is impossible to imagine a person of any spiritual stature getting caught up in the Obama hysteria, what with his preposterous rhetoric about "fundamentally transforming" the nation. But it is equally impossible to imagine such a person being caught up in any kind of political hysteria. It is one of the reasons we can never match the diabolical energy of the left. Since the leftist is condemned to the horizontal world, he channels his spiritual energy into politics. As I wrote a couple of years ago,

"Regardless of what happens Tuesday, it shouldn’t greatly affect the spiritual equilibrium of the Superior Man, whose invisible combat will continue as usual. Indeed, this is what distinguishes us from the agitated multitude of horizontal men who locate their salvation in politics. Whatever the outcome, our lives will continue to center around our own perfection and salvation, not for narcissistic reasons, but for the simple reason that it is not possible to save others unless we have first saved ourselves. Needless to say, horizontal Republicans will not save us from horizontal Democrats.

"The project of the left is to make us all useful to the collective, when the only possible justification for the collective can lie in its usefulness to the individual -- again, not in a horizontal, egotistical sense, but in a vertical sense. Assuming that life has a transcendent purpose -- and you cannot be human and not make this assumption -- then the purpose of society should be to help human beings achieve this purpose -- i.e., to be useful to the Creator."

Hmm, I see that Bob foretold the cult of Obama:

"Horizontal man, in denying the vertical, necessarily replaces it with a counterfeit version that substitutes the collective for the One and human will for the Divine authority. Taken to its logical extreme, this manifests as the demagogue, the cult of personality, or the dictator-god who expresses the vitalistic will of the people. But all forms of leftism lie on this continuum. So much of the pandering of the left is merely totalitarianism in disguise -- a false absolute and a counterfeit vertical."

And there is no one so inflated with narcissistic hubris as the leftist social engineer who will save mankind from its own self-inflicted wounds. The leftist can give man everything but what he most needs, and in so doing, destroys the possibility of man. As Eliot said, the leftist dreams of a system in which it will be unnecessary for anyone to be good. But man is the being who can -- and must -- choose between good and evil.

Likewise, "the moment we talk about 'social conscience,' and forget about conscience, we are in moral danger" (Eliot). Eliminate the idea of moral struggle, and "you must expect human beings to become more and more vaporous." Since man is placed at the crossroads where he is free to choose between good and evil, this again eliminates man. You might say that for the leftist dreamer, man is strictly unnecessary. In fact, he just gets in the way of the Dream. Humanity is reduced to "a manageable herd rather than a community of souls" -- a comm-unity which naturally includes the dead and unborn (Lockerd).

For horizontality goes hand in hand with exteriority and outwardness, which is the initial direction of the fall: first out, then down. Gravity takes care of the rest. Horizontal man is down and out, whereas our salvolution lies up and in. Animals are almost entirely exterior. Like the leftist, they do not actually live in the world, but in the closed system of their own neurology and instincts. Only man -- inexplicably and miraculously on any scientistic grounds -- can exit the closed system of his own neuro-ideology and enter higher worlds, worlds of truth, beauty, and virtue.

To be in contact with these higher worlds is to be Man. To neglect or deny these anterior worlds is to destroy man, precisely. It is to starve and suffocate man’s spirit by laying waste to his proper environment, the only environment in which he can actually grow into full manhood. You cannot replace the holy grail of Spirit with the lowly gruel of flatland materialism and expect it to feed the multitudes. Human beings do not draw their spiritual nourishment from outside but from above -- which in turn “spiritualizes” and sacralizes the horizontal.

Being what he is -- and isn’t -- horizontal man externalizes concerns about his self-inflicted soul murder, and obsesses over the future of "the planet" -- over speculative and fanciful weather reports one hundred years hence.

But right now there is a hell and there is a handbasket, because we can clearly see both with our own third eyes. Furthermore, we can see exactly who is running with baskets in both hands. Look, it's Nancy Pelosi! Harry Reid! Barney Frank!

Again, vertical man never obsesses, let alone enters the state of perpetual hysteria of leftist man. As Eliot wrote, "we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that anything will triumph." Nevertheless, vertical man naturally frets about the deteriorating conditions of the interior of the human world, and its seemingly unimpeded slide into barbarism, spiritual exhaustion, scientistic magic, neo-paganism, self-worship, the cult of the body, abstract materialism, and a vapid and rudderless subjectivism.

Such lost souls cannot discern the signs of the times, much less the direction of history. For them, history can be nothing more than a meaningless tale told by a tenured idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying a nice paycheck and adoring coeds. Horizontal man scoffs at spiritual reality on the peculiar grounds that it cannot exist, denying its presence with that which affirms it by virtue of its self-evident existence.

It is a truism that vertical man paradoxically lives very close to the ground, as he has internalized the cautionary tales of Eden, of Icarus, of Babel, and of various episodes of the Honeymooners. In contrast, horizontal man seizes what does not properly belong to him, not just recapitulating the fall but enshrining it in his ideology. It's no longer a bug but a feature.

But when you cast your vote for horizontal man, you are unwittingly chipping away at the foundation of the very tower in which horizontal man is privileged to sit despite his metaphysical ignorance. For in reality, we only have the luxury of superfluous and slumbering horizontal men because of the vertical men -- real men -- who came before and built the tower brick by brick (except for the cornerstone, which was not made by human hands).

Thus we can see our own possible future by casting our gaze at Europe, which is too high and top-heavy for its own long-forgotten foundations, and is well into the process of toppling into dust. For when horizontal man falls, he doesn’t actually fall far, only back down to the ground where vertical man awaits him.

Yes, we are exiled in time, but for vertical man, time does not alter the basic existential situation which religion is here to address. It is believed by our intellectually sterile and spiritually shallow elites that religion is no longer relevant. In so believing, they underscore their own irrelevance, for to paraphrase Schuon, they blame Truth for their own lack of qualification to understand and accept it. Suffice it to say that to be eternally young is to forever grow -- only inward and upward, toward the primordial light that has already defeated horizontal darkness, today and forever.

So render unto the horizontal the things that belong to the horizontal, but do not store your treasures there, where myths corrupt and chickens doth come home to roost. As always, be as wise as the horizontal serpents who stand on their bellies, but innocent as vertical doves who kneel on wings.

A secularist culture can only exist, so to speak, in the dark. It is a prison in which the human spirit confines itself when it is shut out of the wider world of reality. But as soon as the light comes, all the elaborate mechanism that has been constructed for living in the dark becomes useless. The recovery of spiritual vision gives man back his spiritual freedom. --Russell Kirk

33 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Again, vertical man never obsesses, let alone enters the state of perpetual hysteria of leftist man. As Eliot wrote, "we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that anything will triumph." Nevertheless, vertical man naturally frets about the deteriorating conditions of the interior of the human world, and its seemingly unimpeded slide into barbarism, spiritual exhaustion, scientistic magic, neo-paganism, self-worship, the cult of the body, abstract materialism, and a vapid and rudderless subjectivism.

This must be why when the orthodox of Judeo-Christian faiths look at the world, they continue to have families even knowing that the future may be an ugly place for their children to grow up in; whereas leftists, caught up in hysterics of the moment such as overpopulation and environmental consciousness, so often choose to forgo having children (and besides, kids get in the way of the hip urban lifestyle).

10/14/2009 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"...but for the simple reason that it is not possible to save others unless we have first saved ourselves. "

I've been noticing this thought popping up often... sure hope it continues to... probably the counter echo, a noise cancelling harmony to the obamanational anthem being blared into our ears everywhere else. It is a Good thing.

"Needless to say, horizontal Republicans will not save us from horizontal Democrats. "

You'd think.

10/14/2009 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Contra Rebels said...

On the upside, military recruitments are up. More troops are being deployed than ever before.

10/14/2009 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"As Eliot said, the leftist dreams of a system in which it will be unnecessary for anyone to be good. But man is the being who can -- and must -- choose between good and evil."

The leftist wants so much to eliminate the need for choice, to make de... to make 'cisions automatic, occuring without thought and effort... but that means without the involvement of human life. Without choice, and you making it, what life can you be said to be living?!

ass-tounding.

10/14/2009 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Since man is placed at the crossroads where he is free to choose between good and evil, this again eliminates man. You might say that for the leftist dreamer, man is strictly unnecessary. In fact, he just gets in the way of the Dream. Humanity is reduced to "a manageable herd rather than a community of souls," which naturally includes the dead and unborn (Lockerd)."

Ah, yeah, like that... ok, reading to the end before commenting again.

10/14/2009 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Van,
to make de... to make 'cisions automatic

Thanks for that - it made me notice that to decide means to cut (from Latin decisio, "a cutting short").

Which again is why any momentous, really important decision is a death of sorts, for in choosing one path you necessarily sever yourself from all others. And we must live with what we choose. But if we allow the state to step in with promises that somehow we'll keep our horizontal freedoms if only we relinquish the vertical ones, and in addition we won't have to make so many big decisions (such as how to pay for our health care or how to invest our retirement money), we are opting for an infantilized utopia of the false infinite. And we are severed from culpability when things go wrong, as they inevitably will because when the state decides, nobody is responsible.

10/14/2009 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"But when you cast your vote for horizontal man, you are unwittingly chipping away at the foundation of the very tower in which horizontal man is privileged to sit despite his metaphysical ignorance. For in reality, we only have the luxury of superfluous and slumbering horizontal men because of the vertical men -- real men -- who came before and built the tower brick by brick (except for the cornerstone, which was not made by human hands). "

I was thinking this when reading the Columbus day link to Dr. Sanity the other day. The persistent PC push to eradicate any reference to our, in their eyes, barbaric past, is literally creating a barbaric, unevolved present. For what is a barbaric society, but one which has no past, no lessons learned, and no history from which to learn them?

Nothing but barbaric bangles and beads and obama's.

Ugh.

10/14/2009 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Relevant, Mushroom yesterday:

The goal of Christianity is not a better world but better people. The only righteousness that counts is personal righteousness. The group is never holy, only the individual. Weighed against a single human soul, the world is as nothing.

10/14/2009 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

This is troubling.

Obviously, I'm not in favor of the divine right of kings to rule over the masses, but by the same token the argument that "The idea of authority is a fabrication" is self-refuting. If he's correct and there is no authority, why should I listen to what he says? Who is he to tell me anything?

He speaks of law as though it is some type of organic mechanical entity, "a self-generating, self-recognizing system of human communications that signals likely action within that community." Mob rule, in other words. There is no transcendent Law, only a growth that just kind of happens by general consent.

"Understanding law as an autopoietic signaling system frees us to discard the idea of authority." Really? Does that mean I don't have to obey the policeman if I get pulled over, because he doesn't have any authority over me? Or how about the judge? I was going with the flow of the traffic, the natural self-creating law of the streets. Who needs speed limits anyway? They're just based on a false authority, at a remove from actual driving conditions.

Obviously, I only have the abstract of the paper to go on, but if it's at all representative of the content then it seems to me this guy is arguing for a further horizontalization of society, placing authority (by whatever name, it is still the same) into the collective while allowing no individual to be responsible.

Deconstructing authority goes hand-in-hand with deconstructing truth.

This is another place I got to via Instapundit. I couldn't tell by his brief commentary if he supports this nonsense, but then he supports a lot of things I disagree with.

10/14/2009 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger debass said...

I obey the law to avoid the consequences of not obeying the law, primarily loss of liberty. No law has ever prevented a crime.

10/14/2009 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That's true, though we're all probably unconvicted felons. What bothers me about this, though, is that it's actually a form of legal darwinism:

Claims of moral right to be obeyed have their origins in creationist accounts of law and government. This article presents an evolutionary account of law and government.

In other words, the law is almost secondary. What the author is arguing is that laws - whether based on the Decalogue, the Magna Carta or the Constitution - have no grounding in a transcendent truth. If there is no authority, there is no Authority. If laws don't come from God, they come from man as such, and there is no higher good to which to appeal. So what's it to be? Cold, hard logic? Empathy over truth? Whatever the general public feels like at the time?

Quoting Bob again:
Likewise, "the moment we talk about 'social conscience,' and forget about conscience, we are in moral danger" (Eliot). Eliminate the idea of moral struggle, and "you must expect human beings to become more and more vaporous." Since man is placed at the crossroads where he is free to choose between good and evil, this again eliminates man. You might say that for the leftist dreamer, man is strictly unnecessary. In fact, he just gets in the way of the Dream. Humanity is reduced to "a manageable herd rather than a community of souls," which naturally includes the dead and unborn (Lockerd).

Law divorced from all morality and authority would inevitably destroy humanity as such. That's why I find this man's work troubling.

10/14/2009 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Bill Whittle's amusing plan to pay legislators not to legislate wherein he mentions the Tea Party Patriots Contract from America website.

10/14/2009 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie, that ain't the half of it, believe me. For the last year or so, I've been digging into not only our current winners on the Supreme Court like Breyer (talk about foul), but how they got that way. This guy you ref'd, and his predecessors like Rawls, and all the rest, are only stating the most obvious implications of what the proregressive concept of law has always been: utterly opposed to anything smacking of Natural Law principles, and is instead entirely calculative, in the utilitarian mold that weighs social importance (you know, like Mr. Spock's 'the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few'), and then calculates what 'the many' should need and value... and consider to be a boon or a harm.

J.S. Mill gave the basis for this with his 'harm principle', which said "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."

That may not seem so bad... except that it provides no standard for what either 'harm' is, or 'value', other than what those in power feel like they should mean. And while the leftist might say 'don't worry about it, those in power are highly intelligent, sober, responsible types!', we non-leftist conservatives should consider what J.S. Mill said about conservatives (not quite the same sort as what we call conservatives, but it really doesn't matter),

"What I stated was, that the Conservative Party was, by the law of its constitution, necessarily the stupidest party. Now, I do not retract that assertion; but I did not mean to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it." (Public and Parliamentary Speeches, 31 May 1866, pp. 85-86.)
One finds Mill elsewhere also saying that

"Stupidity is much the same the world over. A stupid person's notions and feelings may confidently be inferred from those which prevail in the circle by which the person is surrounded. Not so those whose opinions and feelings are emanations from their own nature and faculties. (Subjection of Women, Chapter I, p. 273)
"

If that doesn't make it clear enough why we should be worried, consider what the proregressive jurist, Oliver Wendel Holmes jr., considered the most highly respected grand old man of American Law (both by the left and also right, Bork, etc), determined with his idol J.S. Mill's harm principle in mind, in this judgment from the bench of the Supreme Court, regarding the glowbull warming issue of his day, Eugenics, and forced sterilization; in Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, said:

"We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. ... three generations of imbeciles are enough. ""

That should really make members of the stupid party feel all warm and fuzzy, shouldn't it?

10/14/2009 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh; Van, I was just about to link this, before reading your comment:

"Abstract: Criminal law scholarship has recently become absorbed with the ideas of neuroscience in the emerging field of neurolaw. This mixture of cognitive neuroscience and law suggests that long established conceptions of human agency and responsibility are fundamentally at odds with the findings of science. Using sophisticated technology, cognitive neuroscience claims to be upon the threshold of unraveling the mysteries of the mind by elucidating the mechanical nature of the brain. Despite the limitations of that technology, neurolaw supporters eagerly suggest that those revelations entail that an inevitable and radical overhaul of our criminal justice system is soon at hand. What that enthusiasm hides, however, is a deeper ambition among those who desire an end to distributive punishment based on desert in favor of a prediction model heavily influenced by the behavioral sciences. That model rests squarely on the presumption that science should craft crime policy at the expense of the authority of common intuitions of justice. But that exchange has profound implications for how the law views criminal conduct and responsibility - and how it should be sanctioned under the law. Neurolaw promises a more humane and just criminal justice system, yet there is ample reason to believe otherwise."

Stupid, mentally ill; either way, they can give you a happy pill to make the bad conservatism go away...

10/14/2009 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "Law divorced from all morality and authority would inevitably destroy humanity as such. That's why I find this man's work troubling. "

Or, authority, divorced from morality, is authorized to destroy all that it declares harmful - for the benefit of 'the greater good'.

That IS the central hole of proregressivism.

10/14/2009 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

If America is held to have anything to do with morality, freedom, liberty and the rule of Law, then Proregressivism, in it's every statement and 'value', is explicitly Anti-American.

10/14/2009 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

"we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that anything will triumph."

The triumph is to know this.

10/14/2009 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

In the spring of 2003, I took a little law class (well half of it - I dropped it) called 'Law for Artists and Writers', mostly about copyright, trademark, and patent law, intellectual property rights and details, etc... And though it did provide some basics, there was an odd asphyxiating clamminess to it. What sealed the deal for me to drop the class was a lecture I attended led by the teacher, outside of class. It actually horrified me. The main point was that text - text - was meaningless in a deconstructive era. It was about the (future of the) Constitution and law in general. It was kind of a 'law as literature' take based on the idea of what authority does it actually have, and what is text anyway? It was encouraging (and predicting) the viewing of the Constitution and legal texts as literature to be deconstructed and seen as symbols on a page. It completely freaked me out more than any horror movie would.

Could say a bit more, and might add more later, but I have to jet!

10/14/2009 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Oh I do have to jet but will add, it wasn't the content of the class that caused the clamminess, it was the teacher and his spiritual condition and outlook. The way he ran things and communicated about law, like his personal unsaid subtext, came through. The lecture outside of class answered gave the answer to what was up with him.

10/14/2009 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Likewise, "the moment we talk about 'social conscience,' and forget about conscience, we are in moral danger" (Eliot).

I guess it's always been so, but it seemed to me that the election of Bill Clinton was the real divide. The argument was that a person's character didn't matter as long as he or she was in agreement with the group morals of the left.

10/14/2009 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Contra Rebels said...

Dow at 10,000 today. How could the recession be over. Man, I hope not.

10/14/2009 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/14/2009 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anna said "It was encouraging (and predicting) the viewing of the Constitution and legal texts as literature to be deconstructed and seen as symbols on a page. It completely freaked me out more than any horror movie would."

America is a nation based upon ideas - no physical war with another country, or with fanatics, is ever likely to defeat us - cause us pain and suffering, sure, but defeat us? Not likely.

The war we need to fear, and which we've never acknowledged, is the war of ideas that has been waged against us for the last century and a half, and until just recently, we've been utterly clueless about it.

We've been intellectually nuked by proregressive leftists through our educational system... and it has done far more damage to us than 9/11 and the like ever could have. The good news is that an assault of unapologetic Truth can still turn the tide of battle back in our favor... we'll see.

Don't fool yourselves into thinking anything less is going on though, and as Gagdad said "it is not possible to save others unless we have first saved ourselves. Needless to say, horizontal Republicans will not save us from horizontal Democrats" - this is NOT a political battle, or rather, the politics are just the shockwaves, the aftereffects of the actual bombs. The actual bombs are spiritual and philosophical, and the only way to build, or dismantle them, is through education, and that ONLY happens by, and within, the individual person.

Materials can be supplied, sure, lectures can be given, but you can't force an idea to be understood, or accepted. As Anna noted, I think a sound spiritual basis provides a natural immune system against full blown leftist ideas... but the slow increasing of poison, accompanied by a slow dilution of our immune system has brought us to where we are today, and that can only be fixed from the inside out, One person at a time.

The only possible exceptions to that one-at-a-time rule being Parents, and less so, Teachers, who are in a position to guide others through understanding, one way or another. It took a century and a half to get us here, with proregressive leftists focusing on just those two strategic objectives - teachers and parents - and I suspect that even under the most ideal circumstances imaginable, it'll take at least two generations to recover the ground we've lost.

It's a worthwhile fight though, it's where the future may again be found.

Here's the most useful ammo for this moment.

10/14/2009 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

contra rubble, looks like your blog has even less to say than you do.

10/14/2009 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger xlbrl said...

Marxism has been embraced by many not because they suffer, but because it is a new field for protest and private judgement. Is the voracity of discussion indeed so insatiable as the appetite of the grave? Three checks upon the empire of unbridled discussion seem possible; the deliberate revival of the concept of traditional wisdom, the growth of public boredom with talk and with change itself, and the coming of catastrophes which teach men to distrust their own opinions. The latter two contingencies appear to be impending in our generation; but either of them is a merciless disciplinarian; and the conservative who hopes to spare society an age of misery must endeavor to resuscitate that political faith which is not mere personal interest, that wisdom beyond physical facts which supplants doubt by assent--Russell Kirk

10/14/2009 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Contra Rebels said...

Van,
My blog is the antedote to yours.

10/14/2009 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"My blog is the antedote to yours."

Ok, that's good for one big LOL!

;-)

10/14/2009 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Van, the homeschooling movement is the vanguard of what you're talking about, I think. I wonder how long before we're facing what parents do in statist Europe. It's been a long hard fight just to get back where we are today in America. (We just lost one of the warriors.) I say "back" because it's where we began, and it's something we lost for a time...

10/14/2009 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

My last link was dead. Here are a couple of others.

10/14/2009 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Susannah said "...the homeschooling movement is the vanguard of what you're talking about, I think."

Definitely. Parents teaching directly, or getting together and hiring someone they believe to be a solid person capable of teaching their kids, and involved in the curriculum, as with the old prairie school house model, is what I think needs to be gotten back to.

The modern factory model based schools & school system, and teachers churned out (and mixed up) by 'educational colleges', are entirely a proregressive creation, and was specifically designed to - people find this hard to believe, but it is all easily discoverable - to reduce or eliminate a parents influence and their traditional 'prejudices' (you know, like the Founding Fathers were wise, etc), and to socialize the kids.

It is sick, and has always been so.

I can't see any real progress gaining and holding, without our school system being completely ejected. Which the proregressives understand and believe as well, as your links, and anyone googling 'home schooling' in California, can easily discover for themselves.

I saw one of your comments a while back... something about practicing Latin declensions... wish I could go to your school!

10/15/2009 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Btw, your link just had 'URL' tagged onto the end of it, here it is.

10/15/2009 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

OK, still thinking about this:

“Really, can you name another philosopher who has enjoyed such a literally smashing success in such a short span of time?”

My first thought was Jesus. But of course, he was much more than that if even a portion of him could apply to that category. I mean, he truly struggled with things that were given to him. So I can’t or shouldn’t ignore that. And when you said “smashing” I was thinking more like “with a permanent impact” at first.
So instead, and at the risk of further heresy, I’m going with Moses. For permanent impact and, he seems to me to be closer to an ordinary man in his beginning than was Jesus. But mostly for Genesis. It seems I could spend the rest of my life there and it would never run out. I keep returning to it. I mean after all these thousands of years, it has not run out of depth to tell us about ourselves and the World, and in such a beautiful, rich way, no less. Doesn’t a proper philosopher take the light he has is been given and turn it into something the restovus can live on?
Anyway, I know you meant philosopher in the literal sense, but you more often talk about the “purpose” of philosophy and how a proper one wouldn’t, couldn’t exclude the religious and transcendent planes. So this is not intended as an insult to Moses but maybe more a compliment to philosophy.

10/17/2009 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“The following passage by UF is perfectly apt today: "Plato has never had success as a revolutionary and never will do so. But Plato himself will always live throughout the centuries of human history... and will be in each century the companion of the young and old who love pure thought, seeking only the light which it comprises.”

Upon further reflection, I would like to amend my last comment with this. I think it is impossible to be immersed in a culture that exists in a vacuum separate from the effects of Plato yet not separate from Moses. Similar to the point I believe that Bailie makes in “Violence Unveiled…” we are under the influence of the Gospels today whether we’ve read them or not, understand them or not, reject them or not. What’s “accomplished” is accomplished.

10/22/2009 05:55:00 AM  

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