Saturday, January 02, 2010

Obama and End-Stage Metastatic Liberalism

With his trademark smug stupidity, Barack Obama affirmed the following absolute truth in his The Audacity of Hope: "Implicit in [the Constitution's] structure, in the very idea of ordered liberty, was a rejection of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology or 'ism,' any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations into a single, unalterable course...."

Where to even begin? In a single stroke of blind ignorance (or is it malevolence?) that only a tenured barbarian could believe, Obama transmogrifies the most important conservative political document in history into a monstrous recipe for perpetual revolution that would appall the men who risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in defense of principles that were and are absolute, timeless, and universal, precisely.

And if these principles are not conserved, mankind is finished -- or at least Man as such is. There will always be room for the little human beastlings who cash in their manhood for the soul-grinding security offered by the swaddling state, and hop around like Nietzsche's fleas at the end of history.

This is how it begins -- and ends. That is, the decadent myth of liberalism is ultimately rooted in a crude relativism that reduces truth to opinion, and therefore exalts cosmic stupidity above all. The bang of Marx ends in the whimp of Obama. Or at least Obama's bong gives off a whiff of Marx.

Once this is accomplished, there is no longer any ground for permanent truth, nor any way to arbitrate between competing truth claims. Therefore, raw power rushes in to fill the vacuum. It's as simple as that. The irony is that so many "sophisticated" liberals supported Obama for his "brains," when they were actually ratifying his muscle. The Chicago Way is not about thinking. It is about shoving and bullying -- the Ferragamo boot on the neck. It is the politics of the mid-brain, not the frontal lobes.

It is also necessarily about "action" rather than reflection, and action quickly reduces to "change," or just agitation. But since Obama has already assured us that there are no permanent truths, this is change that necessarily "goes nowhere," for where is there to go in a meaningless and truth-free world? Like purely Darwinian change, it's all horizontal, not vertical. One place is no different than any other. Legs, fins, wings, wheels, what's the difference? It's the journey that matters, the bracing sensation of a dog with its head out the car window.

But real liberalism -- i.e., conservatism -- situates the American journey in a much wider context of divine revelation, or universal history. For we recognize that there is actually only one story, and that it is (among other things) the story of liberty. But obviously not the liberty of the left, since they detach it from the truth, beauty, and virtue -- the permanent things -- without which it is just another name for confusion, disorientation, blundering along in the dark. Being lost is hardly the same as being free, although it can feel like it for awhile, at least until the provisions run out.

The contemporary liberal violently severs the ombiblical cord that connects us to the past and future generations who share our journey, and to whom we owe a measure of our allegiance.

For mankind is not just unified in space, but in time -- which is why hundreds of thousands of men and women who gave their life for America -- the real and permanent America that is the champion of universal truth in this benighted world -- weep for what Obama is doing to the country they loved. We know this because we are connected to them. The contemptuous liberal cannot know it, for in his world, the person who risks his life for this hopelessly flawed country is either a dupe or a moron or psychopath with violent tendencies and imperialistic designs.

The difference between a conservative and a liberal is that the former loves America, while the latter loves some abstract idea of what America should be in his Marxian fantasies. This is why they want to punish the men and women who kept us safe since 2001, while giving the benefit of every doubt to the terrorists who seek to destroy us. It is quite obvious where their sympathies lie.

To reject the sacred truths that uphold reality and course through the arteries of existence is not only a kind of desecration of the dead, it is also an auto-lobotomy, for it is to sever oneself from the collective wisdom and experience of mankind -- as if the tiny stock of blinkered opinions and provincial attitudes Obama absorbed while floating amongst the tenured can in any way compete with Madison, or Tocqueville, or Adam Smith.

Truly, it's like going through life with vital organs amputated, except that these are organs of intellect and spirit, or psyche and soul. These organs are designed to know truth, not to replace it with the intemperate follies and fashions the day.

Russell Kirk notes that decadence "amounts to the loss of an end, an object." Obama openly and explicitly severs America from its spiritual end, its telos, its reason for being. We will either continue to decay and deteriorate with bat-faced liberals leading the way down into darkness, or be reborn in the light of our original mandate and purpose, forged and fought for by men both wiser and braver than the hollow poseur who occupies the White House, and sanctioned by heaven.

*****

Radiant Stupidity or Cosmic Narcissism?:



A slightly more soothing image of the backyard of the slackatoreum this fine morning (click to enlarge):

41 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awsome Bob, truly AWSOME!!!

1/02/2010 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger xlbrl said...

Yes it is awesome. I'm sending it on to my kids.

1/02/2010 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

The other day I added a rather pessimistic post on how I felt about America's future. I think it pays to step back though and consider some perspective. America was if anything more in thrall with communism in the first half of the twentieth century than today. Jonah Goldberg's book is a real eye-opener for those who have never looked beneath the (largely suppressed) history of leftist fascism in the nation. I wouldn't say it could have gone either way, but there certainly was widespread sympathy for Marxist ideas beyond the current strongholds in academia, the media and the entertainment complex.

I do however remain very concerned about the sort of non-revolutionary creeping socialism which continues to insidiously weaken the nation today. I've lived in both Canada and the US (and other countries) long enough to observe that in many ways today's America is less free than Canada (or parts of Europe) were in say 1970. Of course Canada and Europe have seen even worse erosion of liberty and the religious traditions upon which it is built, but today the practical difference between the US and the rest of the West is one of degree, not kind. This is especially clear in the case of socialized medicine. America already spends more on socialist medicine than any country on earth, even if the proportion of public/private is about 50/50 versus 75/25 in Canada et al.

No grand Marxist revolution is needed or even desirable as the smartest of the Left figured out decades ago. Just the steady drip drip erosion of the American bedrock until one day soon only a minority of Americans still even comprehend what America means.

I will try to be less pessimistic and have faith in the tens of millions of Americans who defend the Constitution from the depredations of the transnational Left. Attitude counts, and I don't want to be one of the ones who simply gives in to the most ancient and malign force in human history. Which is why the fuss over Islamism is so dangerous -- leftism is FAR worse and FAR more dangerous to the US than Islamists could ever be in their wildest fantasies. It's like the difference between silent, initially imperceptible but aggressive cancer on the one hand, and a vicious pit bull on the other. As long as you're armed and ready, one threat is much easier to deal with than the other.

1/02/2010 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

One correction to the above: I meant that the practical implementation of the econimic and governmental spheres are essentially similar in the US and the rest of the West. I nonetheless fully realize that the America is in her essence fundamentally different than these other nations (with perhaps Australia coming closest, at least it used to). The US Constitution and the ideas behind it are fully realized nowhere else, even if these ideas are hard to discern in a nation ruled by a man far to the left of the leaders in most other Western nations today.

1/02/2010 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Rene said...

Bob said, "That is, the decadent myth of liberalism is ultimately rooted in a crude relativism that reduces truth to opinion, and therefore exalts cosmic stupidity above all."

"He who shirks episteme (knowledge) inevitably becomes a disciple of doxa (opinion)." - Dietrich Von Hildebrand

1/02/2010 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I think that picture needs a warning, something like "Caution: May cause eyes to bleed." Just objectively, it's painful to look at. If you can bear it long enough to consider the content with any depth, nausea may ensue as well.

Though to be fair, this strikes me not as "art for art's sake," but more like something that reveals a transcendent truth. Just not the kind of truth any sane person would want to contemplate for more than five seconds.

1/02/2010 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Alex Gray a famous new-age artist whose art is ugliness on stilts.

1/02/2010 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Or, it's beautiful in that necrophilial sort of way...

1/02/2010 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Jack said...

from http://www.alexgrey.com/articles/raw.html

"As a young artist, Grey's interest in mortality was not limited to metaphysical speculations, but his near obsession launched him into an investigation of the physical properties of death. He secured a job in a medical school morgue and did his earliest performances with dead animals and human corpses".

Reminds me of that show of embalmed and poised corpses that made the rounds at various museums a few years back. All the hipsters loved it. I wouldn't go. It seemed sacrilegious.

1/02/2010 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Jack, agreed. Especially given that the guy who did that may not have had the consent of the deceased for his art projects. I seem to recall many of them were Chinese prisoners who had no say in how their remains were to be used (though granted, I may be wrong about that. It's been a couple of years, and I couldn't say where I read it).

As an antidote, I seem to recall mention of a new dog joining the Gagdad household...?

1/02/2010 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, that's much better. Awww...

1/02/2010 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Alex Gray is kind of like Alice Cooper, minus the irony...

1/02/2010 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Julie:

Yes, this afternoon we're auditioning a new Dane, whom the owner couldn't keep. Pictures as they become available...

1/02/2010 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

I saw that exhibit, Jack. I had the feeling before going in that it was somewhat sacrilege, too, but upon entering, my doubts faded. I thought it was done quite respectfully.

Granted, I might be completely out to lunch on this. It's quite possible that I too have become desensitized to such displays, but it certainly didn't strike me as sacrilege. And I was expecting just that.

I hadn't heard about the Chinese prisoners story that Julie mentions. If true than definitely not right, but most plaques had short bios stating their consent.

1/02/2010 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your schtick sounds like OBL talking about the US. What the hey?

Radical Islamists and Radical Raccoonists R similar?

America has no game? The Prez is evil?

End of history coming?

Changes need to be made?

We read you loud and clear. You're a fanatic.

1/02/2010 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Very good. Most readers aren't sophisticated enough to pick up the parallels between me and bin Laden. Still, it's probably better for you to stay on the thorazine.

1/02/2010 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Osama said...

Bob, didn't we agree about the filthy dog in your house?

1/02/2010 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

We read you loud and clear. You're a fanatic.

It sounds fanatical to you because you are a leftist, which means you are ahistorical. In fact, you bear out one of the themes in this essay: You are part of a movement that is unmoored from the American idea, and thus you are incapable of recognizing it. Of course it sounds "fanatical" to you -- it's alien to your eyes.

You don't recognize your own country.

1/02/2010 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Exactly. For Obama, it is literally true that the Declaration of Independence is unconstitutional, for it affirms that our nation is founded upon timeless and universal truths.

1/02/2010 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The difference between a conservative and a liberal is that the former loves America, while the latter loves some abstract idea of what America should be in his Marxian fantasies.

The real America elected Obama, and elected Roosevelt four times, has soundly rejected the horrible misrule of Republicans, and is not interested in returning to the era of Calvin Coolidge. It's you who suffers from an overdose of abstraction -- what else could something like this mean: "the real and permanent America that is the champion of universal truth in this benighted world"? The real America is not a "champion of universal truth", it is a historically situated actual place with an actual messy and imperfect history. And there's no reason to expect it to be permanent, sorry. Few things are.

Obama's remark -- which you can read in context here -- obviously refers to the fact that the founders realized their own imperfections and made the Constitution amendable, and ensured that the parts of the government could hold each other in check. Religious absolutism had recently devastated Europe -- the Enlightenment and Constitution were a reaction to that. As any schoolboy knows.

1/02/2010 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Pretty feeble. Of course the Founders allowed for an explicit means to amend the Constitution. But Obama is speaking of the implicit meaning of the Constitution itself, a meaning that the Founders soundly rejected. The notion that there is no absolute truth would have struck them as metaphysically preposterous and profoundly illiberal, for if there is no truth, there is no liberty.

1/02/2010 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon, now there's a handle for you, "schoolboy".
It's the most perceptive thing you've written in three years.

1/02/2010 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Hmmm ... I dunno, Bob, you may come up short on this one. After all, on Air America, the hosts say over and over and over that Obama used to be a "Constitutional Scholar" -- that's gotta count for a lot, doesn't it?

Also -- who among us can claim to have had our portraits painted with a radiant globe shining in our forehead? Hah? That, too, surely must count for something?

At any rate, your recent posts seem to make Anon increasingly agitated; you've probably noticed. I think you're about to get a new convert -- he's right on the edge! O happy day!

1/02/2010 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

RockPigSqueal.

1/02/2010 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Aquila said...

Off-topic...kinda:

Interesting op-ed piece in the NYT about the film Avatar, and the appeal of pantheism for a society that's increasingly divorced from hierarchical and permanent spiritual values.

1/02/2010 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

"but it certainly didn't strike me as sacrilege. And I was expecting just that."

Then why did you go?

I'm in the it is sacrilege camp. For similar reasons why I don't watch those "CSI" TV shows. Besides the fact I could write one in about 10 minutes. They all seem so remarkably uninterested in telling the "story" of the former "person" that is now on a table burned to a crisp. No one seems to notice this. Sure they tell "how" it happened. But the point of these shows seem to be how cool can we be in our hightened insensativity. Certainly there must be better ways to treat "the Human body". Even in a made up story some things should be off limits. Gil Balie may say, these "victims don't have a voice".
I don't find these shows entertaining.
They seem to say it's ok the stare at the car wreck when you drive by. Go ahead. It's ok.
RR

1/02/2010 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

OT, but since RR just popped up I thought I'd engage in some shameless other-promotion, since he probably won't. Someone has a new book coming out...
;)

1/02/2010 01:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

RR, point taken. It was sheer curiosity.

I just read something after my comment that got me thinking along the same lines of what you're saying. In a nutshell, a typical manifestation of the desubstantialization of spiritual entities, of their reality and depth, is a "reporter's attitude" towards every happening, ie. photographing a woman crying over the death of her child or interviewing a person the moment they lose a loved one, or as you say, stopping to stare at the car wreck. If you desubstantialize the situation, it takes away from its full human thematicity, pressing everything down to a uniform low level.

1/02/2010 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa there. The people elected Obama, and the people are America.

The founders are gone. They had their say. This is our time.

The nation is composed of who is living today. And we elected Obama. You are a minority. You don't make policy. Americans do; the majority who vote Democrat and liberal. If you aren't with us, you are against us.

Obama is a warrior. He knows a strong military, applied where it needs to be applied, will keep us safe.

And he will look out for the weaker, more oppressed around the world. The USA is the "world's policeman." It shall reamain so.

Your complaints that Obama doesn't embrace God are groundless. He goes to church. He's a believer. Everyone knows that. You are just throwing dirt clods.

You don't know diddly.

1/02/2010 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Kerry said...

Northern Bandit, the thinking of the left and the Jihadists is the same. Those with particular thoughts and ideas must die/be killed. Just two days ago certain people on the left were praying (!?) for Rush Limbaugh to die.

1/02/2010 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Kerry said...

Man, these anonymous people who do not know who they are,sure are dumb.

1/02/2010 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Bob said:

"It reminds me of a wise crack by Schuon, who said something to the effect that "poorly posed questions no more attract the light than they are derived from it," but that "a good question can be derived from the very light it seeks." Likewise, a good quest creates its own journey."

In the same way that Rush was instrumental in helping separate the wheat from the chaff in politics so Bob is to my spiritual life. Having Bob reawaken my Christian heritage with his blog and book, my poorly posed questions are evolving into blinding revelations and the quest I've been searching for all my life has me evolving from a mine sweeper to an astronaut on a fast-moving rocketship.

So, to Bob and the rest of the regular cosmonauts whose input is without parallel, a very Happy New Year!

Warm regards,
Sean

1/02/2010 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

Shucks, Julie.
Thanks :-)
RR

1/02/2010 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

Sorry about that, Ken.
I didn't mean that to come out personal.
RR

1/02/2010 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Check out the shades! Y'all really know how to live. Oh for some sunshine. The wind is trying to blow our fire out right now.

1/02/2010 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

I just went to see Avatar.
The blue meanies give me the Jesus-willies.

1/02/2010 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

Seriously though, the movie is fine.
I think you gotta try pretty hard to be offended.
There are a couple of lines that are hard to take. But that’s pretty good for James Camera-on. “Shock and awe” and “pre-emptive” were too obvious. If you’re a kid, you’ll never notice. RR

1/02/2010 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gotta go with the first two comments. One of those that has too many quotes I want to comment on... so I'll stick to one,

"For we recognize that there is actually only one story, and that it is (among other things) the story of liberty. But obviously not the liberty of the left, since they detach it from the truth, beauty, and virtue -- the permanent things -- without which it is just another name for confusion, disorientation, blundering along in the dark. Being lost is hardly the same as being free, although it can feel like it for awhile, at least until the provisions run out."

Sums the issue up well. Without the permanent things, the Good, the Beautiful and the True, power is all that remains and ugliness of spirit, manner and imagery are all that remain.

Which is why that pic of nObama is such a fine portrait of the man and his minions.

1/03/2010 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Another round of aninnies not worth rebutting. I get the feeling they post their comments with a 'Ta-dum!' as they click publish... but they're just 'too dumb' to bother with.

'night all.

1/03/2010 12:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Michael Mc. said...

Excellent essay. It hurts, what was done to America. I'm extremely ashamed that our boomer generation is the one that destroyed it. When I think of the many generations of Americans past who handed us this great country and every opportunity imaginable, and more than that...and then how we elected Pelosi, Reid and Obama to kill it.

It's amazing. It's tragic. It's Greek tragedy level. It's very bad. It's going to get worse I think.

Is there nothing to do to stop it?

1/03/2010 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

These organs are designed to know truth, not to replace it with the intemperate follies and fashions the day.

You can imagine how such a statement, so beautiful for being True, must grate on the last nerve of those for whom formless and amoeba-like "freedom" affords all the vision their little pea-brains can muster.

1/04/2010 04:30:00 AM  

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