Obama Hates Me!
Well, technically, I suppose I always felt that way back when I was a moron of the left. I even had one of those t-shirts that said "Reagan Hates Me," but it was more the fashionable pretend-persecution of those who have never known the real thing. Even the truly committed leftist only projects his own hostility or existential unhappiness into politics, and then feels persecuted by his projections. The leftist exists in chronic state of intrapsychic persecution, or he wouldn't be a leftist, he'd be happy and free.
There is individual health, collective health, and what we might call cosmic health, which has to do with how adequately we are aligned with the vertical. I would like to discuss some ideas that are absolutely critical to the evolutionary health and well being of the cosmos, and follow quite naturally from the nonlocal principles that (vertically) structure reality.
As we have discussed before, leftism is by definition a perpetual rebellion against these principles -- against the Real. Thus, it is de facto the maninfestation of a spiritual illness, often, but not always, rooted in a psychological one. It amounts to a cynical and worldly suspiciousness that excludes any real explanations, "since these in their turn fall under the same law of suspicion, which drags everything down and which is the end of truth" (Schuon).
Radical skepticism (cf. the French Revolution) poisons everything and then kills you last. But even if it doesn't kill you directly, it leaves you in a humanly uninhabitable world, since it is devoid of the higher truths that nourish the soul (again, the soul, no less than the body, requires a certain kind of environment in order to flourish).
Continuing with our discussion of Michael Polanyi, one puzzling thing he noticed was that intellectuals were not only responsible (obviously) for the most destructive ideas and ruthless political movements of the 20th century, but that they enthusiastically embraced them despite the fact that these ideas, if implemented, would spell the end of their own intellectual class. That is, the very ideas leftists hold most dear undermine the liberal ideal of freedom of inquiry guided by the pursuit of truth. Today this is a truism, but how did we get to this point, in which our intellectual class is so spiritually sick?
Prosch writes that "It was the intellectuals of [the last] century themselves who played the largest part in destroying those very things that they needed and that were already theirs. Such operative perversity as this must lead one to suspect the operator's mental health, a mind blind to that which it wants and needs." Indeed, a mind which "proceeds on a path toward its own destruction, may surely be suspected of suffering from obsessions that are pushing it to such nonadaptive behavior."
As we shall see, Polanyi's analysis explains why the cognitive and spiritual pathology of political correctness emanates from the left, and could only emanate from the left, despite the fact that it makes a farce of their vaunted ideal of "academic freedom." And it is the very definition of pathology, since it causes great damage to the mind and soul of the person afflicted with it.
Führermore, once this authoritarian virus has taken over whole institutions -- i.e., leftist academia, Hollywood, the MSM, the State Department -- it becomes a truly dangerous pathogen that systematically infects those who pass through its environment (again, unless they have a very robust spiritual immune system rooted in the Real).
We see the same thing occurring with Islamic fascism, which is not -- as leftists cluelessly, but necessarily, believe -- a result of poverty, but of affluence. It is rooted in the ideas of intellectuals, who then -- just as leftists do in the West -- try to demagogically and/or violently propagate their ideas to the ignorant masses to explain their existential misery.
The only thing that has kept America (its better half, not its bitter half) immune from this process is its strong foundation in an alternative metaphysic, which we call the Judeo-Christian tradition. Likewise, the reason why continental Europe fell to the viral seduction of leftism is that it had already gravely weakened its own (super)natural defense mechanism to it.
Prosch has an interesting explanation for this. That is, in continental Europe, their political liberation was inseparable from their religious liberation -- which was in reality a "liberation" from religion, not for it.
However, in Protestant England and America, the break from religious oppression had already been effected, so that political liberation was not conflated with a rebellion against God. Thus, the Founders were able to formulate the ideal of distinct domains of church and state, not for the purpose of ending religion's influence, but strengthening it.
Conversely, in Europe, their separation of the two spheres inevitably led to the destruction of religion and the deification of the state. No properly religious person could ever deify the state, which is why leftist statism is excluded for the spiritually attuned but just about mandatory for the spiritually blind (objectivists and contemporary libertarians represent insignificant and ultimately self-refuting exceptions to this rule).
Being a scientist, Polanyi noticed a connection between the ideals of logical positivism and the nihilism of the left. Even today, despite the fact that positivism has been so thoroughly discredited, it remains a kind of tacit metaphysic for both scientists and for much of the educated public.
In other words, there is a widespread assumption that "only scienctific theories [are] capable of verification (i.e., proof), and that moral or ethical or political or religious ideals and principles [are] essentially unprovable, mere matters of emotional preference."
But Polanyi saw that there was a deep relationship between the very possibility of science and certain metaphysical ideals and principles "that not only could not be proved, but could not even be made wholly explicit." And just because the ideals which underlie science could not be proved, it hardly meant that they were unworthy of belief (Gödel again).
This tacit acceptance of positivism ramifies in interesting ways. On the one hand, there is the scientific worker bee who supposedly only believes what his experimental data tell him. But this is indeed a cold, dead, airless, and ultimately infrahuman spiritual environment into which the passion for nihilism rushes to fill the void. In this regard, it seems that human nature abhors a vacuum, and therefore fills the vacuum with a void -- the nihilistic void of the secular left.
Now it is surely noteworthy that the only organized opposition to liberty comes from the intellectual left, who supposedly hold their own liberty -- e.g., "academic freedom" -- to be sacred. How could someone who would instinctively rebel at the idea of a centralized and top-down "planned culture," embrace the idea of a centralized, planned economy?
As Prosch writes, "much of the dissatisfaction with the present order of the economy came from intellectuals, from people not under these immediate threats and whose professional life would derive little benefit from scrapping the system. Those who needed cultural freedom most in order to get along with their chosen work formed the bulk of those most obsessed with the notion of curtailing it through adopting a planned economy."
And a planned economy eventually devolves to a planned culture, something which is quite evident. That is, the more left the country, the more laws must exist to constrain and control the people, exterior laws which displace the interior law written in the heart of man (to say nothing of the financial burden that converts us all from free citizens to indentured serfs); or, as Dennis Prager says, "the bigger the State, the smaller the citizen."
Yes, but what are the exact dynamics of this irrational leftist nihilism, and what caused its adherents to reject the liberal foundations of the Christian West?
To be continued... Meanwhile, repeat after me: Rights that are defensive for an isolated individual become aggressive for a leftist collectivity in charge of the media, academia, and all three branches of government.