Thursday, March 03, 2011

Armies of the Blind Clashing by Night

Twenty-second canto, eighth circle, fifth valley. This is starting to get as complicated as the tax code. No wonder most people prefer to adopt a simplified, binary, flat death tax: heaven or hell, thumbs up or thumbs down.

However, it can't be that simple, for if there are no degrees of sin, then this is not a hierarchical cosmos. But it is, and there is no hierarchy without a top and a bottom and various degrees in between.

Anyway, the place is rather crowded, because these are the embezzlers and "buyers and sellers of public office," which I suppose back then mainly applied to religious office. To embrace politics is to touch pitch, so perhaps it is appropriate that the denizens here are immersed in boiling tar.

"By nature," the sins here "are sticky and opaque" (Upton). It is almost impossible to get involved in politics without getting covered in pitch, which is why we should revere the men who remained pristine, such as George Washington. To promulgate the myth that he "never told a lie" is infinitely closer to the Truth than whatever revisionist twaddle the tenured are peddling these days.

What is it about mundane politics that fascinates people? As I've mentioned before, the more "political" one is in the vulgar sense of the word, the more politics is merely a kind of existential container to organize one's psychic and emotional life.

However, the difference between the contemporary left and right is that conservatism is based on ideas and principles, whereas liberalism is rooted in raw power and self-interest concealed beneath a lot of pseudo-ideals.

The left cannot admit to themselves that they are motivated by material self-interest, or race, or class, so they project this onto the right, which is why they can never actually deal with our arguments.

Instead, they dismiss our arguments with ridiculous projections such as the imputation that our real motivation is to further enrich the top five percent of income earners, or that our effort to address fiscal bankruptcy and the crisis of public sector unions is an "attack on the middle class." In other words, the left pours its own pitch onto us, and then attacks us for being so filthy.

Yes, the idealists in Wisconsin are engaged in a revolution, so long as one remembers that Revolutions do not solve any problem other than the economic problem of their leaders (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

One cannot see clearly in a world of pitch. Thus, the left profits by the confusion they sow, because then they can make an appeal to primitive emotionality, such as being "for the little guy." But Social problems are the favorite refuge of those fleeing their own problems (DC).

There is no clarity in the world -- and certainly no moral clarity -- in the absence of spiritual Truth. Along these lines, Upton has a wonderful passage by Maximus the Confessor, who wrote that "the spiritual world in its totality is manifested in the totality of the perceptible world..." Conversely, in the words of Don Colacho, Relativism is the solution of one who is incapable of putting things in order.

In other words, the spiritual world contains the material world, for the converse could never be true. Likewise, spiritual principles explain science as such (and the scientist!), not vice versa.

For example, the practice of science would be impossible if scientists were not beholden to the principle of objectivity and disinterested truth, which is none other than a reflection of the Absolute on the scientific plane in question.

Maximus continues: "And the perceptible world in its entirety is secretly fathomable by the spiritual world in its entirety, when it has been simplified and amalgamated by means of spiritual realities."

What this again refers to is the enduring spiritual hierarchy beneath appearances, without which we could never organize or comprehend reality, including human reality.

Human development is situated along a continuum of maturity, including intellectual, spiritual, emotional maturity. And there can be no standard of maturity in the absence of a telos which organizes everything below. We only know there are idiots and sociopaths because there are geniuses and saints.

The left opposes all natural hierarchies, and replaces them with a simplistic and artificial binary of race, or class, or gender, or sexual orientation. These destructive ideas appeal to the ignoramuses of the left, for as Don Colacho says, Every non-hierarchical society is divided into two parts, and Leveling is the barbarian’s substitute for order.

Back to the corresponding vale of Hell. Upton writes that the evil here "has begun to manifest an inverted power." This is power in the absence of truth, virtue, sobriety, Light. This is where President Obama parks his big bus, under which are all the people who became inconvenient and are no longer of any use to him.

Upton further notes that there is something "militaristic" about this principality, for the evil here is organized. Now, how can there be organization in the absence of hierarchy? (For there can be no hierarchy that doesn't converge on Truth.)

Think of organized crime. In what way is it organized? What is the center around which it is ordered? That is one of the reasons evil cannot triumph, since it has no enduring center. It can only be a perverse and inverted shadow of the reality it feeds off. It can never be intellectually consistent, plus it has darkness rather then light, hate rather than love, at its core.

Truth can be known by virtue of what even evil people must pretend is true.

Frank Rich's replacement is pitched into the New York Times editarial boardroom:

27 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Speaking of social problems, personal problems and little guys: no, really, they're fighting against dictatorship (Via Ace)! The tyranny of Noodles!

Poor little guy, all his personal problems are the fault of the man. The man who owns Noodles. The man who owns his soul.

3/03/2011 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Maximus continues: "And the perceptible world in its entirety is secretly fathomable by the spiritual world in its entirety, when it has been simplified and amalgamated by means of spiritual realities."

I'm reminded of a couple of cases I've read recently where neurologists have been baffled and amazed by the adaptivity of the brain, particularly this story.

3/03/2011 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

Georgia Wash never gets his due. His ability to have T Jeff and Al Ham at one table and tell them each in turn to put a sock in it has never been equaled.

Fascinating series, Bob.

3/03/2011 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The left opposes all natural hierarchies, and replaces them with a simplistic and artificial binary of race, or class, or gender, or sexual orientation.

Without hierarchy, there can be no harmelody of life; it would be as though everyone were trying to play the same note, with no discernable rhythm.

3/03/2011 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Good Golly ms. Molly said...

Hierarchy is good as long as males don't try to get one-up on the ladies power wise.

I'm not having any more of that. I make money, take of myself, etc.

Some guy tried to grope me the other day and I smashed him one with my purse. He acted offended. Imagine that, the nerve.

3/03/2011 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

One more observation, then I'll shut up for a bit -

Thinking of organized crime, I've often found it baffling how members of the Italian and Irish mobs can be so devoutly Catholic and yet so blatantly evil. I suppose they're like Geryon that way - masks of humanity covering reptilian or even insectile beings.

3/03/2011 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous That's What She Said said...

Ms. Molly, maybe he was just hoping to experience the healing power of your rack.

3/03/2011 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Julie -

I think the mafia dons believe that their donations to the Church buy them salvation. It's the old Medieval practice of indulgences, in effect.

3/03/2011 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Will, maybe so. They must think that the afterlife is a commodity that can be hustled just like anything else. Actually, I guess there are quite a lot of people who view the cosmos that way. Poor fools.

3/03/2011 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Berti from Joisey said...

Mafiosi are capitalists free of any restraints. You should revere them; they despise leftists except when they can control unions for profit.

Welcome to lassaiz-faire heaven just try not to get whacked.

3/03/2011 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Julie, leftists, too, try to buy their way to what they conceive of as salvation - mafia dons use blood money, leftists use other people's money.

3/03/2011 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Sal said...

Julie-
So, in addition to "Thank you for not making Renaissance Faire character a career choice", I see I need to put "Thank you for not bringing Noodle Cook home" on youngest d's list of "Thanks for not _____".

3/03/2011 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"What is it about mundane politics that fascinates people? As I've mentioned before, the more "political" one is in the vulgar sense of the word, the more politics is merely a kind of existential container to organize one's psychic and emotional life. "

You've got that right, and from what I can see, being on the Right is no barrier to that. As I've been getting more and more involved, I've come across plenty of people who, though they may be Right on the issues, the extent they allow those issues to shape their lives, is just plain wrong. The tar gets everywhere, and it taks jugs of goo-gone and lots of scrubbing to keep it off of you.

"However, the difference between the contemporary left and right is that conservatism is based on ideas and principles, whereas liberalism is rooted in raw power and self-interest concealed beneath a lot of pseudo-ideals. "

Yep. And awareness of that, constantly checking to see that what you are doing complies with the first, and doesn't rely on the second, is the only way to keep out of the tar pits.

3/03/2011 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Good Bass Fisher, LIkes my Comic Books said...

Political differnces in this country are demonstrably paltry.

Even the most committed right wing yahoo won't sign on for a completely unregulated society.

State operated security forces, road builiding and maintenance, water service, etc, are tolerated as a matter of course.

Taxes get meekly paid and society gets on about its socialist rounds.

There's no radicalism even when there pretends to be.

What does a racoon want in terms of political change?

A whole lotta nothin', really. Just business as usual.

Police, fire, water, transit services. Check, check, and check. Medicare and Medicaid. Check, check. yawn.

3/03/2011 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Leave it to a troll to see anarchy as being a gutsy alternative to medicare and medicaid.

3/03/2011 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Julie, I applaud your endurance. I lasted less than three minutes on the video. But it shows you whom and what we are facing. I remember being young(er) and idealistic in my own fashion, but I would have called out this kind of BS even in my teens. It's more than a little disturbing to actually listen to people who believe the kind of evil nonsense. What kind of world do they think they want to live in?
The impression I get is that all of these morons are empty inside. Hollow. They are feasting on anger and envy, and grow hungrier with every mouthful.
They don't have to wait for the inferno. In them it is made manifest right here on earth.

JWM

3/03/2011 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Off topic, but Father Stephen has an excerpt of a fine essay on inner stillness here. He also provides a link to a pdf of the whole thing, which looks to be longish but I suspect it's well worth the time to read.

3/03/2011 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

JWM - indeed, they create their own hell, then try to drag everyone else into it.

3/03/2011 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

JWM said "They are feasting on anger and envy, and grow hungrier with every mouthful. They don't have to wait for the inferno. In them it is made manifest right here on earth."

I suspect that if the kingdom of heaven is at hand... so too with the alternative.

3/03/2011 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Breaking Morning News: The DC chapter is having some fun with the peeps.

3/04/2011 05:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Moron! I told Dupree to chase the communist metrosexuals from DC, not to chase commuters from the DC metro station.

3/04/2011 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

On a decidedly more sober note……..

The results of modern “liberation” make us remember with nostalgia the abolished “bourgeois hypocrisies.” - Don Colacho

INDEED!

3/04/2011 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Mizze - that's the most tasteful and thoughtful column I've yet seen on the subject. Thanks.

3/04/2011 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

In fact, from the end of the column:

"The modern West’s dirty little secret is that it does not want any more secrets."

Yep.

3/04/2011 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

You're welcome Julie. Now see this. Perfect, in your face, illustration of "The modern West’s dirty little secret is that it does not want any more secrets."

3/04/2011 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Dennis Prager made a very brief but profound comment the other day: if we agree that it isn't a good idea to mix religion and state, how is it a good idea to mix education and the state? For the result is the same, i.e., an ideology in service to the state.

3/04/2011 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Mizze - your comment went poof, but my email saw it anyway. (And as an aside, has Blogger always been this selectively prudish? I guess it's just further proof that complexity doesn't equal intelligence. When it can understand context instead of just blocking certain words or phrases, I'll start wondering if artificial intelligence is possible.)

Anyway, just wow. When I was in high school and jr. high, [reproductive] ed seemed to be at a pretty decent balance: What had to be said was said, but for the most part it was left to the imagination. I can't even fathom sitting in a class and being provided that sort of prurient and depersonalizing information. When nothing is secret, nothing is sacred.

3/04/2011 12:17:00 PM  

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