Thursday, April 28, 2011

Founders and Bounders, Panderers and Slanderers

Continuity? Yes, where were we?

It's tricky to simultaneously pick up a strand of thought while abandoning memory, desire, and understanding in order to plunge into the wild godhead of O and encounter a fresh cosmos each morning.

Any repetition is due to the currents and patterns of my own ocean of being, although we are always endeavoring to conform ourselves to the Real. Naturally some biography always slips into one's cosmography. If only science would acknowledge this.

But that's the thing about any cultural elites, who inevitably believe their point of view is "normative" and that opposing ones are deviations. Which is especially ironic in relativists who not only reject norms, but believe they are oppressive -- even biological norms such as male and female, which are transformed into bloodless and soulless "genders."

Thus, for example, the mainstream liberal media pretend there is "media" and "conservative media," but no liberal media. Likewise, irony-proof secular fundamentalists believe there is science and faith, but no faith in science. Put these two errors in the same person and you have the typically clueless Times reader or NPR listener whom the future laughs at even now.

Is it even remotely correct to maintain that primitive peoples practiced a pure form of communism, and that this is somehow normative for humans?

Beginning with the latter, the answer would have to be yes if you believe that our genetic endowment is normative -- that it is not only an "is" but an "ought."

It is analogous to nutritionists who believe we should all adhere to the "caveman diet" -- which at least makes sense in light of the fact that our physical form is presumably identical to what it was as long ago as 200,000 years.

But does this mean that we should in effect adhere to caveman psychology and group dynamics? Underneath it all, this is what romantics from Rousseau to our latter day tree-buggers are saying.

I might add that the the modern faith of AGW would have no psychic traction if it weren't rooted in this romantic fantasy of primitive harmony with nature.

There is a reason why properly religious people tend to be immune to the fantasy. We know there's no backward-looking return to Eden. In a temporally irreversible cosmos, that is a non-starter. There is paradise, to be sure, but it is up and ahead, not down and back.

So Marx and Engels "argued that an early stage of primitive communism existed prior to the rise of exploitative class relationships, an idealized state that communism sought to recover" (Fukuyama).

How's that working out? I mean in the real world, not in the fantasies of the tenured?

"[R]eal-world Communist regimes in the former USSR and China forced millions of unrelated peasants into collective farms. By breaking the link between individual effort and reward, collectivization undermined incentives to work, leading to mass famines in Russia and China, and severely reducing agricultural productivity" (ibid).

Amazingly, in the Soviet Union, the tiny four percent "of land that remained privately owned accounted for one-quarter of total agricultural output" (ibid.).

Does this settle the argument over private property? Hardly. Again, leftism is a religion. Its idol is equality, irrespective of how self-defeating it is. We see this in Obama's insanely wasteful spending spree and in his authoritarian appropriation of the healthcare system.

Again, leftism is not something one can be argued out of, only awakened from. Nothing short of that can disabuse them of the faith that smart people with good intentions can create paradise on earth by appropriating your liberty and deciding what is best for you, right in the brisket, Chicago style.

But this is somewhat beside the point, because primitive peoples were not communists and they certainly weren't environmentalists.

First of all, since they weren't even individuals as we understand the term, no one argued for, much less decided upon, "group sharing," any more than the various organs of one's body get together and decide to share the food.

This is man's default state, and he needs to be educated out of it, not plunged into it -- even though the latter may well be more "natural."

It is also natural for a man to defecate in the street or to rape the next attractive woman he sees. Only the supernatural saves us from nature. Nature certainly doesn't. Nature couldn't care less, so long as we reproduce. And even then it couldn't care less, because it doesn't care, full stop. Only humans care.

I might add that primitive peoples not only weren't environmentalists, but were the greatest despoilers of nature the planet has ever known. Only Malthusian population constraints prevented them from destroying the place.

Individual <--> Environment is a complementarity that only fully blossoms with modernity. Only when man is ousted from Eden does he know of its existence. Which is the whole point. Growing up is painful, and is always accompanied by loss.

Primitive peoples shared everything within the boundaries of what they considered "the one." For them, oneness was not instantiated in the individual but the group. Thus, they lived not in a dialectical space of "me <--> you" or "I <--> thou," but of group <--> stranger, or insider <--> outsider.

And just as an individual has psychic defense mechanisms to keep out the not-self, the group has defense mechanisms to protect its own integrity -- mechanisms such as human sacrifice, ancestor worship, and ritual warfare.

These primitive mechanisms come with the terrortory of "communism," so never ask why the left requires enemies to slander and defame. It needs them for the purposes of primitive group cohesion. Conservatives have no use for race, but the left couldn't do without its hyperbolic fantasies of racism (or misogyny, or homophobia, or Islamophobia, or class warfare, or Gaia rape).

Perhaps it is no surprise that of the Big Six Founders, the conservatives -- Hamilton and Adams -- were implacably opposed to slavery, and never owned any slaves.

But the founders of the Democratic party, Jefferson and Madison, each owned over 100. And the conservative Washington not only freed his upon his death, but even provided for them, while Jefferson's were sold (and families hideously broken up) to pay off the debts from his insanely extravagant and self-indulgent lifestyle.

You will note that to this day, the brilliant but erratic Jefferson is the favorite founder of the angry adolescent left. He said so many intemperate things, that he provides a goldmine of unwise cracks for the left to legitimize its anti-American ideology through one of America's founders.

14 Comments:

Blogger mushroom said...

...unrelated peasants into collective farms

Rural people naturally work together, especially during harvest, often because of time constraints. If science actually believed in evolution, they would understand that me helping my brother/cousin/nephew prosper enhances our shared DNA's survivability. As shorthand, this means I like a lot of people to have the same last name as I have.

Amazingly, in the Soviet Union, the tiny four percent "of land that remained privately owned accounted for one-quarter of total agricultural output"

Indeed, I still remember my sixth-grade teacher stating this same fact back in the Year 2 BSP (Before Sgt. Pepper).

4/28/2011 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"And the conservative Washington not only freed his (slaves) upon his death, but even provided for them.."

Plus, he married into the "family". And if I recall, he left his own family early and lived in a way on his own...as a surveyor and then the military.

I remember reading in I think it was one of Abigail's letters to her husband Mr. Adams that she found the slaves to be much less productive than the workers (paid free men) she was used to back in MA. She may have even commented that she thought this had nothing to do with their race. Because of course it wouldn't.
Thank God they wrote those more than 1,000 letters to each other. And that we still have them.

4/28/2011 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Mushroom said,

"Rural people naturally work together, especially during harvest, often because of time constraints."

That's a good point -- because it's just tricky enough to sound like communism. Maybe almost as much as tax "contributions" sound sorta like charity.

4/28/2011 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heck, it's not even necessary to look into history to get a sampling of primitive tribal life. Just ask a missionary.

And just as an individual has psychic defense mechanisms to keep out the not-self, the group has defense mechanisms to protect its own integrity -- mechanisms such as human sacrifice, ancestor worship, and ritual warfare.

For instance:

"One thing that seems universal among the tribes, is that death is never from a natural cause. Whether the death is of a new born or elder, the death was inevitably caused by witchcraft. You can explain that the baby died from dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea and they will believe you. They also will set out to discover WHO caused the curse of sickness to be placed upon the child, or the elder, or the healthy young man who dies from malaria complications. Someone sent a curse."

And yet, it is just this form of living to which the left would ultimately have us return.

In truth, it's no small wonder that people ever broke away from that life. Any study of tribes living in remote areas in their "natural" state demonstrates that there is little or no room for innovation from within. They may have interesting mechanisms for dealing with their particular environment, but they are the same mechanisms that have been used for almost as long as the people have been there. And when new technology is introduced, it seems as though it often is used simply to replace what they already have with something a little more durable.

Tribal life seems to be mostly a closed loop. Or from an evOlutionary perspective, a dead end.

As to the tribes in Venezuela, now that Chavez in all his benignity has chased the missionaries out, I can't help wondering whether the infusion of Christianity they had was enough for them to move forward to a better future.

4/28/2011 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

But that's the thing about any cultural elites, who inevitably believe their point of view is "normative" and that opposing ones are deviations.

Not only do they think their views are normative, but they also believe themselves to be objective - that is, reasonable and dispassionately correct. But of course, there is nothing reasonable about faith, whether it's faith in O or faith in non-faith. The difference is, at least those who profess faith in God know that's what they are doing. Those who believe in no-faith honestly think themselves free of irrationality, when instead they are ruled by it.

4/28/2011 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Speaking of CLARITY
...weren't we?

4/28/2011 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger nightfly said...

Fascinating point about Jefferson. I've been reading Ron Chernow's biographies of Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, and hope to get my hands on McCullough's of John Adams. I need to supplement this with one of Jefferson as well.

I observe that of all the Founding Fathers, Jefferson was most enthusiastic about the French Revolution, even as it devolved almost in the first instance to an untameable orgy of anti-Christian violence and terror... the others, especially Adams, were openly horrified. Many of them also favored quick reconciliation and trade with Great Britian, most strongly Hamilton, whom Jefferson regarded as a dangerous monarchist conniver - and whose Vice President, Aaron Burr, eventually shot him dead.

Jefferson more and more strikes me as the sort of person who commands excellent theories and writes magnificently upon them, while others have to actually hammer those theories into workable real-life structures. You need a Jefferson to write a Declaration of Independence; you need the rest of them to write the Federalist Papers and the Constitution.

4/28/2011 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And even then -- I could be wrong about this -- Jefferson didn't so much write the DoI as polish it. I think a lot of the content was from Adams. But I could be wrong.

Obviously TJ was a bright guy, but in the absence of a stable and vertically oriented center, intelligence will inevitably lead one astray.

4/28/2011 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Jefferson also was an early "Jesus Seminar" type taking his razor to the New Testament and cutting it down to size.

I cannot bring myself to criticize Jefferson too much. He was a brilliant man and courageous. Nobody is perfect.

4/28/2011 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, all of the Founders had flaws, were generally aware of them, and tried very hard to overcome them. Very much in contrast to our modern self-esteaming piles of manure.

4/28/2011 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Indeed. And to the extent that people acknowledge their flaws, it is as often to glorify them, not to overcome them. Yesterday's Zombie post was a case in point.

4/28/2011 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

self-esteaming piles of manure

I would hate for anyone to miss that.

4/28/2011 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"But does this mean that we should in effect adhere to caveman psychology and group dynamics?"

For the primitive tenured tribal chiefs, and their henchmen, the answer is yes, they do believe the youts' of the tribe should be trained in how to bully and hate the evil tribe of 'the rich' and boo-schwah-say.

And of course, to love gaia too.

4/28/2011 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of oppressive categories, check out Taranto's last story, which is funnier than a barrel of primate companions.

4/28/2011 01:54:00 PM  

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