Building a Better Future through Coercion and Trauma
I have to concede his point, because I can indeed think of several historical instances in which elites have attempted to build cultures from the top-down and outside-in. Conspicuous examples would include revolutionary France, the Soviet Union, the Third Reich, and currently, Iran and North Korea. None of these were or are spontaneous orders.
In fact, leftism of any kind necessarily involves this type of top-down indoctrination under godlessness, since the bitterly clinging masses are always addicted to some opiate of annoying and irrational tradition that interferes with Progress.
In order to create the -- hello! -- NewMan of the left, it is necessary to uproot religion and culture and eliminate sentimental allegiances to anything other than the revolution. Their zeitgeist town is not big enough for God and the State.
Coincidentally, I have become more vividly aware of this reality in reading the fascinating biography of John Paul II, since this was one of his deep principles, both before and after becoming Pope.
For example, having grown up in Poland, he knew that the Soviet Union could not have vanquished the Polish spirit in so short a time, since it takes generations to destroy a culture. The seeds of spiritual renewal were there. Someone just had to Water them from above.
But once a culture gone -- once the string is broken and there are no living embodiments of it -- there's no going back to it. Culture can be revived, but not resurrected. For example, the federal government can pretend that American Indian culture still exists, but it is no more. Guilt, I suppose. But all the guilt in the world won't bring it back. Once awake, you cannot resume the dream.
Having lived through it, I and millions of other Americans have been witness to the left's war on American culture. And when I say this, I am not attempting to be inflammatory or insulting.
Rather, I assume that any self-aware and intellectually honest leftist (now, now, let's be charitable) will acknowledge that he is at war with traditional American values, just as I am at war with the value system of the left, e.g. collectivism, moral relativism, materialism, etc.
To cite just one example, the left wants to redefine marriage, an institution that is not only older than the state -- any state -- but in a certain way coterminous (in the spiritual sense) with the very emergence of man. Man has always acknowledged the spiritually luminous complementarity of Man and Woman, and attempted to formally recognize its sanctity (to be sure, often in garbled, unjust, and perverse ways, fallen Man being what he is).
What made the American "revolution" unique is that it was not a revolution. Revolution implies a sharp and discontinuous break with the past, but ours was anything but.
Rather, it actually sought a deep continuity with the past. Americans wanted to live as they had always lived, only independent of an increasingly meddlesome crown. Thus, in an oxymoronic orthoparadox, it was a "conservative revolution." Conversely, there was nothing whatsoever conservative in, say, a Hitler, who was as radical a revolutionary as one could imagine.
Similarly, in modern times, Martin Luther King was the very opposite of a revolutionary. Rather, his whole program -- at least publicly -- involved holding America to account in honoring its first principles, both political and religious. Clearly, he did not want new principles, just full recognition of the existing ones.
The frontal attack on our liberal principles only came with the next generation of racial careerists, whose bright idea it was to impose government mandated racial discrimination, to generally obsess over race in exchange for cash and other valuable prizes, and to cynically use it as a bludgeon in order to beat their leftist values into the citizenry.
Dennis Prager often speaks of the "American trinity" of liberty, e pluribus unum, and "in God we trust." Not surprisingly, the same troller trash who wants to build a better culture explicitly rejects the Greco-Judeo-Christian principles upon which ours was founded. In his opinion "This country was founded on the principle that people of differing metaphysical beliefs could manage to coexist."
If this merely means that the state should not get involved in the imposition of culture, then of course we agree with him. But this not only contradicts his prior statement that cultures are "built," but the principle to which he alludes is a distinctly Judeo-Christian one of liberal tolerance -- which is why it specifically blossomed in our culture and not elsewhere.
By a wide margin, the writings of the Founders cite the Bible more than any other source. Their ideas were not rooted in Islamic values, or Buddhist values, or atheist values, or Marxian values, although, because of their Judeo-Christian prejudice, they believed that the personal conscience represented a sacred and inviolable limit to governmental power, because it is given by God, not the state.
But it never occurred to the Founders that the system they devised could be sustained if not rooted in the abiding principles upon which it was founded. Even someone as erratic and confused as Jefferson -- not coincidentally, a big fan of the French Revolution -- recognized this, for his lame "Jefferson Bible" still privileges the values of Jesus, if not the person.
Again, the left, in order to succeed, must vanquish genuine culture, which is always organic and rooted in transcendent principles that are "before the beginning." Thus, instead of liberty they cherish equality -- which is why, for example, they are obsessed with the idea that some people earn more money than they do.
Likewise, instead of e pluribus unum -- from many, one -- their value system promotes the balkanizing ethic of "diversity" and multiculturalism: instead of a sober One, an inebriated few too many.
And instead of "in God we trust" -- well, let's not belabor the obvious. Look at the commissars of NBC, who, just last weekend, removed the offensive "under God" from a video of children reciting the Pledge. This is at once trivial and profound, in that the left's concern with such trivia is a profound commentary on where their interests lie and then lie about it.
A couple of years ago the county of Los Angeles saw fit to spend millions of dollars -- which they do not have, but priorities are priorities -- to remove a tiny cross from the state seal of California, even though it had always been there as a spontaneous reference to the historical fact of the Christian missionaries who founded the state.
Frankly, no one even noticed it before these petty paranoiacs of the left broke out their magnifying glasses. But in their minds, there must be a sharp separation between religion and the state, or history, or education, or culture, or anything else. Religion must be ghettoized in order to limit its influence.
Consider the obnoxious group we discussed in yesterday's post, Psychologists for Social Responsibility. In order to eliminate our traditional culture and build a better one, it is necessary to start with children, for if they adopt leftist values early enough, they will never know what hit them. (It's a strong field, but their crazed take on Climate Change and Mental Health may win the prize for purple prose).
Thus, under the transparent pretext of Protecting the Children, their true agenda is to traumatize them with hysterical fantasies of THE EARTH IS ON FIRE AND WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! Thanks to these abusive activists, children are "among the most severely psychologically affected in a world of climate change and environmental unsustainability."
Here's an idea: why not stop frightening the children to begin with? Even if these fevered fantasies had some prospect of being true, I wouldn't want my child to know about them, for the same reason I don't want him to know about the Holocaust, or about lynching, or that his best friend's skin color is of any relevance, or that millions of Muslims would like to murder him.
Nor do I have to traumatize him with horror stories about what will happen to him if he ignores, say, gravity, since gravity is real.
What these child abusers really want to do is -- in their own words -- create little "socially engaged community activists" and "effective peacebuilders and agents of positive social change," codewords for the golden rule of the left: indoctrinate others as ye have been indoctrinated. The most effective way to reprogram someone is to traumatize them, which creates a fertile ground for the importation of mind parasites.
Similar to Soviet psychology, these tools want to reprogram people by helping them to "identify their cognitive errors about climate change and environmental degradation that prevent pro-environmental action," and force them to "feel despair and grief about our environmentally harmful actions and harness those feelings to motivate behavior change."
Above all else, people must not be permitted to think about the subject on their own, because they might come under the influence of those counter-revolutionary scientists who are enemies of the proletariat.
So comrades, let us together build a new and shiny happy future!