Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spoiled Children of the World, Unite!

We are toying with the idea that fascism involves the collapse of Ought into Is, resulting in Is becoming what ought to be.

Any form of metaphysical materialism is in an unstable state of "pre-fascism." This mental state is unstable because the materialist doesn't generally have the courage, consistency, or insight to draw out the implications entailed in his premises.

In point of fact, human beings can never actually escape the Ought, for even -- especially -- Nazis were quite certain that various things ought to happen -- things like genocide, world dominance, elimination of Judeo-Christian values. For them, man is fallen, so to speak, but the fall occurred as a result of a catastrophic turn from nature to idea, in particular, ideas that were at cross-purposes with the Will of Nature.

This reminds me of self-styled artists who depict this or that infrahuman reality on the pretext that it is "real," and who claim that the artist has the responsibility to tear away the masks and reveal reality in all its naked glory. Bad naked, not good naked.

Not only is this an excuse for anything, but it violates the prime directive of art, which is to liberate man from his existential prison, and to reveal the noetic light that radiates through bars of time and space. We do not need art to depict things that are readily apparent to our lowest capacity for knowing them. People defecate. What's more real than that? Why not paint it ? Oh, wait.

One of the touchstones of modern conservatism is Richard Weaver's Ideas Have Consequences, one of the consequences being that no form of metaphysical naturalism can be true -- or natural! -- for man. For if the world is intelligible and man is free -- the one entails the other like light and heat -- the materialist is irredeemably wrong.

The irony is that such parochial yahoos necessarily use the spirit to deny it, but who cares what the spirit says if it isn't real?

In placing matter over spirit, quality is reduced to quantity. But is quality just another quantity? Is meaning just another name for meaninglessness? Is man just an animal? Is the world just a brute fact?

For Weaver, this downward pull from mind to matter -- and the attraction is real, something we will be discussing later -- ultimately redounds to the end of ideational life altogether.

To paraphrase Weaver, where fact becomes the criterion of truth, thinking has been rendered unattainable: "Total immersion in matter makes man unfit to deal with the problems of matter" (say it again). The world shrinks down to our lowest mode of comprehending -- or let us just say "sensing" -- it. In the end there is only a purple haze of fleeting experiences superimposed upon this third stone from the sun. Are you experience? No, only the experienced, i.e., an object, not a subject.

Another relevant quote from Weaver before we dive into the feminine fascism of the 1960s: Every group regarding itself as emancipated is convinced its predecessors were fearful of reality. But once all the veils are stripped aside -- all the archetypal forms that serve as "ladders of ascent" -- there subsists "a reality of such commonplace that it is merely knowledge of death." (The downward ideational pull referenced above ends here. Afterwards there can be further "elaboration" but no essential progress, no evolution.)

Whereas the Nazi declares apocalypse, now!, one might say that the sextaphiliac (lover of the 60s) says paradise, now! -- which happens to be the title of Mendel's chapter on the 1960s. He writes that

"In midcentury, two decades after the defeat of fascism, throngs of Western youth flocked to a new credo that was, for opposite reasons, even more radically alien to Western civilization than fascism had been." Really? More radical than fascism? That's a bold statement! Explain.

Well, both involve turning aside from thought, and toward experience and feeling. They also involve a complete rejection of the existing social order, and with it, a transvaluation of values.

Again, in the case of Nazism, aggression came to the fore, whereas with the 60's generation it was sexuality. However, in the deep unconscious these two are inextricably linked -- the lustful sadism of the Nazis was quite obviously sexualized, while the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s was equally obviously a kind of blunt instrument with which to beat off detractors.

The latter were not merely "wrong," which was beside the point. Rather, they weren't enlightened, or "with it," or tuned in, or what have you. Thus, there was a clear gnostic element in the whole enterprise: authentic people in the know vs. all those phonies and hypocrites. The middle class goes from being the foundation of America to the final common pathway of a dreadful disease:

"Why sacrifice one's life to the impersonal and oppressive institutions" that "built and sustained" our civilization, e.g., "enslavement to time, work, success, 'delayed gratification,' efficiency, prudence, and the rest of the code. For the counterculture, it was all a vast hoax, a grotesque deception that had compressed their elders into dehumanized parcels of roles, functions, and skills" which "the young refused to accept as man's fate."

Rather, "they wanted here and now to make that leap into the realm of freedom" -- as if there is such a thing as abstract freedom outside the individuals and institutions that nurture and preserve it.

At this point I would like to quote some songs from the era, with the most pompous lyrics you could possibly imagine, but I don't have time. Well, here's one ridiculous but typical example -- Enter the Young, by the Association (note the apocalyptic overtones):

Here they come, yeah
Some are flying, some just gliding
Released after years of being kept in hiding
They're climbing up the ladder rung by rung

Enter the young, yeah
Yeah, they've learned how to think
Enter the young, yeah
More than you think they think
Not only learned to think, but to care
Not only learned to think, but to dare
Enter the young

Yeah, here they come
some with questions, some decisions
Here they come
Some with facts and some with visions
Of a place to multiply without the use of divisions
To win a prize that no one's ever won

Here they come, yeah
Some are laughing, some are crying
Here they come
Some are doing, some are trying
Some are selling, some are buying
Some are living, some are dying
But demanding recognition one by one


That's some ridiculous songwriting. But no less ridiculous than the influential wrongsighters of the era, such as Charles Reich, Herbert Marcuse, Normon O. Brown, et al.

One of them, Murray Bookchin, wrote of how this "revolution cannot end with the traditional goal of 'seizure of power'; it must culminate in the here and now with the dissolution of power as such," including the power of "parental authoritarianism over youthful spontaneity."

Come to think of it, that last one seems to be what it's all about. "Spoiled children of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but the reality principle!”

Uh oh. I think the revolution is here. Now what? Maybe our parents weren't so stupid after all...


Late, gotta run. To be continued.

31 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Not only is this an excuse for anything, but it violates the prime directive of art, which is to liberate man from his existential prison, and to reveal the noetic light that radiates through bars of time and space.

Oh, how sadly apropos. Yesterday I met up with a friend for lunch and a visit to a local art museum, currently featuring guitars, motorccycles, and the following: a lucite casting, originally illuminated with a soft internal glow so as to reveal the noetic light through the upright bar of some "artist's" liberated manhood. Surrounded, of course, by four vials of the artist's blood, since no display of this type is complete without some form of bodily fluid.

This is a fairly conservative town, so there had been much ado from city hall. The offending johnson was capped with a melted red candle, and the internal illumination turned off. Nothing to offend, and even less to look at than before. My friend was annoyed that nobody makes a stink about ladybits in an art museum, but a lucite dildo sets everyone aflutter. Me, I've been to art school, so the whole thing just elicited a shrug; I've seen it before (x 10). The only really astounding thing is that this sort of silliness still draws any attention at all. I'm 99% certain it was included in the show specifically to raise a stink and bring in more visitors. Which is sad, really, because the rest of the show should have been enough of a draw without it.

9/14/2011 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Those song lyrics are just dreadful. Though it would be kind of hilarious to fit them to one of those 80s music videos, "Wild Boys" or "Hungry Like the Wolf," perhaps...

9/14/2011 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

the prime directive of art, which is to liberate man from his existential prison, and to reveal the noetic light that radiates through bars of time and space.

Along those lines in the true sense, here's something lovely to make up for any unpleasant images my first comment may have left in anyone's brain.

9/14/2011 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie @ 9:11,
I hear you. That artist needs to "kiss a girl". I swear, that sort of art holds my attention for 5 seconds. And some you can tell, probably not in this case, they've spent an awful lot of time making them. Full-size cast bronze scultures. For 5 secs of "eh". Whereas, I never tire of looking at Sargents and Van Goghs. Always seeing, discovering something new (something greater than the work) and beautiful in them.

So why do they do it?
I've decided there really aren't that many people willing to do this work. Not much competition.

9/14/2011 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks for that music, Julie.

9/14/2011 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

He has quite a few songs on YouTube, and the videos are as lovely as the music. No albums for sale, but if you're on the hated Facebook you can go to his page and download the music for free.

9/14/2011 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

People are probably getting sick of seeing me already, but here's one more relevant link:

Gelded Men and Insane Socialist Women

9/14/2011 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

When the moon is in the 7th house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars. Then peace will guide the planet and love will steer the stars.

But wait! THERE'S MORE!

Harmony and understanding Sympathy and trust abounding No more falsehoods or derisions Golden living dreams of visions Mystic crystal revelation And the mind's true liberation Aquarius!Aquarius!

Ugh, there was such a soft, feminine, vibe back then. A pervasive mind poison for us middle-class, suburban kids. I'm finally beginning to see how it damaged me.

@julie. Nice tune.

9/14/2011 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie, if anyone's sick of you, they've got a problem.

9/14/2011 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

One more thing on ugly art.
Ugly art doesn't reveal, it simply adds (by elevation and glory) to the ugly that the world already has more than enough of. This type of revealing is already being done sufficiently and more by the local and national news.

9/14/2011 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Today's post reminds of this new, good 5-part interview with David Berlinski.

Part 1 is here.

Hat tip to Cliff Stewart at Kingdom Triangle Network..

9/14/2011 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

And if you haven't seen it, this is very good:

Roger Scruton - Why Beauty Matters

9/14/2011 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Bad naked, not good naked."

Again with the Madonna and Gloria Allred references.

Ugh.

"We do not need art to depict things that are readily apparent to our lowest capacity for knowing them. People defecate. What's more real than that?"


Somewhat revealing that they need the highest conceptual and aesthetic abstraction, in order to be able to affirm that the lowest perception exists.

But there I go again with the Madonna and Gloria Allred references.

Double ugh.

9/14/2011 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

...the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s was equally obviously a kind of blunt instrument with which to beat off detractors.

There is so much quotable stuff here. Beat off detractors, really. My inner twelve-year-old has tears running down his cheeks, he's laughing so hard.

9/14/2011 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Mr. Wardi does a nice job. Reminds of the other day, I had lunch with one of our new engineers, a young Lebanese Muslim. I had bacon on my hamburger, and he couldn't eat the crabcake the other guys ordered for an appetizer. You'd think an old redneck would have trouble relating, but he and I started talking bikes, powerbands, lowsides, and wheelies, and I have a new friend.

9/14/2011 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Mushroom @ 2:22, I'm glad my inner twelve-year-old wasn't the only one ;)

9/14/2011 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Fear not fellows, scientismists believe they will be able to control the weather through volcanos

Can't see any trouble coming out of that scenario.

Nosiree B'ob.

9/14/2011 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

What could possibly go wrong?

9/14/2011 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

As stated in the previous post.." the key principle is the complete legitimization and institutionalization of violence toward the Other. "

No where do we see this more clearly than in modern conservtives.

What would you expect from the ‘culture of life’ as seen in the GOP debates where they applauded Perry’s execution record and yelled their approval of letting an uninsured accident victim die? These are the same people obsessed with the fetus who condone torture and the killing of 100,000 Iraqis (to kill one bad man - Saddam).

That's the Ayn Rand teabagger way, every man for himself.

9/15/2011 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

And I might add, I doubt there is a civilian culture anywhere on earth that is more obsessed and in love with guns than US conservatives.

Culture of life.

9/15/2011 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the guns, at least conservatives cling to theirs instead of selling them to Mexican drug lords, who then turn right back around and use said guns to actually kill people.

9/15/2011 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. abortion, you Darwinists are welcome to it. Murdering your innocent unborn offspring in the womb - or out of it, whatever - is a great way to pass on your superior genes to the next generation...

9/15/2011 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger nightfly said...

.." the key principle is the complete legitimization and institutionalization of violence toward the Other. "

No where do we see this more clearly than in modern conservtives.

Are you sure? Because I was under the impression that Mr. Hoffa was the warmup speaker for President Obama; that his opening remarks promised a war; that the President didn't bother to rebuke him or even notice; that union violence, already on the upswing, kept on keeping on with nary a peep about "incivility" or "unhelpful discourse."

Silly me.

Also, I've seen the transcript of the debates and the clips. The crowd did NOT cheer about letting uninsured accident victims die. In fact, exactly the opposite:

BLITZER: But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?

PAUL: No. I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio , and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.

(APPLAUSE)

So they're cheering for the idea that people take care of each other, without waiting for a law and a say-so from the government.

9/15/2011 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And Taranto had an interesting take on the authoritarians who oppose capital punishment.

9/15/2011 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

The question was:

Blitzer: Should society let him die?

Audience members repeatedly YELL: YESSS!! Yeah!

Listen carefully to the video, Michelle Bachmann laughs at the audience reaction. SHE Laughs!!

Go to :52 of the video.

This is your culture of life.

Indeed.

9/15/2011 04:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Homer said...

Why do actions always have to have consequences!!!

9/15/2011 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

William, a couple of observations:

A) A couple of anonymous assholes cheering for a hypothetical man's death do not speak for the entire tea party, nor for all conservatives. Further, it seemed to me that the majority of that audience responded as though someone just farted in church, though of course that may be wishful thinking. Since I wasn't there, I couldn't say.

B) If you stay with it, moments later Paul rightly states that in his experience, the churches took care of such folk, and "we never turned anybody away." The audience did not jeer here, as one might expect if they really wanted that hypothetical man to die; they applauded.

C) Terri Schiavo.

9/15/2011 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger nightfly said...

Julie - I appreciate the assist, but... when I say that I've seen it and read the transcript, and then quote the transcript, and the reply from William is "look carefully at the video"... well, I suspect that he's seen everythingthat confirms what he's already chosen to think, and that's that.

And believe me - I never expected Ronpaul! to make sense, but he did on this one. Stopped watches and all that.

9/19/2011 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, indeed. William doesn't come here for new information, he comes to crow about how much better/ smarter/ faster/ and just generally more AWESOME he is than us deluded, anti-science, gun-clinging, violence-loving haters.

You're right, though, I should have left the second point out. It had been a few hours, and I didn't re-read your comment carefully. Pulled a William, there...

9/19/2011 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Three dollar Bill has some mighty queer preoccupations. Now he wants the world to know about his weak sphincter. Don't laugh -- it's an important muscle, since it's the one he uses to think with.

9/19/2011 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

The kegels, too. Which might explain an awful lot...

9/19/2011 12:49:00 PM  

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