Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wake Up Morons! The End is Not Near!

No movement that takes power can sustain the hallucination that the new world is indeed messianic for more than a short while. Most burn out quickly, in months or years.... --Richard Landes, Heaven on Earth

And hopefully they do this without inflicting too much damage upon the nation. There will always be damage, to be sure, since damage results any time there is a severe disjunction between thought and reality.

Think about it: in our case, for the brief time Obama has been in office, we and our children's [fill in the blank] will be paying for the rest of our lives. For what, exactly? For the privilege of having this insufferable cipher lead us for a few years?

It's like surveying the wreckage the morning after a huge drunken party. And for what? We didn't even get drunk, since we weren't one of the party pretendees.

In fact, it's not unlike the 1960s. What did we get out of that intoxicated spree? Whatever it was, we're still paying for it -- not just monetarily, but much more problematically, culturally.

This cultural hangover is not a problem for the left, since it is their implicit -- and often explicit -- goal to destroy the existing culture, being that it is so fundamentally and irredeemably flawed: patriarchal, racist, sexist, homophobic, and generally oppressive. Frankly, economic Marxism was on the way out before the rise of Obama, but cultural Marxism was as strong as ever.

Ironically, for the Marxian-inspired thinker, existence precedes essence, which is a fancy way of saying (among other things) that economics trumps culture. But since they were unsuccessful in (completely) overturning the economic order, they shifted the focus of their long dreary march by infiltrating every cultural institution, questioning its premises, and delegitimizing it.

Meanwhile, the fundamental issues at the root of our civilization had been settled so long ago, that conservatives forgot how to defend them with fact and reason.

The attempt to redefine marriage is only the latest and most radical assault, but if the left succeeds, they will have managed to erode the sacred, pre-political foundation of civilization itself, the trinitarian man-woman-child bond.

The results will be much more dramatic than, say, the collapse of the state-sponsored economic bubble, but people will not see it, for the same reason they do not see the baleful cultural effects of the new deal and great society, even though they are right before our eyes.

In reality, you have to be blind to miss them, which is sort of the point: leftism blinds one to the reality of the vertical, to the enduring structures that make us human -- or which activate and guide human potential toward its proper end.

An acquaintance pointed out to me that young people apparently have no problem with the state forcing a new and idiosyncratic definition of marriage upon the rest of us. I responded that this should not be surprising, given the secular soulwash children receive as a result of the failure to separate ideology and state.

Here in California it is not only against the law to teach any unpleasant truths about homosexuality, but children are mandated by the state to cultivate positive feelings about the love that won't shut the fuck up because there are children around, pervert!

I mean, can we not agree that THERE IS SOMETHING DESPERATELY WRONG WITH SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO TELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN ALL ABOUT ANYONE'S WONDERFUL SEX LIFE?!!!! How sick does something have to be before people recognize it? Are they really that numb to the centrality of preserving childhood innocence until the appropriate time? It has nothing to do with homosexuality per se, just rudimentary judgment and discretion, not to mention separation of crotch and state.

When we say we don't want to establish a state religion, it is because there is a larger principle involved. Ultimately, it means that we don't want truth and power conflated, because power has a nasty way of propagating only the truths that legitimize its present structures and current beneficiaries.

Moreover, we are a nation founded upon liberty, and liberty is strictly impossible in the absence of transcendent truth (including the truth of our transcendence). Existentialists are correct that without truth, liberty literally degenerates to nothing, since it renders thought and action meaningless.

Which is again the whole point of a secular miseducation that fosters relativism in all its noxious and soul-deadening forms. Once relativism is internalized, then anything is possible because nothing is real.

Pope John Paul II, in his struggle against socialist tyranny, did so in the belief that culture was prior to economics. He knew that by awakening and strengthening the culture, the economic order would fall.

This is because man is man -- because human nature is real -- and it is cruelly unnatural to impose upon man a political order that doesn't reflect this fact.

Likewise, prior to our disagreement with the left over a free vs. centralized economy is the culture war that ultimately comes down to truth or relativism, man or beast, intellect or anti-intellectualism.

In a recent essay, Mark Steyn cites Laura Ingraham, who writes that “Even if our economic and national security challenges disappeared overnight, we’d still have to climb out of the cultural abyss into which we’ve tumbled.”

Like me, Steyn would go "a little further than the author on that. I’m a great believer that culture trumps economics. Every time the government in Athens calls up the Germans and says, okay, we’ve burned through the last bailout, time for the next one, Angela Merkel understands all too well that the real problem in Greece is not the Greek finances but the Greek people."

Americans are different, or at least they are supposed to be. Where Europeans cherish equality, collectivism, and centralized control, we celebrate liberty, individualism, and limited government.

Or did, anyway. As Steyn correctly points out, Americans -- as a group, not necessarily the innocent individuals -- have no right to complain about the economy, since "Any society eventually winds up with the finances you’d expect."

So don't ask how we ended up in this awful place, for we have the economy we so richly deserve, after so many decades of magical thinking. And more magic -- the kind we will hear from Dear Leader tomorrow evening -- will not undo the magic.

In addition to the usual fare, I am always reading something on the lighter -- but still instructive -- side, currently David McCullough's 1776. It ties in with our present discussion, because it goes to the question of how the American "revolution" ended up being "millennial" -- i.e., being at the leading edge of a world-historical transformation -- without being millennial, i.e., ushering in a radical overthrowing of the existing order, and creating the New Man.

I'll undoubtedly get more into this later, but one of the key points is that ours was by no means a revolution.

Rather, it was a war for independence. It was not a war for dependence upon the state, much less a struggle to create a radically new order, but to preserve the existing one.

Thus, it was the opposite of a revolution. If asked, both "officers and men in the ranks" would have said they had taken up arms "in defense of their country and of their rightful liberties as freeborn Englishmen. It was to 'defend our common rights'" (emphasis mine).

Likewise, for Washington it was "a defense of all that is dear and valuable in life" (emphasis mine). The operative word is is, i.e., the present tense. It was not a war for some kind of fantasied "was," "could be," or "ought to be" -- i.e., a past paradise or future utopia -- but simply what is, for human reality.

At the same time, these warriors were not unaware of the millennial implications of the struggle. McCullough cites an editorial in which the writer proclaims "Never was a cause more important or glorious than that which you are engaged in; not only your wives, your children, and distant posterity, but humanity at large, the world of mankind, are interested in it; for if tyranny should prevail in this great country, we may expect liberty will expire throughout the world."

And if the Sons of Liberty don't defend man's cosmic birthlight, who will?

16 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Related: Your society is reeling, sick, possibly terminal.

9/07/2011 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Related: the death and misery caused by the left's rejection of science.

9/07/2011 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Related: the left's magical visions of socialized medicine.

9/07/2011 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"In addition to the usual fare, I am always reading something on the lighter -- but still instructive -- side, currently David McCullough's 1776."

It is not possible to eat just one bag of McCullough's potato chips. I tried to warn you.

9/07/2011 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - as wv notes, it's going to take a little while to ingest all those links...

9/07/2011 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Sultan Knish has a good one up today, as well.

"Obama insists that September 11 should be a day of community service-- and he's right. The best way to serve our community is to stand up to those who would destroy it and turn our children and grandchildren into second class citizens in their own country."

9/07/2011 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"In reality, you have to be blind to miss them, which is sort of the point: leftism blinds one to the reality of the vertical, to the enduring structures that make us human -- or which activate and guide human potential toward its proper end."

The reverse of yesterday's semiotic arousal... the hyper-alertness that enables you to see what would have the most significance for you to see, the same reason that works, enables you to not see what would jeopardize what would have the most significance for you to see.

And of course, the One cure for either one, is having a habituated seeking for, attention to, and alignment with, the Truth. Without that, there is nothing that will allert you to the insanity of,

"I mean, can we not agree that THERE IS SOMETHING DESPERATELY WRONG WITH SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO TELL CHILDREN ALL ABOUT ANYONE'S WONDERFUL SEX LIFE?!!!! How sick does something have to be before people recognize it? "

, the dark wonder of it's resonance with the faux-truth your ungrounded desires have created, don't just blot out, but never see, the real truth of what IS.

9/07/2011 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"When we say we want a wall of separation between church and state, it is because there is a larger principle involved. Ultimately, it means that we don't want truth and power conflated, because power has a nasty way of propagating only the truths that legitimize its present structures and current beneficiaries.

Moreover, we are a nation founded upon liberty, and liberty is strictly impossible in the absence of transcendent truth (including the truth of our transcendence). Existentialists are correct that without truth, liberty literally degenerates to nothing, since it renders thought and action meaningless.

Which is again the whole point of a secular miseducation that fosters relativism in all its noxious and soul-deadening forms. Once relativism is internalized, then anything is possible because nothing is real. "

Really just wanted to see that again.

Ok... looking down another line, I can see that this is obviously one of those entirely repostable posts... my hyper-alertness is kicking in, which could cause a sudden shortage of HTML, so I'll stop and finish reading.

After this.

"This is because man is man -- because human nature is real -- and it is cruelly unnatural to impose upon man a political order that doesn't reflect this fact."

Ok, stopping and reading on now.

9/07/2011 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Van @9:37, along those lines, another little thing I read this morning:

"I notice when people get into a group setting, especially online with that semi-safe semi-anonymity, and say “Is it okay if I…” there are two things that are going on. One, the right answer is no and they damn well know it; two, they’re hoping to make it into a yes."

In the context of today's post and your particular point, it is a willful denial of what is right and true, in service of whatever is wrong, justified by group validation. "We all say so, so it must be true!"

9/07/2011 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Likewise, for Washington it was "a defense of all that is dear and valuable in life" (emphasis mine). The operative word is is, i.e., the present tense. It was not a war for some kind of fantasied "was," "could be," or "ought to be" -- i.e., a past paradise or future utopia -- but simply what is, for human reality."

And that's what the meaning of is, is.

9/07/2011 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "...it is a willful denial of what is right and true, in service of whatever is wrong, justified by group validation. "We all say so, so it must be true!""

Yep, and it points out where they look for confirmation - to others, and to what others will affirm, and not to what they can discover is real and true. Discovering it requires you to care about what is real and true - if you only care about what you want to be... that's where you're going to look for having it 'validated' - reality quite literally, is out of the question.

Speaking of which, an article by econognome Robert B. Reich-shuh, The Zero Economy, which is an amazing example of seeing what you are willing to see, and not even seeing what might put that vision in jeopardy.

I'm going to post on... probably tomorrow, but that's no reason to deprive yourself of its wonder today.

9/07/2011 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of separation of crotch and state, it occurs to me that often, what started off as a good idea that pretty much everyone went along with (for instance, "government doesn't belong in people's bedrooms") goes horribly wrong because people agreed with it for very different reasons.

Conservatives opposed sodomy laws and similar items not because they generally favor sodomy, but because they recognize that people have a right to privacy particularly in their intimate lives. Leftists opposed sodomy laws not because they thought the government was overstepping its boundaries by interfering with bedroom activities, but because they want to normalize and legitimize abnormal behavior. Where both sides agree, the conservative is happy to be done with the issue; the leftist, however, is only getting started.

9/07/2011 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Another example, of course, is environmental issues. Virtually everyone can agree that excess pollution is bad and that we should be good stewards of the earth. Again, where a conservative is happy to simply try and abide by that ideal, the leftist sees an opportunity for state intervention, micromanagement, and demonization of anyone who does not follow his lockstep idea of just what "good stewardship" really means.

9/07/2011 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Van - re. the Reich link, it's asstounding (though I guess it shouldn't be) that someone who ostensibly studies real-world economies can be so blind to real-world cause and effect.

9/07/2011 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger scory said...

Julie -

Good observations.

Bob -

Hitting the bullseye again, I see.

9/07/2011 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Finally made it over here after a rough day. Speaking of needing transcendent truth reminds me of why I feel a little uneasy about Objectivist and similar libertarians. I question whether anyone can be a libertarian without being, at the very least, a cultural Christian. It is not necessary to believe in God, but it is necessary to recognize that some things are just true, and the most important of them happen to be things Jesus spoke and taught.

Apart from a grounding in the Judeo-Christian worldview, libertarianism is just another word for anarchy. It's worked so well in Somalia, they're going to try it in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria.

9/07/2011 09:27:00 PM  

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