Friday, October 21, 2011

The Accidently-on-Purpose Essence of the Left

To summarize yesterday's post, "the subject partakes of the Absolute through its capacity for objectivity" (Schuon).

And as we saw, it is possible for man to be objective with regard to the natural/horizontal/quantitative world -- which wasn't controversial until the emergence of postmodern critical theory -- just as it is possible to be objective (i.e., to have accurate in-sight) with regard to the subjective/vertical world of qualities.

Indeed, the only thing in the world we may know directly and without mediation is the subject.

As the One bifurcates into absolute and infinite, or time and space, the object -- in a manner of speaking -- bifurcates into immanence and transcendence. We might say that immanence is the intelligible object, while transcendence is the comprehending subject.

But beneath this they are obviously "one in truth"; or, truth reveals their underlying unity, to be precise. Thus, any act of truth both reveals and is predicated upon the One; and the One is none other than the single Truth embodied in knower and known.

In any act of truth, "the essential takes precedence over the accidental" (Schuon). Conversely, lying liars and the lies they tell are always rooted in the accidental. You will have noticed that the first and last refuge of the leftist is a rapid retreat into the accidental, often for the very purpose of denying their own first principles, i.e., essence.

Pretty abstract, Bob. Example?

Okay, let us say that racial discrimination is wrong. The essence of this belief is rooted in our first principle, that all men are created equal.

The leftist also says that discrimination is wrong. Bueno. We agree. But in the very next breath, the leftist says that he wants to make it against the law to overlook race in hiring, college admissions, mortgages, and government contracts. "Wait a minute -- I thought you just said... "

"Shut up, racist!"

That last vulgarism reveals the leftist's actual first principle, which is that people who disagree with him are evil. It is one of the master keys to understanding the otherwise incoherent and intellectually dishonest ranting of the leftist. Slander, vilification, smearing -- these are "of the essence," not at all accidental. As we know, the leftist "believes he refutes an opinion by accusing the holder of that opinion of immorality" (Don Colacho).

The important point about a thought is its essence, not the accidents it comes clothed in -- language, skin color, class, gender, etc. Consequently, the left assures its own perpetual ignorance by systematically reducing conservative thought to its supposed hidden "motivations."

The same applies to the leftist's typical analysis of religion -- e.g., that people bitterly cling to their religious faith because of, say, economic insecurity. In true Marxian fashion, Obama will eliminate our economic insecurity and hence "cure" the citizenry of its religiosity.

Say, how's that workin' out for ya'?

Another example? Okay, yesterday I linked to a thoughtful video by Bill Whittle that so happens to reveal some essential things about the left. The leftist's considered response: "Bill Whittle is a moron."

Instead, we should learn our economics from this oddly smirking and cheerily passive-aggressive dude (do not attempt to endure more than a few minutes) who insists that we should indeed vilify "Wall Street" -- remember the leftist must vilify someone or something -- for the recession that ended in June of 2009. Failure to do so is analogous to failure to properly diagnose salmonella.

Notice that there is no interest in pursuing that thought to where it inevitably leads, i.e., "hey, how did those henhouse mothercluckers on Wall Street catch salmonella?," for it ends in vilification of the wrong entity: the state, and that is a thought the leftist must avoid at all costs. Indeed, the very purpose of "blaming Wall Street" is to misdirect our attention and seal our ignorance.

Notice also that the left, very much in contrast to its nihilistically libertine self-image, is all about "legislating morality," for what is morality but mastery of our impulses? But how exactly will legislation eliminate any of the seven deadly sins, greed included? What about government sloth? Hollywood lust? Racial pride? Economic envy? Michael Moore's gluttony?

Thus, "the left's theses are trains of thought that are carefully stopped before they reach the argument that demolishes them" (Don Colacho). And to paraphrase DC, a vocabulary of ten words is sufficient for the leftist to explain everything. Those ten would include racism, sexism, homophobia, greed, and "corporations."

Back to our main topic. "Perfect objectivity" would represent "perfect adequation of the knowing subject to the known object" (Schuon).

As such, this would coincide with the "perfect objectivity" of God, and the consequences that flow from this, e.g., truth, beauty, justice, virtue, etc. Each of these involves a harmony between principle and manifestation, appearance and reality, accident and essence. These are our "north stars," even though they can never be "perfect" in the herebelow. Rather: thy will be done in the terrestrial horizontal as it is in the celestial heaven.

Another key principle: "To say objectivity is to say totality" (Schuon) on every level. Thus, the fact that there is totality (or wholeness) at all derives from this higher (or deeper) principle of unity and totality.

Therefore, we have relatively autonomous domains represented by such disciplines as physics, biology, neurology, etc. And if any horizontaloid tries to tell you exactly how these relatively autonomous planes relate to one another, he is lying -- first to himself, then to you. For the distance between, say, matter and truth, is absolutely infinite (the bad kind) and unbridgeable from the bottom up. You cannot get here from there.

Now, a religion is a "cosmic totality," so to speak. Its purpose is, or should be, to provide a framework with which to situate ourselves and think about everything. In contrast, various sub-disciplines have sharp boundaries that prevent any such totality.

For example, physics leaves off where biology begins. There is some overlap, of course, but nothing truly essential.

To put it another way, physics is a necessary cause of biology, but not a sufficient one. The same applies to the relationship between biology and psychology. There is again much overlap, but the idea that truth or beauty could be reduced to biological categories is plainly absurd.

One of the things our friend Gödel teaches us is that a system can be complete or consistent, but not both. A "perfectly consistent" system will be incomplete, while a "perfectly complete" system will be inconsistent.

This applies to religious doctrines no less than scientific paradigms. Thus, a given religion can be more or less complete or "total," just like anything else. And yet, it seems that all religions claim this totality for themselves.

But this cannot be true. For example, Islam claims totality, but at the expense of key principles such as Incarnation, Trinity, and Resurrection. Conversely, Christianity has no fundamental objection to prophecy, so long as it is divinely inspired and true.

Out of time. To be continued...

31 Comments:

Blogger Open Trench said...

We want to discriminate, but to engage in positive, not negative, discrimination. That's the whole point of affirmaive action.

We want wealth to be shared between owners and proletariat. That's what we are after down on Wall street.

We do want to legislate morality; that is the function of the State.

We don't quite get what the convervative wants. To us it seems like carte blanche for the strong to dominate the weak in a Darwinian free-for-all.

What do you want?

10/21/2011 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"We want to discriminate, but to engage in positive, not negative, discrimination."

Oh, hell. I'm sure I'll regret this later, but I'll bite because there's an important point hidden in there. First, we know that's the intent, which is why conservatives generally don't think liberals are evil, just wrong. There's nothing inherently bad about wishing success upon a group of people who have had a hard lot in life.

The problem - the Truth of the matter - is that it is impossible not to negatively discriminate against one group when you positively discriminate against another. Further, quite often even the "positive" discrimination quite frequently has dreadful consequences for the groups it supposedly "helps." Why else would it be a grave insult to refer to Obama as "the affirmative action president?"

In truth, the "positive" discrimination of affirmative action is almost universally harmful. It helps no one, and has only served to worsen race relations over time. If you really want to help improve the lot of minorities, the best thing you can do is hold them to the same standards as everyone else. Expecting them to be somehow incapable of this is tacitly stating that they are lesser beings.

10/21/2011 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Back to the post,

" But how exactly will legislation eliminate any of the seven deadly sins, greed included? What about government sloth? Hollywood lust? Racial pride? Economic envy? Michael Moore's gluttony? "

And let's not forget the state's attempt to stamp out gluttony with "No Child's Fat Behind"....

10/21/2011 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"You will have noticed that the first and last refuge of the leftist is a rapid retreat into the accidental, often for the very purpose of denying their own first principles, i.e., essence."

Another example: It ain't fair granny's house has a spare bedroom. She doesn't deserve it anyway, because it's her fault the country can't afford stuff. Off with her stuff!

How soon do you think they'll be eating Soylent Green?

10/21/2011 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The government is making Soylent Green out of the not-yet-born.

Obama says, "Eat your peas."

10/21/2011 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Open Trench said...

Julie, I see what you mean about affirmative action harming those it is trying to help.

"Does AA harm more than it helps?" is the question. It really comes down to what is the lesser of two bad outcomes.

We of the left are pretty unsure about it also...it was supposed to be a temporary measure until prejudice died down by the mid 1990's.

However, the children of the Confederacy have a long memory and so the '90's came and went without any apparent change, and likewise the children of the slaves. Both sides are still pretty ruffled up.

The Confederates are a very dominant breed, so AA was developed as a way to muzzle the Doberman, so to speak, and to mollify the injured parties that something was being done to right the injustices visited upon them.

The injuries inflicted are monstrous; in dollar value each slave and their heirs should be awarded punitive damages in the tens of millions for mental suffering and anguish, loss of income they would have had (over a lifetime), not to mention further punitive damages for rape, assault, violation of civil rights, and humiliation.

So, how to make it right? You tell me. Making no distinctions comes later. Payback comes first.

10/21/2011 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

@julie. Nice affirmative action analysis.

The upside of aa is that it helped put me on the road to conservatism having been a victim of aa back in college. Those rare, sweet jobs with the US Forest Service were being given to the women and minority students while the rest of us were looking at practically no employment in our field. Didn't fault my fellow students but the government-sponsored injustice cut deep.

10/21/2011 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As Taranto helpfully explained a few days ago, one of the things that keeps the college scam alive is that it shields employers from federal lawsuits if they were to try to hire people on the merits:

"As for the corporations, the reason they demand college degrees is that the government forbids them to screen applicants directly for basic intelligence under a doctrine of antidiscrimination law known as 'disparate impact' that the U.S. Supreme Court established in 1971..."

10/21/2011 11:49:00 AM  
OpenID son of a preacher man said...

Bob
You said,
"We might say that immanence is the intelligible object, while transcendence is the comprehending subject."

but in past you have referenced transcendence as being maculine and immanence as being feminine.

Would you expound on this paradox, please?

10/21/2011 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

"Okay, yesterday I linked to a thoughtful video by Bill Whittle that so happens to reveal some essential things about the left. The leftist's considered response: "Bill Whittle is a moron.""

When imagined posting that video on my Facebook wall yesterday, I immediately thought of what the response of any of my leftist friends would be. It was exactly - "Bill Whittle is a moron." Scripted!

10/21/2011 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Son:

I don't see an obvious paradox there: masculine/transcendent/knower and feminine/immanent/known. Both are absolute in their own ways.

"And Adam knew Eve" yada yada yada.

10/21/2011 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Son of a Preacher Man said...

"Bob
You said,
"We might say that immanence is the intelligible object, while transcendence is the comprehending subject."

but in past you have referenced transcendence as being maculine and immanence as being feminine."

The second statement repeats the first. Immanence/intelligible object/feminine and transcendence/comprehending subject/masculine. No?

10/21/2011 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

DC's observation about an accusation of immorality refuting an opinion cuts across party lines. Bill Clinton is a creepy, disgusting pig, and so it Newt Gingrich. But I agree with a majority of Newt's views while, to the extent that he actually held a view, I disagreed with Clinton.

When Republicans tried to use Clinton's amorality against him, it failed because Clinton was believed to hold the "right", that is to say, the "moral" view of garbage like affirmative action, gun control, and the welfare state. However, it will work great against Gingrich, should he be nominated, since he is "immoral" not only personally but with regard to issues like racism.

10/21/2011 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"You will have noticed that the first and last refuge of the leftist is a rapid retreat into the accidental, often for the very purpose of denying their own first principles, i.e., essence."

Yep. Leftism 101: Drop context, focus on particulars and ignore or deny principles.

Do that, and no matter your original intent, what you come up with will be fully compatible with some form of leftism.

How could anything which does that, even if intentional, result in anything other than the accidental?

wv:trall
An accidental 'a'

10/21/2011 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

However this statement seems to be the opposite.

"As the One bifurcates into absolute and infinite, or time and space, the object -- in a manner of speaking -- bifurcates into immanence and transcendence."

I got stuck somewhat here when I read it. But each has its own aspect of immanence and transcendence, I think. They are just in opposite aspects.

10/21/2011 12:33:00 PM  
OpenID son of a preacher man said...

Bob

I knew the statements had to fit together some how. It just wasn't initially clicking with me.

The "And Adam knew Eve" actually flipped the switch. Thank you

Anne
Thanks for your insight as well.

10/21/2011 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

Do you think you know more about Jesus and Christian principles than Pope Benedict?

Take it from the Pope, a true leftist... (unlike Obama).

10/23/2011 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Against hunger?
Check.
For helping those in need?
Check.
Investment in infrastructure?
Check.
Not supporting capitalism just for its own sake?
Check.
Against corruption and illegality in the economic and political classes?
Check.
For sustainable growth, of benefit to everyone? Check.
Against excessive disparities in wealth?
Check.

Guess I'm also to the left of Obama. Who knew?

10/23/2011 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I'm shocked - Shocked!! - that William cares what the Pope thinks about anything.

God forbid the Pope should be concerned about human dignity and the well-being of every man, woman and child on the planet. It's not like that's his calling or anything.

10/23/2011 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

Jesus was a liberal socialist, so is the Pope, and all others who really understand the doctrine.

This should give the bitter clinging evangelical protestants another reason to attack catholicism.

Thanks for coming out Bob, I know it must be very conflicting.

Sorry Julie, I already have a girlfriend.

10/23/2011 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous P-Ben said...

"Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which a community of a higher order should not interfere with the internal life of the community of a lower order...

"The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention."

Catechism of the Catholic Church

10/23/2011 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

a community of a higher order should not interfere with the internal life of the community of a lower order.

Is that why the Vatican has called for a "Global Financial Authority"?

"Pope Benedict XVI has repeatedly called for an “intervention” by governments to tame financial markets and has emphasized the need to restore a fragile global economic system that is hurting poorest people the hardest."

10/23/2011 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Devil meet details.

10/23/2011 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"Jesus was a liberal socialist, so is the Pope, and all others who really understand the doctrine."

Says the guy who doesn't understand even the remotest truths about faith.

Also, what does your girlfriend have to do with anything? Are you delusional enough to think you were somehow being propositioned? There's a nauseating thought...

10/23/2011 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

It's good to have the Pope on our side, right Bob? ... you know, like Charlemagne.

BTW... Charlemagne wouldn't have liked Wall St. ... the preditory lending, insider trading and high interest credit cards ....(he prohibited Jews from engaging in money-lending)

10/23/2011 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, you were trying to be "funny." That's a shame.

10/23/2011 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

Uh oh... Bob's getting ready to throw the Pope under the bus.

10/23/2011 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We won't be doing that. At your request, we have issued the Pontiff a transfer to your bus. Please show him the same courtesy you would any other comrade.

10/23/2011 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"Take it from the Pope, a true leftist... (unlike Obama)."

One minute difference: The pope is big into freewill - Charity at an individual level verses the top-down, big-state, force all the sniveling dogs do good deeds. That minute difference makes the leftists polar opposite to the Pope.

"It's good to have the Pope on our side, right Bob? ... you know, like Charlemagne. "

haha... nice trap, William. Surprisingly, you do know some history. Too bad you're not up on Leftist/Statist History:

Death by Government: http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

10/23/2011 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

@ Open Trench:

"We do want to legislate morality; that is the function of the State."

This is where the left goes seriously wrong, Trench.

Overt manipulation of the people tends to corrupt too easily. Here is a fine example of 'good intentions' festering into outright evil:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfnddMpzPsM

Above all else, there MUST be room for the individual to choose.

As Don Calacho says: "No one should dare, without trembling, to influence anyone's destiny." (per Bob)

10/23/2011 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Wow, right on top of things willian, thanks for that johnny on the spot reporting that the Catholic Church is fond of Distributism. Any time now I expect you'll be getting the breaking news about World War I.

BTW, if you're a really good news hound, you might even break the story that 'Social Justice' originated from a Catholic theologian!

Better hurry though, I hear some people have already begun reporting on the war between the states... wouldn't want to get too far behind... early bird gets the worm and all that... and you are sooo well suited for the worm.

It'd be a shame if you missed out.

What an ass.

10/24/2011 11:06:00 AM  

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