Tuesday, May 15, 2012

There Is No Truth, and Only the Left Possesses It

I wonder how many of those who like to call themselves "progressive" are consciously aware of its mytho-scientistic roots?

Voegelin characterizes Marx as a "speculative gnostic" who grounded his politico-economic framework in an evolutionary vision of nature. In this scheme, all of nature is "in the state of becoming, and in the course of its development it has brought forth man: 'Man is directly a being of nature.'"

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the idea that nature is developing, except that this can have nothing to do with Darwinian evolution, which describes only change, not progress. More to the point, Marx re-buries man in nature, so that what is actually distinct in man, and belongs to his trans-nature, is annihilated.

Thus, "When 'socialist man' speaks, man has to be silent," which is a rather polite way of putting it. In any event, it is why the left would like for us to shut up, why they impose speech codes, why political correctness abounds, and why they hate God and religion. This is described in the last paragraph of yesterday's post, in reference to those special assouls who know exactly why

"their opinions cannot stand up under critical analysis and who therefore make the prohibition of the examination of their premises part of their dogma. This position of a conscious, deliberate, and painstakingly elaborated obstruction of ratio constitutes the new phenomenon" (Voegelin).

So if you want to talk about progress, this systematic assault on truth is indeed something new under the sun.

But it's not just the children of Marx who have progressed in this deviant manner, for truth is also forbidden by the specter of "positivist man." This humanoid beastling can also be called scientistic man, atheist man, or Darwinist man, for each of these, in his own way, pretends that materialism exhausts the meaning of human existence.

Now, minimal acquaintance with philosophy establishes the truth of a Marx, a Darwin, a Dawkins. Thus, one needs a little more than the minimum to debunk them, which I suppose is why philosophy is not taught in public schools, in favor of multicultural bunk.

Or, to be perfectly accurate, philosophy is taught, except that its assumptions are buried elsewhere, and never spoken of explicitly. This has provoked a backlash of "creationists" in certain quarters, but the real problem is metaphysical, not theological.

Wherever there is leftism, there is the suppression of certain questions and avenues of thought. As we have discussed in the past, just as a neurosis may be thought of as a "private culture," a culture may be thought of as a public neurosis. Now, a neurosis always involves the suppression of an unwanted truth.

Just so, the neurotic culture of the left has many defense mechanisms in place, so that alarms go off as soon as anyone approaches a dangerous truth. Examples are too numerous to chronicle, but just last week we saw what happened to someone who exposed the truth of black studies and its "left-wing victimization claptrap." Off with her head! (More on this undisciplined pseudo-discipline.)

Voegelin describes the deeper structure of this process. It begins with "a thinker who knows that his construct will collapse as soon as the basic philosophical question is asked." The intellectually and spiritually normal person recognizes this, and abandons the construct. Not so the leftist, who merely prohibits the question.

But why? What has happened to the person who is no longer interested in truth, and yet -- without irony -- imposes one version of it: There is No Truth, and Only I Possess It.

Voegelin called it an "intellectual swindle," which is an excellent way of putting it. For to exchange truth for ideology isn't just a bad deal, it's suicidal. Which wouldn't necessarily be so bad if it weren't also homicidal.

But again, why? Man has an innate epistemophilia, so what has happened to this transnatural instinct in the ideologue?

As we have discussed before, man is composed of intellect, of will, and of sentiment. To deny truth is to maim the intellect. But that doesn't kill the body. Rather, it seems that the will to power comes in to fill the vacuum. This perverse will

"has a violence and cruelty that go beyond the delight in masquerade and in the deception of others." It also "turns on the thinker himself and unmasks his thought as a cunning will to power."

Let's take another example from just last week, when President Obama decided to express his support for the redefinition of marriage. It is a matter of public record that this was merely a power play, in that wealthy donors were threatening to withhold funds if he didn't openly embrace their agenda.

For Newsweek to then proclaim Obama the "first gay president" is completely absurd, in light of the fact that he is just another statist with a transparently cunning will to power.

To believe otherwise one must want to believe otherwise, which is itself another instance of the will-to-power genre, except that it doesn't accrue to the power of the rank-and-foul self-deluder, only to the powerful. In reality it is but a "graceless disorder of the soul" rooted in a "demonic mendacity" (ibid).

(All quoted material from Science, Politics, And Gnosticism.)

19 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good example of reality vs. ideology.

5/15/2012 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

For Newsweek to then proclaim Obama the "first gay president" is completely absurd, in light of the fact that he is just another statist with a transparently cunning will to power.

With that in mind, the Powerline article you linked ends with at least a slight implication that Obama should have some interest in administrative success, as most people would define it: a healthier economy, more jobs, an expanding middle class, etc.:

"Reality is a constant constraint. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has never had to deal with reality in an economic sense. He is a BS artist, plain and simple. So it is no wonder that he has driven the country $5 trillion closer to collapse. He has little idea how the world works, and you see that every day in his administration’s failures. As for data, the only data Obama has any interest in are those that relate to his own re-election."

I don't think his idea of success has to do with American success, which is why he has done absolutely nothing to foster it, and everything to thwart it. Rather, it is all about the will to power. He may actually have some idea of how the world works, but American success would necessitate that in short order, he'd have to step aside and let someone else party on the taxpayer's dime. I get the impression he's less than willing to do that.

5/15/2012 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

But why? What has happened to the person who is no longer interested in truth, and yet -- without irony -- imposes one version of it: There is No Truth, and Only I Possess It.

Going back to yesterday's discussion of hope vs. wish, it's notable that more often than not, leftist wishes are centered around a return to an idyllic, premodern world. But the reality of any civilization living that way is, by any modern standard, nothing short of hellacious.

Take for example the developmental problems of third-world children as presented here (via Vanderleun): Malnourishment that results in lowered IQ, being infested with parasites that also result in lowered IQ, not to mention rampant disease. Of course, that's just the tip of the iceberg of human misery as a result of truly natural living.

And yet both "progressives" and many Darwinists (those who advocate a return to a more "caveman" lifestyle - for health reasons) seem to actively long for exactly the circumstances that cause all of those problems. Here again, the reality of living that way - and the fact that pour ancestors did everything they could to stop living that way - is a truth which must be suppressed in favor of a fervent wish for a return to an edenic lifestyle.

5/15/2012 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, those who don't believe in paradise become victims of it.

5/15/2012 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

You know, the funny part about 'cavemen' - is (as per Chesterton) the only thing we know about them for certain is that they were artists.

We don't know for sure pretty much anything else about them (except for maybe the shape of their skulls...)

I'm no hater of my American Indian ancestors, but they were not an 'original' culture - they were not primitive except technologically.

As for their culture, they're the long ancestors of - probably - Chinese or Mongolians, which were probably great civilizations even back when my ancestors here were driven off.

That is to say, without realizing it, they are repeating history in misidentifying old cultures as new and yearning to become like them.

As far as the cycles of things go, like the seasons and such, they need not desire to become like the 'savages' at all; it's a sort of inevitability given that they're the tail end of civilization and not its beginning.

5/15/2012 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the idea that nature is developing, except that this can have nothing to do with Darwinian evolution, which describes only change, not progress. More to the point, Marx re-buries man in nature, so that what is actually distinct in man, and belongs to his trans-nature, is annihilated."

Obamao is one proregressive who has moved beyond that dicey business of changing the future, and is instead reburying himself in our past. In our
previous President's past, that is:

"•On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
•President Herbert Hoover signed the bill founding the Department of Veterans Affairs July 21, 1930. President Obama is committed to making sure that the VA, the second-largest cabinet department, serves the needs of all veterans and provides a seamless transition from active duty to civilian life, and has directed his Administration to modernize the way health care is delivered and benefits are administered for our nation’s veterans. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.
•On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama Administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations...
"

He's 'updated' the presidential bio's on Whitehouse.gov, for every president from Coolidge through Bush, to include a prophetic blurb about Him.

How soothing is that? Darn the technology though, that means Winston Smith is out of a job.

5/15/2012 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I know an adult who will literally start singing when you begin to try and discuss troubling issues or to ask difficult questions. Her response to a tough question is often, "I'm just not going to let that into my spirit."

Those around her do their best to shield her as much as possible from reality -- for better or worse. It's sort of instinctive, and it is often done with suffering and loss on the part of the protectors.

I think we have done that in America with the academics and the "elite". But they have made it increasingly difficult to right all their wrongs and keep the consequences at bay. I think it is impossible to carry on much longer. As Lone Watie said in Josey Wales, "Hell's comin' to breakfast."

5/15/2012 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

"Now, a neurosis always involves the suppression of an unwanted truth. "

Hmmmm... yes. Nice.

We have habits and beliefs that we go by (our day to day algorithms/programs) that help us get through the day. If they are ill fitting to the reality around you, you 'feel' bad and many times don't know why until you stop and think through the process step by step. The sins of the fathers begat upon the sons come to mind. Thus the importance of a reflective nature in the maturation process of the young adult.

Sometimes, the faulty algorithm/program never gets rooted ouot and is passed on to the next generation for them to coniue to fall into the same hole.

Nice sentence, Bob. Its now in my quote archive. A real gem.

5/15/2012 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

"To believe otherwise one must want to believe otherwise, which is itself another instance of the will-to-power genre, except that it doesn't accrue to the power of the rank-and-foul self-deluder, only to the powerful. "

This is the definiton of 'Brown-nosing': Cooing to a tyrant with the probable hopes of a spot at the government trough.

5/15/2012 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Fabio said...

You don't come out and say it -- not as cause-effect, anyway -- but in a way you do imply that the reason (the insistent "why") the ideologue denies truth lies in his desire for power. Maybe the argument is subtler than that: it seems as though power somehow "comes in to fill the vacuum". However, not only do you not give a satisfying answer to the "why" but you also raise the "how" flag and leave it dangling there without response.

Maybe you'll tackle the whys and hows as you burrow further down Voegelin's rabbit hole, ripping through Hobbes and Marx and Nietzsche and whys upon more whys (oh, the insistent whys) just to end up.... where, exactly? Where one is wont to: The revolt against God (without restraint). The unbearableness of peering at the Ground. The unpleasentness of inhabiting a second reality.

What is the equation? What are we really talking about here? Men do not desire truth. Men desire power. And they desire power because of their revolt against God. A story which has been played out over and over ever since that most mortal of sins, Pride, suddenly "came into" Lucifer's heart -- out of nowhere, it seems (why? how? -- all of it inscrutable, I guess).

Oh the circular abstraction of it all! We are being bludgeoned to death -- worse: to silence -- and endlessly we twirl around "transcendence"?! Give me a hammer, for God's sake!

How far has Voegelin brought us? Have you ever sat down and talked to the Voegelinians? A bunch of softies! University professors, no less -- not a philosopher among the bunch. "By their fruits ye shall know them."

How do we resist the onslaught of the Lefties' "will to power" (not to speak of our own)? With religion, as Jouvenel would have it? Not gonna happen, not within this yuga. The time has come (the walrus said) to head for the wilderness -- or... at least over to some of the survivalist blogs....

5/15/2012 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/15/2012 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Fabio said " You don't come out and say it -- not as cause-effect, anyway -- but in a way you do imply that the reason (the insistent "why") the ideologue denies truth lies in his desire for power. "

The rejection of Truth IS the will to power. And whether that is metaphysical truth, or the truth which results from men's choices, how to deal with it, rejecting the methods of reacquainting people with the truth (education, religion, etc), and employing it (virtue, morals, etc), also amounts to a rejection of the truth and a will to power.

But hey, enjoy the survival.

5/15/2012 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Aloysius said...

Hillary was the first gay president.

5/15/2012 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

OT (maybe not)...
Seventy pages in and Berlinski's "Devil's Delusion" is awesome. He really can write beautifully at times. Practically had me crying in the little description of Aquinas (pg. 65).
Used, $3, not a mark on it, whatacountry.

5/15/2012 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Fabio - Paul has your answer:

"The mystery of iniquity is already at work in the sons of iniquity."

Whence comes a wicked will? 'tis not known, nor should it be investigated; for about such things it is not merely that they are obscure or hard to understand or perhaps deep and infathomable.

Rather, there is nothing there to be known - the naked will - is nothing other than the sheer impulse of the moment. It has no roots, we may assume in the normal causality, being of spiritual origin. So what there is to know of it, men will speculate endlessly and even delve the depths of its perversion to satisfy their prurient curiosities...

But in the end, know nothing more than what they knew to begin with.

----

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2012/05/15/can-a-food-trucks-fake-ethnicities-be-racist/

Liberal/Progressive/Nanny killjoys at it again. I wish all restaurants were of dubious ethnicity. White boys can't cook indian food or poke fun of our ghetto-ization of ethnicity.

5/15/2012 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Riv, the comments there are a riot.
Is that ok to say?

5/15/2012 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Mmmmm... a mashup of Indian/Ethiopian/Thai food sounds awesome.

5/15/2012 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

As my Washingtonian friend says, "Plus their food is awesome" - so the suspicions are confirmed. It's not about how good a food truck they run, it's that those Fojol boys have too much fun.

5/16/2012 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Julie nailed it: "He is a BS artist, plain and simple."

5/16/2012 08:35:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home