Thursday, June 07, 2012

Revisionist Ontology: Seeing and Being Like a State

It occurs to me that the revisionist history -- and journalism -- of the left has a deeper purpose than to just indoctrinate, miseducate, and misdirect.

This is probably just another way of affirming the obvious, but the ultimate purpose is and must be to alter reality -- or at least the perception thereof. In a desiccated post-Kantian mindscape, the two -- perception and reality -- amount to the same thing anyway: you see what you believe.

Hence, for example, the left's absurd attempt to spin the Wisconsin election results as a great victory for Dear Leader. Does anyone not see through this?

Yes, as a matter of fact, there are millions who don't see through it, which means that there must be some kind of self-imposed screen which the recipient places over reality, and which prevents them from penetrating beyond the plane of spoon-fed appearances.

I am quite sure that the people at the top who come up with these preposterous talking points cannot possibly believe them. They're way too clever for that.

For example, I find it hard to believe that the people responsible for the manipulation of the Trayvon Martin case can be unaware of the reality. And yet, the false narrative continues to be successfully propagated despite the reality. This can only happen because the people at the bottom -- the manipulated -- refuse to believe and even see any fact that contradicts the narrative.

Similarly, people such as our longtime cyberstalker and left-wing errand boy, William Yelverton, seem to sincerely believe the spin. They are the shock troops -- or tools -- whose task it is to assimilate and propagate the meme. But in order to be truly effective, they must be swaddled in spin from the earliest age, and then for the remainder of their lives. The fruity isn't just spin-deep, but goes all the way to the bone.

In the overall scam of things, it seems to me that the cynics at the top are actually less dangerous than the rubes at the bottom. Take Clinton, for example. He is the very archetype of the cynical and disingenuous manipulator, and yet, people seem to enjoy being manipulated by his genial mendacity. While the hypnotized never lie, the hypnotists surely do. And there are millions more hypnotized than hypnotists.

Again, a revision of reality can't just occur on the surface. In order for it to really take hold, one must either see to it that the revision penetrates to the level of ontology -- of being -- or simply eliminate those deeper planes altogether, as in the case of deconstruction or multiculturalism, which reduce vertical degrees of being to horizontal perspectives of equal value.

In order to live in an unreal spin-zone, one's world must in one way or another become closed. Thus the need for godlessness, for only a godless world can be closed and only the ontologically closed can be godless. The fact that we are in the image of the Creator is the one and only guarantor of an open world (and, a fortiori, mind ), a principle of which our founders were miraculously aware.

Through this principle of deiformity -- or the Incarnation, if you like -- man is freed "from the ontological slavery with which Fate burdened him. The stars, in their inalterable courses, did not, after all, implacably control our destinies. Man, every man, no matter who, had a direct link with the Creator, the Ruler of the stars themselves.

"It was no longer a small and select company that, thanks to some secret means of escape, could break the charmed circle: it was mankind as a whole that found its night suddenly illumined and took cognizance of its royal liberty. No more circle! No more blind destiny! No more Fate! Transcendent God, God the 'friend of men,' revealed in Jesus, opened for all a way that nothing would ever bar again" (De Lubac).

But such disturbing ontological freedom just won't do for the state. Thus a new mythology was forged, in which man is cut back down to size and identified with material, economic, and cultural forces. There is no hole, no escape, no freedom, and certainly no Gods. Get back in that circle, slave!

For the state, God is a problem, not a solution. God is a competitor, not just for loyalty, but again, for ontology. The state sees you in a certain way, and is very much interested in you seeing yourself in the same constricted way. You must be abridged, and for a freedom-loving soul, that's abridge too far.

For example, when you say "community," the state would prefer you to say "government." When you say "charity," it wants you to mean "welfare." When you say "school," the state hears "left wing seminary." When you say "taxes," the state thinks "investments." And so on.

The state, of course, is not a person. But like any autopoietic system, from family to culture, it does exert a force on the people within it, pressuring them conform to its survival needs. This is one of the reasons a state employee like Scott Walker quite literally drives the statists mad. He drives them mad for the same reason a woman who loves -- and is loved by -- men drives feminists crazy. Such people are traitors to their class.

The state will do what it must in order to go on being. However, the options are quite different between, say, a liberal democracy and Syria. The Syrian state has no need to conceal its ruthless will to survive.

But a democracy must use more subtle means to control the populace. Over the long run, it attempts to create the kind of citizen it needs in order for the citizen to adopt the narrow view of the state. In other words, the state deploys a host of means -- rewards and punishments, whips and goads -- to create State Man.

It seems to me that Obama is our first president to be fully State Man, owing to his rise up the ranks of the racial spoils system and his complete indoctrination in left wing ideology, with no outside influences. Note also that even when he supposedly turned to Christianity, he chose the ontologically closed pseudo-form of black liberation theology, which encloses the person behind bars of Marxist materialism.

Obama has spent his life in this hermetically sealed -- and ontologically closed -- world, so it certainly appears that he is more hypnotized than hypnotist. Which is again why he is far more dangerous than, say, Clinton, who clearly doesn't believe half of his own bullshit, and is even working as a double-agent for the GOP to rid us of this dangerous true believer who doesn't get his own joke.

These state simplifications, the basic givens of modern statecraft, were, I began to realize, rather like abridged maps. They did not successfully represent the actual activity of the society they depicted, nor were they intended to; they represented only that slice of it that interested the official observer. They were, moreover, not just maps. Rather, they were maps that, when allied with state power, would enable much of the reality they depicted to be remade.... --James C. Scott

24 Comments:

Blogger walt said...

"Clinton, who clearly doesn't believe half of his own bullshit..."

But, wait! ... he is our leader, he is our guide! What else do we need to know?

There is this "imitative" function in the physiology, part of our animal -- very useful in many ways, er, except when it passes for actual "thinking." But toss in vanity, pride, sex, etc., and that's all that many folks seem to feel the need for.

Again, the tendency in humans "to love darkness."

6/07/2012 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

In the overall scam of things, it seems to me that the cynics at the top are actually less dangerous than the rubes at the bottom.

Yes, you're probably right about that. The rubes at the bottom too often have good intentions, but base many of their choices not on a careful consideration of the reality, but rather on "helpful suggestions" by those at the top. They trust too easily in the benevolence and wisdom of the purveyors of news, science and politics, and don't take time to for reality testing. After all, most of those "helpful suggestions" make them feel better about themselves. Now matter how much worse things get.

Also, what Walt said™.

6/07/2012 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It reminds me of a line from a film noir I saw back in college, when the crime boss barks at one of his minions, "I think, you hit." The latter are far more numerous and troublesome.

6/07/2012 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Walt: Thank you for coming in for your six-month check-up. See you in December! (Please fill out this postcard, and we will mail it to you two weeks before your next appointment.)

6/07/2012 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

This is a clear, concise, and shining exposition of our situation.

Well done.

"State-man"=antichrist. Christians need to wake the hell up.

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. -- Matthew 24:24

"false christ" and "antichrist" are the same thing.

6/07/2012 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos, Sipp today on reading the news:

"Reading the newspapers here in Maine is literally terrifying. The writers are borderline illiterate, innumerate, and not very curious. That strikes me as a bad combo for a newsgatherer. Mark Twain used to write for the newspaper, and so did Benjamin Franklin. We seem to have traded them for girls that make a little heart over their "i", and the guy in your grammar school that liked comic books a lot and used to cheat off a C student because he printed big enough to see from one row away."

It would be no big deal, provided that the majority of people could see that this is what passes for much of journalism today. Unfortunately, a great many people don't see it, either because they don't know any better themselves, or because they just don't have the time to do more than skim the details. Or both.

Lileks also has a good line: "I hereby coin a new word for the process of bathing in celebrity trivia: moronating."

6/07/2012 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The three stages of moonbat grief: shock, denial, and Yelverton-grade denial.

6/07/2012 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

abridged maps. They did not successfully represent the actual activity of the society they depicted, nor were they intended to; they represented only that slice of it that interested the official observer [and] would enable much of the reality they depicted to be remade

Because all aspiring Controllers know deep down that they have to be hitters. Ideological simplifications of reality are the hammers. Items that resist are nails. Like Narcissus, they are in love with this image of themselves. They "don't need people."

Unfortunately, they're applauded by other aspiring narcissists.

The land dries up and dies.

6/07/2012 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

From Bastiat:

What then, is the common denominator to which all forms of socialism are reducible, and what is the bond that unites them against natural society, or society as planned by Providence? There is none except this: They do not want natural society. What they do want is an artificial society, which has come forth full-grown from the brain of its inventor . . . They quarrel over who will mold the human clay, but they agree that there is human clay to mold. Mankind is not in their eyes a living and harmonious being endowed by God Himself with the power to progress and to survive, but an inert mass that has been waiting for them to give it feeling and life; human nature is not a subject to be studied, but matter on which to perform experiments.

6/07/2012 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ironically, they pretend to champion Darwinism, but in reality are very much opposed to spontaneous self-organizing systems.

6/07/2012 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

"Spontaneous self-organizing systems" need Barack, dammit. How else will we ever be proud of them for the first time in our adult lives?

Bastiat akbar.

6/07/2012 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

'hypnotized'

6/07/2012 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I've always liked that song. Probably my favorite version of Fleetwood Mac, even more than the Peter Green group....

6/07/2012 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I wish they would remaster Bare Trees, but they don't seem to care about any part of the catalogue but the MOR Buckingham/Nicks pop juggernaut...

6/07/2012 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Another good one from that record...

6/07/2012 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, that little post on the Kinks last Sunday was one of my more popular posts ever, because it was linked to a Kinks "news & rumors" site on Monday. Hundreds of hits, but not one will come here twice....

6/07/2012 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That's funny - a Kinkstalanche?

6/07/2012 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Kink-a-licious.

I never owned a Fleetwood Mac album, but if I had, it would have been "Bare Trees".

6/07/2012 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Hence, for example, the left's absurd attempt to spin the Wisconsin election results as a great victory for Dear Leader. Does anyone not see through this?"

Yep. I th... oh, ah...[next line]

"Yes, as a matter of fact, there are millions who don't see through it, which means that there must be some kind of self-imposed screen which the recipient places over reality, and which prevents them from penetrating beyond the plane of spoon-fed appearances."

Seems like you're going to manage just fine writing the post without my help, so, uh, I'll just sit back and finish catching up to today through yesterday.

6/08/2012 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"The state sees you in a certain way, and is very much interested in you seeing yourself in the same constricted way. You must be abridged, and for a freedom-loving soul, that's abridge too far."

Which is how and why willian has a position in 'higher education', and why such 'education' fails to Educate.

6/08/2012 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"But a democracy must use more subtle means to control the populace. Over the long run, it attempts to create the kind of citizen it needs in order for the citizen to adopt the narrow view of the state."

Yep. And what they don't mean by 'Democracy' is your right to choose, but their right to choose for you. My post today, Republic vs. Democracy - is it just semantics?

"...When people like the bluberer above whine about the death of Democracy... after losing a Vote, because they lost a vote, you should wonder about what they have in mind as 'Democracy', that just maybe that word doesn't mean what they want you to think it means. What they obviously don't mean by Democracy, is a well ordered system where well mannered and civil people discuss an issue, put it to a vote, and good naturedly abide by the results..."

6/08/2012 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Van - I like "the blubberer above;" it sounds like the title to a Lovecraft story...

6/08/2012 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Mushroom quoted "...They do not want natural society. What they do want is an artificial society, which has come forth full-grown from the brain of its inventor . . . They quarrel over who will mold the human clay, but they agree that there is human clay to mold...."

Awesome quote by Bastiat.

Can you imagine the incredible change in the outlooks of students, if they were taught economics (and just plain 'Civics') beginning with Bastiat? Or Sowell?

6/08/2012 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie ;-)

6/08/2012 12:35:00 PM  

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