Wednesday, July 18, 2012

John Roberts: Destroyer of Worlds, Vandal of History

It is fair to say that Voegelin saw his life's mission as an investigation into the truth of man, society, and history. His conclusion is that there is such a truth, but that it is more a matter of form than content per se. (All quotes are from Volume 12 of the collected works.)

This is because ultimate truth has the character of an event, not a fact. And an event is obviously impossible in the absence of experience, or, more to the point, human experience (no other animal has access to universal truths). To put it another way, no fact can -- or ever will -- account for its experience, or any experience, for that matter.

Thus, any philosophy that reduces experience to fact is a total non-starter. No need to even begin going down that road, for it is a spiritual and intellectual nul-de-slack, i.e., ø. Such a path is like a river that never reaches the sea. Or a prostate so enlarged that urination is impossible. I recently had a patient to whom this happened one morning. To say that he was in no condition to contemplate timeless truth is putting it mildly.

This is one of the primary reasons we can make neither head- nor heartway with our ideological opponents -- why our arguments cannot gain traction.

For it is not argument against argument; rather, "behind the appearance of rational debate there lurks the difference of two modes of existence, of existence in truth and existence in untruth. The universe of rational discourse collapses, we may say, when the common ground of existence in reality has disappeared" (emphasis mine).

Abstract? No, not in the least. To the contrary, this observation couldn't be more timely. President Obama -- and we'll get much more deeply into the reasons why as we proceed -- is a spokesperson for existence in untruth adapted to what Voegelin calls "second reality" (which is true of any ideological activist; Obama is just the same old serpent in a new skin).

Therefore, one can see that his campaign revolves around an endless barrage of untruths to which Romney is going to have to respond, on pain of the untruth being conceded as true. Unlike you or I, Romney cannot simply ignore unreality -- or at least not let it get under our skin -- and live in conformity to truth.

The problem here is that even responding to the untruth grants it a kind of existential "heft" to which it isn't entitled. After all, one could easily spend the rest of one's life shooting down one untruth after another, but it wouldn't make a dent in the total supply.

Unscrupulous lawyer that he is, the prince of this world will just make more of the verbal fertilizer that accrues from talking out of his ass. Obama obviously needs to make this campaign about something other than truth. Once truth is out of the way, it can become a contest based upon other non-rational factors, say, disgust, or rage, or envy, or violence, or bigotry, or raw hatred (or all of the Below).

Think, for example, of how difficult it would be today to produce a timeless political document such as the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution that enshrines its universal principles. 225 years down the line, one would think it would be easier to do this, not harder.

But this only reminds us that progress is hardly a linear phenomenon. There are always regressive liars such as John Roberts, living in second realities and prepared to eliminate in a selfish moment what required thousands of years for wise and courageous human beings to establish on this troubled earth.

Roberts has quite literally committed a crime against mankind and against history. One cannot put it more strongly than that. If it is true that America remains the world's last best hope, then one must conclude that Roberts has done his part to extinguish this hope. Nice work, assoul.

Would it be possible to correct Roberts with recourse to truth? (Let's not even mention the other four, who have been exiled from reality so long that they can no longer recognize it.) Voegelin notes that debate with ideologues remains "possible in the areas of the natural sciences and logic," where there is an external criterion of truth.

But any area that touches on the person has been so contaminated by the untruths of the left, that again, one could spend the rest of one's life simply countering them without making any progress toward truth.

There was a time when such a verticalesthenic exercise wasn't fruitless, because human beings hadn't yet become so warped as to extinguish their innate -- which is to say, God-given -- intellectual honesty, or love of Truth. Aquinas, for example, took it as axiomatic that the establishment of truth necessarily requires all due consideration being given to the varieties of error.

Not only is it incumbent upon the philosopher to meditate upon and communicate truth to others, but "to refute the opposing falsehood." In the words of Voegelin, one part of "the quest for truth is the perpetual task of disengaging it from error, of refining its expression in contest with the inexhaustible ingenuity of error."

For the person whose mind and spirit (nous and pneuma) are intact, once is enough. But for the pneumapathological and philocidal soul that has become perverse with error and overrun with mind parasites, a million times will be insufficient.

Falsehood does have certain legitimate rights, just as do criminals. But just as the left grants special rights to criminals, so too does it place lies on a kind of elevated and untouchable plane.

Again you may ask: abstract? NO!

For what is multiculturalism but the privileging and institutionalization of falsehood? Moral relativism? The "living Constitution"? Critical race theory? Class warfare? Deconstruction? Feminist theory? Racial quotas? Socialism? MSNBC?

You will have noticed that such luminaries as Aristotle, Plato, and Aquinas did not have to deal with this kind of systematic untruth, because it hadn't occurred to any thinking person to invent it.

Rather, it had to undergo research and development in the laboratory of modernity, and then be mass-marketed in the intellectual bazar of post-modernity. When the left argues that everyone needs (and is entitled to) college, what they really mean is that no one should escape the secular brainwash.

To say that there is no truth uniquely vouchsafed to man is to say that the world is an "infinite series," and to say this is to destroy "the very nature of the Good."

In other words, "The limit to the chain of [causation] is the condition of rationality in action." An infinite regress is ultimate absurdity.

To bring this back to the bobastic title of this post, with no limit set by our sacred Constitution, there is no limit to political and legal irrationality, to the acquisition and exercise of arbitrary power, and to willful malefactors who are in a state of revolt against reality, and who would force us all to conform to their warped and anti-human ideological (second) reality.

Other than that, I have no problem with these truly supreme court jesters.

29 Comments:

Blogger Unknown said...

This post is best read whilst listening to soft, sad violin music.

7/18/2012 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Or the Yelverton Blues.

7/18/2012 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Actual video footage.

7/18/2012 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Alan McCann said...

Bravo

7/18/2012 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

After all, one could easily spend the rest of one's life shooting down one untruth after another, but it wouldn't make a dent in the total supply.

Like the joke about someone being wrong on the internet.

Cool. I see the Unknown Maillaw has already made my point.

7/18/2012 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Holy cow, who is that guy in the green cat house? Looking at it, I felt a disturbance in the male Force, as if a million testosterone molecules cried out in terror, and were suddenly extinguished.

7/18/2012 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, no coincidence that he will leave no heirheads.

7/18/2012 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

... there is no limit to political and legal irrationality, to the acquisition and exercise of arbitrary power ...

There is no limit to the attempt -- just as someone who is divorced from reality might try to fly off a ten story building. The direction such a body will take is, however, limited.

I was watching Deliverance last week. After the city boys make it through a tough section of rapids, Bobby shouts that they have beaten it. Lewis replies that you never beat the river.

So, too, you never beat reality, you just learn to play by its rules.

7/18/2012 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

"Strumming a guitar next to a cat in a greenhouse is no way to go through life, son."

7/18/2012 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Someone must have told him that if he takes up guitar he might finally get a little pussy.

7/18/2012 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Spreading the wealth around doesn't apply to genetic capital, apparently.

But imagine his kid's rebellion: he'd join the NRA, sire three-plus children in a stable marriage, and sell pharmaceuticals for a living.

What's that thing with the pistol grip at the left border? An industrial strength blow dryer?

7/18/2012 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Looks like a spotlight to me. Maybe Willie's jacklighting deer on the side.

7/18/2012 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

How the left murdered the culture.

7/18/2012 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

From the link: We might be the jury at a murder trial, with twelve different opinions among us and no sure way of knowing who is right. But one thing we do know for sure: The truth exists, whether we can find it or not.

That's right.

7/18/2012 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

And speaking of voter ID, science is wonderful. Now I know that the reason I want to prevent people from voting multiple times is because I resent black people.

I feel the burden lifting already.

7/18/2012 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

In the article Bob linked, the question comes up as to whether there was "blood" as a result of the cultural revolution. I should say, so, unless like unWilliam up Below you don't consider the blood shed by dismembered unborn humans to count...

7/18/2012 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Even leaving that aside, the number of human beings killed by leftist policies is astronomical, for example, tens of millions of Africans as a result of banning DDT, or the spike in criminal violence as a result of judicial leniency. Or how about the cultural changes that made something like AIDS an inevitability, or the millions of Vietnamese who died as a result of the Democratic congress stabbing them in the back in 1975.

7/18/2012 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

http://www.anncoulter.com/
just posted a piece related to the interview Bob linked to... naming a WCC {White Celtic Catholic] culture destroyer besides the weak WASPs of yester-academe

7/18/2012 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

In the (linked) NRO interview, Gelernter is quoted "our nation’s most serious problems are not economic or political. They are social, cultural, educational and (above all) spiritual." Rightly so.

The left has the advantage in the culture war and the advantage becomes more pronounced as time goes by. They can and do lie and cheat to achieve their ends whereas the right has to play by the rules or we invalidate our founding principles. The left's counter revolution has won many battles and would appear to have the upper hand. Their seige of our culture need only outlast the remnant in the City on the Hill.

We need a Battle of Yorktown. We need a George Washington to ride up on "Old Nelson" to rally the dispirited troops and to lead us into the deciding battle. It better happen soon or I fear it will be too late.

7/18/2012 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Obamacare. What could go wrong?

7/18/2012 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Obama obviously needs to make this campaign about something other than truth. Once truth is out of the way, it can become a contest based upon other non-rational factors, say, disgust, or rage, or envy, or violence, or bigotry, or raw hatred (or all of the Below)."

Very true. However this latest 'You didn't do that on your own' may have swung the bamster into the unfamiliar territory of truthfulness, which can't be escaped from with the old stand-by 'Quality' exit ramp of ‘Quantities’.

For instance, normally if you bring up something like "How can there be a right to force me to pay for someone else’s healthcare?", the leftie swiftly exits to "What are you going to do about 3 million uninsured people dying on the streets!", and they've safely avoided dealing with ideas once again.

Or, as we've laughed at over and again, ask William what Rights are, and he'll vomit up loads of silly stuff in a desperate attempt to avoid the question.

But this time Obama stuck his teleprompter up the wrong orifice, and people are grasping that he's full of crap, and they’re none to pleased with the insult, like my friend Jim here, a baker out in the St. Louis-ish area who got steamed at O's fiendish speech.

I'll never misunderestimate the GOP's ability to escape a sure win, but... you never know.

7/18/2012 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You didn't write that comment. Somebody else invented the alphabet.

7/18/2012 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"To bring this back to the bobastic title of this post, with no limit set by our sacred Constitution, there is no limit to political and legal irrationality, to the acquisition and exercise of arbitrary power, and to willful malefactors who are in a state of revolt against reality, and who would force us all to conform to their warped and anti-human ideological (second) reality."

Yep. And 'arbitrary' is their magic wand, the method of not only exiting the 1st world Truth, but of dragging you along with them.

When they're asking you to follow down their random paths, or exit into the flatland of quantities... just say no, pull them back into truth and principles, insist they deal with them, and like the vampire in sunlight (please, real vampire's, not Twilight sequins) - poof!

It's tough to do, but so rewarding. I mean, have you seen willian trying over and over and over to push his pap? I mean, seriously, that's entertainment!

7/18/2012 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Say, if all it takes is teachers and roads, how come everybody's not rich?

7/18/2012 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Lol.

(I know, someone elses acronym)

7/18/2012 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Because the teachers teach you what you need to know to thank them, but they don't teach you anything about the real world - it doesn't exist, duh.

If you want to get rich, you've got to exit the real world and enter into govt-world, where you really don't do that, only legion does.

7/18/2012 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No one ever got rich by merely applying what they learned in school.

7/18/2012 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Maybe that's why the pseudo-intellectuals of academia resent the rich. Taranto touched on this the other day.

7/18/2012 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Funny...you never see a freethinker's car with both political sides' bumper stickers

7/19/2012 04:55:00 AM  

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