Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Will Someone Please Thrash Chris Matthews (in a manner of speaking)?

So: conservatives are at an inherent disadvantage, because we can at least endure ourselves, and therefore don't have an issue around trying to dominate others instead.

To put it another way, since we appreciate the accomplishment of self-mastery and self-control -- of transcendence, in a word -- we have no illusions that the state could do this for us, or for anyone else.

Of course, transcendence is difficult if you reject it up front. But simply ignoring transcendence doesn't eliminate it. Rather, such a person "transcends" others by way of domination. Dominance is transcendence by proxy, which is why it has been said that fascism involves quintessentially the violent rejection of transcendence.

Thus, "to transcend oneself," writes Schuon, "is the great imperative of the human condition; and there is another that anticipates it and at the same time prolongs it: to dominate oneself. The noble man is one who dominates himself; the holy man is one who transcends himself. Nobility and holiness are the imperatives of the human state."

And true charity begins at home, with ridding "the soul of illusions and passions" and therefore freeing the world "of a maleficent being" (ibid). The gift of your own self-transcendence is one that keeps giving, because it helps rid the world of pettiness, narrow-mindedness, and self-serving dishonesty.

Until the state mangages to get its own chaotic affairs in order, it has about as much credibility as -- speaking of passions, illusions, bigotry, and an intellectually slovenly absence of nobility, dignity, and self mastery -- the bellowing and spittle-flecked Chris Matthews, who thinks everyone else is a racist because when he hears the word "welfare" he thinks "lazy negro."

In fact, in granting the mere markers of self-mastery, the state robs the individual of the attributes required to master himself. We saw this in the economic meltdown of 2008, which was rooted in the idea that "home ownership is good." The state then went about creating this happy outcome while ignoring the personal attributes that make home-ownership possible -- little things like economic literacy, financial stability, responsibility, a job, etc.

The state does the same with education, hence the coming "higher education bubble." In short, you do not make an idiot any more intelligent by granting him a college diploma. And you certainly won't make people healthier by "giving" them free healthcare.

As we know, the state never gives anything without taking something away. Ultimately it must take away intelligence, which we define as disinterested openness to reality. Intelligence is the luminous space in the flux of presence known as history. It's all we have, at least from our end.

For starters, the state is deeply interested -- specifically, in perpetuating and expanding itself -- so it cannot be open to truth, or to a truth that contradicts this imperative. This explains why there is no place less intellectually free than a liberal university campus, since this is where one learns to be a statist and to love one's masters.

Speaking of toxic psychospiritual atmospheres, Purcell quotes the Hungarian writer Sandor Marai, who describes how things felt in his country circa 1948:

"I began to suspect that what surrounded me was something worse than the brute force present... not just organized terror but an enemy more dangerous than anything else, an enemy against which there is no defense: stupidity... I was living among individuals who learned by rote and parroted breathlessly that the One idea is eternal... But no one dared speak about this, [of] that raging and idiotic egoism which wanted to force a society, a people, to live in a way contrary to human nature..."

Again, think of the bellowing idiot, Chris Matthews. How is one supposed to respond to such stupidity without looking stupid in the process? To paraphrase Roger Kimball, you don't argue with sickness. You resist it.

This sickness -- or pneumapathology -- again involves the eclipse of reality, a scotoma, "a willed avoidance of self-awareness, a deliberate choice not to know" (ibid).

A few days ago a reader asked about the distinction between a scotoma and a mind-parasite. What is interesting is that both involve reactions to a truth that must be known on some level in order to be denied. The narcissist, for example, must unconsciously know that he feels small and inadequate in order to construct the outer facade of superiority and grandiosity. But enough about Obama.

One always sees this process in various totalitarianisms of the left. As someone once said, you can always tell when a country is a tyranny when it has "Democratic" or "People" in its name: the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea"; the "Islamic Republic of Iran"; the "Republic of Cuba"; the "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela"; the "Syrian Arab Republic."

The tyrants who rule these regimes know as well as anyone else that a republic is a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. The truth is in the lie, and vice versa.

Now to deny truth is to deny freedom, for truth can only be freely discovered, and freedom is truth lived. The Marxist dialectic -- in fact, any dialectic that denies transcendence -- also denies free will.

Think about the extent to which government is a system of incentives and punishments to coerce citizens to do this or that. The leftist mindset that regards government as the ultimate puppet master is rooted in this infrahuman psychology.

And yet, someone must be free -- not to mention, privy to Truth -- in order to pull the correct strings. As Purcell explains, "For my denial of freedom to be convincing, there must be at least one exception: I at least must be freely denying freedom, or why should anyone take me seriously?"

The bottom line of this post is provided by the Viennese satirist Karl Kraus, who was speaking of Nazi Germany, but who captured something universal:

Everywhere the one who administers the beating is precisely the one who deserves it.

So who will administer a thrashing to the richly deserving Chris Matthews? Metaphorically speaking, of course. And who shall be thrashed next?

26 Comments:

Blogger JP said...

Part of this problem may have to do with kids being told that they are responsible for the future, which can be taken as meaning that individually are personally responsible for the actions of other people.

Because if you want to ensure a favorable future outcome, you have to control the behavior of 7 billion different actors.

And if they fail, you fail, so you had best make sure that they are properly managed.

8/28/2012 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Very good point. In public schools, religious education consists of such things as having the politically correct attitude toward the environment, as apposed to the hard work of self-control and self-mastery.

8/28/2012 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Tolerant liberal actress Hopes Hurricane Kills Every Pro-Life, Xenophobic, Gay-Bashing SOB At The RNC.

Death to Pro-lifers!

8/28/2012 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger vanderleun said...

Metaphorically will have no effect. It's got to be the nail gun to the forehead followed by the flamethrower.

8/28/2012 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

His immoderate consumption of alcohol makes the flame-thrower too hazardous.

8/28/2012 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

This sickness -- or pneumapathology -- again involves the eclipse of reality...

I sometimes just get tired of all the palaver. About 75% of the thoughts in my own head are bullshit, not even considering what other people say. And how do I know that? Because I know there is a reality and a truth which the crap in my head, science, mathematics, philosophy, politics, and the greater part of religion at best approximates. If I'm not careful, I'm looking at it as a system I can game to gain some advantage for self -- the old man, just like Matthews and Obama and all the rest.

The difference is that they seem convinced that the system is all there is, that reality is their approximation. I guess my blind spot would be in not being able to grasp how they could believe such a thing. What is it you say? The problem with cynics is they aren't cynical enough.

8/28/2012 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, "I have seen philosophy gradually fade away between my skepticism and my faith" (Don Colacho).

8/28/2012 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

remember CM had that one glimmer of sanity, a lone isle of clarity in his pool of stinky spittle in this caffeined critique of BHO

8/28/2012 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"Tolerant liberal actress Hopes Hurricane Kills Every Pro-Life, Xenophobic, Gay-Bashing SOB At The RNC."

Curious how it is the postmodern left that sees itself as the subtle ironists and it is those on the conservative right who are the humorless and literalist yokels.

Though I am certain her words were taken out of context. When she said that Republicans "should die" she meant nothing nefarious, she merely meant that they should simply cease to be among the living.

8/28/2012 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thus, "to transcend oneself," writes Schuon, "is the great imperative of the human condition; and there is another that anticipates it and at the same time prolongs it: to dominate oneself. The noble man is one who dominates himself; the holy man is one who transcends himself. Nobility and holiness are the imperatives of the human state."

Who can argue with that? Or I should say, what noble and/or holy person can argue with that?

8/28/2012 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Now to deny truth is to deny freedom, for truth can only be freely discovered, and freedom is truth lived. The Marxist dialectic -- in fact, any dialectic that denies transcendence -- also denies free will."

Aye aye! The Marxist/Fascist/etc., deny the value of liberty in lieu of the cold comfort of State.

So...at some level, as you say, Bob, those who seek to dominate others by coercion (lies and illusions in this case) and force know that truth and see reality but they deny it in favor of their own personal version.

What can possibly go wrong? Besides everything that is.

Pride goes before the fall. And so many people are embracing the fall, as if it's liberating and enlightening.

If one finds chains and stupidity liberating and enlightening...well, you're right, Bob, how can anyone talk to the Chris Matthews of the world and not look stupid.

Best to simply hold them out as examples of fools, and mock the hell outta them.

8/28/2012 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Liberalism: cost-free superiority.

8/28/2012 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Come for the easy answers, stay for the sanctimony!

8/28/2012 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Bob, lol!

Group smug!

8/28/2012 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In case anyone cares, for some reason I started tweeting a few days ago. Mostly just random bobservations, insultainment, haikoonery, and the like. The icon is in the sidebar, under the book. So far most of my followers are porn actresses, so I must be doing something right.

8/28/2012 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ben -@ 3:04
:D

Bob (or anyone who'd know) - is there a way to follow a Twitter feed without having a Twitter account?

8/28/2012 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I have no idea, but it seems to involve porn.

8/28/2012 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Maybe they just figured "Gagdad" is the nickname for an S&M aficionado...

8/28/2012 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Metaphysics is like porn to porn actresses.

8/28/2012 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie, LOL!

8/28/2012 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

G.E. Smith is getting some nice tone tonight in Tampa. Sunburst Les Paul through a Marshall Stack, it appears.

For those keeping score at home.

8/28/2012 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Bad news: someone stole the title of Dupree's new collection of tunes.

8/28/2012 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

nice nooz from the #s man:
http://www.dickmorris.com/romney-has-big-lead-in-my-poll/#more-9547

8/28/2012 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger >> said...

How is one supposed to respond to such stupidity without looking stupid in the process?

How apropos indeed... Gingrich had the same quandary with Matthews' line of questioning to Gingrich yesterday at the Republican convention:
Matthews: "Do you have a problem, thinking back on it, of having used ethnic politics with terms like 'Food Stamp President'?"
Gingrich: "I find your assumption so absurd that it's hard to answer your question."
Matthews: "OK."

8/28/2012 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Iowahawk does a good job thrashing Matthews:

David Burge‏@iowahawkblog

Watching Chris Matthews melt down into a quivering plasma of despondent rage.

8/28/2012 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Now to deny truth is to deny freedom, for truth can only be freely discovered, and freedom is truth lived. The Marxist dialectic -- in fact, any dialectic that denies transcendence -- also denies free will."

♬ ♪ ♫ ...You can't have one without the - Other... ♫ ♪ ♬

9/01/2012 08:09:00 AM  

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