Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Will the Human Memome Project Lead to a Cure for Socialism?

We left off yesterday with Billington wondering whether the political religions of the left might someday "prove to be only a stage in the continuing metamorphosis of older forms of faith," and whether "belief in secular revolution, which has legitimized so much authoritarianism in the twentieth century, might dialectically prefigure some rediscovery of religious evolution to revalidate democracy in the twenty-first."

I would put it more starkly: if the latter doesn't occur, then mankind is doomed. I say this for two reasons: first, Islamists are not about to abandon their insane revolutionary hopes for a worldwide caliphate. And second, the spirit of leftism cannot be eradicated from the human memome, since it is one of the consequences of man's fallenness.

More generally, the left will always be with us, because any human being with a little imagination and a lot of envy can attack and undermine the present in light of an imagined future unattainable by man. The main brake on the left has never come from conservative liberals, but from the self-consuming nature of socialism, which weakens and eventually destroys the host. But just because the left destroys itself, it doesn't automatically mean that something better will replace it.

For one thing, the destruction isn't just economic. Rather, if anything, the psychological and spiritual consequences of unhinged leftism are even worse. As mentioned yesterday, it begins in the mountain springs of purely intellectualized envy, but eventually flows into the sewers of journalism and public education, contaminating everything. Its end-state is a "collection of disturbing, disorderly appetites" -- a Joe Biden, with his "preening exhibitionism," "smirking rudeness," "egotistical exuberance," and "bullying condescension." Name a prominent person of the left who doesn't fit this description.

Even so, we haven't hit bottom. As the Sultan writes, "There is no reason to think that Barack with his Third Culture image and his fake veneer of culture is going to be the endpoint either. If the left has taught us anything, it is that its narrative of cultural destruction is always able to conceive of more and more horrifying worlds than anything we might behold today."

"Revolutionary” today means an individual for whom modern vulgarity is not triumphing quickly enough. --Don Colacho's Aphorisms

As mentioned in yesterday's post, Plato -- what with his pure love of thought -- "has never had success as a revolutionary and never will do so." In contrast to Plato, Karl Marx has enjoyed over a century "of astonishing success and has revolutionized the world. He has swept away millions -- those who went to the barricades and trenches in civil wars, and those who went to the prisons, either as jailers or as prisoners" (MOTT).

Really, can you name another philosopher who has enjoyed such a smashing and grabbing success in such a short span of time? But you -- yes, you there -- "as a solitary human soul, a soul of depth and sobriety, what do you owe Karl Marx?" (ibid.).

No man can answer that question. Not until April 15th, tax day.

The point is, "Plato illumines, whilst Marx sweeps away" (ibid.). Indeed, Marx said that, unlike other philosophers -- who merely illuminate reality -- his goal was to change it. This particular soul-sickness has decimated our universities, where activism has displaced the quest for truth.

Obviously, it is impossible to imagine a person of any spiritual insight or stature getting caught up in the Obama hysteria. But it is equally impossible to imagine such a person being caught up in any kind of political hysteria, politics being what it is. It is one of the reasons we can never match the diabolical energy of the left. Since the leftist is condemned to the horizontal world, he channels his spiritual energy into politics.

Transforming the world: the occupation of a convict resigned to his punishment. --Don Colacho's Aphorims.

The project of the left is to make us all useful to the collective, when the only possible justification for the collective can be in its usefulness to the individual -- not in a horizontal, egotistical sense, but in a vertical sense. Assuming that life has a transcendent purpose -- and you cannot be human and not make this assumption -- then the purpose of society should be to help human beings achieve this purpose -- i.e., to be useful to others by being faithful to their created archetype, so to speak.

But horizontal man, in denying the vertical, necessarily replaces it with a counterfeit version that substitutes the collective for the One and human will for the Divine authority. There is no one so inflated with narcissistic hubris as the leftist social engineer who will save mankind from its own self-inflicted wounds. Such persons, to paraphrase Eliot, dream of systems in which it will be unnecessary for anyone to be good.

Likewise, "the moment we talk about 'social conscience,' and forget about conscience, we are in moral danger. Eliminate the idea of moral struggle," and "you must expect human beings to become more and more vaporous" (Eliot). Since man is placed at the crossroads where he is free to choose between good and evil, to forget this is to abolish liberty, conscience, and transcendent meaning and purpose in a single stroke.

7 Comments:

Blogger mushroom said...

Wow. Truly profound. I'm not sure where to start or stop.

...those who went to the prisons, either as jailers or as prisoners...

The convicts used to say the guards were serving their time in 8 hour shifts. What was it Newspeak or Slime said? "We're all Socialists now."


For one thing, the destruction isn't just economic.

The economic destruction is a very overt symptom. If you fix the base problem, you fix the economy. It's like someone who has had a stroke suffering from slurred speech. The left thinks it means we should all learn Esperanto or Ebonics.

10/16/2012 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

" If the left has taught us anything, it is that its narrative of cultural destruction is always able to conceive of more and more horrifying worlds than anything we might behold today."

Thats been weighing on me lately, what might be even worse than Obama winning, is Obama losing. Recall the poison that was released nationwide in the aftermath of algore's loss, and you begin to get the idea. Then imagine the new Jimmy Carter on steroids that a victimized (loser)barack is sure to be... and the mind reels.

10/16/2012 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Mushroom, re. the prison guards I was thinking much the same thing.

Rather, if anything, the psychological and spiritual consequences of unhinged leftism are even worse.

Apropos, a rabbi's open letter to Sarah Silverman. Interestingly, her dad leaps to her defense in the comments, revealing just where her charming personality comes from. The rabbi appears to have stirred up a bit of a hornets' nest there...

10/16/2012 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Van, yep. I suspect that if Romney wins, BDS will have nothing on the ugliness that will be on display. "Derangement" may prove to be too much of an understatement...

10/16/2012 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

If Obama loses his presidency he will be swept under the rug and forgotten.

Remember, as the first debate demonstrated, he's no longer cool.

10/16/2012 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

For one, to quote the Left's darling Focault, there will be on display some 'Institutional bias' against Mormonism from some very 'tolerant', 'compassionate' and 'well meaning' folks.

Or so to speak.

10/16/2012 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

" Eliminate the idea of moral struggle," and "you must expect human beings to become more and more vaporous" (Eliot). Since man is placed at the crossroads where he is free to choose between good and evil, to forget this is to abolish liberty, conscience, and transcendent meaning and purpose in a single stroke. "

...to be part of the machine that is society and when worn out (or obsolete) to be discarded.

No wonder why the left says the world is overpopulated. The powers that be don't need them anymore with all these new robots and automation equipment.

10/17/2012 10:38:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home