The Satanic Fecundity of Envy
Specifically, the shocking gulf between the MSM and Realville demonstrates that our political divide has gone way past the point of who is right and who is wrong, or whose explanations and policies are more likely to succeed.
Rather, one of us is flat crazy, and I don't mean this in any trivial, polemical, or merely insultaining way. No, there is only one reality, and someone's not in it. That being the case, one side is castigating the other for failing to inhabit their "false reality," or what Voegelin calls a "phantasmagoria of deformed existence."
Theoretically this shouldn't be all that difficult to sort out, but we all know that reason is generally not only the slave of the passions, but that passion is what lends rationalization the kind of triumphant sanctimony we see in, for example, doctrinaire atheists, global warming fanatics, and New York Times columnists -- or the mediarabble-wackademia complex.
But genuine reason is calm and centered, like truth itself. It has only to stare down a bad idea to make it wither or turn tail. Unless the idea is a sociopath, in which case it will simply stare back like a hungry reptile.
Interestingly, MSNBC and the Obama campaign share the same slogan: forward. For the godless, "forward" is a god-word, a term that unconsciously partakes of the religious energies it consciously denies and denigrates.
Indeed, the word can have no meaning whatsoever in a flat and horizontal universe drained of hierarchy and transcendence, any more than "improvement" can result from natural selection. So why can't all human beings, rational and transrational alike, agree on this truism?
For if there exists an objective measure of improvement, it obviously lies outside natural selection. And natural selection cannot produce beings (or just say Being) that negate itself, for the same reason that God cannot create a rock so heavy that he couldn't lift it. Religious people understand this. Why can't the irreligious?
For the leftist, "forward" and "progress" can only mean what I want, and nothing else; or in other words, desire and the will to bring it about, which in turn reduce to power, full stop. Why dress up the will to power with such benign-sounding god-words?
To ask the question is to understand the convoluted mind of the leftist.
In reality, to go "forward" is to go intellectually deeper and spiritually higher. These are the true contours of the human adventure.
For every leftist god-word there is an equal and opposite demon-word. Again, these words are not deployed to convey meaning as you or I understand it. Rather, their purpose is to convey sub-linguistic meanings rooted in primitive physical reactions such as disgust.
The left specializes in conjuring grotesque caricatures of evil, which they proceed to attack in a kind of frenzy -- e.g., Bain Capital -- in order to "justify the good they proclaim" (Don Colacho). But if the ideas were actually good -- or if Obama's record were actually praiseworthy -- this exercise in demonization would be unnecessary.
Dis-gust is related to "gustatory" and the like, and means literally to spit something out because it is so vile. Really, it is man's most primitive defense mechanism, because we all need to be able to taste what might harm or kill us in order to expel it from the body.
Just so, survival mandates that we also be viscerally disgusted by genuinely disgusting ideas, ideas like child abuse, incest, rape, torture, the Rosie O'Donnell Show, etc. But it is a permanent project of the left to make us disgusted by ideas that are not remotely disgusting, and to not be disgusted by things that are.
For example, until a few historical moments ago, virtually all Americans would have been a little disgusted by the idea of "homosexual marriage," or late-term abortion, or public employee cartels extracting dues from their members in order to elect Democrats who will steal from the public trough in order to give them more cash and other valuable prizes in order to elect more Democrats.
The properly brainwashed leftist will no doubt respond: some people were also disgusted by blacks, or Jews, or Asians! To which we will say: our point precisely. You don't know the difference between right and wrong.
In America, we have the freedom to try to rise to the level of our abilities and ambitions. You'd think this would be a good thing, but it cuts both ways, at least. This is because it bakes hierarchy into the cake, and necessarily results in some people being at the top, others at the bottom. Way it is. The only way to avoid this outcome is via some form of injustice and tyranny that forces lions to dine on lettuce because that's what rabbits eat.
Until relatively recently, Americans understood and tolerated this. And in order to tolerate it, they must tolerate their own envy, not indulge in it.
Or, if the person is excessively envious, he must at least try to put it to good use, and not just use it to tear down someone else in order to appease a frustrated sense of entitlement. The person who is truly motivated by envy won't actually be happy once he achieves his persecutory dream, but at least this is preferable to attacking and parasitizing someone else's.
Tolerance of envy is a marker of emotional maturity. For the same reason, indulgence in envy is a prime characteristic of immaturity. And envy flourishes when there is an absence of gratitude. Thus, the cultivation of gratitude is critical to both personal happiness and a functional society.
But this will not do for the left. While we should all be disgusted by envy and the envious, this would put the kibosh on the schemes of the left, which must tap into the human well of envy in order to gain any traction at all.
Instead of "You shall not covet," the left insists that there is something wrong with you if you do not covet the wealth of "billionaires and millionaires." We need to have fewer of them, so that we will have less envy. It never occurs to them that envy is a personal failing that cannot be satisfied by feeding it, and that every violation of a cosmic duty gives birth to a new right.
Which ends in the irreversible victimocracy we can hail from just this side of the historical knife-edge, and which requires just one more little push to be terminal. In November we will know if we have fully plunged into that dark new world.
(By the way, there are far fewer millionaires and billionaires today than there were when Obama took office. So why isn't the left overjoyed? Because when envy succeeds, there are two losers instead of one, and it's a win-win for the Evil One. Note that the disease tends to spread exponentially, so loser + envy = loserpower². In short, the left knows everything about wealth except how to create it. See socialist regimes for details.)
America's wealth is not an inventory of goods; it is an organic entity, a fragile pulsing fabric of ideas, expectations, loyalties, moral commitments, visions. To vivisect it for redistribution is to kill it.... [G]overnment managers of complex systems of wealth soon find that they are administering an industrial corpse, a socialized Solyndra.... The belief that wealth consists not chiefly in ideas, attitudes, moral codes, and mental disciplines but definable static things that can be seized and redistributed -- that is the materialist superstition . --George Gilder, Unleash the Mind