I Am Obama, Destroyer of Slack!
What does that even mean?
It means first of all that man has free will, because insight into necessity proves it. And as necessity crowds out freedom, time is transformed into something merely to be endured. At best it is neutral duration; at worst it is dread.
However, most people seem to experience dread at the other end of the temporal spectrum, when they have too much time and therefore freedom -- one might also say being. No, I can't relate to these types, but I do understand them, because there is no question that doing is one of man's primary defenses against being.
But the latter can't really be being, can it? I say this because we are assured that being is good. Only a true Gnostic believes otherwise, but if such a person has the experience of maleficent being, the maleficence must be in the self, not in being.
No wonder then that these types habitually try to escape the self via doing, or that a substantial number of them become ideologists, activists, and other existential pests. Activism is to ideology as non-doodling is to being. The activist is forever trying to put us out of his misery. It is what the left does.
Obama for example, has made a fortune from his warped version of "public service," to such an extent that he need never -- in his private life -- be compelled to do anything he doesn't choose to. In other words, for him, there are no external constraints on his freedom (barring physical threats from his bitchier half). Why then is he so interested -- obsessed -- with limiting ours? Exactly what is going in in the heart of such a disordered person?
Obama doesn't have to worry about the cost of his own healthcare. But because of him, I am robbed of freedom -- i.e., I have to work more -- because I have to earn more money to pay for the type of insurance he compels me to have.
It reminds me of the classic essay by William Graham Sumner, On the Case of a Certain Man Who Is Never Thought Of:
"The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D."
In other words, be-badding liberal do-gooders get together in order to decide what I must be forced to do in order to appease their conscience and make them feel good about themselves. Or, they want to eliminate a portion of my slack in order to give it to people who have no idea what to do with it.
In this context, remember what was said above about the maleficent being of these individuals, who attempt through "activism" to transform their own inner darkness into light.
No, it never works. I mean, imagine Anthony Weiner, or Eliot Spitzer, or Bill Clinton -- men who have failed the rudimentary step of governing themselves -- presuming to govern the rest of us! Just on a common sense level, does anyone doubt that Weiner isn't so much running for something as running away from himself? Wouldn't you?
Sumner: "The radical vice of these schemes... is that C is not allowed a voice in the matter, and his position, character, and interests... are entirely overlooked. I call C the Forgotten Man" (which is of course where Shlaes got the title for her excellent book).
This has the perverse effect of slowly transforming the United States from the land of the free to the land of the compelled. But freedom is simply not a value of the left. Rather, equality -- which is at antipodes to freedom -- is. Obviously, equality -- i.e., equal outcomes -- can only be imposed. The left's central delusion is that everything should be equally distributed, whereas in reality, nothing is.
Back to time and being, necessity and freedom. Voegelin observes that such terms will be reduced to nonsense if we forget that they "explicate a tension of existence, and are not concepts denoting objects."
He goes on to say that "There is no such thing as a 'man' who participates in 'being' as if it were some enterprise that he could as well leave alone..." True, we can have more or less being, but the limiting factor is on the side of man, since being is always being.
We are familiar with the apophatic idea that everything we can positively affirm of God must be wrong, so that the least inaccurate approach is to say what God is not.
But in a sense, the same thing applies to man, for "At the center of his existence man is unknown to himself and must remain so, for the part of being that calls itself man could be known fully only if the community of being and its drama in time were known as a whole" (i.e., at the "end" of history, when time has exhaustively disclosed itself).
But "man's partnership in being is the essence of his existence, and this essence depends on the whole [O], of which existence is a part." And "knowledge of the whole" is obviously precluded, for we are not God -- even if we cannot avoid being in permanent dynamic tension with God.
So, this is all by way of saying that I'm squeezed for time and therefore don't have enough freedom to radiate a post from being central.
(A related essay by on the slack shortage created by the left.)