Wednesday, November 13, 2013

If You Like Your Prison, You Can Keep Your Prison

Within the great open spiral of reality, God is "the original source and ultimate end of all desire" (Hart).

Outside this benevolent spiral, one necessarily lives in the closed circle of nature, in which desire can have no end beyond its immediate gratification. Everything else is just distraction, pretext, or self-delusion. Love reduces to sex; truth to utility; politics to power; order to force; beauty to fashion. Most sinister of all, human beings are reduced from ends to means.

In the Matrix of the Circle, when we encounter other persons -- if we are honest with ourselves and true to our impoverished view of reality -- our only task is to determine what benefit we can extract from them: how to manipulate them to our advantage. It is silly, for example, to hold a leftist -- say, Obama -- responsible for lying to us, when the leftist doesn't exist in the naive framework of truth <--> falsehood.

Rather, the leftist knows only power <--> obedience. Thus, if Obama should be forced into conceding a bit of power back to his beleaguered subjects, it won't be because Obamacare is a fraud, a swindle, a lie. Rather, it will be because Power is threatened.

Only those outside the Matrix of the Circle can see how power is maintained within its borders: basically, He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).

Any discerning person can see that when master liars such as Obama or Clinton commit logocide, they are speaking their native tongue. To them, lies flow as easily as does truth for the innocent. I'm sure the average person doesn't appreciate just how cosmically pathological this is.

Imagine how a normal person would feel about perpetrating the most massive consumer fraud in the history of the nation. Not only would you not defend yourself. Rather, you'd never forgive yourself. But then again, none of you would be capable of a lie of this magnitude and this level of destructiveness. Even Bernie Madoff feels a little guilty.

The Circle is an existential prison, full stop. Or in other words, existence itself becomes a prison. This makes a man cynical and rebellious, or meek and submissive. For many, the goal will be to become one of the prison guards -- to dominate the other prisoners -- since escape is strictly impossible.

Barring that -- to paraphrase myself paraphrasing someone else -- he may decorate the walls of the prison (art), or fantasize about a world beyond the prison walls (religion), or study the composition of the walls (science), or work to assure a long life behind bars (medicine), etc.

Well, we say: let the dead bury the tenured. We're busting out!

For in reality, "to exist is to be drawn toward the absolute, where alone one's nature can find its own perfection" (Hart). Do you see the difference? Existence isn't closed upon itself. By its very nature, it is open to what transcends it. In the absence of this opening at the top, life would be unendurable. I too would become a drug addict or liberal.

No wonder leftists are so obsessed with bossing others around. For it is a way of putting themselves out of their own misery by putting others into it. Think of all the misery being caused by Obamacare. Why? What is the original source of this sadistic impulse? Just the cheap tingle up the thigh from being one of the prison guards, I suppose. For some people, power is the only grace they know.

The most subversive act imaginable in the prison is to pretend it isn't one: to ignore the rules and make contact with those living in freedom on the outside, whether "dead" or alive.

Thus, for example, "Every act for the sake of good is a subversion of the logic of materialism" (Hart). For the leftist, this is inconceivable, which is why he projects his own malignant logic into us: there must be some sinister ulterior motive, e.g., racism, homophobia, misogyny, the lust for power!

Well, no. Some of us just love virtue, that's all. Like truth, it is its own reward.

The reward being what now exactly? Easy: truth and love fuel the open spiral; they are both cause and effect, so this is an autocatalytic process, the closest thing to perpetual motion we can ever discover.

Today's bottom line? "As a species," writes Hart, we have been deeply shaped "by transcendental ecstasies whose orientation exceeds the whole of nature." These are formal and spiritual causes which pull us up, over, and out, from the absurcular prison to the inspiraling telovator.

Man moves in a vicious circle. To break out of that circle requires an act of spirit, not submission to the organic cosmic rhythm --Berdyaev, Slavery

17 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"Every act for the sake of good is a subversion of the logic of materialism"

The problem, with at least some percentage of the LoFo supporters, is that they really think that by supporting ObamaCare - or any leftist policies in general - they honestly think they are acting for the sake of good. They are like toddlers trying to "help" clean the kitchen by throwing everything in the kitchen that isn't nailed down into the dishwasher, then turning it on.

In other words, they have the desire to do good, but they literally have no idea what good is. So they buy into the idea that it is good that everyone should have health insurance, and that's where their depth of understanding stops.

Sadly, I suspect that many who are learning the hard way that free healthcare is expensive are still getting the wrong lesson. They will blame the mechanism - a crappy, "glitchy" government website - while holding to the ideal, so that even if Obamacare could be halted, they'd fall for it again in an instant the next time some politician promises that this time, it will work.

11/13/2013 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I wonder how many will discover the irreparable glitches in socialism? If it were 5%, that would be sufficient to swing an election.

11/13/2013 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just think: millions of new racists!

11/13/2013 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

:D

That would be nice.

11/13/2013 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The most subversive act imaginable in the prison is to pretend it isn't one: to ignore the rules and make contact with those living in freedom on the outside, whether "dead" or alive.

Shawshank Redemption has that scene where the guy plays the opera record over the loudspeakers and the guards treat it like an escape or a riot. God forbid these prisoners would feel free.

The tenured, the political class, the journalists are all screaming at us and trying to bust through the doors to smash the turntable.

11/13/2013 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

No wonder leftists are so obsessed with bossing others around. For it is a way of putting themselves out of their own misery by putting others into it. Think of all the misery being caused by Obamacare. Why? What is the original source of this sadistic impulse? Just the cheap tingle up the thigh from being one of the prison guards, I suppose. For some people, power is the only grace they know."

So, it's as if they are sacrificing us to cover their own sins?

11/13/2013 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mushroom, that's a good point. Also reminds me of how Nurse Ratchet broke up the real and imagined baseball game in One Flew Over The Cukoo Nest.

Her addiction for power always trumped any happiness the patients could possible attain to, even when it cost her nothing.
She enjoyed causing pain.

I note also that those who have wanted obamacare that are upset they hafta pay into it and can't keep their doctors or insurance gleefully want that for the restofus.

11/13/2013 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ben -- about sacrifice -- I scribbled a note to myself about that the other day, thinking it might blossom into a post. The logic of sacrifice means that when the scapegoat gets hammered, some sort of benefit magically accrues to others. I mean, aside from magical remission of sin, Obamacare has nothing to offer.

Also, millennials (the youngest generation of voters) really get the shaft, so there's a symbolic element of child sacrifice too.

11/13/2013 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Bob. That makes sense, in a very primitive sense of course, but that's where leftists need to be, to thrive.
Also helps explain further the general sense of empathy the left has for Islam.

11/13/2013 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger John Hamler said...

ObamaCare may be PollyannaCare, but... Considering the status quo alternative, shouldn't we at least try it? Glitches and bitching, notwithstanding? By the way: Excellent essay, Gagdad Bob. I'm a brand new fan.

11/13/2013 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In order to give it a try, we'd need a good reason. If there were a good reason, they wouldn't have to lie abut it.

11/13/2013 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Indeed, it's not about the glitches but rather the liberties iit destroys.
In fact, It would no doubt be far worse without the glitches.

Howver, even if you are ok with giving up essential liberties for Obamacare, it has already proven to hurt far more people than it will ever help and for a lot more than iit's worth.

Now, if Congress can write a healthcare bill that is voluntary, and mathematically sustainable without hurting our liberties (and without lying) then more folks might be persuaded to give it a try.
Although I seriously doubt that will ever come close to happening even if possible.

11/13/2013 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The problem with health care is not being addressed by Obamacare. It is not even Pollyannacare.

The problem is that Medicare and Medicaid and third party insurance in general creates inelastic demand. We are not aware of what we are paying. The simple -- though immediately painful -- way to fix this is to make costs transparent, i.e., more HSA-type, catastrophic policies with large deductibles.

The Medicare payment schedule, in particular, causes providers to play fast and loose with pricing. Ever notice that your insurance company winds up paying somewhere around half what the initial bill appears to be?

Transition Medicare to a private system of catastrophic coverage with an HSA where funds can accrue tax-free, and stop the insanity.

11/13/2013 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I would be a lot more supportive of that. We switched over to a higher deductible plan with HSA contributions a few years ago, and it's been great.

Hi John,
The status quo alternative may seem crappy for many, but I submit that's due in large part to years of government intervention because our medical system is "so terrible."

So terrible that people were still coming from all over the world to find treatment they couldn't get back home. So terrible that our southern neighbors keep crossing the border to take advantage of health services they'll never pay for, and our northern neighbors opted to come here for serious problems that couldn't be addressed in a timely fashion up north. So terrible that life expectancy statistics are held to different and generally more stringent standards, such as counting very premature babies as live births, even when their chances of survival are very slim, with the result that headlines keep trumping our "terrible life expectancy rates" compared to other countries, when in fact if the same metrics were used for every nation we'd come out very near if not right at the top.

The American healthcare system was never perfect, but it was better by far for most people than anything Obamacare - or any form of universal health "coverage" - could ever provide.

Universal health care: Nice theory, wrong species.

11/14/2013 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

(Sorry for the run-on sentences; need coffee...)

11/14/2013 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good piece by Jonah Goldberg on the epic schadenfreude of it all. It's great to see such a pure example of a collision between liberal theory and unyielding reality. Not a single Republican supported the legislation, and not a shred of reality can prop up the theory behind it.

11/14/2013 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

With Mr. Goldberg's caveats in mind, I guess there is one way my family will benefit from Obamacare. Thanks to all the people losing access to their doctors and their insurance, I believe the waiting list for the second opinion neurologist just got a lot shorter.

In truth, that's a benefit I could live without.

11/14/2013 07:16:00 AM  

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