Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Cosmic Shrinkage: From Wisdom to Knowledge to Facts to Stupidity to Liberalism

Here is an elementary cosmic bifurcation, expressed with maximum concision: "The nominalist lives among facts. The realist lives among gods" (Don Colacho). The rest of this post will no doubt be a wordy exegesis of that. Yes, it is original, bearing in mind that "Originality is the plagiarizing of a genius" (DC).

Now, if you don't know exactly what the first aphorism means -- for example, if you attended graduate school or have been otherwise warped by the spirit of the times -- you are directed to Richard Weaver's CoonClassic Ideas Have Consequences, because that is its theme.

After reading the latter, I typed up and printed out a handy summary of the contents. For example, "Without imagination, the world is reduced to a brute fact -- there is nothing to 'spiritualize' it, to give it depth. And when matter is placed above spirit, quantity displaces quality. But QUALITY IS NOT JUST ANOTHER QUANTITY, DUMMY!"

Indeed, "What ceases to be thought qualitatively so as to be thought quantitatively ceases to be thought significantly" (DC).

But this is one of the Original Metaphysical Sins of the left, and we see it everywhere, i.e., reality being reduced to statistics (which are themselves conditioned and selected by the left's dysfunctional organizing principles). Especially "in the social sciences, one generally weighs, counts and measures in order to avoid having to think."

After all, science is by definition what anyone can know. It is radically egalitarian, and therefore (if elevated to a metaphysic) anti-individual. In that perverse sense, progressives -- shudder -- do indeed "believe in science" -- and that's a threat!

Which is why "Nothing is as alarming as science in the hands of an ignoramus." But then "everything that can be reduced to a system ends up in the hands of fools" (DC).

The good news: progressives also fervently believe in man. The bad news: "The worship of humanity is celebrated with Human sacrifices" -- abortion mills being only one facet of this.

A real system, if that is what you want to call it, does not proceed in a linear manner from conclusion to conclusion. Rather, it grows from the center out, so the first task is to locate the Center -- both His and ours, since the two are as mirrors held to one another.

Where fact becomes our only criterion, knowledge -- let alone wisdom -- is rendered unattainable. The vertical roads that lead upward are barricaded. Which is why every attack on religion is an attack on mind -- and on man. A humanism without God is just a kind of absurdly narcissistic animalism.

The word was made flesh, not vice versa. Flesh can only pretend to become word, let alone the last word! But as we ourselves have said in so many ways, the left is less an "ideological strategy" than "a lexicographical tactic" (ibid.).

So beware: "Whoever accepts the lexicon of the enemy surrenders without knowing it." Leftism Revisited is all over that problem, beginning with the preposterous misnaming of leftists "liberal," a contradiction in terms.

We should hasten to add that in our incarnotional metaphysic, we have the deepest respect for the human animal. And it goes without saying that we respect the other end, the unique individual soul.

But we have no patience for, or interest in, the vast "middle zone of an animal with opinions," where the tenured spend their lives trying to confine us in their verbal prisons. But the human-animal is a beautiful thing, for as Elder Don says, "the sensual is the presence of a value in the sensible," i.e., the word or idea or spirit in the flesh.

Facts do not speak for themselves. At the very least, they require a principle of selection that no fact can provide. This principle is "out of this world," i.e., not in the world of facts. But to reduce semantics to syntax -- or meaning to structure -- is to deny language its ontological referent.

In other words, in a properly right side up cosmos, the purpose of syntactical structure is to converge upon and reveal meaning -- and meaning lives among the gods, not the facts. One cannot live a human life among facts only without asphyxiating or freezing or being compressed to stone.

Bottom line: the liberal gulag has walls, but can have no ceiling that prevents vertical escape, since they don't even know about that dimension.

Don't worry: he's not looking out but looking in with a combination of curiosity and pity:

(photo: Leslie Godwin)

14 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Nice shot. That looks a bit like the raccoon cage at Oak Glen. Soulful little chap.

The good news: progressives also fervently believe in man. The bad news: "The worship of humanity is celebrated with Human sacrifices"

Yes. The leftist loves "humanity," but laments all the individuals who stand in the way of humanity's perfection.

8/06/2014 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"So beware: "Whoever accepts the lexicon of the enemy surrenders without knowing it." Leftism Revisited is all over that problem, beginning with the preposterous misnaming of leftists "liberal," a contradiction in terms."

And in cooperating with Marx by referring to Capitalism, instead of the Free Market, they assist in making us all a little less free everyday.

8/06/2014 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of believing in science, I learned the other day that there is actually scientific debate about whether the universe has a beginning. And here, all this time, I had been thinking the science was settled...

8/06/2014 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

They're not interested in truth per se. The radical left believes whatever gives them power. If it's evolution because the goal is to bash bitter Christian gun clingers, hoorah. If evolution suggests social darwinism," then it's evil incarnate. If it's the AGW model or theory, which is bunk, well, science be damned -- it persuades the credulous that the State should tilt more money toward progressive windmills and away from fat evil coal barons who vote Republican.

Weaver put his finger right on the bruise.

8/06/2014 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Quality vs Quantity

The Living Water of Christ vs an ocean of human misery.

8/06/2014 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Off topic. Bob: I was thinking of your statement of the last great rock band being the Pixies, and today I had a flash of a band you may have missed. Check out some track samples from Guided By Voices. Amazing understated band.

8/06/2014 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I haven't had enough sleep to comment intelligently -- though perhaps you are wondering why today should, thus, be any different.

8/06/2014 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I can see why leftists are so enraptured by Warren.
I mean, with such deep, pearls of wisdom like this, how can they not be?

"We believe that equal means equal."

This is groundbreaking work! Why isn't this taught in schools? When are they gonna put that in a dictionary?

I noticed none of the nutroot geniuses caught on that Warren repeated herself a lot too.
I guess they were distracted by her Native American mysticism and academic nuances.

Nice to know corporations ain't people. That way when they move overseas to escape the highest corporate taxes in the world no one will lose their job.

8/06/2014 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yikes. I hadn't actually looked at her eleven tenets. So much fail there, but it all sounds nice, especially to the right people.

8/06/2014 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

This isn't the post I was thinking of, don't know the site at all, but looks like it points out how well Warren's 11 points of ProRegressivism line up with their earlier cousins, the Nat'l Socialists over in Germany.

8/06/2014 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

(ah shoot, the original was from Jim Hoft's 'Gateway Pundit', it's linked in it)

8/06/2014 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Where are all the dead bodies of people who don't have livable wages?
Why is the media covering up this tragedy?

8/06/2014 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8/06/2014 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Davila's brilliance must be because he never held a university post. Just surrounded himself with good people and good books.

8/06/2014 04:46:00 PM  

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