A Manichee in the White House
But "incorrect truth" is an oxymoron, so it is equivalent to ordering oneself to error, i.e., failing to discriminate between appearance and reality. And if you don't do that, you can't even get to first base, let alone back home, which is only the whole point of the game of life.
Islam is famous, for example for simplifying religion to the point of gross distortion. True, "there is no God but God," but such a formulation goes way too far in excluding the non-God, i.e., the good old Many, and if we reduce the Many to the One, then there is pretty much no point to existence -- at least our existence. God may have some weird point, but it is utterly unknowable to us, not even by analogy.
Chesterton wants us to retain three simple but extremely fruitful principles from Aquinas, and let the philosophers argue over the details.
For what is a philosopher, anyway? Among other things, he is someone who is not only "trained to put up with philosophers," but "patient with clever people when they indulge in folly." But a Raccoon does not suffer academia gladly, so he doesn't look back, and lets the dead bury the tenured.
These Three Things are 1) the goodness of creation, 2) moderate realism, AKA the vindication of common sense, and 3) "the primacy of the doctrine of being." To appreciate these Three is... well, it is to be sane. It is also to be human. And ultimately it is to turn the world right-side-up -- that is, if you have inherited the inverted world of the left and are in need of reorientation.
And most of us can't help assimilating some of this inverted world, because it is the world we are expected to live in. Or in other words, it's Barack's world, we just pay taxes in it (and we are merely using Obama as a symbol for the much wider and deeper pneumapathology he represents).
Dennis Prager touched on this during his program yesterday. He mentioned the absurdity of a nut like Paul Krugman accusing conservatives of "living in a bubble." If only! It is quite literally impossible for a conservative to get through the day without being drenched in liberalism. Obviously it is everywhere, in the news media, in the educational establishment, in entertainment. You would have to live like the Amish to somehow avoid it.
However, a New York liberal such as Paul Krugman can easily lead an intellectually friction-free existence, encountering no serious opposition. One suspects that this is at the heart of his and Obama's incessant deployment of the Straw Man. It is the closest thing to disagreement in their perfectly insulated bubbles.
With respect to the goodness of creation, Thomas was especially eager to shoot down Manichaeism, which continues, like a virus, to mutate into ghastly new forms.
At its root, Manichaeism is always dualistic and, one might say, excessively Platonic. It denies the intrinsic goodness of creation, and therefore of embodiment and humanness. If its doctrine is dualism, then its method is "ascent," i.e., fleeing up and outta here, a la Plotinus, over the wall of flesh and into the pure land of transcendental idea.
One sees an example of modern day Manichaeism in the climate fantasists who regard man as a cancer on the planet, or in the neo-Marxian class warriors who conflate wealth and darkness (except when they don't), or in black Muslims who think a big-headed scientist named Yacub created whites to be a "race of devils." But enough about Eric Holder.
"The exact problem" with these idiots is the identification of "purity with sterility, in contrast to Thomas Aquinas who always identified purity with fruitfulness" (from the introduction). What he means is that the Manichee withdraws into kind of transcendental world of perfect ideas -- which is precisely what ideologues such as Obama do.
As the old joke about economists goes, "sure it works in reality, but will it work in theory?" One could say the same of the climate fanatics: "sure, the planet isn't warming. But that's only in the real world. The question is, does it agree with our models?" Or, one could say it of metaphysical Darwinists: "true, there is an infinite gap between animal and man. But how does that square with these bones we dug up?"
Now, Manichaeism shouldn't even be thought of as any ideology per se, because beneath that it is simply a universal temptation, or one might say intrinsic cosmic heresy. It is an error just waiting to happen, every time and to everyone. We are always free to go down -- or up, rather -- that path, but it will guarantee that we end up infertile eggheads.
The modern scam, for example, is predicated on people such as Descartes, who famously divided mind from matter, or Kant, who went one step further and divided mind from reality. How can this not guarantee infertility or monstrous pneumacognitive birth defects somewhere down the line?
Monstrous? Yes, of course. Look at Hitler, dividing Jew from Aryan, or Stalin, dividing bourgeois from proletariat, or Obama, who has managed to create more division than any president in our history because of his fundamentally divisive ideology. Before all else he is a Manichee, as evidenced, for example, by his membership in that heretical gnostic Christian sect, e.g.,
"It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere… That’s the world! On which hope sits!"
Such is the audacious hope of the political Manichee. Has this hope bore fruit? If so, what kind? You first. Looks rotten to me.