Thursday, November 13, 2014

Two Roads Diverged in a Wood, and I Chose Authoritarian Liberal Bullshit Forever

Liberal compassion lends itself to bullshit by subordinating the putative concern with efficacy to the dominant but unannounced imperative of moral validation and exhibitionism. --William Voegeli

Probably the most serious domestic problem we face is the existence of this pervasive liberal bullshit, which is really just Christian bullshit in disguise; or a hollowed out Christianity that leaves only empty gestures of "peace on earth and good will toward all mankind." If this had been a Buddhist, or Muslim, or pagan country, no doubt the bullshit would have a different flavor.

Liberals and conservatives generally have similar notions of what it means to "be a good person," and these notions are rooted in our Judeo-Christian heritage. There is no politician, for example, who advertises a disinterest in, or lack of compassion for, "the poor."

This may have nothing to do with the actual poor, but rather, with upholding the Christian image: liberal bullshitters "are more concerned with conveying their ideals, of which idealized understandings of their true selves are a central component, than with making statements that correspond scrupulously to empirical or causal reality."

Thus, the typical liberal program "might actually work to some degree, but any such efficacy is inadvertent and tangential to the central purpose: demonstrating the depths of the prescriber’s concern for the problem and those who suffer from it, concerns impelling the determination to 'do something' about it."

One of Obama's problems is that he confuses the politician's tactical but empty gestures of compassion with coercive prescriptions that are supposed to actually be effective in the real world. In other words, he seems to believe everything he learned in college, whether it is about central planning, or "white privilege," or America's destructive role in the world. He is cynical about everything but his own bullshit.

There are only three ways to gain real knowledge: authority, reason, and experience. Experience and reason -- or sad history and sober common sense -- prove the inefficacy of liberalism, so it must ultimately root its appeal in authority (which is enforced via shame-inducing social mechanisms such as political correctness).

Yesterday I watched a bit of Hardball while exercising, and there was an outlandishly arrogant roundtable segment devoted to ridiculing conservatives over global warming. All four individuals are utterly convinced that a thing called "science" is in unanimous agreement about the issue, when this is not only demonstrably false, but slowly moving in the other direction, as more and more informed people reject the theory.

The Christian too believes in authority, but not to the exclusion of reason and experience. Rather, the opposite: just as we do not believe in a God who created a deceptive world, we do not believe in authoritative climate models that have not only failed to predict the future, but can't even retrodict the past.

As mentioned yesterday, science cannot function outside a wider context; it cannot be its own context without generating intellectual absurdities and human cruelties. In other words, it cannot be only human without becoming subhuman.

No, we don't mean this in a polemical way. For example, a strict Darwinian by definition reduces the human to the animal, and the animal to something less. That is, his first principle is not "life," let alone "person," but rather, copying error + environmental selection.

Green agrees that "science can live and prosper and develop only when it is related to a larger understanding of reality -- that is, only within a certain vision of the nature of things." But modernity essentially is a science "severed from its origin" and divorced from its foundation in a more comprehensive and integrated worldview.

Or, one could say that the separation occurred with modernity, the divorce with postmodernity. This means that the accumulated wealth of community property had to be divided and assigned to each side. Science was granted custody of truth, while the humanities were given beauty, and compassion handed off to the "social sciences."

But unfortunately, the latter two cannot flourish in a single-parent household, for beauty without truth redounds to hedonism, deception, or banality, while benevolence without truth leads to the idiot compassion of liberal bullshit.

"When you remove beauty from the human equation, it is going to come back in some other form, even as anti-beauty. A good deal of modern art can be understood in this light. In modernity, beauty has been seen as an appearance -- ornamentation, sugar coating. Secularists and believers alike have either rejected beauty altogether or argued that beauty should make the pills of truth and goodness go down easier" (Wolfe).

And what is truth violently wrenched from its sister transcendentals? I don't know. Maybe like an endless Hardball roundtable, or authoritarian liberal bullshit forever.

A Christian understanding of the intellectual life must take into account -- contrary to the typical modern understanding -- the inherently moral nature of knowledge, the way knowledge is linked to the heart and will of the knower... --Bradley Green

16 Comments:

Blogger mushroom said...

We're seeing more and more the left being exposed or blatantly admitting that they think it is acceptable to lie in a "good cause", for "the greater good".

It is similar to the fact that we have no qualms about feeding disinformation to an enemy for purposes of espionage. It almost looks like they are at war with us, and reality for that matter.

I've often thought that was the case in the economic realm where Keynes was crowned, not because he was right, but because his bogus analysis justified what FDR and the brain trust wanted to do anyway.

They have had the advantage because we have thought they were mistaken and could be educated or corrected, when the ones at the controls could care less whether they were right or not, as long as it gave them power.

11/13/2014 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You can legitimately reverse what the left compulsively does to us, that is, accuse us of having some ulterior motive (racism, sexism, tax cuts for the rich, etc.) for our policy preferences. In their case, every one of their beliefs just so happens to redound to an increase in the power of the state, from Keynesian economics to global warming to socialized medicine and all the rest.

11/13/2014 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I can't think of a single liberal policy that results in a diminution of the state -- not even decimating the military, because they just want to use the money for other purposes.

11/13/2014 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

haven't read the post yet, but this is one of my most favorite titles ever.

11/13/2014 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Secularists and believers alike have either rejected beauty altogether or argued that beauty should make the pills of truth and goodness go down easier

Ah, yes - because of course truth and goodness are, in the minds of all too many, actually the most unpleasant parts of life. Like swallowing cod liver oil, or confining sex within the bounds of marriage.

11/13/2014 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the state repurposing funds, I'm reminded of the days my husband clerked for a federal judge. Every year, their office was given a budget, and they were to make sure that they spent every bit of it - for if they did not, they would receive less money the following year. They never received less, as far as I know.

11/13/2014 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I've cast a dubious side-eye to the "one in six American children suffer hunger" before, but now I can see the desperation is setting in on the Left because the latest billboard touts "one in five" children suffer hunger.

I wanna see pics, but these ads never have them, just shadowy graphic extrapolations of children's sad face silhouettes. I wanna see "hunger" by the millions. 1 in 5? I'll be arsed.

11/13/2014 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Power Privilege is the only privilege there is.

11/13/2014 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

"one in six American children suffer hunger"

"suffer hunger" - how so and to what extent? Words are redefined and goal posts moved to suit the narrative. If there lips are moving - they're lying.

11/13/2014 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Well, Michelle Obama's school lunch program has been working awfully hard to increase the number to one in five, so maybe there's some truth to the claim after all...

11/13/2014 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, and the photographic proof is here.

11/13/2014 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Poor Americans are always hungry. That's why they're so fat.

11/13/2014 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Probably the most serious domestic problem we face is the existence of this pervasive liberal bullshit, which is really just Christian bullshit in disguise; or a hollowed out Christianity that leaves only empty gestures of "peace on earth and good will toward all mankind." If this had been a Buddhist, or Muslim, or pagan country, no doubt the bullshit would have a different flavor."

That explains why lefties tend to think that Jesus is a Marxist archtype.
Of course they have nothin' to back that assertation up with other than ignorance and wishful thinking, since Jesus is all about freedom, and nowhere does He encourage state-sponsered force to bring about the brother-hood of man.



11/14/2014 01:43:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Try to explain to a lefty how the average "poverty-stricken" American would be perceived in places where real poverty is the norm.

If Americans were not getting "living" wages there would be millions dying of hunger and disease every year rather than getting fat.

11/14/2014 01:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

If fast food joints cause obesity then McDonalds would create millions of fat people in third-world countries.

11/14/2014 01:52:00 AM  
Blogger Rogelio Bueno said...

More broken eggs, still no omelet.

11/14/2014 04:19:00 AM  

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