Tuesday, December 16, 2014

In Order to Find Out What's In Liberalism, You Have to Surrender to Liberalism

"Health," writes Kushner, "is the result of connecting the discordant and apparently unrelated pieces." It is related to wholeness, so one form of illness is the belief or pretense "that what is broken is whole."

Meaning emerges as a consequence of the connections between the parts; thus, "meaninglessness obtains when the events in our lives seem to us unrelated, discordant, and fragmentary."

The key point is that meaning is somehow in the spaces between; it is unthinkable in the absence of relationship. We could even say that it is intrinsically trinitarian, for there is This, That, and the Other Thing, i.e., the relation between.

For example, what is the meaning of the relationship between (every) I and I AM, or (•) and O? Life is about exploring, elaborating, and deepening this meaning, unless one denies it a priori, in which case one will suffer from a false wholeness, and with it, Restless Self Syndrome. Whatever fragmentary wholeness one can cobble together will be just that: fragmentary and ultimately meaningless. It is the pretend truth of scientism, or Darwinism, or Marxism.

Of note, we could also say that there is "historical health," which involves an act of imaginative synthesis that situates us in an intelligible and plausible cosmic narrative. The left -- via deconstruction, revisionism, and other methods -- acts like a corrosive to historical health, and through this, personal health. We saw this most recently in the fraudulent CIA report. By way of contrast to Feinstein's tortured narrative, here's a blast of fresh air from Thomas Sowell (I know, metaphor alert!):

"If you knew that there was a hidden nuclear time bomb planted somewhere in New York City -- set to go off today -- and you had a captured terrorist who knew where and when, would you not do anything whatever to make him tell you where and when? Would you pause to look up the definition of 'torture'? Would you even care what the definition of 'torture' was, when the alternative was seeing millions of innocent people murdered?"

(I might add that Sowell's new edition of Basic Economics is one continuous blast of uncommonly common sense. If only this were required reading for college students, it would spell the end of the left.)

The left is much more religious than the religious, in the sense that we all know that there are exceptions to, say, bearing false witness -- for example, if Al Sharpton asks us where Officer Wilson is hiding. To tell him the truth would be a far greater sin than delivering Officer Wilson into the hands of a racist lynch mob.

But I can't tell you how many times I've heard liberals in the last week insist that "torture" (by which they mean harsh interrogation) is never appropriate, and that it can never yield actionable intelligence. Such thinking represents an outright attack on meaning and truth: it does to common sense, common knowledge, and common morality what terrorists and lynch mobs do to people.

Speaking of lying liars, "Only magicians and charlatans claim to be able to change this world" (ibid.). This is the principle difference between the metaphysics of left and right: the former projects the locus of control outside the self, into corporations, or the one percent, or white males, etc., while the latter locates it within. (Think, for example, of how Michael Brown had total control over his fate, until he decided to rush the officer and steal his gun; and yet, the Mob pretends that he was the victim of forces exterior to himself.)

We would say that the very purpose of this country is to create a place that valorizes and maintains the interior locus of control, AKA the Empire of Liberty (liberty being the quintessential "space between"). Otherwise we're no different from any other shitty country where the government controls people from without.

By the way, this great book (so far), Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism, goes to exactly this idea. Everything contemporary liberals pretend to value -- but are in the process of destroying -- is rooted in Judeo-Christian principles.

Karl Marx famously said that "you have to pass the bill to find out what's in the bill." No, wait, that was one of his latter day wackolytes. Marx said something similar -- it is appropriately inscribed upon his grave -- that while lesser philosophers merely interpret the world, the point is to change the world. But any idiot can change the world in the wrong way, or there would be no such thing as "news."

More to the point, you have to swallow this gobshite revolutionary philosophy in order to find out what's in the philosophy (what it will do to the world and the people in it). And yet, no matter how many times we find out, the left never learns. Why is that? Go back up to paragraphs two and four, about how historical disease is a consequence of an attack on meaning, which causes wholeness to revert to meaningless fragments.

The world is always going to be the world, and man is always going to be one, unfortunately. But knowing these things can prevent catastrophic falls. Yes, the world "is teeming with mysterious powers and miracles, but to seek to manipulate them without first understanding oneself has, for centuries, been known as illness" (ibid.). Today it is known as liberalism.

32 Comments:

Blogger Van Harvey said...

"In Order to Find Out What's In Liberalism, You Have to Surrender to Liberalism"

Yes! And to do that, all you have to do is accept one of their premises, one of their... hypothetical thoughts, as being worthy of thinking, and it's goodbye yellow brick road.

OK then, on to the first sentence. Ahem. 'scuze me.

12/16/2014 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I changed the title. Maybe I should change it back?

12/16/2014 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

New one seems more pithy.

12/16/2014 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The left is much more religious than the religious, in the sense that we all know that there are exceptions to, say, bearing false witness -- for example, if Al Sharpton asks us where Officer Wilson is hiding. To tell him the truth would be a far greater sin than delivering Officer Wilson into the hands of a racist lynch mob.

Apropos, at Prager University he has a series up about the Ten Commandments. The individual videos are short, and generally not exactly new material to most raccoons, but interesting to watch nevertheless.

12/16/2014 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I kind of like the original title better, not that it matters.

12/16/2014 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Hmm... looks like I captured that rogue title just in time.

12/16/2014 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

I liked the original better. Obviously.
(For some reason I can hear Snape saying that)

12/16/2014 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The original it is.

12/16/2014 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Space and relationship immediately reminds me of something I think Alan Watts said (could just be a flashback) -- that you can't really perceive or comprehend apart from space.

12/16/2014 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As the Tao says -- something like we need the walls but we use the space.

12/16/2014 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

But any idiot can change the world in the wrong way, or there would be no such thing as "news."

After some of the recent press debacles, no news is sounding better and better.

I'm getting Sowell's book. If they don't have it at B&N, I'll subtly remind my DIL that she owes me.

12/16/2014 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The book is actually wearying, because it's just one lucid sentence after another, with no let up. And most of the sentences cause a fertile zap in the brain. His manner of expression is the polar opposite of the tenured.

12/16/2014 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I really enjoyed his Black Rednecks too, which I recently read. In it he proves that urban blacks are the last remnant of southern white cracker culture!

12/16/2014 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"For example, what is the meaning of the relationship between (every) I and I AM, or (•) and O? Life is about exploring, elaborating, and deepening this meaning, unless one denies it a priori, in which case one will suffer from a false wholeness, and with it, Restless Self Syndrome. "

That encapsulates so much, starting with the progressive leftist intellectual and moral ideal, Artificial Intelligence. There's no (•) within their "O", and that really is the way they want it. They want to be excused from having to conform the inside to the outside and to the whole, because that is what is necessary in order to (seem to) metaphysically change the world to what they wish it were.

12/16/2014 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Which is why we see them behaving exactly like the white lynch mobs of old.

12/16/2014 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I can believe that. After growing up with black farm kids, it was a shock to get to college and find the conflict between suburban whites and urban blacks.

Back in the '70s, I had a good running/drinking buddy whose father was a professor at one of those historic black colleges in a fairly small town. My buddy had been a standout running back at a mostly white high school. He said he didn't know what prejudice was until he got to Columbia University.

12/16/2014 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous HappyAcres said...

Am taking your book recommendation as Christmas gift to self

12/16/2014 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

"If you knew that there was a hidden nuclear time bomb planted somewhere in New York City -- set to go off today -- and you had a captured terrorist who knew where and when, would you not do anything whatever to make him tell you where and when? Would you pause to look up the definition of 'torture'? Would you even care what the definition of 'torture' was, when the alternative was seeing millions of innocent people murdered?"
So true. Feinstein and company are treasonous. I just can't wait for Jeb to right the ship.

12/16/2014 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Saw this guy on Megyn Kelly last night. What the left is doing to people like him is unforgivable. Due process is for terrorists and traitors, not patriots and heroes.

12/16/2014 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Haven't watched the interview yet, but read the article. Was he charged with something?

12/16/2014 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Only by the media. These days, that is more than enough.

12/16/2014 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

To me, the most obviously hypocritical aspect of this report is that, whatever the abuses may have been (Mitchell says he reported them), they pale in comparison to the continued killing of innocents which the Droner in Chief adores.

12/16/2014 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

So true. Feinstein and company are treasonous. I just can't wait for Jeb to right the ship.

Now that right there is funny.

I used to watch our chickens pick grain out of cow manure. Reminds me of the Republican presidential field at this point. If it's Jeb in 2016, I'm going third party.

12/16/2014 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"We would say that the very purpose of this country is to create a place that valorizes and maintains the interior locus of control, AKA the Empire of Liberty (liberty being the quintessential "space between"). Otherwise we're no different from any other shitty country where the government controls people from without."

Indeed, and well said, Bob.
That's the ultimate goal of lefties whether they are aware of it or not. The results are the utter destruction of liberty, or the conDemNation of the interior locus of control.

12/16/2014 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

You say liberalism, Shcuon says modernity ... Looks like the same thing from the Kushner perspective, namely trying to magically fix the soul by fixing the world instead of the right way around. An understandable impulse, given how hard souls are to work with.

12/17/2014 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

trying to magically fix the soul by fixing the world instead of the right way around. An understandable impulse, given how hard souls are to work with.

Well, fixing the world pays better.

12/17/2014 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

ISIS has some competition.

12/17/2014 05:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Huh. If the free market were applied to terrorist groups, I wonder if they would become more or less murderous?

And Magnus, yes.

Good to see you :)

12/17/2014 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Julie, This book discloses how Zen Buddhist roshi's backed the Japanese Emperor and their plans for imperial expansion during WWII.

12/17/2014 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Even Buddhists can sometimes support murder, it seems. They are only human - who knew?

12/17/2014 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie said "They are only human - who knew?"

Apparently everyone but them.
(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Hey ya Magnus!

12/17/2014 10:13:00 AM  
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