Monday, April 13, 2015

Freedomism and Slavery

For Schindler, our cultural death spiral -- or plunge into the culture of death -- has to do with an implicit and a priori acceptance of the substance of liberalism. Specifically, the idea of an "empty freedom" "serves precisely to create the illusion that we remain simply free to choose our own ontology."

People say you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. That's not true. Actually, you are entitled to your own facts as well, but not your own ontology. Facts are facts and reality is reality, but facts that aren't situated in the proper reality fail to be factual.

Freedom, of course, is of the highest value, on par with love, truth, unity, beauty, and virtue. But the liberal understanding of freedom coincides with an "anthropology which has always-already given that freedom its meaning."

However, thanks to the Cartesian Conspiracy, this freedom is "shaped by the liberal disjunction between subjectivity and objectivity" and thus "infected by the liberal dualism of will and intelligence, with its corresponding voluntaristic subjectivity and mechanistic objectivity."

In other words, freedom in this view has no intrinsic relation to truth or virtue, so freedom redounds to a grim Clintonian will to power, while our epistemological freedom is reduced to a kind of "perception is reality," so there is black truth, white truth, feminist truth, homosexual truth, etc. Which is no truth at all, being that truth converges on unity, not plurality. Truth and multiculturalism are antonymic.

We are all familiar with liberal bogies such as structural racism and white privilege, but far more problematic is structural sin, which goes to the existential reality of the fallenness into which we are born. Living as we must in "liberal structures," it is very difficult to avoid being naughty and still make a living.

For Schindler, "unless we recognize the ambiguity of present-day freedom at its very source, we risk colluding in the development of a culture that can easily... become the death of freedom." Note that this book was published in 1996, thirteen years before Obama took office and made it all rather obvious.

"Coincidentally," the Happy Acres Guy has a link to this interesting interview with a fellow who wrote a book called The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction. He is saying pretty much the same thing we are, and yet, getting paid for it. From the interview:

"In your chapter A Brief History of Freedom, you propose what some might consider a damning interpretation of the anthropology of modern liberalism that suggests that the desire of 17th-century thinkers to free themselves from political authorities led to a rebellion against all external authority.

"The end result is not just a political, but an epistemic one: Reality ends up being self-constructed; we end up trapped in our heads. Your account starts with Descartes and his mind-body distinction, passes through Locke, and culminates in Kant [and drives Van nuts]. Does the modern political project we cherish -- liberal, democratic, rights-based, etc. -- and that those same thinkers developed necessitate the loss of genuine attention (and the consequent problems)?"

Crawford responds that his "critique of the anthropology we have inherited from early modern thought has a couple of dimensions. The first is sociological, simply noticing how autonomy-talk is pretty much the only idiom that is available to us for articulating our self-understanding, and how inadequate it is for capturing lived experience."

Exactly. Such "autonomy talk" is grounded in certain liberal assumptions about freedom that have nothing to do with the religious assumptions that gave freedom its original meaning and value.

He goes on to suggest that "Living in a culture saturated with vulgar freedomism, you may develop a jaundiced view of the whole project of liberation inaugurated by Descartes and Locke."

This parallels Schindler's observation that the implicit assumption of contemporary liberalism is that "truth and freedom are inversely related, in such a way that any clear claim of truth then becomes in principle a threat to (someone's) freedom."

This is how we end up with a liberal totolerantarianism that issues death threats to those who do not embrace the lie. It is very much as if liberals believe that truth enslaves instead of setting us free.

They are half-right about that, because for someone committed to the Lie, the truth will feel like an ominous prison: "liberalism's appeal to freedom, paradoxically, serves to enslave -- that is by virtue of its hidden dogma."

Conversely, the so-called dogma of Christianity wants desperately to liberate man into the metaphysical, ontological, epistemological, and anthropological reality of world-as-gift, or to situate our lives within the trinitarian dynamic of being for-being from-being with, or I-You-We, or just plain old Love.

8 Comments:

Blogger Van Harvey said...

"... Facts are facts and reality is reality, but facts that aren't situated in the proper reality fail to be factual."

Yep, Reality is the ultimate context - drop that and no matter how many likes you get from PMSNBC, it's going to be so worth less.

4/13/2015 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

It is very much as if liberals believe that truth enslaves instead of setting us free.

All those different fragmented truths - black, white, feminist, etc. - serve as a means of filtering reality so that it becomes monochromatic. Then should anyone dare to remind them that, in fact, there are a great many other colors, they complain that it is all too confusing, too bewildering. People have too many choices! All those colors are terrifying!

4/13/2015 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"end result is not just a political, but an epistemic one: Reality ends up being self-constructed; we end up trapped in our heads. Your account starts with Descartes and his mind-body distinction, passes through Locke, and culminates in Kant [and drives Van nuts]. Does the modern political project we cherish -- liberal, democratic, rights-based, etc. -- and that those same thinkers developed necessitate the loss of genuine attention (and the consequent problems."

And thus America becomes infested with too many AmeriKants who want an oppressive government that never stops growing (until it collapses in it's clash with reality).

4/13/2015 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Living as we must in "liberal structures," it is very difficult to avoid being naughty and still make a living.

Indeed, if those in power get their way it will be all but impossible. In the end, it won't be enough that we first tolerate, then laud their evil. We must be made to show our support by active participation. Hence laws which force religiously-guided businesses to pay for things they consider abhorrent, or else be shut down.

4/13/2015 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"The end result is not just a political, but an epistemic one: Reality ends up being self-constructed; we end up trapped in our heads. Your account starts with Descartes and his mind-body distinction, passes through Locke, and culminates in Kant [and drives Van nuts]. Does the modern political project we cherish -- liberal, democratic, rights-based, etc. -- and that those same thinkers developed necessitate the loss of genuine attention (and the consequent problems)?"

:-) Does modernity make my bbBUUUTTTT!!!!! look big?

The problem comes from thinking that a liberal, self governing, rights based project, which does not hold Truth, Virtue and Beauty central to the project, could long associate with a liberal, self governing, rights based project.

As you said, "...being that truth converges on unity, not plurality...", if you remove what all that is good and worthy inclines towards and rests upon, then as surely as Higher is above Lower, we all fall,
D
O
W
N
!


Oh... and what is it that draws a mind to bring plurality into unity? Questioner seeking truth. And what divides unity into plurality? Someone artificially seeking to

D
o
u
b
t
.
.
.

4/13/2015 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

That Crawford fellow's books look really interesting. Great. How am I supposed to get beyond my head if I'm always busy bringing new things into it?

Got's to keep the hinges on the inwardly outwards door greased up.

4/13/2015 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"In other words, freedom in this view has no intrinsic relation to truth or virtue, so freedom redounds to a grim Clintonian will to power, while our epistemological freedom is reduced to a kind of "perception is reality," so there is black truth, white truth, feminist truth, homosexual truth, etc. Which is no truth at all, being that truth converges on unity, not plurality. Truth and multiculturalism are antonymic."

Aye, plus there is a leftist hierarchal truth, depending on which victim group is deemed the most victimy by leftist con-sensus, TBD by leftist leaders.

I could be wrong, but I think the latest group on top of that trash heap are homosexuals, particularly black lesbians, or the dozens of differently identified and made up trannys, which conflict with the feministas.

In fact, besides all the other stuff that enrages the femistas, It's not being the top victim group that probably angers them the most.

4/14/2015 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Reality ends up being self-constructed; we end up trapped in our heads.

An apropos line jumps out in this article on the tyranny of selfies:

"Books, where the self should most be quiet, are where it's currently most rampant. I've been to reading groups in which participants discuss who they are and what they think, and leave, full of cottage pie and wine, convinced they've been on a journey into a writer's mind, though they have not, for a single second, left their own."

4/14/2015 06:35:00 AM  

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