Thursday, July 30, 2015

Postmodern Calvinbrawlers

While preparing this morning's steaming restorative, a thought popped into my head. You know Churchill's famous line about America and England being two countries divided by a common language? Well, that wasn't it. Besides, G.B. Shaw is apparently responsible for that gag.

But it's a variation on the theme, to wit, that America has become a nation divided by a common tongue, in this case modern- and postmodernese. We conservatives are still proud of our plainspoken Modernese, while the left long ago abandoned this idiom for the cryptic and craptic language of postmodernism.

This being the case, it explains why we can't win arguments and why it doesn't matter that we always do. In short, you cannot defeat a postmodernist in an argument, because he is playing a different game -- just as you can't win a baseball game by playing football.

(Although some people try. I remember when my son played Shetland baseball at age six or something. A ball was hit to the third baseman and he proceeded to scamper with it toward the plate, trying to score a run.)

The left is not playing the truth game, but rather, the power game. Thus, you may bring the Knife of Truth to the game while expecting certain rules of conduct, only to endure a swift ringing of the berries:

Interestingly, the website from which I yoinked that image deploys it to illustrate the principle that THE RULES SAY I CAN CHANGE THE RULES, INCLUDING THIS RULE. Those are the rules we're talking about: the Butch Cassidy Rules of Politics.

Another name for it is Calvinball, "a game invented by Calvin in which you make the rules up as you go along." Thus, conservatives naively play x while the left cynically plays Calvinball.

Which might be part of the appeal of Mr. Trump, who plays his own loud and aggressive version of Calvinball -- not just against Republicans but against the other Calvinballers on the left.

Who are the best -- which is to say worst -- Calvinballers out there? I would say it's a three-way tie between politicians, MSM journalists, and academia. Academics work more in the shadows, so in the popular imagination it comes down to idiot journalists and amoral politicians. That Trump is happy to say Fuck You to both camps seems to give hope to the masses that we finally have a formidable Calvinbrawler on our side.

I don't see it ending well, however. It's one thing to Calvinbrawl as a tactic, but if it is not informed by truth, then it will be a hollow victory at best, just another name for losing.

This is precisely why I supported Giuliani in 2008. He is the last Calvinbrawling Conservative we've had on the national stage. Ted Cruz? I can't quite put my finger on why his style of brawling won't work.

Anyway, this does go back to the topic at hand, the Missing Object of Virtue. Again, we (or they, rather) have the fragments but have misplaced the thing itself. For the left there is no such thing, so it is a matter of course for them to pick up one of the shards and pretend it is the whole thing, for example, "a woman's right to choose."

Any talk of intrinsic rights must be grounded in natural rights theory, but there can be no natural right to kill an innocent human being. So that is a perfect example of elevating a shard to the whole. What's the word, Jeeves? Synedoche?

No sir, synedoche is not necessarily a fallacy. I believe the term you are grasping for is division -- the fallacy of division.

Hmm, let's see: "A fallacy of division occurs when one reasons logically that something true for the whole must also be true of all or some of its parts." Natural rights theory (naturally) assures a "right to choose," AKA free will. But this right cannot be abstracted from the human person without negating itself.

As always, The left's theses are trains of thought that are carefully stopped before they reach the argument that demolishes them (Dávila). This is a quite universal truthism, which is why the left must play Calvinball, for the rules of Calvinball permit one to change the rules just before the train hits the wall. You will have noticed how Obama and Hillary do this All Day Long.

Another of my favorite aphorisms: Rather than an ideological strategy, the left is a lexicographical strategy. In other words, they do not rely on logic, ideo- or otherwise.

Rather, the real strategy lies in language itself, which is constantly redefined to suit present needs. The image comes to mind of the T-1000 in Terminator 2, or of eating Jello with chopsticks, or of biting a wall.

What is the endgame of postmodern Calvinball? For Father Rose the whole thing is a "War against God, issuing in the proclamation of the reign of nothingness, which means the triumph of incoherence and absurdity, the whole plan presided over by Satan."

Remember the other day, when we alluded to Satan as the "nonlocal Object of Vice," which "can only be known via the surface structure of particular acts and beliefs. On the surface the acts may appear random and incoherent, but perhaps there is a secret order"?

As Rose points out, "Effective war against God and His Truth requires the destruction of every element of [the] Old Order," for which reason "violence is no merely incidental aspect" but "part of its essence." As they say, if you strike at God, you'd better kill him.

So it really comes down to the possibility of coherent truth knowable by man vs. an absolute relativism that seals man in ignorance and tyranny. Or just say Celestial Truth vs. Terrestrial Power, because I am out of time.


Blogger julie said...

So it really comes down to the possibility of coherent truth knowable by man vs. an absolute relativism that seals man in ignorance and tyranny.

I'm reminded of the underlyin' motive of, say, feminism, which to its adherents is not at all about ensuring equality for women, but rather about smashing "patriarchy" and convincing women to reject femininity and embrace vagininity; or some of the movers and shakers behind the alphabet soup movement (see Moira's story, if you missed it last week), who sponsor "anti-bullying" events for middle and high school students which are suspiciously short on classes about bullying, but overflowing with helpful hints about how to be really, really gay. Which is pretty weird, if you maintain that homosexuals are born, not made. Unless of course you're playing by Calvinbrawl rules.

7/30/2015 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the Old Order maybe just establishes balance. Win some, lose some. Not really what some think.

The funny thing about this is that the geometry of this only applies to those that are not fixed, yet not local.

That is kind of not 50/50. That is up in the air, and not my department. I do know that some are not really fixed. And some would rather be free.

Probably gets arranged when the dead and the living have some access to free will.

Of course, this is dangerous. Otherwise, there would be some damned point. With retricted options that rarely matter.

7/30/2015 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh. THAT Calvin.

But we're still talking total depravity, right?

7/30/2015 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I was at a "Reasonable Faith" gathering the other night. We could have used this post, because as sincerely as our host tried to get us to accept the premise of the Law of Nature in some hypothetical encounter, none of us could support it in post-modern thought. Without the premise of an Absolute, nothing else stands to "reason." I think our conclusion is that you can't have a reasonable discussion about Gay Marriage with PoMos b/c they won't accept even the absolutes of Natural Law. They play Calvinball everywhere, all the time.

Seriously, though. This is a brilliant summation of The Problem: The left is not playing the truth game, but rather, the power game. To the point that those without the power to reason, are given no reason to fear their ignorance as long as they align with power. Might makes Right.

7/30/2015 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

For more liberal lexicographical looniness, google BEST OF THE WEB Durham, We Have a Problem

7/30/2015 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Remember the other day, when we alluded to Satan as the "nonlocal Object of Vice," which "can only be known via the surface structure of particular acts and beliefs. On the surface the acts may appear random and incoherent, but perhaps there is a secret order"?"

Except that it's not non-local, is it? Evil has no power, certainly not what it takes to act at a distance, that's the whole attraction it has to Power in the first place - you crave what you can't have.

Projection aside, Evil isn't out there. It's in here, with us. As Truth is whole, One truth willingly denied (and who doesn't have at least one? ), is the motive power that seeks to deny all, and like a zombie, it seeks, craves, to bite the living and spread.

And the only One with the power and means of putting it back together again, is by being forgiven by the one who's actually One to begin with.

We seek the One, and want nothing more than to split it in two. What's the story there? Aside from every one of them...?

7/30/2015 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie Godwin said...

Makes me think of Lucy moving the ball when Charlie Brown is about to kick it. Too bad the Republicans seem incapable of changing strategy to deal with their naive foolishness when it comes to fighting the left, not to mention evil.

7/31/2015 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes. First they would have to have some genuine convictions, and then they'd need enough courage to actually stand by them without folding at the least unkind comment from the left. Both before and after being elected.

7/31/2015 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

Theres a pop diva from France who sings in poetic verses. She has a song called " desanchante" (disenchanted) . Which speaks of the malaise of the post modern world.

Tout est chaos , a cote
Tout mes ideaux des mots , abimes
Je cherche une ame qui... pourra m'aider
Je suis... une generation desenchante..

Si la mort est un mystere,
La vie na rien de tendre
Si le.. ciel a un enfer, le ciel peut bien attendre
Et pourtant je voudrais retrouver l' innocence.
Mais rien n' a de sens
Et rien ne va...

All is chaos, on tthe side
All my ideals are words .. that are damaged
Im looking for a soul that... could help me
I am a generation... thats disenchanted

If death is a mystery,
life has nothing tender about it
If heaven has a hell, heaven can wait
Nevertheless i would like to return to innocence..
But nothing has any meaning
And nothing is going well

Chorus: tout est chaos...

Worth watching on youtube:
Mylene farmer desenchante

7/31/2015 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

The way to beat the left and demoralise them is clear articulation and warlike say the emperor has no clothes to their faces and ignore their smokescreens and taunts.

It does get to them.. they can sense your conviction like a missile to their confused lemming brain.

Nigel farage talking at the european union is a good example.. he does not hide his contempt.

7/31/2015 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Or as Breitbart said:

"Fuck you. War."

7/31/2015 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Or as Breitbart said:

"Fuck you. War."

Aye, that's the only way things are gonna change. Gotta cut through the apathy and wake people up (keeping in mind that we should let the dead bury the dead, because some folks like being dead or think they do).

7/31/2015 10:50:00 AM  

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