Friday, August 28, 2015

Our Laddie of Reality

Anthony Esolen calls upon Our Lady of Reality to have mercy on the "common madness underlying all our troubles. We think that a thing changes because we assign it one name rather than another. A man is a woman if he says he is. Or we refuse to acknowledge that a thing has a nature at all. A man is not a man, because there is no such thing, really."

It's a nice sentiment, but I don't like to trouble the transnatural with things that are wholly in our control, and in this case it is our willful misuse of the gift of language, our logopathic way with words, that causes the trouble. Language, unfortunately, cuts both ways: into truth and falsehood. As someone once cracked, language was given to man in order to disguise his thoughts.

This is certainly why it was given to Obama, or at least the spirit in which he takes the gift. But this just goes to the more fundamentally troubled relationship with language which forms the basis of leftism. Particular illnesses such as deconstruction and diversity are just the final common pathway, the end state of the disease -- similar to how poorly controlled diabetes can lead to blindness, or amputation, or kidney disease, but it's the same underlying derangement of blood sugar.

Likewise, end-stage leftism can manifest in a variety of ways, but beneath them all it's the same spiritual illness.

Take deconstruction, which promulgates the notion that language is a closed system, such that words refer only to other words. It pretends to be a philosophy -- a rational conclusion -- but is really a diseased premise, principle, or axiom. This irrational principle destroys the supernatural power of language right up front, so it's really just a case of garbage in, tenure out.

Likewise any form of relativism such as "diversity," homosexualism, illegal alienism, feminism, etc. Each begins with an unsupportable, magical conclusion, no different than how, say, communism begins with the theory of "surplus value" or National Socialism with the theory of eugenics applied to Jewish DNA.

But as Bertie Russell said in one of our favorite wise cracks, "The worse your logic, the more interesting the consequences to which it gives rise."

Yesterday I saw an activist on TV object to the term "illegal alien" because "there's no such thing as an illegal person." This is a particularly clumsy attempt to use language to deny a simple reality, but no more clumsy than insisting that it is possible for two men to live in a state of matrimony, or to increase a man's value by paying him more than he's worth.

"[V]erbal cleverness, unless its limitations are clearly and continuously seen by its possessors, is an unbeatable way of blurring reality until nothing can be seen at all" (C. James, in Conquest). You could say that language comes with a universal temptation; or better, the universal temptation, which is idolatry. If our divine hunch is correct, then behind every logopathology will be an instance of idolatry.

Note how Christianity has a built-in defense against this idolization of language, in that at the center is not a book but a person from which the book is a response and prolongation. The earliest Christians, of course, had no book, for which we can thank God. (The Bible was not canonized until around 400.) The Aphorist has a number of brainslappers to this effect:

When he died, Christ did not leave behind documents, but disciples. Thus, Only loyalty to a person frees us from all self-complacency. But In the hands of the progressive clergy, the Gospels degenerate into a compilation of trivial ethical teachings (Don Colacho).

Just so, western style political liberalism (the freedom that ultimately comes from God) was incarnated long before it was thought about in an abstract manner: "British principles did not arise out of nothing or from abstract philosophy," but "emerged gradually in practice."

In contrast, "it was the theorists and emotionalists who triumphed mentally" in the French Revolution and its moony descendants down to the present day. These descendants include the hyperacademic logobabblers of the looniversity bin who deploy language to destroy itself, like a linguistic autoimmune disorder.

Politics must serve reality. This would qualify as a banality were it not for the liberal activists for whom it is the other way around, such that reality must serve ideology: "All of the major troubles we have had in the last half century have been caused by people who have let politics become a mania." In order for the political maniac to achieve his ends, huge swaths of reality must be denied, excluded, and sealed off (and damaged in the process).

Thus, there is no left wing ideocracy without some form of intellectual and spiritual tyranny: it goes with the terrortory. The left must pretend that things forced upon us by the state are better than the things we would have freely chosen, or in other words, that real liberty is coercion.

The coronerstone of Marxism, according to its own definition, "is the mass, the liberation of which is the main condition for the liberation of the individual." Or in other words, no man is free until all are enslaved.

If our logocentric roots don't grow upword then they sink downworld. Thus, we are faced with "an increasingly irrational conformism, often no longer open to, or even cognizant of, argument.... The new antis [anti-realists] seem to have sunk to an alarmingly lower mental level."

You don't say.

No, really: don't say that. There are no illegal persons but there are criminal thoughts!

15 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

"Or, in other words, no man is free until all are enslaved."

(i say we let him go)

8/28/2015 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

How can psychology declare homosexuality normal? Easy. 75% of social psychology experiments cannot be replicated. The other 25% are self-evident.

8/28/2015 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yep.

Off topic, this is too funny not to share:

"I wanted to start out this essay by saying that Godel beings up some deep ass questions bout consciousness."

8/28/2015 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

There are no illegal persons but there are criminal thoughts!

Just like there are no anchor babies, just foreign products of conception.

8/28/2015 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger neal said...

The temporal and lucky drink my milkshake.
This guy at the diner, always refills. Of course, He is undocumented, with questionable parentage. Nobody from Nazareth ever comes to any good. Homeless, and not even hanging out with the temporal and lucky.

Probably some sort of outlaw, or a magician. Not into politics, or most anything that passes for human justification.

Render unto humans. Wander off, no tent.
Deport that to wherever that came from. Probably only full of refugees, and low lifes, and the meek. So much for Heaven on Earth.

And the walls come tumbling down, and the cup is never empty. Only just not there for those that bank on money.

8/28/2015 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

*sigh*

8/28/2015 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

In other news, Ben is home again after a bout of the flu that required hospitalization.

8/28/2015 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Good to be back! :)

8/28/2015 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Note how Christianity has a built-in defense against this idolization of language, in that at the center is not a book but a person from which the book is a response and prolongation. The earliest Christians, of course, had no book, for which we can thank God. (The Bible was not canonized until around 400.) The Aphorist has a number of brainslappers to this effect:

When he died, Christ did not leave behind documents, but disciples. Thus, Only loyalty to a person frees us from all self-complacency. But In the hands of the progressive clergy, the Gospels degenerate into a compilation of trivial ethical teachings (Don Colacho)."

Yes, now I understand why Jesus didn't write books.

8/29/2015 03:08:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

""I wanted to start out this essay by saying that Godel beings up some deep ass questions bout consciousness."

LOL!

8/29/2015 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. the writing of books, I have seen a lot of people who essentially consider the book to be the writing of God. Imagine the implications if God had literally written it! Either the book would be God - in fact, in that scenario I don't know how one could reasonably distinguish the two - and yet I suspect the perversity of man is such that nobody would believe it, much less follow in its tenets, for why should the creator of the universe limit himself to words in a book?

8/29/2015 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie,
Yes, as I believe Bob and Mush hace mentioned, some folks make the Bible an idol which is as dangerous as any other idol. It's crucial to remember that God is a person and not the Bible, although there is Godly wisdom in the Bible, of course. Moreso in His person.

8/29/2015 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Interesting point on the book. In fact, in Islam, as Schuon often notes, the Koran is the equivalent of Jesus or the Logos in Christianity. Most people imagine it would be Muhammed, but he is just the perfect man, not God made man. In Islam, God became book.

8/29/2015 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Thus, there is no left wing ideocracy without some form of intellectual and spiritual tyranny: it goes with the terrortory. The left must pretend that things forced upon us by the state are better than the things we would have freely chosen, or in other words, that real liberty is coercion."

I was back in our state capital for our monthly attempt at writing curriculum standards, and an interesting issue came up, regarding the rule of law. I thought that given the turmoil of the early 1900's-1940's, that should be included in with the other issues that Americans were redefining and challenging, and I got, given how smoothly we had been working, a surprising amount of resistance. Even pointing out that a SCOTUS judge decried to the effect that 'the constitution is gone, Nero is enthroned'(McReynolds, Gold Clause cases), could not budge them. "There was a trial, law worked, there was no problem with the rule of law", and they'd tolerate no question of how what was accepted as being the proper province and boundaries of law, and Property, had changed.

Well when we were in the 1970's-1980's, you guessed it, 'Nixon! Iran Contra! Rule of law challenged!' It was very surreal, as I walked them through the issues again, one almost began to get it, but the rest, no way. Over ruled.

The rule of rules was paramount to the Rule of Law, and the rules made life better, and that was that.

8/29/2015 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie Godwin said...

Ben, so glad you are back!

8/30/2015 08:46:00 AM  

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