The Left in Ten Words
Or as Don Colacho, the pinnacle of pith, says, Phrases are pebbles the writer tosses into the reader's soul. The rest is on you, because The diameter of the concentric waves they displace depends on the dimensions of the soul. From my end the rocks may feel like boulders, but for those of you with especially capacious souls, I suppose they may feel like a spray of pea gravel.
In any event, Prolixity is not an excess of words but a dearth of ideas. Note, for example, the enviable economy of the left, in that A vocabulary of ten words is enough for a Marxist to explain history. That being the case, it shouldn't take more than ten words for us to explain the ideas -- or even Idea -- of the left.
These ten words are: relativism, idolatry, ingratitude, theft, vanity, patricide, lies, adultery, murder, and anti-slack. Each is related to the others, but is there a master Idea that conditions the rest? I would suggest there is, but we'll heave that rock when we get to it.
Speaking of economy of expression, these would of course represent the inverse of the Ten Commandments. Think about that: ten rules are all we need in order to have "earth as it is in heaven." I haven't read Prager's The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, but I'm guessing he says the same thing, more or less:
"The most important words ever written are the Ten Commandments. These words changed the world when they were first presented at Mt. Sinai to Israelites, and they are changing it now. They are the foundation stones of Western Civilization."
So, "Given their staggering importance, you would think that all societies, and certainly our educational and religious institutions, would be intent on studying them closely."
Yeah, right. He suggests that our schools "take them for granted," when that is clearly untrue. Rather, they take them quite seriously, in that they go to great lengths to teach precisely the opposite.
(He discusses each one in a video at Prager University. I haven't yet viewed them, but I guess I should. I'll start with the first.)
Recall the crack above about tossing pebbles from the inside out. Well, in this case it is God hurling foundation stones from the inside-out and top-down (which amount to the same thing). They land down and out (or rather, one might say that down and out are their shadows), and are the stones upon which we are to rebuild up and in to Celestial Central.
Here again, the story of the Tower of Babel encrapsulates the contradictory approach, in which tenured man fashions his own bricks in the effort to construct an edifice superior to God's.
Let's take #1, which I just reviewed at Prager U. He makes the point that it sets up a kind of exchange between God and man: that I, God, brought you out of slavery, so you, man, ought to see fit to obey my commandments.
I would widen out the mythopoetic narrative of Exodus, and say that at bottom it goes to the mysterious presence of freedom as such -- of free will. If man is not free then he is in bondage, and to the extent that freedom exists, it can only come from God. There is not, nor can there ever be, any scientific explanation of the mystery of free will. Freedom is as beyond the scientific horizon as what came "before" the Big Bang.
If freedom is a gift from God, then it should provoke awareness of gratitude. Thus, where the left doesn't deny or devalue freedom, it certainly never expresses gratitude for it. In fact, I would say that the ingratitude leads directly to the devaluation.
Thomas Sowell, for example, writes of a time when blacks were aware of the awesome gift of freedom. But since the 1960s, self-styled "civil rights leaders" have dismissed genuine freedom in favor of an embittered life on the white liberal plantation, meanwhile watching groups who do cherish freedom pass them by.
Instead of teaching freedom and gratitude, the left teaches victimhood (in which one is merely an object of the free instead of a subject of freedom) and bitterness (in which the gift of freedom is transformed into the curse of responsibility).