Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Blind Looting the Blind

Kevin Williamson touches on many of the points discussed yesterday about top-down control of complex systems. You can't plan for creativity, novelty, and upside surprise. Rather, you can only foster conditions that either permit or strangle them. Guess which conditions liberal politicians prefer? When is the last time you heard of a politician being accused of creativity -- except perhaps creative ways to peddle influence?

"If we were relying on the intelligence, work ethic, creativity, entrepreneurship, scientific prowess, and far-sightedness of the members of Congress to produce treatments for allergic reactions or any other medical problem, we’d still have a million people a year dying from smallpox and preventable infections. We’d also be starving to death."

It's not that Obama or Bernie or Hillary aren't productive and valuable members of society. Not at all. Rather, they are outright parasites:

"You know what Bernie Sanders is? He’s a bum. He was damn near 40 years old before he ever found his way into a full-time job, and that was in elected office; before that, he collected benefits, sold his creepy rape fantasies for left-wing newspapers at $50 a pop, and never lifted a finger toward any genuinely productive enterprise. He’s been suckling greedily at the public teat since way back when he could remember where his car keys are. Funny thing, though: Now he’s a bum with a third home on the waterfront of a Vermont island worth the better part of a million dollars. Every good apparatchik eventually gets his dacha."

If everyone contributed as much to society as Bernie or Barack or Bubba, we would be living in caves. And yet, their personal affluence ranges from the very comfortable to the royally decadent.

Yes, every apparatchik eventually gets his dacha. For it is written (by Don Colacho): The progressive's intelligence is never more than the accomplice of his career. And Revolutions do not solve any problems other than the economic problems of their leaders. Well done, comrades!

Yesterday we spoke of the moral inversion of the left, which essentially comes down to a kind of fevered religious passion in the absence of religion, and involving a combination of childish idealism (to the point of naive credulity) and deep cynicism. You might say they invert Jesus' counsel, in that they are as wise as doves and innocent as serpents.

Two prerequisites are required for genuine liberalism, the second entailed in the first: freedom from authority such that truth is not imposed but discovered; and a tolerance of opinion rooted in the existence of philosophic doubt. Clearly, nothing can be discovered unless there is a space for the existence of doubt, and where scientific and religious faith are free to roam.

Note that leftism eventually redounds to the precise opposite of these, most notoriously on college campi. Which is why it is so noteworthy that one major university is actually pushing back against the liberal fascists. It is a mark of how far we have fallen that in America -- of all countries -- and on university campuses -- of all places -- it has to be announced that

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

A "safe space" is not an intellectual -- and certainly not spiritual -- space, and an eggshell mind in need of trigger warnings is simply not prepared to encounter or cope with the Hammer of Truth.

Leftists seem to think that religionists are the ones with all the answers, but isn't faith just the bright side of doubt? In other words, a functional faith opens the space between man and God, allowing for genuine adventure, discovery, and exchange of energies. Likewise, in order to make any progress, a scientist must doubt the present state of knowledge, while at the same time having faith that a deeper understanding is just over the horizon.

Even -- or especially -- the catechism of the Catholic church is hardly meant to be some kind of intellectual prison, but rather, the road map for a liberating journey.

Now, there are some things that cannot be doubted without the whole edifice of western civilization crashing to the ground. So, never wonder why the left doubts them. For example, it is only traditional ideals such as a commitment to truth that "can uphold a right to freedom of thought."

Note that the commitment to truth is illogical, or at least cannot be established by mere logic. As we know, logic is ultimately tautological, in that something from outside it must furnish the premises it operates upon, and there is no strictly logical operation for selecting them. Only human judgment can do that.

This is a major reason why the Anglo-American world was spared the intellectual and spiritual rot that overtook the European continent (and is also why the left wishes us to reject our own heritage and imitate the latter).

Since Polanyi wrote, the rot has not only spread to America, but is entering its end stages, especially if the left prevails in November. Until now, the spread of the disease "was prevented in the Anglo-American sphere by an alogical reluctance" to reject truth in favor of an absolute relativism. Polanyi correctly surmised that this reluctance was due "to the distinctive religious character of Anglo-American liberalism [i.e., conservatism]."

Furthermore, "the establishment of democratic institutions took place in England and America at a time when religious beliefs were still strong, indeed dominant." This "gave effect to the moral principles that underlie a free society," and grounded our rights and complementary obligations in transcendent reality.

This too is an example of positive closure, in that to doubt it is to damage the foundation of the whole structure. Which again is why the left relentlessly subjects it to its corrosive cynicism: progressives have been attempting to undo and override the constitution for over a century. Achieve that, and our whole beautiful tradition crumbles.

Which is why this election is so cosmically important. America began with the promise of a new birth of freedom, even a relaunch of mankind -- of mankind 2.0 (not coincidentally rooted in a tradition that sees Jesus as 2.0 to Adam's bug-ridden 1.0). In America one would be free to be good, which is the only way to be good. A slave has no choice in the matter.

The healthy restraints that bind us to truth "were absent in the Continent," where the movement "was antireligious from the start." As such, it "imposed no restraint on skeptical speculations," such that unhinged reason prevailed over truth. When this type of moral inversion occurs, the guillotine -- or gulag or concentration camp -- isn't far behind.

Thus "there emerged a liberalism unprotected by either a religious or civic tradition," with no defense "against destruction by a logical extension of the philosophic skepticism to which it owed its origin."

Call our line of thought obscure if you like, but it points directly to why Europe is right on schedule to auto-destruct due to a pathological liberalism that has opened itself to barbarian hordes happy to exploit its rejection of the universal truths upon which a functioning liberalism must be founded.

If you do manage to free your society of the obligation to truth, don't be surprised if you find yourself displaced by people who have no such qualms about their own possession of absolute truth. Note that neither side -- leftists nor Islamists -- has the functional faith described above, only a myopic certainty of uncertainty at one end, and a blind certainty of certainty at the other.

23 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

"Funny thing, though: Now he’s a bum with a third home on the waterfront of a Vermont island worth the better part of a million dollars. Every good apparatchik eventually gets his dacha."

In my Bible study this morning, we were discussing this very issue. Psalm 73 covers it quite well:

"12 This is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.

15 If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny."

As the Man himself noted, "...they have received their reward in full."

8/25/2016 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Leftists seem to think that religionists are the ones with all the answers, but isn't faith just another word for doubt? In other words, a functional faith opens the space between man and God, allowing for genuine adventure, discovery, and exchange of energies.

Syncoonicity again, in this morning's study, we were discussing the relationships between the various OT prophets and God - particularly the way in which they would often question and even (gasp!) argue with him over serious matters. They had doubts! But they used those doubts as an opportunity to open up that functional space instead of closing themselves off to the uncomfortable reality that there were things they could not know, but must nevertheless trust.

8/25/2016 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree. said...

Rasslin' with God, as we call it down here.

8/25/2016 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Call our line of thought obscure if you like, but it points directly to why Europe is right on schedule to auto-destruct due to a pathological liberalism that has opened itself to barbarian hordes happy to exploit its rejection of the universal truths upon which a functioning liberalism must be founded.

And one more time, discussed this morning: in Deuteronomy as God was opening up the Promised Land he made a couple of promises: follow Me and live, or reject Me and suffer. And of course, after all they had been through, the Israelites almost immediately headed down the suffering path. It's what always happens.

Oh hell, here we go again...

8/25/2016 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

... truth is not imposed but discovered ...

This is what we meant when we said, "Question authority".

8/25/2016 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I have been praying more than usual, perhaps, about the upcoming election, not because I think Trump is any kind of savior or that he will actually accomplish anything. It's more like a finger in the dike -- something you'd think Hillary would be all for.

I know the pendulum swings, but I can't help thinking violence, depression, and war are almost inevitable.

8/25/2016 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just a matter of time before priests are arrested for declining to preside over homosexual ceremonies.

8/25/2016 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Maybe we can manage an amicable divorce instead of a civil war.

8/25/2016 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Then we can conquer those blue state pussies. Manifest destiny!

8/25/2016 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

The lefty homies are going to whack 'em with lots of alimony!

8/25/2016 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yeah, that's just the problem: if there ever is a major separation where red states and blue states part, the red states will do just fine. The blues, though, will suffer (see Venezuela for details); I doubt very much they will be content to sit quietly and figure things out for themselves.

Come to think of it, Germany is a good example of this: before the wall came down, it was plain how much better West had it than East. After it fell, most people assumed that all Germany would all become like West Germany. Looking at the current state of things, it seems the spirit of the East is alive and well, punishing Germans for speaking truth about the barbarians hordes their leaders are inviting into their homes.

8/25/2016 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Don't mind me just a harmless stray mostly apolitical cosmonaut passing through to see whether Gagdhads political view rings resonant or dissonant, it used to go 50%/50% sometimes less. Five years further out from an expensive worthless liberal brainwashing and a better introduction to the real working world of hard knocks seems to have tilted the scales towards say 80% resonant to 20% dissonant. This post though is 100%. God help us.

8/25/2016 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I can relate. It's been a slow process for my prior self to become resonant with my current self.

8/25/2016 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual, you are all completely full of crap.

The development of the Epipen was entirely dependent on government funded research. As, of course, was the Internet that allows you spread your nonsense to other weak minds.

As to the idea that the red states are productive and the blue states are parasites, it's another exact inversion of the truth, as should be obvious. Red states produce soybeans, Blue states produce high technology and culture.

8/25/2016 04:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Sheldon Kaplan said...

I'm pretty sure the Epipen was invented by me.

8/25/2016 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Blue states do indeed produce culture. I've been accusing them of that for years.

8/25/2016 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Zika said...

California and Florida make wonderful petri dishes.

8/25/2016 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Muh culture. Five will get you ten that our Anon's paycheck is blood sucked out of the taxpayers, and he/she/ze has never had an actual productive job in zits life.

I grew up producing food for people from the actual ground. Always seemed like an essential occupation to me. It's also more dangerous than being a police officer.

But, hey, you don't need us anymore. You can get your grub from Cargill, ADM and Monsanto via Whole Foods.

8/26/2016 07:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't the proprietor of this web site:
(a) live in Los Angeles
(b) suckle off the government teat
(c) not produce anything of value (actually given the bs spewed here, his net contribution to humanity is deeply negative)

8/26/2016 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Anon, envy is corrosive. You need to give it up.

8/26/2016 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The leftist Cogito: I envy, therefore I am.

8/26/2016 08:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it you think I envy?

8/26/2016 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Read it & get back to us.

8/26/2016 05:09:00 PM  

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