Friday, September 02, 2016

The Cheap Splendor of Liberal Lies

There is no way to know with certainty that we have "made contact with reality." Even if all other knowers agree with us we could still be wrong; and no one might agree with us, yet we could still be right. Therefore, our conviction that we have reached truth "is always a fiduciary conviction, as are also the convictions of other people seeking to evaluate our vision" (Prosch).

Fiduciary is another word for trust, which is in turn closely related to faith: we trust what we have faith in, and vice versa. Whom do you trust? I, for example, no longer trust the left, to put it mildly. This is because I naively trusted them for half my life, and it turned out that most everything they told me was a lie or distortion or half-truth. They abused my trust. Which is a sin, especially when done to a child (which is more or less always, because it renders adults childish). As we said once before, liberalism is a Peter Pandemic

A passage in this article on feminist indoctrination reminded me of how it felt to be a leftist. It's important, because one reason why leftist thought takes root in the psyche is that it mimics truth in a compelling way.

As the author puts it, "When I first discovered women’s studies, I was lulled into a comforting sense that I had discovered the 'truth.' It was as if my veil of ignorance had been yanked away, and I was blissfully seeing the world for what it really was."

Exactly. Any intelligent person realizes -- for it is built into man -- that appearances are not reality. Indeed, what is intelligence but our ability to see beneath the surface of things and know their deeper principle? Science, for example, reduces multiplicities to unities, and the deeper the theory, the more phenomena it unifies. Quantum physics unites more than its Newtonian forerunner, as Darwin unites more than Lamarck or other purely biological alternatives.

Just so, it is not only that the left lies; rather, it must be the type of lie that mimics truth in bringing together disparate phenomena, providing us with a kind of counterfeit aha! experience. This is no doubt how all those intellectuals were pulled in by Marx. Here was a theory that explained everything (except how Marx could transcend class and know unconditioned Truth).

Freudian psychoanalysis accomplished the same thing. Speaking of Darwinism, it also serves this purpose for flatland ideologues such as Richard Dawkins and the like. There is something positively thrilling about a theory that liberates one from the appearances of things, and gives access to a deeper reality that "explains everything."

For this is precisely what truth is supposed to do: you know, set us free. Free from what? Well, from appearances, for starters. Truth is surprising, as we've been suggesting over these past several posts. It is not merely a logical operation, or deduction from first principles. To quote Dávila, Faith is not assent to concepts, but a sudden splendor that knocks us down. You could say that real truth palpably defeats our efforts to resist it.

Continuing with the article, "I have taken seven women’s studies classes.... After taking those classes, I realize that not only was I deluded, but I was led into an absurd intellectual alcove where objective truth is subordinate to academic theories used as political propaganda."

Yes: deluded and used. Weak and malleable women serve this purpose for the left, but not nearly to the extent that blacks do. Women of all ages are more likely than men to be on the left, but for blacks the ratio is usually higher than nine to one.

How is that? Again, it must be the satisfaction, the counterfeit thrill of a theory that explains everything. All you really need to know is that you are black, and all life's mysteries are revealed to you. Such is the meretricious beauty of identity politics, whether one is female, homosexual, Hispanic, Aryan, whatever. It is the key that opens the Cosmic Door.

Now, the real splendor is a prolongation of truth, as light rays are to the sun. Faith is its mode of receptivity -- like one of the five senses, only on a higher plane. How to tell the difference between this and its phony substitutes? Hmm, let's see. Let's think back to when Bob was a liberal.

Surely it must be important that I was not only irreligious but anti-religious, such that I explicitly excluded myself from any real graces, except the ones that could get past my defenses. Therefore, the only splendor available to me would by definition have to come from the left. And that it did.

Even today, for example, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States is the bestselling work of history on college campuses. Thirty six years after its initial publication it is still #227 on Amazon, and must have made its Marxist author a small fortune (the wiki article on Zinn says it routinely sells in excess of 100,000 copies a year). Not bad for a torrent of lies.

In any event, I still remember the feeling upon reading Zinn and others like him. Again, like any good conspiracy theory, it explains everything. It also has a gnostic appeal, because now you are in on the secret. And it has a religious appeal, both because it saves (to be on the left is to be Good and therefore absolved of sin) and liberates one from appearances. It also provides meaning from evangelizing and converting those still living in darkness. Not incidentally, it also makes you a Superior Person, so the appeal to narcissism is transparent (no doubt accounting for its appeal to the featherbrains of Hollywood and the MSM).

I didn't intend to go in this direction, but here we are. Let's conclude with some aphorisms:

The only man who saves himself from intellectual vulgarity is the man who ignores what it is fashionable to know.

To feign knowledge of a subject, it is advisable to adopt its most recent interpretation.

Great stupidities do not come from the people. First, they have seduced intelligent men.

26 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Related:

"She ought to have learned the following rule, a rule that should be inscribed over the doorway to every therapist’s office: The fact that you believe very strongly in something means that you believe in it very strongly. Nothing more. It also means that you have dispensed with liberality and the marketplace of ideas. It means that you have dispensed with pragmatic and rational thought. It also means that you are most likely wrong."

9/02/2016 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, read that earlier. I'm not a big fan of Schneiderman's, but every now and then he does make some great observations.

The women described in that article are just terrible. Is it really possible that they seemed fine all that time, only to show their true colors over an election?

9/02/2016 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I say No Way. If someone is that willful, it's gotta come out in other ways. One point of Genesis is that when it comes to Woman, Man can blind himself to anything. Where would blues and country music be without that blindness?

9/02/2016 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

And remember, men will do anything to get laid... even join the left!

9/02/2016 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Or call themselves feminist. never a good sign.

9/02/2016 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Great thing about women is,
you only need one.

9/02/2016 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Indeed; choose wisely...

9/02/2016 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Abdulmonem Othman said...

I do not like to sound anti-semite, after all I belong to the Ishmaelite branch who are causing all these troubles in the world. However what surprise the attention is that that almost all those thinkers behind the left ideology are jews that is not to say that there are no others from other groups, nor to say that all jews of that brand. It is Polanyi the jewish who spoke about the treason of the intellectuals and described Marxism as a type of moral perversion. The truth is to place our trust in truth and never put our trust in any person or any group but to draw our own unique path that will attracts us to the company of the example that resonate with our choice. Ibn Arabi emphasized that the moslem path does not prevent anyone from pursuing the christian path or the judaic path and said many sufis have died in the realm of christianity or other realms. So it is not the brand but the truth. Christians can not absolve themselves from the jewish-arab conflict but they have to be honest broker and gain their independence from the influence of the jews. It is time for personal and collective truth and the exposure of the lies and the liars behind the lies, irrespective of the quarters or the groups that perpetrated that vicious lies . I am reading about the old and the new testaments and how that impacted the independence of the bible as a book that came to correct the perversions of the previous book.

9/02/2016 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It is true that Jews have been disproportionately represented among prominent leftists, but this is mainly because they substituted leftism for Judaism.

As for any conflict between Arabs and Israel, I am 100% pro-Israel, 0% pro-Arab. Except for maybe Abdullah of Jordan. He seems reasonably civilized, and would probably be even more civilized if his people could tolerate it.

9/02/2016 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Abdulmonem Othman said...

Do you think this is a fair position for one after truth. Thank you for your honesty.Adios.

9/02/2016 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Truth and elementary morality.

9/02/2016 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I even suspended my cOOn vision in deference to Abdul, but he, like a woman, was giving off the vibes long before now.

I must be getting rusty...

9/03/2016 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If you cannot distinguish between Israel -- one of the most decent nations on earth -- and the Arab nations that wish to destroy her, then you may want to see about getting a refund on your moral compass, because it is broken.

9/03/2016 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of hebraphilia, I believe Ted asked if I was going to read volumes 2 and 3 of Manchester's Churchill biography. Yes and Yes. I just finished 1, and I am on to 2. It is the best biography I've ever read, and not just because it's about The Most Interesting Man in the World, but because Manchester is a great writer in his own write. A bit of a lefty, but it doesn't at all infect the proceedings as today's vulgar breed does.

Anyway, 2,500 pages, and I'll still be sad when I'm done.

9/03/2016 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Has anyone noticed a strong, sad tendency for most Jews to hate Trump?
[Jesse Watters & a few exceptions...] To wed, Ivanka converted to Judaism for Christless' sake!

9/03/2016 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

75% of Jews are Democrats, so no big surprise there.

9/03/2016 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There are many theories as to why such an intelligent people should be so politically unwise, but therein may lie the answer. More Jews are exposed to higher education, and are therefore more exposed to indoctrination.

9/03/2016 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

OK but in the Donald's case: not his NY'erness, his daughter's conversion, his allround unique wild & craziness resonates w/ some sympathetic quality in so many media figure J's from Bader-Ginzy on down to All in the Family members...nearly seems to be as lockstep as African_Amer's to go bigtime 'leave the usa if he's elected' antiTrump but& just-fine w/ his hyperflawed rival...

9/03/2016 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I still just don't understand how people can look at:

an outright criminal surrounded by a mountain of suspicious corpses, and any number of criminal activities that haven't been prosecuted simply because she knows whose strings to pull
vs.
a guy who seems like kind of a jerk but hasn't actually done anything criminal and seems to genuinely love this country and want what's best for its people

and pick the criminal. I truly do not understand.

9/03/2016 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

ge--

I can't say I've really noticed anything new. Since every Republican presidential candidate is by definition Hitler, I just tune it out.

9/03/2016 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't call Hillary Stalin. It's bad enough that she's HIllary.

9/03/2016 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Mme Scherzo said...

At some point in the not too distant future, referring to someone as a Hillary will be the apex of defining an evil person.

9/04/2016 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I wouldn't advise that, for that is what liberals do. By abolishing degrees, it ends up simply trivializing evil.

9/04/2016 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Bob, you just added 2000 more pages to my reading list. Thanks, I think :).

This gave me a chuckle.

9/04/2016 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger TmjUtah said...

If the day should ever come that Israel disappears under a howling Arab horde, the dawn of the next day will be marked by the slaughter of the weakest Arab tribe by the next strongest.

And life in the fertile crescent will have returned to the normal before there was ever a tribe of Abraham.

9/04/2016 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Civilization is always surrounded by barbarians. But civilization is usually wider than nine miles.

9/04/2016 07:06:00 PM  

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