Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Does Leftism Feed on the Blood of Innocents?

Almost no time this morning to make any vertical progress. Therefore you get this half-baked and unfinished post:

Have you ever read James Frazer's classic The Golden Bough? He was apparently the first to notice all the human sacrifice going on, and is considered one of the founding fathers of anthropology. I read the abridged edition many years ago. I mention it because it was a major influence on Girard.

The Golden Bough attempts to define the shared elements of religious belief and scientific thought, discussing fertility rites, human sacrifice, the dying god, the scapegoat and many other symbols and practices whose influence has extended into twentieth-century culture. Its thesis is that old religions were fertility cults that revolved around the worship and periodic sacrifice of a sacred king. Frazer proposed that mankind progresses from magic through religious belief to scientific thought" (Prof. Wiki).

So Frazer was a positivist. Which is why he committed the ontological booboo of conflating Christianity with pre-Christian myths. For Girard, it is the other way around: the myths prefigure the reality.

I refer you to chapter XXIV, The Killing of the Divine King. "Now primitive peoples, as as we have seen, sometimes believe that their safety and even that of the world is bound up with the life of one of these god-men or or human incarnations of the divinity."

But of course the god-man is nothing of the sort. Eventually he shows signs of mortality, even if only aging. Have you ever seen The Man Who Would be King? In it Sean Connery becomes the god-man for a pagan tribe. When he is seen to bleed, he is chucked down a mountain gorge while his pal, Michael Caine, is crucified.

In order to avoid this eventuality, Frazer says that "the man-god must be killed as soon as he shows symptoms that his powers are beginning to fail.... The advantages of thus putting the man-god to death instead of allowing him to die of old age and disease are, to the savage, obvious enough."

There's a lot more. The condensed version is over 800 pages. But you get the idea. As did primitive man, since the practice was so widespread. Even so, it is difficult to wrap our minds around the subject -- Bailie would say because we have been Christianized and therefore "treated" for -- if not wholly cured of -- the sacrificial virus.

Even so, the sacrificial motif clearly survives into contemporary times, only we have to look for it under the surface of things. It's even a kind of lens you may use to interpret the news of the day: the news often comes down not only to identifying today's sacrificial victim, but creating the victim. Whose life will the media destroy today?

For pre-Christian savages, victims are just victims. However, in a Christianized culture, we have sympathy for them, which is precisely why leftism involves the unedifying race to the bottom of victimhood. Just as primitive peoples have a garbled and half-digested message, so do leftists. In short, because the divine -- Christ -- was a victim, they deploy unconscious logic and conclude that victims are therefore divine.

You simply cannot understand contemporary leftism outside this twisted logic. Their whole appeal is to Sacred Victims, including everyone from women to blacks to Muslims to Hispanics to the elderly to "LGBT people." Add them all up and it probably comes to, I don't know, 85% of the population. The only people who aren't victims are white males.

In this scenario, it is as if we -- white males -- are the corrupt priesthood sacrificing all these innocent victims. I suppose Trump would be the alpha priest. Who's on his altar today?

7 Comments:

Blogger mushroom said...

For Girard, it is the other way around: the myths prefigure the reality.

Lewis, too, he pretty well eviscerated Frazer who wrote a huge book and spent his life missing the point.

12/07/2016 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

...the news often comes down not only to identifying today's sacrificial victim, but creating the victim. Whose life will the media destroy today?

Recently, I was reminded of an old episode of South Park, wherein the pop celebrity of the year is first raised up, then sacrificed. Crass as they are, they certainly had a point.

As to whom Trump will be skewering today, I don't know but it's probably nearing time for a fresh batch of popcorn.
Notably, the media seems to be doing their damnedest to sacrifice him, but so far it hasn't worked.

12/07/2016 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

More fundamentally, what the left really wants to sacrifice is the truth, any time it fails to live up to their demands. Hate facts must be annihilated! Only then can utopia be achieved.

12/07/2016 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

*Apparently the Infowars story I linked about Google is misleading. They are not hiding search results, just refusing to autocomplete certain search terms much as they did with Hillary Clinton during the campaign. That said, in a world of "curated" social media news promotion it's still true that the left hates any truth that doesn't agree with their ideology, and will come up with any number of ways to make it more difficult to stumble across reality.

12/07/2016 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Meanwhile in France, it is "disinformation" to try to persuade women against having an abortion - and thus any website in France promoting life over abortion may now be a crime. Notably, France also has a "free abortions for all" plan that covers the cost of all abortions up to 12 weeks gestation.

So, literally sacrificing truth so they can continue to sacrifice innocent lives with impunity.

12/07/2016 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

"Even so, it is difficult to wrap our minds around the subject -- Bailie would say because we have been Christianized and therefore "treated" for -- if not wholly cured of -- the sacrificial virus."

I was thinking, after reading yesterday's post, how on earth could human sacrifice ever have been popular?

"...victims are just victims. However, in a Christianized culture, we have sympathy for them,..."

Yeah, exactly.

Mushroom mentions "The Vikings" in his post today. Made me think of the episode in the first season where there was a human sacrifice. I could barely watch it. It disturbed me at a deep level.

12/07/2016 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Yes, I remember that one. It was tough. Pre-Christian human sacrifices were all about appeasement of a god, often a fickle one. Christ's sacrifice was purely atoning and substitutionary. It is mercy finding a way to justice through love.

12/07/2016 05:12:00 PM  

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