Beautiful Monsters, Righteous Swindles, and Privileged Malcontents
In this case, our theme has to do with political philosophy, which must begin with a proper definition of the human person. Thus, we've essentially been touching on "principles of human nature," including our intrinsic rights, duties, and capabilities.
It cannot be overemphasized that the left, as usual, has some very different ideas of where to start. For example, there is no place for "human nature" in leftism. If there were, then this would undermine their whole project, which ignores human nature when it doesn't attack it outright.
Even so, you will have noticed that a leftist is never consistent with his principles. Rather, he will have the audacity to appeal to "human nature" when it is expedient to do so -- for example, it would never occur to them to force a Muslim caterer to do business with a homosexual bathhouse. Religious freedom, and all that.
But a principle, in order to be one, applies universally, which is to say, at all times and in all places. This metaphysical inconsistency reveals the true principle that animates the left: power, or better, will (through which power is exercised).
It is the same with other transcendentals, by the way. As Dennis Prager often points out -- and not in a polemical way, mind you -- truth is simply not an important value for the left. What really animates the left are things like equality, race, class, gender, "social justice," "microaggressions," and the right to use the wrong bathroom.
Recall that man is characterized by intelligence, free will, and sentiment, which are adequations to the true, good, and beautiful, respectively. Although these three converge upon the One, it is nevertheless the case that Truth must predominate, at least herebelow. As Schuon often says, there is no right greater than that of truth.
Consider the alternatives. We might begin our political philosophy with beauty, but it is doubtful the resultant system will last long. Many ideas of the left are superficially attractive, but unfortunately catastrophic in their application.
In order to ignore the entirely predictable catastrophe(s), the will is brought into play. Impossibility is no barrier, just a nuisance. Look, if you are publicly willing to amputate your private parts in order to prove you're a woman, what won't you do to demonstrate the impossible?
Consider, I don't know, ObamaCare. What a beautiful idea -- that everyone, solid citizen and lazy bum alike, can have affordable and quality healthcare, with no tradeoffs and no losers! However, being that the idea in no way comports with reality, it must be forced to do so via Will, i.e., taxes, subsidies, penalties, regulations, manipulations, bribes, and threats.
Probably a mistake for Republicans to try to rescue the Democrats from their impending shipwreck. Let their principles play out against the shoals of reality, so people can learn a priceless lesson they will never forget -- that abstract beauty and perverse willfulness are no way to organize a healthcare system.
It reminds me of the 1980s, when the left had another beautiful idea for dealing with the Soviet Union: unilateral disarmament. Or how about before that, in the latter half of the 1960s, when Love was thought to be the answer. Well, yes, no shit. But not detached from truth! Not to belabor the analogy, but remember Hitler's dog. To love what is hateful is as dysfunctional as cherishing the lie as truth (or celebrating the ugly as beautiful).
If Truth exists, then it is our obligation to know it, right? This is a fine example of what we might call a "natural duty," for the duty follows logically from the premise. Human intelligence is a rare privilege, but the privilege imposes obligations that can only be ignored at the soul's peril.
But what if, like deconstructionists and the like, one begins with the principle that truth either doesn't exist or is inaccessible to man? What happens is institutionalized irresponsibility, AKA journalism and tenure, the fake news of the MSM and false truth of liberal academia.
Getting back to truth and obligation; again, supposing truth exists, then we are obligated to know it. But even prior to this is an epistemophilic drive to know truth. It's built into us. To paraphrase Schuon, as animal instincts are their intellect, for man, intellect is our instinct. In short, we are born to know -- which means that our minds are in conformity -- at least in potential -- to the nature of things.
Now if truth is what we are compelled to know, then "virtue" is what we must attain, for as intellect is to the True, will is to the Good: "Virtue is what we must love, become and be" (Schuon).
Here again, man is intrinsically obligated to "be good," so to speak. This is woven into the very fabric of our being, as is truth. With the exception of sociopaths, everyone wants to be good; and even sociopaths convince themselves they are doing good as they understand it.
What do we call people who will the bad and call it good? I can't think of a particular word, but they are certainly moral idiots. Take the Islamists, who are motivated by a strict conception of the good. Or, closer to home, take our liberal fascists, who are motivated by their own perverse ideas of "social justice."
But this again goes to the priority of truth, for "social justice," as Hayek pointed out 75 years ago, isn't just a meaningless phrase, but often a malevolent phrase that means the opposite of what it pretends to mean, AKA injustice. The Aphorist said it well: 'Social justice' is the term used to claim anything to which we do not have a right; and the adjective that serves as a pretext for all swindles.
So, left wing justice is a theft and it is a swindle. Other than that, it's the highest and most progressive form of justice there could ever be!
As to the academic left, it has become notorious for disseminating knowledge with no truth, thus uprooting the intellect's very reason for being. "When all is said and done," writes Schuon, "reason becomes an infirmity" for such ignoramuses who pretend to knowledge.
Oh, and speaking of social justice, in the same book, Schuon has a few choice Remarks on Charity. These also go to the left's prior denial of human nature:
"One has to beware of turning the beneficiary of charity into an insolent protester, incapable of appreciating another's generosity; the man who does not know how to say 'thank you' whole-heartedly, and without concerning himself with the psychology of his benefactor, is a monster."
When is the last time one of these monsters thanked us for our civilization, for our system of government, and for disproportionately funding their dysfunctional schemes? Instead, we are relentlessly accused of being "privileged," when truly, they are privileged to live in our world.