Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Inane Reciprocity of the Liberal House of Mirrors

Here's a provocative claim: "Without objectivity and transcendence there cannot be man, there is only the human animal; to find man, one must aspire to God" (Schuon).

This is consistent with the gag by Voegelin above our comment box, that The quest, thus, has no external 'object,' but is reality itself becoming luminous for its movement from the ineffable, through the Cosmos, to the ineffable.

In other words, you can spend your life searching for your self and not find it. Or worse, your punishment will consist in finding and being stuck with your self, precisely.

The point is, man qua man lives in the vertical space between Herebelow and Thereabove, or the metaxy.

It reminds me of something the Aphorist says: that If man is the sole end of man, an inane reciprocity is born from that principle, like the mutual reflection of two empty mirrors. As such, To believe in the redemption of man by man is more than an error; it is an idiocy.

It is customary to regard Republicans as the stupid party and Democrats as the evil party. But beneath the evil of the latter is the metaphysical idiocy alluded to by Davila. Republicans may be idiotic, but they're not usually that idiotic.

As it so often happens, I'm reading another (so far) excellent book on the history of progressivism that goes to just this idiocy.

Along these lines, one of the problems with a state-funded indoctrination is that nowhere in the course of it will you learn the truth about your state-funded indoctrination: it is a vertically closed system that cannot (or at least will not) look at itself. It takes no chances, so it excludes transcendence entirely under the tendentious guise of "separation of church and state."

Obviously, the progressive state doesn't want you to know the truth about itself. It reminds me of a story linked to Drudge yesterday, that in China it is against the law to criticize Martyrs of the Communist Revolution. The difference between us and them is that no one here needs to enact such a law. Rather, the educational establishment takes care of it without having to be coerced.

The promethean nature of progressivism was apparent from the getgo in the late 19th century. The prometheanism consisted precisely in what was said above about collapsing the metaxy and attempting to redeem ourselves, i.e., for the state to lift us by its purloined lootstraps.

Nor was this a solely secular project. If only! Rather, there was plenty of help from Christianist do-gooders, busybodies, and control freaks who understood everything about Christianity except its whole point.

Example.

The progressives' urge to reform America sprang from an evangelical compulsion to set the world to rights, and they unabashedly described their purpose as a Christian mission to build a Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

This was the infamous Social Gospel that morphed into heretical liberation theology and various other iterations. You might say that Social Justice Warriors are the same old irritating Social Gospel Warriors, minus the Gospel.

For the SGWs, salvation no longer applied to the individual. Rather, "society was the proper object of redemption," and "sin was no longer a matter of inborn immorality." In short, "sin was social in cause."

Is it just me, or does it smell like sulphur in here?

Another clever trick was to displace the invisible hand of the market to the very visible and clumsy hand of the State: "The social gospel economists, who opposed free markets but not divine purpose, relocated Him to the state."

True, God works in mysterious ways, but the greatest mystery of the progressive administrative state is how it managed to staff itself with all those thousands of angelic beings who look after us so selflessly.

Nor was there any need to wait around for Christ's return in order to fashion our new Kingdom of Heaven right here on earth. Rather, "Christian men and women, providentially equipped with science and the state, would build it with their own hands. In other words, the social gospelers believed they already held the blueprints for social and economic redemption."

So, how did that work out? They will never tell you. Which should tell you how things worked out.

In order to accomplish their mission, progressives needed of course to rid us of the Constitution and its underpinning of natural law. If there is a natural law, then it constrains what progressives can do to us, so it has to go.

Interestingly, and for the same reason, they were also quite explicitly opposed to the idea of natural economic law -- you know, little things like supply and demand, the knowledge problem, and incentives. Virtually all of the early progressive eggheads imbibed this nonsense via post-graduate study in Germany, where they prided themselves on their distinction from the primitive and old-fashioned nonsense of British classical economics.

These newly credentialed zealots "returned from Germany with their evangelical zeal to redeem America" mingled with "the latest ideas in political economy and informed by a working model of economic reform."

So, the worst in religion combined with the latest in tenured nonsense. The result was an aggravated activism that has continued afflicting us down to the present day.

Eh, that's about it for today. Still adjusting to the state-sponsored theft of that extra hour of sack time.

8 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

...they unabashedly described their purpose as a Christian mission to build a Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Thus they were wrong from before the beginning, as it were.

3/14/2017 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

So, the worst in religion combined with the latest in tenured nonsense. The result was an aggravated activism that has continued afflicting us down to the present day.

It continues to amaze that the people who claim they want to, say, stamp out poverty and increase the material standard of living for pretty much the entire world, tend to reject out of hand the one system that has proven to successfully raise the standard of living for pretty much the entire world. Instead, they can't run fast enough toward the system that has repeatedly had the worst outcomes for the most people - and it seems as though the more successful the former, the faster they rush to the latter.

Apparently the American socialists party has tripled its membership since the election - sadly not from one to three. Still relatively insignificant, but has the potential to metastasize. Assuming the numbers are accurate, of course. We know how honest the left tends to be about such things...

3/14/2017 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger debass said...

I just don't get it. Communist societies always purge themselves of the people that helped the leaders attain power. The "useful idiots". They have proven they can't be trusted because they helped overthrow the previous society. These socialist experiments always end the same, with the extermination of people who don't conform or are deemed undesirable (deplorables).

3/14/2017 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

...Christianist do-gooders, busybodies, and control freaks who understood everything about Christianity except its whole point.

Yep, we see the same thing now with immigration, refugees, Ryancare and other issues. The social conservatives are just as stupid as the liberals when it comes to thinking, "But I will use the ring for good."

3/14/2017 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"I will use the ring for good." That is definitely the theme of this book on the history of progressivism. The founders did their best to prevent such things, but they couldn't have anticipated the lawless rise of the administrative state, which is a fourth branch of government, and the media-academic complex, a fifth branch. Not to mention the takeover of the judicial branch. Trump is getting a rapid education on what happens when you poke these powers and principalities.

3/14/2017 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You reference a lot of books, and your readers might be interested in the app called Overdrive, which provides electronic copies of books through the public library system. It's terrific!

3/15/2017 05:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "...they couldn't have anticipated the lawless rise of the administrative state, which is a fourth branch of government, and the media-academic complex, a fifth branch..."

And they couldn't have anticipated it, because they couldn't foresee the rise of an Education that had little interest in, and much ridicule for, Truth, and lots of interest in the notion of replacing truth with 'what works', for the moment, for you, as determined by them.

Leonard does a good job in that book, of pointing out how the denatured academics, especially the new 'economics' experts, wormed their way into telling others how to live their lives more efficiently.

Ugh.

3/15/2017 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes -- interesting too that the time clock was invented to flush out the feebleminded and mentally defective!

And that the whole point of the minimum wage was to price certain undesirables out of the labor market.

3/16/2017 08:15:00 AM  

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