Thursday, December 07, 2017

The World Wide Counter-Web

The diffusion of a few drops of Christianity into a leftist mind transforms the idiot into a perfect idiot. --Dávila

Continuing with the False Promise of Big Government, it's a little like Genesis 3 All Over Again, isn't it? For the promise of Big Government is another phony attempt to beat the system -- the system of reality.

Now, there are systems that can and should be beaten. Indeed, a large part of "fallenness" involves falling into a kind of world wide existential system to which, in many ways, we cannot avoid adapting.

Imagine being born into a crime family, like the Mafia or the Clintons, and not knowing any better. Well, the human species is a kind of crime family. Or maybe you're unacquainted with this thing called history. But God knows: Christianity assumes the misery of history, as Christ assumes that of man. (Dávila).

BTW, yesterday I was reminded of Jesus' friendly warnings to the rich. But back then, wealth was based upon theft, slavery, and plunder. There was no meritocracy, no upward mobility, no secure private property, and no rule of law, so the wealthy were more like thieves than capitalists.

About our being caught in the world wide web, here are some fine aphorisms:

Where Christianity disappears, greed, envy, and lust invent a thousand ideologies to justify themselves.

The Christ of the Gospels is not concerned with the economic situation of the poor, but with the moral condition of the rich.

In the Christianity of the leftist Christian, one of the two elements sooner or later eliminates the other.

Only the Church considers itself a congregation of sinners. All other communities, religious or lay, feel themselves to be a confraternity of saints.

He who claims equal opportunity ends up requiring that the gifted be penalized.

World Wide Web. That reminds me of something. Ah yes, an editorial I've been saving from a couple of weeks ago by Glenn Reynolds on the role of social media in spreading disease -- not biological diseases but cognitive, and I would say, spiritual, diseases:

[I]n recent years we’ve gone from an era when ideas spread comparatively slowly, to one in which social media in particular allow them to spread like wildfire. Sometimes that’s good, when they’re good ideas. But most ideas are probably bad; certainly 90% of ideas aren’t in the top 10%. Maybe we don’t know the mental disease vectors that we’re inadvertently unleashing....

We don’t know much about the spread of ideas, or what would constitute the equivalent of intellectual indoor plumbing. (Censorship isn’t enough, as it often just promotes the spread of bad ideas that people in power like). Over time we’ll learn more. Maybe we’ll come up with something like the germ theory of disease for ideas.

Or, maybe we already have something like the germ theory of disease for bad ideas. I know I do, anyway. Reynolds himself provides a hint: "Better nourished minds are likely more resistant to social-media contagion." Specifically, proper vertical nourishment is without question the best defense against the empty but destructive calories of purely horizontal ideologies.

Thus, for example, "The Church’s function is not to adapt Christianity to the world, nor even to adapt the world to Christianity; her function is to maintain a counterworld in the world" (Dávila).

You don't have to take that literally in order to understand that you need to anchor your thinking -- indeed, your very being -- in the sheetrock of Principles that Cannot Not Be, which serve as a counterworld to the fallenworld.

As you know, I am currently surrounded by flames. There is nothing political about the flames, any more than there is something political about gravity. But this morning I stumbled across the following tweet by some liberal celebrity: "Just evacuated my house. It's like Donald Trump is setting the world on fire. Literally and figuratively."

Of course. Who doesn't see it?

Er, the sane?

Back to the main subject at hand. I only have time enough to quote a couple of relevant passages from the book, and let you do the myth. They don't really require any commentary on my part:

The nongovernmental institutions of civil society transmit to each new generation those virtues without which free societies cannot survive. When these institutions function properly, they help prevent people from becoming too dependent on government. They also unify people and empower them to control government....

So a vicious circle ensues: the more the federal government drains the energy and independence of the social and mediating institutions, the more that individuals become increasingly atomized and separated; and the more individuals become disconnected, the more a centralized government steps into the void.

Let us recall that The proclamation of our autonomy is the founding act of Hell (Dávila). This fall into pseudo-autonomy is followed by the wrong kind of dependence. For ultimate reality is relational, not atomistic; it is not atoms-in-relation, but relation-in-atoms. Big government is one more attempt to undo the effects of the fall, way downstream from where it has occurred.

6 comments:

julie said...

It's like Donald Trump is setting the world on fire. Literally and figuratively.

Actually, it's more like the world - or rather, the left - has been trying to set Trump on fire, having first doused themselves in gasoline.

Only the Church considers itself a congregation of sinners. All other communities, religious or lay, feel themselves to be a confraternity of saints.

The irony of this is that only Christianity can offer the possibility of true divinization.

Rick said...

"The irony of this is that only Christianity can offer the possibility of true divinization."

Howeverrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....

"In heaven we will all be "Saint-so-and-so..."*
~ Bishop Barron

Translation: It's the only way in.

Rick said...

This is a really good one:

"The Church’s function is not to adapt Christianity to the world, nor even to adapt the world to Christianity; her function is to maintain a counterworld in the world"

I heart it.

Rick said...

"Better nourished minds are likely more resistant to social-media contagion."

My wife and I were very fortunate to take a long road trip around the American Southwest this year. Part of it, maybe the heart of it, passed though Monument Valley. Along "Forrest Gump road" was a little roadside stand with an old lady selling handmade jewelry that her husband makes. We chatted a bit. She pointed to her house. I couldn't see it. She said "our closest neighbor is 10 miles away." She tried to teach me some Navajo words. Later when we got back in the car I said to my wife, I can't imagine anything happening in the news hat could have any affect on her life in anyway. It must not matter what day it is, or what century.
Cash only, Ahéhee’.

Gagdad Bob said...

That's true for most of us most of the time. For me the apocalypse is like 10 miles away, but if I didn't have a TV, I wouldn't even know about it. There's not even any smoke, because the wind is driving it south, when we're east of one and west of another.

Anonymous said...

Rick and Bob:

Very interesting comments about how we intake information.

For investigations, direct observation is king, the eyewitness interview is queen, confidential media is prince, and...public media is the court jester.

For the isolated Navajo, it is easy to know all you need to know. Very relaxing.

For the city dweller, not getting the panties in a knot over public media information is recommended.

Charlotte Blake, PI