Monday, November 30, 2020

Big Tech is Watching You

Yesterday I reread 1984 just to get a peek at what else the left might have in store for us in the coming years. 

What is so striking about Orwell's description of the totalitarian mindset is how accurate it is in the small details. It makes me wonder if he was actually seeing into the essence of the left -- like an object before him -- as opposed to verbally articulating an abstract and conceptual ideology.

This is of course how angels know stuff, but there is some overlap between men and angels. In our hierarchical, full-employment cosmos, one man's ceiling is another man's floor, such that the toppermost of one level intersects with the underleast of the next. This is how we end up with dogs that are almost human and a few scattered humans who possess an almost angelic intelligence.

The quintessential case is St. Thomas, who is even called the "angelic doctor."  At the other end, I read somewhere that the creators of the Simpsons modeled Homer after canine psychology, always asking "what would a dog do in this situation?"

Sometimes I feel as if I'm thinking like an angel (when I'm not thinking like a dog), so it can't be that uncommon. Probably most everyone does it at times. In his God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy, Sheen asks "what is the highest perfection of the human intelligence?"

It is a kind of intellectual perception and intuition by which it seizes essences.... This intuition is feeble..., but it is nevertheless the link between it and the next highest order of the intelligence, namely, the angelic. 

He goes on to say that "All angelic knowledge is by intuition; it does not abstract, as the human mind does; it does not reason, as we do; it sees. Its whole intellectual life is an intuition."

For me, Schuon is another example of angelic intelligence. Moreover, when he points at something he is seeing, I could swear I see it too! Maybe not as clearly as he does, but through the usual fog & haze. 

Of course, we are not angels, so the great danger is that our transcendent intuition can get mixed up with other levels and influences, from human to dog to snake.  Moreover, a -- perhaps THE -- great temptation is to work inversely and project a pseudo-angelic intuition onto the world.  

This is what ideology does, precisely, which is what makes it demonic. Ideological thinking is clearly an inverted and perverted form of angelic intelligence. Not for nothing does Voegelin regard all ideology as gnostic in form, irrespective of the specific substance. 

Above I mentioned that I sometimes feel as if I'm thinking like an angel. But I have nothing on a Karl Marx, who imagined he was seeing into the essence of all history and mankind! That was most certainly angelic, bearing in mind that demons are angels too.

Let's describe the angelic dimension in a little more detail. First of all, it is the order between man and God -- just as there exists an order between man and biology, or between biology and matter.  "Each angel transmits to the angel immediately inferior the knowledge which it receives from above." However, -- and this is key --

It does not transmit this illumination in its fullness and perfection, but according to the capacity of the lower intelligence, just as a learned scientist does not transmit principles of science to his intellectual inferiors without examples.

So, we can apprehend the angelic, but always through a more or less darkened glass. Which is one of the reasons why a big part of the spiritual life comes down to cleaning windows. Nevertheless, the clearest  window is still a window and not a door.  The Door is another martyr. 

According to the capacity of the lower intelligence. This is why, no matter how angelic my pronouncements, our trolls can't help understanding them in the form of their own limited intelligence. It's not my fault; rather, it's just that what I am conveying clashes with some crystalized and internalized demonic ideology. 

Which I myself well remember! I know exactly what it feels like when truth crashes against my recalcitrant arrogance, stupidity, and contemptuousness. I am by no means excluding myself from the game.

No creature, however perfect, by the mere fact of its inherent imperfection, can fill the gap between itself and God. 

Now, toss in the acquired imperfection of our fallenness, and you've got an endless funferall and ruseinaction! Or divine comedy. For the cosmos "is not a juxtaposition of indifferently related" strands and  what-have-yous, but "a harmonious crescendo of perfections from the lowest minerals up to God -- a hymn to the Creator."

It just sings a little off key sometimes. Nevertheless, "The intelligence is the key to the communion of the human and the angelic and the divine. From God, who is the source of intellectual light, knowledge descends progressively" until it reaches us, of all people. 

It becomes feebler as it grows in distance from its source, just as the rays of the sun become enfeebled as they are removed further from their source.

The same goes triple for the light of truth, beauty, and goodness.  

I can't end this post without a little bit of Orwellian insultainment. I was struck at how prescient he was in his description of Newspeak -- which in our day is Newspeak. Our liberal media (singular, and for good reason!) is indeed the Ministry of Truth, AKA Minitrue, the purpose of which is "to make all other modes of thought impossible."  It "was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought."

Mission accomplished. Paraphrasing Sr. DávilaA vocabulary of ten words is enough for the leftist to explain history.

One thing Orwell got wrong was the Two Minutes Hate. With CNN and MSNBC and all the rest, it's a 24 Hour Hate -- which makes one wonder what they'll do without Emannuel Trumpstein to be responsible for everything that is wrong in the world.  

I wouldn't worry -- one way or another, the Enemy of the People isn't going anywhere, for he is the Primal Traitor, the Defiler of our Purity, the Perennial Saboteur under the protection of Foreign Paymasters. He doesn't need the left, but the left can't go a day without him.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

First Things First

Let's review.

Okay. Review what?

Good question. We're nearly caught up (or given up) with our desk-clearing, with just a few miscellaneous zingers, gags, and aphorisms strewn about, such as  

Modern philosophy erects a wall of separation between intellect and reality.

We could spin that one into another whole post, but why bother? We get it, and they never will: truth is the link between intellect and being. If not, then to hell with it.  

As everyone knows, anything deep and true is conservative. Some things are true but not particularly deep, e.g., science. Others are deep but not true, assuming ideology can ever truly be deep. For it is written:

Confused ideas and murky ponds seem deep.
Jump headfirst into this shallow pond, and you're likely to knock yourself unconscious.  

Ideology is the antithesis of philosophy as such. There is a law of identity in this here cosmos, such that One ≠ Two; and the very point of philosophy is to comprehend and assimilate the oneness of this one. If we couldn't do this, there would be no such thing as progress.  

There exist many sciences, from physics to chemistry to biology and on up.  But to posit two or more philosophies is incoherent. Even if one hasn't arrived there, one must implicitly posit oneness as both the ground and telos, or alpha and omega, of thought.

I love simple and straightforward definitions of things, with few adjectives, less equivocation, and no poetry. The latter of course has its uses, but also its misuses.  Beware of, say, bad poets masquerading as worse judges. It's how we end up with a SCOTUS decision that includes the following purple passage by Justice Deepak Kennedy:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

Yes, the infamous Mystery Passage. Nice sentiment, but what does it have to do with the Constitution as written, much less with abortion? Does the baby get to exercise this liberty? Or nah? 

Note that it pretends to be a principle, but this is precisely what it can never be, on pain of eliminating the Constitution and even law itself. 

For if law reduces to my right to define reality as I please, then we are all as crazy as the craziest progressive, with no cure. This crock of a doctrine simply allows imbeciles to call themselves philosophers. 

You wouldn't say there are "two physics" -- although I suppose that horsesh*t  has already left the barn too, what with the calls for gendered physics and maths of color.

Let's get back to the principle of one philosophy. Now, this doesn't mean we can't argue over the substance of this one philosophy, but let's not pretend old nobodaddy can be plurabelle.  Don't be buffaloed: nobody's right if everybody's wrong. Likewise, if everybody's right, then nobody is. 

Moreover, if you only understand one side of the question, you understand neither side, let alone the top and bottom.

I know we've discussed this before, but here it comes again: one cosmos, one human nature, one truth, one God, just ONE, gagdaddit!

Allow me to quote Cardinal Mercier on the matter: "philosophy does not profess to be a particularized science, with a place alongside other such sciences and a restricted domain of its own for investigation." 

Nor is it merely the sum of these particular sciences. Rather, it is their unity, both anterior, in a pre-differentiated manner, and posterior, in all their differentiation, i.e., in a higher unity: we analyze in order to synthesize, and abstract in order to unite.  

Science itself is the reduction of multiplicity to unity: as it advances -- say, from geocentrism to heliocentrism, or from Newtonian to quantum physics -- it unifies more disparate phenomena. It becomes both truer and deeper. 

Unless it fancies itself to be truth itself, much less the "deepest truth," at which point it careens off the shallow end into anti-philosophy, i.e., a silly caricature if itsoph.

The Cardinal defines philosophy as "The science of all things through their ultimate and deepest reasons." Again, it is the final answer to the Last Why. The deepest knowledge is the end of the line. It is known with certitude, and this certitude equates to rest. But the left hates rest -- it loves the opposite, "activism" -- and aways wants to stir things up.

For example, who, even a decade ago, would have predicted we would be relitigating the question of free speech? Or that half the country would favor corporate censorship of the other half?  Even Petey didn't see that coming.

Chesterton: "When a society has two souls, there is -- and ought to be -- civil war.... for anything which has dual personality is certainly mad; and probably possessed by devils."

One God and one Truth. Conversely,  many demons and countless lies.

I gotta get some work done, but not before we locate a few aphorisms to help wrap things up in a more restful and slack-infused way:

Because opinions change, the relativist believes that truths change.

Truths are not relative. What is relative are opinions about the truth.

The truth does not need the adherence of man in order to be certain.
To change thoughts repeatedly is not to evolve. To evolve is to develop the infinitude of a single thought.  --Dávila 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving & Envy Thwarting

Thanksgiving is nice, but a more spiritually efficacious holiday might be StopResenting. Or at the very least, these two are complementary: it is impossible for a resentful person to feel thankful, while a thankful person isn't bitter, resentful, and envious.

Even a secular person understands this relationship, or at least I did. Back in graduate school one of the more important theorists we studied was Melanie Klein, whose work focused on the ins, outs, and what-have-yous of primordial -- which is to say, constitutional -- envy.

Why is envy even included in the standard package of humanness?  Is it the shadow or exaggeration of a healthy impulse, or is it a pure privation, or negation, or mind parasite?  We'll get back to that.  Suffice it to say that it appears quite early in our vertical adventure, on page 3. There it describes how, even in paradise, humans find a way to be resentful instead of thankful.  

Note as well that the adversary recognizes this weak link in the human psyche, and exploits it to the hilt.  Could it be that envy is the human kryptonite throughout history, right down to this morning's headline?  Signs point to Yes, but we need some further analysis.  

Let's say the serpent is the very spirit of envy. This cunning spirit puts the bug in Eve's ear that she deserves more -- that someone, somewhere, is having more fun than she is, in this case, God.  

Given the close relationship between man and envy, is it possible that human beings couldn't exist without the potential for envy?  I'm going to say Yes, but with an explanation. Analogously, we could say that human life can't exist without water. Does this mean man must drown? 

If envy is a pathology, or exaggeration, or privation, the question is, of what? Of what healthy impulse or striving?  For we don't want to posit a dualistic or Manichaean cosmos with two ultimate principles fighting it out for supremacy, i.e., an eternal struggle between giving thanks and taking offense.

Let me begin by reviewing my psychoanalytic learnin's, which I haven't looked at in many years. Envy "is a destructive attack on the sources of life, on the good object, not on the bad object."  

This is key, for not only is it an attack on the good object, but envy transforms the good into a bad object.  In other words, the object doesn't start off bad, which then justifies the envious attack; rather, it starts off good until it is transformed by envy.

For example, consider the very next biblical story about Cain and Abel.  Cain envies Abel to the point of murdering him, but not because Abel's offering is bad. Cain is subsequently cursed for his envy, but this might be another way of saying that envy is the curse, for no one who is envious is happy. "Of the deadly sins," writes Joseph Epstein, "only envy is no fun at all" (in The Politics of Envy, by Hendershott).

Hendershott notes that "the envious want the unattainable -- and they want it all."  Being that the unattainable is by definition unattainable, it is as if the envious person has discovered a perpetual unhappiness machine. We are tempted to say that socialism is the collective institutionalization of this machine, but be patient. We'll get to the insultainment.

Why is there a movement to "forgive" college debt? Could it be that these people are unusually envious - even that they went into debt in order to pursue advanced degrees in resentment, and that doing so only made them more resentful?  

Is it possible to eliminate the envy of of the envious by placating it? Or is it preferable to shun envy and marginalize the envious?  The progressive obsession with "equality" is founded on the notion that we can create economic conditions in which envy will disappear.

Is it possible to create conditions that would eliminate other human foibles, say, gluttony or lust?  Knowing what envy actually is, how could one possibly believe it could be eliminated?  Indeed, there is reason to believe that the attempt to eliminate it only aggravates it, largely because indulging a bad habit only fuels it. 

Never underestimate the human ability to justify envy over the most trivial of differences:

History has shown that envy increases in communist countries because the stakes become so small that even the smallest advantages are envied.  

Why do our corporate and technological elites embrace envious socialism?  Easy: to deflect the envy that would otherwise be directed at them.  

Wealthy mediocrities -- celebrities and the like -- know full well that they don't deserve their wealth (nor for that matter do they not deserve it; it's just a fluke of the free market, or a consequence of the greater good of freedom).  Claiming to support socialism is analogous to a business putting up a BLM sign: don't attack me! I'm on your side!

In simple societies, the fear of envy is very high. Tribal people believe that they will be envied by their neighbors for any advantage they may gain, and they are likely to believe that the hostile wishes of their neighbors can harm them...

Exactly.  Simple societies like San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Manhattan.   

Question: is envy socially constructed? Or is it innate?  Trick question! For there is no such thing as a person outside a social context.  As we've discussed in manyposts, We is ontologically prior to I, and is its necessary ground (no We, no I).  

Now, there are many possible links within this We, for example, love, curiosity, empathy.  But there can also be envious or greedy or hateful links. Could it be that envy comes down to a persistent intrapsychic link within the structure of the self, only projected outward?

That's what I think, for what it's worth.  Its why envy cannot be eliminated by being indulged.  You can project the unwanted contents of your psyche all day long, but this doesn't actually eliminate it. 

Still, externalizing it is preferable to introspecting and realizing what a rotten and envious person you are.  Better to accuse Trump of racism, or fascism, or being power-hungry, than to confront one's own inner tyrant. Better to cry "structural racism!" than own up to one's failure.  What a seductive -- and addictive -- temptation. 

Is envy getting worse in our day?

Although all generations have been vulnerable to the anxiety caused by the movement to an other-directed society, millennials, the first generation raised on the Internet and social media, have been the most affected by the shift.

Thanks to the internet, we are exposed every day, all day long, to things we can't have and people we'll never be.  

Now, when is it time to reach for one's revolver?

when envy masquerades as resentment or righteous indignation, the envious feelings become legitimated -- even moral.  

Antifa, BLM, feminism, Critical Race Theory, et al. What are these but envy that has been to college? And wants you to pay for tuition?

Demagogues appeal to envy because they believe that promising to destroy the advantages enjoyed by others will win votes and inspire loyalty.

Now, does this mean Biden & Co, will actually destroy the advantages enjoyed by their class? You're not too bright, are you?  No wonder you spent all that money on a worthless degree.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Language Finds a Way

Time only for a brief.  

In the recent election it seems that two viruses proved decisive -- first, the Chinese virus that facilitated all the cheating; and second, the English virus that was so effectively contained by Big Tech, Big Media, Big Debate Moderator, etc., such that truth was not permitted to spread into the population. 

In other words, totalitarianism works, at least for awhile, but language always finds a way, doesn't it?

To plagiaphrase the scientist in Jurassic Park: if there's one thing the history of politics has taught us, it's that language will not be contained. Language breaks free. This is true. But how, and why?

First, why do people everywhere & when want to contain it? How do they do it? And how do we avoid it and them?

Let's proceed directly to the insultainment portion of this post, and put forth the hyperthesis that what we call the "left" is always the anti-language faction (cf. the well known phenomenon of the "totalitarian temptation"), while the essence of liberalism involves setting language free.  

In short, free your speech and your aseity will follow. One need only ponder this mystery for about two seconds to see that it's not a mystery at all.  

Rather it's terribly obvious.  No one is banning speech, books, tweets, ideas, professors, and bloggers but the left. Me? I want the left to speak, in order to show how crazy they are. I've never banned a commenter no matter how stupid, for what is a dullman but a brightcoon's teacher?  

There is obviously a "conserving" aspect of language that is as vital to its flourishing as is the liberating function. It's called, in a word, truth. Free speech without a nonlocal telovator literally goes nowhere.  

Consider just the progress of science. What does it do? It relentlessly strikes down falsehood, superstition, and sacred cowpies without fear or favor, until nothing is left standing but Truth.

Well, not exactly, and for obvious reasons, beginning with meta-science at one end (i.e., the principles by virtue of which science is possible and my understand itself) and scientism at the other, which foolishly equates its necessarily falsifiable proposals with Truth itself.  

You will have noticed that the left likes to think of itself as the "party of science."  Even on its face the opposite is true, but the claim becomes plausible if we think of vulgar scientism as a contemporary mythology of tenured fools, credentialed tools, and digital ghouls. 

Consider the following statement: One ought to believe in science.  No doubt true, as far as it goes. Problem is, there is no Ought in science. Science describes only narrow slices of what Is, never what ought to be.

Yes, there exists an objective land of Ought, but the moment we advert to it, the fool will accuse us of religious dogma. So, who let the dogma in? Did we invent it? Or does it emanate from an immaterial source?

Some if not all of you probably wonder about the irritating wordplay. What's that all about, and is it really necessary? Yes, it is necessary, if only for myself, in order to keep language free.  There is something that is not only freeing about language, but is freedom itself.

A few posts back we described this discovery of freedom in literal terms, with Helen Keller's dramatic inscape from a cramped animality to the wide-open spaces of the logosphere. 

Yes, the truth will set you free. But at the same time, freedom sets one upon the path to truth. In other words, truth itself is the principle, the reason, and the telos of freedom.  

If this is not the case, then freedom has no value at all.  Come to think of it, this is precisely why the left devalues and attacks even the possibility of truth. In their postmoderm, post-truth, and post-literate world, truth poses an everpresent threat to their power.  

This is so obvious that it qualifies as a soph-evident banality: to understand it is to confirm it, once and for all. It goes from hypothesis to principle, just like that. Unless you've successfully internalized a vertical barrier or roadblock.

Now, the purpose of thought it to arrive at principles.  Here again, this goes to precisely why it is impossible to argue (rationally) with a leftist. Oh, they have plenty of principles alright. It's just that the "principles" are ruled by immanent expediency (i.e., the needs of power) instead of transcendent truth, and  can never be reconciled with one another.  Nor are they ever pursued to the absurd conclusions that annihilate them.  

This is why, in order to be a leftist, one must be a little bit educated. But never too far!  Rather, it is obviously critical to stop thinking before the point at which the principles of leftism devour themselves.

The left has near total control of big tech, big education, big journalism, big government, big gender, big poverty, and big entertainment, and yet, it's never enough. Again, language always finds a way. Because -- in a manger of speaking -- it is the way, the truth, the life, the light, etc.

I'll end with a cryptic anecdote. I've been married for, let's see, 33 years. Once upon a time my wife decided to take a leap of faith and assume I was actually trying to help. It changed everything. Although she still needs to be reminded every once in awhile.

Truth cuts both ways. The skill of a surgeon vs. the rusty blade of a 27 year old tech overlord with an advanced degree in nothing. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Experimental Nonfiction: In Search of the Last Why

What I say here will seem trivial to whoever ignores everything to which I allude. -- Dávila 

With our new & improved format, or absence thereof, every post is at most halfbaked & halfbarked fresh each morning, with no past and apparently no future. O God help us in the hour of our dearth of ideas! 

Neither forethought nor hindsight is put into it, just an insolent breach in the discontinuity of language, an invasion of the left brain into the right, or of day into night. A little bitty tear in the fabric of spacetime, so baby don't cry, don't cry.

Or perhaps it is an invasion by the dark into broad daylight. Wouldn't that be something! 

Because make no mistake, and make it again: you are deceived by the clarity and metricality of things and are in desperate need of poetry and noetry and even worse in order to seed beneath the sufferance of the times. 

I am just the manumit for your minervous wreckage, because this -- let's be honest -- is worse than poetry, it is ten minutes of belabored mindjazz in ten minutes of labored reading.  We all have our unbearable crosswords to puzzle. This is yours.     

Time past & time future aren't time present, and apparently not time at all if we are toburrow into it today.  If there is to be continuity -- and sometimes there will be -- it won't generally be on the surface, but at a much deeper level.  

For it has come to this: we are practicing a radical version of the suspension of memory, of desire, and of understanding, and placing all our trust in God or his unconscious deuputy, or whoever takes the wheel first.  Turn off our minds, relax, float downstream, and surrender to the void. It is not dying. Of boredom, anyway. Experimental nonfiction, that's what it is.  

As our first knowledge is spontaneous, so too will be our last. Not last in terms of time, but rather, ultimacy. 

For as mentioned a post or two ago, nothing spares us the final leap back to a childlike vision in daylight, in nature, in wonder, in the garden. That we may finally see the meaning of within, amen for a child's job.

The intelligent adult is one in whom the child has survived and the youth has died. 

Ah, but what is intelligence?

Intelligence is the capacity for discerning principles.

Agreed, but children don't know principles. Let's try anyway. Let's apply them first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Or maybe the other way around, like extreme unction.  

What we propose to do is circle back to childhood via youth and adulthood, and know the place for the first time!  Prayloud to a postcrypt. I just wanted to say that. No filter! That's the rule. The wisdom we lost in the knowledge, the knowledge we lost in the tenure, the facts we lost in the journalism, and what's left?

Only this deeeeep continuity.  Not only is this a thing, it is the most important thing, for it is the very substance of philosophy.  Science deals only with this or thatoccular thing or that spatial sameone, from atoms to molecules to organisms and so on.  But what is the relationship between these?  Obviously it can never be seen, only grasped. It is not empirical but intellectual.

Nor is it new. It's called philosophy. Or, you could call it "One Cosmos," emphasis on both terms, AKA the deep unity and deep order of everything -- not every thing as the sum, but rather, the ground of being that sponsors the very thingness of things.  

Every thing, insofar as it is one, has at least one share of stock in the great corporate entity known as Being. And you'd better believe that this corporation is a person, or it would have gone blankrupt long ago.

But Being isn't just anything, much less nothing.  For one thing, it shines.  Or, in the words of John Lennon, it is shiiiiining. This morning, anyway. Nothing to say but it's O --> (k). 

Our cosmology doesn't sit next to science but rather, above. Science is only at the adult table at best. We want to know how the particular sciences are connected to one another -- for example, physics to biology to psychology --  until we finally arrive at an ocean so simple, anyone can float on it. Let that sink in!

"What are these simplest notions?," asked Cardinal Mercier.  Well, for starters (and aren't we all), they are simple and universal, and apply to everyone and everything, everywhere and at all times.  The timelessness comes to put away grownup things, for 

the process of splitting up cannot go on forever; a time comes when ideas resist further analysis; they no longer continue to be explained by previous ideas, but on the contrary are such that they explain everything else. These most elementary objects of thought by means of which others are understood are called the principles of things. They are called, too, the reasons of things....

Principles or fundamental reasons are the ultimate solutions to the problems the human mind inevitably proposes every time it sets itself to reflect upon the world or upon itself. They supply the answers to the last why and wherefore that reason asks.

I've never actually heard a child ask Wherefore? but they never stop asking Why?!  

Immature people do, however, and they do so arbitrarily.  Most people stop asking Why in college, apparently because the answers they are given there are sufficient to kill their anemic curiosity, and journalism takes care of the rest. 

A philosopher or onecomosographer is simply someone who continues asking Why?, but not forever!  This isn't a game!

Oh, wait.  It is a game, but a game has an end. This isn't a game if it devolves to infinite regression; rather it ends in a progression to the infinite -- and absolute, and universal, and timeless, and simple.  As that.  

I apologize for the style of this post. I may not be adequate to the task, but someone has to do it.  Or, put it this way: if you see something, say something. This morning I saw something.  

Friday, November 20, 2020

Everybody's Got One

Suppose someone approaches you and sincerely asks what they might read in order to better understand the conservative perspective. Easy. You respond without hesitation: the New York Times! Could anything else better illustrate the ignorance, craziness, and girlish hysteria of the left? 

Problem is, this person already reads it every day and swears by its honesty, neutrality, and objectivity, so it's obviously not working as we would have anticipated. The question is, how can an intelligent person read the Times and not know he's being lied to, indoctrinated, and manipulated by mentally ill 27 year old grievance studies majors who know nothing? 

Indoctrination is easy. The hard part is keeping people from discovering they're being indoctrinated. You all remember the Matrix: keeping millions mindlessly dreaming their lives away in their pods -- or glued to their screens -- is easy. The hard part is tracking down and neutralizing a single dissenter who doesn't go along with the programming: Neo.  

Neo. Which, of course, is an anagram of One (and also implies novelty, and therefore individuality). 

Hmm. If we are on the right track, then it would appear that controlling millions is easier than controlling a single person -- especially in a free society such as ours, in which people accept the yoke voluntarily. And indeed, there are many wise old sayings, gags and aphorisms that go precisely to this truth; moreover, the left itself is a war on genuine individuality, so there's that.  

Put it this way: oneness is the point -- of both departure and arrival -- of both illiberal leftism and conservative liberalism.  The argument -- if they would permit us to be heard -- is over the nature of this one.  

For us it is in the Creator -- the very principle of oneness, and without which oneness is inconceivable -- followed by family and individual. 

We place family prior to individual for trinitarian reasons, i.e., the irreducibly intersubjective love without which mere human beings cannot actualize our intersubjective personhood; it's really more of a complementarity of three terms: lover, beloved, and love.

The left is an ontological cancer on these truths. For it too posits the one, but locates it in a rootless and atomistic human animal, which is in turn subordinated to the tribe and the state.  

The atomistic human animal and omnipotent state necessarily go together, for in a community -- or herd, rather -- of radically selfish ones, there is no way to control them except by means of the heavy hand of state coercion. There are no immanent self-evident truths below to constrain these beasts, nor any God above. Indoctrination is one way to control them, but some people are too stupid even for college. 

Thus -- as we all witnessed on our TV screens earlier this year -- the left is in essence a riotous throng of post-literate animals running wild, wanting what they want, when they want it, which is to say, in the ahistorical NOW. Not only do they want it, they are entitled to it, because of justice or something, i.e., perhaps reparations for low IQ and absent fathers.

Will the left permit this behavior when it threatens the Harris-Biden state instead of just human beings and their property?  I doubt it, but we shall see.  They either won't authorize it to begin with, or will check it before it damages the "brand."  

Nevertheless, the future isn't written, and there is the ongoing struggle in the Democrat party between the lying manipulators and the true believers. Even Petey cannot say at this juncture how this will play out, but I would put my money on the young and energetic true believers.  

The old-school manipulators and frauds -- the Pelosis, Obamas, and Clintons -- believe they're just holding the wolf by the ears, and maybe the wolf, like a spoiled child, will exhaust itself from the prolonged tantrum.  

In reality, I think the wolf already has them by the ovaries, and they're trying to figure out how to appease the beast.  Perhaps the otherwise pointless lockdown is buying them time.

Anyway, back to the Great Divide touched on above, between the two types of One.  Let's try on a few aphorisms for size:

To be a conservative is to understand that man is a problem without a human solution.

Precisely. Let's be blunt, the better to clarify our differences.  For we will never, under any circumstances, agree with the left.  The best we can do is to politely explain why we can never agree.  One reason why we can never agree is that we know there is no human -- much less political! -- solution to the problem of man.  

In fact, -- and the founders spoke of this ad nauseam -- our political operating system won't even function with a deeply non-, much less anti-Christian citizenry. Or maybe you haven't noticed. Or you've noticed, and you think the solution is the problem. You are a Times reader.  You are sick. By which we mean,
The conservative is a simple pathologist. He defines sickness and health. But God is the only therapist.

I don't presume for one second that I can help anyone -- beginning with myself -- in the absence of divine intervention. I couldn't even type this sentence without it; for God exists for me in the same act in which I exist.  Here's another good one:  

I distrust any idea that does not seem obsolete or grotesque to my contemporaries.

Especially the New York Times, or Big Tech, or your average woke college student. If people who disagree with me don't frankly find me monstrous -- or sick, twisted, fascist, and paranoid -- then I'm doing something wrong.  Fortunately, they do, albeit not nearly enough of them.

Back for a moment to our antithetical understandings of the one and how this plays out culturally, personally, and politically. Come to think  of it, as politics is downstream from culture, I would suggest in turn that culture must be downstream from one's one (for example the oneness engendered by human sacrifice is quite different from the nonlocal oneness of God's church). 

I'm going to try to order the following aphorisms stepwise, from self-evident conclusion to conclusion, and see where it leaves us:

1. Modern history is the dialogue between two men: one who believes in God and another who believes he is a god.

2. To call the problems that depend on the very nature of man “social” is only useful in order to pretend that we can solve them.

3. In order to enslave the people the politician needs to convince them that all their problems are “social.”

4. As the State grows, the individual shrinks.

5. Man matures when he stops believing that politics solves his problems.

6. For God there are only individuals.

7. The only possible progress is the internal progress of each individual. A process that concludes with the end of each life.

8. Social salvation is near when each one admits that he can only save himself.  Society is saved when its presumed saviors despair.

It was nice to see our saviors so filled with despair these last four years, but remember what I said above about the wolf, the ears, and the ovaries. That can't continue.

Meanwhile, the wife had a temperature last night, so, out of an abundance of paranoia, I slept on the couch. Or "slept," rather.  This gasbag is out of gas. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

With Anti-Intellectualism, Anything is Possible!

It's true, or I wouldn't say it.

Perhaps the major reason why most people reject reality is that it places so many annoying constraints on what we can do or think or want. 

For example, people want more money (or more votes, to be perfectly accurate), so they pass a "minimum wage" law in order to make it illegal to pay someone what his labor is worth. The entirely predictable result is that unemployment increases and businesses close. But the politician feels good about himself, and that's what matters. 

Policies such as the minimum wage, rent control, racial quotas, et al, can't work in reality. But they do in theory, and that's enough for the anti-intellectual.

In reality men and women are quite different, and thank God and natural selection, in that order. But here again, for some reason this bothers a lot of women (of both sexes), so it isn't just rejected but attacked -- as if reality is the problem!

Well, reality is the problem. But it is also the solution, and indeed, the only solution to the problems intrinsic to reality. 

In this regard, it is no different than nature as such.  Nature causes a lot of problems -- little things like, oh, disease, death, accidents, etc. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just magically wish these away, or bribe nature to leave us alone and take the next guy, or perhaps conduct a human sacrifice to appease and get her off our backs?

Maybe, but nature provides a means to her own mastery and transcendence. How? By being rational, or subordinate to reason. This is why prescientific approaches such as alchemy, astrology, and haruspicy didn't actually help us, but gave only the illusion of help. They made the anxiety go away, at least momentarily.

Similar to progressive polices, although not as destructive on such a catastrophic scale.

There's an old gag... it's on the tip of my Tongan... can't find it, but while looking for it found this by Claude Bernard: "Science increases our power in proportion as it lowers our pride."  "Proud scientist" should be as oxymoronic as "humble ideologue."  If only.

Anyway, I recently read an outstanding book by Fulton Sheen called God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy, originally published 90 years ago but as true today as it was then and always will be. Yes, always, for 

It is only accidentally that St. Thomas belongs to the 13th century. His thought is no more confined to that period of human history than is the multiplication table.  

Supposing we are to be born at all, we have to be born sometime and somewhere. For Thomas it just happened to be Sicily in 1225.  Only a parochial bigot or tenured ape would hold it against him. 

This dovetails nicely with one of our obsessive preavocations, which is the discovery and elucidation of principles, axioms, and perennial truths to which we are entitled by virtue of being human. Yes, being a man has its share of inevitable burdens. God knows this, and for this reason provides certain compensations and consolations. 

What would a human life be in the absence of universal truth?  Well, for starters it wouldn't be human, just another chapter in the pointless story of animals.

Since the crock is running down, I'm just going repeat some important passages with or without comment:

If a progressive universe is a contemporary ideal, then the philosophy of St. Thomas is its greatest realization.

Our self-styled "progressives" hold an implicit metaphysic that renders progress both unintelligible and impossible. 

The modern God was born the day the "beast intellectualism" was killed. The day the intelligence is reborn, the modern God will die. They cannot exist together; for one is the annihilation of the other.

Which certainly goes to the depth and intensity of our current political divide. Truly, the two sides are absolutely and permanently irreconcilable. The difference is, our side must be understood, while theirs can only be imposed; hence their barbaric hatred of free thought and expression. 

Here is a lifelike pneumagraph of One Cosmos:

The intellect, then, is the perfection of the universe because it can sum up all creation within itself. In doing this, it becomes the articulate spokesman of the universe and the great bond between brute matter and Infinite Spirit.

"What happens, then, when a philosophy rejects the intellect?" Same thing as when a political ideology does: it "knocks the world into an unintelligible pluralism."  These relativistic anti-humanists "are suffering from the fever of violent emotion, and so they make a philosophy of it."

Or misosophy.  Being that Sophia is the primordial feminine, this is truly the last ugly word in misogyny.  

St. Thomas is not "premodern," because this makes the elementary error of trying to discern truth by clock or calendar. These latter measure time, but even then, not really; rather, just space. But truth transcends both.  It is neither ancient nor modern, and most certainly not dumb-as-a-post modern:  

It is ultra-modern, because it is spiritual and is not subject to decrepitude and death. "By its universality, it overflows infinitely, in the past as in the future, the limits of the present moment; it does not oppose itself to modern systems, as the past to that which is actually given, but as something perennial to something momentary. Anti-modern against the errors of the present time, it is ultra-modern for all truths enveloped in the time to come (Maritain)."

Oh, and speaking of pleasures we share with neither animal nor Antifa (but I repeat myself), "The intelligence is life and the greatest thing there is in life."  

But "The spirit of modern thought, whatever else it may be, is anti-intellectual." How so, exactly? Well, "To begin with, there is a confusion of the intellect and reason."  

The Intelligence does not explain; it does not reason; it grasps. It sees an intelligible object as the eye sees a sensible object. Reason, on the contrary, is related to the intelligence as movement is related to rest; as acquiring a thing is related to having a thing.

Having said this, while they are distinct they cannot be separate, which is why things aren't true because they are rational, but rather, rational because true. Do not make the crudimental error of confining truth to reason, or you'll be waiting for Gödel forever.  

I guess that's it for today.