Thursday, August 23, 2007

Leftist Faith, Ecstatic Moral Inversion, and the Substance of Nothing

Mankind’s deepest problems are universal and existential. But solutions to these will problems vary from individual to individual and culture to culture, based upon insight, emotional maturity, depth and breadth of intelligence, spiritual perception, and other factors.

It is a truism that ideas have consequences, but even ideas must take a back seat to the unexamined values that shape the ideas one is capable of thinking. As Camus once said, no one became a communist from reading Marx. Rather, first they had an emotional, psuedo-spiritual conversion, then they read the unholy scriptures in order to deepen their faith. And as Tom Sowell writes (quoted in today's outstanding diagnosis by Dr. Sanity), progressives don't really have any genuine interest in actually helping the poor, since victims are their most important constituency. Quite simply, fewer victims means less power for leftists:

"Despite whatever the left may say, or even believe, about their concern for the poor, their actual behavior shows their interest in the poor to be greatest when the poor can be used as a focus of the left's denunciations of society.... When the poor stop being poor, they lose the attention of the left. What actions on the part of the poor, or what changes in the economy, have led to drastic reductions in poverty seldom arouse much curiosity, much less celebration."

One is reminded of St. Augustine's comment that while to err is human, "to persist in error out of passion is diabolical."

One of the greatest benefits of a proper religious grounding is that very early on you internalize the value that your problems are largely your own fault, and that it is wrong to externalize blame onto others. This is one of the sharpest divides between classical liberals and leftists, the latter of whom propagate the doctrine of victimology, i.e., the systematic shifting of blame to others. For the leftist mind, to the extent that your life -- or country -- is a wreck, it is never your fault, but because of racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, white European maleism, whatever.

The point of this exercise is not to identify any real cause (and therefore, cure) but to create a locus of blame, so that one’s existential problems may be externalized and spuriously relieved. The more mature culture is the one that produces individuals who locate existential problems within, and who can both tolerate and transcend them -- for example, tolerating instead of acting on the constitutional envy we discussed a couple of days ago. There is no way to eliminate envy “from the outside,” which, after all, is why it is addressed by one of the Commandments. The Commandment does not say, “you shall try to eliminate envy by empowering a massive government to coerce the envied to give to each envious person according to his insatiable needs.”

The envious person unconsciously says, “if I can’t have it, then no one can. Therefore, I will destroy the object of my envy.” Thus we can see how unhinged envy is at the basis of pure nihilism, and why our enemies are so frightening. Think of Hitler’s scorched earth policy of destroying every square inch of land as his armies retreated. If he could not rule the world, then he would take the world down with him. This is what is so frightening about the prospect of Islamic nihilsts with weapons of mass destruction, for they truly do not care about the world so long as the world does not comport with their fantasies of how it ought to be.

Clearly, the Islamists operate by this principle, and one naturally worries about the extent to which normative Islam is informed by the same toxic attitude. For even if we were to disregard all of the hideous violence that emanates from the Religion of Peace, we would still conclude that this is a religion of perpetual outrage and compulsive lying, based upon the behavior of its most visible and risible spokesholes such as CAIR or Juan Cole.

The constant perception of victimization -- even amidst the outrageous and widespread victimization of others -- must emanate from something deep within Islam itself, unless this is merely a modern deviation. Despite it all, I am still open to that possibility, although I haven’t been able to find a single example of a truly interior Islam outside Sufism (which in my view is more Vedanta than Islam). In proportion to the billion or so normative Muslims, there are only a handful of Sufis, and frankly, even many of them tilt toward the dark side.

The gaspiel of nihilism is in fact a war against truth and therefore a war against the Creator, even though it is fair to say that few nihilists are aware of this fact. But the only reason we have a word called “truth” is because it is a reality that is over- and underwritten by God. Being that we are in the image of God, we are informed by an intellect that may know truth, a will that may choose the good, and an interior “eye” that may perceive beauty. The leftist attacks and undermines all of these things, and in so doing, destroys both man and God. Leftism is ultimately a program of radical immanence that cuts us off from our transcenent roots -- which, as expressed in the Upanishads, are aloft, not below.

For to say that absolute truth does not exist is to say precisely that human intelligence does not exist. To say that morality is relative is to say that anything is permitted and that man is therefore nothing, for he has no essence. And to create new forms of merely human “art” that celebrate ugliness, depravity, and naturalism is to sever mankind from the higher planes that distinguish us from the beasts and make us human. It is to reduce man to his animal nature -- except he becomes a pathetic animal with no nature, truly a nothing. (Excellent piece yesterday at American Thinker on Diversity, Nihilism, and the Anti-Rational Mind.

In this regard, the existentialists were correct in drawing out the radical implications of their "esoterism of stupidity." To return to our original point about values, every man is faced with two, and only two, choices that will determine everything else: essence or existence. For the spiritually inclined "interior" man, essence, or real being, is prior to, and determines, existence. But for the hexteriorized leftist, existence determines essence. You are a cosmic fluke. You have no a priori transcendent essence, much less purpose. Rather, your essence is determined by contingencies such as race, class and gender. For example, this is why the left is obsessed with race, whereas it is irrelevant to the conservative classical liberal.

It is no coincidence that the largest constituents of the left always include the young and unmarried. As one matures, gets married, and has children, one naturally tends to evolve away from leftist ideas, obviously not everyone, but a clear majority. This is because concrete reality has a way of clearing aside so much abstract intellectual theory. There is a reason why Marxism only exists in universities, and that you will never find a businessman who operates his business along the lines of Marxist doctrine. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "liberals read Marx. Conservatives understand him."

It is one thing for an adult to believe such leftist claptrap. If they want to ruin their lives in their adolescent rebellion, that’s fine by me. But to ruin a child’s life by inculcating him with their dysfunctional values really is an unforgivable sin. For example, to raise a black child in contemporary America to believe that this is a racist country, that white people hate him, that he is a victim from the start, and that his efforts will be for naught, is soul murder pure and simple.

Likewise, to brainwash an Arab child into believing that 15 million Jews in the entire world are the cause of a single problem among the world's billion Muslims -- let alone all their problems -- is an outrageous form of abuse, because when you create a victim, you create a nihilist. Why? Because once victim status is secured, then you are no longer burdened by a conscience. You are sanctioned to abandon yourself to your most primitive instincts, because the order of the cosmos is unfair and illegitimate, so anything you do to set things right is inherently moral, no matter how immoral. And the violence will not end until the Old Order is overthrown and the New Man is created, free of the existential categories that define man to begin with.

Meaning has been vanquished. Man is liberated from himself. The Triumph of the Will and the Reign of Nothingness are complete. God and man are dead. Long live the Beast!

And whoever must be a creator in good and evil, verily, he must be an annihilator and break values. Thus the highest evil belongs to the highest goodness: but this is creative. --Nietzsche

Nothing makes me more certain of the victory of our ideas than our success in the universities. --Adolf Hitler


Anonymous said...

A very pointed commentary on modern society's cult of envy (and other things) can be found in an essay by C. S. Lewis called "Screwtape Proposes a Toast". Check it out.

walt said...

You write of the value that, "early on you internalize the value that your problems are largely your own fault..."

I missed the religious grounding part, but managed to get the understanding of this principle from my father, first, and considerable reading later. And indeed, that value has proven pivotal in my approach to things.

Later in the post, you wrote,"...once victim status is secured, then you are no longer burdened by a conscience...because the order of the cosmos is unfair and illegitimate, so anything you do to set things right is inherently moral, no matter how immoral."

And I see this theme run rampant through every day's news stories, and hear it in the conversations around me. So distressing to see people all twisted up around envy!

dilys said...

I notice here a sizable excerpt from Schuon's Roots of the Human Condition which includes "to err is human" says St. Jerome and St. Augustine adds "to persist in error is diabolical." Passion/pride annuls the virtues, error the intelligence.

Thus the longer this envy and victim-identity goes on, the more degraded the existential allegiance. The longer people cling to the not-good spiral, motivated by passion, utopian idealism, the adrenaline rush, whatever, the more the window of choice narrows. Partly, as Bob notices, because initially the no-conscience latitude seems appealing. If one gets used to blaming, (s)he can't necessarily turn on a dime and become responsible as easily as early in the process.

This is one of the faulty aspects of expecting the opportunity for a deathbed conversion to what one already suspects just might be true....

The Grand Inquisitor said...

World dominant ideology of exoteric scientism achieves physically effective mind control pver human individuals and collectives by means of physically effective technologies, practical and consumer oriented inventions, power-alliances with social and political institutions, the broad-scale ritual propagandizing of scientific myths, and the broad-scale persistent propgandizing of IRREDUCIBLY objectified beliefs in such ideas as rationality, materiality, objective certainty, progress, analytical reason as an exercise superior to all other human efforsts, the necessary mortality of nature, mind, and being, and both the authority and the ultimate sufficiency of science itself.

The culture produced in the image of scientism is identified with a fundamental,and, in its implications, cultural devastating, misunderstanding of the nature of reality altogether.

juliec said...

Gosh, GI, you'd better step away from that mind-controlling, technologically produced, material-object-designed-specifically
for-production-of-propaganda keyboard before the scientific myths take hold of your brain!

By the way, Joan totally has you beaten on the skill of writing really long sentences. You've got quite a ways to go before you hit 500 words.
(I know, Smoov, I know. I'll stop now, I swear!)

dilys said...

Well, GI is in interesting company. In the same book, Schuon, as the echt traditionalist, says that in the excessive claims of scientism:

"the useless coincides with the pernicious, as is shown by the myths of Prometheus, Icarus, the Titans, and Lucifer, and as is proved to excess by the experiences of the last two centuries.
(fn): It should not be forgotten in this context that modern science operates with instruments -- in the broadest sense -- that in a traditional civilization could not exist; this means that there are kinds of knowledge that, strictly speaking, have no right to exist. (My emphasis.)

An interesting category -- kinds of knowledge that have no right to exist. It will not prove persuasive in discussion at large, but for the purposes of one's own thinking, consideration of that category may be what provides traction within the currents of Vitalism even we reflective moderns absorb along with our with Diet Cokes, ipods, technologically produced, material-object-designed-specifically
for-production-of-propaganda keyboards
, etc....

Anonymous said...

Dude or should I say "Comrade"

May I begin by saying that despite (perhaps because of) the fact that I often (not that often) disagree with you, your posts have been a source of illuminification during the long tea time of my wandering soul

Pray for Zimbabwe, the new Rwanda, I beg you.

Know that the United States of Africa shall arise from the ashes and take its place alongside America and India in the reformed Grand Alliance to confront Tyranny and banish it from the face of God's own planet


Yours etc.

PR "Daisy Cutter" O' Braonain
Soldier of Mandela

Officer Commanding
Jedi Special Forces (Wildebeest Battallion)
Somewhere in Africa

NoMo said...

Anon 7:00PM - Welcome to the gnuthouse! You'll fit right in!


NoMo said...

Might miracles simply be God acting within one of the many natural laws which we have not yet discovered?

Mizz E said...


Something is amiss over at Wiki. I found this in the article about Epicurus.

"He enjoyed eating cheese and fine women, he also hated motorbikes."

Look and See for yourself.

cousin dupree said...

Kind of good news/bad news for Biker Lady.

NoMo said...

I jes luv messin wit WIKI.

Van said...

"The Grand Inquisitor said... "World dominant ideology of exoteric scientism blah...blah...blah... mind control blah...blah...blah... and collectives by means ofblah...blah...blah... technologies, practical and consumer oriented blah...blah...blah...power-alliances blah...blah...blah... broad-scale ritual propagandizing of scientific blah...blah...blah...propgandizing of IRREDUCIBLY oblah...blah...blah...materiality, objective certainty, progress, analyticblah...blah...blah...blah."
I suspect that GI's blahther has more to do with his hatred of tv, washing machines and video games - and the hours he wastes upon them, while scientism is but a convenient rationalization recently discovered. The real problem comes before that, with scientism being just one obvious expression of it.

I reject the idea that there is knowledge (ok, I'd better specify, proper non deranged or perverted knowledge) which has no right to exist. Knowledge is grasping and integrating reality and truth into your mind and soul. What is the problem, is its being 'factualized' and pursued and applied by people with no moral knowledge or understanding. I mean moral not in the tsk-tsk sense, but moral in the sense of respecting reality, of recognizing the primacy of Truth, not expedience.

The person who respects reality, implicitly reveres Truth, and will be internally motivated, seeking to understand and harmonize with Truth. The person who does not respect reality, who puts what they want to be real above what IS real; they prefer and revere what is not True - They seek to overthrow Heaven in spirit and deed.

To them, truth is inconvenient, it interferes with what they wish to be real, what they strain to fool others into thinking is real about them, in order to collect the envy from other peoples eyes. Their sense of self is excised from their soul and placed into the clouded eyes of others - with the accompanying fear that it will be blinked away at any moment. For others to see the Truth, is for them to be discarded. To the extent that this view is adopted, to that extent your very soul is reduced, tossed out to be a welcome mat at the front of a home you no longer own.

That mindset, that vision, inevitably turns all knowledge to corruption - how can it not?

At the very least, the influence of this point of view will make one live shallowly, restless, bored, fickle, without depth, and in the extremes, a person may descend the scale to a dailyKos/Soros level or further on down to a Napoleon or Hitler. There is no knowledge which can not be corrupted to evil purposes, Economic, Philosophical, Spiritual or Scientific - and no knowledge that can not be redeemed by a proper understanding and respect for Reality and Truth, by whatever name you choose to regard them.

Sorry for the rant, the last 48 hrs has been a very long day. Thanks for the beam in the darknes.

wv:onbodfwa... hmmm, not sure, but Lisa probably has a Pilates angle on it.

Van said...

Speaking of which, Hey! Will! Wake Up!. Ok, going to sleep now.

insufferable boob-joob said...

Well, I want to take over the world. I want absolute power. I want to indulge every whim that I have until they are all exhausted. Then I shall retire to a couch with ample food, drink and entertainment and veg away the remainder of my allotted time.

That would be a life well spent.

But, I manage an auto-parts store in Boulder City, Nevada. How do I get there from here?

What would be my first move in a global takeover?

ximeze said...

Comm'on Julie, don't get all Rodney King on us: we can't all just get along, not if we care deeply about Truth, anyway.

Perhaps Smoov has been spending too many hours at the negotiatiating table. If memory serves, he's often one of the first to check a troll's site & pronounce judgement on their motives & agenda in hardhitting uncomplimentary words. I find it very helpful, since then I can save myself the task of slogging thru their dreck.

Bob is perfectly capable of issuing reproofs to Raccoons when he deems it necessary. Tinfoil-hatters, idiots, bozos, etal, deserve to be tagged for what they write.

So, too, should those who write in the service of the Forces of Darkness, be tagged. Not very many minutes on Allo's site, with Coonvision switched to the ON positions, told me about as much as I wanted to know. Other Coons smelled the rot there too: nothing healthy to eat in here.

Don't fall for 'ya gotta play nice' social-grooming tactics, even if they come from siblings-under-the-pelt. You'll end up on tiptoes in an eggshell minefield, with all your umph squeezed out.

walt said...

"...with all your umph squeezed out."

Thanks Ximeze! I'm swiping that one!

Mizz E said...

What Walt Said (TM)!

Van said...

insufferable boob-joob said "Well, I want to take over the world. I want absolute power. I want to indulge every whim that I have until they are all exhausted."

Hey there Big Bob Albrite (longtime locals will get it), your first problem is that you're living in the only sin free city in Nevada. Step 1 in your 3 Step plan to rule the world has gotta be to get outta there. At least move to Henderson, then you can move on to Step 2.

Sorry, that's all the steps I'll give Pro Bonno.

Van said...

Ximeze said... "Comm'on Julie, don't get all Rodney King on us: we can't all just get along, not if we care deeply about Truth, anyway."

Did I miss something?

(psst! JulieC - do a couple of 'pffft!' comments - drives Ximeze nuts)


maineman said...

". . . they truly do not care about the world so long as the world does not comport with their fantasies of how it ought to be."

Speaking of Hitler's approach to retreat, what worries me is that a scorched earth policy is pretty much what we've been seeing from one of our two major political parties in recent years. And I think we can expect it possibly to get worse, now that said party has been taken over by a cult, as it dawns on many of them that the US political landscape is deviating from their expectations, a realization that has to occur sooner or later.

Biker Lady said...

Cousin Dupree...
Now you've left me hanging with that comment!
Good news I know how to handle... don't get puffed up.
Bad news, well, I've probally been dealing with bad news longer than you've been alive. Hee Hee!

Magnus Itland said...

I want my

juliec said...

"Comm'on Julie, don't get all Rodney King on us: we can't all just get along, not if we care deeply about Truth, anyway."

I know, Ximeze. It's just that I usually tend to lean (I hope) more towards genteel disagreement than outright use of the Cluebat. And yes, I realize that's not always the best route. (I grew up with a strong dose of "If you don't have anything nice to say...," combined with experiencing close up just how crushed people could be on the rare occasions when I hit 'em with both barrels. They never expected it, and I always felt like I kicked their dog in front of them, or something.)

Of course, some days, I just can't help myself, and some people are just so stupid there isn't much of an alternative.

ximeze said...

Aaah Julie, you're a better woman than I, who's cross to bear in this life is a male mind presented in a female body. I do seem to have been built without the 'feminine sweetness' gene included. My Mamina was convinced she was carrying a boy & had only male names picked out. Surprise!

The tendancy to vector in & let'um have it has earned me the nic of Cruise Missile Ximeze. Oh well.

I would never kick a dog, cat or parrot, gno'ing how rotten I'd feel for doing so. Humans, who should know better, are a different matter entirely.

Dag said...

I found some of your essay to be pretty interesting, and I'm going to quote you (later.)

Your commentators seem like a good lot, too. Lucky fellow.

Yalla, Dag.