Monday, October 22, 2012

Compulsory Miseducation and Ontological Duty

To review: we've been sporadically discussing the meaning of the person -- or of the whole category of Personhood as such. Assisting us today is Mark Perry, whose The Mystery of Individuality deals with just this subject.

Again, we want to get at the interior essence of man, beyond just the outward form. This isn't an issue for most contemporary thinkers, since they don't believe in essences at all. As always, let the dead bury the tenured.

For the rest of us, it is pretty obvious that man is, as outlined in the previous post, "composed of will (i.e., freedom and virtue), sentiment (i.e., love), and knowledge (i.e., disinterested truth and detached objectivity)"; or in other words, "that man is free, that he has a conscience that distinguishes good from evil, and that he has a mind that may discern the reality behind appearances."

So if we ask what man is "for," the answer should be clear, unless you just enjoy being oppositional. "Being intelligence," writes Perry, man is "meant to know the Truth, and being love he is meant to unite with the Good, and having free will he is therefore obligated, by ontological duty, to choose true over false, right over wrong, and good over evil..."

These are the sorts of things we all learn by kindergarten, and can only unlearn after years of graduate school.

With privileges come obligations, and since man is uniquely privileged to have access to truth, he is obliged to know it. The very possibility of civilization depends upon this meta-truth.

To turn it around, a civilization based upon lies cannot stand; or, to the extent that it "exists," it must do so at the cost of full personhood. Assimilating a lie always does violence to the person

Certain lie-based cultures are obvious, for example, the Soviet Union, the Palestinian terrortories, or the Arab-Muslim world more generally. But it also happens in more subtle ways here in the US. At PowerLine, Scott Johnson cites the entirely bogus statistic that females earn "only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn."

As Johnson writes, this silly charge "has been examined and disproved many times over." Nor can it survive mere logic, since any businessman would be a fool to pay male employees 40% more than what he can pay female employees to do the identical work. If the statistic were true, it would only mean that men are bizarrely overpaid, not that women are underpaid.

With a little research, any interested person can discover for himself that the 72% canard has no basis in reality. Therefore, to the extent that a person believes it, he or she must want to believe it -- not because it is true, but because they want it to be true. But why would someone want to believe such an unpleasant "truth"? What's the payoff?

Note that a so-called "independent" asked the question about this statistic during the last presidential debate. But the fact that the questioner had already swallowed this quintessential liberal lie puts an interesting twist on what it means to be "independent."

In this case, it means that the independent in question believes the lie, but is just uncertain as to how to go about "solving" the problem embedded in the lie. It's like the old joke about being unable to tell the crazy person he's not a chicken, since we need the eggs. We can't tell the woman that she's not a victim because we need the... the what, exactly?

Candy Crowley obviously believes the lie, or else she wouldn't have chosen it to be one of the precious few questions asked of the candidates. Why not ask what the candidates plan to do about the unicorn problem?

Crowley's role in propagating the fantasy should come as no surprise, as the purpose of the MSM is not to inform, but, to paraphrase the Sultan, to serve as a conduit between the state and the individual. State power is rooted in the Democratic party, which in turn depends upon millions of dysfunctional women supporting the party that will prop up the state that will then "rescue" these women from their illusions, mostly by forcing someone else to pay for their birth control. Why all women aren't insulted by this is something of a mystery. Then again perhaps not, since all women aren't real women, any more than all men are real men.

The simple truth of the matter would cut like a sword through this Rube Goldberg machine of lies. But it cannot be uttered by a presidential candidate. How weird is that? What does it say about these women that one is not politically viable if one doesn't patronize their lie? You can't just say to these women: Hey, guess what? Good news! That whole 72% thing is just a lie designed to keep you on the Democrat plantation. You're not a victim of the patriarchy. You're free!

These women no more want to hear this than the Heaven's Gate cult wanted to hear that the spaceship wasn't arriving to take them away. Since human beings are by nature hedonistic, it must mean that these types of painful lies must harbor a secret payoff. Pain in one area of the psyche may redound to pleasure in another.

I think it's fair to say that most people are unaware of the covert thrill up the leg when expressing certain painful emotions. But if you listen to that stillsmallvoice, you can sometimes hear one of them saying: "hey, I'm digging this!"

One often sees this in squabbles between spouses, who get a perverse kick out of plunging in the blade, or who derive sadistic pleasure in playing the self-righteous victim. More generally -- to paraphrase a long forgotten source -- we shouldn't underestimate the pleasure involved in participating in one's own subjugation. It explains a lot about the left, if not quite everything.

Johnson wonders what other Big Lies "have moved beyond the pale of our public discourse?" I wonder too. What other mandatory lies must we tell ourselves, or at least pretend to believe, just because neurotic liberals need to believe them?

I would suggest that there is a lie at the heart of most every liberal assumption. I say this because, in the words of Don Colacho, "The left’s theses are trains of thought that are carefully stopped before they reach the argument that demolishes them."


mushroom said...

Coincidentally: More Brits Believe in Aliens Than in God.

Gagdad Bob said...

Seems to me that leftism "softens" the enemy like air power, so ground troops of the Lie can then go on the attack.

mushroom said...

Racism, sexism, unions -- it's an excuse to not face one's own failures. I'm kept down because The Man doesn't like old straight white guys. It's not because I'm lazy or unmotivated. I'm not in debt because I spent more money than I could ever make but because the banks and Wall Street are oppressing me. I can't pay off my student loans for my degree in Ethnic Hat Studies because NASA was forced to cut Ethnic Hat Research from its budget by Evil Republicans.

When you think about it, Obama is the perfect president for these people. I can see why they vote for him. He understands them because he is one of them -- a cruising loser who can always find a way to blame someone else for the fact that he is a loser so he can continue to cruise.

Cond0011 said...

" More Brits Believe in Aliens Than in God."

I know some people who have taken this tack. Its an entrenchment for the Atheist argument. Upon which I say to them, who created the Aliens, whereupon they say that the aliens evolved (Darwin). Just another layered defence to the Religion of Atheism.

I could take use Fermis Paradox on them (Okay, if aliens exist, where are they), but again, it too, is an act of Faith, thus Religion.

Frankly they watch too much Science Fiction (with the emphasis on the fiction part).

Cond0011 said...

"That whole 72% thing is just a lie designed to keep you on the Democrat plantation."

Yep, Create a dependency.

Which reminds me: I think its just a matter of time where Marijuana is legalized and then inevitably taxed. But thats just me.

Cond0011 said...

One often sees this in squabbles between spouses, who get a perverse kick out of plunging in the blade, or who derive sadistic pleasure in playing the self-righteous victim.

Absolutely. One side complains that the lawn isn't mowed and then there is an argument for the next 2 hours.

True, the Obligation was the catalyst for the argument, but the real cookie can be the fight itself: The Adrenalin of battle and the Dopamine of victory (both of which, I believe, can be addictive and precursors to Obsessive compulsive Disorders and the possibiity of even becoming bipolar).

But what do I know.

mushroom said...

I don't know about OCD but my 2-yo grandson was obsessing about not having enough Tinkertoys to build something pictured on the package. I got in trouble for saying he sounds just like his grandmother.

EbonyRaptor said...

The collective psychological projection of the left is overwhelming. Where does a person even start to counter the lies? There is little to no common ground to stand on.

julie said...

That, and people have to be willing to believe the truth, which is quite often too painful to bear. As Mushroom pointed out, the truth means that one must accept one's own failures - and the consequences of those failures. I'm intimately acquainted with many people who make one disastrous decision after another, but because they usually manage to squeak by without properly suffering the consequences (either through various types of bailouts or just good old-fashioned denial), their lives never seem to get better. Instead, they exist in varied states of noisy desperation.

The lie promises to liberate them from themselves.

JWM said...

The foundation and highest value must be Truth. If the highest value, or base foundation for your beliefs is not Truth, then it must be something other than Truth. Political correctness is the systematic substitution of unpleasant truths with palliative lies.
If the highest value is "save the Earth", or "Equality", Social Justice, or "Healthy Lifestyle" then it is a small matter to distort, or ignore Truth in pursuit of your highest value- saving the Earth, or whatever.
Same with any other thing that supplants Truth in any hierarchy of values. Fighting global warming, second hand smoke, racism- all receive a higher value than Truth to the leftist. It is perfectly acceptable, therefore, for the leftist to propagate lies in the defense of the "higher calling".


mushroom said...

If the highest value, or base foundation for your beliefs is not Truth, then it must be something other than Truth.

You would think that would be so obvious that you would not even need to state it. Sadly, that is not the case.

Cond0011 said...

"I don't know about OCD but my 2-yo grandson was obsessing about not having enough Tinkertoys to build something pictured on the package. "

Maybe your Grandson will grow up to be an Architect, Shroom. :)