Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One Person Signing Up For ObamaCare is Tragedy; 50 Million Losing their Insurance is a Statistic

I don't remember when I first read Christian Existentialism: A Berdyaev Synthesis, but it would have been back when I was much more interested in the existentialism than the Christianity, so I didn't get much out of it.

Berdyaev, for those who don't know, was a 20th century Russian unorthodox Orthodox Christian thinker/writer/wildman/prophet. He doesn't really fit into anyone's category, not even his own, since one frequently finds him taking both sides of a dispute, especially over time (his works were originally published between 1901 and 1953). He is not what you would call disciplined or systematic.

However, he said many things that are straight out of the Raccoon playbook. He also said some things that are downright strange, kooky, or heretical. But I repeat myself. You just have to be comfortable with the fact that truth in the mode of prophet is unlike truth in the mode of reason, or myth, or empiricism. It's definitely a divine-human partnership, and you must always tease out the latter from the former.

Nevertheless, he would have been an excellent blogger, since his posts are always sharp, pungent, confrontational, eccentric, and insultaining. He was a compulsive writer, to such an extent that "if he were to think of himself in heaven, he said, it would be sitting at his desk." Which is precisely where he died in 1953.

Which just gave me an idea. If Berdyaev were a blogger, what would he be bleating today? First, I would say that he is the only other blogger of my acquaintance who sees the cosmic error of leftism -- who traces the disease all the way back and down to the foundations of being:

"Inequality is the basis of all cosmic order.... From inequality the world and the cosmos came into being. From inequality man, too, was born. Absolute equality would have left being in an unrevealed condition, in indifference, i.e. in non-being."

Thus, "the demand for a forced leveling, which comes out of the lower levels of chaotic darkness, is an attempt to destroy the hierarchic, cosmic order which was formed by the creative birth of light in darkness, an attempt to destroy human personality itself as a stage in [the] hierarchy..."

About the inevitable totalitarian temptation of the left -- facilitated by the fantasy that the complexity of the world can be modeled by the tenured and enforced by politicians -- Berdyaev would say that power "has a tendency to be transformed into an end in itself, and to substitute itself for all other ends.... Both monarchy and socialism mistake means for ends in the very same way and admit falsehood in the realization of their purposes...."

Or just say ObamaCare: a grand Lie in the service of socialist power, for "in socialism there is always negative truth and positive untruth." This is a demonic morality whereby "evil is the only way to good, thickening darkness the only way to the light."

This intellectual and spiritual rigidity of the left is really a form of rigor mortis, for it is "one of the most dogmatic, immobile, congealed doctrines ever invented in the history of human thought.... it is the absolute suffocation of a dungeon. I have always thought that organized materialism would lead to dynamic immobility."

And so it has. At least until 2014.

As has often been said, socialism is just a banal Christian heresy, "suffused with messianic pathos" and presuming "to bring the good news of man's salvation from all distress and suffering." As mentioned in yesterday's post, it is a beautiful doctrine until it actually makes contact with reality. You might say that there is always this little glitch in the rollout of socialism: that it cannot flourish outside the minds of the faithful.

Leftism is illiberal to the core, in that it attempts to bring about the Kingdom of Necessity. In so doing, it "accepts all three of the temptations rejected by Christ in the wilderness," most especially "the temptation of the kingdom of this world," thereby becoming "a religion of the slaves of necessity, of the children of sin."

About the presumption to knowledge of complex systems that defy human control, "it wants to rationalize the whole of life, to subject it to collective reason." But in order to accomplish this, "it must make an end to freedom" -- for example, the freedom to choose your own insurance or keep your own doctor.

You idiots out there just don't realize you have no idea what to do with your freedom, and that Obama and Pelosi know better how to direct it. It's easy: just "get man to renounce this unhappy freedom, enslave him to the temptations of earthly bread, and you will be able to build the earthly happiness of all..." Or in other words, just promise free stuff to the 51% of LoFos, and you're over the hump. A little hump called the Constitution.

More subtly, "Marxism thinks of freedom as necessity, known and accepted." Such a denial of genuine freedom is really "a secularized version of predestination." Remember what Obama said about progressive predestination: "If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress."

Right. In such a warped worldview, freedom is not only unnecessary, but an obstacle. All that is required is the unswerving application of dogma. Conversely, "Christianity does not think that the Kingdom of God can be attained without the participation of human freedom -- without man's consent, without his spiritual rebirth."

Furthermore, it is perfectly understandable that a Christian should be "indignant at exploitation," or human suffering, or economic oppression. But how can this be true of those "who deny the difference between good and evil?" In a perversion of Judaism, it is as if the proletariat -- or in today's argot, all of the official victim groups of the left -- are the "chosen people" waiting for the "messiah of the future." But now that their messiah has landed, how are they going to deal with the cognitive dissonance?

These revolutionaries never begin "by organizing the evil in themselves: they want to conquer and destroy the evil in others, in its secondary and external manifestations." But "revolutions do not so much conquer evil as make a new distribution of evil, and call new evil into being."

As Stalin said, you have to break some eggs in order to make an omelet. Thus, you need to murder a few million human beings in order to collectivize the farms.

Speaking of Stalin, one poor sucker signing up for ObamaCare is a tragedy. 50 million losing their insurance is just a statistic.


julie said...

"Inequality is the basis of all cosmic order.... From inequality the world and the cosmos came into being. From inequality man, too, was born. Absolute equality would have left being in an unrevealed condition, in indifference, i.e. in non-being."

Oh, I like this very much. One of the things that irritates me these days is how often I see conservatives accept the argument - made repeatedly and in a multitude of ways pretty much daily - that inequality is somehow intrinsically bad. And so they try to make their case, whatever it may, having already given the ground to a false and terrible premise. Thus a debate about "income inequality" virtually always begins with an expression by both sides that income inequality is A Terrible Thing Which Must Be Destroyed. Having given this ground, there is no honest argument for a conservative to make to any point a leftist may put forth.

Gagdad Bob said...

Might as well argue against the unequal distribution of electrons in a battery.

mushroom said...

...since one frequently finds him taking both sides of a dispute ...

I like him already.

mushroom said...

Some people wonder why the extremely wealthy are so often socialists. One reason is that people like Perot, Gates, and Buffet made a bunch of their money off government or government policies.

But I think the other reason is, it's not so much rich people that the left hates as free people and people who are having fun. Like Mencken's definition of Puritanism -- The haunting fear that someone somewhere may be happy.

Notice that the dark side is particularly strong among the Northeastern Yankees.

Gagdad Bob said...

It also magically deflects primordial envy, i.e., the evil eye of the envying Other. It helps a worthless plutocrat such as Ted Kennedy live with himself.

Magister said...

Monists. Don't like 'em. Never will.

Mush, Chesterton saw no difference between the urge to socialize or monopolize. Both seek to kill all rivals to creativity.

ge said...

“Q. Why aren’t you a liberal?”

“A. Well, I think basically because liberalism is not a three dimensional view of life. I don’t think it’s at all deep or at all sincere […] my first views […] were a reaction against the tendentious proposition that liberalism enfolds: everything’s material, all people are equal, all lives are equally important, tragedy is largely fictional, grin and bear it, you remember the panglossian sort of attitude that you get in Voltaire’s Candide, you know, everything is always for the best, and this sort of utterly trivial and in one sense irreligious attitude towards life, just sort of nauseated and appalled me, and I thought there has to be something better than this.”

Q. And you didn’t get involved, I mean, many people who aren’t liberal become Communists, Marxists. You didn’t feel drawn towards these ideologies?”

“A. No, because I’ve always believed in human inequality. I believe that human inequality is the basis of life, but also the basis of morality, because I believe that inequality is a moral force. The real division between the left and the right is not about people who support socialised medicine or even much more, sort of harsh measures if you like, the divisive measures like ethnicity or abortion or whatever, the real division philosophically is those who believe that equality, enforced or otherwise is a moral good, broadly the general left. Those who believe and are often too frightened to say so that inequality is a moral good which is what the philosophical right really believes in, even the most moderate centre-right figure, the John Majors of this world, talk about freedom, opportunity. You’ll have opportunity, you’ll have inequality, even in a market system. So, although they’re frightened to mention the “I” word, if you like, all rightist movements from the most moderate to the most radical, right across the spectrum, believe that inequality is inescapable, is a fact, has to be lived through, has to be dealt with, and is actually the way things should be...


ted said...

Ok, this is one of the coolest things I've seen in a while. Make sure to use your up and down arrows on your keyboard. And I never tire of this song!

Van Harvey said...

Wo. And now for something completely different: A Crickets Choir.

Listen for a few minutes into at least, and click to the 20 min mark... music.