Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Miscaste in the White House

So, there is the priestly/intellective caste and the royal/warrior caste. In India, I believe the idea was that society is like a human body, such that one needs a head (intelligence), a heart (courage), hands, feet, etc.

The hands and feet are the province of "the 'honorably average' man: he is essentially a hard worker, well-balanced, persevering; his center is love for work that is useful and well done, and carried out with God in mind; he aspires neither to transcendence nor glory -- although he aspires to be both pious and respectable..." (Schuon). Hard to say that without coming across as condescending, but admit it: you know exactly what he means.

And here is a big problem: liberals devote much of their energy to flattering this caste with the idea that mere labor is beneath them, such that everyone really belongs to the intellectual class. Therefore, everyone should go to college -- even though half the population by definition has an IQ below 100 and has no business in the intellectual world.

Solution? Reduce the standards of the university, such that it no longer requires any intellectual qualifications at all (excepting in those STEM fields that cannot be faked).

I remember a few months ago, an interview of Tavis Smiley (a liberal-certified black pretend-intellectual) by Michael Medved. Regarding black unemployment, Smiley said something to the effect that labor was fine for immigrants, but that "black folks are done with it" -- in other words, the fact that their ancestors had already been laborers somehow automatically qualified them for more intellectually demanding jobs.

The other problem is that in a "knowledge based economy" (or whatever else you want to call it), the population will be sorted as never before along the lines of native intelligence. Or, you could say that it is producing sharper lines than ever between castes.

And there is no way to turn hands and feet into brains -- unless you redefine the brain, as they do in all those fraudulent college disciplines that allow laborers to pretend they are intellectuals. This is why these types are almost always "activists," which is really a case of their lower caste slipping through.

This is also the source of the university/government industrial complex, in that government is of course the ideal place to force one's loony ideas on an unwilling populace -- like health insurance so fantastic that you go to prison if you refuse it. No one has to force quantum physics on anyone.

And once castes are mixed up in this manner, it is an invitation to the sociopath to jump into the mix. This is "the man who lacks a center... because he has two or even three centers at once: this is the type known as the pariah, arising from a 'mixture of castes'..." (ibid.). I suppose the difference today is that we create this type by, for example, putting laborers into the university and convincing them they are geniuses.

The result is a state-sponsored pariah -- like the one who currently occupies the White House. Think of it: he is a product of the university, and yet, is characterized by a breathtaking intellectual dishonesty and cynical amorality that once disqualified one for higher education (or would have been weeded out along the way).

I have to modify what I said above about STEM subjects, because even they are being infected by the new intellectual amorality: of "studies that had originally reported positive results, an astonishing 65 percent failed to show statistical significance on replication, and many of the remainder showed greatly reduced effect sizes." This means that two thirds of science is bullshit!

I haven't read the whole piece, but it concludes with this: "When cultural trends attempt to render science a sort of religion-less clericalism, scientists are apt to forget that they are made of the same crooked timber as the rest of humanity and will necessarily imperil the work that they do. The greatest friends of the Cult of Science are the worst enemies of science’s actual practice."

And this doesn't even get into the question of science being infiltrated by the centerless. "This new type -- who is unhinged -- is capable of 'everything and nothing'.... The pariah has neither center nor continuity; he is a void eager for sensations; his life is a disconnected series of arbitrary experiences" (Schuon).

Do not expect to find continuity or consistency in this type of moral monster (and note that this psychopath is Obama's top advisor on race relations!).

"The danger this type represents for society is evident," writes Schuon. For "no one [!] is willing to trust a leader who is at bottom a circus showman and one who is by his nature predisposed to crime."

Our political system is supposed to guard against this type, since the founders did not trust the power of the executive to emanate from his own center, so to speak. Rather, his center must be located exterior to himself, in the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.

How's that working out?


julie said...

Solution? Reduce the standards of the university, such that it no longer requires any intellectual qualifications at all (excepting in those STEM fields that cannot be faked).

Notably, this has the dual effect of artificially inflating the less gifted while actually hobbling those with the intelligence to potentially learn more. Quite simply, it doesn't matter how fast your hardware is nor how much storage you have if there is neither good software nor good data with which to use them. For instance, if all elementary kids are being taught bad math, the ones who could have been good mathematicians might never know because they never had a chance to learn what was good.

Or in other words, not only are the hands and feet being turned into brains, the brains are being turned into hands and feet. Or perhaps more accurately, trans-hands and -feet...

Anonymous said...

Well these references to India all sound very poetic, and, I assume, in sum is an expression of the old Hindu notion of caste and social order.

There are some problems with this when one get to the actual historical reality of India.

The first one is, of course, that the political economic, "social" and even spiritual history is so widely (and wildly) varied inside of India over its long history and broad territory that this can be as best little more than the statement of an ideal. It cannot even be said that this was some sort of primary ideal, but merely one of many.

This obtains even in those areas of India that managed to stay more or less aligned with Hundism during that faith's many challenges with various other groups and authorities; it becomes almost pointless in those areas under direct Mughal rule, for example. (One must also account for the very strong presence of we would call "organized crime" that has been there though much of their history, particularity in the modern era.)

The Second one is the broad "taxation" or "tithe" that peasants where under in the pre-industrial age. It is some what difficult to explain quickly, but even peasants who outright owned land had to pay certain percentages of the production to a host "special interest". These might be local or regional religions group, local warlord or just other commercial interest. These sort of obligations star very early in their history, and often would use 80 to 90 percent of output, leaving the peasant with just enough to feed himself, his family and any workers. This tithing frame work is quite ancient, BTW, going back to the so called "Vedic Era".

Lastly, you must remember that the Brahman caste/class only regained their dominance as the British Raj was being established--they had been radically suppressed by the Mughal/Hundistani ascendancy for several centuries prior to British occupation. It is important to not this because much of what that class put out amounts to self serving propaganda for that group (and this of course includes M. Ghandi). Many European writers were completely oblivious to this,

All in all, it is/was a very parasitic arrangement and contributed at least as much to poverty as the usual culprits we hear out of Leftist economist today, and is one of the reasons broad and deep poverty has been endemic to endemic for most of its history.

This is not in any rational and just sense any sort acceptable of division of labor, physical or spiritual, and would seem to be much like the sort of arrogant neo-feudalism that Left's Nomenklatura would wish on us today. It uplifted not the average person in any way but led to a brutal, harsh life and spiritually dullness.

That is not to say that you higher point is not well taken or that your take on our modern "liberals" is wrong; it is to say the historical backing for these matter for both you and your referenced authors need to be taken with a grain of salt.

The history of India is actually much more complicated than it is normally taught, and, aught badly or well, it is taught rarely. It certainly does not much support the rapturous vision of it proffered by 19th and 20th century European writers who would use it to back their notions of "spirituality", mysticism or a "more reasonable social order". The reality is rather different than they would have it. They offer an India of the mind and not the actual one of history

Magister said...

"How's that working out?"

Gangbusters, if you're Barack Obama.

ted said...

Our political system is supposed to guard against this type, since the founders did not trust the power of the executive to emanate from his own center, so to speak. Rather, his center must be located exterior to himself, in the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.

Hillary and Trump love emanating power from their "centers" all over the place. Bernie's center is exterior to himself located somewhere in the Scandinavian countries. I suppose only Cruz is aligned with this notion of upholding a Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Bernie's "center" is located in the Moscow of old, which is to say that it is thoroughly located in himself.

Leslie said...

“Sceptics do not succeed in pulling up the roots of Christianity; but they do succeed in pulling up the roots of every man’s kitchen garden. Secularists have not succeeded in wrecking divine things; but Secularists have succeeded in wrecking secular things.”

— G.K. Chesterton

John Lien said...

Hi Anon, that was an interesting bit of historical perspective. Thanks. That said, I do think the caste model is a good descriptor of types of people. To be aware of a hierarchy and to find one's place in it makes for a happier individual. This concept in the USofA of everybody striving to a Doctor or Lawyer, or you are some sort of loser, just makes for unnecessary unhappiness. This is why I am souring a bit on Democracy. I like intellectuals, I like to read their works, as an average man watches athletes, but that is not my caste.

I've run out programming work for today. Off to the workshop, where I am truly happy.

julie said...

Anonymous@ 10:02,

Perhaps a better word than caste for this post would be archetype. The underlying idea, in any case, that different people have different personality types and are better suited for one type of life over another. For instance, I know a man who is quite intelligent. But he is also a redneck down to his bones, has never been a reader, and plans his life around off-road motor sports. He fixes things for a living. Stick him in a university and it would do no good for anyone involved, but give him a truck and the great outdoors and he's a happy man. He went to tech school, and as a result lives a life that is both satisfying for him and his family, and benefits the people he works for. Everybody wins. If more people lived their lives according to their archetypes, instead of trying to be what they are not, the world would be an immeasurably happier place.

Gagdad Bob said...


I didn't read your whole comment, but enough to tell you I'm hardly advocating the caste system. Rather, the American system of liberty through which people can find their place without being coerced or coddled.

Gagdad Bob said...

Common sense: "not everybody wants, needs or enjoys drawn-out academic instruction -- and that these people can and do make worthwhile contributions to the common good. An education system that made more room for vocational programs in areas like carpentry, plumbing, med tech, and practical nursing would waste less time trying to pound round pegs into square holes."

julie said...

Exactly. If my kids were nearing college age right now, I would have them thinking long and hard about whether it would be worth their time - and especially money - to go to a university instead of a good tech program. Whatever today's students get, it is extremely unlikely they will end up with a well-rounded classical education. But to the extent such an education matters, we live in an age where anyone who wants to develop that depth can find it in a million different ways outside the university walls.

Magister said...

What Schuon is driving at in this remarkable essay has to do with natural castes, not social castes.

By which he means spiritual types, not social conditions. To have a center is to be related to God in every dimension of oneself. This is to be a man of genius, in his view. Dante, for example. We may be clever, brilliant in physics, prodigiously creative as artists -- but if, in so doing, we are running after attractive *idols* elsewhere, we will lack any real integrity. We will use, or consume, creativity as a way of compensating for the lack of a center, and our interior awareness of it, in ourselves. The over-production of these false centers is characteristic of our culture -- which Schuon actually characterizes as anti-cultural.

He surveys an enormous sweep of western cultural history according to this single criterion. I found it really stimulating -- and, frankly, damning. I recognized a good bit of what he criticizes in myself.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was more making historical and, I suppose, philosophical points about India and the Hindu caste system. (and G. Bob, if you would read my entire post you would see that I was not suggesting that you were using this in anyway other than as a metaphor).

It is a sticking point of mine that certain voices misuse and characteristic the actual histories and realities of some of the the great Asiatic Civilizations. It is particularly true of India and China, and perhaps Japan as well. We often hear of of the multicult mob about the "4000 years on unbroken Chinese civilization" (no, this is not the case at all), or the "deep, ancient and spiritual civilization of India (hardly, it is a bloody, exploitative and profoundly tragic mess). One wonders if the people that push such nonsense have even read a basis, survey history of these civilization. (and do not get me wrong, I have the deepest respect you that actual accomplishments of India and China). Just trying to get a bit of clarity.

A little practical philosophical (and political) clarity does not hurt either.

Speaking of which, while some might take caste systems as a good source of "archetypes", and this is good so far as it goes, let me point out that as a practical matter the Hindu system is not about archetypes per se: it is about a hereditary social and political status. One does not easily get out of caste. Thus you "redneck" friend would be a Brahman if he was born into that class, or a "true philosopher king", should he be born into a lower caste, might never see the inside of a school other than to clean out it toilets. Enforcing this requires brutal oppression.

It is also prone to abuse. I did not mention it before, but when the Brahmans reemerged during the Raj, they also managed to push their role rather past what it had been before and demanded dominance in both politics and law, and commerce, particularity the upper reaches of the latter. Their bailiwick before had often been just the priestly function and related arts and culture.

So the reality of this caste system, and I would really say all caste systems, is rather brutal, oppressive and degrading to the human spirit. The legac of the Hindu system bedevils India to this day.

One may tire of democracy, but I can tell you that should you find yourself in the middle of such a system you will quickly come dashing back to deadly old and imperfect Democracy as fast as your feet will carry you.

(BTW, in the off chance that any of you might want to read an insightful comment on the caste system in India today--its legacy and its shadow on the future of India today--I would recommend V. S> Naipaul's writings on India, particularly the later writing, which are not so pessimistic abut India.)

Anonymous said...

Let me posit that the Bible, its parable and its chronicles, and the lives of the Saint might offer sources for archetypes that better serve the inclinations of the blog and its reader. They drawn portraits much ore realistic and human, not to mention more humane, than do Asiatic caste systems. The Christian tradition, for all of its transcendent goals, is marvelously commonsensical, practical and down to earth, and deeply savvy about political economics and mankind relation to it. Itamazes (and amuses too). As purely political matter, is there anything that captures our plight better than the Passions found in the gospels? I do not think so.

I would suggest that the current crisis Bob outlines here is more about the absence of "democracy--or even just rational, morally responsible society--rather than it a result of it. It is at once criminal and and subversive. It is criminal fraud to use OPM to set up a cozy, parasitic Nomenklatura full of fake jobs all in the name of "education"; it is subversive to enter the very institutions meant ot preserve our civilization with the intention to destroy that civilization.

The problem can only be solved by removing the Left from this institutions. All of notions of "reform" amount to so much wishful thinking.

They do not really care about truth; they have no respect for the accomplishments of this civilization, or indeed any civilization.

These people are in the end barbarians. You will not reason them out of this, nor will you civilize them.

tthey are like baboons swinging through the Louvre on a lark.

doug saxum said...

This post is so saturated with wisdom (as most of your offerings are), that I'll need to re-read a few times to absorb.

Thanks Bob!

Van Harvey said...

Anonymous @1:59 "It is a sticking point of mine..." It is a sticking point of mine, and others here (and no doubt Cuz, who's likely standing in the comment box shadows with his tongs, wondering whether or not to pounce), that most comments left by those going by 'Anonymous', are troll droppings... so... Please use a nicname. It doesn't have to be tied to an account, you can just type it in as free text.

There are at least two reasons for this, the most obvious being - are you the same Anonymous who commented at 1:56? How about at 10:02? The one from the other day? Who the hell knows?

The second reason, as noted, is that we've got a fairly long history here of being trolled by the run of the mill vile types, that like to go by the name of, you guessed it, 'Anonymous'.

It's not am association you need, or that most of us enjoy having to read with one eye on the lookout for being trolled.

Also, if I'm correct in recognizing your style, you've made some pretty decent comments over the preceding days, and it'd be nice to be able to associate them more easily with a name that can be recognized and addressed.


Anonymous said...

There are at least 3 anonymous posters here. A random poet, the one posting profusely today, and myself, who enjoys the style of our unknown friend the author of "Meditations on the Tarot". I'd like to think I helped get Bob writing again, which seems to be good for him. I’ve mostly given up on expressing or discussing national politics. I tired of making bold predictions, being slammed for them by people from ‘my side’, then watching them come true. My latest visions are so dark and dismal, that expression of such wouldn’t be of benefit here. So I’ve turned towards personal spiritual growth and politics local to my town, where I can gain some satisfaction from actual results for my efforts.

-It's the culture.

Troll droppings said...

It wasnt me!