Monday, March 13, 2017

Beautiful Monsters, Righteous Swindles, and Privileged Malcontents

Where are we? In the overall scheme of things, I mean. While our posts may take their time getting there, they usually have a deeper point or at least trajectory.

In this case, our theme has to do with political philosophy, which must begin with a proper definition of the human person. Thus, we've essentially been touching on "principles of human nature," including our intrinsic rights, duties, and capabilities.

It cannot be overemphasized that the left, as usual, has some very different ideas of where to start. For example, there is no place for "human nature" in leftism. If there were, then this would undermine their whole project, which ignores human nature when it doesn't attack it outright.

Even so, you will have noticed that a leftist is never consistent with his principles. Rather, he will have the audacity to appeal to "human nature" when it is expedient to do so -- for example, it would never occur to them to force a Muslim caterer to do business with a homosexual bathhouse. Religious freedom, and all that.

But a principle, in order to be one, applies universally, which is to say, at all times and in all places. This metaphysical inconsistency reveals the true principle that animates the left: power, or better, will (through which power is exercised).

It is the same with other transcendentals, by the way. As Dennis Prager often points out -- and not in a polemical way, mind you -- truth is simply not an important value for the left. What really animates the left are things like equality, race, class, gender, "social justice," "microaggressions," and the right to use the wrong bathroom.

Recall that man is characterized by intelligence, free will, and sentiment, which are adequations to the true, good, and beautiful, respectively. Although these three converge upon the One, it is nevertheless the case that Truth must predominate, at least herebelow. As Schuon often says, there is no right greater than that of truth.

Consider the alternatives. We might begin our political philosophy with beauty, but it is doubtful the resultant system will last long. Many ideas of the left are superficially attractive, but unfortunately catastrophic in their application.

In order to ignore the entirely predictable catastrophe(s), the will is brought into play. Impossibility is no barrier, just a nuisance. Look, if you are publicly willing to amputate your private parts in order to prove you're a woman, what won't you do to demonstrate the impossible?

Consider, I don't know, ObamaCare. What a beautiful idea -- that everyone, solid citizen and lazy bum alike, can have affordable and quality healthcare, with no tradeoffs and no losers! However, being that the idea in no way comports with reality, it must be forced to do so via Will, i.e., taxes, subsidies, penalties, regulations, manipulations, bribes, and threats.

Probably a mistake for Republicans to try to rescue the Democrats from their impending shipwreck. Let their principles play out against the shoals of reality, so people can learn a priceless lesson they will never forget -- that abstract beauty and perverse willfulness are no way to organize a healthcare system.

It reminds me of the 1980s, when the left had another beautiful idea for dealing with the Soviet Union: unilateral disarmament. Or how about before that, in the latter half of the 1960s, when Love was thought to be the answer. Well, yes, no shit. But not detached from truth! Not to belabor the analogy, but remember Hitler's dog. To love what is hateful is as dysfunctional as cherishing the lie as truth (or celebrating the ugly as beautiful).

If Truth exists, then it is our obligation to know it, right? This is a fine example of what we might call a "natural duty," for the duty follows logically from the premise. Human intelligence is a rare privilege, but the privilege imposes obligations that can only be ignored at the soul's peril.

But what if, like deconstructionists and the like, one begins with the principle that truth either doesn't exist or is inaccessible to man? What happens is institutionalized irresponsibility, AKA journalism and tenure, the fake news of the MSM and false truth of liberal academia.

Getting back to truth and obligation; again, supposing truth exists, then we are obligated to know it. But even prior to this is an epistemophilic drive to know truth. It's built into us. To paraphrase Schuon, as animal instincts are their intellect, for man, intellect is our instinct. In short, we are born to know -- which means that our minds are in conformity -- at least in potential -- to the nature of things.

Now if truth is what we are compelled to know, then "virtue" is what we must attain, for as intellect is to the True, will is to the Good: "Virtue is what we must love, become and be" (Schuon).

Here again, man is intrinsically obligated to "be good," so to speak. This is woven into the very fabric of our being, as is truth. With the exception of sociopaths, everyone wants to be good; and even sociopaths convince themselves they are doing good as they understand it.

What do we call people who will the bad and call it good? I can't think of a particular word, but they are certainly moral idiots. Take the Islamists, who are motivated by a strict conception of the good. Or, closer to home, take our liberal fascists, who are motivated by their own perverse ideas of "social justice."

But this again goes to the priority of truth, for "social justice," as Hayek pointed out 75 years ago, isn't just a meaningless phrase, but often a malevolent phrase that means the opposite of what it pretends to mean, AKA injustice. The Aphorist said it well: 'Social justice' is the term used to claim anything to which we do not have a right; and the adjective that serves as a pretext for all swindles.

So, left wing justice is a theft and it is a swindle. Other than that, it's the highest and most progressive form of justice there could ever be!

As to the academic left, it has become notorious for disseminating knowledge with no truth, thus uprooting the intellect's very reason for being. "When all is said and done," writes Schuon, "reason becomes an infirmity" for such ignoramuses who pretend to knowledge.

Oh, and speaking of social justice, in the same book, Schuon has a few choice Remarks on Charity. These also go to the left's prior denial of human nature:

"One has to beware of turning the beneficiary of charity into an insolent protester, incapable of appreciating another's generosity; the man who does not know how to say 'thank you' whole-heartedly, and without concerning himself with the psychology of his benefactor, is a monster."

When is the last time one of these monsters thanked us for our civilization, for our system of government, and for disproportionately funding their dysfunctional schemes? Instead, we are relentlessly accused of being "privileged," when truly, they are privileged to live in our world.


Gagdad Bob said...

Everyone should request to follow my son's instagram account. He'd be thrilled at the attention, but it's also pretty entertaining. In just the last year he's taught himself to be a parkourist, and will even be in an international competition next month. Proof that the apple can fall very far from the tree, as I've never had the compulsion to do that kind of crazy sh*t.

julie said...

Let their principles play out against the shoals of reality, so people can learn a priceless lesson they will never forget -- that abstract beauty and perverse willfulness are no way to organize a healthcare system.

Trouble is, they never, ever seem to learn. Venezuela is falling to pieces; every place socialism and communism has ever been tried has ended up in ruin, the worse they more they are allowed to play out their principles, and yet all they can say is, "well, nobody has ever tried it the right way yet..."

Re. Instagram, it would be awesome to see what FL is doing. Parkour is amazing - like people got bored just pretending to be ninjas. Or Spiderman. Can't seem to get it to play nice with my computer, though.

Gagdad Bob said...

Not sure myself how the whole instagram thingy works, but you have to be signed up for it and then search for parkourboy99, his nom de vlog. Then just request to follow.

ted said...

Haha, your kid seems cool Bob! But if he ever gets a hold of this blog, it's going to take a bit to get a hold of what uncool things dad was up to.

Gagdad Bob said...

I know. He doesn't quite grasp that I'm a vertical parkourist and free runner.

Gagdad Bob said...

On cue: it's different when Christians do it.

Abdulmonem Othman said...

We are definitely living in a strange world,when god world becomes our world and want other not to pay thanks to god but to pay thanks to us for privileging them to live in our world. Is this the meekness of the christian right. What is a steward for god on earth but political functionary to implement the divine value, is the divine value has given us the right to steal the world, to colonize under the mask of civilize. Who talked about the white man burden and let the disease of racism runs amok in the world The divine that has privileged the human with the three qualities Schuon spoke about and asked the steward to respect them in dealings with others. Who is the left you are shooting with your rage, but a bunch of jews and christian and moslem and others from among us who have rebelled against the divine values like most of those who claim themselves the true ones who are carrying the divine flag like isis and the similar owels. The two pillars or religion,any religion is truth and justice which you keep exploring. We need to wake up before the negative hitting forces of the divine in response to human negative outbursts be released on this oppressive and perversive humanity that denied the ownership of god to anything. All sages say that such denial can not be left uncorrected, one only look around to see how the corrective measures are being manifested, even some time with ugly means.

garyeureka said...

An exaggerated form of parkour would be my dreams of flying. I jump over a puddle and in midair decide that I may as well jump the across the whole street. Then, oh why not just extend the next jump by about three blocks. It is a wonderful feeling and a great disappointment to wake up.

Then what a delight to discover years ago Camisso’s “Peter Schlemiel” with his seven league boots. -- A kindred spirit! I think he may have indicated way back then (1814) a bit of the parkour of the spirit, too. Great read!