Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Equal How?

That all men are created equal obviously cannot mean that they are equivalent. If that were the case, then we would be justified in treating them as replaceable ants -- or, as in Lenin's (I think) charming phrase, "bags of wet cement."

So there can be a problematic side to that little claim. In fact, looked at from one angle, we could say that the differences between left and right hinge upon the meaning and implications of "equal."

"Equality," writes Hayward, "is the central obsession with much of the intellectual class, though it is understood in simplistic terms, measured quantitatively, and used chiefly as a cudgel against existing institutions and social structures" (emphases mine).

I emphasize those three words because they go to what we've been saying about demonic influences on the left: simple instead of hierarchical; quantitative instead of qualitative; and cudgel instead of reason. The result is the obliteration of the vertical, which redounds to a kind of worthless equality.

But as the Aphorist writes, Every non-hierarchical society is divided into two parts; and When the exploiters disappear, the exploited split into exploiters and exploited. In fact, he has another aphorism that goes to simplicity: A vocabulary of ten words is enough for a Marxist to explain history.

And the left always gives an implicit sanction to violent coercion, since it is the doctrine that teaches that what is yours is mine. Resistance to handing it over is not tolerated.

It reminds me of VP candidate Tim Kaine's son being arrested for violence at a Trump rally:

It took three cops and a chemical spray to subdue the youngest son of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, Saturday after he was identified as one of the counter-protesters who allegedly used fireworks to disrupt a rally in support of President Donald Trump at the Minnesota State Capitol.

My son has known to "use his words" ever since... ever since he learned how to speak, really. Isn't one point of words to symbolize actions? He's never resorted to picking up the cudgel to get his way. If he ever did that, he knows it would constitute prima facie evidence of failure as a human being (his and probably mine as well). Wouldn't it be nice if the son of a U.S. senator could be the recipient of the equality and justice he preaches by doing some hard time in prison?

The proposition that "all men are created equal" is "the most problematic and mischievous phrase in American political thought," such that "understanding the nature and limits of equality is the most crucial intellectual and political task of our time" (Hayward). More particularly, the problem is "how to keep modern majorities from transforming equality into reckless egalitarianism, the age-old bane of democracy."

Shifting gears for the moment, last night I was thinking of how ironic it is that Schuon's conception of Man strikes me as so much deeper than anything I learned in graduate school. Being that I am a "licensed psychologist," I ought to know better than anyone else what a man is, right?


Left to psychological knowledge alone, I wouldn't only be ignorant -- as in lacking knowledge -- but positively filled with nonsense. It is no coincidence that the American Psychological Association is at the leading edge of left wing lunacy -- of redefining deviancy as normality, and vice versa.

I just looked up their website, and it's really quite repulsive. Notice the absolute obsession with sexual deviancy: "Bullying and Safe Schools for LGBT Students," "Transgender and Serving in the Military," "The Lives of LGBT Older Adults," "Happy Together: Thriving as a Same-Sex Couple in Your Family, Workplace, and Community." Excuse me but WTF?

I'm trying to think back on who and where I was (vertically speaking) when I entered graduate school in the early 1980s. Did I have any ideas about Man when I commenced? Not really. Frankly, I don't think I had any principles at all, at least explicit ones.

One of the first courses I took involved various models of the mind. Each week or so we'd cover a different theory: behaviorism, psychoanalysis, gestalt theory, et al. There wasn't even any discussion as to which one was correct, because it was assumed that no one could know that. Rather, all we have are models that help make sense of the phenomena. (Recall Fr. Rose's comment to the effect that It is corrupting to hear or read the words of men who do not believe in truth.)

I remember the professor using the analogy of a watch. Imagine we couldn't open the watch to see what's going on inside. All we can observe is the phenomena of the second, minute, and hour hands moving at different rates of speed. Therefore, we propose models to account for how that is happening -- similar to how early astronomers came up with various models to account for movement of the stars and planets.

Let's get back to first principles. In what sense can we say that All Men Are Created Equal? As I was saying the other day, Schuon's The Play of Masks presents his ideas -- which he would never claim as his own, being that they are timeless, universal, and pre-existent -- in the most compact and concentrated way possible. The first chapter is called Prerogatives of the Human State, and is not only vastly superior to any merely "psychological theory," but the proper ground of any such theory.

Try this on for size: "Total intelligence, free will, sentiment capable of disinterestedness: these are the prerogatives that place man at the summit of terrestrial creatures."

Boom! At a stroke he cuts through centuries of error and walls of tenure. Man can know truth, otherwise his intelligence is pointless (and not even intelligent); he is free and therefore responsible -- he has intrinsic rights and corresponding duties; and he may stand outside and above himself, proving transcendence.

This is the sense in which all men are created equal: "Total intelligence, free will, disinterested sentiment; and consequently: to know the True, to will the Good, to love the Beautiful."


Gagdad Bob said...

Meanwhile -- speaking of the APA -- Snowflakes Melting: Huge Rise in Personality Disorders Among Millennials.

It's a paradox: how can the APA treat these precious snowflakes when it is composed of precious snowflakes?

julie said...

That's a silly question - the goal is not to treat them, it is to infect more people to be just like them so they feel normal.

julie said...

For equality.

Roy Lofquist said...

"The only true forms of equality are equality at the Last Judgment and equality before a just court of law; all other attempts at levelling must lead, at best, to social stagnation. Society requires honest and able leadership; and if natural and institutional differences are destroyed, presently some tyrant or host of squalid oligarchs will create new forms of inequality."

Russell Kirk

Gagdad Bob said...

"Leveling is the barbarian's substitute for order" (Davila).

Abdulmonem Othman said...

Trivialization of consciousness is the product of the secularization of consciousness and one should not be surprised to face all these sick websites. When justice is replaced by equality and love is replaced by fraternity and limited freedom by open liberty and the word of god is replaced by the human word the world has put itself on an abysmal road. Religion like everything else has been polluted, the religion which was the successful psychological tool for self-correction and growth, is turned into weapons of murder and injustice, only watch the film of the middle east fed by the perversion of so-called civilized advanced countries Mental miswireing is abound left and right. Do not give these barbaric palestinians a state they are are not human and yet we are calling humanity or is it only the christians, to know the true and will the good and love the beautiful.