Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Innocent as Ted Kennedy, Wise as Maxine Waters

Let's begin with some metaphysically sound bites from Thomas that have a bearing on the Demon in Democracy.

For example, Man cannot possibly be good unless he stands in the right relation to the common good. And Just as the right use of power in ruling over many people is a good in the highest degree, so is its misuse in the highest degree evil.

This implies that the hottest precincts of hell are reserved for rulers who misuse power. Note that Thomas understood this long prior to the appearance of 20th century monsters such as Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, et al.

Now, this is weird, but extremely telling. I just did a quick search of the most evil rulers in history, and this was the first that popped up: on it, George Bush is #2, Ariel Sharon #4. It proves Dennis Prager's adage that "Those who don't fight the greatest evils will fight lesser evils or make-believe evils."

For example, this is why leftists get far more worked up over innocuous statues than genuine evils such as inner city black-on-black violence; or the make-believe science of AGW than third world poverty that can't be overcome without a larger carbon footprint.

The purpose of the intellect is to know truth. Obviously. But "the purpose of ideology," writes Legutko, "is not to disclose intricacies and ambiguities but to make a clear statement." The MSM Narrative (which is again Ideology for Dummies) is rarely in accord with reality, but always loud and clear.

This reminds me of the distinction between, say, the metaphysics of Thomas and Bible stories -- but with a big difference. Few people have the time or aptitude to study metaphysics. Which is one of the principle reasons for revelation, in that it provides a way to implicitly understand the same truths, only available to one and all. You might say that it is a way to make the average person wise.

For example, as we've said before, even the person with a literal understanding of Genesis has superior wisdom to the credentialed atheist who imagines the world came about by accident. The latter is "learned stupidity," while the former is more akin to "naive wisdom."

It is the other way around with ideology, which has two functions: on the one hand, it makes the idiot feel superior to the wise, while turning the most intelligent man into an idiot. Regarding the former, even the dimmest college student can assimilate enough cliches and insults to render him a Democrat for life. It is the whole basis for the appeal of Bernie Sanders, and of the leftward lurch of Democrats more generally:

The race to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2020 will be a race to the left. The Bernie Sanders agenda has taken root. By the time the Democrats’ nominating process was complete in 2016, Hillary Clinton had become Bernie Sanders-lite... the next Democratic nominee as likely to be Sanders on steroids.

Economic polices will consist of government giveaways and anti-business crusades. Social causes will give no quarter to moderate positions, and LGBT special interests, labor unions, global warming fanatics and factions such as Black Lives Matter, along with other grievance industry groups, will face no moderating counterforce.

In other words, thanks to college, people are increasingly dis-oriented: the stupid ones imagine they are superior, while the intelligent ones are the most readily indoctrinated into the stupidity. Similar to how all you need is a little menstrual blood and a lot of bitterness in order to call yourself an "artist."

Of course, if you criticize college they will call you "anti-intellectual," which is itself part of the indoctrination. In short, they will call you a name. The left never argues. It accuses.

But the purpose of philosophy is not to accuse. Rather, it is to lead persons to the Light, one assoul at a time. It is to help him exit the cave of contingency (and of historicism) and into the wide open space of truth, AKA O. If you don't know that O is far vaster than your puny ideology, then you don't even know nothing, because what you think you know is all wrong.

"No wonder that those contaminated by ideology" have such "a deep suspicion toward ideas" (Legutko). The irony is that there is no one as anti-intellectual as the leftist who fancies himself an intellectual. Let's take the example of Bill Maher. Everything about him cries out that he wants you to know that he's a Smart Guy.

If that is the case, why does he only pick on such easy targets? I'd like to see him go toe to toe with a Thomas Aquinas or Frithjof Schuon. But an insult is not an argument, and smugness is not actual superiority.

Speaking of which, "In a certain sense humility is man's readiness to approach spiritual and divine things." Indeed,"Humility prepares the way for wisdom" and "makes a man capable of knowing God" (Thomas).

Those qualify as the most important things one can know, being that they are a prerequisite for knowing the most important things. But how many people learn this at a liberal university? Any? If so, it is only in reaction to the pestilent nonsense that pervades the atmosphere. Experiencing a place that has been sanitized of God can be a very effective source of conversion. When the cave fills with toxic gas, get out!

Jesus counsels us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves, a combination of discernment and humility. The left has a twisted version of this -- something like "cynical as a psychopath but credulous as a child."


Gagdad Bob said...

Political science. Science.

common sense bob said...

""cynical as a psychopath but credulous as a child."

Wow !

Just wow!

Anonymous said...

Up in Heaven as we conceive it, no soul labors, suffers, or wants for anything.

Humans through the ages have striven to gain these conditions on Earth for the living.

Better products, more leisure, improved health and longevity have been realized as part of this striving. Everything from stone arrow heads to electric can-openers to computers to higher education have been developed in pursuit of greater ease and plenty.

Now, as we collectively get closer to realizing total victory, people balk. They don't want a basic universal income, which is a natural step forward towards permanent leisure for all. Robots take over jobs (as they should), but now detractors say people should work. Legislation can help relieve the agony of those born gay into a straight world, but people complain it would be unethical and the agony should remain. The horn of plenty is filled by our captains of industry, but they balk at distributing their prosperity to others without repayment. Why should the lazy be satiated at no cost? Why indeed?

Remember the ideal? A world were no soul labors, suffers, or wants for anything? Do we want it, or don't we?

Total victory comes towards us, and we quail in the face of it. We need to overcome our fears, or get a new ideal.

How say you, denizens of the blog?

mushroom said...

"naive wisdom"

There's an innate wisdom in innocence. It goes along with humility. Where there is no humility, no matter how much knowledge one possesses, there is no wisdom.

Wisdom has always been the spiritual gift for which I prayed. Wisdom and godly sorrow go together as well, so said the Preacher.

doug saxum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
doug saxum said...

No labor, suffering or want for anything?

I'll pass.
Truth is worth suffering for.

doug saxum said...

If you love want you labor at, it's not labor.

I like the new ideal.

Anonymous said...

Although the blog author holds a dim view of leftism and leftist spokespeople, I find the average Leftist to be a pleasant and reasonable person.

When you get out and mingle with the Lefties, and chat them up, you get a sense these people aren't all that bad after all.

They work, go to church, raise families, etc. They dabble in politics, basically.

The only truly extreme leftists I have met were adolescents age 14-16. By age 25 leftist extremism becomes a rare commodity.

Atheists are rare. Many teen lefties profess atheism but a short interview usually reveals some kind of Hindu belief pattern, particularly "Karma." Basically they believe in Vishnu.

So yeah, atheists. They may be out there somewhere. I haven't talked to any hard-core examples.

mushroom said...

I think that a lot of people who think of themselves as "leftists" are decent. They have simply become convinced that morality is a function of government rather than the individual.

In reality, a "moral" government is one that does not impose morality but leaves people free to live virtuous lives or not as they see fit, so long as they harm no one or deny another their rights and property by it.

They have also confused morality and virtue with legality and government coercion, but, to be fair, so have many conservatives.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mushroom.

I like your comments regarding humility and wisdom, and regarding government imposed morality.

I agree. As you mention, only if moral freedom begins to produce harm, reduction of rights, or destruction of property, then government intervention with regulations and laws is appropriate.

We don't need and shouldn't have cannabis prohibition, especially.