Thursday, April 05, 2018

Our Civil War is a War On Order

If there is an order of things, it must correspond to the changelessness in things: it is the Unchanging in which all this Change is grounded. If the change has no underlying order, then it's just random chaos with no point or purpose.

There is always order, and there is always change. Analogously, character is who you are when no one is looking. Likewise, order is what exists even if no one sees it: it can only be discovered, not created or imposed. It is what exists despite anyone's opinion about it.

For example, this is obviously the purpose of philosophy: to find the real order in things -- not just of material reality, but in ethics, aesthetics, and thinking itself. Science deals with quantitative order, but that isn't the only order in which we find ourselves.

In The Rational Bible, Dennis Prager reminds us that the Ten Commandments are not intended to apply to just a particular slice of humanity, but to everyone: they disclose a universal moral order.

Thus, either the Torah "has something to say to everyone or it has nothing to say to [even] the Jews." In other words, it either reveals a universal order or it reveals nothing. There can be no in between. You might even say that there is truth and there is autobiography, and that most philosophy is little more than a glorified memoir or diary. Again: universal or nothing.

What we call wisdom is a pool of knowledge about the Changeless. Wisdom exists along a spectrum and eventually shades off into the human margin and beyond (or below). In other words, some wisdom can be truly universal, while much of it may indeed be culture-bound. Philosophy ought to be a quest for the former.

My eyes just lit upon the following passage: "As I show in my discussion of secular education as a potential 'false god,' the best educated in the West have often both lacked wisdom and been among the greatest supporters of evil ideologies and regimes."

Now, what were (and are) these ideologies but the systematic effort to impose a false order upon human beings? The result? Communist regimes alone "murdered about 100 million people and enslaved and destroyed the lives of more than a billion."

This quest for order is a serious business, perhaps the most serious. Get the order wrong, and the result is catastrophe: "The two missions -- promoting goodness and attaining wisdom -- are linked, because it is almost impossible to do good without wisdom."

The entire history of the left can be summarized in a single wise sentence: "All the good intentions in the world are likely to be worthless without wisdom." Actually, worthless if we're lucky. If only leftist schemes were neutral and not deadly!

In the United States we are absolutely in a civil war. It is as real as the one in the 1860s, with the stakes every bit as world-historically consequential. And if we dig down to the ground, what we really see are two different and irreconcilable orders, both then and now.

Speaking of the search for order, in November 2016 I remember Rachel Maddow and other progressives reading up on 1930s Germany in order to comprehend what was going on in the United States. Yes, that is crazy -- among other reasons because conservatism and fascism are at antipodes -- but it goes to the intensity with which human beings will grasp at order, even if there is no truth to it at all.

Me? I find much more useful parallels with the period leading up to the Civil War. I recently read a couple of books that document what it was like for the average person to live through the era, In the Presence of Mine Enemies: The Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859-1864 and The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America.

What we have here (and there) are two very different ideas of order: political order, constitutional order, human order. Quite simply, we could not go on being one nation with two orders. A nation, in order to be one, must have one order. We cannot abide states with radically different orders, whether we're talking about slavery or illegal immigrants. In both cases it really comes down to the illegitimate usurpation of power rooted in a false order.

In the margins of the books I often highlighted passages with an N/C, for No Change. For example, I was thinking of the parallels between the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and how contemporary leftists treat blacks who stray from the liberal plantation. They are not permitted to do that, on pain of surrendering their human status.

Nor are they subtle about it. Just the other day on CNN, some dim pundit of color said it was perfectly acceptable to tar black conservatives with racial epithets. Conversely, we are not even permitted to criticize a black progressive such as Obama or Maxine Waters without being called racist. Or, see how the left reacted when someone in Trump's cabinet said he cared more about merit than "diversity." Democrats are no less obsessed with race today than they were during slavery and Jim Crow.

Different orders. In our order, all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. In their order, people are... well, first of all, they are not created. Rather, they evolve, I guess, with unequal races, genders, and classes, and it is up to the state to equalize these. Is it any wonder that This is War?

Prager also reminds us of how America's founders were deeply rooted in the Biblical order, or the order disclosed by our Judeo-Christian tradition. You might say it is the vertical macrocosm in which our political microcosm is rooted. In the past, we've noted how Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin proposed a design for the Great Seal of the U.S. depicting Moses leading the Israelites from slavery to freedom, with the motto Resistance to Tyrants is obedience to God.

Which it is, but why? Because the tyrant imposes a false order, while God reveals the true one. Which is why the loony "resistance" to Trump is hardly obedience to God. If anything, it is defiance of God, which is one of the definitions of fascism: the violent rejection of transcendence.

No, I am not conflating God and Trump. Please. Again, the subject is order, and which one we will live under, the constitutional one or the disordered one imposed by progressives.

Here is a critical point mentioned by Prager: "these two events -- the Exodus and the giving of the Ten Commandments -- are the two seminal events (other than Creation itself)," such that "liberty and morality are the twin pillars of the Torah."

Schematically we see Creation --> Commandments --> Liberty. Creation-as-such is the first order; it is the macrocosmos in which man is situated. Of all the creatures -- both living and nonliving -- man is the only one created with free will. But what is free will if it isn't grounded in the permanent order reflected in the Ten Commandments (and elsewhere)?

It is nothing, precisely. Therefore, freedom and truth/order are intimately related. As are the oppression and nothingness of the left. Freedom requires truth. Slavery needs only power.


julie said...

"As I show in my discussion of secular education as a potential 'false god,' the best educated in the West have often both lacked wisdom and been among the greatest supporters of evil ideologies and regimes."

I'm reminded of some of the photos that have come out of recent protests, where young idiots hold up signs saying something to the effect that "security" is more important than freedom. Strangely, they don't appreciate the security that comes from having to use a clear backpack to carry things to school.

Democrats are no less obsessed with race today than they were during slavery and Jim Crow.

For that matter, they are still obsessed with slavery as well. They just call it by "undocumented immigration" or "H1B visas" now, but the end results - exploitable people working for lower-than-minimum wages under questionable circumstances - are the same.

TheDarknessWithinRachelMaddow said...

I'm not the only one who sees parallels between 30s Germany and today, see for example the recent writings of Timothy Snyder, an acclaimed historian of the period.

Gagdad Bob said...

I can't believe I voted for a fascist who won't even put his critics behind bars. Worst Hitler ever.

Unknown said...

I read that Chesterton was asked what is wrong with our world, He answered, We are. It is the story of the abuse of the divine order. The given that has preceded the humans creations. The story of Adam, the angels and the devil discloses that precedence. If we do not understand the divine order we will not be able to understand any other order or create any worthwhile orders. It is the universality and the intelligibility of meanings that makes it possible to communicate and progress on all domains physical and spiritual. The dilemma appears with its ugly heads when the human attention is drawn to one side of the whole picture. it is the activation of The art of memory that gives the impetus to the humans to move spiritually that is the remembrance of the divine bond, the bond god has concluded with humanity in the non-physical realm. Those who have falsified the divine narrative will pay severely, only to recognize that god is the truth and the only truth that must be respected as an interlude to all manifestations of other kind of respect. The one that has given the existence to the many the many that will to him return. It is our dialogue with god that makes our dialogue with others importantly respectful and insulate and isolate itself from the low and the illusive, derailed phantasmagoria that is filling our mental and imaginative landscape.

neal said...

Trump is like a sober Churchill. I wonder sometimes if that really matters, when God gives a small gift.

Personally, I tend not to kill a messenger, or bow down and submit. Fire up the grill and feed a stranger/straggler OK.

Those conversations could be long term, almost to sunrise. The wife just never knows.

TheDarknessWithinRachelMaddow said...

Trump is like a sober Churchill.

Damn. As a lefty I have to condemn Churchill (what with the racism and genocide and all), but he doesn't deserve that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excellent post Bob. When you say, "In our order, all men are created equal", can you please explain in precisely what way we are all created equal given the evident disparities in intelliegence, virtue, capability and even spiritual comprehension that have always existed. The left also goes on about 'equality' so I am interested to know how you view it. Is it more a question of equal entitlements rather than endowments?

Gagdad Bob said...

Equality before the law and possessing the same natural rights (e.g., life, liberty, property).

Anonymous said...

Hello Panel.

As Abdulmonem suggests, the current situation can be explained as humans being what they are.

Dr. Godwin speaks of civil war, but I fear that is hyperbole. What we have here are the left and right wings at odds with each other, with about 80% of the population as moderates in the middle. This structure is quite stable, as it has been at it for 50 years at least. Think of the squares and the hippies. They thought they had a revolution. Uh, no. They had a spat while the moderates looked on that too.

Never underestimate the power of the moderates. There's your country, and it isn't at war. It is kept in equilibrium by having the fringe wings nattering at each other.

Doug Saxum said...

In your view, are there parallels to the outline that is called the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion?
I love a good conspiracy theory 😁

Doug Saxum said...

Or lets look at the Builderbergers.

Anonymous said...

Hello Doug:

Thank you for your interest in conspiracies.

The Protocols were a fraud. This is not to say Zionism isn't a thing...but it is not well organized or led at this point. The problem is, nobody cares about Zionism, except for them, and it just isn't enough. They have wealth and influence, but...not a whole lot by global conspiracy standards.

The Bilderburg Group is a legitimate club for captains of industry and so forth. There is no secrets going on there. That's not to say there aren't a boatload of Freemasons in there.

To add more:

The Illuminati: They were a going concern, until they got ridiculous. They had a notion they were innately superior to other people. They had fingers in a lot of pies, but really had no clue what to do with the influence they were getting. To call them snooty would be understatement. Mistake. They rubbed some influential people the wrong way, and now they stay inactive for their own good. History will not even remember them in 50 years. Most of them were old. They had terrible taste in art and music, but insisted in their snooty way they alone could identify genius. Insufferable.

The Freemasons: Now you're talking. They are a going concern, and influence is their game. They have people everywhere. They are not as greedy as some, but they are a classic case of a true conspiracy which has been going on for centuries. The real deal. If you can join, do it. It takes decades to get to the inner circle where the big fish decide big things, though.

Globalist movers and shakers, the Deep State. Another one which is absolutely true, and you could try to invent lurid claims about them and still fall short of the reality. These people are dominant in all dealings, especially the largest. They strategize, they implement, and they are incredibly effective. Rivers, torrents, tidal waves, of lucre flow into their coffers, and they reinvest strategically. Any problem they have, they throw money at it in such enormous quantities they subvert or control everyone and everything. Their governing body, The New World Order, based in Barcelona, Spain, is the de facto ruling legislative body of the world. The chairperson of the NWO executive committee is a closely guarded secret.

Well Doug, there isn't much detail there, but you have the over-view.

Doug Saxum said...

Thank you.

No secrets in a group of elites which includes members of the news media that are sworn to secrecy?
Hmm, that doesn't pass the smell test.

Anonymous said...

One reason I never believed in major conspiracies that involve groups larger more than a very small number of people: There are some very smart people capable of pulling off schemes that require foresight, planning, intelligence, secrecy, etc... As soon as you get a larger group of people you move towards the mean of human capabilities and human nature. The capabilities of the head conspirators will be watered down and you can throw secrecy out the window. Thus, given that, you can pretty much discount any government-lead conspiracy or anything such as the deep state out the window. The bottom line, is that a larger group of people are not capable of pulling off a well-run conspiracy. The desire is there, but mechanism to implement isn’t.

IMO, this is the issue with governments in general irrespective of the form of government . Human nature is "I, me, mine" quoting George Harrison and of course not altruistic. A large group of people precludes excellence or even competence. This is how we end up with people of mediocre intelligence (a generous assessment in many cases) running a government whereby bribery is legalized, and legislators sell their votes to the highest special interest bidders. Not sure what the solution is or if there is one.

-A different anonymous

Anonymous said...

Hello different anonymous:

I hear what you are saying. But, the Deep State is a special case. The Deep State involves a lot of people; perhaps in the millions. They all don't exactly know who or what they are working for, however.

The Deep State strengths include the following:

The overall Deep State (DS) goal #1 is to make maximum money. This requires global prosperity, which requires the general well being of people to accomplish. The people of the world are down for this, so it doesn't have to be forced. There is a happy collusion of goals here.

The DS does not have any political ideas, systems of government, philosophies, or religions to endorse or enforce. The DS will go with whatever works, but does remove or abate things which obstruct goal #1.

The DS thinks big, and plans long range. It is technologically advanced and very nimble. DS is visionary. The DS is big on space travel, because hugely lucrative mineral wealth occurs in the solar system, and it means to go out there and get it. The DS operates the largest and most advanced computing network in the world, and is a leader in AI research.

Regarding Secrecy:

The DS is not a secret. The Barcelona central unit operates with the full cooperation of the Spanish government, in return for a handsome reward package. There are only two hold-out nations which do not play ball, and even these are in negotiations. The perks and rewards for playing on the DS team are simply overwhelming, and the drawbacks very few. Governments must cooperate with DS policy decisions or the rewards go away. And the rewards are on a personal level as well as on a group level; direct cash to officials in staggering amounts.

The DS governing body, the NWO, does operate outside of the law; by definition it is "corrupt." However, it seems to work. Techniques to hide financial dealings are effective. DS propaganda is very sparse, and there are no PR efforts. At the higher levels, i.e the NWO leadership, spy-craft and secrecy do become operant. So, there is a conspiracy, but not strenuously concealed. For instance, I'm blogging about it at will with the blessings of the NWO SW North America regional office. That's how secret it is.

Other consipiracy cabals:

Every Freemason is an NWO member, but not every NWO member is a Freemason, if that makes any sense. The NWO is based on Masonic ideas. Other conspiracy groups are tolerated if they give fealty and pay up. Otherwise, not so much.

Still doesn't pass the smell test, I know. I'm OK with it.

TheDarknessWithinRachelMaddow said...

The DS does not have any political ideas, systems of government, philosophies, or religions to endorse or enforce. The DS will go with whatever works, but does remove or abate things which obstruct goal #1 (global prosperity and general well being)

Those bastards.

Unknown said...

Who are the rulers of this deep state, Do not we know who are the runner of the money juggernaut in the world. Why are we afraid to call them by their names. Till when we will remain oblivious of the true planner of this world and that people are his soldiers that he moves on the board of our wide earth to accomplish what he wants. Bad and good rich and poor. The Jews, as a result of their refusal to carry their conditional message in doing good in the world, they have been charged with the opposite role of corruption, using the Christian mask to carry out their perversions' It is a story that can not be concealed any longer because its rotten odor can not remain outside of the range of human smell, even the feeblest among them. I once referred to this in a previous comment and some have refuted it as Islamic hate propaganda. There is no conspiracy, Adam has already been warned from the negative forces but alas he heeded not the warning and the story of the fall is well known, like our fall as it is displayed by all different crises across our disrespected globe. God always maintain his order and expose the falsifiers to face the consequences of their ugly deeds. It is a world of cycles and human roles exchange. Oh!! mankind remember we are the real owner ,we give possession to whom we will and deprive others from such possession, we let some fall in a state of disparagement and let others occupy a respectable state, we enfold the night by the day and enfold the day by the night, elicit the dead from the living and the living from the dead and give some without account. It is a crime to mislead people to think that there is no divine order and let us enjoy it to the full.

Anonymous said...

A different anonymous again….

Abdulmonem Othman: Re, “The Jews, as a result of their refusal to carry their conditional message in doing good in the world”: Who exactly are
“The Jews”. Do you think that there is a centralized secret organization of Jews who controls things? I’m Jewish and I represent only myself and my own views and the same goes for all other Jewish people I know. I have no connections with any particular “Jewish” organization as do the overwhelming majority of all Jewish people If you want to refer to a particular government such as “the Israeli Government” or another particular organization made up of Jewish people, that is one thing. But to believe that there is a homogeneous organization called “the Jews”. If you would like to be taken seriously, I suggest that you identify the particular individuals that you are leveling your accusations against and perhaps provide some reasonable data that perhaps can be examined in an intelligent manner.

I also suggest that when you make remarks such as “God always maintain his order and expose the falsifiers”, you qualify it with, “the god I believe in, ….”. There is no globally accepted definition of god and anyone who quotes what go is, isn’t, does, or doesn’t do, is only expressing their beliefs. Given that there are thousands of organized religions and billions of individual beliefs, don’t you think that quoting what god is or isn’t is a bit arrogant. Are you the one and only one that knows the truth? What makes you smarter than anyone else? (and I would say the same thing to anyone who makes statements such as you do)

Unknown said...

Thank you Anon the Jew, before asking me to identify the Jews I referred to,it is wise to identify yourself and never remain under cover. Being a jew no doubt you know your Torah and know the exceptional,pivotal position god has favored your people with, the position the Jews never stop bragging about. Of course such favor is not without price, that is the severe punishment, to the violators that have dishonored their mission. There is only one god that reins supreme in his cosmos. There is no arrogance in the sphere of faith. Let us not cite the many that have chosen their different god, as part of their free choice, the choice that does not violate the oneness of the only one. I think to call upon me to identify the Jews I am speaking about, challenges the affirmed historical fact of the Jews that they have never stopped distancing themselves from others in perpetuating their ancient rituals and identity. Why do they insist on riding the usury wagon despite the outright embargo upon using money as a productive source of income, the action that has brought our world to its present mess. Please be aware that we are not living in a godless world without rules or disciplines, that is the stand of those who have not study themselves or their cosmos deeply and ponder the why of all these well designed manifestation. Everyone will face the consequences of what they have acted or worded across his life span. Why do we have consciousness but to bear witness upon ourselves and our closest relatives To HIM. WHY Do ISRAEL IS BUILDING A WALL AROUND ITSELF if not to insist on that clannish identity. Why do they refuse to coexist with Arab or why the Arab refuse to live with Jews. It is a chronic problem even our wide world is unable to contribute any positive solution. Our world demands from us to recognize the cosmic identity of our existence before acting locally, our humanity before our clannishness but that does not mean we stop, bear witness on the wrong as the only way to preserve truth and what is truth but god. Bearing witness to the one, is the struggle of humanity ever since the beginning that keeps it in renewal mode despite the destruction of the many that went wrong. I am not against the Jews but against the perversion and this is also the position of the New York Jews. Once we refuse to abide by the divine code and there is only one divine code that of truth and justice, humanity will never enjoy rest and peace until the arrival of the true witness. Thank you for the comment and hope we are not intruding on our host right.

Van Harvey said...

"Worst Hitler ever." Bwa-ha-ha-hahhh...!!!