Saturday, October 19, 2019

Plans and Miracles

Just an old post because I woke up too late for a new one. However, it's pretty much timeless, so there's that. It's timeless because we'll always have the same problems, and even worse, politicians who claim to be able to solve them,

For Voegelin, man's existence is a search for order. Throughout most of history, and in most civilizations, this order was (and is) imposed from on high.

While these orders may have initially emerged spontaneously, they eventually become crystalized around things other than the engendering truth(s) they are supposed to reflect. Voegelin's entire corpus is the residue of his search for order -- as is the Knowa's Arkive and Seer's Catalogue of soiled bobservations. Here at One Cosmos we're always looking for the deeper order of things, and then the Orderer of that order.

At issue in the current presidential campaign [this was in 2012, but it applies equally today] is two fundamentally different orders, one that relies on liberty, talent, initiative, self-mastery, and the spontaneous order of the free market; the other of which champions an order imposed upon us by the state, which consists of elites who have a special insight into the order of things, and who do not trust the individual to arrive at this order on his own.

This dialectic has been present throughout history, the reason being that it is present in each human subject. For just as society is man writ large, man is a micro-society. There are various ways to describe this tension in man, but it essentially comes down to individualism <---> socialism, which I would suggest is ultimately rooted in male <---> female (or, more abstractly, contained <---> container).

For example, when people speak of a "nanny state," they are intuiting and expressing a genuine truth about the deep order of things.

Due to a semantic confusion introduced over the past several decades, there has been a reversal of what the words "liberal" and "conservative" signify. As a result, it is conservatives who are champions of change and progress (especially via the free market), liberals who wish to resist change by imposing a static, top-down order on the rest of us.

Let me provide a historical example. As mentioned a couple of days ago, I'm reading this history of Prussia, and last night was learning about the revolutionary movements of the mid-19th century.

Among other things, what these liberals -- radicals -- were demanding was a fixed constitution, freedom of expression, and a political order rooted in common language and values, rather than one imposed by a distant state.

Furthermore, "liberals argued that industrialization and mechanization were the cure for, not the cause of, the social crisis, and called for the removal of government regulations that hindered investment and obstructed economic growth."

"Conservatives," on the other hand, were what we now call leftists: they -- ironically, along with the Marxists (or left Hegelians) -- argued "that the responsibility for arresting the polarization of society must lie with the state as the custodian of the general interest."

Some of the latter were proponents of authoritarian enlightenment, and "favoured the use of illiberal means to achieve progressive ends." Today [in 2019] it's the same story: none of the Democrat candidates for president are liberals, but rather, illiberal authoritarians. Human nature never changes or it wouldn't exist, for a changing nature is no nature at all.

From the peculiar psyche of Hegel came the argument that the state "was an organism possessing will, rationality and purpose. Its destiny -- like that of any living thing -- was to change, grow and progressively develop. The state was 'the power of reason actualising itself as will'; it was a transcendent domain in which the alienated, competitive 'particular interests' of civil society merged into coherence and identity."

Hegel was the first assoul to suggest that "the state had a quasi-divine purpose; it was 'God's march through the world'... by which the multitude of subjects who constituted civil society was redeemed into universality." The state is "the highest expression of the ethical substance of a people, the unfolding of a transcendent and rational order..."

Now, just subtract "God," and you have the modern left. Nevertheless, the left always imbues the the state with divine-like properties. Literally, if you've read your Hayek. For example, they say Elizabeth Warren has "a plan for everything," as if this is a good thing! In truth, each of her plans is founded upon a presumption that she possesses knowledge that no human being can ever possess.

The left calls them "plans." We call them ordered stupidity. And they always lead to deeper disorder.

Aphorisms:

--To be a conservative is to understand that man is a problem without a human solution.

--Politics is not the art of imposing the best solutions, but of blocking the worst.

--In history it is sensible to hope for miracles and absurd to trust in plans (Dávila).

In this sense, the election of 2016 was a miracle. Let's hope for an even bigger one in 2020.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

So I’m seeing a counselor about my residual negative emotions which are hindering me. I told her about that time when I was the company expert by my own hand, but since the business outside my project was contracting, jealous others conspired to take my project from me, succeeded, then failed so badly with my former project that they too had to all go out and get new jobs.

That counselor suggested that I had willed this to happen. She said that I had been so worried that somebody was going to steal my project, that I’d “mentally imaged” that possibility into reality. I thought for a bit, then told her that I only figured out on my last day on that job what had happened. Previous to that day, I’d thought that boss and coworkers were just assholes. On that day, I realized that they were just trying to survive the only way they knew how, by taking my project. She then suggested that I had willed them into being assholes and into trying to survive by taking my project.

I’m seeing another counselor now, but we are exploring the power of “positive mental imagery”. Next up are the scope and limits of “personal responsibility”.

All centers of power which reward their supplicants the closer they are to that power center, and less when they’re further away, will encourage power games which always rewards players with the most weapons. That's the way power games roll. That is, until the power center is composed of all players who run the entire power center complex into the ground due to a lack of competency for whatever it is they're actually supposed to be doing.

I think the Christian USA is currently further along this unfortunate route than is Communist China.

So I picked up my well dented Bible (from a few wall hurlings), and found Matthew 7:17–18. I wonder why people cannot simply discipline themselves to follow those very simple wise verses, to at least try and keep Christian USA on top. I’m mentally imaging good fruit trees vanquishing the bad fruit trees right now, but damn, there sure are a lot of them.

Gagdad Bob said...

Bernie, lord & savior:

“It wasn’t until I heard of a man by the name of Bernie Sanders that I began to question and assert and recognize my inherent value as a human being,” AOC said in an emotional speech at a rally in Long Island City’s Queensbridge Park...

Anonymous said...

AOC is a typical young idealist, well-intentioned and naive. And now she has some power. In a better USA, there'd be a wise old fiscal conservative working as a loyal opposition to try and educate her into agreeing to a few reasonable solutions.

But as it is, he doesn't exist. Our current conservatives will try to destroy her, while people from her own 'side' will try to corrupt her. Things seemed so much more honest and decent when before mammon came back around.

Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone, Good Morning, enjoy your coffee or wake 'n bake.

Anonymous, I see you are aggrieved by the loss of your project, but you might have dodged a bullet there, in that the others took the fall for its failure. Had you stayed on, you might have owned that. Unless you think you could have saved it.

Now the counselor was talking imagery, a new age thing that can seem ridiculous. However, it is most assuredly not. Imagery is incredibly potent but it works on its own time-table, and in bizarre ways sometimes. The cosmos will give you the closest approximation it can accommodate and it may take decades, but come to pass it will.

Gagdad Bob, Bernie as Messiah, why not? What would be your objection to that? Utter faith in the Guru is a time-honored tradition. Do you not have revered authors which you put much stock in, such as Schuon? And who is your teacher in the flesh? Which live human being do you sit at the feet of to serve?

Not everyone has such a relationship, but some do need this in their life. Do you?

-Yawning Chasm

julie said...

For example, they say Elizabeth Warren has "a plan for everything," as if this is a good thing!

Oh, she has a plan for everything. She also has plans for anyone who doesn't want to go along with her plans...

Van Harvey said...

julie said "Oh, she has a plan for everything. She also has plans for anyone who doesn't want to go along with her plans..."

Exactly, and it's the latter part that's the real point of all of her plans.

Gagdad Bob said...

To paraphrase Thomas Sowell, every economy is planned. It just depends on who's doing the planning, the individual or the state.

Anonymous said...

China plans its economy by directing individual ambitions into taking American innovations to the next level, with state funding in some cases. Remember Cisco? All I hear about these days is Huawei. Sucks, but it's not an easy strategy for honest American entrepreneurs to outcompete.

Anonymous said...

-Yawning Chasm,

you might have dodged a bullet there, in that the others took the fall for its failure

Nope. To save their reps they scapegoated me. There was no budget for the VP to do a comprehensive investigation. In hindsight, I could’ve readied myself for that possibility and sent Mr. VP a fully detailed report with all the facts and all the names, with many references. I could've positively imaged that, had I been wiser. Instead, I’d wishfully-thinked that somebody would’ve figured it out, plus I was just happy to get out of that emotionally exhausting environment. But hindsight is 20/20. Free hard knocks advice for your taking, if desired.

Positive imagery can be a definite advantage. Top professional sports stars use it all the time. Curt Warner was badass. But it has its limits, especially when it comes to power imbalances. For example the pro quarterback can compensate for a weak offensive line, but there’s a tipping point where he’s now just trying to positively image various ways to run for his life. The same with cancer. If it’s normal cancer, positive attitudes can help an otherwise strong body fight it. But if you're a nuke worker who gets a full spray of gamma rays, if the radiation poisoning wont kill you then the massive amounts of body cells blown cancer-wonky will. Think Christian Science.

Anonymous said...

"Curt Warner"

My bad. Not the running back, but Kurt Warner the former grocery stocker turned Super Bowl QB.

Jules said...

The highly militarized and ordered Prussiam system was also the direct inspiration for forced centralized state education. Which took over from cottage industry decentralized ad hoc education around the 1840s. Accordong to " weapons of mass instruction " author John Taylor.Gatto ( school teacher of the year in NYC).
If there is one element that will usher in a new age of self directed , educated and not brainwashed, self reliant individuals, it is that this abortion of a so called educational system is gradually replaced with decentralized educaton. With a lot of travel and hands on work. Also male initiation , formalized in various ways.

Jules said...

Independent study, community service, adventures and experience, large doses of privacy and solitude, a thousand different apprenticeships — the one-day variety or longer — these are all powerful, cheap, and effective ways to start a real reform of schooling. But no large-scale reform is ever going to work to repair our damaged children and our damaged society until we force open the idea of “school” to include family as the main engine of education. If we use schooling to break children away from parents — and make no mistake, that has been the central function of schools since John Cotton announced it as the purpose of the Bay Colony schools in 1650 and Horace Mann announced it as the purpose of Massachusetts schools in 1850 — we’re going to continue to have the horror show we have right now. - John Taylor Gatto