Tuesday, October 01, 2019

The Passion of the Antichrist

A few years ago we discussed Robert Curry's Common Sense Nation: Unlocking the Forgotten Power of the American Idea. Now comes the sequel, Reclaiming Common Sense. The key is in the subtitle: Finding Truth in a Post-Truth World.

Post-truth world. Is that where we are? If so, how did we get here? And how do we get out?

The first question is obviously a very complicated one, indeed, as complicated as you wish it to be. Many fine books have been written on the subject, too many to catalogue here. They all look at the matter from a slightly different angle, and yet, I think it can ultimately be boiled down to the unsurpassable wisdom embedded in Genesis 3: you shall be as gods. This constitutes a permanent temptation, and I would say that postmodernity -- the post-truth world -- represents nothing less than the institutionalization of the Fall.

This deference to Genesis will strike modern ears as too mythic sounding, and yet, it is quite literally true. We embrace the truth, no matter how pleasant, whereas postmodernity prefers the imbecilic fairy tale. For

An irreligious society cannot endure the truth of the human condition. It prefers a lie, no matter how imbecilic it may be (Dávila).

And regarding the permanence of the Fall, For man to fall repeatedly into the same trap, just paint it a different color each time. Deconstruction, scientism, feminism, critical theory, et al, are just shiny new colors in the rainbow of lies.

The left likes to call us "reactionary," but as usual, this is a literal inversion. For truth is never a reaction; rather it just is, irrespective of whether or not someone believes it. Conversely, falsehood -- the lie -- is always parasitic upon truth; it is a reaction to truth, sometimes unconscious, other times conscious, willful, cynical, and manipulative.

As we've discussed many times, it is sometimes difficult to determine when this or that leftist's lies are unwitting or sincere. In my view, for the people at the top -- e.g., Pelosi, Obama, the Clintons -- it is purely cynical and instrumental, promulgated only to manipulate the masses in order to attain power. Note how quickly they went from defending traditional marriage to undermining it in the blink of an eye.

Conversely, for the masses, the beliefs are sincerely held. Now, the crisis we are currently witnessing in the Democrat party is that its cynical leaders are losing control to the morons who actually believe the BS the leaders have been peddling for the last generation or more. The morons have grown up in a world steeped in progressive lies, going all the way back to kindergarten and preschool. In short, the left has been too successful in indoctrinating this herd, and now it is taking over the party.

This is the deeper dynamic of the Pelosi vs. AOC struggle: Pelosi will say anything to increase the left's power, whereas AOC actually believes, for example, that the world will end in 11.5 years if we don't take away your straws, cars, and cheeseburgers.

Which goes to one of the deep ironies of our post-truth world: no one is more passionate about truth than the person who has rejected Truth. This sounds like an exaggeration, but once again it is literally true, and even necessarily true, like the banal observation that "no one is more religious than the person who has rejected God." Why is this? Because the atheist (the activist kind) claims a kind of knowledge that only a god could possess. For which reason we say: if atheism is true, only God knows it.

Back to the passion of the relativists. Why are they so passionate about their lies? Well, first all, to the relativist, they aren't lies. Again, I believe AOC is sincere, which makes her not less, but more, dangerous than the cynic. It reminds me of Inglourious Basterds: you can't negotiate with a true-believing Nazi. But you can do business with a cynical one such as the Jew Hunter.

Indeed, this is why the Republican congress could do so much business with Clinton after 1994. This couldn't have happened if he weren't such an insincere cynic. Obama was a transitional figure -- half cynic and half true believer, with both sides dominated by his narcissism. His combination of grandiosity and intellectual laziness was such that he didn't believe things because they were true; rather, they were true because he believed them.

Now, one feature of truth is its dispassion. Or at least the dispassion must be prior to the passion. For example, I can be passionate about math, but math itself is conducted in a dispassionate way; 2 + 2 = 4 does not become more true if I get really emotional about it. Nor is gravity stronger, or can there be more than two biological sexes, depending upon how I feel about it.

I am reminded of something Schuon says to the effect that with the assimilation of a truth, the ego dies a little. In other words, the truth doesn't care about your feelings. Which is why the left's most preposterous lies are always accompanied by such great emotion -- the bigger the lie, the more the emotional incontinence. Imagine people being "triggered" by the truth!

Well, actually, this is a well-documented psychological phenomenon. While it is associated with Freud, he can't have been the first to notice that an unwanted truth pushes the buttons of the person who doesn't want to hear it. He called it "resistance," but I prefer Bion's way of discussing it. I don't know if Catastrophe Theory was a thing back when he was writing, but he talks about the catastrophic impact of truth upon the mental system -- especially an unwanted truth upon an immature system, which to say, one that cannot tolerate the pain of realizing the truth.

Truth can be a joy or a pain. But the pain comes from resisting it.

I gotta get some work done, so, to be continued, and we'll end for now with a few pointy aphorisms. They will either sting or tickle, depending:

Men are divided into two camps: those who believe in original sin and those who are idiots.

The intelligent man quickly reaches conservative conclusions.

To scandalize the leftist, just speak the truth.

After conversing with some “thoroughly modern” people, we see that humanity escaped the “centuries of faith” only to get stuck in those of credulity.

The conservatism of each era is the counterweight to the stupidity of the day.

Let us say frankly to our opponent that we do not share his ideas because we understand them and that he does not share ours because he does not understand them (Dávila).

11 comments:

River Cocytus said...

Apropos: (form: sonnet)

It was as though the sun would rise in the west
And Archimedes is silent; silent in fear
Would such things be done at our behest
What lever could be found to turn back that sphere?

Pull with all of your might, O mighty man
But you must push also with your feet
Raise a god with but a string in your hand
In that place where beast and overman meet

On what now does your mighty mountain rest
As now you've thrown the name of God away
A lake of fire that has no bottom? - this
Will gods not also burn in that day?

With the right amount of effort, perhaps
But he pulls too hard - the lever snaps.

Robert Curry said...

Great posting, Bob!

Perhaps your readers might also like this one on your theme:

https://amgreatness.com/2019/09/30/living-in-a-post-truth-world/?fbclid=IwAR3pbgQnscVLr_ix_RK9StwNbfWGooxrJvoK6_5_xLNBlTUtgF-QhuYS7vk

Best wishes

Robert Curry said...

https://amgreatness.com/2019/09/30/living-in-a-post-truth-world/

this is a simpler link to the article. (I don't know what caused the link above to be so long & complex. My apologies.)

Anonymous said...

I am a leftist biggie and you have here deftly captured the essence of our wretchedness and wickedness. The post is perfection.

Why am I such a Socialist? I ask myself over and over. is it the money? The power? The sex? The thrill of being in control?

Well, these were all well and good but certainly did not provide a reason to exist. I despair. But, it is hard to not be a Socialist, once you have been one as long as I have, and done the Socialist things that I have done.

I've made my bed, now I lie in it, wide awake and unable to relax.

Van Harvey said...

"Which goes to one of the deep ironies of our post-truth world: no one is more passionate about truth than the person who has rejected Truth."

Too true.

Anonymous said...

Starting out as sickly rich kids, Nicolas Davila and Teddy Roosevelt chose to go in completely opposite directions.

One chose the quiet life to closet himself in a library full of books to embrace Christian nihilism, while the other got out to live a strenuous life killing lots of animals and corrupt corporatists.

Same beginnings, completely different endings. "Bully!" vs "I know you are but what am I?" There must be some deeper common sense truth behind this. Or not.

Anonymous said...

anon @10/01/2019 06:45:00 PM,

Get back Satan! And not in a Beatles sort of way (or maybe, I dunno).

So what do you think about all this? Out in meatspace I know a guy who angrily railed against neighborhood chicken coop keepers, claiming that every one was a liberal only doing it for the tax benefits. When I researched it, then called the county, they told me that there were no such tax benefits and that my guy was probably nuts. Yet he's a well educated professional. Around here, it seems that if California was invaded by Communist China, there'd be much gleeful clapping of hands over all the liberals getting theirs. What do you think's going on?

RJL said...

Great insights. Your point about the switch from cynical, INSINCERE old politicians (Pelosi, et al) holding positions simply to gain power, versus the new believers (AOC) who actually and SINCERELY believe these positions to be true,. reminded me of what Isaiah Berlin stated in the "Apotheosis of the Romantic Will":

". . . no one today is surprised by the assumption that . . . integrity and sincerity are admirable independently of the of the truth or validity of the beliefs or principles involved . . . [But} what Catholic in, let us say, the sixteenth century would say, 'I abhor the heresies of the Reformers, but I am deeply moved by the sincerity and integrity with which they hold and practice and sacrifice themselves for their abominable beliefs'? On the contrary, the deeper the sincerity of such heretics, or unbelievers . . . the more dangerous they are, the more likely to lead souls to perdition, the more ruthlessly should they be eliminated . . .Only truth matters: to die in a false cause is wicked or pitiable."

The point: the true believers (AOC et al) are more dangerous, just as you pointed out that they are more passionate. We live in very dangerous times, both because of their ignorance and their passion.

Anonymous said...

RE: The dark and sinister AOC.

The key to restoring our youth’s faith in liberal democracy, honest capitalism, and Christianity (three of our better freedoms), would seem to be to make sure that liberal democracy, honest capitalism, and Christianity were there for them. And no pretending this time. These kids are too smart for cherry picked rationalizing and finger wagging shaming. Throw out the bums, the cronyism, the mammonism, as best you can, or at least appear to try to do so, and we’d be on our way, methinks.

Anonymous said...

Hello All:

Great post and comments. There's one caveat, however. Everything is pretty good. Everything is about as good as it has ever been.

The fascinating political scuffling and the hand-wringing over misguided youth, same as it always was. With one caveat. Things are a bit better than they ever were, and trending toward even better.

If things get get too good, then we will face challenges regarding surfeit and surplus. This can be more vexing than one might think.

Think of the plight of the super-rich. They are uniformly stressed and suffering from a host of mental and physical ailments. Despite all of the wealth, the super rich cannot eat more, sleep more, f*ck more, or have a better morning sit-down than a low caste Indian laborer.

And, as soon as the pockets are full, one takes a spiritual hit. The money gets in the way of the relationship with God. It just does. Anonymous 3:24 astutely pointed out the problem with Mammon. Surfeit of wealth creates an internal spiritual crisis.

We don't appreciate our Corporate Captains enough; they have fallen on the sword. Some one has to be rich an powerful, and they volunteered.

People are designed to struggle against adversity. They say they hate it, but really they live for it. After the first billion is in the bank, the tear-drops start.

And youth? Have you seen the way they get around a computer? They will be fine. Worry about yourselves.

So say I, Dung Artist ooo (Not really a good go today, I shall need to take more fiber).



Anonymous said...

Maybe it’s good that the Seven Deadly sins got revised. Today, pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth can only possibly happen if you take the blue pill. It is physically impossible for any of that to happen if you’re a red piller. Today we can now just say to that kid: “Listen you ungrateful socialist bastard, I didn’t build this real estate empire four to six times just to hear you whine about Islamic nukes or some global warming hoax.” You know that kid’ll get right to work being chaste, temperate, generous, diligent, patient, humble and kind. That’s right. End of whining. End of confusion. End of times.