We're still waiting.
Meanwhile, 2012 proved to be a turning point, in the sense that that is when I begin to sound more like my current self. If the cosmos is, as I believe it to be, pneumatically teleological, then my 2012 self should be more evolved than my 2005 self, and that is indeed how it's looking. Whereas prior to 2012 the inspiration in the posts is discontinuous, I'm finding it to be more continuous thereafter.
But this introduces a new problem, because instead of just extracting the good bits from posts, I'm finding that the posts are compelling (at least to me) in their entirety. Which is why I've taken to reposting these old posts.
However, I'm not just reposting them verbatim, but interacting with them, so to speak. A good post should produce sparks in the head, and these sparks can set of conflagrations of their own. So be assured that these reposts aren't just a product of my exquisitely cultivated sense of laziness, but are revised, edited, and fortified with new material. I also make every effort to remove the gags that don't hold up, are unnecessarily obscure, or just plain irritating.
Sometimes I wonder how many of those who like to call themselves "progressive" are consciously aware of its mythico-scientistic roots. Then I remember that none of them do, or they wouldn't be progressives. That's certainly how it worked in my case: I discovered that I was in error, and made the appropriate adjustments to my worldview.
Why is this so difficult? Good question! Perhaps we'll return to it as we proceed.
Voegelin characterizes Marx as a "speculative gnostic" who grounded his politico-economic framework in an evolutionary vision of nature. In this scheme, all of nature is "in the state of becoming, and in the course of its development it has brought forth man: 'Man is directly a being of nature.'"
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the idea that nature is developing, except that this can have nothing to do with Darwinian evolution, which describes only change, not progress. More to the point, Marx re-buries man in nature, so that what is actually distinct in man, and belongs to his trans-nature, is annihilated. Man evolves out of mere nature only to devolve and plunge back into it. D'oh!
Here we see how the work of millennia can be undone in a single generation. Literally! Questions that had been entirely settled -- for example, the centrality of natural rights such as free speech, the constitutional irrelevance of race, the felicitous distinction between the sexes, etc. -- are once again up for debate. This isn't progress; rather, its precise opposite.
Thus, "When 'socialist man' speaks, man has to be silent," which is a rather polite way of putting it, being that it often equates to destroying the man who refuses to be silent. In any event, it is why the left would like for us to shut up, why they impose speech codes, why political correctness abounds, and why they hate God and religion. This is described in the last paragraph of the previous post, in reference to those special assouls who know exactly why
"their opinions cannot stand up under critical analysis and who therefore make the prohibition of the examination of their premises part of their dogma. This position of a conscious, deliberate, and painstakingly elaborated obstruction of ratio constitutes the new phenomenon" (Voegelin).
So if you want to talk about progress, this systematic assault on truth is indeed something new under the sun. Yes, the impulse has always been present -- see Genesis 3 for details -- but the modern statist systematization of it is new. You might say that progressivism is nothing less than the institutionalization of original sin, whereby the fall is normalized instead of resisted and reversed via metanoia and grace.
But it's not just the children of Marx who have progressed in this deviant manner, for truth is also forbidden by the dictates of Positivist Man. This humanoid beastling can also be called Scientistic Man, Atheist Man, or Darwinist Man, for each of these, in his own way, pretends that materialism not only accounts for man but exhausts the meaning of the human phenomenon. Which is only the most phenomenal fact in all of existence.
Now, a minimal acquaintance with philosophy is sufficient to establish the plausibility of a Marx, a Darwin, a Dawkins. Thus, one needs a little more than the minimum to debunk them, which I suppose is why philosophy isn't taught in public schools, in favor of multicultural mush and relativistic rubbish. As they say, a little philosophy inclines one to atheism. More than a little, and you inevitably find yourself being pulled into the Divine Attractor.
To perfectly accurate, it's not that philosophy isn't taught, but that it is conveyed via implicit assumptions that are buried elsewhere and never spoken of explicitly. For example, in science it is considered plain rude to speak of teleology, even though science is incoherent without it.
This metaphysical incoherence has provoked a backlash of "creationists" in certain quarters, but the real problem is metaphysical, not scientific or theological. You don't need intelligent design to prove the existence of God, or vice versa.
Ultimately, the only proof of God is God. Clearly, God is necessary being. We, on the other hand, are optional. We are contingent. Now, the only way a contingent being can even know of necessity is if it shares a portion of that necessity. Which is what it means to be in the image of the Creator. This is why we may know truth, and why we have the freedom to discover it. Truth is necessary to free will (otherwise freedom is arbitrary), as freedom is necessary to the discovery of truth.
Wherever there is leftism, there is the suppression of certain questions and avenues of thought. As we have discussed in the past, just as a neurosis may be thought of as a "private culture," a culture may be thought of as a public neurosis. Now, a neurosis always involves the suppression of an unwanted truth.
Just so, the neurotic culture of the left has many defense mechanisms in place, so that alarms go off as soon as anyone approaches a dangerous truth. Examples are too numerous to chronicle, but just think of how promiscuous charges of RACISM! are deployed to bar the free exercise of thought. Which is why it is so delicious to see world class race-baiters such as Biden and Pelosi having this mechanism unleashed upon themselves.
Voegelin describes the deeper structure of this process. It begins with "a thinker who knows that his construct will collapse as soon as the basic philosophical question is asked." The intellectually and spiritually normal person recognizes this and abandons the construct. Not so the leftist, who merely prohibits the question.
But why? What has happened to the person who is no longer animated by the passionate desire for truth, and yet -- without irony -- imposes a single desiccated version of it: There is No Truth, and I Am Its Prophet.
Voegelin called it an "intellectual swindle," which is an excellent way of putting it. For to exchange truth for ideology isn't just a bad deal, it's suicidal. Which wouldn't necessarily be so bad if it weren't also homicidal.
But again, why? Man has an innate epistemophilia, so what has happened to this transnatural instinct in the ideologue?
As we have discussed before, man is composed of intellect, will, and sentiment, which are ordered to truth, goodness, and beauty, respectively. To deny truth is to maim the intellect at its root. But that doesn't kill the body. Rather, it seems that the will to power rushes in to fill the vacuum. This perverse will
"has a violence and cruelty that go beyond the delight in masquerade and in the deception of others." It also "turns on the thinker himself and unmasks his thought as a cunning will to power."
Let's take another example from just last week, when President Obama decided to stop pretending he doesn't support the redefinition of marriage. It is a matter of public record that certain wealthy donors were threatening to withhold funds if he didn't openly embrace their agenda of sexual nihilism.
For Newsweek to then proclaim Obama the "first gay president" is completely absurd, in light of the fact that he is just another statist with a transparently cunning will to power.
To believe otherwise one must want to believe otherwise, which is itself another instance of the will-to-power genre, except that it doesn't accrue to the power of the rank-and-foul self-deluder, only to the powerful. In reality it is but a "graceless disorder of the soul" rooted in a "demonic mendacity" (ibid).
Again, man is intellect-will-sentiment. But if truth is denied, then the truth of man is that he is reduced to will-sentiment, or desire and force. And that is the essence of the left: I want what I want, and you are obligated to provide it.
(All Voegelin quotes are from Science, Politics, & Gnosticism.)