Nor does this mean I'm not grandiose. Rather, I'm just honest about it. In all humility.
As we've said many times in many ways, knowledge -- whether of truth, beauty, or virtue -- is an adequation. If it isn't, then we are irreversibly plunged into absolute relativism, which is to say, ineradicable stupidity. That knowledge is an adequation is probably the most important Fact of the Cosmos, or at least I can't think of a higher or deeper one, since without it no real knowledge (knowledge of reality) is possible.
Is knowledge of reality possible? Yes or no. Take your choice: red pill blue pill. Depending upon your choice, you will inhabit mutually exclusive worlds. Which isn't quite accurate, since no one can consistently say No to reality. I believe the following post touches on this question, but you will have noticed that no modern -ism or -ology can be intellectually or spiritually consistent.
Rather, these folks are always cafeteria cretins who want to have their crock and eat it too. The left is always appealing to God-given rights while denying they exist.
I think we can all agree that existence is a problem. But only for man. Even -- or especially -- Stalin knew that "no man, no problem." Thus, we shift the blame by focusing on existence. In reality, the problem is man. Yes, to borrow one of the left's favorite adjectives, man is problematic.
Back to the Yes/No, Red Pill/Blue Pill dichtotomy. Our metaphysic accounts for both, in that, on the one hand we are created in the image and likeness of God, while on the other are fallen beings. Thus, our minds have the potential to conform to reality; or not. Which is another way of saying that we are vertically free to act against our own interests. If we aren't free to choose badly, then we aren't free at all.
The previous post left off with the assertion that the lofty goals of lefty gnostics "need not be understood very precisely."
In fact, this mystagoguery isn't optional for the political gnostic, since both the goal and the means will be seen as dangerous or cuckoo if spelled out in detail. It's not a bug but a feature. Look at the hostility directed at the two or three "moderates" in Tuesday's debate. No intoxicated gnostic who is drunk on power wants these buzzkillers around. You can't simultaneously pretend to save the world and be sober at the same time.
Expressed another way, the political gnostic needs to arouse and enlist emotion without engaging the critical intellect. Or, if intellect is involved, it must be in conformity with deeper emotional prejudices.
This is why political differences have much more to do with culture than with fact and logic. We talk about a "culture war" as part of a wider political conflict, but it's really the other way around: the political war is a subset of the culture war.
I just recently read a book called Four Cultures of the West that adds some useful insights, one of which is that the cultural container is just as important as the content.
For example, during the "religious wars" of the 16th and 17th centuries, religion was just a pretext to unleash violence and barbarism that had more to do with cultural differences than with religious doctrine. As O'Malley explains, different cultures were "doing battle with one another under the cover of religious polemics."
That line struck me, because it applies equally to the present, in which divergent sub-cultures are battling one another under the cover of political polemics. This is much easier for a conservative to appreciate than it is for a liberal, since liberals are always blinded by the conceit that their ideas and policies are entirely rational, "reality-based," and universal.
It is difficult for barbarous liberals to recognize they're actually part of a tribe, despite the fact that they openly embrace the neo-tribalism of identity politics. They are under the influence of deeper springs of kinship and xenophobia, even while projecting these into conservatives.
Consider this typical example dissected by Taranto (second story down), a "lurid fantasy" penned by some liberal hysteric who imagines that the people who disagree with him constitute a tiny and irrelevant minority fit only to inhabit reservations. In other words, half the country should confine itself to self-enclosed ghettos. What's especially ironic is that we already have self-enclosed ghettos crawling with political eccentrics and gnostic fringe dwellers. But maybe he never went to college.
Indeed, it is an enduring theme on the left that the mere fact of conservatism requires some sort of pseudo-scientific explanation, since the ideas and principles it promulgates needn't be taken seriously. Thus, the two cultures are often operating on different levels. Conservatives argue fact and logic, but liberals ignore this in favor of a hermeneutical/deconstructive approach that "interprets" what conservatives are "really saying."
For example, when we say we cherish the liberal principle of racial color-blindness, they interpret this as a cover for racial bigotry. Or, when we suggest it is a dangerously radical thing to redefine the essential unit of civilization, they interpret this as "homophobia." When we say that we don't believe women are an oppressed minority, they interpret this as misogyny. Defending our natural rights under the first amendment is just a pretext to engage in "hate speech" (which is really violence).
More generally, what we call "reality" they dismiss as a "talking point." For truly, the principle talking point of the left is that "truth" is just another talking point.
Here again, the left wages a culture war without even knowing it. Nor do they engage on the plane of ideas, but only pretend to do so. For them, there is no need to actually do the math to determine if an unconstitutional "wealth tax" will do anything to mitigate our fiscal calamity. Rather, this is just another prog-whistle that only the envious can hear.
The four cultures described by O'Malley are the prophetic, the academic/professional, the humanistic, and the artistic. Ironically, there is a huge culture war between these first two that goes mostly unacknowledged, at least on the left.
For example, there is no way to reconcile the intellectually suicidal relativism and deconstruction of the humanities with the cheap omniscience of scientistic know-it-alls who can't explain how we can even know a single thing.
This leads to all sorts of interesting conflicts, for example, that sexual orientation is genetically fixed and yet gender is just a cultural construct imposed upon us.
One could also the cite the Darwinian principle that homosexuality is the one thing that should never occur in a natural system revolving around reproductive success vs. the romantic idea that there can never be anything unnatural about any form of sexuality.
Of the prophetic idiom, O'Malley writes that "fundamentalists both religious and secular are comfortable here," for "it is the culture, above all, of the reformer decrying injustice and corruption in high places."
It is the culture that denounces the existing order while holding out vague but grandiose "promises of better times to come," i.e., weaponized hopenchange. It is "the culture of great expectations, expectations that surpass anything that seems humanly possible." And it is always gnostic, since it is "revealed to the few, hidden from the many."
Here is where extremes truly meet, e.g., the gnostic flower girl Marianne Williamson and the floridly gnostic Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.