Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Apocalypse Now & Always, or Listening to the Barbarians

Yes, what are they trying to say? They keep insisting they want to be "heard," but not one of them -- protester, rioter, or looter -- is able to express a coherent thought. Perhaps that's part of the problem. Like children who are unable to put their thoughts and feelings into words, they act out.

However, if you ask the child what it is he's acting out, he won't know. Which is again the point of the acting out. It is indeed a kind of "speech," of symbolic communication, but it is the task of the therapist to interpret and put it into words. Acting out simultaneously veils and reveals; or, the revelation is hidden in the veil, and is veiled to the person who is using it to hide himself -- his conflicts and motivations -- from himself.

Our political system -- any political system -- is predicated on the ability to sublimate feelings into words and ideas, such that the battle takes place on a higher and less deadly plane. Thus, what we are seeing play out -- or act out -- has nothing to do with politics, but rather, is a form of what Voegelin calls "anti-politics." And it has been going on for at least 50 years, except it has taken this long for it to reach this grotesque tipping point.

Couldn't agree more with this sentiment by Richard Fernandez:

To the question 'where did the destructiveness come from?': it was there all along. What was once dinner party nihilism has lost its inhibitions. The riots are a 'coming out party' for all the doctrines taught in many a school.

One of the replies points out that

The rioters' view of the world came from Marxist professors in schools and colleges, with approval and support from media and Hollywood. How many murders and burning buildings does it take before that viewpoint sounds a little less crackpot?

But why would anyone burn a church, of all things? Wrong question:

One of the intriguing aspects of this outburst is a rage against religion, excepting those seen as hostile to Judaism or Christianity, that seems part of the drama. There is a special odium reserved for it, a kind of ritual desecration, which is key to understanding it.

Christianity is odium to these Marxian asses. Maybe they'll try to burn down a Muslim Mosque or Hindu temple. We'll see. The Night is young. And the darkness will be with us for a generation or two.

Which reminds me. In a few posts of yore, we pointed out that it took some 40 years or so for the new ideas of the 1920s to bear their toxic fruit on a culture-wide basis in the 1960s. In the '20s these progressive and nihilistic ideas were reserved for the elite, and the events of the Great Depression and WW2 temporarily slowed their metastatic spread into the tissues and organs of society.

I wonder if we can similarly reverse-imagineer the present crisis and discern its more distant roots? What ideas were being propagated 40 years ago, in 1980? That's a Big Question, much bigger than can be covered in the space of a post.

However, do not despair. God has given us a deeper way to understand any manmade crisis, because any such crisis is every crisis repeated ad nauseam. The archetypal and interpretive key is provided by typology, such that the apocalypse -- which of course means unveiling -- is always now.

Looked at this way, the pathological ideology of the 1960s was just a variant of the spiritually deformed ideas of the 1920s, as the present sickness is just a reflection of those. Really, it comes dow to One God, One Cosmos, One Human Nature, One Fall, One History, rinse and repent.

Not to veer off into the mother of all tangents, but this for me is the uncanny appeal of Finnegans Wake, the overarching theme of which is the same returns, only in diverse forms. It is "a mighty allegory of the fall and resurrection of mankind," through which it is simultaneously

Lucifer's fall, Adam's fall, the setting sun that will rise again, the fall of Rome, a Wall Street crash. It is Humpty Dumpty's fall, and the fall of Newton's apple.... And it is every man's daily recurring fall from grace (the Skeleton Key).

For over half a century, state-run leftist seminaries have been inculcating children and permanent adolescents with the idea that we are just random products of natural selection, animals no different from any other. At last, the trousered baboons are acting like naked apes!

We've moved on from abstract theory to practical application, and it's not going away any time soon, for what's the alternative when you've successfully devalued, demonized, debunked, deconstructed, and destroyed it? Their obtuse secularism isn't presented as one among many, but the only acceptable religion.

Only God can help us, and I mean that literally, although certainly not in the manner our barbarian opponents are even capable of understanding. Rather, the only way they can understand religion and spirituality is through the broken and distorted lens of their own broken and distorted minds.

About the anti-politics. This shouldn't be understood as the opposite of politics, rather, the negation of politics. People keep saying the protesters have a "political message." No they don't. The message, such as it is, is embedded in an ideological second reality, which, no matter how real, is nonetheless an unreal pseudo-reality or dreamworld. It is a lie, only all the more fervently believed for its absence of truth. Truth needn't shout, nor does it descend into incoherent nonsense when given the opportunity to be expressed.

Sandoz provides an illuminating passage by Václav Havel, who knew something about leftist tyranny:

Ideological pseudo-reality... is built on a very unstable foundation. It is built on lies. It works as long as people are willing to live within the lie.

As such, our task as human beings, everywhen & where

is one of resisting vigilantly, thoughtfully, and attentively, but at the same time with total dedication and at every step and everywhere, the irrational momentum of anonymous, impersonal, and inhuman power -- the power of ideologies, systems, apparat, bureaucracy, artificial languages, and political slogans.

For as Sandoz says, "the second realities of the ideologues cannot withstand scrutiny" -- which is precisely why they must shriek, loot, and act out. "Free government is a historical rarity and the greatest political challenge; ochlocracy [mob rule] is its viral disease, inviting the socialist demagogue and constantly threatening every liberal democracy with extinction."

So don't wonder what's going on, for mob rule is just leftism by other means, as leftism is just mob rule veiled by ideology. Writing twenty one years ago, Sandoz asked the non-rhetorical questions, "how many decades and generations of systematic miseducation can we endure? How much abuse of our heritage through neglect, ignorance, and mendacity can we bear without experiencing disintegration and collapse" into civilizational chaos and the authoritarian response it demands?

By Jove, I think we have an answer!

Sorry about the rambling and non-linear style, but it's such a big subject, in a way the biggest of all. We'll take another stab at the beast tomorrow...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you want to try and tag the rioters as Soros-backed Marxian leftists, then knock yourself out.

Trying to shame them as such will only at best, amuse them. In reality the worst of the rioters are anarchists who want to abolish all state-organized police and military. That sounds pretty libertarian-socialist (whatever the hell that is) to me. Apparently, their schooling ignored the lessons of Somalia, where freedom from state controls turned into the mess of warlord feudalism and Blackhawks down.

The rest of the rioters are just opportunists with too much time and frustration on their hands. Criminals without a cause. Barking at them to go get a decent job, when most decent jobs have either gone overseas, are being automated away, or now require six figures of college loans, will only piss them off. They know who's really running things.

And then the mob being the mob, they’ll burn down my small business instead of going after harder and far more "capitalist establishment" targets like a police precinct or government building or corporate headquarters.

Gee, I wonder why that is? Because "leftists are all Dunning-Kruger"?

Cousin Dupree said...

Behead those who say Islam is violent! And loot those who say blacks commit a disproportionate amount of crime!

julie said...

the events of the Great Depression and WW2 temporarily slowed their metastatic spread into the tissues and organs of society.

Slowed? I wonder. Seems to me those events provided fertile soil for the cancer to take a firmer hold. Without the Depression, there would have been no need for a New Deal, and the war robbed us of a tremendous number of courageous and daring young men whose absence left a deep impact on the families they left - or didn't have a chance to leave - behind.

julie said...

People keep saying the protesters have a "political message." No they don't.

At least, no message they want the masses to recognize. If people think they have a political message, then it becomes easy to nod along and agree that the protesters just want to be "heard," and so the right thing to do is let them "speak." As if we haven't heard their messages over and over again ad nauseum for years.

No, the underlyin' message is fear, hatred, hopelessness. Some people just want to set the world on fire; many, many more are delighted to watch it burn and willing to provide fuel and tinder. Or bricks and bail money.

neal said...

This is what having Mammon as the great replacement does to the early late great Church.
40 million of my brothers and sisters for homeless and broken so the rest can rationalize and cheer on because the only good working class is a dead class.
You have no idea what is coming and that is because you think you are choosing sides.
You are, but not the way you think.

Gagdad Bob said...

The always clear-thinking Heather MacDonald:

It’s worse this time because the country has absorbed another five years of academically inspired racial victimology. From Ta-Nehisi Coates to the New York Times’s 1619 project, the constant narrative about America’s endemic white supremacy and its deliberate destruction of the “black body” has been thoroughly injected into the political bloodstream.

Facts don’t matter to the academic victimology narrative. Far from destroying the black body, whites are the overwhelming target of interracial violence. Between 2012 and 2015, blacks committed 85.5 percent of all black-white interracial violent victimizations (excluding interracial homicide, which is also disproportionately black-on-white). That works out to 540,360 felonious assaults on whites. Whites committed 14.4 percent of all interracial violent victimization, or 91,470 felonious assaults on blacks. Blacks are less than 13 percent of the national population.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, from my perspective "don't murder us" is a pretty coherent message.

julie said...

Yes, it is. So is "We came to riot".

Also "I'm out here for the dough".

My personal favorite, though, is "If you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I'm highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns."

Not quite as pithy as the others, but I suspect even the most "angry" protestor can understand that one.

Gagdad Bob said...

Black live do indeed matter. Except to fellow blacks: Black lives, as a matter of statistical fact, matter considerably less to blacks than to anyone else.

julie said...

Here's another Yuuuuuge list of coherent messages. So coherent, they don't even need words, mostly it's just grunts and shrieks.

Strangely, some people think the best way to say "don't murder me" is by attacking and occasionally killing random strangers.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:15, I think you have it. "Don't murder us" is the message.

Bob at first opines there is no message, but then he guesses there may be a message and points out reasons why this message is not appropriate. The reasons make sense. However the riots are anything but reasonable. They come out of the Id.

The video of the knee on George's neck was raw. It was offensive. It was visceral. That's why the riots.

King Kong is at the top of the Empire State Building, and the biplanes swoop in.

Bob and Julie, welcome to the jungle; what are those pulsing drumbeats? The natives are restless...

The drums just go on and on, maddening. Why won't they stop? Someone make them stop!

Anonymous said...

Colour discrimination and racial discrimination will persist until inbreeding of colour and race is outlawed globally giving rise to a unirace of coffee coloured humans like the one envisaged in the song 'Melting Pot' by pop group Blue Mink released in 1969.....I'm at a loss as to how you'd then rid your unirace of class discrimination....law enforcement maybe.

Gagdad Bob said...

Reproductive sorting only aggravates the problem, as people marry partners of similar IQ, and then have children who are usually in the same range of intelligence. Therefore, the state must force marriage between random partners.

Anonymous said...

Strangely, some people think the best way to say "don't murder me" is by attacking and occasionally killing random strangers.

Why are some people always surprised that other people sin?

But then even the great and mighty I, has been taken aback by how greedy, corrupt and stupid other people can be be, long after proudly demonstrating my own awesome new and improved and forgiven self.

Maybe sometimes we just have to deal with the fellow citizens we have, and not the ones we wish we had.

Maybe some combination of personal and social responsibility, backed by Christian spirituality and patriotism, are the answer towards the goal of a reasonably civil society?

Try telling that to the greedy, corrupt and stupid sinner, whose ancestors missed out on the whole sailing under the Statue of Liberty experience. They'll keep telling you their ancestors were force-sailed into warehouses instead.

Van Harvey said...

"About the anti-politics. This shouldn't be understood as the opposite of politics, rather, the negation of politics. People keep saying the protesters have a "political message." No they don't. The message, such as it is, is embedded in an ideological second reality, which, no matter how real, is nonetheless an unreal pseudo-reality or dreamworld. It is a lie, only all the more fervently believed for its absence of truth. Truth needn't shout, nor does it descend into incoherent nonsense when given the opportunity to be expressed."

Spot on.

Van Harvey said...

"...Writing twenty one years ago, Sandoz asked the non-rhetorical questions, "how many decades and generations of systematic miseducation can we endure? How much abuse of our heritage through neglect, ignorance, and mendacity can we bear without experiencing disintegration and collapse" into civilizational chaos and the authoritarian response it demands?

By Jove, I think we have an answer!"

Yeh... I'm afraid that's pretty spot on too.