I don't usually read comments, but when I do, I typically respond with a shrug, although occasionally with a sense of wonder at man's preternatural ability to miss the point. This morning I will make an exception and respond to a few.
One commenter asks why I "feel a need" to write about the left, and "always with the same utter lack of insight." Well, if I had insight, I'd understand the need, wouldn't I?
For that matter, if the left is so banal, Bob, why the fascination? That one is easy. I'm not actually interested in the left except to the extent that they're interested in us.
For example, they want to censor us, raise our taxes, indoctrinate our children, discriminate on the basis of race, destroy women's sports, force us to pretend that psychological deviancy is normality, and destroy the energy industry because of some goofy religious belief about the weather.
"As a psychologist, surely you've given some thought to this?" Yes, but psychology only explains so much. I've since graduated to post-postgraduate work in applied pneumatology and divine pslackology (which are two sides of the same nonlocal coin).
"I have a similar problem – I find the right pretty boring, yet I'm also somewhat obsessed with them, can't leave them alone [you don't say!]. There must at least be a name for this type of compulsive interest in that which disgusts."
Apples and oranges. In your case, it is called projection. For while it is true that the left is obsessed with conservatives and can't leave us alone, the desire is not reciprocal. We want a limited government with enumerated powers, while the left wants a vast government with unlimited powers. We would be more than happy to leave you alone. Your entire platform is devoted to never leaving us alone. I live in California. Nuff said.
"And most Democrats believe in God, which Bob has expressed as impossible." Not only have I never suggested this, I have written extensively on the impossibility of literal a-theism (whether speculative or practical), and of how the left is quintessentially a political religion. But the principles of leftism and Christianity are antithetical, period.
For what is the first principle of the left?
Trick question! You will have noticed that the left always plays philosophical Calvinball, hence the chaotic and contradictory policies -- defund the racist police one day, heroic police the next day for saving our capitol from white supremacists! Black riots are righteous insurrections, pro-Trump clowns are treasonous insurrectionists! Global warming is an existential crisis, but let's not solve the problem with nuclear power! I can't think of a prominent leftist policy that isn't riddled with contradictions.
Bob calls Democrats "leftists, a meaningless term if ever there was one." Which demonstrates the principle that leftism itself always involves an attack on the plain meaning of words.
"He indicates Democrats are partially demonic but has never admitted a Republican could be partially demonic."
Never said that. First, Democrat and leftist are not synonymous, although rapidly becoming so. At any rate, I never attribute to evil what is adequately explained by ignorance, stupidity, indoctrination, mental illness, and sociopathy, in that order. For the great majority of decent Democrats, the first three are sufficient. If we're analyzing, say, an Adam Schiff, then deeper factors and lower motives come into play. If he isn't diabolic, then I have no sense of smell.
Never call Republicans demonic? If so, it is because they are more adequately explained by stupidity, cowardice, and petty self-interest.
But "'demonic' itself is a nebulous concept which arguably has no reality in the One Cosmos comprised in total of God's good Self and nothing else." No, it's not at all nebulous. Quite specific, rather, and a "necessary" component of the total psychic economy -- necessary in the sense that this is not heaven and man is free to reject the good and true, even though culpable for doing so.
"As far as I know Bob does not believe centrist political views are possible, or admit the existence of people who fall between the Democrat and Republican continuum of opinions."
This is mostly correct. For example, what is the centrist view between the principle that the Constitution means what it says and the principle that it means what the left wants it to mean? What is the compromise between the principle that men cannot be women, and the principle of "oh yes they can, fascist!" What is between the principle that discriminating on the basis of race is evil, vs. racial discrimination should be the animating principle of every last federal agency?
What is the centrist compromise between the 1776 and 1619 projects? There isn't one, because the second is crazy, stupid, false, and evil.
That was a total waste of time, because no amount of logic, evidence, or elucidation of first principles can have any impact on the committed leftist. Now, on to this morning's post. This chapter is called History and Transcendence, and based upon the amount of highlighting, it must be a good one.
Much of it revolves around a gnomic statement by Voegelin to the effect that history is a web of meaning with a plurality of nodal points. What could this mean?
Among other things it means that history can never be reduced to a single explanation, as in, for example, Marxism. Rather, it is -- obviously -- not only multifactorial and overdetermined, but multidimensional. It is also teleological, only not in a deterministic manner.
History is oriented to a transcendent attractor which history itself can never reach. But this is precisely where gnostic political religions go off the rails: on the one hand they pretend to deny transcendence even while forcing it to occur on the terrestrial plane. This always involves countless broken eggs, but they say it is worth it because the omelet will be delicious. And free!
Let's not even waste time on that one, for the yolks write themselves.
Back to this multidimensional web of meaning. You have heard it said that Truth is just your opinion, man, but I say unto you that truth is symphonic. Not only that, it is a jazz symphony, meaning that it is simultaneously deeply structured and yet improvisational, which is why there is no liberty in the absence of order, and vice versa.
At every level and in every endeavor, we must conform ourselves to this order. For example, there are orders of physics, biology, morality, politics, metaphysics, and theology.
And let's not forget the importance of time in this ambiguous space inhabited by man: "the intelligible order of history is made up not merely of a line of development though time." Rather, there are numerous lines of "meaningful advance," which is how the most privileged people on earth -- e.g., Barack Obama, Susan Rice, John Kerry, George Soros -- can be such moral retards.
And this is a Big Problem: that "lines of meaning" can sometimes run "backward." One of the reasons I left the left is its deeply regressive ideas about race and gender.
More generally, the tribal identity politics that so defines the left is as atavistic and barbaric as a principle can be -- at antipodes to the principle that the Constitution is colorblind and that all people are created equal. But Dems never really change, so Antifa and BLM are just their new KKK, as Jason Whitlock points out.
Yes, man always lives in the vortex of the now, but what a show! Consciousness -- mine, anyway -- is situated in this vertical space between" human and divine modes of being," which is the "site" where "divine presence meets human response." Truly, it is what it is -- or AM what it AM, rather, and we have the unique privilege of participating in this luminous center, or what we call light privilege.
Groan. The end