Sunday, March 26, 2023

Shmendriks to the Left of Me, Golems to the Far Left

There are quite a few words for "fool" in Yiddish, but I guess shmendrik is my favorite. If Dávila had been Jewish, perhaps he would have said

The shmendrik is not impressed except by what is recent. For the intelligent man, nothing depends on its date.


The doctrines that explain the higher by the means of the lower are so much bupkis.

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

The yutz, to be perfect, needs to be somewhat educated.

If the yutz is very educated, then he's a shmendrik. Or maybe vice versa. It depends on the amount of dreck they've published. 

Speaking of insults, Schuon gets off some good ones in an essay I read yesterday called Orthodoxy and Intellectuality. In a footnote he characterizes modern shmendriks as "pseudo-intellectual mollusks." (A backward mollusk -- a mollusk, let us say, which had been dropped on its head when baby?)

"In fact,"

it requires a prodigious lack of spiritual sensibility and of a sense of proportion to take any contemporary thinking, even the best possible, for one of the great providential "crystallizations" of the philosophia perennis (Schuon).

I rate that statement 100% true. If Catholicism didn't exist, I'd be Orthodox. If that didn't exist, then Vedantin or Buddhist or Taoist. Or Sufi or Kabbalistic Jew. Any of these surpass the best possible modern mishegoss, let alone postmodern intersectional kvetching.   

Logic? You speak of logic?! It

can either operate in accordance with an intellection or on the contrary put itself at the disposal of error, so that philosophy can become the vehicle of just about anything.

Literally, for it is written: garbage in, tenure out -- existentialism, for example, 

in which logic is no more than a blind, unreal activity, and which can rightly be described as an "esoterism of stupidity."

Why stupid? Because it places human experience at the center and top of the cosmos, which, in the absence of the Absolute, degenerates to the periphery and bottom. 

Only in such an inside-out and upside-down cosmos can bottom-dwellers such as Sartre or Foucault be regarded as philosophers instead of commie putz and sado-masochistic faygeleh, respectively. 

When unintelligence -- and what we mean by this is in no way incompatible with "worldly" intelligence -- joins with passion to prostitute logic, it is impossible to escape a mental satanism which destroys the very bases of intelligence and truth (ibid.).

Strong words, but are they strong enough? Perhaps you didn't know it, but "golem" is a Yiddish word for a manmade monster, and therein lies a whole post, for Karl Marx is a real Dr. Frankenstein, and then some, for his monsters are still very much with us.

Speaking of which, I wonder if it's a coincidence that great-great aunt Mary Godwin not only wrote Frankenstein -- AKA The Modern Prometheus -- at the very same time socialism was all the ragicide among avant-garde intellectual nudniks, but that she was the daughter of radical progressive bull goose loony William Godwin?  

"Frankenstein" apparently wasn't a reference to the Franks or their monstrous revolution or anything.  

And speaking of great-great-great uncle William, 

Avant-garde philosophy is properly an acephalous ["headless"] logic: it labels what is intellectually evident as "prejudice"; seeking to free itself from the servitudes of the mind, it falls into infra-logic; closing itself, above, to the light of the intellect it opens itself, below, to the darkness of the subconscious (ibid.).

True story: I first encountered William Godwin via my Uncle Jerry, who was a man of the left. He foisted on me a copy of Godwin's political novel Caleb WilliamsThis must have been in the early '80s, when I was but a progressive boychik. I might have read a page or two and then flipped through the rest. Let's see if I can find it in the closet of doom.

According to the introduction, he "disbelieved in the freedom of man's will," rather, that "environment was all-compelling." At the same time, he "believed in progress toward some sort of extra-religious millennium." 

What else is new with me... Let's see, yesterday evening while deidreaming during a schmaltzy homily by the substitute priest, a thought floated in: that if the Father is absolute-absolute, then the Son is relative absolute and the Spirit is absolute relative. I think it adds up, but if it does, it will have to be in another post. This one's kaput. 


julie said...

Your great-great-great Uncle William would have fit perfectly in today's world. The "prejudice" of what is intellectually evident is just another form of privilege. He'd be thrilled by the policy in some parts of China to force all parents to sign an agreement not to believe in religion. Utopia will surely follow.

Is there any branch of your family that isn't leftist, or are you just the fortunate black sheep?

Gagdad Bob said...

To be honest, I don't know if William & Mary are actually ancestors, but who knows? My father only came here in 1948 or so, but Godwin is probably a common name there.

Gagdad Bob said...

For example, Harold Godwinson was the last Anglo-Saxon English king back in 1066.

julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
julie said...

Sometimes the thought of having the historical connection is just too good to check :)

Some readers might find this interesting: JP on becoming Christian & not just spiritual.I had wondered about that in recent videos, he doesn't seem to do the spirituality series anymore but has been openly talking about attacks on Christianity.

Van Harvey said...

"Only in such an inside-out and upside-down cosmos can bottom-dwellers such as Sartre or Foucault be regarded as philosophers instead of commie putz and sado-masochistic faygeleh, respectively. "


Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "I don't know if William & Mary are actually ancestors"

The possibility of having had monsters (William most definitely was, Mary seemed to realize and warn about it) in your ancestral closet, is kinda cool, no need to fact-check that.

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