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Four C’s

January 4, 2006

I’ve seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it never came to pass.
– Mark Twain

At the risk of immediately overloading my reader(s), I submit to you 5 essays that have really struck me over the last few weeks. Taken as a whole, I think they flesh out where I’m coming from these days, which has something to do with Complexity, Conservatism, Contrition and Conversation.

"Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management in the 21st Century" by Michael Crichton is a great look at the fear-mongering and failed predictions by a variety of environmentalists, population "experts" and others over the past 30 years.

"Lessons of 25 Years" by Michael Barone (much shorter piece) details failed prognostications of those on the Left.

"After the Suicide of the West" by Roger Kimball takes a much more philosophical approach in outlining the self-destructive tendencies inherent in the "liberal ethos" which can be understood as the "union of sentimentality, political correctness and multicultural piety". (link having problems)

"It’s the Demography, Stupid" by Mark Steyn takes a look at the actual unpleasant population reality: "A little girl born today will be unlikely, at the age of forty, to be free to prance around demonstrations in Eurabian Paris or Amsterdam chanting ‘Hands off my bush!’ "

Lastly, this post at neo-neocon gives a pretty good description of what life can be like for me these days, especially at work. It’s a dilmemma. Do I try to initiate conversation, or remain silent? Will I lose friends? I hope not, but it seems like a possibility. We’ll see.

My point in offering these essays is not to reduce everything to "it’s all the Liberal’s fault" but to raise the idea that perhaps they are worrying about the wrong things, and have a history of worrying about the wrong things, with negative consequences for everyone. The world is complex; so much so that not only are the solutions hard to identify, but so are the problems themselves. The beginning of the "solution" therefore is to identify the problem. Only then can we muddle through together.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rob Prichard permalink
    January 11, 2006 3:17 pm

    Tolerance

    One of the interesting and accurate things that Roger Kimball writes in “After the Suicide of the West” is:
    “Our colleges and universities have been preaching the creed of multiculturalism for the last few decades. Politicians, pundits, and the so-called cultural elite have assiduously absorbed the catechism, which they accept less as an argument about the way the world should be as an affirmation of the essential virtue of their own feelings. We are now beginning to reap the fruit of that liberal experiment with multiculturalism. The chief existential symptom is moral paralysis, expressed, for example, in the inability to discriminate effectively between good and evil. The New York Times runs full-page advertisements, signed by all manner of eminent personages, that compare President Bush to Adolf Hitler.”

    That paragraph is in agreement with two points I have recently come to crystallize in my mind.
    1) The mania for tolerance (here “multiculturalism”) by liberals is more than just their view of “the way the world should be.” It is a deep-seated psychological (even spiritual) desire for acceptance and absolution. If one tolerates everything, then others are more likely to tolerate that person and his behavior. That could eventually make one better able to tolerate oneself in his own fallen state. That person’s goal is to clear his conscience without repenting.
    2) The mania for tolerance also produces “the inability to discriminate effectively between good and evil.” I have been thinking about this more in terms of people not using discretion regarding their own individual behavior(“moral paralysis”), and thereby putting themselves and those around them at risk. But Kimball puts it into the context of tolerating a culture that seeks to eliminate your society (including you as an individual). That kind of tolerance, societal indiscriminate acceptance of evil, is more dangerous on a temporal level, but I think of the individual indiscriminate acceptance of evil as the graver danger, because it acts on the level of the eternal soul. In practice, the two go hand-in-hand.

    Why is it that liberals are far more tolerant of any religion that is not Judeo-Christian? It is absolutely an issue of spiritual warfare. Liberals oppose truth, because it might make them feel guilty. In a way, they are looking for some modern-day fig leaves to cover their shame. Their subconscious goal is that they be able to do whatever they want (no moral constraint) and not feel guilty about any of it. That is the spiritual nature of liberalism. The liberal social contract is this: I won’t judge you if you won’t judge me.

    One would think that liberals would be openly at war with Islam, since it espouses moral rules. But there are two things preventing them from doing so (even if they do have a vague unsettled feeling about Islam). 1) They have been brainwashed by tolerance/multiculuralism/pluralism. They just cannot bring themselves to categorize and judge a culture, society, people, or religion (with one important exception). The liberals’ cultivation of a tolerant mindset has also cultivated (as Kimball points out) “the inability to discriminate effectively between good and evil.” They just can’t see the handwriting on the wall; and if they could, they wouldn’t believe it. 2) Spiritual opposition to the Truth exists. There are forces at work, which we cannot see, that make a liberal obeisantly accepting of Buddhism, Paganism, Hinduism, Daoism, or Islam. There is some subconscious rebellion against True spiritual authority, authority which liberals instinctively recognize in the followers of Yahweh. On the other hand many liberals equally intuit the lack of True spiritual authority in false religions, and therefore they fail to oppose those religions.

    So tolerance, although it is the paramount liberal value, is not absolute. The liberal thinks he tolerates everything, but the most intolerable thing to him is True spiritual authority. In fact, he is rabidly opposed to it. It is the exception to his rule, and yet he is blind to this hole in his dogma.

    An interesting example of this can be found in the film Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. In it Mace Windu confronts Anakin and tries to dissuade him from his blind support of the emperor. Anakin remains firmly on the path to the dark side and proclaims something to this effect, “If you are not with me, then you are my enemy.” The astoundingly liberal dogmatic reply by Mace Windu, one of the wisest and most respected of the Jedi Council, is this: “Only the Sith think in absolutes.”
    I openly laughed in the theater. Liberals (could it be that George Lucas is one of them?) do not see the logical fallacy in relativism and its kid brother tolerance. If nothing is absolute, then that is absolutely true and disproves the rule.

    To extend this logic to the jedi and sith, then the jedi have no rules because nothing is absolute. Maybe they have “guidelines” which are kind of like rules but you can go against them in extreme need, or if the situation calls for it, or if you just kind of feel like it. If the jedi do have rules that are absolute, then they must be sith because only the sith think in absolutes. If that is true, then the jedi and the sith are the same. So either the jedi don’t have rules, or the jedi are really sith. Maybe they are sith, but they just don’t know it. Or maybe the jedi are sith, but George Lucas just doesn’t know it. Maybe a banana is a light saber…if you really, really want it to be. Maybe a wookie is a strange monkey doll.

  2. Rob Prichard permalink
    January 18, 2006 11:33 pm

    I can’t believe that Duke Ray hasn’t commented on my Star Wars connection. I would at least expect him to correct my quotation of dialogue. … A strange monkey doll a wookie is.

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