Between the Devil and the Deep Blue States (12.05.11)
Again, this is something the left does by definition; since they deny the vertical, it returns in a disguised and perverse form, which provides them with a preternatural energy that conservatives can never match. The moment a conservative becomes "ecstatic" about politics, he's no longer a conservative. Intoxication certainly has its place. Just not in politics.
Obviously, young people are more prone to the varieties of psychic intoxication, so it is no surprise that Obama won the election because he took two thirds of the youth vote (the vote was 50-50 for actual adults). To paraphrase someone, these children wish to give us the full benefit of their inexperience.
I'm trying to imagine what the world would look like to me today if I were a 21 year old with a skull full of liberal mush.... Would I be susceptible to Obama intoxication? I don't know. I was a pretty cynical guy, but most cynics are just disappointed idealists, which I suppose I was. My first presidential vote went to Jimmy Carter, who, for those of you below a certain age, was the Obama of the time. He too promised dramatic change, which came in spades -- soaring inflation, increased unemployment, emboldened enemies, loss of respect in the world, diminished confidence at home. And yet, it didn't matter. I still voted for him again in 1980.
So was I drunk, or just stupid? I think mostly just the latter. You have no idea what it was like back then. There was literally no way to gain access to conservative arguments unless you were a National Review subscriber. There were a few conservative voices, but because they were so rare, you just assumed they were crazy, or eccentric at best, and probably evil. It was very much a cultural attitude, because you were basically trained to have a kind of visceral rejection of all things conservative, mainly because they tossed cold water on your intoxication. I am continually amazed that so many members of my auto-hypnotized generation are still completely swaddled in this retrograde cultural attitude....
I will continue this self-indulgent musing below, time permitting. For now, let's get back to The Devil.
UF points out that even Marx and Engels could have avoided intoxication -- and prevented the birth of a hideous genocidal demon -- if they had actually just considered the plight of the poor in a detached and disinterested way. But instead, they went far, far, over the line, into cloud cuckoo land, insisting that God did not exist, that history obeyed scientific laws, that "all ideology is only a superstructure on the basis of material interests," etc.
It is the same with the Darwinists. If they would just maintain a little sobriety, instead of drunkenly careening into areas in which they have nothing to contribute, all would be well. But like a drunken know-it-all at a cocktail party, they just can't stop themselves. They'll tell you everything about love, beauty, truth, God.... It's all wrong, of course, but that's the thing about being drunk -- it feels good.
I am once again reminded of Paul McCartney's first acid trip. His mind was so filled with ideas, that he had his assistant following him around, so he could dictate them to him. He remembered one particularly inspired idea, and insisted that his assistant take it down word for word, and then put it away for safe keeping. The next morning, they eagerly retrieved the scrap of paper, upon which it was written:
There are seven levels.
But it might as well have been: random mutation + adaption, or the workers are the means of production, or I think therefore I am, or abortion is protected by a Right to Privacy, or members of the same sex can "marry," or God is dead, or Hopeandchange.... None of these ideas "work" unless the person is intoxicated in some way. Sober up, and they're either banal or make no sense.
Of the founding fathers of the left, UF writes that "there is no doubt that with them it was a matter of an excess -- a going beyond the limits of competence and sober and honest knowledge -- which they did not in any way doubt, having been carried away by the intoxicating impulse of radicalism."
You must understand that the radical wants to be intoxicated -- with outrage, with self-righteous anger, with smugness, with superiority, with iconoclasm, with fear (e.g., of "domestic spying," or the "theofascistic takeover of the nation"), with "injustice." Like any other drug, radicalism is addictive because of the feelings it engenders. This, I think, explains why so many of my generation refuse to grow up -- because they are literlly addicted to the feelings produced by radicalism.
For example, they do not want racism to be over. For a white liberal, it gives such an intoxicating feeling of being on the side of righteousness, that it's impossible for them to let it go. For you Raccoons of color out there, you probably realize that every white liberal condescendingly imagines that he is noble Atticus Finch, and that you are poor helpless Tom Robinson. And I imagine that all the racial grievance hustlers -- if they aren't just outright sociopaths, like Al Sharpton -- imagine that white people give a lot of thought to race, when they actually couldn't care less (at least conservatives). Personally, I'd never think about race if liberals weren't obsessed with it.
By the way, a boneheaded -- and intoxicated -- commenter compared opposition to the redefinition of marriage to racism. But opposition to "gay marriage" isn't learned. Rather, it is innate. Anyone with a rightly ordered soul is naturally opposed to it. Rather, they have to unlearn what is natural and normal in order to be passionately pro-homosexual marriage.
I well remember being "homophobic" as a boy, but I was never racist. But this innocent homophobia wasn't learned. In fact, I had no idea what a homosexual was. Rather, it was just the innate knowledge that boys should act like boys -- that there was an ideal to which we should aspire. Boys who didn't were suspect. It was a kind of mutual self-policing, like fighting in the NHL.
In fact, it's a little perverse to even call it "homophobia." Rather, it was really just about learning The Art of Manliness, which all boys need to do -- especially today, when manliness is opposed on all sides by passive-aggressive liberal wimps for whom whining is a virtue. Marriage is one of the principle ways that boys become men. Therefore, it is no surprise that liberals want to undermine it.
That is the real agenda behind the intoxicated fury to redefine the institution. I think also that homosexuals imagine that "marrying" would allow them to "grow up," when that is hardly the problem. More often than not, homosexual behavior is specifically a rebellion against growing up, and all it implies. I don't have time to explain, but again, there is a lot of good information at NARTH for the bi-curious.
In contrast, racism must be learned. Yes, I know it is ubiquitous, but it is nevertheless learned. It is really about cultural difference, and race is simply a handy marker for this. In the case of my son, for example, his best friends are a Japanese boy (I mean real Japanese -- he doesn't speak English); two children of a black and white couple; an adopted black child of a white couple; and a child of a white and asian couple. Plus, his mother is a Jewish-Catholic, his father a Vedanta-Christian. He has never mentioned anything pertaining to race, and I don't imagine he ever will unless we teach him that it is somehow important. Being that he won't be attending a public school, he'll be shielded from the racial obsessions of the left, at least for awhile. He will have to learn that race is somehow important, which I imagine will be increasingly difficult, since Obama will be the first president of whom he is consciously aware.
The left also doesn't want poverty to end, because this too would eliminate the cause of their righteous indignation. Otherwise they would define poverty in absolute instead of relative terms. So long as they define it in relative terms, a certain fixed percentage of the population will always be "poor," no matter how fat and affluent. (On his program yesterday, Dennis Prager had an economist who explained this in an extremely lucid and sober manner; can't think of his name.)
Back to the card. Any form of radicalism is given force and momentum by the intoxicated desire to "change everything utterly at a single stroke. And it is this fever to *change* everything utterly at a single stroke which gave birth to the demon of class hatred, atheism, disdain for the past, and material interest being placed above all else, which is now making the rounds in the world."
You see how it works? The ideology legitimizes the intoxicated expression of envy, anger, murder, whatever. It is what allowed Bill Ayers, for example, to want to attempt mass murder in good conscience. When you're full of that much righteous rage, what else can you do? He still has no regrets, because he is still drunk. But like all drunks, he stays drunk in order to avoid the pain of regret -- regret for a wasted life spent wasted on ideology.
Again, this is the counter-inspiration of the Devil, and it is a caricature of spiritual grace and transformation, for as one descends down into the inconscient (↓), something rises up to meet you (↑), which produces the intoxication and gives birth to a third thing.
Whoops. Out of time. To be continued....