Sunday, May 05, 2013

Sunday: the real and unreal

  • From Hilary: the Real always wins. This little point is the essence, first, of the conflict between Islam and the West, and second of the kinship between Islam and what we call "liberalism," which, as it is playing out in western countries, is really just another term for creeping irrationalism. Both systems of thought look upon the restrictions of concrete reality as "irrelevant". Both are essentially nominalistic, saying reality is what I decide it is, that something that is true for me is not necessarily true for you, a rejection of the notion of objective reality, which results, as we have seen in a "dictatorship of relativism". This is what Benedict was getting at in Regensburg; that religion, whose purpose is to describe The Real, must first be rational. The ancient Greek philosophers, the church fathers and the Schoolmen including their dean, St Thomas Aquinas, define reason as discovering and conforming yourself to objective reality. That’s right: Catholicism, the butt of modernity’s jokes, has the b*lls to claim that cold, hard reason backs up its amazing religious claims. Old-school liberals from the ‘Enlightenment’ through the ’50s, such as America’s founding fathers, kept that definition of reason from us; the Sixties were a big rebellion, with exoticism and the seeming charity and humility of glorifying the Other (anything but old white Americans and anything but Rome) as the cover for this irrationalism.
  • Unreality: ‘blessed’ bodily mutilation. Nobody’s surprised the mainline’s gone for this. The interesting part to me: In November last year, it was revealed that Britain’s youngest sex swap patient decided to reverse the procedure after living as a woman for less than a year. The 18-year-old, who was formerly known as Brad Cooper, has been having hormone injections to make him look like a woman but decided to revert back to living as a man. Reminds me of poor Mike Penner: the peril of glorifying someone’s mental illness. A middle-aged sportswriter for the LA Times, he had this problem and ‘came out’ in the paper, which hyped it. But it turned out he dearly missed his wife, who of course left him when he did all this. He went back to living as a man and tried to get her to come back, then killed himself. Lord, have mercy.
  • More unreality: the Unclaimed Vietnam POW hoax. This story. Seems an artiste thought reopening vets’ and a family’s grief was worth it just to make a pseudo-documentary.
  • From Takimag: the government that cried wolf. In the 1970s after the Watergate scandal, the president of the United States was forced to resign due to his operatives’ gross immorality and criminality which involved breaking and entering, theft, lying to Congress, and deceiving the public. Click ‘This story’ above for me on Nixon. No, the real lesson was if you’re unattractive and try to rise above your station by doing exactly what President Kennedy did, you’ll get smacked down. RIP.


  1. The real lesson of Watergate---->not so much who is beautiful or not beautiful. The moral of this story is "Don't get caught!" The Dems never got caught and you can bet somewhere or sometime they had done similar things. Politics has a nasty business throughout human history and we cannot afford to be naive about politics and politicians.

    1. But that's my point. Kennedy didn't get caught, people looked the other way, partly because he was attractive. Rich too. Nixon as far as I know was neither.

    2. Yes, I realized that about the "beautiful" Kennedy & his cabal. I was referring to the larger Democratic Party, Larry O'Brien, LBJ, etc. The seamy side of politics. Nixon was not only the plebeian playing in the patrician court yard.

  2. Re: The Real Always Wins

    I'm generally a poor prognosticator, but these days I get the sense that left-liberalism/postmodernism/Soft Socialism (whatever you call it) is entering what I'd refer to as its "Brezhnev Stage". By "Brezhnev Stage", I mean that "soft" leftism today is facing the same intellectual problems as Communism in the late '60s and '70s, and may run the same course, albeit at a slower pace. Back then, Communism was still ruthlessly enforced (e.g. Prague Spring) and willing to expand wherever it saw opportunity (Portuguese Africa, etc.), but deep down, almost nobody of real intelligence and promise actually believed in Communism's stated goals and doctrines anymore. Communism's appeal to the kind of young, idealistic people who can turn ideas into mass-movements rested on two foundations. The first was its Utopianism- the Millenarian promise of a perfectly just society- the second, its claim of Inevitability- that the "Laws of History" would eventually bring a victory for Communism. Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago" in 1973 killed Communism's Utopian claims dead as a Dodo- I understand that when it was published in Western Europe, many Communist parties there saw their recruitment efforts collapse almost overnight. 1980s "Rollback" under Pres. Reagan made Communism's claim of Inevitability seem ridiculous, too, so it's unsurprising that Communism didn't survive much longer.

    I may be totally off-base, but I get the sense that "soft" leftism is about to hit that same point, where serious, thoughtful people may obey its tenets out of fear (of ostracism and lawsuits, rather than of the Gulag), but none really have passion for "the cause". Hedonistic postmodernism is trendy with "Da Yoof", but nobody suffers, fights, or dies for the sake of hedonism or postmodern relativism. The Sixties People were a pretty odious bunch as a whole, but at least they had the physical courage to trade blows with cops, national guardsmen, and construction workers. What did the radical lefty young people of today produce? "Occupy Wall Street", largely an ineffectual exercise in self-pity and squalor. True, they also helped elect Barack Obama, but he wouldn't have had a chance without 8 years of President Bush the Younger's spectacular incompetence.

    '60s-style soft-left Utopianism promised Stark Trek's universalist egalitarian racial harmony, a "caring" welfare state that would eliminate poverty, and sexual libertinsim as prescribed by Dr. Kinsey. On the first two, Charles Murray played Solzhenitsyn, while AIDS and skyrocketing dysfunction have killed most thinking peoples' illusions about the last (why blue-state liberals preach the '60s in sexual matters but live the '50s). As Steve Sailer says, most lefties know deep-down that their egalitarian doctrines are nonsense, but just won't admit it. Admittedly, in the wake of Pres. Obama's reelection, lefties are still drunk on their own sense of Inevitable Destiny, and cheering for the demise of the Old Straight White Man's America, but I suspect America is just lagging behind Europe again- trends in The Old World are decidedly Rightward right now. Obviously, my sample is quite skewed and small, but of the younger people I know who have recently emerged from academia, the most talented and intelligent- those with an independent cast of mind- seem to turn to the Right in one fashion or another, while most of the lefties strike me as natural crowd-followers.


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