Antigravity jack boots

September 3, 2016 § 55 Comments

Normal, well adjusted people are trapped by the way liberalism structures our political reality.

Normal people

If we attempt to take the demand that the exercise of political authority is justified by pursuit of liberty[1] too seriously we end up raving anarchists in a padded cell.  At the same time, when reality’s failure to conform to liberal expectations becomes acute there is an inexorable tendency to read whole populations of people out of the human race: to try to re-create the green swath of livable community but make it just for white people, just for 99-percenter workers, just for horny consenting adults, or what have you.  Everyone else becomes less than human.

The options of becoming a raving anarchist, stalinist, or nazi are understandably unappealing to well adjusted people.  Despite their loyalty to political liberalism — and the hidden mass violence concomitant to that loyalty — normal people aren’t usually enthusiastic about mass internment camps, mass deportations of political undesirables, gulags, concentration camps, industrial scale murder of the inconvenient, and the like. If the only escape from the gravity well is to put on antigravity jack boots and start firing up the ovens and cutting off the food supply of undesirables, it is going to take some seriously violent confrontations with reality to get ordinary well adjusted people to sign up.  This certainly can happen; but when the only way folks can perceive to prevent it is to double down on liberal principles there will be significant numbers of people who prefer that approach.  Normal people don’t want to become sociopaths, and will resist anything that seems to box them into becoming sociopaths.

I’ll leave it to folks to make up their own minds how this is playing out in contemporary politics. But if things get really ugly in the coming decades, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  By the nature of things, as the gravitational force of liberalism compresses our reality ever tighter we get closer to both the sodomy singularity and the Final Solution at the same time. It isn’t that we move in one direction or the other as much as that the black hole continues to compress all of the human matter inside the event horizon into an ever more confined space.

A bleak picture, I know.  But I have also already mentioned the critical difference between political liberalism and gravity.  Political liberalism derives any force that it has from human commitment to it: from our belief in the justness of liberal principles or our willingness to invoke liberty, equal rights, and the like as justification for political acts. Any power liberalism has is power which we have willingly given over to it.

Unlike gravity, we aren’t stuck with the option of resisting liberalism in order to attempt escape from its pseudo-permissive honeypot trap.  We just have to stop empowering it.

Folks who claim that repentance is not a practical solution are themselves living an illusion; a very ironic illusion, a fantasy in which they role play as hard nosed realists.

In reality, repentance is the only solution; practical or otherwise.


[1] Or equality, or government by consent of the governed, or democratic values, or any of the various expressions of the same underlying incoherent principle.

§ 55 Responses to Antigravity jack boots

  • Our Heroine says:

    “At the same time, when reality’s failure to conform to liberal expectations becomes acute there is an inexorable tendency to read whole populations of people out of the human race: to try to re-create the green swath of livable community but make it just for white people.”

    You could take that last sentence and replace “white people,” with “serial monogamists” to sum up my personal experience with the Catholic Church’s annulment mills. The modern Church has no way to integrate it’s committment to “freedom and equality” with the very real desolation that marital abandoners wreak on their faithful spouses and children.

    Since it can’t be done, faithful spouses are simply treated as non-persons. We are VERY embarrassing reminders to the marriage tribunals that divorce has real consequences to real people, and so the “go to” tribunal attitude is — “Why do you want to be married to someone who doesn’t want to be married to you? Your attitude smacks of bitterness and resentment. If you were really well-adjusted, you would want to be free and move on and you would want your spouse to be happy. The fact that you are clinging to this “marriage” is proof of a personal defect that probably made your consent at the wedding defective as well. Anullment granted. G’bye!”

  • Zippy says:

    Our Heroine:

    Since it can’t be done, faithful spouses are simply treated as non-persons.

    Agreed. Though that is just the tip of the iceberg. Many people – I daresay even many people who are not even formally Catholic – depend on the Church’s doctrinal steadfastness and firm commitment to the truth to help them soldier on through difficult times.

    To the modernists in the Church, these people don’t even exist.

    It is all very selective, too.

  • ashv says:

    Could you give us your take on the stuff Reactionary Future (http://reactionaryfuture.wordpress.com) has been saying about “absolutist neoreaction”? I didn’t understand the liberal assumptions other people under the NRx banner had been continuing to carry until RF pointed them out — seems to me like y’all have a similar viewpoint.

  • Those blessed with a puissant sense of black humor can derive a lot of pleasure from listening to the rebarbative rhetoric of certain candidates vs the sweet sounding appeals to choice for who can be against choice?

    American Exceptionalism is true – we always produce exceptional americans to vie for the POTUS – and American Exceptionlaism is firmly grounded in choice;

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Heresy is from the Greek word meaning “choice”. . . But we are not permitted to believe whatever we choose, nor to choose whatever someone else has believed. We have the Apostles of God as authorities, who did not. . . choose what they would believe but faithfully transmitted the teachings of Christ. So, even if an angel from heaven should preach otherwise, he shall be called anathema.’

    St. Isidore of Seville
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    On the other hand, if Trump is elected we just might hear him at a Presser call Merkel a fat ugly broad.

    My deal with American politicians is – Y’all can keep dragging us down into Hell but you do owe us a few laughs on the way.

  • Step2 says:

    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be”. – Kurt Vonnegut

  • Our Heroine says:

    “Though that is just the tip of the iceberg.”

    I’ve been noodling on this post all weekend Zippy, and I agree with you. In fact, I think that liberalism is largely responsible for the vocations crisis. My idea is inchoate, so I will express it badly, but the modern Church’s committment to equality directly influences their inability to state that a religious vocation is a superior calling than that of the married or single life.

    We talk nowadays about marriage and the religious life as if they were equally effective at getting souls to Heaven. They aren’t, as Jesus himself said.

    But we can’t offend any married people by telling them their state in life presents challenges to salvation that offset it’s obvious benefits. And the result *must be* that many young people who might thrive as religious ask themselves, “Why give up romantic love, sex, and children? If marriage is equally as effective as religious life in getting to Heaven, why make the sacrifice?”

    For the last several years, I have found myself piqued whenever a Catholic proclaimed, “we need more married saints!” I could never put my finger on why. This post and your comment got me thinking that I was annoyed at the idea that it was the Church’s fault that more married people aren’t saints, and not something implicit in marriage itself. I say this as a married person. I know full well that as holy-making as my vocation can be, being a good nun would have made me even holier.

  • Zippy says:

    OH:
    There is doubtless something to that. By pretending that all vocations are equal we’ve made the objectively superior ones seem inferior.

  • Mike T says:

    For modern people, married life probably is better for a variety of reasons having to do with the accumulated societal baggage. For example, for every intelligent and educated family like Scalia’s that can spare a son to the priesthood, there are probably 20 that would see their family tree wither if not get cut off. Such are the dyscivic wages of contraception (or at least in the hands of the vast majority who feel no obligation to be fruitful and multiply).

  • Hrodgar says:

    “Spare a son for the priesthood” is not the right way to look at it, though. I realize it’s not just a modern problem, but even so.

    For starters, celibacy is the nobler path not just for priests, but on general principles. Perhaps not everybody is given the gift, but that doesn’t mean it is not objectively better, for a variety of reasons. Not least because of the advantages re: gaining eternal salvation which, last I heard, was worth a fair sight more than the merely temporal continuance of a family name. If what it takes for you to love God and obey his commandments means withering your family tree, then wither it. Luke 14:26 applies.

    To top it off, of course, as I believe Bonald mentioned at one point (though a brief search doesn’t turn it up), being married doesn’t end your struggles with inchastity. It’s not a choice between an easy path and a hard path, but between two paths which are easier in some ways and harder in some ways, one of which has a steeper APPARENT price but has been highly recommended for the entirety of the Church’s history and brings it’s own graces with it to aid the one who pursues it, even without Holy Orders of Monastic Vows.

    Even setting that aside, though, the point our host made awhile back in “Conservatism, Elections, and the Kantian Chasm” about reality not being linear applies here. A society which had large numbers of people inspired with such a spirit of sacrifice and love of bearing their Cross that they were willing to choose perpetual continence would also be a society in which large numbers of the remainder would have at least some share in such a spirit to at least some degree. Since contraception is an intrinsically selfish act, this means that, despite the number of folks giving up the possibility of ever having kids at all, the society in question would not be likely to contracept or murder (abortion, euthanasia, etc.) itself to death, and there would probably be, on average, many more branches on most folks’ family trees.

    This is, in fact, more or less what we actually do see in those times and places where celibacy has been highly prized, at least under the Church (I’m not very familiar with the pantheist celibates of the east).

  • Hrodgar says:

    sorry, meant to say Holy Orders OR Monastic Vows, though I suppose its not uncommon to do both.

  • Hrodgar,

    It DOES seem to me that Paul makes it pretty clear that marriage is the easiER path, though. He talks of marriage for folks who can’t handle celibacy, but I can’t recall reading anything going the other way.

  • Zippy says:

    Marriage can, in theory, make it easier to do good and avoid evil, if both spouses take their top priority seriously: that is, helping the other get to heaven in characteristically male and female ways.

    In practice though, especially in the modern world, marriage can make things more difficult. The ‘problem’ with marriage when the other person is morally weak is its strength when the other person is morally strong. (A morally strong woman lays her husband like tile and takes her job as helpmeet seriously. A morally strong man guides his wife firmly when necessary, provides for and protects her and their children, and loves her unconditionally through the hormonal storm of her life.)

    By the same token, I understand that some modern seminaries have been a fast track to losing your faith.

    So as is often the case in particular human affairs I would suggest that the particulars override the generalities when it comes to “which is easier”.

    It is clear that priesthood and religious life is objectively superior, though; setting aside the question of which is ‘easier’.

  • GJ says:

    One of the more humorous episodes of the gospels has the disciples exclaiming to Jesus that ‘it is better not to marry‘ after hearing his teaching on divorce. Jesus, being actually celibate, tells them that regarding celibacy “let the one who is able to receive this receive it”.

  • GJ says:

    On the other hand that might count as Apostolic consensus that celibacy is better.

  • Mike T says:

    By the same token, I understand that some modern seminaries have been a fast track to losing your faith.

    I’ve heard claims about the level of homosexuality in certain Catholic religious orders and seminaries. I would imagine that the harm to an ordinary heterosexual man having to live in such situations would be at least as substantial, if not far more grave, than what one would encounter in most marriages. It would be rather soul-crushing, I’d wager. Protestants have our own many problems as well in our religious institutions.

    This is a lot of why I regard it as six of one, half a dozen of the other. As you said, the particulars tend to weigh more than the generalities. In general, modern life has afforded no path that is clearly superior anymore, as modernity is quite adept at mining the paths.

  • Zippy says:

    And again, I would distinguish between easier and objectively superior.

    Priest is objectively superior to layman, qua station in life.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: Zippy 8:32 am

    I’ll concede the whole question of easier/harder. Got a bit carried away, putting out thoughts before they were fully developed.

    I still think, though, that, contra MikeT, so far from being something which contraception makes impracticable, celibacy is a solution (or part of one, anyway) to widespread contraception.

  • Zippy says:

    Hrodgar:

    Agreed. The sort of people who contracept and serial-monogomize and hookup and ‘SJW’ themselves into a narcissistic-nihilistic misery singularity under liberalism should have a place in society doing satisfying manual labor and the like in a monastery or nunnery, where they truly belong as a valued part of a human community, under the physical discipline and spiritual guidance of a Mother Superior or Abbot.

  • Elostirion says:

    What is the “Alt-Left?” I’ve found sparingly few references (including one .com with the very name, but it’s a ranty blog and not informative). Other locations with self-identified alt-lefters seem to be alt-right-light minus religion at the most extreme, or anarchists (which hardly gets out of the black hole so to speak), or simply communists. One claims to be a Marxist plus HBD.

    Contra that to, say, Bonald or the Orthosphere, I assume they count as alt-right of a kind, and I can’t think of anything that might be alt-left that isn’t just liberalism taken to some extreme or “clashing with reality” while doing everything it can to hold on to progressive tenets. Other than not being right, the movement seems as multi-headed as liberalism itself, it seems no different than the neoreaction in general (see Zippy’s “To associate with neoreaction is to deny God” for an example)

    Color me stupid, but I can’t see it.

  • Zippy says:

    Elostirion:
    I gave the example of Dorothy Day.

  • GJ says:

    Our Heroine:

    My idea is inchoate, so I will express it badly, but the modern Church’s committment to equality directly influences their inability to state that a religious vocation is a superior calling than that of the married or single life.

    We talk nowadays about marriage and the religious life as if they were equally effective at getting souls to Heaven.

    Protestants have long marginalised celibacy as a vocation, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the crisis you describe is strongly influenced by Protestant ways.

  • Mike T says:

    Protestants have long marginalised celibacy as a vocation, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the crisis you describe is strongly influenced by Protestant ways.

    The marginalization you speak of is primarily a belief that celibacy is a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit, not something that people are ordinarily predisposed to.

    The Apostles also make it clear that people suffering from paraphilias should not be in positions of authority in the church under any circumstances.

  • Zippy says:

    To say that celibacy is a special gift of the Holy Spirit reserved only to certain individuals though puts orgasms on a pedestal: it implies that only specially gifted people are capable of avoiding grave sin when conditions do not permit the licit satisfaction of their animal sexual cravings. Most people just can’t help themselves.

    In reality, of course, conditions which do not permit the morally licit accomplishment of orgasm are pervasive.

    Thus the sexual revolution, as a perfectly predictable outcome of telling people that they just can’t help themselves: that chastity is impossible even with the support of the sacraments.

  • GJ says:

    No, the marginalisation I speak of has been the de facto elevation of the marriage state above celibacy by Luther and those after him, and how the celibate vocation is treated by contemporary churches.

    Jesus and Paul, the two greatest figures in Christianity, pioneered radical celibacy, affirming it as a valid vocation. Paul even noted that celibacy is a higher path (though that not all are called to it). But under Protestantism, in general there is at best a perfunctory nod to celibacy with about zero practical support and guidance for anyone who considers it as a chosen vocation. Instead, marriage has become the sole focus and is de facto considered better.

  • Zippy says:

    Well, Luther had to come up with some way to rationalize taking on a concubine.

  • itascriptaest says:

    The early modern exaltation of marriage sacralized “ordinary everyday life” thereby proving to be one factor in helping to pave the way for the disenchantment of the world by paradoxically on the one hand radically seperating the distinction between the transcendent and the temporal but then on the other hand collapsing the distinction other areas. Coupled with the new science of Bacon the new societies prioritized the active life over the contemplative life. All of this was decisive for the development of liberalism. This is what Leo XIII condemmed in his writing against Americanism- the exaltation of the active life and concomitant denigration of contemplative virtues.

    A good book to understand “how we got here” is Lasch’s Haven in a Heartless World. Bourgeois liberals tried to shore up the family as an oasis of sentiment in a world denuded by moderm science and the market. Of course this effort was doomed from the start as the logic of liberalism quickly seeped into the family itself. I think Lasch would be a good candidate for the Alt-Left. He was someone who used many of the insights of Marxist critics yet he was an implacable foe of the Enlightenment.

    Where would someone like Alasdair MacIntyre fall on the diagram? I would see him at the “north pole” of the circle where Alt-Left and Alt-Right meet.

  • Mike T says:

    No, the marginalisation I speak of has been the de facto elevation of the marriage state above celibacy by Luther and those after him, and how the celibate vocation is treated by contemporary churches.

    To be fair, modern churches across the denominational line would do well to actually elevate marriage (rather than serial monogamy) to its proper state.

  • Wood says:

    It’s “proper state” being the sacrament to which Our Lord raised matrimony, I’m sure you mean.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: MikeT 6:12p 7Sep2016

    Is it possible to do that without elevating celibacy still higher?

    There’s a quote I’ve seen floating around, generally attributed to Chrysostom, which seems to have been a reply to some folks arguing against too effusive praise of marriage on the grounds that this demeans celibacy. The gist of the reply is that since celibacy is nobler than marriage, however much marriage is praised is likewise praise of celibacy, because it must be nobler still.

    I’m not entirely certain I buy that. But it does seem to be the case that the more celibacy is demeaned the more marriage likewise is. Even in the initial “Reforms,” one of the major innovations accompanying the abandonment of and occasional outright hostility to celibacy is the diminishment of marriage. Luther, for instance, is recorded as having allowed polygamy. Henry VIII started his whole mess over divorce, and one of the major “reforms” was married priests. These days voluntary celibacy is regarded as absurd not only for, but by, the vast majority of people, and marriage is widely regarded as “just a piece of paper.” Do you think the two are unrelated?

    If you wish to “elevate marriage … to its proper state”, you must elevate celibacy still higher, because it IS higher.

  • Svar says:

    As Anti-Gnostic said, Hard Times makes Hard People, Hard People make Soft Times, Soft Times make Soft People, Soft People make Hard Times and it goes on and on.

    “Normal” changes very quickly with the environment. When it’s time to fight in the streets, you’ll be surprised at how many normal young men will decide it’s time to extinguish the traitors and hostiles from our midst.

    Trump is only the beginning. It only gets more interesting from here on out.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:

    When it’s time to fight in the streets, you’ll be surprised at how many normal young men will decide it’s time to extinguish the traitors and hostiles from our midst.

    I suppose there can be a kind of surprise or wonder at seeing the exact sorts of things one has expected come to pass. I remember a kind of wonder or surprise when the first product I designed worked, and when the first checks came in for a business I started, for example.

    But I think these days I am mostly immune to that sort of wonder at the perfectly predictable turning out just as predicted.

    As for the state of young men, it is true enough that soft men often seem to pine away for hardness. That is one of the more reliable ‘tells’ of soft men. I sometimes wonder what goes through their minds as they bleed out.

  • Step2 says:

    I sometimes wonder what goes through their minds as they bleed out.

    “I’m late.” Taken from the Mycroft Holmes line: “But that’s the deceased for you – late, in every sense of the word.”

  • Zippy says:

    CJ:
    Reading the phrase ‘equality of opportunity’ stated with reverence makes me want to dig out my eyes with a fork, lest any of the stupid make it past my defenses. I suppose in theory it’s utterance can represent the beginning of an understanding; but in practice it almost always signifies a door slamming shut on what might have been the beginning of an understanding.

  • donnie says:

    I must be missing something. What’s makes that phrase so inherently worthy of eyeball gauging? I get that the term has been co-opted by liberals to advance liberal ends, but at the end of the day wouldn’t equality of opportunity still be an essential feature of a just, non-liberal society?

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:
    No, equality of opportunity vs outcome is similar to positive rights vs negative rights; that is to say, the putative distinction is illusory and question begging. See for example:

    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/this-distinction-between-positive-and-negative-rights-isnt/

  • donnie says:

    In other words, equality of outcome vs equality of opportunity is question begging, since the dichotomy assumes a whole metaphysic of what certain people are entitled to from others, and then pretends that it hasn’t.

    But isn’t it still true that, as a matter of objective justice, people are entitled to have the same basic opportunities?

  • Aethelfrith says:

    “Objective,” and “entitled” are heavily question-begging terms.

    Short answer–no.

  • Zippy says:

    No. For example, a commoner doesn’t have the same basic opportunities as Prince Harry, and you and I don’t have the same basic opportunities as each other or as Donald Trump’s kids. Women and men don’t have the same basic opportunities as each other. Etc, etc.

    In general, equality of opportunity is not natural, just, or possible; and probably is not even a rationally coherent concept.

  • donnie says:

    Zippy – point well taken.

    Aethelfrith – if “objective” and “entitled” are heavily question-begging terms, how are we supposed to be able to talk about matters of justice?

    Certain things are objectively just or unjust, and human beings are entitled to just treatment by their fellow human beings, are they not?

  • GJ says:

    donnie:

    The problem is liberals using ‘justice’ when they actually mean some form of Equality. So Marxists have in mind Equality of wealth and factors of production, other liberals conceive of Equality of opportunity when pushing for quotas based on race or sex, and kids at college want Equal treatment (e.g. fat acceptance, because the obese should be treated Equally).

    This false equivalence of ‘justice’ with Equality is however not intentionally deceptive. Because of liberalism, liberals see it as obvious and axiomatic; Equality is part of the very air they breath. One consequence of this is that right-liberals are not spared (e.g. it is unjust for X group to not possess suffrage because Equality).

  • donnie says:

    So, assuming I understand this correctly, the problem is not a constant determination to give every person their rightful due. The problem is asserting that certain rights are owed to people when they are, in fact, not.

  • GJ says:

    The problem is asserting that certain rights are owed to people when they are, in fact, not.

    The proximate problem are such false explicit pronouncements, as well as their implicit form as assumptions.

    One result is the following refrain: ‘But social justice is merely justice. Why do you oppose justice?’

  • GJ says:

    So, assuming I understand this correctly, the problem is not a constant determination to give every person their rightful due.

    Yes. One of the ways good is perverted is through the misdirection of the instinct to ‘do good’. So justice becomes Equality, and love/charity becomes Tolerance.

  • Zippy says:

    That is the beauty of an impossible and incoherent concept of justice: it can never be satisfied, and the power of its permanent dissatisfaction can be directed at whatever targets you like.

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  • Svar says:

    “As for the state of young men, it is true enough that soft men often seem to pine away for hardness. That is one of the more reliable ‘tells’ of soft men. I sometimes wonder what goes through their minds as they bleed out.”

    You’ve got a point, My generation, your generation, your father’s generation (and my grandparent’s) are full of nothing but weak, soft men born without chests and guts.

    Of course, as things carry on like they are, we will either get harder or we’ll perish. I say we get harder or die trying. Hopefully when we slowly bleed out in the streets, thoughts of a greater nation and an even greater afterlife will pass through our minds. We’re going to go through a period of turmoil.

    The generation after me will be full of some of the hardest and most brutal men the world has ever seen. But what can we do, this is God’s judgement upon us for letting it get to this point.

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