Creating souls in a laboratory

November 26, 2016 § 21 Comments

There is a struggle going on to define the soul of the United States of America, because modern people are under the impression that reality can be controlled by controlling the contents of the dictionary.  This is because modern people are nominalists; though like the dead people in Bruce Willis movies, they don’t know that they are nominalists.

The soul of a thing is, roughly speaking, what unifies it and animates it as the kind of thing that it is.

What we might call the actual soul of the United States of America is what actually unifies and animates the USA in reality as a real community.  This can’t be reduced to a formula or definition, but we can say things about it.  It involves primarily shared religion (fundamental beliefs about reality and our place in it) and the shared history and historical connections of particular people.

Communities are a kind of fractal of the family. Modern people have the conceit that we can destroy the family and recreate its benefits, but subject to supreme human reason and will rather than to a nature which places inherent limits on what we can choose.  So modernity is always trying to destroy natural family-fractal community and replace it with daycare-fractal community. Tending a garden and raising your children are out; food and children manufactured in a laboratory are in. If we control the owner’s manual and the design specifications we control the soul in the machine.

So there is a war on over the contents of the magic dictionary which defines the soul of the USA, and there are three main competing definitions: the proposition nation, economic nationalism, and ethnic nationalism.  The first of these has dominated recent history in the USA, but conflict with actual reality has produced a perceived need to revert to other magical definitions while still preserving unifying worship of the god Liberty.  We are by definition either a nation of anyone and everyone who professes fealty to the intoxicating horror of liberal principles, of liberal Walmart whales with citizenship papers united by our common love of Black Friday stampedes and murder over cheap consumer goods, or of disparate groups of inbred genetic stock who need to be segregated into corrals by an emperor where we can be free and equal among our own kind.

This battle is futile and self destructive, because any ‘soul’ which can be captured by a dictionary definition is not a living soul. There is just enough truth in the views of dictionary tyrants, of positivist reductionists, to make them dangerously stupid. It is true that communities tend to share religion (beliefs about the fundamental nature of reality and our place in it); it is true that communities tend to have common economic interests; it is true that mostly unforced intermarriage within communities produces a unique and particular ethnic and racial character.

But these are all natural products of community.  Treating them as the controllable parameters of a big civilization machine always leads to unspeakable horror.

§ 21 Responses to Creating souls in a laboratory

  • “This battle is futile and self destructive, because any ‘soul’ which can be captured by a dictionary definition is not a living soul.”

    But isn’t that what’s so amazing about America? Trying to pin down and manipulate our soul is much like trying to nail jello to the wall or herd cats. We sit here perched on the edge of a cliff perhaps, but for a few hundred years diligently refusing to be captured and contained. This is a country of rebels and misfits and as such, the more we are forced to comply, the more we defy.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Um, I think part of the point is that trying to pin down a soul is a bit like that for any real community. America is unique, of course, but so is Italy, France, Canada, Mexico, etc. I’m reminded of the scene in That Hideous Strength where one of the good guys is waxing eloquent about how special England is.

    Also, depending on what we want us to do, we’re not necessarily hard to manipulate. Along similar line, I am somewhat less that certain that “the more we are forced to comply, the more we defy;” the reverse would probably be nearer the truth, though I suppose that, again, it depends on what we’re being pressured to comply with.

  • It seems to me as if Italy, France, England are much easier to pin down and define. They have a national identity that revolves somewhat around race and culture. The French are decidedly French, Italians are Italians.

    Whereas my grandparents came from Italy, but we are not Italians, we are Americans. Cultural assimilation if you will, but what exactly is that assimilation all about? What are we assimilating? I know much of it revolves around faith, but also defiance, refugee status, joining the “proposition nation” and the idealism that gets built around the concept of becoming part of a new world.

    I know that faith and family are huge building blocks of American culture, that those things are a big part of what unites us as a country. As much as some people would like to dismantle that foundation, without it we lose that tiny thread of unity which our country has been built upon.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Is there a culture for which faith and family are not huge building blocks?

  • GJ says:

    We sit here perched on the edge of a cliff perhaps, but for a few hundred years diligently refusing to be captured and contained. This is a country of rebels and misfits and as such, the more we are forced to comply, the more we defy.

    Ah, the ‘special snowflake’ self-regard. It fools many, and in their hubris they think that they can play with fire without getting burned, such as mass immigration post 1965 or other attempts to manipulate the soul of the nation.

  • “Ah, the ‘special snowflake’ self-regard.”

    Perhaps, but what kind of a lemming doesn’t believe in the superiority of America? This is where we live, work, and are blessed, but then we run about afraid to declare ourselves special snowflakes as if all countries are somehow equal?

    So, call me crazy but I think my husband is vastly superior, my grandchildren are cuter than any others, and my country is the best place in the world to live. Whether that worldview is technically correct or not, it is still a perception most likely to bring about the best fruit. We invest and make manifest in the world what we value the most.

  • TomD says:

    The distinction is that just because you think those things doesn’t mean (and shouldn’t mean) that you want all husbands to be yours, all babies to be your grandchildren, and all countries to be your country.

  • Hrodgar says:

    If your grandchildren were all hideously deformed monstrosities, would you stop loving them? Perhaps the best reason to love your country, or your husband, or your grandkids, is simply because they are yours, given you by God, and you ought to love them.

  • TomD says:

    I think that’s the important distinction – it’s not that we love the most superior man, which is why our husband is the most superior man; it’s that we love whom we have been given (even if at a point in time there was a choice), whether or not they are superior, in fact despite that they are inferior.

    We should love America all the more because of how horribly injured she is, not pretend that the injuries don’t exist or are actually great goods.

  • […] What we might call the actual soul of the United States of America is what actually unifies and animates the USA in reality as a real community. This can’t be reduced to a formula or definition, but we can say things about it. It involves primarily shared religion (fundamental beliefs about reality and our place in it) and the shared history and historical connections of particular people. […]

  • […] Creating souls in a laboratory. Related: Being a right-liberal. […]

  • PB says:

    Somewhat off-topic but relevant to the issue of attempts at artificial community creation- The Tradinistas remind me of Zippy’s liberal black hole analogy. These Catholic pinko grad students want to escape from liberalism (good) but fail to do so, instead landing in the alt-left, trapped by anti-gravity jack boots (or maybe anti-gravity surplus Soviet boots).

  • Mike T says:

    Whereas my grandparents came from Italy, but we are not Italians, we are Americans. Cultural assimilation if you will, but what exactly is that assimilation all about? What are we assimilating? I know much of it revolves around faith, but also defiance, refugee status, joining the “proposition nation” and the idealism that gets built around the concept of becoming part of a new world.

    When America was founded, the country was overwhelmingly descended from the British aisles with some areas such as parts of Pennsylvania with a large non-British aisle minority. Even now, the majority of white America is more culturally in that vein than it is other things in terms of habits, language and political culture. (A lot of my ancestry is Dutch, Danish and French, but in the end you’re really no more “Italian” than I am any of those)

    At its core, America is a white nation, founded with a heavy Anglo-Saxon/Scotch-Irish core, with influence from across Europe. That just is what we are. You cannot found a nation on a theory of politics, you can only direct the development of a nation through a theory of politics.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Acculturation disguises itself as “assimilation” to a greater and greater degree as the host society becomes more ‘diverse.’

  • I wonder how many Catholics (other than ABS) identify, initially and primarily, as a Catholic who was born in these United States (but a purchased man) whose Capitol is Rome.

    The American Creed is antithetical to the Nicene Creed and even though one can, conceivably, be both a Catholic and an American, one Creed will devour the other; it is ineluctable

  • TomD says:

    “I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first” would probably sum up most Catholics, ones that believe the Faith.

    I wonder if the term “white” even existed as it does now before the Victorian era attempt to combine the British into one nationality instead of various different ethnicities. I feel we’ve devolved into a “right makes white” and those who argue for a “white nation” consider anyone who agrees with them to be “white.”

  • Terry Morris says:

    Well, it’s undeniable that Anerica was once a predominately white nation. As to “white makes right,” I will only say that ethnic and cultural diversity hasn’t, in any sense, improved our situation. Multiculturalism is suicidal, best I can tell.

  • Mike T says:

    I feel we’ve devolved into a “right makes white” and those who argue for a “white nation” consider anyone who agrees with them to be “white.”

    You may feel that way, but your argument would get you laughed out of any alt-right or white nationalist site. I can assure you, neither group has a concept of “honorary white.”

    Part of the reason this is so hard for a lot of people to accept is that the very notion that one can simply will oneself to be a full member of a totally alien people is fundamentally liberal. A Chinese man will never be a true part of an Arab nation because he is literally alien to them down to his racial makeup. Simply walking down the street will drive home the point “though he speaks Arabic, practices our abrahamic faith and dresses like us, he is still not related to us.”

    All of the hand waving won’t get around facts like this. Even when people point to Europe, like in France the Corsicans and Brettons would never say they are “French” in the sense that they are actually part of the French nation rather than the French state. The French state is a polity that exists in a particular place, with a particular jurisdiction and claim of authority over particular peoples. The French nation is the majority nation within that state and would continue to be French if they all fled to a distant Earth-like planet light years away. (Or another example, if Brazil and Japan swapped land, the Japanese would continue to be Japanese in South America and the Brazilians would not become Japanese by taking over the Japanese home islands)

  • Multiculturalism and mass immigration succors the state as both increase chaos and the victims of chaos demand more from things from the state.

    One can’t deny mass immigration can be an effective state-succoring strategy.

    O, sure, Merky is in trouble but she wouldn’t be if she had just iced a few Mahometans now and then to keep the low man feeling happy and protected.

  • Mike T says:

    That is all true, ABS, but Merkel is fast approaching a point where the people need not submit to her rule. There are plenty of evil leaders in Germany’s history who were owed obedience. She is almost certainly unique in that she is making war on her own people unjustly through mass migration. Effectively electing a people to literally replace the German nation within its own territory and render it a minority or on the trash heap of history. That is an interesting form of tyranny as even though no overt, gravely wicked particular means might be required to effect it, the long game is quite literally to utterly destroy the common good for the German nation. Not harm it, but end it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Creating souls in a laboratory at Zippy Catholic.

meta

%d bloggers like this: