April 25, 2017 § 58 Comments
What unifies liberals is certainly not practical consensus over what policies to pursue. Liberals have been killing each other for centuries in violent disputation over which authoritative policies do and do not “authentically” liberate, who is and is not the oppressor, etc.
When it comes to what policies do and do not authentically liberate, the New York Times in the Current Year[tm] disagrees vehemently with the New York Times of just decades ago.
What unifies liberals is commitment to liberalism: to the idea that the exercise of political authority is justified inasmuch as it pursues liberty, and (concomitantly) equality of rights among the liberated.
I understand reluctance to assert (or appear to assert) a straw man. But it is no straw man to observe that in fact liberalism is rationally incoherent, all the way down — with all that that incoherence implies (e.g. weaponized principle of explosion) as a political ideology situated in particular, real, social contexts.
Liberalism attempts to make a unifying principle out of ruthlessly enforced disunity. If you won’t agree to be my brother, I will crack your skull.
April 13, 2017 § 50 Comments
Saying that sexual desire is good in itself is like saying that hunger is good in itself. That is, it isn’t even really true at all.
Hunger is good only inasmuch as it proposes to man the genuine goods of eating to be pursued in our fallen condition: preservation of life, growth, nutrition, and the social goods of breaking bread together or of men hunting or plowing as brothers, in honor. As a sense of depravation or craving, hunger is often aimed at disordered ends and is a prison for the incontinent. Thus we have the vice of gluttony.
Sexual desire likewise is only good inasmuch as it proposes to man the real goods of marriage: of mutual love between spouses and the creation of new life from the physical expression of that love. As a sense of depravation or craving, sexual desire is often aimed at disordered ends and is a prison for the incontinent. Thus we have the vice of lust.
The main difference between hunger and sexual desire is that a man can’t live without eating. Sexual desire though is not going to kill you.
The heroes, architects, and analysts of the secular ‘morally neutral’ manosphere see the desolation wrought by modernity, and propose a great feast on stones and dust. What shall we eat, if not the stones and dust that surround us? What shall we drink if not the plentiful seawater and gasoline?
(Originally posted as a comment here.)
April 3, 2017 § 24 Comments
Man’s true nature is that he is a creation of God, but many superficial thinkers leverage the “human nature” bit as if to say “man understood apart from the fact that he is a creature made by God”.
We can talk coherently about natural law as something which arises from man’s nature. But we can’t talk coherently about man or his nature as if they were wholly independent things which just sprang into existence without God. The “things which sprang into existence without God” part is contrary to man’s actual nature: it is contrary to the sort of thing that man actually is in fact. It is a non-human theory of man.
More succinctly, theology is the queen of the sciences. Anti-realist modernism rests on non-theological theories of various parts of reality: on non-reality theories of reality.
Liberalism in particular rests on an anti-anthropology all the way down, starting with its attempt to develop a political doctrine (an understanding of authority) while prescinding from religious questions.
Other non-liberal political doctrines might theoretically be developed from the same starting point, but would in the end be just as wrong: would be non-authority theories of authority.
And we all know the consequences of embracing a contradiction.
April 2, 2017 § 29 Comments
Political theory on first brush seems to involve discussion of ideas as opposed to persons. It is natural to leap to the conclusion that when we are talking about politics (while refraining from psychoanalysis), the objects of our discourse are ideas.
But this is not the case, since political liberalism is not merely an idea. Ideas are not ontic reality: they are a means by which we understand ontic reality. Political liberalism is not a mere idea, but a very real force which operates in society: a pervasive influence as inescapable, for individuals and small communities, as gravity. Political liberalism is a doctrine with vast numbers of adherents, riddled with factions and intramural conflicts: like a religion but with the nature of authority, as opposed to the nature of God and reality, as its primary subject matter.
Liberalism ostensibly prescinds from controversies of religion and applies itself to politics. It is a religion-of-authority rather than a religion-of-God: a Godless deontology and social being, with authority as its locus, in a post-Nietzchean world wherein for practical purposes God is dead. Its central subject matter is the very thing the legitimacy of which it incoherently and inconsistently denies: the authority which some men naturally and unavoidably possess and exercise over other men.
Liberalism therefore transcends – is an ontic reality more than – a mere idea. Liberalism is not reducible to the idiosyncracies, notions, unexamined assumptions, or cultural prejudices of individual liberals or groups of liberals, nor is it reducible to some mere abstraction or idea.
Liberalism is not reducible to an aggregate of liberals any more than you, dear reader, are reducible to an aggregate of mindless atoms. Liberals themselves are of course human beings with liberal commitments, just as (for example) Mohammedans are human beings with Islamic commitments. Persons are distinct from the doctrines to which they are more or less committed and the social matter which incarnates those doctrines to form the body and soul of a religion or other social entity.
Because liberalism is so pervasive it is naturally the case that many liberals happen to be generally well adjusted ordinary human beings. For that matter, some groups of liberals are clearly more well adjusted than others. This is true for social realities other than liberalism too, e.g. the religion of Mohammed. As with Islam the more well adjusted groups tend to be those who take the central doctrines rather less seriously: less monotheistically, if you will.
Or, to invoke the proper object of liberal doctrine, less monoauthoritatively. Through the conceit that liberalism can politely remain merely one political author in a diverse pantheon of authorities, cafeteria liberals ensure that no defeat can permanently vanquish liberalism: it always has a welcome home and can rise again, emerge from its impregnable keep in the central holy of holies, to ravage the plains, mountains, and streams of real life.
Mercy follows from truth, always. To observe that despite sometime appearances liberalism is a despicable horror is not to accuse some particular group among Earth’s billions of liberals of anything in particular, other than commitment to something they at best don’t really understand. I have no special insight into the personal culpabilities of particular people; in fact I actively desire to avoid that particular kind of knowledge. Whether and to what extent folks accept the truth and what they do in response to it is up to them. Knowledge and understanding can sometimes feel like a terrible blow, to be sure.
But it is better – ultimately – to really know and understand the object of your loyalties, than to not know.
March 31, 2017 § 3 Comments
March 28, 2017 § 11 Comments
Folks who live in liberal societies tend to see having a large number of options as a good thing. The basic idea is that government should mind its own business and allow subjects to live and let live: should do as little as possible to ensure that the rights of free and equal individuals are enforced, and beyond that should “permit” individuals to evaluate for themselves which options they think are substantively good.
This is of course an incoherent mess prone to producing mass slaughter and other degeneracy when it crashes into reality: a doctrinal mashup of contradictory nonsense defended by the modern political monoparty with motte-and-bailey equivocation. A liberal sovereign delegitimizes his own authority, and the authority of his peoples’ traditions to protect and enforce what is substantively good, and adopts a philosophy of quantitatively maximizing choice independent of whether those choices are or are not substantively good. In practice this takes all of the things people really care about off the table, since the things people care about most tend to be controversial and often controverted. What remains is the pervasive presence of disgusting and dehumanizing options.
Liberalism has to abolish politics, has to produce a vast homogeneous bureaucratized managed cafeteria of degenerate, trivial, dehumanizing troughs of slop into which atomized autonomous free and equal human animals can put their snouts.
March 28, 2017 § 37 Comments
Liberalism – making freedom a political priority – is, at bottom, rationally incoherent. But it is easy to see how folks committed to it might come to see having more options – independent of whether those options are or are not of any objective value – as something to be encouraged and pursued. Doctrine abstracted and analyzed in itself is one thing. As an active social force in a population of real people it is another. Under liberalism authority and tradition come to be (selectively) seen as something to be overcome, so the number of available options tends to proliferate in direct proportion to the amoral trivial banality of those options. You can live in any kind of city you want as long as it sports modern architecture, Starbucks, gay pride parades, and its own vibrant Little Somalia.
Against my better judgment I got into a combox back and forth with a commenter on donalgrame about whether modern men have a harder time pursuing the good in marriage and family than modern women: whether women, objectively speaking, have better options available than men when it comes to pursuing the good in sex and marriage. I’ve noted before that modern people can get as much sexual stimulation as they want: what has become increasingly difficult is pursuing the good in sex and marriage, not pursuing ultimately self-destructive and unsatisfactory hedonism.
One of the things that constantly comes up is that, because men and women are different, the kind of immoral sexual stimulation available to women differs from the kind of immoral sexual stimulation available to men. Sure, men can immerse themselves in pornography and masturbation all they want, and can even go to a strip bar or hire a hooker. But the average woman has greater empowerment to fornicate specifically than the average man, because in modern hookup culture 80% of the women are fornicating with 20% of the men.
It follows (!) that men have a harder time pursuing the good in sex and marriage than women.
But at the end of the day, this is like arguing that meth heads have it so much better than heroin addicts. Modernity does indeed produce a marketplace of all sorts of degenerate choices; but anyone who can’t see that making good choices has become harder for everyone is living under a rock.