Monday, August 07, 2006

Disneyland for the Devil

July 15

Aristotle from his "On Metaphysics(Book IV)"
"... for not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education. "

Our tradition of Western Civilization has come down to us from Homer to Thales through Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Marcus Aurellius to Augustine, Aquinas & down through the Enlightenment with Montaigne, Locke and the Founders, and many, many more.

It was in the time of the Enlightenment, that the fruit of Western Civilization, Liberal Learning, that learning necessary for a free soul, began to split in two different directions. One branch led from John Locke to Adam Smith and the American Founders, with their strong reliance on Virtue and it's requirement of Free Will. The other branch went through Descartes, Rousseau, and the French Philosophes with their ultimate rejection of Virtue and Free Will.

This last branch settled on what would become determinism, by misapplying "Reason", making it synonymous with the new so called Scientific Method. They looked at all areas of human thought, actions & behavior from the Watchmaker's perspective so popular at that time, and assumed to themselves the ability to measure all that was worth measuring; and if it couldn't be measured, then surely it must not either really exist, or else must be rather unimportant. Top of their list of Human qualities to be investigated, measured and tagged, was Free Will and the Soul.

This new flavor of Liberal thinking, looked at Free Will very closely, but when they couldn't see how it ticked, they concluded that it must not really exist at all. They concluded that since there is no measurable Free Will, then what must really be happening when people "thought" they were making a choice of their own Free Will, was only the end result of a series of complicated cause and effect reactions to environmental factors, which was what really determined human behavior. From this they determined that if that was the case, then it must be that if you could only find the proper series of actions, triggers or levers to throw, then ipso facto, you would be able to produce more desirable outcomes in people’s behavior - outcomes could be not only caused, but determined. In other words, if you properly wound the clock, it would tick smoothly along and tell the time ever so smoothly, as long as some conscientious person stayed on hand to keep winding it up.

This notion is central to all that has become leftist thought, and it is what divorced it from the long train of Liberal Thinking that painstakingly came down to us through Western Civilization, and has put it in direct opposition to all that stands at the foundation of not only Western Civilization, but Civilization itself.

Their deterministic concept makes ANY statement of ethical Good or Evil, necessarily into a massive threat to ALL of their beliefs. It also, I would argue, destroys the ability to engage in truly critical thinking & replaces the very idea of decisions (choice) with desirable and expected outcomes. It is also unfortunately THE perfect environment for Evil (of the secular or religious variety) to flourish and to grow & grow & grow.

If any "Bad" actions are by their nature only the result of a large chain of disruptive ripples brought about by society, which Causes people to behave and react in unproductive manners, then there are no bad people, there is no Evil, there is only those who have been mis-directed by society. With that being the case, Evil can stand up in broad daylight, practice it's evil deeds, and all the while claim it's fully justified by the long chain of events that made it act as it does. There is no responsibility. There is also no recognition. Perfectly decent minded people who wouldn't dream of doing Bad things (Of course since there is no Bad, this works out well), merely do what is necessary to help accomplish the collective nudging needed to bring about the perfect lockstep tick-tocking of the ideal society.

This is Disneyland for the Devil, so to speak.

It has been from this line of reasoning that has flowed torrents of people determined to fix all those other people unaware of these truths, so that their world would tick along as those in the know, thought it should, the do-gooder types. These were the people who became the Socialists, renamed themselves to the Progressives when people figured out what Socialists were, then swiped the name 'Liberals' when people figured out what the Progressives were, and who are now trying to recast themselves as Progressives again (what, after all, is in a name).

In their view, all that is required for society to be idyllic is corrective nudging by intellectuals (who are the only ones who can be expected to fully grasp such a long & complicated chain of actions & reactions, and thus best determine how to neutralize them) through governmental power, guiding the application of more money and coercive action. This also required progressively, slowly, step by step, removing those pesky dead white guys of Western Civilization with their ideas of right and wrong, free will & souls; from the educational system, and replacing them with less demanding works, words, phrases & lessons. And forget about competitions! Those must go too, the disruptive ripples that THAT can cause! All very counter productive. In fact, those dead white guys & competitors are the ONLY ones who can properly be called Bad.

Leftists truly believe that if they can just accomplish this, this wiping of Western Civilization off from the face of Western Civilization, then soon, we’ll have a very nicey-nice environment where everybody is taken care of, and where there is no need for struggle, everybody will be made calm and happy - just wind them up, set them correctly, and viola – Utopia!

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