Friday, February 2, 2007

Turning back the clock, or at least pressing snooze a few times

Ever since I stumbled across his extraordinary blog a couple of weeks ago, I've been meaning to link to one or another of Gagdad Bob's frequently mind-expanding daily posts. Today Bob gives me the opportunity by quoting himself in a way apropos of my widely-acclaimed post of yesterday and Mapmaster's characteristically perspicacious post of a few days ago.

Scratch a leftist, and he will hire John Edwards and sue you. But scratch a little deeper, and what will you find? In a previous post entitled Political Seance, I wrote that:

[...]

"Virtually all modern ideologies, movements and philosophies are somehow aimed at addressing this problem of alienation, of recapturing the broken unity of the world. Communism, nazism, European fascism, the beat movement, the hippie movement, the free love movement, the environmental movement, the new age movement -- all are futile attempts to turn back the clock and return to a mystical union with the 'volk,' with nature, with the proletariat, with the instincts. You can see this phenomenon in today's leftists, who clearly long for the 'magical' 1960's, which represented a high water mark for a resurgence of romantic merger with the group, free expression of the primitive, and idealized notions of recreating heaven on earth....

"We can see how contemporary liberalism fits the bill as a bogus cure for modern alienation. For example, multiculturalism devalues the concept of the individual in favor of the ethnic group, while socialism in all its forms favors the large and powerful mommy state that unites us all.... Leftists are uncomfortable with the painful idea of competition, but replace it with the notion of individual expressiveness. Everyone's natural impulses are beautiful, and we must not judge them, much less try to elevate them. Deconstruction throws all objective meaning into question, so no one has to have the disappointing experience of being wrong or denied tenure, no matter how stupid one's ideas. The burden of personal responsibility is attenuated, because one's being is determined by accidental factors such as race, class and gender, not one's owns values, decisions and actions. Skillful knowledge acquired by intense effort (or just being born smarter) is replaced by an obnoxious, hypertrophied adolescent skepticism that knows only how to question but not to learn. It is grounded in a sort of bovine materialism that is not the realm of answers, but the graveyard of meaningful questions. The primitive is idealized, because it is within everyone's reach."
Do yourself a favour and check out OneCosmos. Every day it's chock full of delightful puns, neologisms, integrations of disparate threads, and definitions, from "bleeding-mind conservative" to "totolerantarianism". It's like a metaphysical Belmont Club.

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