Monday, July 31, 2017

Mailvox: the New Puritans

BA muses on the observably religious character of the SJWs:
Is it atheism per se or is it a mindset that may or may not include atheism? Or perhaps the old time heretics didn't quite have the nerve to go full bore atheist.  Specifically, I'm wondering if  the West’s, and in particular America’s, current political/cultural rift goes back to the Reformation and even earlier. Runciman discusses some on his Medieval Manichee.

 Adherents to the older Christian faiths accept and embrace the obligation of doing the right thing in both private and public life.  Live, stumble, sin, repent, pray, try through good works to be a better person because the final judgement is rendered at the end of life, so one had best be on the qui vive at all times.  One must also constantly examine  if what one is doing is right, and accept that all too often it will not be.

By contrast, for a certain kind of 16th and 17th century Protestant, grace, like perfect pitch, is a lucky attribute. One is born of the Elect or not, and nothing can change that.  For those with a guaranteed first class reservation to Heaven so long as they profess the faith, there is a whole lot of leeway in day to day life.  Better yet, there is a whole lot of self examination that one can dispense with.That sword of uncertainty simply does not hang over head.

 Which gets us to the modern secular True Believer.  If all is fore ordained and one’s place is secure (or non-existent, in the case of atheists), criticism (or destruction), the easier path, rather than creation, the harder, becomes the standard. Marching and emoting and punching Nazis is more fun than, say working the soup kitchen or helping building habitats for the poor or teaching the illiterate to read.*  Making errors (much less making up for errors) scarcely enters into the equation.

How  wonderful a faith is that?  No real effort involved, and if there are inconsistencies or temptations to act like a jerk, well, not really a problem because, you see – One is one of the Elect.   Too bad about the rest of you sinners.  Perhaps you should move down south with the rest of your heathen kind. Or just die.  And by the way, where’s my check?

Not surprisingly, for those few Elect who do create, the results are, shall we say, not sublime. And their jokes are terrible.

The roots for this mindset go deep and, no surprise, go deepest in states like Massachusetts. That it screws up the individual in small and society at large in any number of ways is obvious, but if one is a true believer, inconvenient facts are there to be ignored. They have to be. If acknowledged, they are shattering. I’ve seen it happen, as no doubt you have as well. Not pretty.  So rather than face up to failure, one must blame failure onto others.

Case in point - an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago gave a whole litany of LBJ’s 1960’s Great Society acts and then observed that every single one of the problems they were meant to address had all gotten worse.  Mea Culpa?  Of course not.  The writer blamed Nixon’s 1970’s law and order policies. Can’t have been anything else.  It was a question of Elect and Non-Elect.  The writer’s solution was to get Republicans to join with Democrats and double down the policies of old.

There is only one answer to the ongoing question so often asked by the Right of the Left: are they evil or are they stupid?

The answer, of course, is "yes
". As I mentioned the other day, all of the Left's ideologies, from Marxism to Gramscian cultural marxism to feminism to atheism to multiculturalism to neo-liberal globalism are nothing more than the various skinsuits worn by the Neo-Babelists as suits them at the time. These diverse and incoherent ideologies are nothing more than rationalizations encouraging the adherent to condemn and attack Christendom on whatever grounds happens to appeal most to him.

And Neo-Babelism is more than a superset of useful ideologies, it is a religion, indeed, one could go so far as to say that it is the first religion.