July 24, 2018

The Cradle of Mind

Timothy Birdnow

In the course of discussing the removal of the Kipling poem "If" from a mural at Manchester University, Carl R. Trueman strikes at the heart of postmodern liberalism.

From First Things:

"That takes us to the heart of the problem. Postcolonial theory, for all its jargon, is built upon simplistic binaries: white versus black, male versus female, straight versus queer, the West versus the Rest. And it’s a zero-sum game: If somebody is poor or oppressed, then the culprit just has to be that person who is rich or free. Postcolonial critique can be culled from a Wikipedia entry, grasped in an instant, and deployed with ease through the medium of the moment: Twitter, with its truncation of all intelligent discourse.

Postcolonial theory offers a vision of the world that has no more moral sophistication than the typical B-movie Western from the 1950s, where the goodies and baddies were identifiable by the color of their hats. It is the perfect ideology for the imperialist parvenus of our culture of virtuous victimhood, who want to feel superior without the bother of having to respect the views of others, and who want to appear savvy without the intellectual effort of understanding their opponents. It is both intellectually and morally lazy, but its advocates seem to be getting away with it. Then again, bullies typically do—whether we are talking of the old imperialists with pith helmets and handlebar mustaches, or the new ones with tattoos and hashtags. The irony, of course, is that handling the moral ambiguities of life, accepting that others might hold views different from one’s own, and having the humility to acknowledge that maybe this generation does not have a monopoly on wisdom, were traditionally parts of growing up and of becoming educated, in the true sense of the word. We need to recover that notion of education, if we are not to become a nation of permanently outraged adolescents. That is why it is so worrying to see this war against education unfolding on university campuses. If they enshrine permanent adolescence, then unless we raise the voting age to 65, we are in serious trouble. "

End excerpt.

He's right, and he echoes Saul Alinsky's admonition to radicals for societal change:

"Before men can act an issue must be polarized. Men will act when they are convinced their cause is 100 percent on the side of the angels and that the opposition are 100 percent on the side of the devil."

End quote.

And so there can be no admission that an opponent is a decent person in any way, because they have to demonize the opposition to fire up the mob. Your side is the side of love; theirs the side of evil. It is a morality play and that is exactly how liberals frame any issue.

So when someone calls for stricter border enforcement there is no acceptable argument. You can point out that America cannot sustain the influx, that the poor in the U.S. are being hurt, that the temptation leads people to take perilous journeys that end with rapes and murders, what have you, and these arguments will fall on deaf ears. You are racist and that is that. As Jeb Bush said, "immigration" is an "act of love" and so what does that make the opponent of any sort of immigration, even when it is illegal, even when it is with malice?

Or take the gay marriage issue. There are many, many arguments against it, from tradition, from societal good (the family), from the fact that there is an interest in preventing the many and varied health problems associated with homosexual activity and that these will metastasize if you normalize these relationships, etc. But the left will suffer none of it; you are a homophobe, and that is that.

It truly is an infantilistic worldview, one which starts with the universal childlike "I want, I want" and no amount of reason will sway. Those who won't give you what you want are mean stupid poopeyheads. That is the reasoning albeit put it a more eloquent form. Any attempt at discussion leads to fingers in ears and "I can't hear you la la la la" in response.

It is anti-rationalism. Students of the 19th century could see this coming, with the rise of the Romantic era thinking which emphasized emotion and feeling over thought. Ultimately human emotion is governed by the older regions of the brain, the more animal parts of our nature. Is it any wonder we see rising barbarism across the country? We have not just failed to develop rational thought (a trait that requires laborious effort) but we have actively worked to suppress it as somehow "unnatural" and oppressive.

When I was in college I had several classes with precisely that as the theme; the idea that we were ignoring and oppressing our emotional side and that this was bad. This was back in the mid '80's, I might add, at a Catholic university. Well, we suppress our emotional side because it is there that evil lurks - the fruits of Original Sin, the dark animal nature. OF COURSE we suppress that. Man is a killer, a vicious animal that would slay his own mother if it suited him. The whole point of education is to teach restraint, to teach the value of love, of self-control, of deferred gratification. To cage the beast. Man is a natural beast, and when he suppresses his mind he reverts to the jungle.

Which is exactly what we see in places like Chicago, or Baltimore, or San Francisco/ People who were never taught to restrain their inner emotions run wild, murdering, raping, stealing, bearing numerous children who will then become the next generation of animals. And I do in fact use that term because an animal is a creature that is motivated by emotions and self-desires and not restrained by reason or training or morality. They may have a human soul and spirit that was given them by God, but they have not tended or nurtured that spirit. The Bible says that when Adam and Eve sinned they died. Why? Because the inborn restraints on animal passion, the closeness with God which told them right from wrong, died and they became simple animals. Yes, smarter than simple animals, perhaps, but animals nonetheless. That is the message of Christianity, that Jesus came to heal the wound between Man and God and thus allow the Divine to reassert authority over human behavior and human passions.

Liberalism has labored to sever that chord again, to return us to the bad old days of vile passions ruling our nature. Hatred, fear, anger, jealousy, pride. resentment, lust, all are things that are natural to us. It was by education and our spiritual renewal that we found the path out of this. Oh, not perfectly by any stretch; Mankind was still afflicted with the ancient animal drives and desires, but we were given the tools to restrain them if we so chose. The Liberal Movement chose not to restrain them, preferring to "live authentically" and be "in a state of nature". Well, Nature is sharp of claw and bloody of tooth and the end result has been a return to barbarism.

It's all because too many of our fellow citizens have never grown up. They were seduced by a lie, a lie told to them by recruiters who masqueraded as teachers, as journalists, as artists. It is why art has become so base and ugly. It's why young people can barely read or write, or do math. It's why politics has become so virulent, so angry and disgusting and all about what you can take from your neighbor. These are the inevitable fruits of the Natural Man.

Mankind is the apex predator on Earth, but many an apex predator has come and gone here. Without restraint, without self control and rationality we will follow the other apex predators into fossilhood. And likely we will do it to ourselves.

Konstantine Tsiolkovsky, the father of rocketry, famously stated:

"A planet is the cradle of mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever." and it has been cited by numerous writers (such as Arthur C. Clark_ as "Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever". This is a motto that should inform our modern age, for our modern age is desperately trying to climb back into that cradle, nay, back into the womb. It's time we leave womb and cradle behind and grow into the mature creatures God intended us to be.

In other words Grow UP LIberals!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:05 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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