Thursday, June 27, 2013

Romantic Love's Corrosion

The marriage, fertility, and demographic crises plaguing the West are all to varying degrees attributable to a fabrication.  To be specific, not unlike social science and separation of powers, enduring romantic love isn't.  The epidemic of divorce (the first of our three aforementioned crises) is caused by a few factors, but Nydwracu hits the nail on the head - gay marriage ain't one of 'em.

Contemporary dating is a bit of a meat market in the West.  And the women riding Roissy in their 20s only to live with cats in their 40s in beyond had the misfortune to have been born into a culture infused with the values of Vronsky instead of those of Levin.  Yes, tender reader, there was a bit more to Tolstoy's masterwork than the city/country dichotomy.

Why was Levin shunned?  Put differently for the tender reader who suffered the abomination of having read The Catcher in the Rye instead of Anna Karenina in high school: why these days are the values of restraint, prudence, humility, discipline, and faith less valued than even the Crown, which so sadly says so very much?  The causes of our marriage crisis are certainly many, arguably complex, but definitely not homosexual.  There's perhaps nothing so misunderstood as the arranged marriage.

Leftism is the fluoroantimonic acid to society's organic matter, destroying the bonds that ensure peaceful, orderly, and civilized society.  Like many outdated vestiges of the West's bygone era, arranged marriage is both a symptom and a cause of robust social bonds, which form the very fabrics of sound cultures and harmonious societies.  Specifically, monogamy channels the sexual energies of beta males in a productive manner.  Given that beta males tend to do pretty neat stuff like defend society, invent technologies, and work hard, it's a decent idea to ensure the channeling of said energies.  The ideal of monogamy guarantees men sexual partners and women financial support and material protection and, given that throughout human history 80% of females and 40% of males reproduced, common sense suggests this is a good deal for society to enforce generally.

Assuming a bond must be forged, the higher the share of those individuals who will be impacted by the bond approving of it, the more likely the bond will cultivate communal goodwill, ensure collective stability, and, not least of all, endure.  Indeed, the breakdown of long-term arrangements is far from limited to marriage.  I fear societal corrosion will compound as agents of the spirit of rebellion carry on towards the end Cathars, Lollards, and Roundheads have so inadvertently worked towards, which is the degradation of cohesive society into debased, atomistic, commoditized social decay.  And legal gay marriage has got nothing on the Condolamentum.

In any case, the trust I place in Plato to deliver instructive insight when contending with the spirit of rebellion is justified once more.

Though we have seen that romanic love isn't enduring, it's not that Platonic love is inherently so - such that one may be instructed as to where/how to find it.  Instead, tender reader, it's that Platonic love is the offspring of belief and discipline; it can be acquired not by action but through experience.  We must, after all, imagine Sisyphus happy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Hearts of Frenchmen

Everyone's yapping about this NSA boondoggle of a jobs program.  Thanks to Snowden, Progressives have a new and quite improved tampon for their ever-intensifying menstruations; it's called PRISM.

The Judge has decided to chime in.

Andrew Napolitano is that rare bird in America's cesspool of a political arena that appears to possess sufficient common sense, intuition, and integrity to have found his way to the libertarian conservatism of the Old Right early in his life.  And he admirably sticks to these principles, shining quite brightly when framing his Old Right perspective in the populist common sense characterized most aptly by Andrew Jackson's slaying of the many headed monster.

Please consider, tender reader, how many heads our current monster possesses before ascribing much success to Old Hickory's valiant effort.  In fact, as Ron Paul supporters can surely attest, we face more multi-headed monsters today than Old Hickory faced heads!

That might makes right does not preclude the efficacy of whining necessarily.  But let us be clear: it depends upon your objective, but not only upon your objective.  Indeed, the complaining of a certain Texas Congressman awakened thousands of young minds to such heresies as Austrian Economics and states' rights.  Nonetheless, the more intuitive DailyPaul zealots will come to know a deep and foreboding darkness upon realizing that no matter how consistent their beliefs, logical their arguments, or benevolent their motives, the Old Right is dead.  Deader than a door nail.

Take heart, tender reader, for no matter how monstrously profligate, absurdly incompetent, and profoundly misguided our government becomes, the restoration of stable, orderly, and worthy government depends not upon the consent of the people at all.  Oh, no!  And were it not for this single blessing, there could be no hope for better days.  Human agency is certainly not by which constitutions are formed - and they are through which they are formed only as His instrument.

Americans, please note that constitutions are those collections of social institutions, religious dogmas, personal prejudices, corporate privileges, spiritual beliefs, and cultural traditions that limit, extend, direct, and impact in myriad unseen manners the exercise of power in society.  Your Constitution was worthless long before your grandfather was born, but your constitution prospers.

The miracle of sovereignty is divine and the formation of sovereign power is an effect of Him.  We men only participate in His designs.  This participation is worthwhile to the extent that one acts in an orderly manner, since it is only by sufficiently limiting the corrosive effects of disorder that we may hope to accelerate the restoration of true governance.

Basic common sense informs that those fundamental laws truly governing temporal societies may not be articulated without degrading their integrity to a degree.  Similarly, truth cannot be spoken to mortal power without a modification in the distribution of temporal power itself.  Sophists have long sought to claim that there is power in truth, but actually there is virtually none.  Power is sooner the master of truth than its servant, which is why the wise man says little.

In any case, back to the Judge's take on the USG's latest jobs program.  Again, Andrew's a straight shooter, a good man.  Andrew's views on Constitutional matters are sound enough that were limits to American governmental power enforced by those ink blots intended to do so by being placed on paper in the 18th century, he could plausibly even today be writing for the majority as Chief Justice of SCOTUS instead of whining for the minority as chief legal polemicist on Fox.

Alas, we live in a world where men - not ink blots - rule.

Gentlemen, the Salic Law is written not upon paper but upon the hearts of Frenchmen.  Take notice.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wisdom's Grief

Grief - deep, real, basic sadness.  A pain in my stomach for the emptiness of thought.  A longing for anything of meaning.  There are no words.  There is nothing - nothing rational.  Truth, meaning, logic, purpose - all lies I wish to believe with all my heart but can't - no matter how heavy the pit in my stomach weighs.  There is nothing; just the next task, meal, chore - no endeavor truly worthy of conviction.  The pit in my stomach sinks still further, heavier, deeper; the more I ponder the cause of my affliction, the more acute my pain.  Emptiness abounds.  There is nothing.

King Shlomo:
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Mary in "Pride and Prejudice" states:
"Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us."
If we agree with Mary - that vanity is really about what we hope/think others do/should believe of us, then it's challenging to understand why there should be much grief in wisdom.  Yes, pride is felt by fulfilling expectations of ourselves, but these expectations are shaped by others in myriad ways both directly and indirectly, rendering pride a fundamentally social experience.  In fact, not only would man not have expectations of himself were he not to socialize with others, but he would be incapable of taking pride in anything were he not a social being.

Plus, Mary does not recognize that pride is a derivative of vanity, since one cannot feel proud of his work without first thinking that he is capable of anything worthy of pride, which is, of course, absurd given that all is fleeting and man is nothing.  Just as the wise man believes himself foolish, so too does the vain man believe himself proud.  Basically, the wise man's self-perceived foolishness is his wisdom just as the vain man's self-percieved pride is his vanity.

The wise man appears to himself as vain, but to his Creator he appears less vain than most.  Now, tender reader, we see yet another instance in which wisdom contains nothing but grief.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Turkey Digests Freedom

The people People of Turkey are protesting, fighting for their sweet freedoms and precious democracy.  The BBC provides the sobering testimony of a musician by the name of Gokhan Aya:
The struggle to preserve this park has become symbolic for people's desperate desire to have their voices heard. Every day we are getting further away from democracy and closer to autocracy with a prime minister who acts like a sultan. 
We are absolutely tired of shopping malls and turning of green areas and historic monuments into temples of commercialism. There's been a continuous attack on our lifestyle, our beliefs and freedoms and we are now reaching a turning point. 
Mr Erdogan has often been saying that he is not backing down. But this time I think people won't back down either.
For Gokhan, an early bloomer in Turkey's freedom-fighting business, the preservation of a park may once have served been the goal of this protest, but that excuse struggle is now only symbolic.  But symbols are indicative of goals - not goals themselves.  Now Gokhan protests because his prime minister acts like a sultan, which is not unlike punching your friend in the nose to reduce the pain he feels in his shin where the third member of your party just kicked him.  A goal, in other words, reflects an incentive - not a disincentive.

What, then, is the goal of this marvelous protest?  Gokhan continues:
The only exciting thing for me has been the unity among people from different social and religious backgrounds. This united front wasn't organised by anyone and it's great to see such solidarity between all parts of society.
Now, this is a matter of democracy and freedom and I hope this government comes out of its state of denial before there is more trouble.
Surely nobody desires more trouble!  Surely!  Unless, of course, you desire a bit of unity with other people - in which case all bets are off until the government comes out of its state of denial.  Denial of what, the curious reader inquires.  Since neither the BBC nor Gokhan clarified, perhaps Rousseau can shed a bit of light on this most delicate matter:
Liberty is a food easy to eat, but hard to digest; it takes very strong stomachs to stand it. I laugh at those debased peoples who, allowing themselves to be stirred up by rebels, dare to speak of liberty without having the slightest idea of its meaning, and who, with their hearts full of all the servile vices, imagine that, in order to be free, it is enough to be insubordinate. 
O proud and holy liberty! if those poor people could only know thee, if they realised at what a price thou art won and preserved; if they felt how much more austere are thy laws than the yoke of tyrants is heavy: their feeble souls, enslaved by passions that would have to be suppressed, would fear thee a hundred times more than slavery; they would flee from thee in terror, as from a burden threatening to crush them.
Perhaps the People of Turkey do imagine that, in order to be free, it is enough to be insubordinate, but certainly they are demonstrating that insubordination is the essence of democratic freedom.  Given the trajectory formally set for them in 1920, only ye of little faith would doubt that the People of Turkey have much more liberty to digest.

How confused the man - who with such flair expounded upon the high price of liberty - must have been to have also claimed with the forced, mechanical, and blind supposition of Enlightened logic untempered by prejudice:
In order then that the social compact may not be an empty formula, it tacitly includes the undertaking, which alone can give force to the rest, that whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body.  This means nothing less than that he will be forced to be free; for this is the condition which, by giving each citizen to his country, secures him against all personal dependence.  In this lies the key to the working of the political machine; this alone legitimizes civil undertakings, which, without it, would be absurd, tyrannical, and liable to the most frightful abuses.
As liberated people in a democracy, the People of Turkey are exercising their general will by participating in the democratic process to defend their freedoms.  In other words, no longer dependent upon each other, the People of Turkey are protesting their autonomy by joining together in an experience of unity by making their voices heard.  And how many voices there are!  Of all different social and religious backgrounds, to boot.  And yet, were he alive, Rousseau could listen to them all and understand not a single one.

How Reason Is Disorder

What's the meaning of life, you wonder.  I experience this same malady, as is my nature.

Thinking about the meaning of life is inherently an exercise of reason.  Follow this path logically and you will find that problems in life aren't - ultimately.  In other words, losing and failing are only problems insofar as you think they are.  Logical enough, but I claim with no small degree of hubris that the nihilist inadvertently teaches us about ourselves.

I happen to believe that goodness, strength, and justice are aligned with truth and that, therefore, where there is unhappiness there is falsehood.  But even disregarding nihilists' famous contentedness, is it not reasonable to consider how the terms loss and failure came into man's possession in the first place?

A rational being, of course, is completely rational, since any trace of irrationality spoils a mind as a drop of KCN spoils a glass of orange juice.  An irrational being using logic to understand himself is much like a mortal being sipping the poisoned juice for immortality - not only is the goal impossible to achieve, but the means are slightly counterproductive.

Let us recognize that man, being mortal, inevitably bridges the is-ought gap by action; apreviously noted, tender reader, there is no other way.

Paradise, forever in duration and perfect in harmony, is that which should be.  Since perfection is immortal and time is disharmony, the passage of time is the manifestation of disorder.  That which is immortal does not experience time.  Were its effects not disorderly by nature, time could not be experienced at all.

Disharmony, which - like time - presupposes competing agents, is not only in which man acts but also through which man acts.  Put differently, man's action is as inevitable as it is inherently social.  Our maître à penser expounds:
It is one of man's curious idiosyncrasies to create difficulties for the pleasure of resolving them. The mysteries that surround him on all sides are not sufficient for him; he still rejects clear ideas and reduces everything to a problem by some inexplicable twist of pride, which makes him regard it as below him to believe what everyone believes. So, for example, there have long been disputes on the origin of society; and in place of the quite simple solutions that naturally present themselves to the mind, all sorts of metaphysical theories have been put forward to support airy hypotheses rejected by common sense and experience. 
If the causes of the origins of society are posed as a problem, it is obviously assumed that there was a human era before society; but this is precisely what needs to be proved. 
Doubtless it will not be denied that the earth as a whole is intended for man's habitation; now, as the multiplication of man is part of the Creator's intentions, it follows that the nature of man is to be united in great societies over the whole surface of the globe. For the nature of a being is to exist as the Creator has willed it. And this will is made perfectly plain by the facts. 
The isolated man is therefore by no means the man of nature. When a handful of men were scattered over vast territories, humanity was not what it was to become. 
Let me assume that someone manages to prove that an American savage is happier and less vicious than a civilized man. Could it be concluded from this that the latter is a degraded being or, if you like, further from nature than the former? Not at all. This is just like saying that the nature of the individual man is to remain a child because at that age he is free from the vices and misfortunes that will beset him in his maturity. History continually shows us men joined together in more or less numerous societies, ruled by different sovereignties. Once they have multiplied beyond a certain point, they cannot exist in any other fashion. 
Thus, properly speaking, there has never been a time previous to society for man, because, before the formations of political societies, man was not a complete man, and because it is ridiculous to seek the characteristics of any being whatever in the embryo of that being. 
Thus society is not the work of man, but the immediate result of the will of the Creator who has willed that man should be what he has always and everywhere been.
Much has been written about the relationship between religion and science, but this riddle, like most posed by the profoundly misguided thinkers of our modern age, is a fabrication, for there could not be one without the other, as there could not be man without woman.  That is to say that faith and reason are not only distinguishable by their natures, but are defined by how their differing natures interact most directly and intimately with each other.

That all men are religious is indisputable, but the man who recognizes his religion as an experience of faith does not mock himself in the eyes of his Creator by unwittingly worshipping the alleged logic of science.

Man must believe as a matter of being and he must reason as a matter of doing.  Reasoning is through which man acts, but he who attributes knowledge to reason worships himself by thinking his own mind is a cause.  As our maître à penser reminds us in words that every philosophy professor worthy of his title praises:
We know very little of the time before the Deluge, and, according to some convincing speculations, we should not know more. One consideration only is of interest to me, and we should never lose sight of it. This is that punishments are always proportionate to crimes and crimes always proportionate to the knowledge of the guilty, so that the Deluge presupposes unparalleled crimes and these crimes presuppose knowledge infinitely higher than that which we possess. This is certain, and needs thorough investigation. This knowledge, untrammeled by the evil that has made it so fatal, survived the destruction of humanity in the righteous family. On the nature and the development of humanity, we are bemused by a rank but attractive fallacy: this lies in judging the age in which men saw effects in causes by that in which they rise painfully from effects to causes, in which they even concern themselves only with effects, in which they say that it is useless to concern oneself with causes, in which they do not even know what a cause is. It is constantly repeated, Just imagine the time it took to get to know such and such a thing! What incredible blindness! It needed only a moment. If man could know the cause of a single physical phenomenon, he would probably understand all the others. We do not want to see that the most difficult truths to discover are very easy to understand. 
What is this moment of incredible blindness?  The entropic effects of reason accelerate as time passes and, since man exists across time, all he observes is effect.  By believing in Him man aligns himself with the only cause that can be.  Our maître à penser reminds us:
The essence of all intelligence is to know and to love. The limits of knowledge are those of its nature. The immortal being learns nothing: he knows by nature everything he should know. On the other side, no intelligent being can love the bad naturally or by virtue of his nature; for this to be so, it would be necessary for God to have created man evil, which is impossible. If then man is subject to ignorance or evil, this can be only by virtue of some accidental degradation, which can be only the consequence of a crime. The need, the hunger for knowledge, which stirs man, is nothing but the natural tendency of his being that carries him toward his primitive state and shows him what he is.
This hunger for knowledge is fundamentally different from the reason man inadvertently exercises in his actions, albeit man can rid himself of intentional reasoning no more easily than his evil proclivities, as both stem from his nature.  Nevertheless, let us define two types of reason by fiat to get at the issue at hand.

Positive reason is used with respect to that which is; it is used unwittingly, humbly in order to do what one ought to do; reason is likely used more positively the less one is aware he is using it.

Normative reason is used with respect to that which should be; it is used intentionally, selfishly in order to assess what one ought to do; reason is likely used more normatively the more one is aware he is using it.

Rebellion is intrinsically an act of normative reason.  Subjects, citizens, children, employees, slaves and subordinates rebel against authority for reasons of what they believe ought to be.  Fear not, tender reader, for since the arc of the universe is long but bends towards justice, there is no insurrection so noble, good, or right that its full consequences are not eventually disorderly, which helps us understand why our maître à penser teaches:
If there is any indisputable maxim, it is that, in all mutinies, insurrections, and revolutions the people always start by being right and always end by being wrong.
Normative reason is to time as frowning is to the mouth, since sans time there would be no reasoning just as without a mouth one cannot frown.  The perfect smile would have no use for time and would be permanent, just as the immortal man would have no use for reason and would be faith.

Perfect order is permanent by definition and the immortal being does not reason because he cannot.  Without time there is no place for reason.  Human action is orderly to the extent that his reason is subservient to his belief, which is the degree to which he reasons positively.  If reason could be used only positively it could not be used at all, which is why the total submission of reason to belief is impossible or at least as plausible as the total submission of man to his mortal ruler.  Man eventually rebels, as is his nature, but he cannot eradicate sovereignty.  In this way all human reason is normative in the eyes of the Creator, but to the extent that man minimizes its normative use, he likely acts in a more orderly manner.

Let's dig a bit deeper.  Kipling:
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / and treat those two impostors just the same 
By fulfilling Kipling's call to exercise wuwei, man smiles, frowns, and reasons without intention, but unwittingly if at all and instead:
[...] fill[s] the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run
This is highest virtue - the path of greatest order.

Trying to use reason to understand, define, justify the meaning of life is the most fully normative use of reason man is capable of.  Let us call this phenomenon self-contemplation.  Self-contemplation is to reasoning as rebellion is to action - both are inevitable, but disorderly.  Since it is thus a most brazen rebellion against Him, we should not be surprised that self-contemplation is inherently futile and counterproductive.

The immortal cannot believe because he understands all (as one should expect given that all which is immortal exists in paradise, where all that is should be) and this is why he encounters no is-ought gap.  For we mere mortals, however, normative reason occupies space intended for faith - the ought side of our everlasting is-ought gap.  The more we focus on that which is, isolating the corrosive effects of reason, the less diluted are our dogmas, the more acute is our understanding, the less impaired are our efforts.  In this way, we may align ourselves with the Author of order, as our maître à penser explains:
But when man works to restore order, he associates himself with the author of order; he is favored by nature, that is to say, by the combined working of secondary forces, which are the agents of the Divinity. His action has something divine in it; it is both gentle and authoritative; it forces nothing yet nothing resists it; in carrying out its plans, it restores to health; as it acts, so is calmed that disquiet and painful agitation which are the effect and the symptom of disorder; just as men know that a skillful doctor has put back a dislocated joint by the cessation of pain....
Order is good, right, and just.  Try to reason your way to purpose and find your powers constricted, your efforts wasted.  Denying that man's thought cannot bridge his everlasting is-ought gap, self-contemplation inherently renders greater disorderly effects.

Doing that which one should is intrinsically orderly.  Man derives meaning from life not by self-contemplation but by the experience of acting in an orderly manner.  Since order is of Him, it is the true and only path.