Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Double Edge of the Velvet Fascist Sword

The author of the following excerpt is afraid to have his name associated with his article at American Thinker. The author fears this association, if known, would harm his career. One must accept that he's very likely correct.

[L]et's do a review of liberal social engineering programs from inception to execution....
  • A group of individuals anoints themselves as better-informed than the rest of us. They base this largely on the fact that they listen to the same programs on NPR and consistently vote Democrat.
  • The self-defined elite group comes to an agreement that the rest of us are not as enlightened as they. This is expressed in many ways, usually involving code words such as "clinging", "mean-spirited", or "greedy". If you hear these words being applied to you or your associates, this is a clear indication that you are not one of the elites.
  • The elites begin to develop a sense of responsibility for their lessers. This is often expressed in statements like, "It's just makes me so sad to see them like that. I wish there were something we could do to..."
  • The elites form a plan. The plan generally involves making everyone else behave like them. As enthusiasm rises, what were once "differences" become "problems" and finally metamorphose into a "crisis". When the word "crisis" appears, this usually signals the end of planning phase. The Plan predictably contains the following elements: coercion, moral superiority, lack of debate and voting, and a succession of "experts" who testify on its behalf.
  • The plan is imposed. If the legislative branch refuses, the judiciary is prevailed upon to conjure up a constitutional justification.
  • The plan begins to fail. This step is usually followed by demands for more resources to "properly implement the plan", (see the War on Poverty), and angry accusations at non-elite groups for their mean spirited, clingy refusal to change.
  • The plan fails.
  • The elites meet to form a new, better plan.

The author could be writing about any of any number of things, any of them things we might be against, smoking or junk food or driving without seat-belts or riding bikes without helmets or jogging or watching television, or, .... There's a case, and perhaps a strong case, to be made that other people's bad behaviour affects the pubic and should be stopped. Those who watch television, for example, harm us all by their lethargy and the drag that puts on our community-spiritedness. Maybe they should be forced into gymnastic programmes. Maybe, if they are recalcitrant, they should be put in camps, and if incorrigible, they should be killed. It comes down to what we think of others. Are they free and independent agents or are they farm animals? And if we stop short of executing those who trespass against the neo-norm, perhaps we won't kill them but simply make their lives conform by twisting the culture to the point there is no room for anything but orthopraxy, for right behavioir regardless of the will of the destructive. It becomes a moral imperative to save not just those who would destroy themselves but all of us and even the Earth itself. If we have that imperative, then we would be evil not to act on it, not to mention imprudent.

If pollution adds to the catastrophe of global warming, and if the polluter won't stop of his own volition, then, to save the world and ourselves, we must make him stop. The polluter's private behavior is not a private issue when it "impacts" on the public in serious and even catastrophic ways. If the state will not intervene to prevent harm to the publicity, then it must be for the private interest to intervene for the sake of our very lives, the state having turned against us in pursuit of furthering its payments to its masters, our enemies, our destroyers, those who would and will and do kill us all and the Earth itself. It is imperative and prudent that we halt the harm, the destruction of the self-interested who cause us this general harm, even if the majority do not see it. Having knowledge others lack gives one a further moral obligation to act on behalf of those who do not know or know and do not care to act, who do not dare to act.

How can we verify our truth claims? We might, for a start, rely on our expertise. We might further rely on past practice of those who deny the verity of our awareness, those proven to have acted against the best interests of the majority in the past by toeing the corporate line, for example, in the face of known harm to the publicity. Look, for example, to politicians awarding oil companies generous and extra-legal benefit at the expense of the public. We can know empirically that the majority of people in a democracy do not understand the particular details of the issues of anything, it being beyond the means of anyone to know all things; and thus, one must rely on the expertise of those who specialize. As well as the uninformed opinion of the masses, one must accept both their self-interested opposition to the good in many case, e.g. those who would promote further global warming due to employment in global warming industries; and there is the problem of systemic false consciousness, that which leads the masses into stupidities of harm, against their own interests on behalf of those who harm them. Look, for example, at the Americans who wage war against the Muslim world, doing so for the benefit only of the oil companies and the illegitimate neo-Nazi state of Israel. Can a moral person allow this to continue? Such far exceeds the harm of one man watching television. Such requires immediate action on the part of the one who understands the true nature of the regime and the state of Humanness that create this condition. Then, action on the part of the expert is morally imperative. To know and not to act is to be complicit and immoral and harmful to oneself, to the publicity, and to the Earth itself. Such a crime, given the gravity of it, should be punished; and one cannot allow oneself to knowingly do harm and to deserve punishment if one is-- at least-- prudent. Thus, democracy is a sham at best, a world-destroying harm in effect, when the issue is so dear.

If one has knowledge of impending catastrophe that others do not have or that others have and refuse to act on, it becomes a moral imperative to act alone to save oneself, a first priority, and to save Humanity as well. Not to act is self-destructive, and worse, it is evil. Democracy, yes, but not to the point it allows for or creates conditions of harm to the minority. Then democracy is tyranny of the majority. Democracy under that condition is illegitimate. It is unlawful and need not be obeyed; it must, in fact, be opposed by all right-thinking agents. If a corporation continues to pollute and to destroy the ozone layer over Antarctica, then said corporation must be stopped-- if the world, Mother Earth, is to survive. Things perhaps harmful to the individual must be done for the sake of the greater good. There is nothing radical in this. We understand the necessity of sacrifice for the greater good. Nor is this idealistic: it is prudent to sacrifice oneself for the greater good so that one has a chance to live through the furthering of Human existence, not a thing limited to the individual, whose existence is meaningless without the context of Humanity. If one can see from ones intellectual vantage point the coming of the train, one might well use force to move the cattle off the tracks. And if one is harmed in the process, all to the good that the community might continue to survive with the herd intact. Not to act, to put oneself at the centre of ones existence without regard for the community, is ipso facto to cause the death of the community, becoming a murderer oneself. With awareness comes responsibility.

Some things are evil a priori; therefore no argument is needed to support the idea. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and Islamophobia are evil a priori. Those who act in accord with any or all of the above evils are either/and evil or incoherent. They need not be refuted by any who understand the language and its meaning. Still, they exist and they act in ways evil. Since they cannot be reasoned with, empirically known by their incomprehension of the a priori, they must be dealt with by coercion, or force if need be. Islamophobes, for example, present the world with a dire and urgent crisis by their behaviour: They incite retaliation from 1.9 billion Muslims who turn in their desperation to using their own bodies as weapons against the Islamophobic oppression of Modernity. Any Islamophobe who creates this kind of violent and warranted blow-back on the part of the oppressed should, in fact, must be stopped. Those who understand this must act to prevent Islamophobia if we as a species are to survive. One might object that such is some Gnostic pronouncement, but those of us who understand the language understand it is a priori truth that Islamophobia is evil. Only a deluded or evil person cannot see this. If so, then he must be stopped from continuing by any means necessary. It is prudent, it is a moral imperative, and if it requires self-sacrifice, then it is to the good of all universally, a universality without which we have no identity anyway. There is nothing Gnostic in grasping the obvious. The author above disparages the "elite" but in effect is writing from a position of privilege: notice the "career" he feels he must protect. so many others, knows the truth and has consciously decided to do nothing in order that he can live his privacies in some comfort even at the expense of future generations, mocking those who care about the Earth and its people. Those who know must act. That knowledge is obvious to any right-thinking person who has gone beyond the norms of the hegemony of capitalism. Those who haven't, those who have and refuse to acknowledge their complicity, must be stopped. The depth of the catastrophe and the urgency and the sheer scale of the catastrophe demands private action. It is thus that I am continually asking, "What is to be Done?" We who know know that something is wrong; we know actually what is wrong; and dare I say it; we know what must be done.

Yes, one might still argue that this is a case of Gnostic hubris and an apocalyptic eschatology. Can we wait to find out that we might have been wrong? Do we dare do nothing in the face of this catastrophe? And again, if not, What is to be Done?

Also posted at no dhimmitude.


truepeers said...

I contracted a stomach flu, or something, and spent last night in trial. I still feel as if my world is turned inside out!

And yet, no matter who is doing the arguing and from whatever side, the same old question occurs to me...

Sure we all know that rabid dogs have to be shot. But what more can be said about that? It's a dirty job and little can be expected to come from it. It just has to be done. End of story. Best forgotten.

If, however, someone who is telling me what has to be done has some grand objective or justification in mind, I want him to show me that he has a true grip on the question of how anything creative is ever done. In this particular "what is to be done" guy a creative person, or another failed artist? Does he really know or intuit what makes history roll, or is he just worshiping the last end game, thinking that in the ending, the final word, one finds all one needs to know about the beginning?

Northrop Frye has a line that goes something like: "Rhetoric is the delta that all of language eventually reaches"

Dag said...

I had Hemingway in mind, "A Clean, Well-lighted Place."

Get well soon.