Partly it's Gnostic longings, but I think it's more likely a matter of personality rising from the chthonic depths. I'm happy to accept that some people are simply twisted in the soul. Some have a deep love of jaw-clenching anger. Life without this extreme of anger is meaningless to them. There is in some the Puritan frenzy of hatred toward mediocrity. Without visceral pain there is no life. This desire for pain is one that is "moral" and ennobling to them, and those who don't share the longing for torment and the joy of guilt are seen as pallid and disgusting in comparison, worthy of contempt for weakness, demanding of punishment. Some, and often these days even many, go along with this parade of flagellants out of the need to conform to the norms of the times and place and out of some admiration for the stamina of the creatures so whipping themselves. The "seriousness" of the flagellation is in a way impressive. It seems meaningful. If one can imitate it without getting hurt, so much the finer.
Intensity is a substitute for authenticity. Lacking the latter, one can substitute passionate emotion for the cold logic of mediocrity and compromise, in the contemporary case, epitomized by capitalism and the market-based consumer economy. "Possession"" is a moral evil in the life of the self-abnegator, and denial is holy. Self-abasement is thus holier still, more intense, high and better. An extreme of masochism is therefore the best one can attain to. Those who refuse this role and Will are seen by the indulgent as lower than the low. The consumer is "evil and stupid." Yes, Satanic. This leads to violence, at times, at least in emotion, as seen in Bush Derangement Syndrome. In the case of philobarbarism it leads such as the PCUSA to collaboration with Muslim terrorists. In the case of environmentalists, it leads to PETA and Earth First! terrorism. In the case of anti-racism, it leads to Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn, friends of president Obama. To live in a world of consumers as a pure person, one must live in poverty, if not personally at least philosophically, which is to say, one must promote the ethos of Povertarianism. Denial. Not merely of oneself but of all. To be righteously right is to lead to the Manichean rightness of perfect rightness against perfect evil, i.e. mediocrity. If to deny oneself is holy, then those who do not deny themselves must be unholy; and if one can see the ruin caused by the lack of denial, then one can see the evil of others and see too the need for them to be stopped, to be punished, or to be killed if they refuse to stop their sinful-- mediocre-- self-indulgence.
Holiness arises not from our good, it comes only from our suffering, which can be profound, and which others should share with us if they too are to be holy, which, of course, is the reason for being. Mediocrity cannot be profound.
Love can be profound, and to love those who suffer is perhaps a profound thing. Thus, to love those who suffer due to the mediocrity of the mediocre, i.e. who suffer because of the mediocre pursuits of the middle-class Westerner, is to demand the suffering of the middle-classes. They must be punished for the salvation of the Poor. This kind of Leftist "love" is profound for the Leftist. He will share the suffering of the Poor. He will feel-- profoundly. He will deny himself for the sake of others. He will defend them, the Poor. He is holy for doing so. His enemies, those like himself who do not suffer with him for the Poor, they are evil, the root cause of suffering among others. Holy, holy, holy.
Jewish, Israeli nationalism and patriotism are perceived as bad, as racist, they are therefore rejected, and projected. Arab nationalism and chauvinism are acceptable and accepted - and then enjoyed vicariously. [My emphasis.] Arab "rights" are considered "just", and the demand for them enjoyed vicariously, while one's still Zionist and patriotic brethren are deemed "extremist" and vilified.
Vicarious violence. There seems to be little the masochist enjoys more than seeing another suffer. "If I suffer, then he should suffer, too, because he deserves it, and I don't as much." We see this daily in the moral equivalence of "Yes, but we too...." Meaning not me but you. If I have atoned and repented and I suffer, then you who haven't deserve your suffering which is punishment, while mine is holy justice, and ennobling. Thus I can enjoy your suffering and want more of it. If I suffer too, it's because I am seen as like you, which I am not but can't be helped, making me further an innocent victim of your evil. thus, taking up arms to struggle on behalf of the victimised of the world is to be good. For those who don't actually take up arms, there is the wonderful substitute of cash donations and being photographed holding a gun while wearing a beret. Or, one might wear a lapel button and paste on a bumper sticker. The least one can do is say the right things and act offended and hurt by sinfulness at all opportunity. It's a matter of public display. Because this is a sentimentality, one must show it because there is nothing interior to feel. One must reify ones moralistic masochism by emoting publicly. One must "demonstrate."
The topic here is what Samuel Frances terms "anarcho-tyranny." The great crimes are ignored while the insignificant are hunted down and extirpated ruthlessly. Given that today is the anniversary of the Montreal massacre, it is appropriate to note that "all men" are responsible for the misogyny that lead to the murder of fourteen people at the university nineteen years ago; but we must forget or never know that the man who committed the murders is Gamil Gharby, a Muslim who hated women much the same as one would expect from a follower of the Sunna. Ignore the hatred of women that Islam promotes, canonizes, and deifies, look only to the mote in ones own eye. If our own transgressions are mediocre, then we must inflate them so we are noble in our hatreds of them. And we must also dismiss the evils of others in order to promote our righteousness in favoring them. Their evils are our fault, sayeth the masochist of the sadist. No, we don't really deserve this ill but we must endure it because our own are making us suffer due to their behaviour. They should be punished. They should probably be killed or at least be enslaved. They deserve it. We endure in noble silence, accepting our suffering, knowing we are holy for it. It is politically correct, and it is somehow great fun for those who indulge in it.
Self-abasement is proper for the committed masochist, but for the rest of Modernity's population it is a source of ill. the solutions? Unfortunately, turning against Modernity's masochist religious leaders and beating them silly is just what they thrive on. You can, dear reader, likely see them now in your mind's eye grinning and weeping and pleading for help from the bullies: "Save us, save us, we're being bullied by Rightwingers!" And they'd love every minute of it.
Until and unless people stop and look at the drama queen performance art that is our modern society, all of us will continue paying for the performance of dhimmitude and masochistic repercussion. There is no Mystery in this Play. It's just a shabby self-indulgence on the part of some few professionals who have managed to scam a whole lot of normal and otherwise decent people into following a sentimentalist Sadean melodrama. It's genuinely revolting, folks, and we might like to stop it. I'm suggesting soon.
I'll continue with this topic as time allows.