Saturday, April 17, 2010

Power or Truth: The Fatal Choice

The Fascist Power Cult
American citizens who love their country, cherish freedom, and believe in Christian values are continually perplexed by the nature of an enemy within that never ceases in its endeavors to destroy the nation as it was founded.

When they look out upon the nation, they see an insidious form of tyranny creeping over the land, befalling the country as the shadow of a totalitarian future. They see their fellow countrymen lust for power over the nation, in shades of an ideology that was once thought to be vanquished - fascism.

Fascism is thought to be the hallmark of petty racist or nationalist minds, but this is not necessarily the case. It is more properly thought of as an inexorable drive to unite a collective - obliterating the barriers between the political, economic, social, and private spheres of human activity. It is the introduction of power and coercion into all realms of life.

Fascism, and its Americanized form, progressivism, is not projected into a nation from out of nowhere. It must attach itself in the minds of the people. A process of receptivity to the allure of power of man over man, a drive to make the world right by fraud or force, must be embedded in the collective conscience.

This form of totalitarianism proceeds by the destruction of the old to prepare the path for the new. Its harbinger is a messianic figure who will baptize the nation by fire.

Destruction precedes redemption, so the fascist followers believe. All institutions, traditions, morality, customs, culture, religions, Constitutional order, the rule of law, private property, children's attachment to parents, romantic love, the family, any place where a man's mentality is anchored outside the collective, must be swept away in the progressive tide of history.

The fascist mentality is not personally authoritarian, it is vacuous and rootless. It is perfectly conducive to manipulation by power elites.

The power elites are quite different in psychology - their "rootlessness" of morality lubricates their narcissistic pursuit of power. The symbiosis of the power elites and the "liberating" indoctrinated can be an "altruistic" sado-masochistic dance of destruction across all of society.

The process of "breaking down all barriers" is perceived by the secular faithful as "liberation." Those who call themselves progressives feel they are being "liberated" from criticism, and thus internal self-reflection, by removing ideological competition, relentlessly and even childishly attacking their enemies without care for the truth; "liberated" from status guilt with the establishment of class equality; "liberated" from religious judgment by eliminating God from the social sphere; "liberated" from social norms by participating in facile rebellion; "liberated" from material reality by ignoring economic scarcity and believing that the rich are an eternal source of wealth to be redistributed; and even "liberated" from themselves by joining mass movements and collectivist causes.

The "liberating" process finally culminates in an existential crisis that resolves itself in revolution. There is no bridge of understanding between the "liberators" and those who love liberty.

The power elites unleash the social forces of self-destruction through "education" and indoctrination and wait patiently to snatch the free people up in a totalitarian restoration when chaos presents itself. They thus purposefully distort the economic, social, and political system until all faith in the existing way of things is broken. The redeemers who appear are the self-anointed saviors, blessed and christened by the pervasive cultural and dis-information media.

It is no coincidence that two of the most powerful bastions against the totalitarian tyranny of the would-be enslavers, the guns and religion to which the people "cling," are targeted explicitly by such a redeemer. To be swept up in the rushing tide of history, there must be nothing left to which the conservatives can "cling."

Rogues and Reactionaries
It is easy to see that anyone who opposes the progressives are in the minds of the secular faithful backwards rubes or reactionaries to be scorned and ridiculed. Conservative intellectuals, on the other hand, see the progressives as drones, deployed to do the bidding of the power elite. Mutual misunderstanding can easily lead to dehumanization if one is not well-versed in the reasons for the divergence of views.

Conservatives tend to be individualists who believe in morality, and thus they are very difficult to mobilize to oppose progressives. In America, conservatives give the benefit of the doubt to others in regards to intentions - a Christian belief system leads them to believe that others can be "saved" or "converted," and that they should not judge lest they be judged.

Ultimately, most Americans believe in right and wrong, and this is the one thing that can trigger a massive conservative uprising. Rampant theft, corruption, habitual lies, and actions that endanger the nation can trigger a conservative backlash if not hidden well enough by the complicit media, and assumes the power elites' near monopoly of control over mass communications.

But by relying on institutions such as voting, conservatives bank on the incorruptibility of this political recourse over the long-term, which historically is not a well-founded assumption.

The ultimate underlying long-term problem for conservatives is their eternal struggle to preserve institutions from corruption and deterioration, while dismissing the deeper philosophy and morality that undergirds the social and political order.

A shallow understanding of religion can lead to a tendency to relegate all the unexplained and disliked to the realm of faith; the ideas that God will provide and everything will continue on as is seem to be associated here with a relaxed "to each his own" attitude towards amorality and immorality.

Social conservatives and especially evangelicals see the amorality and immorality as a call to arms in a Holy War, which they may fight with proselytizing - in a free society, this is an appropriate response as long as it is confined to the social sphere. But the danger is that social conservatives will rise to power and use the government as the progressives do to seek retribution, this is ultimately incompatible with freedom of conscience. The problem is that crises of conscience compel action, and are not always circumscribed in a way that is consonant with individual freedom. A dilemma arises in that individual freedom may also dissipate the cultural and social cohesion needed to sustain a political order that is conducive to respecting such freedom.

Conservatives' perpetual rear guard fight can only be transferred to a cultural and political offensive if armed with the proper philosophy, which is comprehensive and rooted in "self-evident" truth.

Objectivism or Religion: The Last Best Hope for Man?
The ultimate solution for the establishment of a free society (putting aside fascistic "progressivism" and the socialist model of Trotskyism or "eternal revolution") pits the philosophy of ordered liberty versus social conservatism. The foundation of liberty is held by most Americans to be natural rights endowed by God, but there is a philosophical school that holds out the possibility that liberty can be established as the just morality for man rationally and self-evidently. This philosophical school is Objectivism.

Misapprehensions of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism abound, and this is not a coincidence, since it directly threatens the power elite. Ayn Rand rooted her philosophy in several fundamental truths: There is an objective reality (that exists outside the mind); man's mind can know objective reality using rationality; reality does not contradict itself, A = A, and if it appears that it doesn't, check your premises; human life is the means and the ends of a just morality; and the individual is the ultimate standard (but not possessor) of justice, since only an individual can have life.

Objectivism holds that in a just political and social order, the individual is responsible for his own life, and this order is sustained by certain rationally determined eternal truths. These truths are expounded upon more fully by Ayn Rand herself.

The primary objection to Ayn Rand's philosophy among conservatives is that it is too "selfish." But we should recognize that Rand's Egoism is not Egotism; in other words, Egoism, or recognizing one's psyche and individuality, and internalizing one's moral code, is not the same as Egotism, which holds that one man is above the law, is entitled to subjugate his peers, and that the ends justify the means.

Religion would play the role of establishing eternal truth in society, if only it could be established that one religion were the one true religion as a self-evident truth. Yet there are many religions and sects of religions, and it is impossible to determine the truth of one using rationality. The ultimate recourse over the question of religious truth historically nearly always seems to be war and bloodshed, in other words, to kill the non-believers who pollute the imagined paradise.

Objectivism holds that one can believe in religion, but that is a matter of personal conscience; in a free society one is allowed to discuss what religion is the true religion and why one should convert. Unfortunately, it is difficult to establish a morality of individual freedom when people believe that the non-believers will go to eternal hell if they don't believe likewise, or alternatively, that backwards conservatives are in the way of establishing a paradise on earth - if only they would just believe.

Individualism and collectivism, of the secular and religious kinds, are therefore destined to be at odds as long as there are men who desire to possess their own lives, and those who would seek to control them. Individuals believe that power rests in the individual, but how to mobilize this power while respecting other individuals is a difficult ordeal, especially when faced with a "democratic" mob intent on depriving individuals of property or freedom.

The exceptional nature of the American founding is that the Christian code of protestantism religiously reinforced individualism. This has forestalled the clash of ideologies that Americans are now experiencing more intensely. While some believe that it is a fatal flaw of the founding that Christianity was not established as the nation's religion, objectivists hold that the crucial problem is that the moral and philosophical code of individualism was not systematized and made more explicit.

That the moral code of individualism may very well perish by the same assumptions of freedom that individualists hold dear appears to be a distinct possibility; cultures are not self-regenerative, and the enemies of freedom are many. Progressives and other collectivists can and do destroy individualism in open daylight by perverting and eroding the culture.

Without a solid philosophical understanding of a moral system that preserves individual freedom, those who love America will always be undoing the misdeeds of destructive progressives, repealing unjust legislation, struggling to keep ever-expanding altruistic government in check.

Contrary to popular misconception, an objectivist government would not be an anarchist government; it would be one of self-government. Such a government would require that each person suffer the consequences of his own actions. It would also relegate love back to its proper place - in the heart of the individual who feels it. Love and coercion would thus be parted philosophically and politically; religion and progressivism would no longer be empowered to "help" people using coercion and against the will of individual citizens.

Only by establishing self-government can the conscience of each citizen be rejuvenated; can rational self-interest be reestablished; can human history and knowledge become relevant again; can love be benevolent in all its manifestations; and can freedom of conscience be respected by all, as is required for an ongoing human search for truth. For ultimately it is truth, and mans' search for it, that must animate a free society.

2 comments:

Richard Thornton said...

Your post is interesting, but my first tho0ught after reading it is:

"I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony...."

Reasonsjester said...

LOL, I thought that too after re-reading it Richard. I was reading about power politics and the policies of the Nazis, and realized that THESE are some diabolical bastards. They exploited "rationality" to destroy and subjugate, and also manipulated people using irrational emotional fervor. I'll have to think about this some more. But I do think that "love" needs to be separated from coercion, and truth needs people who are actually interested in pursuing it. Not everyone goes along with that, and trying to persuade them using argument is very tough, if not quixotic. Jefferson was pretty good about such matters, and knew that sometimes words fail to persuade one's would-be enslavers not to proceed with their plans. Thanks for checking in.