I’m still struggling with the notion that freedom from the archaisms of religion allows for a more objective and rationally enlightened consensus of morality. The argument is generally couched in terms of an increase in individual freedom by both secularist liberals and libertarians, both of which trade on their appropriations of the word liberty.
But this argument fails in a number of ways. Most importantly because it is spectacularly untrue and self-contradictory. Neither liberals nor libertarians are honest. Both are expressly Utopian, meaning they claim that there is a set of rationally determined circumstances that can achieve the ideal of human equality and individual empowerment, regardless of divisive pre-existing social, educational, cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, and (of course) religious factors. Which is nonsense. It’s not what they really believe.
Libertarians are essentially Randian. (Why did Ron Paul name his son Rand?) Their position is that I should be able to do what I want to do, and you should trust that I’m not actually inimical to the well being of others, even though my core postulate is the supremacy of my own self-interest. It is superficially attractive to many who should know better because it is not intelligent human philosophy but rather an obvious rhetorical opposition to statist control of human actions. In real terms, of course, it is a prescription for state control. When religion, the meta-human anchor that keeps people rooted in enduring values, is done in for its fancied crimes, the rational deciders of objective morality are, by default, human beings. What is the remaining attractor for those rationalists who know better than everyone else? It’s government. Where they get to rewrite all the values as they see fit.
It has become fashionable to deride “reactionaries” who pose the specter of slippery slopes. These don’t really exist, we are told, except as last-ditch arguments made by those who have already lost the debate on the merits. Except that the history of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is a stunning avalanche of slippery slopes that have consumed entire peoples, nations, and, yes, the oh-so-prized individual as well.
Libertarians are perhaps uniquely lunkheaded in their subjective assessments of the consequences of secular hijacking of the social contract. Motivations and effects of secularists whose views do not accord with their own can be safely ruled irrelevant. Atheist Nazis were irrational in their beliefs and therefore immaterial. Communism in the Soviet Union and China was rationalism deluded by a false economic premise; they failed to understand the libertarian gospel of the Chicago school of economics. Big mistake. Therefore not germane.
What the Randians stubbornly refuse to realize is that for all her later pretensions, Ayn Rand was not writing philosophy in Atlas Shrugged; she was writing a parable. She was reacting against a youth lived in the iron oppression of the Soviet Union, which was bent on exterminating individual identity to replace it with automatons of the state. Which is, in fact, rational, but anti-human. Her book Anthem is the clearest statement of her emotional inspiration. The protagonist learns to replace the statist “we” with the human “I.” When all societal forces are trying to annul your basic human identity, the response is to mount an equally monolithic defense. I matter more than the whole state. Otherwise, I am wholly lost. But her claims to an objective truth that refutes the Soviet truth are rootless. Without God, there is no basis for declaring one right and the other wrong.
Indeed, the Soviet truth makes more sense in a godless universe, especially if all the religions of the world are superstitious malarkey. Without the residue of that superstition in your head, why would you flinch at the sight of a man in uniform shooting a mother and her children in the head? Is the gun aimed at you? No. And which is the more rational response to being concerned that the gun might one day be aimed at you? Fighting for a spurious notion of universal justice, or becoming yourself the man with the gun and the uniform that makes it right?
So the libertarians are lying to themselves in a deep way. Oddly, for example, their positions on abortion, same sex marriage, drugs, and disengagement from the world tend to mirror the positions of liberals with expressly statist goals, and they do not comprehend the contradiction.
Liberals, on the other hand, are fooling themselves in an even sillier way. They talk about equality and social justice and retribution for ancient wrongs, on behalf of all the people who are mired in misery, and not for one moment do they realize that they are themselves disciples of Ayn Rand.
Yes, that’s what I said. From first to last they and their feudal subjects are motivated by pure objectivist self-interest. Despite the gloss of Atlas Shrugged with all its creative entrepreneurs, there is nothing commanding self-interest to be consciously or even neutrally virtuous. Protestations to the contrary are mere pretension or, more bluntly, self-serving PR. Revenge is just as meritorious an aspiration as creativity. How is greed by the talentless subordinate to ambition by the able? It isn’t. We all get only one shot at it. Who cares what happens to the generations after I’m gone?
We’ve had a century to observe FDR liberals and his heirs in action. In all that time, they have never cared about the results of their “reform” efforts or the consequences to the victims, er, beneficiaries of their lordly largesse. The only striking record of accomplishment they have recorded is the continual growth of government, the increase in power located in Washington, DC, the conquest of formerly liberal institutions of higher learning by post-modern nihilism, and the slow deterioration of the journalism profession to concubine of the political left.
It’s no coincidence that the two longest periods of economic depression since 1929 are the FDR administration and the Obama administration. But they’re not failures in liberal minds because both men got reelected. They take credit for JFK even though in today’s terms he would have been a right wing conservative, militant about national defense and devoted to tax cuts as economic stimulus. They don’t care. He’s cover for the whole party because he favored the civil rights movement, which conceals the fact that the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed by Republicans in congress, not Democrats. LBJ vowed to end poverty. His urban renewal program knocked down black neighborhoods and began fifty years of government-sponsored Jim Crow legislation, which directly subsidized the destruction of black families, the annihilation of the public school system, and the creation of a permanent underclass of, well, urban sharecroppers, whose only crop is illegal drugs. Sixties liberals still preen over their successful opposition to the war in Vietnam and fail to accept any responsibility for the mult-million murders in Vietnam and Cambodia caused by their humanitarian delusions.
It simply can’t be the case that smart, rich politicians believe any of this crap has worked. Except in the sense that it has kept them rich, powerful, and in office.
But the slippery slopes are everywhere, and they have turned into a federal infrastructure of chutes to ruination and progressively more impossibly steep ladders to individual success.
Rational? Surely they would tell you so. Even as they continue and amplify their efforts to rout God and Christianity from all corners of the nation but the real estate on which churches sit. And contrary to the complaining of our “free press,” they are succeeding spectacularly. 75 percent of black children are born out of wedlock, and lesser but equally frightening percentages are true of other demographics as well, while the studies demonstrate that children of young single mothers are many times more likely to get involved with drugs, gangs, prison, and violent death.
Amazingly, not even the Gollum press, whose Precious plays golf and jets sybaritically around the world while the country disintegrates, retains any capability to see that propaganda about gun control — inspired by the deaths of suburban white children — constitutes any kind of fundamental and anti-moral hypocrisy. It still makes more sense to them that big signs advertising schools as gun-free zones tempt maniacs to invade schools with guns. Meanwhile, gang culture in Detroit and Chicago is killing hundreds of nonwhite children with admittedly illegal guns — which doesn’t occur in the public mind because the press doesn’t report on it.
You see. Liberals care. Ask the New York Times. Ask Harvard professors. Ask Hollywood stars. Ask every comfortable liberal who spews unspeakable hate against all who dare to oppose their fraudulent causes.
Did I forget same-sex marriage? No. Another crock. Professional politicans falling like dominoes to proclaim their support for a reform most have been conspicuously opposed to for ostensibly moral reasons.
How we know that God has been successfully evicted from the machinery of state. The MSM fails to cover the case of two men, legally married to one another, who adopted nine boys and proceeded to molest two or more of them. Trial underway as we speak. Have you heard of it? No. Doesn’t fit the narrative.
Right now, an appalling trial is underway in Pennsylvania in which an abortionist is charged with killing seven but perhaps many hundreds of babies who survived botched abortions by snipping their spinal cords. At the same time, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood in Florida testifies to the state legislature that such decisions belong entirely to the mothers and doctors involved. First, abortion was a right covered by the privacy of a woman’s uterus. But guess what? They never cared about the uterus. Babies who somehow manage to escape the uterus are also subject to termination. Post-Christian rational morality has now accomplished the great leap forward of reverting to the bowels of ancient Roman bathhouses where pagan mothers entombed their smothered unwelcome babies. It’s called progress. Or social justice. Or liberty. Because we’re, you know, so liberal.
Rationalists. What do they do? They argue for an inch and take a mile. The goalposts keep moving, more all the time. How the dictatorship of the proletariat turned into the Gulag Archipelago. That’s no accident. It’s the inevitable product of human hubris by rationalists convinced that they are smarter than multiple millennia of cultural and moral consensus. Some animals are more equal than others. Anybody think Rand wouldn’t agree with that basic proposition?
What makes it so dire and probably fatal is that the media are Randians too. It’s not a good career move to deviate from the approved narrative.
What God used to be for. Something bigger than my career, no matter what it costs me. Yes, there used to be journalistic ethics. But what underpinned those ethics is gone. By post-modern, arrogant consent.