In previous essays I have referred to “the scissors strategy,” which is also known by other names. Many readers do not have a clear idea of how this strategy works, or why it is effective. It is therefore useful to present two or more hypothetical/historical examples to illustrate.Read more
“What are the symptoms of … the derailment of man?” asked Eric Voegelin in his book, Hitler and the Germans. Man has a particular nature. He is a spiritual being and a rational being. The West drew its reason from the ancient Greeks, its spiritual grounding from the ancient Israelites. This was our twofold heritage. Only now we have abandoned it for positivism and materialism. Consequently, Western Civilization is rapidly unraveling.
According to Voegelin, the Old Testament teaches that we have a share in what is divine. Man is “theomorphic,” to use a Greek term, or made in “the image of God.” Voegelin noted, “The specific dignity of man is based on this….” Yet we have kicked this to the curb, seeing ourselves in “the image of the monkey.” Prevailing thought has debunked the idea of the “first cause,” the divine creator, the maker of all things. This is the spiritual side of our radical stupidity. Voegelin wrote, “One cannot de-divinize oneself without dehumanizing oneself….”
The brutality of our daily thought, our disconnection from spirit, would be readily apparent to a medieval or ancient person. For our part, we hardly know what we have lost. Because of this we are imbibing anti-depressants at an astonishing rate. Despite our comparative wealth and comfort we are increasingly unhappy. We are, as one social scientists noted, “coming apart.”
On every side the most brutal slogans resound. We are now the creatures of an ideological age. As noted by Carl Jung, we have succumbed to mass-mindedness. “There are no longer any gods we can evoke to help us,” he wrote. We now lead “an ignominious existence among the relics of our past….”
We have largely closed ourselves off from the spiritual. Many religious leaders are frauds. Many of the “faithful” lack the discernment to detect imposters. It is a sickening situation all the way around. As for our reason, it is now grounded on erroneous propositions — disconnected from spirit, from the ground of being. Because of this, noted Voegelin, “there occurs a loss of reality, insofar as this divine being, this ground of being, is … reality too….”
This “loss of reality” leads some men to set themselves up as God. They promise to eliminate poverty, war, disease. Oh yes, and they can leap tall buildings in a single bound while lowering global temperatures. Such is the essence of the New Religion – the religion of our moral idiots, evolving day-by-day to the “tyranny of the radically stupid.”
You see, the moral idiot thinks he is cleverer than God. He is fabulously intelligent in the most radically stupid way imaginable. Yet, the moral idiot doesn’t know that he lost himself. As a deserter from reverence and truth, he tells irreverent lies and lives in a childish fantasy world. It is not only the fantasy world of CNN, but the fantasy world of Fox News.
According to Hesiod there are three kinds of men: (1) those who think things through; (2) those who listen to the thinkers; and (3) those who neither think nor listen and, consequently, are stupid and even dangerous. Today, persons of this latter type are everywhere. They are in charge of everything. Voegelin says our entire ruling elite is of this type.
Voegelin says it is “extremely difficult to understand that the elite of a society can consist of a rabble.” Then he says, “[our elite] really does consist of a rabble.” The proof is there, before our very eyes. There is something wrong with almost all of our leaders. They are not properly oriented. They are profoundly disoriented. According to Voegelin:
Stupidity shall mean here that a man, because of his loss of reality, is not in a position to rightly orient his action in the world, in which he lives. So when the central organ guiding his action, his theomorphic nature and openness toward reason and spirit, has ceased functioning, then man will act stupidly.
He will murder millions in concentration camps, commit genocide against minorities, firebomb cities full of women and children, drop nukes when the enemy is already trying to surrender, hand over whole regions to slavery in order to keep a bargain with a mass murdering ally, etc. etc. Such is our latter-day history, “full of sound and fury,” signifying betrayal.
In the Hebrew understanding, a fool is one who creates chaos and disorder because of his folly. In Plato’s terminology, the fool “does not have the authority of reason and … cannot bow to it.” Look to the left and look to the right. Where are the wise men? Who bows to reason?
Our descent into chaos is progressive and may accelerate at any moment. Stupidity follows stupidity, error follows error. We are killing unborn babies through abortion, importing aliens from hostile civilizations, teaching children the virtue of sodomy and Bedouins the virtue of democracy; marriage can now be between a man and a man, war is waged on the wings of sanctimonious chatter, to achieve unobtainable objectives. Despair all ye who enter here.
We live in the Age of Radical Stupidity in which the elite are the radically stupid – a rabble of intelligent nitwits passionately combating reality and common sense. Our bankruptcy advances from twenty trillion to twenty five trillion, to a hundred and fifty trillion. Nothing can stop the slide into universal chaos, except reason and spirit. But where can these qualities be found?
We think we are the good guys, that we know what we are doing. But we have no clue. We mistake goodness for self-righteousness. We mistake ideological slogans for knowledge and reason. We do not know our limitations, and do not like being told that we are vulnerable. It is only a matter of time before our radically stupid leaders cause a major derailment. When everything begins to fall apart, when we are dying by the tens of millions, will we find leaders of a different stripe? Where will they come from?
What are we doing to oppose the radical stupidity of our rulers?
Severe revenge awaits the criminals….Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
After the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami promised “crushing revenge.” While visiting the bereaved daughter of Gen. Soleimani, President Hassan Rouhani was asked, “Who is going to avenge my father’s blood?” Rouhani replied, “all of us will avenge his blood.”Read more
There are many approaches to the subject of ethics. Aristotle said that we do not naturally possess goodness of character. Only by obedience to rules of valid conduct do we acquire such goodness. Does our national security establishment even know what goodness is? And was it right to assassinated General Soleimani?Read more
Gnosticism, thus, has produced something like the counter-principles to the principles of existence; and, in so far as these principles determine an image of reality for the masses of the faithful, it has created a dream world which itself is a social force of the first importance in motivating attitudes and actions of Gnostic masses and their representatives.Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics
The dreamworld of Voegelin’s Gnostics may be glimpsed while watching the Democratic presidential debates. Listen to their absurd fantasies — of global warming and coastal flooding, of erasing national borders and spending trillions on programs to impoverish us all. Where indeed will the money come from? Indebted to the hilt, this can only accelerate the erosion of prosperity and bring about an unprecedented economic dislocation; but, hey, it’s all good, because, from thereon and after we can blame capitalism and sexism and racism — and move forward in agreement to build real socialism, or communism, or the Green New New Deal, without airplanes or cows or cars or free speech. God help the poor fool who objects.Read more
Consciousness should defend its reason and protect itself, and the chaotic life of the unconscious should be given the chance of having its way too – as much of it as we can stand. This means open conflict and open collaboration at once. That, evidently, is the way human life should be. It is the old game of hammer and anvil: between them the patient iron is forged into an indestructible whole, an ‘individual.’Carl Jung
It is embarrassing to have a logical premise dismantled in a dream; but that is exactly what happened over the holidays. My previous column, published on 23 December, was titled “Left and Right as Cosmological Systems.” My premise was that left and right symbolize good and evil respectively.Read more
What is the right, and what is the left? Do they represent economic interests? Are they mere political designations? Might they signify metaphysical or moral doctrines? What if the answer is — all the above? What if left and right were grounded in two opposing cosmological ideas? (Cosmology being a theory or belief about the origin of the universe.)Read more