People get into this condition [i.e., ignorance] through their own fault, by the slackness of their lives; i.e., they make themselves unjust or licentious by behaving dishonestly or spending their time in drinking and other forms of dissipation; for in every sphere of conduct people develop qualities corresponding to the activities they pursue.”Aristotle [i]
Plato and Aristotle were philosophers of Classical antiquity. Those who can read these ancient philosophers in the original Greek are better able to understand the fundamentals of art and science. To understand Plato and Aristotle is to hold a decisive intellectual advantage in all forms of discourse. The value of the ancients is hard to explain to the desiccated modern mind – which is often unable to place facts in their proper context. Modern life is very busy, very distracted. Modern man is trapped in the news cycle, unable to synthesize or unify his knowledge. The ancient science of seeing, weighing, and ordering has largely been lost to us. A modern thinker with access to the ancients, however, is like a man looking down from the top of a mountain. Those who know nothing of the ancients, having journalistic predilections, are only looking down from the foothills. It never occurs to them that there is a mountain to climb. Unlike his journalistic critics, Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho is someone who climbed that mountain.
Olavo learned Greek. He studied Aristotle and Plato. When I met Olavo in person, several years ago, his originality, his skill as a thinker, was apparent from our first conversation. His insights were clarifying. His polemics were full of fun. His mind was always searching for answers. In future centuries his name will be remembered while the “well-foddered, famous wise ones”[ii] of our time will be forgotten. And now, after his book on Machiavelli was translated into English, and reviewed on this site a year ago under the title “Olavo’s Machiavelli,”[iii] another of Olavo’s books has been translated – Aristotle in a New Perspective: Introduction to the Theory of the Four Discourses. It is a book that contributes to our understanding of Aristotle’s theory of discourse as a process that brings unity out of diversity, informing all of Aristotle’s “logical, physical, metaphysical, and ethical speculations … [as] the unmistakable hallmark of his style of thinking.”
It is Olavo’s thesis that Aristotle’s poetics, rhetoric, dialectics, and analytics do not form four separate sciences; rather, these four subjects form what Olavo calls “a nesting doll,” or what others might call a system for understanding intellectual culture, placing reason and imagination in proper context, leading us to the pinnacle of philosophical reflection, the crown of culture, which is knowledge about knowledge. In Aristotle’s four discourses Olavo has also found a schema for tracking the evolution of culture through four stages corresponding to the four types of discourse: Poetics, Rhetoric, dialectic, and analytics.
For readers unfamiliar with Aristotle, a brief biographical note is in order. Aristotle was born in the Greek town of Stagira, in ancient Macedonia. His father was court physician to Macedonia’s king. The year of Aristotle’s birth was 384 BC, fifteen years after the death of the famous philosopher Socrates, who was tried and sentenced to drink a deadly concoction of hemlock because he had allegedly corrupted the youth of Athens, and for introducing strange gods to the city. Aristotle was the student of Plato, one of the youth Socrates had supposedly corrupted (though it may be argued that Plato corrupted Socrates by depicting him other than he was).[iv] When Aristotle was eighteen, he was sent to study at Plato’s Academy in Athens where he remained for twenty years, becoming a teacher of rhetoric and dialogue. When Plato died, and Aristotle was not given directorship of the Academy, he left Athens to do other work, including to serve as tutor to Alexander (later, Alexander the Great), son of King Philip II of Macedon. Aristotle returned to Athens in the wake of King Philip’s victory over Thebes and Athens at the Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC). In 335 BC Aristotle set up his own school in Athens, the Lyceum, which rivaled Plato’s Academy. Aristotle’s philosophy differed from his master, Plato. He did not credit Plato’s theory of forms, neither did he like communistic aspects of Plato’s political philosophizing. When Alexander the Great died and the Athenians turned against Macedon, Aristotle was charged with impiety (due to his association with Alexander’s court). Rather than drinking the hemlock as Socrates had done, Aristotle fled Athens, “lest the Athenians sin twice against philosophy.” In the centuries that followed, Aristotle became the single most influential philosopher in history. His reputation came under attack in the seventeenth century, with early modern thinkers sometimes counting him as the enemy.
In the ongoing battle of ideas, Olavo saw the importance of Aristotle because Aristotle held the keys to many subjects – from ethics and politics to poetry and rhetoric. Some readers may wonder what the value of an ancient philosopher might be when modernity has surpassed antiquity in its knowledge; yet, looking at the erosion of our discourse, and the nonsense that passes for “science” on every side, modernity has clearly taken a wrong turn. We have lost the very language of noble reasoning because we have taken too many shortcuts, piling error upon error (even as we call it “science”). Instead of a meditative ascent toward Noesis or philosophizing, modern academic science has been descending into trivial speculations that tell us more and more about less and less. As Ellis Sandoz put it, “reason is the ‘something’ in man that experiences shame in the recognition of his ignorance or that resists … the deformation of his own existence and that of other men by destructive forces in the social field.”[v] Man must address his ignorance or suffer deformation through false knowledge. Man must also seek a proper context to form the categories of his thought. To start with something small and work one’s way up to the brain of a gnat is to “gnatify” one’s mind and soul. Great questions must always be kept in view. Or, as Aristotle wrote at the beginning of his Metaphysics, “Art arises when … one universal judgment about a class of objects is produced.” To remain enmeshed in trivia is to have no universal point of departure; that is, to make oneself stupid.
If we become lost in trivia, we run the risk of intellectual demoralization. This tendency, so characteristic of our time, has led many to eschew intelligence in favor of plausible and convenient stupidities. In this context it was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who famously discovered that stupidity is more dangerous than malice. Olavo made this discovery as well, famously opposing the intellectual demoralization and stupidity of his country, writing a bestselling book titled, o minimo que voce precisa saber para nao ser um idiota – which translates, “The least you need to know not to be an idiot.” In this book he touched on one particular type of idiot – the “useful idiot”:
The communist mentality … is so ignorant of freedom of thought, subjugates intelligence so heavily to party command, that it manages the subject’s ideology not by the intentions and values he professes, but by the simple hypothetical and ofttimes paranoid conjecture of the political or public benefit that [communist] parties … may derive from their words, albeit opportunistically….[vi]
Here is a glimpse at the stupidity of our time. It is the most dangerous stupidity in the history of the world. Olavo stood against the arrogant laziness and total lack of curiosity which made this stupidity into an almost irresistible power; a power that promises death and destruction even as these words are being written. Olavo believed, with Aristotle, that the remedy for dangerous stupidity was to be found in a higher truth – in the divine Nous or Ground out of which our existence has emerged. It was Aristotle who warned us “not to follow those who advise us to have human thoughts, since we are only men … but on the contrary, to … do our utmost to live in accordance with what is highest in us.”[vii] Eric Voegelin, a philosopher who shared Olavo’s appreciation for Aristotle, wrote:
The Classic, especially the Aristotelian, unrest is distinctly joyful because the [philosophic] questioning has direction; the unrest is experienced as the beginning of the theophanic event in which the nous reveals itself as the divine ordering force in … the cosmos at large; it is an invitation to pursue its meaning into the actualization of noetic consciousness.[viii]
Philosophy shows us that man is more than a mortal being. He is an unfinished being, as Voegelin noted, “moving from the imperfection of death in this life to the perfection of life in death.” Man participates in the divine through his thoughts – which may coincide with the divine mind by adhering to truth instead of embracing lies. It is lies, indeed, that deform man’s existence. As our thoughts form into discourse, we had best bring that discourse to truth.
All discourse, noted Olavo, is “the passing from one proposition to another.” Olavo then added, “The formal unity of any discourse depends on its propositional unity, that is, the arrangement of the various parts with a view towards obtaining the desired conclusions.” First, you have the premise and its presuppositions; then, you have the logical or analogically connected components of the argument, giving propositional unity to the whole; then, you must bring about a change in the opinion of those who listen to this argument (usually, by the striking nature of the argument); and then, of course, you have an acknowledgement of the argument’s credibility. Thus, discourse is a passage from the believed to the believable.
What we have, in today’s discourse, however, does not pass from the believed to the believable. It is, rather, a passage from nonsense to nonsense, leaving infected idiots in its wake. And this was borne out in the criticism Olavo’s work received from so-called “experts.” It was, of course, foolish for idiotas to match wits with Olavo on Aristotle; for Olavo knew Aristotle while his critics were clearly ignorant pretenders. The resulting black comedy, included in the English translation of Olavo’s book, is a joy to read. As one who understood the teachings of Aristotle, and had benefitted from those teachings, Olavo skewered his critics.
Originally, Olavo’s essay on Aristotle was sent for publication to the Editorial Committee of Science Today magazine, run by the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science. Olavo reported, “When almost a year had passed without response, I felt at liberty to publish the article in a book. At the start of October 1994, I received the first impeccably rendered copies from the printers. That same day … I found an envelope on my doorstep … returning the originals with a rejection letter saying that, as the paper was on education in odontology … I would be better served placing it in a specialist publication.”
Odontology, of course, is the scientific study of diseases of the teeth. Puzzled by this bizarre explanation for the magazine’s rejection, Olavo wrote back to the Editorial Board, “neither I nor Aristotle ever suspected this hidden inclination towards dentistry in our speculations….” He offered that the Editorial Board had not read his essay on Aristotle, somehow mistaking it for an essay on dentistry. Lo and behold, the Editorial Board responded to Olavo by saying their reference to “odontology” had been a typing error. They assured Olavo that experts had studied his essay and found it wanting. As proof they sent a two-and-a-half page handwritten “critical assessment” of Olavo’s essay. But it was even more dismaying than the “odontology” reference. The expert “critical assessment” contained, by Olavo’s count, three serious errors of historical inaccuracy, five errors deriving from a lack of familiarity with Aristotle’s works, eight crucial errors of interpretation of Aristotle’s writings, three fallacious arguments, two reversals of Olavo’s intended meaning, three spelling errors, and two other problems.
Olavo wrote, “the above is reason to bury one’s face in one’s hands, and wonder aloud: What in the Lord’s name is happening in this country?”
Olavo’s critique of the Editorial Committee’s “critical assessment” is a veritable Dunciad directed at those whose pretense to knowledge was a comedy of errors. How could Brazil’s leading society for the advancement of science send him such a shameful admission of ignorance and fraud? Ominously, 1990s Brazil was afflicted by that same slovenliness Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gassett attributed to Spanish university life shortly before the Spanish Civil War.
At this juncture it is useful to refer to Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Theory of Stupidity,” composed on the tenth anniversary of Hitler’s accession to power:
Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed – in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for than with a malicious person. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.[ix]
Aristotle said that “every wicked man is in ignorance as to what he ought to do … and it is because of error … that men become unjust and, in a word, wicked.” Stupidity, in this sense, is responsible for the greatest evils of history. Aristotle explained in his writings on ethics that ignorance is not an acceptable excuse. Wanton stupidity resulting from wanton ignorance is a choice. Aristotle wrote, “People get into this condition through their own fault, by the slackness of their lives….” When Aristotle lists the circumstances necessary to committing a crime, he concludes, “Now nobody in his right mind could be ignorant of all these circumstances.”[x] Aristotle further asks the ultimate question, regarding the ignorant man’s culpability, “how can he fail to know himself?”
In his “Theory of Stupidity” Bonhoeffer said that people sometimes “allow themselves” to become stupid. They do so, it seems, because they want to belong to a crowd or a mob; for stupidity is characteristic of ochlocracy (rule by the mob). “Upon closer examination,” wrote Bonhoeffer, “it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political or of a religious nature, infects a large part of humankind with stupidity.”
The implications go to the heart of Olavo’s work. What Olavo was confronted with in Brazil, what Bonhoeffer was confronted with in Nazi Germany, was human beings who set aside their own humanity out of slovenliness. And this is a definite choice; for man is, as Aristotle showed, the “rational animal.” Yet here we have rational animals refusing rationality out of laziness. Thus, in the last analysis, humans are not human by mere biology. Having the gift of language, and the gift of the human mind, becoming a homo sapiens is nonetheless a disposition: to think or not to think. To be physically human, without deciding to think, is to prefer subhuman status and all that goes with it: abject servility, self-degradation, and moral decrepitude.
It would even seem that this is virtually a sociological-psychological law. The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other. The process at work here is not that … intellect, suddenly atrophies or fails. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence, and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances. The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with a person, but with slogans, catchwords and the like that have taken possession of him.
How do we avoid being stupid? How do we affirm our humanity? Olavo’s theory of Aristotle’s four discourses can help us discover the good. With reason in one hand and the good in another, we may also aspire to wisdom and that precarious thing called freedom. Philosophia – φιλοσοφία – signifies “love of wisdom.” Philosophical methods include poetics (depicting the good through imagination), rhetoric (persuading others of what is good), dialectic (finding the good through dialogue), and analytics (confirming the good through syllogism).
A little philosophy goes a long way.
Here is a link to my recent interview with Dr. Li-Meng Yan: https://www.americaoutloud.com/what-is-behind-strategic-deception-from-russia-communist-china-alliance/
Links and Notes
[i] Aristotle translated by J.A.K. Thomson, The Nicomachean Ethics (New York: Penguin Book, 1982), p. 123.
[ii] Nietzsche’s description of popular, well-paid intellectuals.
[iv] I believe that Plato’s Socratic dialogues have corrupted our image of Socrates. This. is apparent where Plato underscores the intellectual superiority of Socrates over and above his sincerity, leaving us with “Socratic irony.” In an essay titled “Reconsidering Socratic Irony,” Melissa Lane wrote, “That Socrates is ironic is something that many people who know little else about Socrates believe. If this belief is rooted in ancient texts, they are likely to be thinking of Plato’s and Aristotle’s portraits of Socrates rather than those of Aristophanes and Xenophon….” Lane goes on to say that “neither Xenophon nor Aristophanes ever uses about Socrates the Greek word eirôneia, which is the only Greek term (sometimes) translatable as ‘irony.’ By contrast, Plato and Aristotle both use this word and its cognates about Socrates … and this has played a key part in the formation of the tradition of ‘Socratic irony.’” Lane quotes Aristotle’s text, which shows that by using the word eirôneia Aristotle (at least) did not mean “irony” in the modern sense. Aristotle wrote: “The way self-deprecating people [eirônes] understate themselves makes their character appear more attractive, since they seem to do it from a desire to avoid pompousness, and not for the sake of profit; most of all it is things that bring repute that these people too disclaim, as indeed Socrates used to do.” (From the Nicomachean Ethics, 1127b23-26, Rowe and Broadie translation.) Please note: Lane’s study shows that a nuanced misreading of the Greek language has here colored our understanding of Plato’s Socratic dialogues. We should also remember that Socrates was so poor that he often walked about barefooted. Socrates had to take care that his disagreeable questions were not interpreted as insults. This is what explains his self-deprecatory approach. The polite forms of address used by Socrates could hardly have been ironic. His interlocutors were not generally stupid and would have been insulted by irony. Socrates therefore relied on formally friendly and complimentary forms of address if only to demonstrate his respect and good intentions. Modern readers have difficulty seeing Socrates as he was. They see him as a great man rather than the poor son of a stonemason with a shrewish wife. Did Socrates’ wife take her husband to be “ironic”? For Socrates’ sake, we should hope not, for it would not have turned out well for him. And a man beaten down at home is going to carry his demeanor with him into the street. Socrates is, in fact, a humble and sincere man. He has no reason to brag about anything. Irony would have been insolence coming out of his mouth, and insolence belongs to arrogance (which is nowhere in evidence with this man). The philologist Eleanor Dickey discovered that in Plato’s dialogues Socrates was, in fact, using friendly terms of address to better obtain a hearing from his interlocutors. This approach was not patronizing. Socrates was not engaged in ironic put-downs. This is not to deny moments of irony in the dialogues of Socrates, as we find in his praise for Euthyphro and Hippias (who are, in fact, intellectual clowns). Lanes asked if Socrates’ praise for these smug individuals is truly ironical, however. She argues that Socrates was not ridiculing them; rather, he was attempting to draw a confession from them that would prove instructive to the other listeners. The outstanding characteristic of Socrates, then, was his sincerity in pursuing the truth. He never spoke cynically but always argued according to reason. It is, in fact, our cynicism that makes Socrates appear “ironic.” For those interested in Lane’s essay, see The Cambridge Companion to Socrates, pp. 239-41.
[v] Ellis Sandoz, The Voegelin Revolution: A biographical Introduction (New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2017), p. 211.
[vi] Olavo de Carvalho trans by google, The least you need to know not to be an idiot (Rio de Janeiro & Sau Paulo: Editoro Record, 2015), p. 589.
[vii] Ibid, p. 213, Aristotle paraphrased from Sandoz.
[x] Aristotle translated by J.A.K. Thomson, The Nicomachean Ethics (New York: Penguin Book, 1982), p. 114.
181 thoughts on “Olavo’s Aristotle: Plus Interview with Man in America”
Checking in. Thanks, Jeff.
WordPress won’t let me confirm without signing up; and I don’t want to do that.
Well, I belong to WordPress. No soul-eating so far.
I wrote a book about Olavo’s philosophy shortly after his disciple (Mr Robson) published with Olavo’s praise and help a very remarkable exposé of Olavo’s philosophy (Robson’s book is called “Knowledge by Presence: about Olavo’s philosophy”). My critique was heavily based on Robson’s text.
Olavo wrote a note about my text a few weeks before he passed away, news of which somehow caught his ears and caused at least a slight stir because he deemed it was worth discreet mention in a social media post, and he may have read my text at least partly. He more or less clearly presented me as a regular imitator of Guénon (such as he had been without giving importance to the material begotten thereby) and that I was (unlike him) following behind in the duty of trying to imitate other writers as opposed to sticking with one or few.
A very simplified summary account of my book I find helpful to those interested in Olavo’s four discouses theory: I propose the thesis according to which in Olavo’s philosophy, just as in a tyranny context, there is a certain expectation that the language/available knowledge in general, and language about sacred things in particular, are ordinarily handled or used degeneratively. This degenerate expectation is considered in this philosophy ordinary in a way that makes it unclear what is to be considered ordinary language, on the one hand, and [as it were] expletive language on the other. An example I give is that Robson’s first use of the word “God” in the book was an expletive one, namely, he deliberately discussed the term/word in a philosophical sense that simultaneously he himself would seemingly/likely admit does not meet the ordinary definition or expectation of the term, but is a kind of literary device.
Next I apply this subject to the Theory of the Four Discourses. According to this theory there is a natural and successively increasing order concerning the discourses under the aspect of the discourses credibility/ability to allow one corroborate something. Poetry has the credibility of the hypothetical, rhetoric of the feasible, dialectic has the credibility of the tendentially/potentially as probable as possible (namely, dialectics deals with the growing feasibility arising from the gathering of aspects/propositions), logic has the credibility of certainty, in other words, logic has the credibility of a deduction that expresses self-evidence and dispels all obscurity. These are four levels of credibility.
There is another side to the theory of the four discourses (which Olavo atributes to Aristotle), that doesn’t have to do with credibility in itself primarily, nor with the credibility hierarchy. It has to do with proposing that a phenomenon, in order to be grasped either by the individual intellect or by a cultural atmosphere, has to follow certain cognitive steps. The first one is as a fantasy (poetry). Then as an appeal (rhetoric). Then as an as it were academic forum [or proximate equivalent] subject of discussion (dialectic). Then as a demonstrative deduction chain. For example, before the covid lockdowns were enforced the idea of a pandemic lockdown was displayed as a fantasy (poetry/possibility) in movies, video games etc. As a developing side to it a Rockefeller Foundation report, or something like that, released a report (years before the actual covid pandamic) that in a lockdown scenario people would likely fare much better under the totalitarian Chinese regime, or given this regime’s response. This is a rhetoric appeal (next step), because it is short of being very detail-laden (which would be a dialectic approach), but something about it somehow rings plausible already. And so on.
I apply the degenerate/expletive expectation regarding language, noted before, to the theory of the four discourses by observing that, given this theory, were one to appeal to another to follow a religious precept as recorded in a canon law or spiritual book, the response to it of one following this four discourses theory would be to treat the precept as a mere possibility/fantasy. It would be (analogically) like literally claiming that you are a Denmark Prince named Hamlet, instead of simply a person playing this character. You would analogically take it you’re dealing with the expletive (ficctional character/possibility) as opposed to the thing’s primary meaning (the actual Hamlet/demonstration)
As Robson points out, according to Thomas Aquinas the four discourses are ordained in such a way that you have the univocal descent from a hierarchy commencing from the most certain (logic) to the most uncertain (poetry); which would imply that from dialectics down one is dealing merelu with progressive forms of error or at least of a defective knowledge.
I argue that the natural order of discourses is neither in the way Olavo presents it, nor necessarily in the way Aquinas was purported to indicate. Poetry in the sense of a mere possibility (an impression to the detriment of conception, to use kantian language; of an “object” to the detriment of being “subjective”, to use husserlian language) does not begin the cognition ordinarily; but only degeneratively. This can be seen in Guénon’s theory that mythological poetry in ancient Greece was not poetry in this “mere possibility begetting [concerning new knowledge]” but was something that encompassed what philosophers and other scientists did, and was actually even more interesting; only, it was a language lost in its original sense.
One way to look at it is considering the Christian sacraments. What the patristic era Church considered the beginning of faith, and of justification, were the sacraments/baptism. In them you have a poetical language entailing possibilities, but you also have conception at the same time and indivisibly. That is what poetry meant originally. That is why the four discouses, long story short, correspond to the four ages/pieces of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, and the first age, the golden age, is associable with the priestly caste, just as gold in general is in traditional symbolism. the priest stands symbolically for the social expression of conception, not raw impression to the detriment of conception.
It is interesting how, given the arguably pejorative or comparatively pejorarative sense with which Olavo interprets poetry and its primitive role; that Olavo, in the context of dismissing the unequivocal glory of the Garden of Eden condition, argued that the apex of religious revelation in history could occur and did occur (with the coming of Christ) at any moment in history; namely, in a indeterminate point in in the “middle” of the current of events as an expression of divine liberty. Olavo apparently did not realize this thesis has an structural correspondence with his theory of discourses, because it is a property of dialectic discourse (located in the middle of the progression of discourses as Olavo understood it) the qualities of indeterminateness, liberty, a residual erratic look. Thus Olavo rejected the theory of cosmic cycles in theory, but seemed to subliminally apply something of this order in practice, albeit he accepted certain periods are characterized by an attachment to some of the four discourses to the detriment of the others. The point being that portraying the Garden of Eden condition as pejorative in some subliminal or little thought out way/non-extensive way has to do with a gap in his theory.
Olavo agrees, I think, with Voegelin in the matter of time. Are you actually taking positions similar to Guenon? Eternal recurrence, etc.?
Ah, curious that I recently again read ” Lord of the World” by Guenon, Mr Nyquist. Perennial philosophy goes well in an esoteric medium, but assumptions are made by the whole lot of premodern philosophers on issues like determinism, necessity, and so forth. Aristotle is fine to a point, one of my heroes being the Aristotlean Patriarch Gennadius Scholarius, who stood against the pagan Platonist Gemisthos Plethon and was Patriarch of Constantinople after the city fell to the Ottomans. Plethons Platonist students fled and made themselves available to Cosimo Medici and his Florentine Platonic Academy in Italy, and the rest is history as far as Oligarchy goes. And that reminds me in turn of Olavho de Carvalo, and his rejection of the Cosmological principles undergirding the Modern Age, for it was out of that Academy in Florence that a Solar Dynasty, if you will get my point, was founded. Guenon knew many truths, as did Aristotle through Plato, but to look at it all through Modern eyes is to look at a sealed book.
Do you think Olavo looks through modern eyes?
I am not a great reader of Voegelin. I read the first volume of his Order and History, and part or all of other few writings a long time ago. All I am able to say is he seemed essentially to have an affinity with Olavo’s expectation of history as having an indeterminate quality in a way reflective of man’s cognitive-escathological limitation.
I read part of Guénon’s book on Cosmic Cycles. He went out of his way to indicate, in this book and others, his point of view and contribution on this order of study was very tentative in some ways (in way of understanding and including in the sense of capacity to express his ideas); albeit he was able to express some of his outlook about it clearly and convincingly. I think it is safe to say from a religious point of view it is simply a matter of recognizing the indeterminateness/liberty in history is correlative with order and necessity, and the underlying unity between indeterminateness and necessity is expressed by means of an intermediary domain, infallibility; just as justice and mercy are reconciled by Providence. I have no information about Guénon holding to eternal recurrence doctrine, for example in Nietzsche sense (he would probably not espouse this kind of modern paradox or thesis). Of course this idea is outwardly similar to some Chinese/Eastern metaphysical themes Guénon discussed, about how different domains of reality or chains of elements mirror one another; but this is another thing entirely; it is not the same as proposing some spiritualist life-recurring expectation.
Being a Calvinist, as I heard you are from a French friend interviewee of your in a social media comment, I imagine you would be perhaps inclined to see history bent more by necessity than by liberty. The Thomist address to this matter would be to suggest necessity connotes a domain different from that of life/temporal existence, that is why Aquinas discreetly proposes an intermediary between necessity and liberty (namely, infallibility), albeit his view is by some deemed similar to the Calvinist view. This intermediary role corresponds to the 1John 5:8 three witnesses, morals would be liberty (blood), dogma would be necessity (Spirit), and sacraments would be an intermediary between the two (infallibility). The three “are one”, according to 1 John 5:8, underneath their distinction.
Regarding expletives, the French like to make a distinction between using profanity and vulgarity. Vulgarity has to do with stupidity. A vulgar person can be polite and not use expletives. An intelligent person may use expletives, however, judiciously. This is also in line with the puritanism of the outside appearances. This is important in regards to evaluate acts of violence and war, and the schizophrenic lack of ability to differentiate between explicit violence and the implicitness of the violence of the vulgar and stupid individual has been unfortunately well exploited by the communist media-biters.
I didn’t know about the expletive distinction you brought up. The term “profane” means ignorance essentially, and it makes sense ignorance may have different qualitative expressions.
By the way others would see the four discourses as complementary. This is the problem with modern thinking, it lacks ability to connect things into a “whole life”. In primitive, so called, or, rather, more fundamental, societies, there is no clear distinction between art/poetry, religion and medicine, for example, because when listening to the poet, one heals and one listens to a story or to an argument about the gods, and vice versa when going to see the medicine man or the voodoo priest. There poetry and religious figures are manifest, which is not to say that such societies are schizophrenic as they perfectly are able to distinguish a chemotherapeutic plant from a political magicotherapeutic plant encouraging the patient to have confidence and take care of itself – free of terminal curse. Even the “art” of iron smelting is permeated with religious and medical meaning, with each tool being equated to an organ of a god or a piece of the sun etc. and an activity with a first language or primordial WORD etc.
It would surmise then that poetry is complementary to logic in medicinal art. They are not zero sum games or corrupted states of each other. All these things are wealth. It however is after Gallileo’s rejection of Aristotle and Descartes’ rejection of anything not provable mathematically as being unworthy of our attention that we started delving into the materialist worships of today that do not tolerate any opposition nor any poetry or art. The wealth of the unprovable knowledge has simply been discarded, or pushed into the “unconscious”, and yet that is a very reality that affects our behaviors every day. It is not because it cannot be explained that it does not exists.
Let us note also that in the past one was philosopher first and then from there derived mathematical and physics concepts. Newton was a philosopher and his science had philosophy as a foundation. This idea however that all are beholden to science and logic and not to philosophy is where this degenerescence of the “in depth study of meaningless things” has mushroomed ridiculously in academia and government funding for the most ridiculous “scientific studies” that are political or mafia fronts of communists these days.
It seems interesting to see then that communism is a cynical manifestation and proof that all science is philosophically derived as all the while the communists are in control of it – and yet they keep claiming they are the science, confusing things in appearance, but having very well managed the political aspect of science to their own benefit. In that context, science and logic is a cynical exercise, and completely dumb and corrupt.
Olavo saw the four discourses as complementary, and each as having elements of the other three; what makes one discourse distinct from the other in his view is the primary purpose. If you primarily mean to convince, then you use rhetoric, if you primarily mean to demonstrate, you use logic; the latter two intentions are different animals, their discoursive context is totally different. But in rhetoric you use deduction, just as in logic, only in a different more secondary way.
Primitive societies indeed have a comparative nondistinction between different discourses, and Olavo remarked in them “mythic”/poetry discourse prevails. But in reality these societies, as Guénon argued, are not time-wise primitive, they are degenerations, and thereby the later effect of a deviation in relation to a former state. The Nebuchadnezzar statue symbolism in the bible is useful in the sense of highlighting that things begin well and become worse, in order to return to goodness afterwards. This nonpejorative primitive quality is reflected in a civilizational state in which logic and poetry etc. are too concentrated one in relation to the other for a distinction even to make sense. The nondistinction in what is described as primitive cultures is a parody of this legitimate primitive quality; which doesn’t mean, as Guénon observed, the outlook of primitive cultures is often accessible to modern men, it has a residual and/or relative richness of its own.
Just as Olavo, Voegelin had this idea things begin worse and then improve. This expectation is certainly contradicted by many traditions. For example, the ancient Roman one, which I heard held that there was a primitive golden age under the patornage of a supreme deity named Saturn (which represents a primitive germination). The famous Saturnallia festival is said to be in part a reminder of that primitive better age.
This was one of the greatest posts about Aristotle and Philosophy I have ever read. This really makes me want to dive in deeper to it. Thanks for this great post!
R.C Sproul suggests in one of his books that Socrates reasoned himself into monotheism and ran afoul of the Athenian authorities because monotheism was offensive to the polytheistic Athenians. Do you know whether or not that is an accurate suggestion?
I think this view of Socrates is speculative, but may have some arguments in its favor.
Good Stuff once again. Love the accuracy of Bonhoffer’s analysis. A great little book on Plato and Aristotle and western civilization in general is Francis Schaeffer’s ‘Escape from Reason’. Of course, anything by Schaeffer I’ve found extraordinary. Also, the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah, brought similar ideas to light in the first few pages of his discourses, saying, “Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.” 2:11 and this at the beginning and is expanded upon as one progresses through the rest of the book, revealing the indolent slide of a nation ending in a slavery to a foreign power.
Michael, you beat me to it. I also recommend Francis Schaeffer’s ‘Escape from Reason’. It is a quick and short survey of a major problem with Western philosophy in general, starting with the ancient Greeks—Plato and Aristotle. Schaeffer called that problem the ‘line of despair’.
There’s another way of looking at the world that doesn’t have that ‘line of despair’ a way of thinking that modern philosophers call “Hebrew Thought” because of its origins in the Hebrew Scriptures. That is in contrast to “Greek thought” called so because of its origins with the Greek philosophers—Plato and Aristotle. There’s a book review containing an outline of those differences contrasting the two ways of thinking found at:
Quite Right! The biblical (Judaic). thinking being linear and having its origin in History. Then the Greek thought being circular and charged with filling its Destiny. A Nebulous yarn for sure. Paul said it in one breath: ” For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:” 1Cor1:22 Do we seek after what we have, or do we require a sign if we have faith? No sign shall be given except the sign of Jonah.
David Pawson simply and clearly contrasts these two mindsets/ways of thinking — Hebraic vs Greek– in these two teachings. For other readers, like myself, who are not well read in Greek philosophers and their works, Pawson provides a wonderful, very easy to listen to, introductory overview. His arguments for the need to “De-Greece” the Church are very convincing.
The difference between the Greek and Hebrew approaches was that of noetic versus pneumatic. But there are areas of overlap. Furthermore, the New Testament was written in Greek. And you cannot undo that. Then you have Judaeus Philo, a Jewish follower of Aristotle who wrote about the Logos long before St. John wrote his gospel. Where a word comes from, and what it means philosophically, is no small thing. Things here are connected.
Pawson is certainly fun to listen to. But, the Ancient Greek philosophers were not advocates of Greek democracy or sports, or the other items he criticizes as “Greek.” They were critical of Greek society, which was much too complicated and diverse to be characterized as he does. Democracy only existed in some Greek cities. Socrates was sentenced to death in the Athenian democracy. How, then, does this implicate the philosophers in the ills of modern Democracy? Pawson does not sound knowledgeable. The Christian Church was spread and built up in the Greek speaking part of the Roman world initially.
Yes, Pawson discusses Philo, demiurge and logos, in Part 1. A free pdf of his book on this subject can be downloaded if people would rather read vs listen to Pawson’s perspective. Register with email and part of the Explaining Series.
I don’t hear Pawson discounting all Greek philosophy, but just the need to not allow this very different way of thinking to influence believers away from Hebraic biblical, mindsets and truths. Pawson gives very concrete examples how Augustine, Aquinas etc were very deeply influenced by Greek thinking and it has caused confusion and disarray in the Church thru the centuries.
I will have to read more.
Aristotele has been philosopher of financial oligarchy for 2300 years.
Your dogmatic Marxism is blinding.
That made me laugh out loud. Sorry, Commit, to laugh at your expense, but honestly your dogmatic brainwashed brain needs some stretching.
I did not know rich Oligarchs had as ancestor-god Aristotle… Or is it Aristotle who had as ancestor rich bankers? As if money was the crux of all wealth, when it is but a crutch and only something glistening in the eyes of the fool who sees in life no other wealth and does not understand the concept of wealth, intelligence, moral, cultural, artistic, familial, tribal and what not, Don’t you even see how brain damaged your argument is? Or is it trolling philosophical discussion? Read the article above about the demoralization into stupidity again. This is the thing, this is when the discussion on the topic starts stopping and the individual is trying to grab attention and becomes the topic of a larger topic regarding ideology (that very bad advisor) having replaced anything of real value inherited or founded or otherwise. And so it is left with trolling for no cause.
I think that you have been reading too much LaRouche. Aristotle speaks to moderation in all things, in not diving into one logical error in order to avoid another, in ordered and rational existence. Oligarchy is with none of those things.
Directed at commit
What are your thoughts on troop movement in Brazil? Does anything indicate some military action being taken by Bolsonaro? Lula got his inauguration date to be advanced by a full week. They’re in a hurry. I’m getting kinda worried Bolsonaro won’t do anything. It’s hard to imagine Brazil going down without a fight. Thoughts?
I am told that Steve Bannon is advising Bolsonaro. That might be incidental or important. I do not know how much influence he would have. And I am not sure what that means. However, it is hard to imagine Bannon advising Bolsonaro to ask for military intervention. Naturally, the communists are nervous, the crowds are larger, and the situation could go in any direction.
Not sure about how I feel about Bannon advising Bolsonaro. Sometimes, it seems that he’s all talk, no action. I thought he would approve of calling on the military; he just seems like that type of guy. Also, Matthew Tyrmand is frequently on War Room as of late, and has mentioned article 142 as the only alternative (i.e. military intervention) on multiple occasions, so I assume Bannon must also be onboard. From what I could gather, Bolsonaro is making sure the generals are all on his side, hence the large number of military promotions. Are you planning on interviewing Allan dos Santos?
Allan agreed to interview but has gotten cold feet. The situation is sensitive.
That’s actually really good news. I hope all goes well in Brazil.
For Trump adviser Stephen Miller is also advising Bolsonaro as well.
Mr. Nyquist, no, I do not think that with his beliefs, Olavho was very ” Modern”. He had a rather consistent worldview reflected in his Politics as with his Cosmological beliefs. Quite Anti Newtonian, from what I’ve read for example.
Yes, there is a strong traditionalist tendency in Olavo, who was a strong Catholic. He has defended the work of the Holy Inquisition, for example. By way of provocation, he was attacked rather viciously by a pro-Russian Brazilian Protestant who I suspect to have been “influenced” by Russian active measures.
Interesting. This seems to be in accord with the idea that it was not Gallileo who was persecuted but in fact at the time he was the persecutor of the church who was siding with Aristotle. There seem to be some history revisionism regarding these scientists because apparently Galileo was the one putting on trial on the church and not the opposite. The result was that while Gallileo “won” on the technical ground of the experiments, he continued further attacking and imposing his philosophy over that of the church’s in intransigeant ways. It is the church which allowed Gallileo as an valid opposition, but when the Gallileo took power, he did not accept ANY opposition and decapitated/neutered the church and Aristotle completely. At that point the Gallileans did not accept any discourse or opposition, much the way Romulus could not stand having a twin brother or Oedipus blinded himself after realizing his own cruelty and lack of tolerance for opposition when winning.
Mr. Nyquist, I don’t know anything about Brazilian Protestants or ” Russian active measures” such as you hint of, but I find de Carvalo interesting as a fellow pre modern, if you will. I can’t judge a man or what happened to him, but looking at the universe in a similar way I cannot help but to have some sympathy. Without being too blunt, to have such a Cosmological position as he had (I think) and as I have, is bound to have troubles in public life. Now, I actually think that the pre modern conception of reality IS reality, so it’s bound to reassert itself eventually and likely rather soon. Is this the esoteric reason for the modern crises, as if modernity is collapsing? I think so.
I am also sympathetic to pre-modern ways of seeing the world. There is something contaminating about modern thought; the question is, what exactly is wrong with it?
Excellent interview with Man in America. Some great hope in there! Thank you!
But, for now, it would seem the CCP concentration camps are beginning to fill. So prepared for these days all along……
Why does China have so many concentration camps, designed the same as the ones in the United States, when it’s so much more convenient and cost effective to simply lock people into their apartments, by welding the shut the main entrances.
Designed the same as in the United States?
The CCP is not backing down. They are using intimidation on people by coming to their homes at night. We shall see what effect this has.
of fear, is sacrosanct.
it up using more words
but I think shorter quotes
have more chance of being memorized.
it, you own it.
… why not be
honest and all it “fear-ism”?
i.e. your belief and hope
and desire that you own me,
is refuted in practice by that which
I hold as sacrosanct, my altar.
is what we
do when we want
to do politics, efficiently.
Have hope, the Chinese people are learning.
Jeff, I’m praying the “pre-quake” you talked about in the interview becomes a full-blown earthquake! I really do believe the CCP will be brought down at some point. I hope it’s soon! Did you happen to watch “The Final War” on Epoch Times? It covers the 100-year plot to destroy America. It was very interesting!
I have not seen it yet.
The first 45 minutes was mostly things we already know, but then they got into Li Rui (Mao Zedong’s personal secretary) and information I had not heard before.
That sounds very interesting.
My opinion Mr Nyquist is that ” Modernity” is not science or technology or the use of our God given reason, but a kind of set of assumptions based on objective doubt of everything except one’s individual ego and working outwards from that concept: ” Cogito, ergo sum”, Cartesian philosophy is close to fully expressing the worldview, probably integral to man’s fallen human nature. De Toqueville once wrote of America that no philosophy was more universal there than Cartesian philosophy, and nowhere else was Rene Descartes less read than in America. But Newton, Galileo, Locke, Bruno, and Hobbes shared almost the same basic outline as Descartes, and similarly did their part to spread the word of what William Blake called “Urizen”. I call it Satanism. That’s what I see as Modernism.
In effect, Vladimir, the egophanic revelation supplants the theophanic. Is that fair to Descartes? After all, few seem to be thinking — yet they ARE.
Mr. Nyquist, the image of the Logos is imprinted on us, but the will is where the problem lies, not the intellect. It reminds me of the old story of an old Greek man at the Olympics who struggled to find a seat, people pushing him aside and sitting before him, laughing and joking at his expense. Then, he saw the whole Spartan contingent, standing to and offering him a seat. The old man cried out saying: ” all Greeks know what is right, but only Sparta does it!”. Pascal certainly saw Descartes work as Atheism in it’s implications at least, so I can hardly think that a refined mind as Descartes (who once met and talked with Blaise Pascal, uncomfortably) did not either, in his heart. So Modernity… I see it as counter initiatory.
Yes. You are right about Descartes. I see what you are saying.
But yes, I do get what you are saying, so many are asleep, awake only to their disordered passions. Society obviously shouldn’t be built around the idea that these persons are equal and sovereign and the source of all authority, all men alike. What idiocy!
Descartes affirms that every man can reach true happiness and fulfillment by way of the use of their reason. Pascal being an Augustinian most certainly doesn’t think so. Now Aristotle at first might be seen in his naturalist thinking to be one in agreement with Descartes and all the others, but he most emphatically is not. Read his Politics or Nicomachean Ethics, here is an Aristotle who affirms that there is a type of human beings who are ” natural slaves”, because of their irrationality and disordered passions, slaves to their appetites. They are the same as St. Paul’s ” Idiots” but not quite the same as the Russian ” Fool”.
Reason your way to happiness in a Chinese high rise.
The good man can be happy in a dungeon or a palace. Reason has little to do with it, but not nothing
The Christian framers of the Declaration of Independence, assert:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This suggests to me that they didn’t consider that one can necessarily be happy. What you say sounds more like Buddhism, as if reality is illusion. Those who believe that ought to smack themselves in the head with an iron skillet.
In reply Petunia on happiness, to elaborate:
Happiness that is true and real lies in virtue, and acceptance by the righteous of the will of God. One can pursue this happiness, but in reality it is a gift from God, ultimately the experience of God in us. One therefore can be happy in any circumstances whether in a palace or a dungeon, and one will be unhappy anywhere without Him in any case.
Indeed, Happiness is a gift from God, as are our challenges, but Happiness and acquiescence to abusive tyrants ought not be tolerated no matter how giddy we might be about it.
Such subversive reasoning as you display might be what led to Marx calling religion, “The opiate of the masses”.
Petunia, in response to your comments directed at me regarding tyrants and happiness: you are engaged in a strawman argument, saying that what I’m saying is subversive. Further, it’s libertarian projecting. I never said Tyrants should not be resisted, as Tyrants are not the duly constituted rulers of a nation, ordained of God to be obeyed.
Vladimir, you are engaging in circular reasoning, to say that a good man can be happy in a dungeon. Why would a good man be in a dungeon subject to a good leader? That is not a straw man argument. Despite your failed contradiction, your fallacious reasonings are subversive to Christian principals.
The term you mention in the interview is critical mass. When a certain number in any group have the same thought, via telepathy if you like the whole group gets the thought. This was explained to me by a metaphycisist who explained that in the Pacific islands during the war American soldiers would take their apples to the water and wash them in the sea. Not long after, the monkeys started taking apples to the water and washing them. The soldiers then moved on to the next uninhabited island, and were dismayed to see the monkeys washing fruit in the sea. I would like to make this comment and in no way am i being antagonistic. My mother in her 80’s in Australia swears by her tv and doctor. This year before winter she called and said the flu is back and I need the flu vaxx. I asked what do you mean no flu last year?. She said yes no one got the flu we all got covid but the flu is back. Straight from the tv to her head. Please don’t come here, you will kill yourself and the world is much more interesting with you in it.
People your mother’s age are from another era. They trusted their leaders, their doctors, and salesmen.
Officially 92% of Australians over 10 have the Covid jab. Age is irrelevant here. The mind control going on is extreme. Not one single word on our media re China.
I happened upon a frightening reference to still births in Australia, much higher than anywhere else. If what I saw is true, the country has killed its future.
Ironically, Australia has an aggressive marketing campaign to increase population by inviting immigration. It is election fraud in Australia and New Zealand which has resulted in draconian Covid mandates which have led to depopulation via lethal injections.
Incidentally, the US Supreme Court is anxious to discuss hearing a non political case against violations of oath of office for public officials, which could result in criminal prosecution for treason, all the way from local election clerks to Commander and Chief of the US Administrative branch.
RALAND J. BRUNSON
November 30, 2022
The SCOTUS set the conference date
(The 9 Justices will meet to discuss the case and decide (by vote) if they want to move it to a hearing, where they will officially judge the case and decide (by vote) if defendants should be removed from office)
Loy Brunson was with Stew Peters, last night.
World renowned obstetrician, Dr James Thorp, discusses still births with Peters, the other night, on November 28th, 2022.
You don’t seem to post linked videos anymore, but I’ll provide them if you wish.
What do you mean by saying I no longer post linked videos? I posted two videos to this article.
One day a door to door salesman sold my grandma a sewing machine. Grandpa was fine with that. Couple weeks latter, the salesman returned to sell my grandmother an upgrade, and took the other back in trade. Grandpa got a hold of that salesman and made him bring back the first one along with a refund.
I made the comment about what the media/government is saying in Australia re Covid as you have speculated previously the vaxx maybe a Chinese bio weapon?, and as an Australian who is aware, this would seem very plausible here. I have a lot of time for David Icke. In very precise detail he explains why the covid virus IS the flu rebranded, and this is exactly what is being said to the Australian people.
David Icke? Really?
I was waiting for that Jeff! Yes David Icke. Read the Gods of Eden by William Bramley. David is confirming what The Australian Government – Five Eyes – is saying to the people. He’s a very switched on guy.
I have read Bramley’s book. It’s Gnostic in spirit — quite paranoid — and without faith. Where does God really fit in? It is so very negative about the way the universe is put together.
Jeff the sick and dieing are mounting up here, birth rate plummeting, down 90%. We are under attack. By whom, to what end? Happy to discuss war, and leave the esoteric out of it.
How do you imagine Australia was defeated? It was the refusal to discuss important questions. You had no significant discourse in the country. This is self-evident.
Ronnie Biggs spent many years hiding out in Melbourne where I am from. The son of Freud came to Melbourne many years ago and said “No wonder Biggs chose Melbourne to hide out in, there is a general air of incompetence” When Orwell spoke of beer football and gambling he was talking here. Your essay Schizoid Ochlocracy hit me hard as that is exactly what I am in. Freemasons are very imbedded here. Its very dark. Thats why its all happening now. Inevitable as you say. But who’s the boss?
I understand there are two very powerful organized crime groups that dominate Australia.
I will tell you this story about Melbourne for my pleasure. As you will know Melbourne was the most locked down city in the world. Monash University in Melbourne released a report not long ago “The Melbourne Experiment” on the lockdowns. My Mason friends. Sadly a few years ago we lost the musician Prince. At 3am Melbourne time, Prince was announced dead. Our magnificent Premier Mr Dan Andrews who was re elected last weekend, was awoken with the tragic news Prince had died!! The Premier of Victoria Australia was most distressed for “The Purple One!!” So, and I kid you not. at 5am, the huge Spire about the Melbourne Art Centre was flood lit Purple. For the Purple One!!. I was amazed. I heard this on the 9am news. I spoke with a friend who said what the hells it got to do with us?? Stuffed if I know I said. I then went to work with my daily research, and guess what. It was the Queens actual bloody Birthday. Look it up. Masons,they run our little town.
I do not understand? Why is the Queen’s birthday important in this context?
In 1900 Melbourne was the richest city in the world. After WW1 in Melbourne a battle was fought as to where the War Memorial should be built. Sir Keith Murdoch and Co, had their plans, the men had others, and the men won. Rupert cannot profit from intelligence, now his son with the Philosophy degree is soon to take over. Been a long time coming.
Murdoch is a Mason?
One more and thats it. Sir General Monash and his boys using military tactics get to build their design of the War Memorial over Sir Keith Murdoch who was Editor of the Herald and Weekly Times who used his paper to get what’ they’ wanted. (An Arch in front of the Windsor Hotel) When the War Memorial was first built it had a huge reflection pool. 20 years later, when all had passed, the reflection pool was pulled up, and in its place they put the eternal flame. Queen Elizabeth came to Australia and opened the “Eternal Flame” at the War Memorial. A few years ago, a lad, put out the flame one night. It was all over the news. They tracked him down. The police asked “did you put out the eternal flame?” The lad said, damn straight I did. He told the police exactly why he did it, and would love his day in court to tell the Australian people. The Police decided not to proceed.
The eternal flame is a Masonic thing?
Sir Keith Murdoch married Elizabeth Greene (with an e) Rupert likes to fly over Israel in helicopter gun ships with the PM. They lit the spire purple in recognition of the Queens birthday, saying it was for Prince was BS. The Queen is the head of world Freemasonry, now Charles is boss. The eternal flame of war must always burn, totally masonic. Police fire Ambo all use the checker board. All run by Masons. This is why Australia is stuffed.
And I only mentioned Bramley as to me life/earth/the universe is a complete mystery and Icke trys to make sense of it and I give him credit for that.
Purple being the Royal colour
A long time ago in England when textiles were the biggest industry, someone invented a new colour blue, which looks purple in the right light. This blue was awarded the honour “royal blue”
A lady I know is in the Melbourne Fire Brigade. I was asking her a few things, and she said “thats interesting, my first interview was in a Masonic lodge” They dont hide it
Olavo would laugh if called “traditionalist”; he would agree I guess with “traditional”. He was very serious about a certain conviction he did the most to pass on to his students: that a man could be much more influenced by great men of the past than by mediocrities of today. And he was – as noted in the article – such a man and a professor on how to do it in actuality.
On another subject: a little too severe with Plato on footnote n. IV, Mr. Nyquist, I don’t know Lane’s work but by Plato’s words only it became evident to me that Socrates was not this kind of “ironic” cynic. In the Apology the image is clear, Socrates is some ancient version of friar, devouted entirely to Truth at the expense of everything else. “Every one that is of the truth” when reading the Apology rediscovers an inner sincerity, and this rediscovery is philosophy properly. We can see Plato depicting this humbleness in situations like that when Socrates asks Protagoras to speak more simply because Socrates is a simple man, uncapable of Protagoras “sophistications”. It remembers a lot the humbleness of the saints, that in a way know that are way better than the mundane people, but not because of themselves, but because of their simplicity, their ascetic emptiness. Protagoras is full of Protagoras, Socrates is full of Truth. This is an emptiness, but also a superiority.
Yes. Olavo certainly did not like the “radical traditionalism” of someone like Julius Evola. I got the impression he thought Evola very dangerous. Olavo was a traditionalist in the sense of upholding Catholic tradition, and traditional Western philosophy (classics). Of course, taking another view, it does not make sense to link Aristotle with traditionalism. Science is not tradition.
Some have argued that Aristotle is the father of the modern world. Some have maintained the opposite. Writers I follow have, to the bargain, referred to Voegelin as a “traditionalist” rather than a conservative because he attempted to revive Aristotelian political science. Insofar as Olavo belongs with Voegelin, he might be similary described. But only in the sense that Sandoz, for example, describes Voegelin as a “traditionalist.” Our labels are not always good for much, unless we understand what is meant by using them. As for Lane’s essay on Socratic irony: She shows that modern academics and popularizers have misunderstood Plato and Aristotle’s use of a Greek word, and we must also remember that Plato’s admiration of Socrates colored his depiction (which certainly differs a great deal from Aristophanes’s “Clouds”). This Platonic admiration creates a certain impression which falsifies who Socrates was. Lane therefore wrote a corrective for those who believe in this “Socratic irony.” And I don’t think any special criticism of Plato is the point. Plato made use of Socrates in his dialogues, yet it was often Plato who was expressing his own views through a literary device in which Socrates was depicted as the speaker. Scholars have argued this, and I think their point is well made. The real offenders, however, are a number of professors who prattle on about Socratic irony. From my days at UC Irvine I recall this visiting PhD from Clairmont whose lecture on Socratic irony left me baffled. I have never thought Socrates was “ironic” (in the sense he meant). I instinctively felt he was talking about his own irony; that is, the contempt he had for other academics and students. Was I mistaken in this impression? Possibly. But it rubbed me the wrong way at the time. Later, when I ran across Lane’s essay, it spoke to me. And I do not think it is hard on Plato. I think Plato’s admiration for Socrates colors the dialogues and leads some of these latter-day professors to their fond identification with Socrates. One might say they have made Socrates in their own image. As for the real Socrates, I think Xenophon’s portrayal is probably closer to the real man.
You can understand Aristotle as the “father of the modern world” because of the contrast between the platonist and the peripatetic school. I have heard of the mouth of very “traditional” people some words of contempt for the peripatetic approach and its systematizing tendency, which made possible the William of Ockham phenomenon – this, I think, the real father of modernity. On the other hand “father of the modern world” can be simply an insult in the mouth of a traditionalist, and a dumb compliment in the mouth of a modern mind. This labels are indeed very confusing and, reading carefully the beginning of your comment, I really can’t be sure we are understanding each other, for the language barrier here seems huge (I am lusophone). Traditionalist for me is someone who does not really possess a tradition, but tries to “escavate” one artificially. Traditional for me is someone who in fact lives the tradition in a genuine, “existential” way. In this sense I can agree with you, Aristotle cannot be a traditionalist, once there were not efforts like Evola’s or Guenon’s in his time, for obvious reasons, you didn’t need to escavate, the tradition was there.
As for Plato I am guilty of a little irony. I got the problem Lane’s work adresses I just found it was funny saying someone was being “severe” with Plato, I think I wasn’t able to make that evident in the words. But your reply was useful, I really had not understood your point, now I get it. You were refering to Plato’s style, which derived from his admiration, and I couldn’t agree more. This phenomenon, of each one taking from the socratic atittute the qualities that already are in his animus, that you observed in the visiting lecturer, is precisely what I wanted to mean with “Every one that is of the truth”.
You have it exactly right, I think.
I loved this interview with its really encouraging news! But could you explain more about the Hungarian Revolution? In the interview you said the people freed themselves of communist rule in one day. After that I went to Wikipedia to learn more about what happened, but it describes the revolution as lasting nearly a month and in the end, the people lost and the communists won! From what I read there, Hungary continued to be communist until 1989 when the whole communist block fell apart. Why do you think the revolution failed? The people fought so valiantly.
Gretchen: The Hungarian uprising against communism was initially successful. The communists had to retreat. Moscow then negotiated in bad faith, and established a position from which to launch a counter-attack. The communists then took Hungary back. The Hungarian revolution failed for two reasons: (1) President Eisenhower refused to support the Hungarian people, even as he failed to support the French/British/Israeli invasion of Egypt in that same year; (2) The Hungarians negotiated with the Soviets, which they should never have done. They should have taken Andropov hostage.
P.S. Sorry, Jeff. I should have said I THOUGHT you said the Hungarians freed themselves from communist rule in one day. Maybe I misunderstood. Or maybe the day you were talking about occurred not during the 1956 uprising (the revolution I was reading about on Wikipedia) but later, in 1989?
The uprising toppled communist rule in Budapest in one day. Yes. I was only attempting to show what an angry crowd is capable of doing.
So, in that instance, was mob rule a good thing? Or, do we call it, “rule by consent of the people? The lines of duty are blurry…
Depends on which people.
Our Founding Fathers did not make a democracy. But the democratic element in our Constitution seems the only brake to left wing authoritarianism. That is quite interesting as facts go.
There is a clause in the Declaration of Independence that your comment brought to mind, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
I can remember when I studied this the first time. I lived on a naval base in Japan and attended a DOD school for my middle school years. The passage caught my imagination, and I wondered if I would live to see a day when we would ever come to this moment in our country. It struck my young mind as a sweeping power. Maybe that day is not far off.
I hope we can achieve a renewal. But so far, as I look to the political leaders and the splintered nature of public thought, where people do not reason and too many live by dogmas at variance with each other; I fear a war of all against all.
Jeff, in your commentary you wrote, “…Aristotle became the single most influential philosopher in history. His reputation came under attack in the seventeenth century, with early modern thinkers sometimes counting him as the enemy.” The reason he came under attack was the Protestant Reformation.
Luther explicitly rejected both medieval neo-Platonism and the neo-Aristotelianism of Thomas Aquinas and the Renaissance. He went back to an older source—the Bible in its original languages.
Peter Harrison, in his book “The Bible, Protestantism and the Rise of Natural Science” quoted early modern scientists as they rejected Aristotle as being a hindrance in the study of nature (modern science). Most of those scientists based their science on the Bible and considered natural science to be just part of total knowledge.
However, the first part of the quote above is still accurate—Aristotle is the single most influential philosopher in history.
Luther was not a philosopher or scientist in the sense of being “a modern thinker.”
Essentially, Luther presented a translation of the Bible that everyone could read and decide for themselves what to think about it. He used modern technology of the printing press to liberate people.
Luther was a theologian, but his theology ushered in the modern age.
A couple of his professors at Wittemberg helped Copernicus with his research and in getting his book published. That event is considered the “Copernican Revolution” that ushered in modern science. In other words, Luther was personally involved. Many other scientists followed that lead.
His theology opposed “the Divine Right of Kings” to rule as they wish, rather that kings and governments are under the law, as a constitutional monarchy.
The music of Heinrich Schütz, Pachelbel, Telemann, Händel, Mendelssohn, and the greatest of them all J.S. Bach, are a musical expression of his theology.
His theology inspired the Dutch masters in their paintings.
There’s hardly an area in modern life, other than those who reject his theology, that has not been influenced by Luther’s theology. What is called “post-modernism” is a rejection of Luther’s influence.
But you are right, he was not a philosopher in the western sense. Rather he took his inspiration from an earlier source, namely the Bible.
R.O., then in what sense to you fine Luther to be a philosopher? Do you find Luther’s theology to take exception to Christianity, or can you support assertion as if the Bible were philosophy?
Petunia: I know many people disagree with me, but I find no operative difference between “religion” and “philosophy” based on their function. Both deal with the same subjects. Both provide answers to the same questions. I see no functional differences between the two. If there is any difference, I see philosophy acting as a subset of religion.
Those who look at surface appearances make a distinction between the two. For example, those who look at appearances say that “religion” deals with a god or gods, and atheism has no god, therefore atheism is not a religious belief. Those who look at function see that atheism functions as a religious belief, therefore they call atheism “a religious belief”.
Now we look at Luther, possibly the most influential thinker in the last 500 years. Because he put his thinking in the form of theology, people who look at surface appearances say he was not a philosopher. But those who look at function see that his “theology” had the same effects as any recognized philosophy, some of which I listed above. His “theology” deals among others with art, music, politics, science as well as his main interest, namely Bible and its teachings.
Are you a surface appearances thinker, or below the surface functional thinker?
RO: In his work, Eric Voegelin takes pains to show the experiential authenticity and profundity of the insights that underlie Greek and Judeo-Christian notions of transcendence. As a man of wide learning, he does not include Martin Luther as the fountainhead of the West’s decisive insights. (Rather, Luther’s career brought us the wars of religion which caused men to turn toward the “Enlightenment” out of disgust for religious fanaticism and the slaughter it produced.) Instead of making Luther the be-all and end-all, as you seem to do, he credited the ancient Hebrews and Greeks with insights that made the Christian world what it would become. The Greeks and Hebrews understood, more than others, that our existence consists of two aspects: the physical universe of time and space; and a realm “beyond” time and space, accessible through the soul or mind. The Greek philosophers grasped this differentiation by discovering the divine mind at work behind the human mind (and a cosmos ordered by divine intelligence). The Hebrew Prophets grapsed the aforesaid differentiation through theophanic manifestations in Jewish history. Thus you have a remarkable agreement between Greek noetic and Jewish pneumatic insights. Voegelin further argued that the “Pauline vision of the resurrected” carried this understanding “to a high point of completness.” Throughout much of history, however, men have misunderstood this differentiation between the inner and outer world. Misunderstanding in this area leads directly to a deformed understanding of spiritual as well as physical reality — to ideologies, false theologies, apocalypticism, gnosticism, and to the historicism of Hegel and Marx. That there is an outer world and an inner world should be obvious to everyone. Yet we rarely grasp the full implications of this differentiation. What we find here, in the end, is that philosophy and religion do represent different approaches.
Jeff: Luther and the Lutherans didn’t start the religious wars. They were all started by the Roman Catholics. Luther and the Lutherans did not want war, but were ready to defend themselves if attacked.
When I read in your original essay “The Classic, especially the Aristotelian, unrest is distinctly joyful because the [philosophic] questioning has direction; the unrest is experienced as the beginning of the theophanic event in which the nous reveals itself as the divine ordering force in … the cosmos at large; it is an invitation to pursue its meaning into the actualization of noetic consciousness.” I could not help but be reminded of philosophic Buddhism where the highest goal is to become one with the universe and death is the extinction of the individual as he melds into The One.
This is in contrast to the Hebraic idea where the highest goal is not an ontological becoming one with the universe, rather the moral obedience to the God who created the universe, therefore has the authority to command obedience. Further, the individual doesn’t lose his individuality upon death, rather he looks forward to a time when God will say “Enough already” and bring this whole history to an end, then judge people according to how well they obeyed Him. Those whom God deems worthy will have resurrected bodies and live in eternal bliss, and those not worthy will have resurrected bodies that will suffer eternally.
How can the two ways of looking at the world not be more different, between the ontological melding with the universe, and the moral obedience to the creator God who acts into space-time history to make himself known? The Hebrew prophets didn’t have a theophany, they had an encounter with God or his messengers (angels) who spoke understandable words that could be quoted. The miracles that were done were done to show God’s glory, that God has power over the universe which he created. And the central miracle was Jesus’ physical resurrection from the dead.
The quotes you have from Eric Voegelin indicate that he does not know the Biblical mind nor the Hebrew language.
RO: To write as you do is to misunderstand the point. And to write such a vulgar reply, at such a juncture, shows that you do not understand the Christianity you profess to believe. Your literal interpretations show that you do not differentiate what is within from what is without. When questioned about his kingdom by Pilate, Christ’s answer was not the one you gave: “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my country not from hence.” (John 18:36).
PS – R.O., You said the Voegelin quote reminded you of philosophic Buddhism. It was nothing of the kind. And I said nothing about losing one’s individuality on death. I am sorry this went so far over your head. So I will try again. But first, a correction: You wrote above that, “The Hebrew prophets didn’t have a theophany, they had an encounter with God….” You apparently do not know that the meaning of the word theophany is a visible manifestation to humankind of God or a god.” Come back to what I said earlier: The ancient philosophers encountered God’s intellect when examining His creation. Here the theophanic (visible manifestation of God) occurs through an intellectual process; namely, by tracing the divine mind in the wonders of God’s creation (which Greek science was exploring). And I cannot see why you would react so violently against those who find evidence for God in philosophy. You apparently want everything to be about this so-called “Hebraic idea,” as if we can reduce everything to this one thing. But there is no opposition between someone who apprehends the Creator in His creation and someone who apprehends God in a burning bush.
Jeff: What makes you think that I don’t understand the Christianity that I profess? I learned the original languages—Hebrew, Aramaic (enough to read the Aramaic sections of the Old Testament), and koiné Greek—and have read the complete Bible many times in its original languages. If you don’t take the Bible for what it says, then why not admit that what you write is fiction?
In the quote you repeated from Jesus, he refers not to a noetic kingdom, but to a future one that he will set up some time after his physical resurrection. As such, his statement to Pilate doesn’t contradict what I wrote above.
The picture I get of Eric Voegelin through your essay is that of a mediocrity—that his understanding of the Bible is third or fourth hand, not from original study. He takes a few statements out of context then reinterprets them according to his philosophy. Even in that, he merely repeats what others have already said before him.
Either take the Bible for what it says, or reject it in its entirety. How is taking parts of it out of context and twisting it to mean something other than what it says not intellectual dishonesty?
When we listen to General Chi Haotien’s speech concerning how China should treat the U.S., do we take parts of it out of context and say that he didn’t mean the words that he said, rather we have a different interpretation that is the real one? Or when we hear the tape that was smuggled out of Chinese officials discussing their war preparations, that they were just talking a fiction? So why not take the Bible the same way, either reject it in its entirety, or accept it literally as truth?
Here we go again: A sacred text that is full of allegory is to be taken literally. Do you mean that Christ is a lamb who therefore eats grass and makes wool? To understand sacred symbols is not easy. I do not pretend to fully understand such things, except that I know metaphor and allegory when I see it. Obviously it is not all meant to be literal. But there is no use arguing over such things.
Jeff, you have bought into the serious errors of Augustine. The Bible has allegory, but it also defines that allegory. The Bible was written in plain text and meant to be understood as any other book. The difference between scripture and the other books is that God is the ultimate author. If it was not meant to be understood as written, then there is no sense in the statement near the close of Revelation,
18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18-19
What you have demonstrated are the serious errors of Origen and Augustine which has damaged the church for centuries.
Of interest: https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2022/12/01/complete-and-thorough-disarmament-china-demands-u-s-destroy-its-nuclear-arsenal/
“The good man can be happy in a dungeon or a palace. Reason has little to do with it, but not nothing”
And what if this good man has duties to preform on the outside,
that can only be be performed on the outside? Sounds like you
think he should talk himself into pursuing his “happiness” more
than his duty.
I’m sure the commentators
on Fox will come up with a
argument so powerful in reply,
that Biden and Co. will immediately
resign their offices, in order to prevent
World War 3 by the usual methods.
Re: your discussion with Man in America: the Chinese have already deployed tanks in some of the cities to quell the protests. The people know they don’t have the weapons to oppose tanks, so I expect things to quiet down but still simmering underneath.
My understanding is that all soldiers need to be members of the CCP to ensure their loyalty. Hence political training is more important than war training. They are also hated by the majority of the population. As long as their main task is to keep an unarmed population under their control, they will be effective. But what will happen if they ever need to fight a real war, such as an invasion of the U.S.? How will the Chinese population react if, in their invasion of the U.S., that the PLA is thoroughly defeated? Will they see that as the opportunity to overthrow the CCP?
So many questions. So few answers. We’ll just have to wait and see.
I never read anywhere that all PLA soldiers are members of the CCP. Can you cite a source for that?
This is what I like about debates—if someone misstates something, another person can catch him right away. Having said that:
I forgot about conscripts. I was thinking about the professional soldiers where it is important that they be ideologically and politically trustworthy. The upper officers are all known members of the CCP. Further it is recognized that the PLA is the military branch of the CCP, not China. Especially in light of the final statement—that the PLA is the military branch of the CCP—the logical conclusion is that the professional soldiers are members of the CCP.
As for the conscripts—their training is a joke. Then they are put in the reserves, not active military. Basically, they will be canon fodder should they ever be put in battle.
I made a logical conclusion.
Were all officers of the German Army Nazi Party members? No. Were all officers of the Soviet Army members of the Party? No. So where did you get this claim that all PLA officers are Party members? Most officers in any army are lieutenants or captains. Seriously. What would they do with all these people being in the Party?
Jeff: the total PLA according to figures I found online is a little over two million standing forces. The number of party members is 96.7 million according to statista.com. It would be easy for the CCP to include every member of the active PLA as members.
Only the senior officers of the PLA are required to be party members.
You may be right that only the senior officers need to be CCP members. But given the present popular unrest in China, if I were a senior officer, I’d be plenty worried about getting fragged by a disgruntled, non-party soldier. I’d feel a lot safer if I knew that all the soldiers under me were also party members.
I don’t understand, I would have guessed
that some Chinese are bright enough to
create Molotov cocktails.
Are you saying the relevant materials for
such are non existent in China?
The military is the armed wing of the party. The Officers are party functionaries.
No, only the senior officers. To be promoted above colonel you need party membership.
of fear, is sacrosanct.
the opposite of
and betrayal, is realizing you
have a duty to perform in the Oval Office.
(not you J.L.)
Thank you for the excellent article!
Wanted to share Mr. Nyquist’s recent interview with Dr. Li-Meng Yan on the latter’s podcast.
Zelensky, is eliminating the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, on pretext that it’s supportive of Russia. I’m apprehensive that he’s doing this to incite hatred towards Jews. People think that because Zelensky claims Jewish heritage that he’s a practicing Jew. Therefore, they will likely accuse Zelensky of banning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, because it’s Christian. The Azov NAZIS will LOVE this.
Petunia, I will speak of your reply to me of the good man in a dungeon. Would you be like St Job’s wife and tell him to curse God and die? For the righteous man’s happiness rests in God no matter his outward circumstances: God desires him to fight and he will fight, if he is called to martyrdom like so many of the early Christians, then he gladly accepts his spiritual birthday into eternal life. You have an idea on earthly authority I am thinking, which is a kind of Libertarian or Right Wing Anarchist, yes? Objectivist like Ayn Rand? When people throw accusations at me, or even just insinuations, I think that it is only moral and just to respond to my polite question about your own views, so we can reason together instead of being ” ignorant armies clashing by night” as someone once said.
Here are your some of your contradictory quotes, Vladimir:
“The good man can be happy in a dungeon or a palace.”
“Tyrants are not the duly constituted rulers of a nation, ordained of God to be obeyed.”
The question is:
What is a good man doing in a dungeon, subject to a good ruler?
Petunia to answer you, there is no contradiction. A good ruler be mistaken about a subject, a good man can still do something wrong. You still have failed to reply on where you stand on the role of government and the source of earthly sovereignty
God will send a bad ruler to punish the evil people and to challenge the good people, like what’s happening today.
This is off topic. Please do not post this here.
This section of the thread is like an echo chamber of trolls.
Troll, troll, troll, troll…..
My apologies Mr. Nyquist, my interests are broad and I do not shy from discussions increasingly difficult to engage in in this era. But I find it also difficult to find kindred spirits or at least good intellectual antagonists, because of having to wade through the Demotic chatter. The phenomena we write of is maddeningly complex and intricate and not easy to speak of without being misunderstood (since it is best to conceal the sublime esoterically, not out of mystification but requiring a level of maturity in the perennial teaching as the Magi knew), all the while trying to be respectful and diplomatic. Aristotle is a giant to be sure, but I have to go back definitively in my “philosophy”to St. Dionysus the Areopagite, the Athenian convert disciple of St. Paul, and thus to some manner of Platonistic thinking. I am an Idealist after all.
Vladimir: I was not admonishing you for being off topic. The arrangement of replies made it look that way. There are so many strange tangential postings from people who make me wary.
It was nice talking with you Vladimir. How would you compare this blog to free speech in the former Soviet Union?
You’re being gravely ignorant. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, has been close and no others. the UOCMP was caught out as a tool of the Putin regime and no one at war can afford to have a body acting in the interests of their enemy. When Zelensky starts closing down the Uniates, The Roman Catholic Church, and evangelicals, then come back and tell us the sky is falling.
By the by, Azov was long ago “denazified.” It never was the Nazi organization Putin and his Nazis (good example is Prigozhin)said it was. They simply point fingers to avoid the just accusations against them. Russian prisoners have also been taken with Nazi tattoos. Nazis and their ilk have never been influential in Ukraine.
Jeff also comments in his interview with Dr. Li Meng Yan that the Russian Orthodox Church patriarchs are members of the Russian secret service cabal, so I could understand a concern on Z’s part. Seems like a much bigger topic than we can figure out in the comment section. Sorry if I am restating something already known.
Yes. The former KGB Colonel Constantine Preobrazhenskiy wrote a book in KGB use of the Church.
It seems to me, Ohio Engineer, that US policy is to depopulate NAZIS from Ukraine along with Communists from Russia. Although, I don’t find such policy to be anymore Constitutional or moral than what you advocate.
The Twitter Hunter Biden files:
Musk’s reporter presents the thread:
Who here supports this?:
Donald J. Trump
So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great “Founders” did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!
Dec 03, 2022, 4:44 AM
Hopefully the Chinese will not stop fighting for their freedom right now!!!
Despite high numbers of new infections, the Chinese government is loosening more and more Corona requirements. In the capital Beijing, testing stations were closed and dismantled on Saturday. A negative test is no longer required to go to the supermarket, and from Monday citizens will also be allowed to use the subway without such proof. If Beijingers want to enter offices or other buildings, however, they will still have to show a negative Corona test.
Looks the CCP is wisely backing down. The object must be to turn things back to normal.
That was my understanding. Xi has done some very stupid stuff, but he’s smart enough to know that when people are calling for the resignation of his regime, he’s on very thin ice.
So much for Xi being the next Chairman Mao. If talking about China isn’t getting too, far afield of the topic of this essay?
Greg Reese reports on China sponsored Ye, with videos of brave.
Chinese citizens pushing back against Xi.
Great essay, Jeff. I didn’t get a notification, so I am late to the reading and haven’t had to time read all the comments. I have two quotes to share. First from George Orwell, “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”
The other is from a favorite author, Andy Andrews who wrote an essay on first principles and he talks about a concept he calls “Herd error” Here is what he says: “*Herd Error is the societal tendency to think logically to incorrect conclusions, affirm those conclusions with others, and continue on in the belief that the results of those conclusions are awesome.”
When I was in college, I took classes on philosophy, and Aristotle was always my favorite. I loved his theory of potentiality.I’ve used his analogy of the acorn containing the oak tree many times with my students. His philosophy was much more congruent with biblical teachings as well.
Oh yes, the “oak in the acorn” is a memorable concept which we see playing out with all these poisonous growths around us today. We need insights to be wise, although some here would denounce Aristotle as an enemy of their faith. As a side note: Richard Weaver, who is someone I often quote, disliked Aristotle. There are many ways to understand complex subjects and people.
Both Plato and Aristotle had some good things to say. But their philosophies are essentially dead ends. It’s interesting to note that many sincere Christians have gone into Philosophy programs and come out skeptics. That Greek thought saturates theology programs is a real problem as well. David Pawson makes good points that issue. That is one of the major problems of Augustine and why his writings created a serious dislocation in the flow of Christian theology. His stuff is full of neo-Platonic error.
Greek philosophy is worldly wisdom and that is of no utility in spiritual matters. We are witnessing a spiritual struggle and cannot hope to understand it and contend with it if we restrict ourselves to worldly means. You know my position anyway… communism is a work of Satan designed to forestall or prevent the emergence of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, the so-called “fifth monarchy” of Daniel 7 that follows when the final beast bloc falls. Nobody is going to beat communism by invoking secular arguments; that’s like taking paracetamol to relieve toothache… it doesn’t address the underlying ailment. However, this is to be expected as the ascendancy of communism in the West is prophetically assured, so I know appeals to treating it as a spiritual malaise, even if heeded, will make no difference. It’s supremacy – and subsequent annihilation – is hardwired into the near future. All that is left to us to do now is to prepare to survive the coming assault on our lives by our own western governments, which is an even greater danger than anything Russia or China can do to us.
I hadn’t thought of the acorn producing poisonous growths, but I see your point. Yes, it’s also in the bible that we shall be known by our fruits. I agree, Aristotelian thought is a complex subject and probably more than I can appreciate. Acorns produce oak trees, not snakes. That, this simple mind can grasp.
I suppose Aristotle would agree with Matthew 7:15-20. “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”
Poison oak from a poison acorn. This is what the communists have been planting.
South Alabama native Andy Andrews has some interesting short books. Have you read How do You Kill 11 Million People?
I have read that one and own just about every book he has written. That one is a good one. But my favorite one is The Heart Mender. My husband has a personal connection to that story, so I may be biased, but Andy also thinks it was his best book to date.
I’ll have to get The Heart Mender. The one I mentioned is the first one I ever read. I used to work for a local homebuilder, and the plumber on a house we were building gave me and the foreman each a copy of it.
Do you and your husband know Andy? If so, we aren’t removed by many degrees. Some guys in my church went to school with him.
I believe the plumber went to school with him as well.
Hi Jeff, I heard a podcast offered through Godspeak Calvary Chapel (Thousand Oaks, CA) Bryce Eddy interviewed KGB defector named Jack Barsky. Just thought you might be interested. https://rumble.com/v1omttw-jack-barsky-from-kgb-to-christ-liberty-station-ep-144.html
Yes. I have listened to his story twice before.
He never spoke once about the type of information he was collecting for the KGB. I was surprised that our own government would let him stay here. Some part of the story is missing.
He makes a great parade of his knowledge, but his knowledge is of specifics, which is not necessarily the whole story.
A good conscience, peace with God, content with what He allows, this grain of heart ease is of more value than all the wealth of the world. Gods smile and a dungeon are enough for a true pure heart, for they know God being with them is all they need to be satisfied. A palace with all the gold in the world be hell to a true child of God, if it we’re not used for Him and His glory alone.
The Lord gives us much more than money could ever give-righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, a belief in His promises and word that never fails us, increasing our faith, love and hope.
This is not found in the treasuries of the rich or the secrets of the wise. It comes from God alone and it is freely given to every one who gives their life to Jesus.
Let the worse come upon us, let all our talents go, we have still not lost our treasure, for that is above where Christ sits at the right hand of God.
If we cease to live for ourselves we will be on the path of the most happy life, blessed to be a blessing to others. To seek our own personal greatness is a wicked unhappy plan of life-it’s way is grievous and it’s end is fatal. We can not be selfish and happy at the same time.
We live in a sin polluted world, full of sickness, poverty, losses and crosses, war will always be raging against good and evil-the miseries of the human race through our own and each others wickedness. Humans are finite beings with limited knowledge and deceitful hearts. Evil is an active race, Christians can become slothful, but not her great antagonist, the minions of hell are zealous in their assaults continually.
“For the creation was subject to frustration, not by it’s own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in the hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rom 8:20-21). We put our hope in God to deliver us from being in bondage to mans depravity. He is our comfort in every trial and trouble, draw close to Him, wrap yourself in the warmth of His truth and promises that never fail us.
There are many zealous who want to make us zealous for them and not Christ-make us slaves to their weak and miserable principles, rules and regulations, “do this,” “do that,” while they themselves are slaves to depravity. Their goals are to alienate us from Christ and rob us of His truth and power and from enjoying the freedom Christ died to give us.
They have always persecuted the true children of God, born by the power of the Spirt, living by His word and promises. This is the power that has prevailed over evil for thousands of years and saved many lives. Evil has always been in the business to silence and de-platform them.
Apart from Christ we are all nothing. Boast only in the Lord and His finished work on the cross, it gives us life inwardly, abundant life on earth and eternal life.
Don’t be angry the world isn’t here to make us happy. We are created to only be satisfied in God alone.
God is in the business of saving us from ourselves, giving hope not condemnation. Others will condemn you but Jesus will always lift you up and build you up as you seek Him.
Sharpen your swords, pray without ceasing, we are more than conquerors because He chose us and we are predestined to be conformed into the likeness of His son and not conformed to the world. Jesus lived a life of poverty and suffering but He lived in close fellowship with His Father and so must we.
Thank you Jeff!
Have a very blessed CHRISTmas season.
Thank God, Jesus is returning soon to set this sin sick world aright. Merry Christmas all!
Very beautiful sentiments, Mary. And an excellent reminder who are true Master is. Thank you.
Off topic here, but an interesting report through twitter on a Russian Army Mutiny at Kazan
Back to the essay and the accompanying Bonhoffer video, I have a serious question. How does a stupid person such as Bonhoffer describes know that he has been liberated? At what moment did the Germans “wake up” from stupidity when the allied powers “liberated” Germany? Does everyone suddenly agree, “Hey, we’re liberated. We are not stupid anymore!” Are we liberating people in the same way from Covid mind control? What do we do?
Voegelin wrote about this, and I quoted him about postwar Germany last week. The disease in Germany has not been defeated. Only Hitler was defeated. Bonhoeffer did not live to see what would happen on liberation. The intellectual and spiritual deficits remain. A distorted view of reality produces terrible effects.
I will go back and revisit your blog from last week. Thank you.
This is in reply to @Quietman.
“Greek philosophy is worldly wisdom and that is of no utility in spiritual matters. We are witnessing a spiritual struggle and cannot hope to understand it and contend with it if we restrict ourselves to worldly means.”
I very much agree with this, that is why it is imperative that we look to such people as St Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica.
“All that is left to us to do now is to prepare to survive the coming assault on our lives by our own western governments, which is an even greater danger than anything Russia or China can do to us.”
On this, you are quite wrong. I can only implore you to read this essay by a man called Jan Malina, who was a defector from Czechoslovakia.
This is but one of many essays. It was written during the time of Obama, yet is still extremely relevant to today. I hope that you will read everything from his whole website. Then, you will fully understand everything.
His whole website can be found here, which has been archived.
I stand behind everything he has written, far more than I would stand behind anything that Mr Nyquist has written.
Comments are now closed.