Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Tyrannies …

 

Desolation Row” by Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)

highway-61-revisited-1965“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

When poisons become fashionable they do not cease to killThey may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology

Does this not strike a familiar chord when thinking about the progressive Liberal state and the legions of progressives demonstrating against Trump and preaching the gospel of “Love Trumps Hate” and “Trump Hate Poisoning Canadian Society”?

ap-election-protests-texasAnd through it all do we see any minute trace of information illuminating the source or factual basis of this  “hate Trump” campaign? Do we see any evidence presented by the prosecution for their case? Do we see or hear anything at all to explain the media mantra of Trump Hate? Who did he hate? When? What exactly led these moral busybodies to conclude that Trump was a “hater, or that Trump supporters are haters? Have we heard or seen anything, anywhere, anybody, any facts at all?

NOPE!

000-hate-crimeBut I sure see LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of hate aimed at any one who dares to question the progressive views so apparent in our media and on campus – even heard reports of schools helping the protestors as their proxies for the pandemic hate in the academic world. Bill Ayers must be just grinning from ear to ear as he chats up Screwtape in whatever hellish pub they are drinking in now, plotting how they can resuscitate “The Weather Underground” and start a nice new domestic bombing campaign. Gee, just like the good old days, I get all teary eyed just thinking about it.

It’s just like all our little foreign proxy wars back in the 60’s and 70’s where we fought against the evil empire of the day. Now we see academia and the media attempting to fight a proxy war through all these professional protesters and kids who simply don’t know anything else except what their “teachers” tell them.

las_vegas_nevada_kid_crawford_of_las_vegas_chants_during_a_proteestSo, as then, we have now plausible deniability for the instigators and diplomatic immunity for the perpetrators.

And when the “teachers”aren’t telling them what to do it’s all about what their peers on social media tell them.

And “OMG BC no-one wants to be left behind by their peer group, no child left behind and all that.

And OMG the sheer terror of not being part of the in-crowd precludes the use of intellect and intelligence to ask any questions that might bring into doubt the meme which just “everyone” knows is true, right?

And besides, I’m basically a good person …

101-hateSo the question just naturally rises up – “FACT: These are all publicly funded “institutions”. So why can’t we use these resources to create jobs for other people who actually love America?  Why not Donald?  Seem like a no brainer from where I am sitting. Build a wall in the South to keep out illegals, build a wall in the North to keep out the barbarian haters in Timmy land, and then defund all the institutions which are trying to destroy This United States of America from within.

Is there any noticeable difference between a public school attacking everything which has built America and ISIS recruiting local terrorists in the heart of American cities? Really, any difference, when there is no discernible difference in their respective ideologies?  Is not a nation allowed to defend itself from enemies BOTH foreign and domestic?

I wonder if anyone else out there sees what I am seeing? Should I just quit thinking about all this unthinking crap? Because, after all, I sure can’t fix this and anyway, none of this matters. It’s just the natural result of too much loving of self and this world. The Monkey Jungle of Facebook writ large – all the different monkey tribes all screaming their hate of everyone else, and no one listening with charity and love and “good will”.

Cheers

Joe

Idiots Happen

Always remember, “be charitable in your judgements, never take yourself too seriously” .

Sometimes when I post, I look at my sig and wish that I’d follow my own damned advice.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Why Do Canadians Hate …

“Into The Shadow Realm”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings”

Watching American news on the satellite, trying to get a sense of how things are unfolding to the south of us. Certain concentrations of left wing extremists are trying to whip the universe into a frothing frenzy of “Trunp” hate. The observable fact that the nation is not following is inciting them to ever higher levels of shrill rhetoric.

Mark Steyn writes,

*****

000-hate-crime“The object of Parliament,” observed Winston Churchill at election time in 1951, “is to substitute argument for fisticuffs.”

How’s that holding up after November 8th? The object of at least a proportion of those on the streets is to substitute fisticuffs for argument, and indeed for Parliament:  The less self-aware even chant “This is what democracy looks like!” – by which they mean not the election but the post-election riots and looting and assaults.

Some among these self-proclaimed champions of women and immigrants wish to substitute rape for argument, a cause of such broad appeal that the ideological enforcers at the monopoly social-media cartels breezily permitted the hashtag “Rape Melania” to “trend” on Twitter.

*****

philadelphia_furious_protesters_in_the_city_of_brotherly_loveFrom the website “Before Its News”…

…if you keep insisting that half your fellow citizens are haters, maybe you’re the hater.

…one third of the Democrats’ representation in the House now comes from just three states – New York, Massachusetts and California. That’s one reason why they’re calling for the abolition of the Electoral College.

But, absent the upending of the constitution, they have a problem.

ap-election-protests-georgia…John Oliver and Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah have sportingly decided, to judge from their ratings, to prioritize their politics over their comedy. But, whether or not “Love Trumps Hate”, condescension doesn’t trump anything.

For a year-and-a-half they shoveled industrial-strength coastal sneering into the path of the Trump train on a scale that would have derailed any other candidate before he got to Iowa. Instead, Trump just bulldozed through it – and so easily that he won the White House for a fifth of what Hillary spent.

If elite condescension failed to deny him the presidency, is it likely to be any more effective now that he is the president?

Twilight And Shadow”, Howard Shore, from “Lord Of The Rings“.

a-liberal-loveinWhat “message of unity” could be simpler than that one in every two Americans is a violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet?  On Friday, in a veritable frenzy of virtue signalling, the hashtag #safetypin trended on Twitter, as dozens of people shared selfies with safety pins attached to their clothing.

“Standing together we will be safe,” one user tweeted.

The-Return-of-the-King-Smeagols-Birthday“My #SafetyPin shows I will protect those who feel in danger bc of gender, sexuality, race, disability, religion, etc.,” another said. “You are safe with me.”

That’s true in the sense that, if Matt Harrington is around and they’ve confiscated his sniper rifle, he’ll be able to borrow your safety pin and stab Trump with it.

Can you really substitute virtue-signaling for argument? Especially when it’s this lame? And, indeed, are there enough safety-pins in America for all those who feel unsafe? Or will Trump’s trade war be dealt a massive crushing defeat as cheap knock-offs from Chinese safety-pin factories flood the US market?

*****

Bulverism is a logical fallacy that combines a genetic fallacy with circular reasoning. (ed. One of the best current examples of Bulverism can be found at “Salon” with their articles about Trump)

The method of Bulverism is to “assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error”. The Bulverist assumes a speaker’s argument is invalid or false and then explains why the speaker came to make that mistake, attacking the speaker or the speaker’s motive. The term “Bulverism” was coined by C. S. Lewis[1] to poke fun at a very serious error in thinking that, he alleges, recurs often in a variety of religious, political, and philosophical debates.

Similar to Antony Flew‘s “Subject/Motive Shift”, Bulverism is a fallacy of irrelevance. One accuses an argument of being wrong on the basis of the arguer’s identity or motive, but these are strictly speaking irrelevant to the argument’s validity or truth. But it is also a fallacy of circular reasoning, since it assumes, rather than argues, that one’s opponent is wrong.

(C.S.) Lewis wrote about this in a 1941 essay[2][3] which was later expanded and published in The Socratic Digest under the title “Bulverism”.[4][3] This was reprinted both in Undeceptions and the more recent anthology God in the Dock. He explains the origin of this term:[5]

You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly. In the course of the last fifteen years I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it “Bulverism”.

Some day I am going to write the biography of its imaginary inventor, Ezekiel Bulver, whose destiny was determined at the age of five when he heard his mother say to his father — who had been maintaining that two sides of a triangle were together greater than a third — “Oh you say that because you are a man.” “At that moment”, E. Bulver assures us, “there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of argument.

Assume that your opponent is wrong, and explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall.” That is how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.

CUT TO CANADIAN NEWS ON GLOBAL NATIONAL:

100-canadian-landscape

Canadian Landscape with the Trump Hate contaminating everything

The mood change almost gave me whiplash … The big news item appears to be that “Canadians” are fearful that “Trump Hate” is leaking over the border and contaminating Canadian Water and maybe Canadian politics as well!

As the writer above said: … what “message of unity” could be simpler than that one in every two Americans is a violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet?  One thing is undeniably true “Canadians” are ALWAYS fearful of SOMETHING … it just changes from day to day and even hour to hour. Why can’t they stay focused on our media message?

It seems that the dominant meme of the American extreme left progressives is finding fertile soil in the Great White North, eh?  And the scary part is that this is normal, especially amongst the Canadian chattering classes and the inhabitants of the media swamp.

And why not?  After all, Canada is a nation of facile, self-righteous, hypocritical, haters from sea to shining sea.  And nowhere are they more frantic in their hating than when it comes to hating Americans (a severely overdeveloped case of “Short-Man Syndrome”).

03-pool-of-worship

OMG I’m just SO beautiful and I’m such a nice person too …

violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet” is just about THE perfect encapsulation of how Canadian Liberals of all stripes view ANYONE who has the misfortune to disagree with them or to prefer to deal in facts rather than social media “virtue signalling“.

This sad fact is especially true when talking about Americans or “American” culture. Funny thing though, the roots of American culture are British, and the roots of Canadian culture are British, except for a few privileged minorities who owe their continued existence to the generous way that the British have always treated their enemies.

So where do we get off sneering about American culture? Those holding these violent hate filled views would do well to read Russel Kirk’s “The Roots of American Order“, of course there are a lot of facts in this great book and they don’t adapt well to social media or virtue signalling.

“Yup, huh, huh, huh, ya sure gotta admit it … Trump Hate is showing up on the Canadian scene, contaminating the worship pool. Hey, anyone wanna head over to Timmy’s, I am feeling kinda nibbly. I heard they have a new caramel covered doughnut these days.”

I watch all the usual suspects in their self-congratulatory holier than thou pontification and find I am deeply ashamed of Canadians … deeply ashamed …

Cheers

Joe

Dan Jurac Fine Art Photo of Hoar Frost_DSC2972_Of course always remember to be charitable, even though that is distinctly un-Canadian, eh?.

And of course “anyone who disagrees with ME is a “violent hater-racist-misogynist-homophobe-Islamophobe-transphobe Satan fridge-magnet”. There, I said it first, nya, nya, na nya na …  who the heck cares about facts and truth anyway, that is all just so yesterday.

Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Truth – and consequences …

“Over The Hills And Far Away”,  Jon Boden,  from the album “A Folk Song a Day”, 2011. The song is  also the Theme from “Sharp’s Rifles” a series about the Napoleonic Wars in Spain.

London

Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images. London is Europe’s de facto financial capital.

Well!  Never, never, never ignore or underestimate  the British Common Man. Napoleon learned the hard way when the “common scum” kicked his Sicilian derriere most thoroughly.

The British voter just blew all the pundits and professionals out of the water. Monte Python could not have done better. I imagine the Knights that go “NEE!” in the bureaucracy and academia are all in a mad scrambling dither about the sky falling. All the talking heads have even less meaningful things to say than usual.

Blather, blather, blather, blather, from “Triumph of Democracy” all around the circle to “Right Wing Haters” until perhaps there is so much hot air blowing ’round that they will all physically follow their vaporous thoughts into zero G. Should be interesting and amusing as well.

Contesting the “Triumph of Democracy” crowd, we have the predictable Liberal Progressive freak-out on the triumph of “far right parties,” , the “low information Trump voters” which is just SO Lame-Stream. Fifty-two percent of the British electorate cannot possibly be “Far Right Haters”, or if they were as described they might have accomplished something by now. But the left always calls everyone else “haters” when in fact they have been historically the “Greatest Haters” (ever hear of NAZIs and Communists? Lefties every one of them).

torches_and_pitchforksIn our current culture such terms are meaningless. There is always populist discontent with opposite things — with too much taxes, and not enough welfare – ever has it been so – and the worst are the Progressives blaming every one else for being “racists” while continuously thumping their own extreme version of racism upon which they depend for their voter support

But wait!  This isn’t over.  It is probably going to take at least a couple of years to untangle this little divorce and it will not be a pleasant experience for anyone, least of all for those who voted to leave. This will make the dark days pre-Thatcher look like an Anglican Church picnic. I just can’t wait for the trainloads of inked and electroned, scribery (Huh?) about it all being caused by the racism and hate springing full blown and unprovoked from the breast of the nasty proles, the common unwashed working man, incited by the evil right wing haters, It must be Bush’s fault!  Everything is Bush’s fault. Except for what is the fault of the evil Koch Brothers. Riiiight …  The Brights just couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with it! Everything they did was for our own good, right?

“Fanfare For The Common Man”, Aaron Copland & The London Symphony Orchestra, from the album “Copland Super Hits”, 1994.

So, what we are seeing happen here is the impact of Truth on the fantasies of the Intellectuals and Brights, the Progressive managers currently running our economic and political world, who sincerely believe their own BS. Unfortunately for their fantasies, “Truth” matters, “Facts” matter, and you can never trust “voters” to be “sensible”. Hence all the effort put into de-fanging voters and the voting process so that it can be controlled, and “sensible” thinkers can prevail “for our own good” of course.

When poisons become fashionable they do not cease to killThe managers and academics just don’t connect with “The People” because they are not “people”. They don’t understand all the “little people”, the ants they see from their upper floor office windows, and they could care less what the “little people” think, feel and believe, because the of course the managers and academics know best. For a lucid example of just how the left regards the “little people” look no further than this article in the magazine “Foreign Affairs“.

There’s a good read here about “Populist Rage”  and “Right Wing Haters”. It’s a sign of the times, this article is. Foreign Affairs Magazine used to be a fair and impartial venue reporting on international politics when, 30 or 40 years ago, I used to read it. I read it as lot back then, I read it a lot when I was a questioning teen.

This particular article is by one  JONATHAN HOPKIN who is an Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Now we all know that “Associate” indicates that the Illuminati at the London School of Economics don’t feel that Jonathan quite measures up yet. He may yet make it to full professorship if he is successful in kissing enough butt over the next decade. Or, like an infamous alumni called Pierre he can always run for Prime Minister in Canada if he can’t make it at the university.

hopkin_brexit_rtx2gje2Anyway, here we go  “… tensions over the United Kingdom’s Brexit campaign should have culminated with a referendum this Thursday on whether to leave or remain in the European Union. Instead, it peaked prematurely with the tragic murder of Jo Cox, a pro-EU Labour member of Parliament, who was brutally shot and stabbed last week by a man close to a British extremist anti-immigration group…”

Well GEE you left lib weenie! That same logic makes you close to the murdering Gestapo or the NKVD or maybe the KGB? Ever hear of the terms “Sympathizer”, or “Running-Dog”, how about “Useful Idiot”? And yes, being shot or stabbed does indeed tend to be “brutal”, does it not? So is cutting up babies in the womb. Get used to it!  Soon you will be writing in favour of doing it (stabbing) to seniors and handicapped folks. Get over yourself!  At least TRY to be consistent!

And since guns of all sorts account for only about 3% of murders it does seem that the majority of these events (97%) employ the much more brutal use of knives, fists and feet which seem to be the tools of choice for most folks when offing those one disagrees with.

Why does the left deplore the “brutal murder” of alleged adults but encourage the brutal murder of defenseless children in exactly the same manner? Why? Just wondering?  Anyone? Anyone?

Oh well, maybe we should ban knives? Or Fists? Or boots?  No, no, no, ban –  “Assault Boots” – which would be any boot that was black with cleated soles, eh?

Hell! Even the Pope is on board with this: “Pope Francis has said the result of the U.K.’s referendum to leave the European Union reflects the “will of the people” and that there is now a “great responsibility” to ensure the well being of people in the U.K. and peaceful coexistence on continental Europe …”.  Of course, Francis is also on record as saying that “most Catholic Marriages are invalid” so there is something of a credibility gap in evidence where he is concerned. Is the Pope Catholic?  I don’t know anymore.

So why is the decision of 52% of British Voters to vote to leave the E.U. cast as somehow related to the murder of 1 left wing politician? Of course, there is no evidence of media bias at all, is there? Well lets see where we go with this slant:

provisional-ira

1972 – The Troubles; Battle at Springmartin – A car bombing outside a crowded pub in Belfast sparks a two-day gun battle involving the Provisional IRA

“… It was the first political killing of a British politician since the end of the Troubles, a turbulent era of conflict in Northern Ireland, and it has led many to wonder how a stable country such as the United Kingdom could lose its head over what is essentially membership in a trading bloc.

(Seriously, are you stoned???? The Brexit referendum is like the Northern Ireland conflict???  Were you even alive then?? How is it possible to make that kind of a parallel unless you are willfully smearing the “Leave” voters?)

Answering that question requires reflecting on how the country grew so divided in the first place. Since the beginning, Brexit has pitted younger, more affluent, and cosmopolitan urban Britons against the older, poorer, and less educated ones in the rural and postindustrial parts of the country.

It is this same clash—the elites versus the so-called proletariat—that has fueled the resurgence of extreme right parties across Europe, as well as in the United States. In the United Kingdom, these voters are angry at their financial instability, stagnant or declining living standards, and loss of jobs to emerging economies. And they have blamed it on the migrants arriving on their shores…”  when in fact it is ALL caused by leftist social and economic policies.

And there you have it all in a nutshell – the politics of class, division, and racism in action, always the Progressives strong suite. It’s all the fault of those poor uneducated slobs in the rural and post-industrial countryside. Why stick to the facts when you can create a dramatic fictional story about your enemies (aka propaganda – Mr. Goebbels would be so proud) that all your Rainbow cronies and fellow members of N.I.C.E. will welcome and applaud. After all, what matter the alleged thoughts and realities of we knuckle dragging neanderthals here in fly-ever country, clinging to our guns and religion. Sigh, so much brains, so little sense.

Another Excellent article here, which we ignore at our peril. The Truth matters, regardless of the opinions and pontifications of the talking heads and celebs, secular AND religious, the Progressives everywhere and in all professions, who are the walking, talking, zombie enforcers of the tyranny of relativism under which we toil and prostitute ourselves for a pittance, yes, selling out for a pittance when we have daily access to Divinely gifted treasure beyond all earthly value. Pity. Pity the poor souls, Pray for the poor souls.

“Ladies in Lavender”, Joshua Bell, from the album “the Essential Joshua Bell”, 2005

As read in the article linked to above,

It is, to be Platonic about this – and why not, when discussing the transcendentals? – as if we had heard it before, or seen something before, even if perhaps we hadn’t heard or seen. The worldly may dismiss this as a kind of déjà vu, and turn for an explanation to, say, pharmacology. But even the most confirmed worldling will puzzle, when it happens to him.

“Maybe it is possible to do or be good. Maybe there is such a thing as beauty. Maybe truth is something that can be known. Stranger things have happened.”

Imagine that!  True beauty, doing your best, doing good for no other reason than to be doing your best and doing good. No pay, no photo op, no votes, no earthly reward.

Omnia ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Joe

Gandalf StudyAlways remember, “Be charitable in your judgements, and never take yourself too seriously”

 

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The Inner Struggle

An injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved …

The Beatitudes

Contemplating one’s sins. The problem with developing a conscience is that is is really uncomfortable and one can rarely do much about those times in the past when one swallowed one’s leg up to the hip, except to be ashamed and sorry.

In our outrage at a perceived evil do we indulge ourselves in an “injurious manner of speaking”? When we write about apparent errors and evils perceived in the secular world around us do we do so with charity and compassion or with the very malice and contempt the use of which we are castigating in others’ propaganda efforts, the secular sales pitch which tempts and converts so many?

Crusaders Charge 2015-10-01-niles-aIn essence, what I ask here is “Do I (and others whose work I read) retaliate in kind for perceived injustice, do we match “atrocity with atrocity” in a small verbal war of attrition fought in our own minds and transmitted through our writing?

Am I using a “Donald Trump” style of communication or a “Jesus Christ” style of communication?

orcsWhen I match them, the “others”, stone for stone and stick for stick, am I loving my enemy as Christ commanded or am I returning hate for hate because of my own wounded pride?

Whatever my “good intentions”, am I on the side of the Angels or the side of the Orcs? Sins of pride piled upon sins of malice piled upon sins of hate, sins, sins, and more sins to the last syllable of time, Screwtape, and the father of lies must be laughing all the way home.

Gandalf StudyI am reviewing all my posts, doing fact checking (again), and looking for inappropriate content and style. Looking back, checking the back trail, in retrospect it’s kind of like looking at a large mirror of one’s thoughts, undeniably one’s own sins and biases and food for reconsideration of one’s approach now removed from the heat of the moment. In a post a couple of years ago I quoted a small book called “Liberalism is sin”.

In the uproar after it came out in Spain in the 1800’s, the work was denounced even within the church because it offended some bishops. Eventually, the conflict made it to Rome where the ruling came down in favour of the original work and the detractors were required to withdraw their efforts to suppress the little book.

In part the Sacred  Congregation wrote:  “The same judgment, however, cannot be passed on the other work, that by D. de Pazos, for in matter it needs corrections. Moreover, his injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved, for he inveighs rather against the person of D. Sarda than against the latter’s supposed errors.

Therefore, the Sacred Congregation has commanded D. de Pazos, admonished by his own Bishop, to withdraw his book, as far as he can, from circulation, and in the future, if any discussion of the subject should arise, to abstain from all expressions personally injurious, according to the precept of true Christian charity; and this all the more since Our Holy Father, Leo XIII, whereas he urgently recommends castigation of error, neither desires nor approves expressions personally injurious, especially when directed against those who are eminent for their doctrine and their piety.

So I guess the take away is simply that “the ends never justify the means”. That using the same styles and tools as one’s opponents to berate and castigate ones opponents instead of dealing only with the facts in question is simply never acceptable. My grandfather used to say, “if you  can’t say something good about someone then say nothing at all.”

Looked at in this way the problem of how to write about these atrocities, dressed up as they are in a secular cloak of desirability, is rather magnified. The bar of quality and justice is significantly raised when considering writing a charitable blog about evil things in the mainstream culture.

Cheers

knight_templar_battle_wearyAlways remember, “be charitable in your judgements, never take yourself too seriously” and of course “Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

Sometimes when I post, I look at my sig and wish that I’d follow my own damned advice. And who says he is an idiot? Maybe he’s right and I am the idiot, maybe not, but can I leap to judgement using the same clubs the “idiot” uses?

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Souls

Quoted from an article published in Atlantic Monthly in 1936 by Albert Jay Nock. I have always both enjoyed his article and been troubled by it as well because we are ALL souls, and I just don’t believe that the Lord writes folks off because they don’t meet some human standard of ability and discernment. Anyway, for starters, here is Albert Jay Nock’s beef about the masses:

In the year of King Uzziah’s death, about 740 B.C., the Lord commissioned the prophet Isaiah to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.” He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.”

Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job – in fact, he had asked for it – but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so – if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start – was there any sense in starting it? “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”

Apparently, then, if the Lord’s word is good for anything – I do not offer any opinion about that, – the only element in Judean society that was particularly worth bothering about was the Remnant. Isaiah seems finally to have got it through his head that this was the case; that nothing was to be expected from the masses, but that if anything substantial were ever to be done in Judea, the Remnant would have to do it. This is a very striking and suggestive idea; but before going on to explore it, we need to be quite clear about our terms. What do we mean by the masses, and what by the Remnant?

As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, labouring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority. The mass-man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses. The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.”

Now it is rather understandable how one could develop this opinion, especially observing the content of sites like

https://www.facebook.com/beingliberal.org

and having a high opinion of one’s own views and abilities (coincidentally, not unlike the posters on the site above). I recently discovered that every objection to current liberal progressive opinion which I could marshal based on evidence was in “reality” all attributable to “psychological projection” and “transference”. I was, in reality, an evil nasty brute “projecting” all my worst traits onto my “opponent”. It was one of the most articulate “Ad Hominum” defenses I have been subjected to over the years but as usual it did not respond in any way to the facts presented. I have to say that on the whole it is more pleasant to be blown off in multisylabic jargon that simply being told to “F— Off and Die!” but it amounts to the same thing. If your position is weak, or you feel insecure in your stance, then of course kill the messenger.

Now, Isaiah’s testimony to the character of the masses has strong collateral support from respectable Gentile authority. Plato lived into the administration of Eubulus, when Athens was at the peak of its jazz-and-paper era, and he speaks of the Athenian masses with all Isaiah’s fervency, even comparing them to a herd of ravenous wild beasts. Curiously, too, he applies Isaiah’s own word remnant to the worthier portion of Athenian society; “there is but a very small remnant,” he says, of those who possess a saving force of intellect and force of character – too small, preciously as to Judea, to be of any avail against the ignorant and vicious preponderance of the masses.

Still more quote:  “The picture which Isaiah presents of the Judean masses is most unfavorable. In his view, the mass-man – be he high or be he lowly, rich or poor, prince or pauper – gets off very badly. He appears as not only weak-minded and weak-willed, but as by consequence knavish, arrogant, grasping, dissipated, unprincipled, unscrupulous. The mass-woman also gets off badly, as sharing all the mass-man’s untoward qualities, and contributing a few of her own in the way of vanity and laziness, extravagance and foible. The list of luxury-products that she patronized is interesting;  … in another place, Isaiah even recalls the affectations that we used to know by the name “flapper gait” and the “debutante slouch.” It may be fair to discount Isaiah’s vivacity a little for prophetic fervour; after all, since his real job was not to convert the masses but to brace and reassure the Remnant, he probably felt that he might lay it on indiscriminately and as thick as he liked – in fact, that he was expected to do so. But even so, the Judean mass-man must have been a most objectionable individual, and the mass-woman utterly odious.”

Not a pleasant picture at all … hmmmm.

On the other hand :“Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him, For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book Two.

and:

No man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. The lives of others continually spill over into mine in what I think, say, do , achieve. And conversely my life spills over into that of others: for better or for worse.So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death.  In the interconnectedness of Being, my gratitude to the other – my prayer for him – can play a certain part in his purification”

Pope Benedict XVI “Spe Salvi” 

I wonder (figuratively speaking of course) which attitude evolves into a better, more positive, more loving society, a culture of positive rather than negative lenses.  Tell one person that you love him or her.

Cheers

Joe

CSR

Disclaimer for the nit pickers: we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately

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