Saturday, 11 February 2012

Contemporary insanity and things coming to a point


If, as CS Lewis said in That Hideous Strength, history has been things coming to a point, with Good and evil being more and more obviously different - this may explain what seems to me the insanity of much contemporary life.

Selfishness and laziness are understandable, but what I see is futile, industrious, meddling self-harm with its origins in the Western elites.


I'm thinking of international affairs such as military and political action in the Middle East and legal and economic action in the European Union; I am thinking of personal activities at the level of how people treat their bodies, dress and spend their leisure.

I cannot make sense of these - sure, I can read or myself can spin master theories, but what it really looks like is the chaotic mass effect of individual instability.

What it looks like is a world gone mad - in some new kind of madness, far removed from traditional causes of conflict based in selfishness and short-termism.


If things are coming to a point, then there is less and less of a neutral or grey area in-between the sides of Good and evil - and this applies to everything.

The good is rare, difficult and always comes with a up-front cost - so anything else will in fact be evil.

Anything without an up-front cost will be evil.

(Of course, this principle is not reversible.)


I am not talking about people being purely good or evil, that would be nonsense because everybody is mixed.

But I am talking about the sides they are on: whether mixed people serve Good or serve evil is getting clearer and clearer.


All the moderate people are now, actually, in fact, all on the side of evil. Evil has made sure of this.

So, as a specific example, if you are appointing somebody to a job as a scientist - they will either be a real scientist (truth seeking, truth telling) or they will not be a real scientist - in which case they will serve evil, intrinsically.

Real scientists are now very obvious, they stand-out, they do not fit-in. They are very rare. All the rest, from the outright frauds to the decent, modest, respectable, pliant, pleasant mass - are in fact working against truth.


In government, what needs to be done is based on reality - reality is unitary.

We know reality, but we do not know it very precisely.

And reality is experienced, not abstract.

What needs to be done is usually very clear - but not very precise. What needs to be done is always an aim not a policy - and the aim is clear, and success or failure in attaining this aim is easy to evaluate.


A good governer will perceive reality and do what needs to be done, which will not be precise, not statistical, not moderate nor balanced - and he will do nothing else but aim at what needs to be done, because anything else is to violate the unitary relationship between reality and human experience.

The good, what ought to be done, the truth - is absolutely single, simple and exact (although specific policies do not flow from this clarity); but the alternatives to the good are unlimited, complex, balanced, nuanced... that is the property of evil in our time.

Once you have decided not to do the Good thing, the possibilities for debate and compromise are endless...

Evil is that which pretends to precision but is inexact - it is highly specific, but is unreal.


So matters are lucid.

The 'centre', the domain of 'decent' and 'moderate' and 'sensible' folk fitting-in - is now the major domain for the service of evil.

The Good also is lucid.


The genuinely complicating factor is human individuals; who remain - as always - mixed; and therefore are moving in one direction or another - towards service to the Good, or else towards service to that which opposes good.

Every choice pushes them in one or other direction.

And with every choice nowadays, it is more and obvious which is Good and which is evil: which is truth and which dishonesty, which is beauty and which ugliness, which is virtue and which is vice.


Thus all mainstream modern discourse operates within the domain of evil:

all mainstream modern discourse is a deliberation between shades and types of evils:

modern discourse is therefore a sequence of forced-choices between dishonesties, uglinesses and vices.


In modern discourse Good is 'off the table'.

Clearly there is only one proper thing to do:

Good must first be put back on the table, then Good must be chosen.



Anonymous said...

Just listen to the use of language within our modern vernacular. When one uses the word ‘bad’ it has two potential meanings: 1) Something which is below acceptable standards or 2) Something which is exceptionally great. How can such a word be used so far away from its textbook definition, basically the exact opposite, and yet this new use holds positive connotations. For me it signifies the downgrading of our moral system whereby what is ‘bad’ or a vice now becomes some type of socially accepted ‘good’.

Addison said...

Events in the United States are certainly interesting when seen through this theory.