Thursday, 10 January 2013

Ending-up on the wrong side of litmus test issues


Just a comment on the corrupting effect of Leftism and the absolute necessity to expurgate Leftism from one's own perspective...

It has been and is a source of great dismay to me that so many people who - a decade or two ago - I used to respect for their stalwart work against some of the plagues of modernity such as short-termist expediency, bureaucracy, commercialism and the like; have ended up on the wrong side in the litmus test issues of now.

Issues like Climate Change in science, or Diversity in politics and public administration, or the Sexual Revolution in Christianity - so many erstwhile good eggs find themselves rotting on the wrong side; typically not just in one but all of these principal matters of public discourse.

It is, I find, embarrassing to encounter such people. They imagine themselves to have remained, as they once were, crusaders for truth, beauty and virtue - they may assume I regard them as such; yet my covert evaluation is the opposite: that they have become, by subtle and incremental stages, corrupted into enemies of the Good.


And the cause is always the same: Leftism. In its various forms. Attachment to the sacred concepts such as equality, socialism, democracy, individual freedom, feminism, and the rest of it.

It seems that bottom-line adherence to any one of these types of ideology will suffice to defuse resistance, subvert objections, facilitate acquiescence to the forces of darkness.

Capitulation may be grumpy, may indeed be characterized by extreme and public distress - but in the final analysis capitulation is preferred to the unimaginable alternative of becoming a real and thorough-going reactionary, outwith the acceptable bounds of discourse as defined by the media and implemented in politics, public administration, the legal system, and education.


Hence the primary value of being a genuine reactionary is seen not in what it achieves in terms of implementing its goals - which is usually nothing - but what being an explicit reactionary prevents in terms of the corruption of individuals.

Think of the example of someone like Don Colacho

His influence was negligible, but he personally remained essentially uncorrupted; and his work appeals to and assists those whose goal is likewise to avoid becoming personal instances of corruption: those who, if they cannot be a part of the solution - seek to avoid becoming (unwittingly perhaps) part of the problem.



Wm Jas said...

Why is climate change a litmus test issue which marks one as an enemy of God?

Bruce Charlton said...

WmJas - I could theorize 'why' - but surely you don't challenge the fact that it does?

(I refer, of course, to intelligent, informed climate change activists; of whom there are many millions.)

Arakawa said...

The problem with climate change is that whatever understanding the scientists have of climate change is utterly nullified by their lack of understanding of society. Thus, if you have reasons to believe that climate change is an issue, and seek out people that agree with you, you will inevitably fall into a crowd of people whose primary concern is things like 'climate equity', 'education' of 'denialists', and even more obscure issues, which wind up drawing in the full gamut of the social concerns of the politically correct. These issues are pursued with fervour out of all proportion with their actual potential to solve the supposed main problem, which (some of them barely even remember) has to do with the composition of the atmosphere.

At first you will be tempted to humour these people; then you will be tempted to compromise with them; then you will be tempted to agree with them. At which point you are in a looking-glass mockery of reality in which what you proclaim to be the most feasible way of solving the problem, is actually the least feasible one, but just so happens to work great evil in the process of attempting it. (For example, there are people who speak of the need to counter 'ignorance' with 'education' so that the correct politicians can be voted in to enact the correct policies. My endless frustration in talking to these people is that they cannot be made to notice that this requires an 'education' whose efficacy makes it more akin to mind control.)

I have not met anyone who publically affirms climate change to be a primary concern for humanity, and who is not visibly in the process of being corrupted by the abovementioned temptations, and I imagine Bruce has made a similar observation, which is probably why this is a litmus test issue for him, and will be a litmus test issue until the hypothetical genuine-reactionary-who-believes-in-climate-change appears on the scene to prove him wrong.

If you start out believing the science, but not the politics, it feels a bit like showing up at the Council of Elrond expecting to get things done, and suddenly everyone votes that Gandalf should put on the One Ring and go duke it out with the Dark Lord. Are there no councils gathered in all Middle-Earth to oppose Sauron, outside of these madmen? Even so, is it at all wise to throw in your lot with them?

I am undecided on the reality of the actual climate change issue. Moldbug delivers some persuasive arguments as to why it is impossibles for scientists to make such pronouncements without engaging in hair-raising dishonesty; on the other hand, I would not be _too_ surprised if some gleeful enemy has granted knowledge of a coming catastrophe precisely to those people who are too detached from reality to be able to avert it, who are the most likely to cause great evil by _trying_ to avert it, and whose conduct is a living admonition to all good and sane people to completely ignore their pronouncements.

If that is what you believe -- that horrible natural disasters are likely coming, and there is no power in this world to avert them that is not itself a dark temptation -- then the reasonable response is to repent of your share in causing the coming tribulations, and if you do that, you are not likely to be found making public pronouncements on either side of the entire mess, and so you will not be failing any litmus tests. You will be looking to the next world for any meaning and aid in your plight, because this world is most certainly doomed without divine intervention.

Again, this is not the attitude of any of the actual believers in climate change I have ever encountered.

Contemplationist said...

This may be a prime example, or rather, he might've been evil from the beginning?