Thursday, 23 May 2013

The secular Right's recurrent choice between being good-and-ineffectual, or evil-and-strong


The world view of the secular Right is as fundamentally despair-inducing as any secular world view - and offers the disadvantage of being on the Right and therefore likely to make the adherent subject to multi-level discrimination from micro-social interactions up to spectacular international heresy-hunts.

So why do people do it?


One good reason is honesty: the admirable (but existentially quixotic - because existentially pointless, from a secular perspective) personal desire to tell the truth about some things which are subject to systematic and mandatory lying.

So, why are the secular Right honest? Given that the secular Right world view is utilitarian and they personally are likely to suffer for their honesty?


It is an interesting and important question. From my own experience, and the many years when I was on the secular Right and took hits for it, I can say that I was honest because I couldn't help it.

In a sense, I would have been happier to be on the Left, and indeed had periods when I ostensibly was on the Left - made considerable efforts to become a real Lefty-intellectual or man-of-the-people; but I just couldn't make it stick for more than short periods - and would return to the Eeyore-like gloom of the secular Right - and, like Eeyore, to take pleasure from pungently-expressed satire, sarcasm, and pessimism.


The goal of all this?

Nothing much more profound than love of decency, comfort, good order, minimization of suffering, beauty, kindness... stuff like that. Not terribly different from what the Left says it wants, but what it never can get because it lies about everything.

Yet, the secular Right can't get it either because these things do not motivate sufficiently strongly. They just don't.

When the chips are down, the comfort seeker will minimize discomfort; the decency-valuer will try to restore the least worst likelihood as soon as possible -  intransigent resistance or restoration is beyond him.


No, the 'decent' secular Right is in a state of chronic motivation-deficit.

The secular Right therefore only makes things happen when it embraces negative emotions, when it embraces evil.



At a national level, patriotism is good, but is a relatively weak motivation - whereas classic Nationalism (late 19th-early 20th century style) is bad, but can (for a few decades) be a very powerful motivation.

Patriotism based on love of country or culture is good but relatively feeble; Nationalism based on hatred of a specific group is evil but (for a while) may be extremely powerful.


At a personal level, the desire for decency and good manners are good but weak motivations - whereas the desire personally to seek worldly power, pleasure, prestige in a wholly selfish manner untrammeled by traditional constraints such as decency, good manners, kindness etc... well that is both evil and also may in some instances be very effective (at least, for a while).


So the secular Right as a political movement and at the individual level always has this choice between being good (albeit a limited good) but weakly motivated and largely ineffectual - or else, in seeking increased motivation, to move towards enhanced power and effectiveness, to become evil: to embrace selfishness and hatred, and to call them good.

(That is to say to propagate moral inversion - just as we see on the politically correct Left.)


And, since the secular Right is indeed secular, it intrinsically lacks the necessary powerful motivational resources to reject evil when tempted by evil.

The strongest and most effective on the secular Right will (like Nietzsche and many since) celebrate evil by boasting of strength, To say:

Yes I am evil, but look! - I am strong! Be like me: feel the power of motivation: embrace hatred - it works!

Meanwhile, the good people on the secular Right stand-by shaking their heads and wringing their hands...


So it is not that the secular Right are necessarily bad people - of course they are not! Many are good (in a limited fashion - but better than most).

But, if or when their evil co-conspirators unleash the forces of hatred - when quiet and wholesome love of X is inverted into hatred of Y - then what motivating and encouraging alternative can the decent secular Right offer from their meaningless, purposeless and alienated universe?

What use is Eeyore against a pack of cackling hyenas?