Monday, 7 November 2011

Left & Right: Evil v not-necessarily Evil


I am beginning to think that it would be much clearer to stop talking about the Evils of The Left and simply recognize it as intrinsically Evil - simply take the Evil of the Left for granted, and discuss matters on that basis.

There will never enough evidence of Evil for those who are blind to it; but for those with discernment the evidence of The Left's Evil is by-now overwhelming.

“If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family–anything you like–at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren’t quite so sharp; and that there’s going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time, coming to a point, getting sharper and harder. . . .” 
(That Hideous Strength by C.S Lewis. Dimble speaking - p. 283)

(What is much harder, in these times when all institutions have been corrupted and inverted by Leftism, is to discern Good - we can see the baddies massed all around; but where are the goodies?)


All The Left is Evil - but not all Evil is on The Left.

This might (wrongly) be taken to imply that the Right is Good - however that would certainly-not be true.

Good is on The Right, but The Right is mostly Evil, of course.

The choice (in this world) is between the wholly-and-intrinsically Evil Left; and the mostly-Evil Right.


(Remembering that the mainstream political Right is actually The Left.)

(And noting that most Evil is done by people who are tools of Evil - not originators of Evil purpose - people who say Yes to Evil purpose, find reasons to cooperate with Evil intent.)



josh said...

Left = Satan. Permanent rebellion against God's natural order. Power through destruction of natural order.

Right = God

Of course only Satan is all the way to the left and only God is all the way to the right, but, as Dylan said "You gotta serve somebody".

Bruce Charlton said...

@josh - I think you seriously need to reconsider the *equals* sign between God and The Right!

josh said...

"Right", not "The Right".

God is absolute right. Satan is absolute Left. As you said, today's right is really left.

Of course, I've pretty much just made these definitions up, but it fits pretty well with reality on the ground.

Wurmbrand said...

Well, here's a suggestion for action that is certainly not leftist.

We are approaching the end of the Church Year, if, as I think most liturgical and sacramental Christians do, one understand the Church Year to begin with Advent, the pre-Christmas penitential season.

One may resolve to keep the Church Year. It seems pretty clear that God Himself intended His people to keep a religious calendar, since the heavenly lights are placed there for "seasons" (see Genesis 1:14; I think we are apt to read into the text a sense of the four meteorological seasons that people in northerly latitudes know; but I suspect that, for Old Testament Israel, the strictly meteorological terms relate to the rains).

The Old Testament liturgical cycle is transformed by Christ's fulfillment of "the ancient Law" (cf. the hymn "The Ancient law Derparts"). The Church Calendar focuses our attention on the life of Christ and on the life of the Church. There is also a liturgical Week in which Wednesdays and Fridays may be characterized by some additional Christin effort. In my own Lutheran tradition, for example, it is common to have midweek Bible classes on Wednesdays. One may see Saturday evening differently if one thinks in terms of the Sunday "pilgrimage" in which we shall come to the Altar from which those not of the Faith have no right to eat (Hebrews 13:10). I rejoice in the knowledge that I do not have to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem or Rome, but merely to my church, to pray in the presence of the Sacramental Christ.

Personal devotions may bear the flavor of the seasonal themes. For example, since, in my tradition, we reflect prior to Adevnt on eschatology, it makes sense to me to begin reading Archbishop Averky's book on the Apocalypse, translated by Seraphim Rose.

None of these activities, I believe, secures for me "merit" with God, but rather, each may be an appropriate expression of the life from Him that I have received by His grace.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Dale - some good thoughts.

Here are some more ideas about saying The Daily Office or Morning and Evening Prayer (from an Anglo-Catholic influenced by Eastern Orthodoxy - so no wonder I find the ideas so congenial!)

dearieme said...

For a moment, I read that as The Elvis of the Left. .

Wm Jas said...

"Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse."

I don't think so. The contrast is perhaps becoming sharper, but this is an imprecise way of putting it (similar to "the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer," which really means the rich are getting richer much faster than the poor are getting richer).

Which good people or institutions today are better than the good people and institutions of past centuries? Once you try to think in specifics, the whole idea becomes laughable.

Bruce Charlton said...
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Brett Stevens said...

Another way to put this is that liberalism is one form of error, which can take many forms. Many on "The Right" are liberals, and many are also in the grips of error. The point is however that the principle, ideal, values and goals of the Right are geared toward a union between the mystical, realistic and human, where the left is a "breakaway" composed only of human desires, feelings and judgments, without paying attention to their consequences in reality. If that type of narcissism sounds like the withdrawl and isolation of Satan, so be it.

Wm Jas said...
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Bruce Charlton said...
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Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas (I've deleted our previous interchange caused by my misunderstanding).

I think you are probably correct *now*.

Lewis was writing just after the 1939-45 War when I think it was fair to say some British displayed great courage and endurance in a good cause. Perhaps this was what he meant?

But nowadays? Sixty years down the line? - well, it is hard to see much getting better; unless people get extra credit for not being even worse than they are: for being not-too-bad in very bad times...

JohnH said...

"But nowadays? Sixty years down the line? - well, it is hard to see much getting better; unless people get extra credit for not being even worse than they are: for being not-too-bad in very bad times..."

It think you are misunderstanding what Lewis was trying to say.

Consider a family. Before a husband and wife get married it is not nearly as bad for one to go on a date with someone else as after. However, their relationship and the joy they have are not nearly as good as when they are married. This is true not only of the act of getting married but throughout the marriage, the good gets better and the bad gets worse and things that were neutral at sometime in the past become either good or bad as time progresses.

Not that your interpretation isn't correct, but to me it seems you missed a part of what Lewis was trying to say.

60 years ago society at large had a morality that was similar in many regards to most Christian churches view or morality. Therefore by virtue of just meeting social pressure one was able to be moral (also to be immoral in somethings required more effort). Now, as you noted, the morals of society are not in line with Christianity and to be moral requires facing some decent amount of opposition from society and active choices on the part of those choose to be moral. Many people that did fairly immoral things were willing to sacrifice their all to defend the free world. It is in someways much easier to die for what you believe in than it is to live what you believe.

I also think that not all that support the left are evil. The desire to help the poor and oppressed is certainly a Christian virtue. Many people do not understand though how to actually help the poor and what it means for the state to do so. Otherwise, you wouldn't have sob stories told by politicians on the left that prove the opposite of what they intend and what their supports believe the story shows. (For instance, see Hillary Clinton and her stories on minimum wage laws).

It is certainly important to recognize the evil that comes from bad policies, but it is another thing entirely to determine that everyone that supports such policies is in someway evil, some most likely are, just as some on the right are likely evil as well.

Bruce Charlton said...

JohnH - that's a good analysis and I think correct - considering the passage in context. I recall this was how the passage first stuck me at first reading.

But the implication of that point is that Leftism is an exact example of the phenomenon - it *might* have been non-Evil at one point, but it is Evil *now*.

We are long past the point at which it was (rather like Merlin) neutral or ambiguous, we now know...

hence we are in the end times when partial goods 'helping the poor' become the instruments of Evil.

Daniel said...

"There will never enough evidence of Evil for those who are blind to it; but for those with discernment the evidence of The Left's Evil is by-now overwhelming."

But patient, fair-minded and well-reasoned explanations about the various specific evils of the Left are still worthwhile. They can be very persuasive for people of a certain mindset. Believe me!

The evidence that is "by-now overwhelming" appears so to you because you have thought a great deal about it. As for those who are truly blind, you are right, mountains more evidence doesn't make a difference.

But I think there are middle cases, though perhaps they are vastly outnumbered. And for the middle cases it's not a settled matter at all, not by a long shot.

Clearly Lewis thought so, too, or else he wouldn't have bothered writing all those books

Bruce Charlton said...

@Daniel - Fair enough, but Lewis was writing 60 years ago.

Things have changed and there is now very little scope for 'leverage'.

I tend to think that large scale apologetics is now impossible. I mean, we already have Lewis, and Seraphim Rose - further (and inferior) apologetics on those lines may be a mistake.

I feel we are now at the level of spirituality being contrasted with politics, individuality contrasted with groups - apologetics is now a person by person business, not a mass procedure.

Any mass procedure is part of the mass media, hence self-subverting. Any organization is part of the web of bureaucracy hence self subverting.

And so on.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JohnH - "The desire to help the poor and oppressed is certainly a Christian virtue. "

As you indicate, this desire has been thoroughly subverted to evil by this point in history. For example, it used to mean something like actually freely choosing to use your own resources (time and goods) to alleviate actual starvation or cruelty to the enslaved;

now it means something like passing laws to confiscate other peoples' resources to allocate them to classes of persons who are neither starving nor enslaved, but are often obese and systematically privileged (but upon whose support you depend) - and getting a well paid job to administer the process.

Ehe difference is betwen Christ and Antichrist - between The Good, and Evil intent that is strategically-mimicking-selective-aspects-of-Good.