Saturday 3 February 2018

The despair-inducing futility of mainstream (secular) politics: Right and Left

As a thought experiment; just suppose that both the Left and Right wing parties parties (or Nationalists, Greens, or Libertarians, or whatever you like) were honest and effective - and that which ever you prefer would actually deliver Exactly what they promise...

So what?

If the Left delivered a society which 100% promoted, supported, subsidised and sustained women, non-natives, people of any sexuality or sex than the biological, any social arrangement of humans other than (Christian) marriage and the family; And introduced total economic equality, And proportionate quotas in all jobs without exception and all the rest... So what?

Is there anybody who really believes that this would make life good enough? What would all this be for? What would it accomplish? Having this - what would be the meaning and purpose of a human life?

The answer - a perfect future Leftist utopia would be not one whit nor molecule better than life at present. Qualitatively, it would be identical. All the main and deepest problems of Life would remain unaddressed.

Or, on the Right, if they secured the borders and delivered near-zero immigration, restored the primacy of national culture, made the economy efficient and functional and so on - all that would have happened is to restore (more of less) the situation of a few decades ago...

Was life then (pick a date) good enough? Or was there, then, on the contrary, colossal levels of social and individual discontent?

Politics is a fraud - plain and simple. Not just because the system has zero intention of delivering what it promises; but mainly because what politics discusses and promises is not what we need or want - not what would make any substantive difference if we had it.

The triumph of politics, over the past 200 years, has been to make itself the centre of most people's lives, most of the time. For almost-everybody in the West, politics is primary. Politics is what people regard as the bottom-line - and morality, religion, and everything else have to be fitted-into the primacy of politics.

All large and powerful institutions are primarily political, and so is almost any individual person you will meet. They care about politics more than anything else. Especially, their hatreds are politically directed. They are political beings.

What a stupid, irrelevant, destructive, evil state of affairs!

Indeed - it is precisely evil - this is the product of evil.

The only answer is to set aside politics, step-aside-from politics - restore what really matters to the heart of life: but really do this, deep down, bottom line; in a way that is currently very unusual indeed; indeed hardly ever encountered in the West, here and now.


William Wildblood said...

When you put the issue in stark terms like that you reveal exactly why politics is never going to solve any real problems. It just creates division and antagonism. The only justification for politics is if it is seen 100% in the light of the reality of God but then, most probably, you wouldn't even need it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - thanks. I should also have added that the despair-inducing aspect of modern politics is deliberate and strategic. Get us to pin all our deepest hopes on politics - then gradually realise that this was futile...

Unknown said...

Strangely enough, the far-right media I am familiar with *do* seem to have a strategic vision apart from politics:
surprisingly, it's space exploration.

-- Robert Brockman

Anon 735 said...

Jordan Peterson

He speaks to the obvious required things we need which are transcendent to politcs, while also calling out political overreach.

Bruce Charlton said...

@RB - Just kicking the can further down the road...

@Anon - To me, JP is myself 15-25 years ago; therefore just part of secular mainstream politicking.

Chiu ChunLing said...

It does make a practical difference whether people are left free to direct the course of their own lives, and able to take real responsibility for their own decisions, or not.

No, of course it will not make everyone happy, but the sort of people it makes unhappy are those who demand that their choices have no consequences, which is to say the sort of person for whom any real happiness is fundamentally impossible anyway.

The reason that everything is now political is because of the totalitarian tendency to define all aspects of human existence as being political. This is disproportionately a function of the demand that the government intervene constantly at every level of human existence to separate choices from their natural consequences. Thus, while it isn't exactly one-sided, it certainly is more characteristic of one side of the political spectrum to politically characterize acts and attitudes that otherwise would not be regarded as political.

We can and must make a distinction between two things both being imperfect and between claiming that they are thus equivalent. The difference in quality and utility between two options, both of which are 'imperfect', can be vast, and in politics it generally is vast. To resort to claiming equivalence between all things that are imperfect is profoundly intellectually lazy.

Or, at least, as imperfect as anything else.

William Wildblood said...

That's a good point but I don't think Bruce is saying it doesn't make a difference which side is in charge but that neither can solve fundamental human problems which are not open to political solutions.

That's how I read him anyway.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - Yes.

Or to put it another way - there are not two sides in mainstream politics, but one. I sometimes conceptualise the mainstream Right and Left as two departments of a single organisation - like two branches of the civil service, struggling for influence and resources.

In other words, mainstream politics is merely 'office politics' and happens within the same overall framework.

eg. The mainstream Left are International Socialists while the mainstream Right are either also International Socialists or sometimes National Socialists (like the German National Socialist Workers' Party - which was abbreviated to Nazi). But they are all socialists.

But certainly, as CCL says, the overall secular aim of all parties is totalitarian - which is why that term has faded from use since public discourse became secularised.

Totalitarianism is the main demonic large scale strategy - it involves convincing everybody that commnications are all that there is; then ensuring that people are communicating 24/7 in the public/ political arena - socially, in families, at work and filling any gaps with mass/ social media; then controlling all communications.

The demons' agenda for Man is a kind of chosen, self-enslavement that excludes/ rejects/ hates/ ridicules the divine - and it is so far apparently working very well.

Astraea said...

It really is amazing Bruce – every day you have a post which relates to something I am grappling with – both you and William do this – it means a lot to me that this sort of synchronicity happens. However, I think sometimes you are quite extremist.

You said….
Or, on the Right, if they secured the borders and delivered near-zero immigration, restored the primacy of national culture, made the economy efficient and functional and so on - all that would have happened is to restore (more or less) the situation of a few decades ago...Was life then (pick a date) good enough? Or was there, then, on the contrary, colossal levels of social and individual discontent?... The only answer is to set aside politics, step-aside-from politics - restore what really matters to the heart of life.
We really do not live in a vacuum. There will always politics, some kind of societal organisation and the question is not will people be happier, (mostly they won’t) but will the society we are living in serve as a more adequate petri dish for the growing of souls? It may not matter which side is in charge in terms of solving fundamental human issues, as these are issues which only individual humans can address in the end. But humans need help via the support of a sane society.

A large proportion of the Western population is in thrall at present to an utterly unrealistic, evil toxic meme which, I think must be challenged, even if only on the level of chats over the garden fence.

If we did manage to restore the culture of a few decades ago (which is unlikely- it would be different in many ways), a culture that is at least more in line with reality there is a chance that those souls who already understand even if vaguely - what the purpose of human life is– will be bettered nurtured and supported to do the work.

But whatever happens, even if the aliens land, or the third world war happens, or some other catastrophe changes everything there will still be societies or bands of people and politics will still happen.

We are obviously in a culture war. Why is it not ok for some people to engage in challenging current errors as a kind of dharma? Not because it is engaging in useless politics but because it might be a good thing to do, or it might be a good thing for a particular person to do.

In the Bhagavad Gita there are the famous passages where Krishna advises the confused Arjuna – who must go into battle against relatives - and is torn by doubt. How can he do this? Krishna says:

"You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty."…. He, by whom the world is not agitated and whom the world cannot agitate, he who remains calm in times of joy, anger, fear and anxiety, is dear to me…. (Therefore) You must always fulfill all your obligatory duties without attachment. By performing actions without attachment, one attains the Highest.”

I guess my point is “it ain’t what you do it’s the way what you do it.”

Bruce Charlton said...

@"Astraea" - Things are coming to a point, intellectual compromise is something that is being squeezed-out. In one area after another the choice is becoming stark and clear.

But the realm of reality is thought, not action (action is always and inevitably compromised) - so we will all (like it or not) find ourselves compelled into absolute, uncompromising clarity with respect to our thoughts.

Consequently, I find myself indifferent to the great mass of people in the realm of public discourse who focus on being pragmatic and action-orientated when their minds are a mess of expediencies and evasions.

Chiu ChunLing said...

It is certainly true that, while often attempting to appear more different than they really are, 'both' parties are really headed in the same direction in the long run. There are of course voices that are actually distinct and really moving away from secular totalitarianism, but they are far outside the mainstream and getting further from having any credible participation in the political process all the time.

In that sense, it is useful to recognize the fundamental illegitimacy of the political process as such, that it does not allow the speaking of truth.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - Indeed. The system is continually - by many means, and with apparently a high degree of success - trying to draw us all in; trying to induce us to pin our hopes and fears onto the power struggles of the mainstream.

To be drawn-into that struggle is to have lost, whatever the outcome may be.