Monday 22 November 2021

No such thing as Neutrality: Either everything is political (for the Left); or else everything is spiritual (for Christians)

Sensible and decent people have spent the last five or six decades complaining that the Left makes everything political; and have thereby mostly-destroyed marriage, family, science, education, law, churches... whatever... everything... 

But indeed this process of politicization stretches back several centuries, and can be seen in the French Revolution; and later abolitionist, socialist, communist, nationalist and other secular Left movements. 

That every-thing is primarily political, is termed 'ideology' - and ideology is intrinsically totalitarian and evil. Because ideology assumes primarily and fundamentally a this-worldly and utilitarian perceptive, which is itself intrinsically anti-moral; and also because it assumes an anti-Good and inverted value-system (now in place and increasing all over the world). 

Leftist political ideology is thus oppositional-to - and has by now substantially displaced - Christian faith. 

It is this oppositional nature that leads to value-inversion: to the current mainstream and coercive assertion of lies, ugliness, sin and chaos; the hatred against that which is Good. 

But for the Christian (by aspiration and hope) everything is spiritual - not political; and the ultimate Christian perspective is beyond and after 'this world' - in Heaven; and relates to eternal spiritual dispositions and situations; rather than to temporal pleasures and pains. 

During recent decades, as a consequence both of materialistic assumptions permeating more and more of life, and in response to the ratcheting pressures of the Left and fear of 'fundamentalist' religiosity; resistance to totalitarian convergence has often asserted the importance of Neutrality.

Neutrality would entail the separation and autonomy of functional social systems from the prevalent politicization. For examples, that science, literature, law, education, the media should Not be explicitly Leftist - and should Not be subject to any other ideology or faith. This neutrality was approximated during the middle of the twentieth century in The West. 

Another aspect of this Neutrality aspiration is Free Speech - which seems to have begun as as a demand from functional specialists (including the arts and sciences, especially) to be independent of church constraints in their professional (as well as personal) lives, but later was expanded to meet the escalating attacks from the Left. 

The demand for Neutral areas and subjects therefore has its roots in an earlier phase of the materialist, leftist, ideological takeover; which is probably why it has been so utterly ineffective at resisting the movement further left - towards a single global, totalitarian ideology. 

More than this, Neutrality is itself an undesirable ideal for a Christian; since it is rooted in the idea that only some aspects of life are Christian - while others are outside of Christianity; only some aspects of life are spiritually important - while other aspects are unspiritual. 

Any plausibility in such assertions derives from the false idea that 'facts' are independent of metaphysical assumptions. The idea that there can and should be agreed facts - and agreed concepts by-which facts are interpreted - that are outside of our fundamental (metaphysical) assumptions regarding the nature of reality. 

But Neutrality is untrue philosophically - since it is metaphysical assumptions that enable us to know what is a fact and what counts as an explanation. 

In any public argument between Leftism and Neutrality; the Leftists always win! Why? 

First; because their basic understanding is correct: the basic framing understanding that there is no such thing as Neutrality. That every-thing depends on the overall and fundamental 'ideology'...

Except that 'Leftist ideology' is not a positive and substantive description of metaphysical reality - but itself merely a demonic inversion of Christian spirituality. 

Thus Leftist ideology 'encompasses everything' in the same kind of way that Christian spirituality does (or should do) - because we live in a reality created by God. 

But Leftist ideology is rooted in the choice of chaos instead of creation; and chaos has no meaning, purpose or explanatory power. 

Secondly; Neutrality is also untrue 'empirically' in that if you have (as I have, many times!) tried to argue with an ideological Leftist from a position of Neutrality; you will rapidly discover that there is no agreement as to what are he relevant facts and appropriate concepts. 

Furthermore, in such actual arguments; all facts and concepts are subordinated to Leftist values and morals - such that even personal observations and logic which seem to conflict with the ideology are described in terms of being merely 'symptoms' of anti-Leftist motivations. 

Trying to argue from a Neutral perspective against a Leftist, it is therefore empirically apparent that there is no non-ideological ground from which the Neutral argument can be made. The Leftist ideologue can expand his assumptions - instantly, easily - to encompass whatever grounds are offered by the Neutral proponent. 

The Leftist will thereby 'prove' that Neutrality is Not Truly Neutral - but itself depends on multiple value-assumptions; and thereby defeat the Neutrality arguments.  

Overall, it now seems clear that the era of Neutrality was merely a transitional phase between Christian Church religiosity and Leftist ideology. Of itself Neutrality (including 'free speech') has no metaphysical coherence. 

Therefore our proper choice excludes Neutrality; and lies between explaining everything (everything) in terms of the purpose and meanings of divine creation; or 'explaining' everything by destroying (i.e. fake-explaining, non-explaining, destroying the possibility of explanation) all that is of God, is Good, and naturally-created... by means of Leftist ideology. 

It is the choice between two 'projects' - the divine and the demonic. 

It is the taking of one side or another: God or Satan. 

How to make this discernment in relation to any particular 'thing' in modern life (of which there are zillions) used to be so difficult that it was convenient to pretend some things were Neutral. 

But not any more. The global triumph of the side of Satan, evil, chaos - has meant that more-and-more of the things they approve of - the things that will advance Their agenda - are being grouped-together ideologically. 

Leftist ideology is now a Package - what is 'in' and what is out-with that Package is being made very clear to everyone on the planet when it comes to what They regard as vitally important to Their agenda. 

Our discernment is therefore easy! We know the Package, and what is in it; because that is made crystal clear, approved, propagandized and coerced - thoroughly and globally; officially, by mass media, in education, science, law etc. 

Our personal choice is Very Simply to accept or reject the Package; and the only place that the Package can coherently be rejected from is, apparently, Christian spirituality. 

When They make some thing a part of the ideological Package, and say that it is Good; we know that it is part of the package of chaos, and that it is evil. 

How that specific Thing fits into the divine creative agenda may not be clear - indeed, it may Not fit into the divine agenda! But we can easily know to reject it, even when we can't explain in detail why*; simply because it is a core part of the ideological Package of totalitarian Leftism.  

*Note there will be explanations why Package contents - either individually or together - are indeed advancing the evil agenda; but (at any given point in time and space) we personally may not know these reasons, perhaps due to lack of relevant information or capability to understand it. Nonetheless, we do not need to know these reasons in order to recognize and reject what comes as a core part of the ideological Package emanating from the powers of evil. God is the creator and our loving Father, and will always make it possible for us to discern evil when this threatens our salvation or theosis. But we can ignore such obvious grounds for discernment; we can refuse God's help - that is our choice. Each Man's choice - and no others.  


Thomas Henderson said...

Fr. Seraphim (Eugene) Rose made a similar observation several decades ago: it boils down to a choice between orthodoxy and the revolution, faith and nihilism. Your dichotomy of creation and chaos reflects the allegiance to either Christ or the Devil, either Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Barabbas, either to serve or to rebel, either above or below.

There's meaning in traditional mottos of higher authority: British monarchy "Dieu et mon Droit" (God and my right), or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police "Maintiens le Droit" (uphold the right). It is not so much a binary decision as a turning: the left is, as the Romans say, the sinister path.

Bruce Charlton said...

@TH - Yes, I know that book and have often recommended it here:

I believe it is necessary to modify the conclusion that the Eastern Orthodox church is an alternative to the devil; since most of that church has aligned with The System wrt the birdemic-peck (and other matters).

Also, the EO church properly functioned in the context of an ordained Emperor/ Tsar and an Orthodox society as a whole - and that has been obliterated from the world since 1917. Fr Seraphim Rose himself said this (e.g. in his pastoral letters) - and emphasized that therefore nobody could now rely primarily upon obedience to any authority - and personal discernment was vital for everyone. Indeed he regarded a 'hard' Orthodox 'ultra-correctness' as an insidious and deceptive sin for those who refused to listen to the guidance of heart.

Thomas Henderson said...

I concur, Dr. Charlton. Christendom has been dead in the water for over a hundred years and with it went any chance for truly Orthodox society. The problem is that once the bark of Peter (however that is interpreted within an Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Anglican perspective) was unhitched and cast adrift on the secular sea, it was difficult for the hierarchy not to be compromised. The body of Christ is in a desert of sorts and whenever it wanders in the desert is subject to the same temptations as identified in the Gospels. Correct you are, the history of EO is one of surviving under the yoke of Mohammedanism and Bolshevism by supplicating to its political masters and sticking to liturgical rigidity. And one can argue the Russian Orthodox Church hasn't been the same since Peter the Great turned it into a department of the state. I don't expect conditions to improve. The English Church and State are still coping with the ill effects of the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

Orthodoxy means right praise / right relationship with God. It is in this sense that our choice is ultimately between orthodoxy and revolution, creation and chaos, faith and nihilism.

a_probst said...

Why is abolitionism lumped in with leftist concerns?

Daniel F. said...

It's heartening to hear that Fr. Seraphim Rose endorsed that perspective on Orthodoxy, i.e. that in a sense it was as close to "The Church" as one could hope for, but that there are times where one must fall back upon and rely upon one's own intuition and conscience.

Bruce, I wanted to refer you to the following article on The Global Coup. It may be the best non-(explicitly)-Christian take on the nascent totalitarian takeover I have read. Many commonalities with your own line of thinking, although he does not appear to go the next step and discern it as the spiritual battle that it is. (For instance, he independently identifies the trifecta litmus test: "it must ... appear to us as an essentially beneficent response to a legitimate “global health crisis” (and a “climate change crisis,” and a “racism crisis,” and whatever other “global crises” GloboCap thinks will terrorize the masses into a mindless, order-following hysteria)."

Bruce Charlton said...

@ap - I don't know whether you know about the history of the movement of abolition (which is essentially a British phenomenon, not American) but it was clearly an early harbinger of Leftism.

Albeit that Leftism was, back in the late 1700s, much more mixed with genuine good than it is now.

Thus, the late 18th century emergence of a strong desire to eliminate slavery in the British Empire (it had been illegal in Britain for a couple of centuries) was probably a net good (and came from nonconformists, and evangelical Anglican Christians).

But the intent (very nearly achieved) to eliminate the global slave trade, then eliminate slavery in the whole world - at any cost, by coercive force (as well as persuasion), and regardless of the outcomes - *became* an incoherent and hypocritical moral monomania of a sort with which we are extremely familiar nowadays.

This evil potential was always present in the roots of abolition, but flowered due to broader spiritual decline in The West.