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Posts Tagged ‘Auster’

On Evolution

Lawrence Auster has taken to discussing the miracle of humanity and how that miraculousness–such as the requirement to use tools even in the times of the cave man–render us different even in the most abject primitive conditions.

It got me thinking of something I read a long time ago by G.K. Chesterton in the Everlasting Man, which I reprint below:

Most modern histories of mankind begin with the word evolution, and with a rather wordy exposition of evolution, for much the same reason that operated in this case. There is something slow and soothing and gradual about the word and even about the idea. As a matter of fact it is not, touching these primary things, a very practical word or a very profitable idea. Nobody can imagine how nothing could turn into something. Nobody can get an inch nearer to it by explaining how something could turn into something else. It is really far more logical to start by saying ‘In the beginning God created heaven and earth’ even if you only mean ‘In the beginning some unthinkable power began some unthinkable process.’ For God is by its nature a name of mystery, and nobody ever supposed that man could imagine how a world was created any more than he could create one. But evolution really is mistaken for explanation. It has the fatal quality of leaving on many minds the impression that they do understand it and everything else; just as many of them live under a sort of illusion that they have read the Origin of Species.

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Lawrence Auster explains clearly the confustion that results from left-liberal multiculturalism and its combination of insane moralism intramurally among other westerners, while abandoning basic moral standards in dealing with “other” people:

[T]he liberal order articulates the world through a “script” in which there are three characters: the white liberal, who embodies the non-discriminatory virtue of the liberal regime; the white non-liberal, who discriminates against nonwhites and who must be crushed by the white liberal; and the nonwhite/non-Westerner, who either is discriminated against by the white non-liberal or is non-discriminatorily included by the white liberal. In the script, furthermore, only the white liberal and the white non-liberal are moral actors, with the first representing good and the second representing evil. The nonwhite/non-Westerner is not a moral actor, but is simply the passive recipient of the white liberal’s goodness or of the white non-liberal’s bigotry. The reason that the nonwhite/non-Westerner cannot be a moral actor is that his very function in the script is to be the recipient of either good non-discrimination or evil discrimination. If he were a moral actor, then his own actions would have to be judged; specifically, his bad actions would have to be judged. But to judge his bad actions would be to discriminate against him. And since the central purpose of liberalism is to eliminate all discriminatory treatment of nonwhites/non-Westerners, moral judgement of nonwhites/non-Westerners must also be eliminated. Therefore nonwhites/non-Westerners cannot be seen as responsible moral actors.

The liberal script explains why [Pastor Terry] Jones, who burned a piece of paper with ink on it, has “blood on his hands,” but the Muslim Afghan mob that invaded a UN compound and murdered 12 UN employees do not have blood on their hands. The Muslims are not moral actors. The Muslims are simply the victims of Terry Jones’s discriminatory act against them. Jones, the white non-liberal, is a moral agent who is responsible for his evil actions. The Muslims are not moral agents and are not responsible for their actions.

Terry Jones is just the millionth example of this.  There are the excuses for other familiar forms of foreign savagery, such as sutee, or polygamy, or canabilism, or low levels of cleanliness and education.  As these excuses role off the tongue, the most anodyne western liberties and customs, whether holding a door for a lady or not wanting one’s nation’s demographics reengineered, are treatd as the most backwards expressions of primitivism.  The thread uniting this apparent dissonance is the nondiscrimination principle.

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I thought Steve Sailer’s analysis of McCain’s loss was useful.  Some of the right’s best wedge issues–immigration, gun control, big government, and a bit surprisingly, gay marriage–were items which this faux maverick took great pleasure in bucking the GOP to the delight of his friends in the media.  He was a terrible campaigner with terrible ideas and a terrible presence and personality who  I am not the least bit surprised (nor terribly chagrined) to have seen lose.

Steven den Beste and Lawrence Auster both make a good case that there will be some positives of an Obama presidency, not least that he will be more required to appeal to Republicans and moderates than a McCain, who would have been demoralized by the prospect of defeating the history-making Obama candidacy.  I think for these reasons he’ll be less inclined to push for an irreversible amnesty, which has been Bush and McCain’s obsession for a number of years.  I do think national health care will be a major problem, and a hard to reverse one.  It will make our health care worse.  That said, I don’t think health and health care are always correlates; for a lot of reasons we probably spend far too much on health care as a society.  Government controls will add error to correct an error in the form of the existing tax-subsidy for health benefits.  But we’ll survive.  France and Sweden, though far from ideal, are not Bolivia.  Nor are we, yet.

We face many threats to our traditional way of life.  The mass culture is toxic.  The economy is unstable, ridden with debt, threatened by hyperinflation and mass disenchantment.  Related to these, we are more threatened by our continued addition of millions of less productive, low skill workers from the Third World into our increasingly generous society.   Between the issues of health care and immigration, the latter is more damaging and it has long been McCain’s passion.  Like Bush, his presidency would have led to far too many compromises by conservative critics, who would embarass themselves by making excuses for the globalist, big government managerial gobbeldy-gook of a McCain administration.  Obama at least will sharpen our focus and remind us that in the game of tribal politics, only the majority has engaged in unilateral disarmament.

I’ve talked to a number of Obama voters and was happily suprised to see that the cult-like enthusiasm seen on TV is shared by relatively few of them. They simply judged him the better of the two and feel he deserves a chance.  The intensity of the Obama-worshippers in Grant Park should be contrasted with these folks, some of whom entertained the hope that his presence might lead to more honest and realistic race relations and a revival of morale leading to improvements in the various social problems facing the black community.  Perhaps. 

It all remains to be seen what Obama will do, how he’ll govern, and whether he’ll be a centrist in the manner of Bill Clinton or a committed leftist who can finally advance the race-class-gender-justice policies that he fought for so passionately as a young man.  In either case, we need some sense of proportion as conservatives and as Americans. Even before and after LBJ, America was still America.  Its core values in tact.  They’ve slowly been sapped, transformed, and weakened, but they’re not altogether absent.  Among these, our civic rituals of peaceful transfers of power and respect for the office are valuable.  Our generosity, lack of narrow tribalism, and magnanimity as a people should not be dismissed too quickly by anyone.  And, even though the Obama presidency is worrisome and will likely at times be offensive, conservatives certainly should not induldge the kind of stupid hatred and conspiracy thinking that the Left spewed at Bush for the last eight years. 

I think the Obama presidency will likely be an unsuccessful one, beset by exagerrated hopes, missteps, the evils of party spirit, and Obama’s own hitherto unexamined leftism.  But it all remains to be seen, and there will be plenty enough time in the next four years for gnashing of teeth.

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