Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year

Being a democrat as well as a Democrat, a liberal Democrat in the original, American meaning of the word liberal, I spend a lot of time thinking about rights.  The Civil Rights Movement is one of the great events of my life, especially my early years.  The power of the continuing struggles of Black People to overcome their oppression, the facts of that oppression, are some of the primary themes of my life, both political and religious.  They are the lens through which I see politics, they are the lens through which much of the most potent aspects of salvation became and still become visible to me.  And it is not like an optical lens, it is not limited as the physical metaphor would indicate, it, likewise, opens up other essential, indispensable means of viewing the universality of the struggle for salvation, both political and religious.

The egalitarian nature of the salvation we are all to find means that no exclusion can exist.  The struggle for any aspect of equal justice is as essential to the goal as any other.  It was one of the great insights that the greatest of the figures of the Civil Rights Movement articulated that the rights of one people are the rights of all people.   Anyone who articulated a rights struggle for "their people" alone, presenting "their people" alone as uniquely oppressed, uniquely entitled to first if not only consideration was not only a lesser figure of the Civil Rights struggle, they were guaranteed to do damage to that struggle.

Equality means equality, do unto others what you would have them do unto you is a universal law, you should be good to each other is an ideal we either live by or we make no progress, politically or towards that highest goal of politics, salvation.  That is the only secure and legitimate goal of democracy, democracy is, in a cruder, political and legal form nothing less than a means of attaining a basic but progressive path to salvation.  Any lower goal will prove to be the same kind of impediment to the achievement of democracy that having an exclusive focus in the struggle for equality.  Aiming too low for democracy will produce the dispiriting and depressing quagmire the American left has been mired in since the abandonment of the goals of the Civil Rights leadership as exemplified in the Reverend Martin Luther King jr. of his associates and such other great figures as Diane Nash who we are blessed to still have with us.


Yesterday I posted something which got a lot of flack, my examination of the defective articulation of equal rights under scientistic materialism, a current fad among the phony face obscuring the real political left in the United States and across the English speaking world.  It got some mockery from some of the atheists who read the words not understanding that I was presenting equal rights as the reductionist materialism THEY HOLD TO would have to find them in order for them to be any more real than the Creator who endows us with those rights they so derisively dismiss because their materialism can't account for God.  As they whine about perceived violations of their rights, which in most cases aren't rights but privileges they believe are denied them, they blithely ignore that their very own faith is one of the greatest forces which has hindered if not destroyed the struggle for equal rights and the reason that we are equally bound to respect those rights.

The cosmological debunking of God that such figures as Sean Carroll, Lawrence Krauss, Steve Weinberg, and, most famous of all Stephen Hawking are engaged in forces the issue of what their program of insisting that all things that are real must be located in the tiniest scale of reality, quantum or Planck scale, depending on which faith tradition those materialists made their career of, including the Creator who is the only plausibly convincing candidate as the source of effective and articulable equal rights, forces the question of where the scientific high priesthood of Carroll, Krauss, Weinberg, Hawkings and any of these scientistic materialists would locate those rights and the moral obligations that make their exercise real in the real lives of real people.

The fact is that intellectual framings have a real effect on real life because how and what people think has as much of an effect in society and politics as it does in quantum physics.  The intellectual framing that turned people into material objects during the under the so-called Enlightenment is the mechanism through which the French revolutionaries could kill so many people with such conviction, including their rival revolutionaries.  It is what made the 20th century murder industries under dictatorships so much more effective in murdering people and which makes us able to pretend to have superior motives and more rational lives as we destroy the planet even as we use predator drones and other means to murder remotely, even automatically with no human input as a result of an autonomously operating program, no doubt even that programming to be automated as soon as science finds a way to do even that.   And for figures on the nominal left such as Barack Obama to pretend to the loftiest of motives as they choose to do that.

In the video I posted yesterday David Bentley Hart noted that we are all caught up in the framing of a mechanistic universe, the very substance of the would be Enlightenment.  It is even a mechanical god as imagined in those terms which the mechanistic atheists reject, even their non-existent and rejected God is the product of scientific imagination.  I used to have that same faith, though, perhaps, raised as a Catholic I should have known better.  The hegemony of that mechanistic framing of the universe doesn't cover the world, it has, though established itself like a destructive, invasive insect damaging and destroying everything it reaches.

As David Bentley Hart also noted, it is one of the most logically even scientifically, incoherent intellectual programs which have ever become influential in human history.  As far back as the 1920s, people like Arthur Stanley Eddington noted that the then contemporary findings of physics had pretty much killed off materialism as a plausible explanation of the humanly observed universe, that nothing of the physical universe which people could discern through science was not inevitably a result of human consciousness.  And as Kurt Gödel and others would soon after show, even the mathematics and logic on which the scientific and materialistic thinkers depended produced paradoxes that highlighted the most basic problems with their philosophical foundations.  Yet almost a century later that news has yet to catch up with the high priesthood of materialism and its faith community.

I am a political person, an equality absolutist, a democrat.   I am most concerned with overturning the conditions that destroyed the Civil Rights and equality struggles of my youth and which have allowed those who want inequality, the denial of rights through the denial of the universal moral obligation to respect rights.  And not all of those destructive forces were external, the worst of them, the ones which destroyed the movement from within are what did the most damage.  They largely came from the elites who believed or just out of habit, felt themselves to be superior to other people, including many people who could have been persuaded to join with instead of oppose the struggle for equality. If I were going to go into detail about that, I'd point to such stuff as All In The Family and other entertainment industry "leftism" but I've done that before.

Those are the very snobs who manifest themselves in the new atheism as they did in the old line atheists of the communist left.   The failure of those old line commies to gain traction in the working class they pretended to struggle for their insane and destructive presence in Civil Rights leads me to think that atheism is emblematic of the self-defeating wing of leftism.   As Marxism is an anti-democratic and elite manifestation even as it pretends to be of by and for The People, it never had a legitimate place on the left.  Now that it is so dead that even the Communists in China are, in fact, capitalists on steroids and uppers, that same atheism has taken a different form, atheism which not only denies that there is any real thing as endowed, inherent rights turning those and the obligation to respect them into a mere social convention.  If there is something which people can refuse to do, it is respect mere conventions when they can do so to their advantage and their convenience.  They can do that as easily as they can take advantage of the free shipping that Jeff Bezos provides to Amazon Prime customers at the cost of the workers in his shipping facilities.  They can even claim that doing so is a benefit to the left because Bezos pays it off.

That pantomime of a left is still alienating the very people we will have to struggle with and for in order to revive any kind of politically effective left, a left which is truly OF, BY and, so FOR The People.   I don't think there is going to be anything easy about that, I don't make any kind of fraudulent guarantee that it's going to happen because some imaginary dialectic will swing that way as an matter of scientific inevitability.  I can guarantee you the way leading forward isn't through the atheist window into the world, it goes backwards, how far back, I don't know. 18th century, 17th century...  For now it seems stuck in the 20th century, the bloodiest of centuries, the one which sent us hurtling into complete catastrophe, in the epic mass slaughters and the ultimate slaughter of all life on Earth which continues even as we, somehow, mistake that for progress congratulating ourselves on our superior insight and the good things that science has given us, as sold at Amazon, the Walmart of the play left.

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