On Evil, Intrigue and the Left
January 28, 2013 5 Comments
It is often the case that detractors, opponents and skeptics will themselves latch onto a catchphrase or cliché statement about “how the world really works” in order to debunk the claims of anyone who challenges the mainstream account of events. For them, “conspiracy theorists” will read everything as a conspiracy. Ironically, the forebears of modern leftists were themselves the ones who asked questions about the status quo of their day, but as one learns in the study of paradigms and worldviews, the new opinions become the new dogmas. As Foucault correctly explained, the modern world did not rid itself of hierarchy, “shepherds” and authority: it merely exchanged the old ones for a new.
Not all truths are to be told to all men, and not all people are sufficiently mature to deal with the harsh realities of realpolitik. The fact remains that men are easily duped and fooled. The system knows this, and thus statecraft is based largely on psychology and social engineering. Guided by pragmatism, this idea is ancient, but Machiavelli is a great example. For Machiavelli, statecraft was precisely the ability to manage intrigue. And the reality is, it is much more this than ideology that guides men and nations. In his Art of War, Machiavelli writes of the corruption of the military industrial complex of his day:
“But because military institutions have become completely corrupt and far removed from the ancient ways, these sinister opinions have arisen which make the military hated and intercourse with those who train them avoided. And I, judging, by what I have seen and read, that it is not impossible to restore its ancient ways and return some form of past virtue to it, have decided not to let this leisure time of mine pass without doing something, to write what I know of the art of war, to the satisfaction of those who are lovers of the ancient deeds. And although it requires courage to treat of those matters of which others have made a profession, none the less, I do not believe that it is a mistake to occupy a position with words, which may, with greater presumption, have been occupied with deeds; for the errors which I should make in writing can be corrected without injury to anyone, but those which are made with deeds cannot be found out except by the ruin of the Commanders.”
Even Machiavelli longed for an earlier age of purportedly more virtuous warfare. Perhaps this was his Atlantean/Platonic fantasy. In our day, the military industrial complex is corrupt, but for the left to say that the “military industrial complex” is the source of American evil misses the point, as well as most leftist views of evil. For the modern herd-minded hipster horde of “leftists,” the only “conspiracy” is that of the few fringe “extremists” who haven’t joined Obama and the modern, enlightened world of “social democracy.” For the modern authoritarian left, the source of “evil” (if there is such a thing) is found in institutions and structure (except for the modern global government being erected!). For them, wealth, success, growth, knowledge, life and existence are themselves evil. Evil is located within the very being of created reality, and for the “leftists” who turn to Buddhism and Eastern philosophy (as the trendies do), evil is located in particularity. Particulars is being used here in the philosophical sense: individuality, particularity, and singular objects, distinguished from others. This is a classic notion of Eastern philosophies, which tends to focus on holism.
But is this the case? Is it true that particular things are “bad”? Is “evil” a result of distinguishing things, as well as gradations in things? The solution given in this worldview is a move towards a radical holism – monism. Monism is the philosophical view that all reality is one thing. Historically, there have been monists who saw all reality as an idea (solipsists), others who saw reality as a manifestation of the One (Platonism), or even materialists and atomists, seeing all reality as purely “atoms.” For these worldviews, distinction and difference are in some form an illusion or an ontologically dubious category that must in some way be overcome.
The all-encompassing One is beyond all distinction and classification and not capable of any real relation to any thing. Given that presupposition, the manifestation of this world and its beauties and tragedies are to be transcended through some negation of their real existence or meditation, etc. One can now see why this consciously anti-rational view would be entertained by the modern left. While the desire to see reality holistically and all things related in a grand narrative found here is right – that is the direction in which we should go – this view and the modern left desires to encompass all reality in the impersonal One in a different grand narrative and design. This grand narrative or great plan uses the idiot horde leftists as tools – a manipulated horde shifted and manipulated by other degenerates for one grand goal: wreck it all, that all may be “equal.”
Radical egalitarianism is one of the most fanatical, dangerous and inconsistent positions of the modern authoritarian left. Since evil is located by the authoritarian left in distinctions and differences, all these must be obliterated. That includes race and gender, which must be said to be “social constructs.” It seems odd that anyone would believe anything so absurd, but this extremist view of social engineering is held so tenaciously because of deeper, more foundational philosophical commitments. To be even clearer, the philosophical commitment is not held because of some mere error in thinking. On the contrary, the notion that all humans need to be cured of evil desires is good education is precisely the root of the problem. For the modern authoritarian left, man’s problem in the collectivist equation is his lack of education. This is why, for the left, their “elite” are the supposed academic, political and theater classes, all of which are socially oriented classes. This is the fundamental flaw that must be unmasked in modern authoritarian liberalism, and is must be exposed by the use of reason and logic, but reason and logic are viewed by them as prisons and strictures to be rejected.
In this regard, evil is simultaneously rational and irrational. Because evil is irrational, in its rebellion against the order that reason imposes, it seeks to be irrational and chaotic to fight reason. But implicit in this drive to be irrational is a kind of logic – a logoi of evil, which is therefore still rational. Van Til called this becoming epistemically self-conscious – evil seeks to become consistent with itself, in its inconsistency. Evil cannot be consistent with its attack on reason – to do so is a manifestation of still being rational. In this analysis, I don’t mean to suggest any kind of rationalism of the Enlightenment version. I mentioned Foucault above and many in the postmodern and existentialist schools will see in this paragraph “rationalism.” I once had a long discussion with one of my postmodern professors who accused this kind of analysis of being rationalism. In response to that it should be made clear that talk of reason as a tool and a divine light given to man is not the same thing as the Enlightenment/Jacobin enthronement of “reason” as a kind of pseudo-goddess. The professor is right that Enlightenment rationalism is an excess, but so is the far eastern rejection of logic and reason en toto!
It is always the temptation of humans to make evil have an actual ontological existence. By this it is not meant that there is no evil, that it is some illusion. On the contrary, evil is very real, but in the technical philosophical sense it has no actual ontological existence. It has no “being,” if you will. Evil is a relative term – it is the move of a will away from some good. It is not a “thing” or a substance. In fact, evil is not even the will, which is a faculty given by God. Evil is a descriptive term given to the action of a sentient being moving its will away from some good, and that is all it is. In this sense, it is right to say evil is a negation, like ugliness or deformation. Consider a man who is ugly: the source of the deformation is not the molecules in his body, which he shares with a beautiful woman, but the lack of beauty in his form. In a similar fashion, evil is not located in some thing, as its being or essence, but in the move of a free being’s will against some good end.
When I was writing my thesis, I got enveloped in a fascinating book by Gordon Corera that detailed inside experience in MI6. The book Art of Betrayal is excellent, and while being in some degree an “establishment” book, it is still amazing in what it admits. From MKULTRA to Soviet intrigue, what is most interesting is what I outlined above: there is an art to betrayal, which in effect makes the real modus operandi of the modern world system closer to what one sees in Melville’s lesser classic Confidence Man. In Confidence Man a crowd of various individuals take a steamboat ride down the Mississippi and encounter the confidence man himself, the devil. In the novel each character is forced to confront the thing in which they place their trust with the possibility of it being a fraud. The reader is also expected to question his own presuppositions. While this novel can be placed in the existentialist strand, it is also a great example of how the network of intelligence agencies that run the plant for the megabanks and mega corporations works. As Corera’s book title explains, they are confidence men (and women) who are the masters of the art of betrayal.
How does this relate to the metaphysical speculations on evil? All three elements listed in the title are connected: evil, intrigue and the left, in terms of deception. When the leftist attacks objective truth under the guise of arguing against it, they are presupposing the very thing they are attacking: logic. When the Eastern philosopher rejects logic with its reasoning, they are doing the same. When evil seeks to be irrational, it is being in a sense rational. When the left seeks to remove structures and institutions, it does so with the erection of a new structure and hierarchy. This is not to say tha the “right” has cornered the market on truth and lack of deception. But the key factor the right has in its favor is the firm belief in objective truth and reason. For this reason, it opposes the state’s monopoly on power in instances where the state seeks to muddle the populace into slobbering retardation for the purpose of easier management. In these cases the state becomes god incarnate with a relativistic, trendy hipster idiot population submitting to its whims. So when the skeptic approaches the actual functioning of the world and doubts “conspiracy,” they should take a look at it from the perspective of what intelligence operatives write in their mainstream books or from the perspective of Machiavelli and Melville. For a “leftist skeptic” to admit that there is large-scale nefarious conspiring requires the leftist to inadvertently reexamine his presuppositions. For that to be the case, it would mean that there is truth and there are objective standards – the very thing the authoritarian leftist cannot admit, except for his own dogmatic standard.