Friday, February 13, 2009

More intellectual warfare

"The Left has won the culture war, and, at least in the near-term, its victory is irreversible. In social relations, the right to choose trumps all other considerations: to fornicate, marry, breed, abort, divorce, and abandon. That a single mother with six kids should opt for another eight because she feels like it captures the distilled essence of the cultural moment that we have entered. Somehow ritual expressions of support for 'family values' don't quite provide an adequate response."
-- Andrew Bacevich

"From Joseph de Maistre to T.S. Eliot and beyond, right-wing cultural critics since the French Revolution have made the case for authority, along with what it ultimately requires -- namely, the suicide of the critical intellect."
-- Damon Linker

"Linker's response says more about his inability to make arguments without resorting to theocratic or authoritarian bogeymen than it does about Bacevich's essay."
-- James Antle
James is onto something. The hysterical reactions of those who claim to see theocracy lurking around every corner can only be understood as the expression of inner psychodrama. What is it they really fear? What kind of emotional weakness manifests itself in these phobic fantasies of religious authoritarianism?


  1. "What is it they really fear?"

    They fear that the Right is actually right. And it makes them cringe and they fear to be seen cringing.

    They haven't the maturity, confidence or integrity to simply ignore Mrs. Grundy so they lash out and shout back like a guilty teenager. They attempt to dress this up in the language of personal liberty and privacy rights and whatever else might occur to them, all of it is just flailing. But the real fear is that they are doing something wrong and someone else knows it.

    I lived as a libertine for some time and cannot recall any preacher or politician ever interfering in my sex life. Hell, they couldn't make a dent in drug use or drinking, either, and those are matters of law. I've challenged leftists about this, asking if that ever happened to them, that some authority figure ever stopped them from screwing in their preferred manner and it only results in the subject being changed.

    Irresponsibility takes many forms, the woman with 14 kids is new in its extreme, but otherwise she's just another welfare queen. Would prefer she got them the old-fashioned way. Sorta like taking your tequila straight, you'll know when you can't take anymore.

    Basically the cultural left embraces irresponsibility and finds it indefensible. When defending the indefensible sounding childish is inevitable. And it does take a child to willingly do something that he can't hold his head up and do with confidence.

  2. Theocracy is just about the easiest straw man around. And Linker has a long history of blaming the "theocons" and waxing paranoid about their evil plans.

    There are some crazy religious nutjobs out there, but they're mostly harmless. I'm sure our Republic can withstand them.

    What Linker misses is the distinction between self-government and self-restraint and state-imposed authoritarianism, something much more likely to spring out of a strong, centralized Government than the sort of localized vision that Bacevich, Deneen, etc. all have in mind.

    Ugh. What nonsense.

  3. Yes because Jacobinism, Anarchism, Socialism and Marxism are clearly signs of a disciplined intellect. I stopped listening to Professor bacevich, when he started channelling
    the shopworn aphorisms of Smedley Butler, of the military as a racket for big business and started dwelling
    on the 'specter of American militarism

  4. What is it they fear?

    The big difference is fanaticism - the absolute refusal to discourse. A debate or difference of opinion cannot exist when one party is incapable of fairly evaluating the discussion.

    No argument, no facts, no truth will dissuade a fanatic. No consideration of impact or harm to others will affect a fanatic's perception. No "reasonable" consideration will limit a fanatic's choices or actions.

    The fanatic, whether theocratic or political ideologue, is a potent engine, more often destructive than not.

    To a fanatic all the world is the enemy, to the world every fanatic is a potential disaster.

  5. Brad, you're touching on an important point, "you cannot reason a man out of something he did not reason himself into."

    Liberals do not operate on reason. They run on a system of governance most associated with cliques of girls in junior high. The smirk or eye roll of the alpha determines what is wrong and her approval and association define what is right and good.

    They cannot debate the issues because that requires words articulated in a reasoned sequence. All they've got is what makes David Letterman smirk and what the cute chick at the coffee shop smiled at.