Public Piety

The late, great David Stove once suggested that if you really wanted humanism — that is, a philosophy that embraces the strongest part of our game — you’d push a religion of deliberate absurdity.  We all have some lunatic belief or other, he said, to which we attach great importance.  And the briefest of glances at history shows you that there’s a type of person for whom credo quia absurdum est is a feature, not a bug, of their worldview.  Stove implies that these people are the vast majority of the human race, and the more I see of this stupid, stupid century, the more I agree with him.

Because it’s not just an unexamined lunatic belief, of the kind you’re taught in public school, that most people hold.  Those aren’t excusable, exactly, but they’re at least understandable — it’s a hellacious shock to the system, one that the red-pilled remember well, when you finally realize that authority figures have been systematically deceiving you.  The kind of lunatic belief I’m talking about is chosen, after long deliberation and with full exposure to the relevant facts.  The only way anyone could embrace any of the SJW catechism is by worshipping absurdity for absurdity’s sake.

An example helps, but instead of rehashing all of The Current Year’s lunacy, let’s look at history.  Credo quia absurdum est has a long and shameful pedigree.  See, for example, the notion of Predestination.  Technically, “double predestination” is the absurd part — the idea that God must’ve decided who was going to Hell long before He even created the world.  It’s all but impossible to teach this idea to students, because modern people — to their credit, and for once I’m not being sarcastic when crediting modern people with anything — realize how ball-scratchingly stupid that is.  Hell, maybe it’s true, but no sane person can possibly live with it.

Modern people see that as carte blanche to do whatever we want, because hey, if we do it, God made us do it… which, if you think about it for half a second, means God Himself is responsible for “sin” (quotation marks necessary, because it can’t be evil if I have no possible choice in the matter).  Calvin, Knox, et al thought of that too, of course — they were crazy, not stupid — and they even had an answer: Shut up, that’s why.  Not the most theologically sophisticated reasoning, but when you’re being burned at the stake for Arminianism it’s remarkably persuasive.  Meanwhile, you’d best live like the holiest Puritan that ever lived… even though it’s exquisitely pointless, because you’re almost surely damned.

See what I mean?

Or take Marxism.  I wish I could find out who said it, but one of Lenin’s early critics reduced all possible objections to Marxism to a sentence: Marxists are like astronomers who are mathematically certain an eclipse is coming, but immediately start murdering people to make sure it comes.  Marxism must be the most comprehensively refuted doctrine in the history of human thought… and yet it’s the default in every Western (and most Eastern) school systems, K thru PhD.  We’re all Marxists now, so much that we don’t even realize it — get all worked up about it, in fact, and start banging out irate caps lock comments on blogs, when someone points it out (go ahead, bang away; I love irate caps lock comments).  Pretty much the entire history of Postmodern thought is, as Stephen R.C. Hicks put it, the frantic effort to keep the emotional solace of Marxism without admitting that Marxism is wrong.

The most interesting thing from a historian’s perspective, then, is: What’s going to happen when Reality prevails in The Current Year, as Reality always must?

Our blue-haired, nose-ringed lunatics aren’t going to give up their need for lunatic beliefs.  That’s hardwired.  They’re not going to stop being collectivists, because nihilism — which is what “double predestination,” Marxism, and all the rest boil down to emotionally — always leads its believers to embrace the most comprehensive collectivism they can find.*  You know my answer: “Today’s SJW is tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer.”  Once they realize that they’re not leading the identity politics parade anymore — that their heads are, in fact, on tribalism’s chopping block — they’re going to rediscover their pure Aryan essence doubletime.  I just hope I live long enough to see it….

…or maybe not.  The comments are open.  Speculate away!

 

*I don’t know if that post is a “greatest hit” or not (somebody asked for a list of those), but it got some of the most discussion out of any post that wasn’t another endless roundabout with the goddamn Cuttlefish, so…
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5 thoughts on “Public Piety

  1. Pickle Rick

    That was the point of shunting your slightly crazy, somewhat intelligent, and potentially dangerous into the monasteries back in the old days of Christendom. There they could channel their obsessions into esoterica but without the military power to impose their fanaticism on the rest of us, because they were up in some monastery, safely kept away from the real world. Note that the witch hunting was a Protestant phenomenon, as were the evangelical zeal to abolish slavery at the point of a bayonet in 1861.

  2. P_Ang

    “Our blue-haired, nose-ringed lunatics”…”they’re going to rediscover their pure Aryan essence doubletime. ” I don’t think so. See, there’s this video from an ex-KGB agent from the early 80’s that occassionally reappears on Fakebook when it’s not being thoughtcrimed out of existence. In it, the agent basically notes that everything that’s happening is pretty much going to (commie) plan. However, once the socialist/communist takeover happens, the first ones that will be lined up and shot will NOT be the conservatives or the resistance. The first ones will be the useful idiots, because they simply cannot process the fact that they were wrong the entire time, and they were used like the idiots they are to enslave and destroy the rest of the country.

    1. Severian Post author

      They always are. Lenin said many times that the “intellectuals” — meaning, Liberals; not eggheads like himself who were correct about everything — would be the first shot after the Revolution. He meant it.

      That’s where I’m hoping to have enough time to get out. President Kamala Harris / AOC / whichever POC weirdo will have me thrown in a camp, of course, but not for a while…. she’ll be too busy icing Gender Studies professors, CNN commenters, etc. to get to us for a while.

  3. rwc1963

    Severian wrote:
    “Today’s SJW is tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer.” Once they realize that they’re not leading the identity politics parade anymore — that their heads are, in fact, on tribalism’s chopping block — they’re going to rediscover their pure Aryan essence doubletime. ”

    To some degree you’re quite right. In fact many whites on the Left are woke to racial differences. You see this in the way they isolate themselves from the vibrancy they promote. They’re not stupid. Fanatical and power hungry yes.

    For them to flip though, the pain threshold will have to get very bad and personal.

    But the SJW brownskins are a different story, they really hate whites and will act on their genocidal impulses the first chance they get. People like Ta Nisi Coates, Sarah Jeong, Kamala Harris and AOC really do hate whitey and want to crush them. They are not above on starting a hot civil war to do us in. No camps for us, just a Zimbabwe style bullet in the noggin while getting the mail or driving to work.

    Sadly there are a quite a few white SJW’s that do have a death wish like those two Nordic women who went hiking in the Atlas mountains even though locals told them not to and were beheaded as a result, because they believed everyone was like them.

    Paul Joseph Watson has a video on these idiots.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o40yZO2QPc

    These people are the very embodiment of Ingsoc’s “Ignorance is Strength” or the sort of mentality you would find in cultists.

  4. kirkforlatt

    “Modern people see that as carte blanche to do whatever we want, because hey, if we do it, God made us do it… which, if you think about it for half a second, means God Himself is responsible for “sin” (quotation marks necessary, because it can’t be evil if I have no possible choice in the matter). Calvin, Knox, et al thought of that too, of course — they were crazy, not stupid — and they even had an answer: Shut up, that’s why. Not the most theologically sophisticated reasoning, but when you’re being burned at the stake for Arminianism it’s remarkably persuasive. Meanwhile, you’d best live like the holiest Puritan that ever lived… even though it’s exquisitely pointless, because you’re almost surely damned.”

    This is so effing spot-on, it ain’t EVEN a joke. In the Presbyterian/Reformed world, “Shut up, that’s why!” is pretty much a boilerplate reply to any pesky free-thinker who frowns and raises his hand during a Sunday School class. When I look back on my days as an active participant in such stuff, I shake my head and feel my cheeks grow hot with embarrassment that I was such a company man. But you see, I wanted to believe. I wanted to know the truth. And any truthful insider can tell you that the leaders of the churches today for the most part neither truly believe what they claim to believe nor do they want to know the truth in order to believe it. If they did, their actions would show it. The theologians and pastors will tell you that they will willingly die for the sake of the gospel of Christ, but their actions show that they won’t even be fucking inconvenienced for it, much less suffer or die for it.

    Great stuff, Severian. This blog is the door onto which those of us who are freezing out here while dog-paddling in the spiritual Atlantic can climb from time to time. And we don’t even have to endure the likes of Miz Winslet.

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