Saturday, August 21, 2010

Crazy like a Fox

Ayn Rand long ago (July, 1971) wrote a brilliant essay (reprinted in Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution) that perfectly captures the essence of the post-modern Left towards America and the dominant emotion that motivates them:  hatred of the good, for being the good -- which means, as she put it:
"...Hatred of that which one regards as good by one's own (conscious or subconscious) judgment.  It means hatred of a person for possessing a value or virtue one regards as desirable."
She elaborated (heavily abbreviated here),
"...this type of hatred is heavily enmeshed in rationalizations.  The most common one is:  'I don't hate him for his intelligence, but for his conceit!'  More often than not, if one asks the speaker to name the evidence of the victim's conceit, he exhausts such generalities as: 'he's insolent... he's stubborn... he's selfish,'..."
"...the haters seem unable to differentiate conceptually between 'conceit' and a deserved pride..."
"...Its clearest manifestation is the attitude of a person who characteristically resents someone's success, happiness, achievement or good fortune -- and experiences pleasure at someone's failure, unhappiness or misfortune. ...if you have seen it, you have seen the naked face of evil."

"...Envy is part of this creature's feeling, but only the superficial, semi-respectible part... because it seems to imply a desire for material possessions... but deep down, the creature has no such desire:  it does not want to be rich, it wants the human being to be poor. does not desire [any] value: it desires [any] value's destruction. "

"What endows such a creature with a quality of abysmal evil is the fact that it has an awareness of values and is able to recognize them in people..."

"Consider the full meaning of this attitude... Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action, and the successful pursuit of values is a  precondition of remaining alive... What is the nature of a creature in which the sight of a value arouses hatred and the desire to destroy?  ...such a creature is a killer... not an enemy of your values, but of all values, it is an enemy of anything that enables men to survive..."

"The greatest danger in this issue is men's inability -- or worse:  unwillingness -- fully to identify it."
Rand's point is crucially important to anyone today who wants to preserve this country from the destruction it now faces:
"...The profiteers are men with a vested interest in mankind's psychological devastation, who burrow their way into positions of moral-intellectual leadership.  They provide the haters with unlimited means of rationalization, dissimulation, excuse and camouflage, including ways of passing vices off as virtues.  They slander, confuse and disarm the victims.  Their vested interest is power-lust.  Their stock in trade is any system of thought or of belief aimed at keeping men small..."
Have you ever wondered why the powers-that-be expended every effort possible to keep the Twin Towers from being rebuilt, but they are four-square in lockstep support of a 13 story mosque??
"...historically, philosophically and psychologically... altruism is an inexhaustible source of rationalizations for the most evil motives, the most inhuman actions, the most loathsome emotions... the tenet that the good is an object of sacrifice..."
"If anyone ever believed (or tried to believe) that the motive of altruism is compassion, that's its goal is the relief of human suffering and the elimination of poverty, the state of today's culture now deprives him of any foothold of self-deception.  Today, altruism is running amuck, shedding its tattered rationalizations and displaying its soul.  Altruists are no longer concerned with material wealth, not even with its 'redistribution', only with its destruction.  But even this is merely a means to an end.  Their savage fury is aimed at the destruction of intelligence -- of ability, ambition, thought, purpose, justice... the destruction of values qua values." 
Rand addresses the deeper intellectual movement behind modern altruists:
"...The last fig leaf of academic pretentiousness is the tag used to disguise this movement:  egalitarianism."

"Egalitarianism means the belief in the equality of all men... but this is not the meaning that the altruists ascribe to the word...  they turn the word into an anti-concept... to mean, not political but metaphysical equality... regardless of natural endowments or individual choice, performance and character..."

"...It is not equality before the law that they seek, but inequality:  the establishment of an inverted social pyramid, with a new aristocracy on the top -- the aristocracy of non-value."

"Observe the various methods used to accomplish this goal... [she cites various examples]... it is 'unfair', they cry, that only the rich can obtain the best medical care -- or the best education -- or the best housing --- or any commodity in short supply, which should be rationed, not competed for...  "
I believe we just heard those arguments recently.
"Egalitarians abolish the system of grades based on the objective value of a student's scholastic achievement and substitute... grading on a curve... thus a studen may get an A or an F ... according to whether he happens to be in a class of morons or child prodigies.  No better way could be devised to endow a young man with a vested interest in the inferiority of others and with fear and hatred of their superiority."

This is one way you create a culture of "progressives" -- ie, collectivists -- among the young.
"...Weakness of any sort... is today's standard of value, criterion of rights and claim to privileges....  the same collectivists who once upheld the vicous doctrine of unlimited majority rule, now deny to the majority -- in any given issue -- the special privileges they grant to any group that claims to be a minority."

"Racism is an evil and primitive form of collectivism. [But] today, racism is regarded as a crime if practiced by a majority ...[and] an inalienable right if practiced by a minority...  In relation to any given minority, we are told, it is the duty of all others, ie, the majority, to tolerate and understand the minority's values and customs -- while the minority ... will continue hurling racist epithets (or worse) at the majority's faces."

"Nobody can pretend any longer that the goal of such policies is the elimination of racism -- particularly when one observes that the real victims are the better members of these privileged minorities. "

"Of greater importance to the egalitarians than mere numerical weakness is ... its cultural weakness.  It is primitive cultures that we are asked to study, to appreciate and to respect -- any sort of culture except our own. [We are told]... an oxcart is an achievement -- an airplane is not... Stonehenge is an achievement -- the Empire State Building is not."

"...Why is Western civilization admonished to admire primitive cultures?  Because they are not admirable."

"...It is not for her flaws that the United States of America is hated, but for her virtues -- not for her weaknesses, but for her achievements -- not for her failures, but for her success -- her magnificent, shining, life-giving success."

"If there were such a thing as a passion for equality... it would be obvious to its exponents that there are only two ways to achieve it:  either by raising all men to the mountaintop -- or by razing the mountains.  The first method is impossible... but the nearest approach to it was demonstrated by the United States and capitalism, which protected the freedom, the rewards and the incentives for every individual's achievement... the second method is impossible because... mankind... would not be able to survive... yet it is the second method the altruist-egalitarians are pursuing."

"The greater the evidence of their policy's consequences, ie, the greater the spread of misery, of injustice, of vicious inequality throughout the world, the more frantic their pursuit--which is one demonstration of the fact that there is no such thing as a benevolent passion for equality, is only a rationalization to cover a passionate hatred of the good for being the good."
 Rand goes on to discuss the psychological roots of such people, and concludes (heavily abbreviated):
"...The haters are in control of our culture and in the open.  ... Their G.H.Q. is in the field of education, which they control. 'Progressive' schools are manufacturing haters wholesale..."
 Again, remember: this was written in 1971.  How much might these people have "progressed" since then?
"As long as men believe that they are facing 'misguided idealists'... self-defense is impossible... It is necessary fully to understand the nature of the enemy and his mentality.  There is no giant behind the devastation of the world -- only a shriveled creature with the wizened face of a child who is out to blow up the kitchen because he cannot steal his cookies and eat them, too."
 For anyone harboring the notion that altruism is something benevolent and to be upheld as an ideal, that it doesn't really express itself as a hatred of the good -- before you aid your own destroyers, read a quote from Rand's character of Ellsworth Toohey, in her novel The Fountainhead (1943), which perfectly captures the kind of person now destroying us (who is much more prevalent than the creature now in the White House):
" ...You make me sick," said Toohey. "God, how you make me sick, all you hypocritical sentimentalists! You go along with me, you spout what I teach you, you profit by it--but you haven't the grace to admit to yourself what you're doing."
 This is the beginning of a soliloquy by Toohey, which I commented on at length in my own essay  "Good Night, America". Toohey reveals himself when a pretentious mediocrity par excellance, Peter Keating, asks why Toohey wants to destroy architect Howard Roark, who represents the independent, thinking man:
"I don't want to kill him. I want him in jail. You understand? In jail. In a cell. Behind bars. Locked, stopped, strapped--and alive. He'll get up when they tell him to. He'll eat what they give him. He'll move when he's told to move and stop when he's told. He'll walk to the jute mill, when he's told, and he'll work as he's told. They'll push him, if he doesn't move fast enough, and they'll slap his face when they feel like it, and they'll beat him with rubber hose if he doesn't obey. And he'll obey. He'll take orders. He'll take orders!"
As I remarked in my own essay, remember that what follows was written in the 1930's -- over thirty years before her 1971 essay, showing the full progression of the progressives from then till now:
"What do you...want...Ellsworth?"

"Power, Petey." ...Toohey was smiling, almost indifferently.

"You...always said..." Keating began thickly, and stopped.

"I've always said just that. Clearly, precisely and openly. It's not my fault if you couldn't hear. ...Enjoyment is not my destiny. I shall find such satisfaction as my capacity permits. I shall rule."

"..."Want to know how it's done? ...Make man feel small. Make him feel guilty. ...Kill his aspiration and his integrity. ...preach selflessness. Tell man that he must live for others. Tell men that altruism is the ideal. Not a single one of them has ever achieved it and not a single one ever will. His every living instinct screams against it."

"...Kill his capacity to recognize greatness or to achieve it. Great men can't be ruled. ...Set up standards of achievement open to all, to the least, to the most inept--and you stop ... all incentive to improvement, to excellence, to perfection. ...Don't set out to raze all shrines--you'll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity--and the shrines are razed."

"...Kill by laughter. Laughter is an instrument of human joy. Learn to use it as a weapon of destruction. Turn it into a sneer. It's simple. Tell them to laugh at everything. ...Don't let anything remain sacred in a man's soul--and his soul won't be sacred to him. Kill reverence and you've killed the hero in man."

"...This is most important: Don't allow men to be happy. Happiness is self-contained and self-sufficient. Happy men have no time and no use for you. Happy men are free men. So kill their joy in living. Take away from them whatever is dear or important to them. Never let them have what they want.  ...Make them feel that the mere fact of a personal desire is evil. Bring them to a state where saying ‘I want' is no longer a natural right, but a shameful admission."

"Altruism is of great help in this. Unhappy men will come to you. They'll need you. They'll come for consolation, for support, for escape. Nature allows no vacuum. Empty man's soul--and the space is yours to fill. ...just listen to any prophet and if you hear him speak of sacrifice--run. Run faster than from a plague. It stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting sacrificial offerings... The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master."

"...Am I raving or is this the cold reality of two continents already? Observe the state of the world as of the present moment. Do you still think I'm crazy, Peter?"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments must be polite and well-reasoned, but passion is allowed when directed at the subject matter and not someone who posts -- violate this, and your comment doesn't get posted. Comments may not post immediately -- I'm pretty busy and don't live on the web.