Friday, 9 August 2013

The perils of reaction

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If a movement is a reaction, motivated by reacting-against - then it is likely to be incoherent, unable to stand on its own feet, unable to motivate except by hatred, and (over time) almost sure to be net-destructive - since it is organized around opposition and may lack any other genuine focus.

This is the situation for secular Leftism. Historically, the Left as a movement was primarily a series of reactions against Christianity (theocracy, priests, The Pope, monks, Jesus Christ as divine, God, sexual morality etc); and secondly a reaction against 'capitalist' economics and social organization.

Consequently the Left is defined by what it opposes, and as Leftism advanced it became almost wholly motivated by hatred and destruction.

But the same problem confronts any movement which is primarily a reaction against secular Leftism - if it lacks a positive focus and sufficient institutional cohesion, anti-Leftism will - over time - drift into hatred and destruction.

This probably applies even to Christian reactions to secularism: more is needed than mere opposition to secularism, it is an insufficient principle for betterment. 

Any worthy opposition to Leftism ought to be built-up coherently from positive principles, and aim at some comprehensible and in-principle sustainable state of affairs - and one which is expressed simply and clearly enough that its outlines are universally understandable; and inadequacies, gaps and problems can be predicted.

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4 comments:

  1. "Any worthy opposition to Leftism ought to be built-up coherently from positive principles, and aim at some comprehensible and in-principle sustainable state of affairs - and one which is expressed simply and clearly enough that its outlines are universally understandable; and inadequacies, gaps and problems can be predicted."

    Race, nation, patriarchy?

    or for the religious;

    God, nation, patriarchy?

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  2. @Chris

    "Race, nation, patriarchy" - in a Western context, that's fascism, which has been tried and isn't coherent and doesn't last (nationalism soon wears-off).

    "God, nation, patriarchy?" - 'God' is too vague and non-specific...

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  3. How to fight messianic egalitarianism (crazed universalism)? Establish a plausible moral order that doesn't rely on universalist notions? Though universalism has proved so popular, as theory, that virtually nobody opposes it, at least not directly. Maybe Christianity should dissolve into new Jewish sects. Did Mormonism accomplish the same thing in practice if not theory and is this the source of its appeal to you? Do you like it because it is a relatively closed system that has an effective engine of internal growth? If so, I would think slightly modified Orthodox Judaism (to allow gentiles)would accomplish the same goal and would be more believable from a founding standpoint.

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  4. @Jeff C - Forgive the harshness - but the general tone of your comment is rather glib about the idea of inventing a new religion! This is not a matter of armchair pick and mix.

    Joseph Smith was made a target for national ridicule and paranoia, beaten, tarred and feathered, almost castrated, and finally assassinated - amongst other persecutions. But he made a religion for which significant numbers of people were prepared to give up everything, to fight, even to sacrifice their lives.

    To fight, you have to have something worth fighting for, something to stake your life on - not something cobbled together from bits and pieces of what you happen to like.

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