The Political Gospel of Pain

RedemptionThumbby Glenn Fairman
“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” –C.S. Lewis  •  I have been getting more than a few e-mails as of late whose gist runs in the vein of intense dissatisfaction at what has occurred since last November. It seems that many a patriot has gone to his house, locked and pulled shut the blinds and is awaiting that cattle car ride to the district FEMA camp. Many have eschewed the news like a plague and have instead opted for an intellectually diabetic diet of Storage Wars and Pawn Stars. It is hard to fault them as such. Even I must admit that seeing Obama reciting the oath on Lincoln’s bible was the equivalent of Antiochus Epiphanes sacrificing a pig on the Holy altar of the Second Temple, although here I may not be quite guilty of hyperbole. It is horrendous to see that which one loves given over to swine.[pullquote]We must come to grips with this: a weak and depraved political imagination will always choose Fruit Loops over castor oil and will forever sell its youngest sibling into slavery for free ringtones on an Obamaphone. [/pullquote]

Conservatives by nature are normally rather positive fellows. In the itinerary of their lives they look for answers to conundrums and for the most part do not beat their breasts and wail when running up against formidable obstacles. Our take on the world is generally one of lucid causality and rationality. If the Judeo–Christian West has gleaned anything from Science, we have learned that focus and tenacity are levers to move the world. In contradistinction, hysteria and emotionality are the provenance of the Progressive caste: whose zeitgeist of covetousness and fear are more attuned to petulant children living in terror that they will soon be thrown out of their parents’ basement now that the teat has run quite dry.

But even optimism has its boundaries. It seems as if in electing Barack Obama, we conservatives have become collectively the innocent couple who rented out their place to Michael Keaton in the film “Pacific Heights.” Although his pedigree was mysterious and his friends were shady, few anticipated that “The One” would begin drilling through and gutting constitutional walls, injecting vermin into the national superstructure, and use the law itself to bind and stifle us while appropriating America for his own personal designs. But while Keaton’s character was bested and the maniac was finally extricated from the house, we have given the First Antagonist another four year lease; and now it appears that the kid gloves have indeed come off– to our own abject horror.[pullquote]The nagging problem is that the entrenched Progressive ideology is tightly bound in a bastard amalgam of anti-theism and the rejection of the old moral order. Therefore, a certain sizeable segment of our society has a psychological vested interest in the secular Marxian collectivist faith.[/pullquote]

If I were a despairing man, I might hold that there was no solution. Now, there is a remedy, but not one of the quick-fix TV varieties. Since we did not arrive at this predicament overnight, the answer will take time—and it may require a generational cure. Having long ceded the institutions that educate our youth to intellectual vagabonds, we are now reaping the whirlwind of inattentiveness, so to speak. And until we can evangelize freedom rightly understood to a new cohort of youth that can fill those ranks, we may be destined either to a low level civil war or a time in the wilderness. We must come to grips with this: a weak and depraved political imagination will always choose Fruit Loops over castor oil and will forever sell its youngest sibling into slavery for free ringtones on an Obamaphone. Plato and Aristotle were correct—republics losing their virtues always destabilize into democratic mobocracies until they finally devolve into worse.

The Good News is that the Progressive ideology is insufficient to animate government for long after it has come into its own full flowering. It only can sustain itself temporarily and parasitically on a healthy organism before it succeeds in crippling its host and breeding intense enmity. I believe it so deficient a vision that I categorically state that it will soon come crashing down in America, as is occurring everywhere on earth. The nagging problem is that the entrenched Progressive ideology is tightly bound in a bastard amalgam of anti-theism and the rejection of the old moral order. Therefore, a certain sizeable segment of our society has a psychological vested interest in the secular Marxian collectivist faith. That being said, the pain that arises from the eventual penury of the state will be itself the schoolmaster that sows the seeds of intellectual and material dissatisfaction once this dark edifice with feet of clay loses its legitimacy as a cynical dispenser of coerced redistribution. This will bring about a long fight and comes fraught with great cost– but it is necessary and worthy. So often, light only penetrates into things which are broken.[pullquote]Having long ceded the institutions that educate our youth to intellectual vagabonds, we are now reaping the whirlwind of inattentiveness, so to speak. And until we can evangelize freedom rightly understood to a new cohort of youth that can fill those ranks, we may be destined either to a low level civil war or a time in the wilderness. [/pullquote]

Pain and suffering are the inexorable result when Castles in the Sky collide with the nuts and bolts reality that a bankrupt regime has tapped its last dime from rubes across the sea and has sold its children’s birthright for a mess of pottage. Unable to any longer pick the empty pockets of one man to purchase the patronage of another, pain becomes the necessary evil that dashes the artificiality of the Socialist Shell Game. When a rotten feudal educational system collapses under the burden of its own corpulence and its social engineers can no longer manufacture compliant drones for the state, then pain can accomplish an equilibrium where truth can get a word in edgewise.

Pain will be Gabriel’s Trumpet sounding the call for American families to take care of their own. Economic pain will de-incentivize the promiscuity and morality of men and women who copulate and flourish on another’s dime. Moreover, pain reminds men that they are not mere ends in themselves and that they are purposed for transcendence. And more fully, it will be pain that in the end redeems the Capitalistic ethos from just a value neutral materialist system in which the accumulation of money at any cost is the highest good– a myopia that provided the fetid spore from which the rot of Marxism engorges upon.[pullquote]Unable to any longer pick the empty pockets of one man to purchase the patronage of another, pain becomes the necessary evil that dashes the artificiality of the Socialist Shell Game. [/pullquote]

Pain clears the head and sharpens the vision. It prioritizes things like no other teaching can. Only the pain that attends economic failure can crush the cynical and wicked subtext of the collectivists’ psychological worldview that assents to the robbing of Peter to pay Paul. The egalitarian consciousness, a mindset fraught with envy as its ruling passion, despises excellence because it reminds indolent men of their own deficiencies. It would rather condemn all to the sty rather than have to acquiesce to the knowledge that another man exhibited more virtue. The pain that will come from the debacle of an unsustainable economic pipe dream can become the schoolmaster of the awakened soul. We should never underestimate the value of pain.

Pain brings men to their senses and it brings hearts close to God. It frees the mind of ephemeral and petty preoccupations and puts it in touch with the demands of nature as opposed to the artificial constructs which serve as the brittle foundations that the pathologically democratized man erects his life upon. As C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” [pullquote]The egalitarian consciousness, a mindset fraught with envy as its ruling passion, despises excellence because it reminds indolent men of their own deficiencies.[/pullquote]

We have been either blessed or doomed to live in interesting times. Hegel wisely said, “The Owl of Minerva flies at dusk”– Wisdom only comes in retrospect at the end of an age– far too late to be of imminent service. In the absence of some Great Re-Awakening of the Founders beautiful intent, only travail and a hoped for reinvigoration are the lots of men who reside in the shadow of ages such as ours.
__________________________________________________
Glenn Fairman lives and writes at a District FEMA Camp outside lovely San Bernardino. He can be summoned for interrogation at arete5000@dslextreme.com.
 • (1572 views)

Share
Glenn Fairman

About Glenn Fairman

retired

This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to The Political Gospel of Pain

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Those are truly excellent thoughts, Glenn. You understand well the mind and hearts of those who have fallen for the Left.

    I’m not as optimistic as you in regards to Gospel of Pain, but optimism it certainly not illegal. 😉 And my friend, pst4usa (Pat) is much of the same mind. I’ve got to send him this article so that he can comment. He spouts the Gospel of Pain so often that I call it The Pat Rule. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    The answer to fascist liberalism is to fight back with public statements of the case for conservatism and against the Obamacrats. Carol Platt Liebau pointed out today on Townhall that there seems to be no planned Republican response to Slick Barry’s demagoguery on behalf of Obamacare. It’s the stupidity of the Beltway Bandits, their inability to learn that they need to respond to liberal mendacity to contest it, that leaves them helpless and their voters frustrated with them.

    • Glenn Fairman Glenn Fairman says:

      There is plenty of opposition outside the MSM—-and that is the problem when battling soft fascism—-the regime owns the traditional means of disseminating opinion and molds its crafted narrative as the gospel. We are two nations fed from different troughs. We must either starve the fascist whore or continue in our creation of venues sympathetic to our plight.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      It’s the stupidity of the Beltway Bandits, their inability to learn that they need to respond to liberal mendacity to contest it, that leaves them helpless and their voters frustrated with them.

      I don’t think they’re stupid, Timothy. I just don’t think they have a conservative agenda. Obviously people such as Ted Cruz or Mike Lee do. But they are in the minority. Most of the Republican Party despises conservatives. They are in the business of running the vast bureaucracy, not paring it down.

      It is mostly likely true, as Anbgelo M. Codevilla notes, that we are faced with America’s Ruling Class. It’s us against the political class to a very large extent.

      There are a lot of people in the beltway making a lot of money. Government service is arguably no longer about service but feathering one’s own nest. This corruption at the top is mirrored by the corruption of the masses as they, too, have savaged America in their pursuit of entitlements and other “free stuff.” Both groups are sucking this country dry. You get to the point where you wonder if one good man or woman will arise to fix things.

  3. pst4usa says:

    Thanks for sending this to me Brad. Excelent post Glenn, as Brad commented, I could have written this for you if I had any time or writting skills. Very well said, and thank you for this fine post. My own Gospel of Pain as Brad refers to it, very much shorter and less ellequent; it is just that people will not change until the pain level gets high enough to wake them from their slumber. At that point my only hope is that we have a sufficiant number of people pointing back to the answers.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      At that point my only hope is that we have a sufficiant number of people pointing back to the answers.

      Pat, I’m glad you showed up on this topic. And you really hit upon the $100,000 question, or notion. When all hell breaks loose, there must be some moral, philosophical, economic, and political repository of knowledge and wisdom in place to guide people.

      As I say, everything the Left told you is a lie. I love saying that to people in person because they think I’m some flaming ideologue. I can easily read the paternal condescension on their face. “Oh, that Brad. He’s an okay guy, but he really takes this political stuff way too seriously.”

      But I never (or rarely) blanch at telling the truth, even if it paints me as a kook. The fact is, everything the Left has been teaching people has been a lie. And if not a lie, it’s mostly a lie. They will, of course, take bits of truth and blow them up beyond all reason.

      Is National Review in place to be the repository? No, I don’t think so. Is the Republican Party in place? Definitely not. Is the Tea Party? Yes, they are one of the few groups that has an established creed of integrity that is consistent with our Founding principles and just good economic sense.

      And that, other than my love for fiddling with software, is what this site is about. We are to be a depository of what it means to be American. Yes, that idea is sneered at by the masses now. To think that someone should deign to know what an American is, well, what kind of a crackpot is he?

      But there is such a thing as Americanism, in general, as opposed to Marxism, Communism, socialism, or “Progressivism.” It is an overall idea and, of course, does not (unlike these other totalitarian dogmas) pretend to be able to tell people how to live to the nth degree. But it is an overall idea about what this society is about, or should be about: Liberty within the confines of a self-appointed moral framework with family and local private groups — not government — being one’s source of support and one’s point of reference.

      That’s it. The rest is details. But we are not living that now. We are moving toward an oppressive “for your own good” socialist nanny state, and one that can easily and quickly be commandeered by those who have quite other and nastier goals than just “caring.” And even if these sorts did care (and I don’t really believe that they do), they’re breaking the bank with all their “compassion.”

    • Glenn Fairman Glenn Fairman says:

      Thanks Pat…….I based it not from what I read in some book, but what I knew intuitively about my own nature. Suffering does not necessarily lead to change and transcendence. Sometimes it makes people cynical and mean. I suppose the answer is wrapped up in the mystery of grace and the soul’s own discrete trajectory—either towards intellectual or spiritual eros or solipsistic despair.

      • Glenn Fairman Glenn Fairman says:

        As this site has been dealing with the oft-revived question of “What is a Conservative,” and since in order to rebuild secure and lasting foundations (when Dagon topples over in the temple of the Progressive-Philistines) we will need a well-considered blueprint—–might I suggest a highly engaging book: “Freedom and Virtue–The Conservative/Libertarian Debate” edited by George W. Carey. In it are essays dating back from the 50-60’s that are not stale or time bound. Indeed, the constellation of writers here carries the necessary intellectual and moral gravitas. Interesting here is Frank S. Meyer’s fusionist heterodoxy that won him both acclaim and derision while at the helm of NR. Even an old political theorist like me was able to pick stuff up in a new context. Soon, we are going to need to have not only the right answers but the right rhetoric to communicate freedom to a generation that goes into full scattering mode following the zombie apocalypse…might as well brush up on it now…..

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          “Freedom and Virtue–The Conservative/Libertarian Debate” edited by George W. Carey.

          First off, Glenn, I’ll add that to the Bookshelf. Even if it is, in practice, my own private list of “must read someday books,” I hope others can make use of it.

          Nahalkides (Nik) of course has a good article on this subject: What Is Conservatism? I find Nik to be a clone of myself (or I of him), so we’re pretty much of the same mind on this.

          First off, what I find is that many people who self-identify as “conservative” have wildly different ideas about what that is. And my ongoing thesis is that this is so because so many people receive government entitlements and/or are otherwise employed by the government, even if such employment (such as the military) is a legitimate function of government. Many are a “conservative” in the sense of being against the hot-button issues (gay marriage, abortion, etc.) but it’s usually countered with “But hands off of my Social Security.”

          There is no conservatism, and there is no America, if government becomes our primary or significant source of sustenance. Let me repeat that again, we cannot be either conservative or American if government is the nanny, if instead of the family and local private groups, we depend upon the state for anything but basic functions.

          This makes it very difficult to have the right words for the younger generations because, first off, they are being exploited by the older ones to pay for their government-assisted lifestyles. This creates an enormous bit of cognitive dissonance, the same kind I typically find amongst Republicans and professional commentators. It’s a system that is geared toward making the abnormal normal. If everyone is doing it, soon those who ought to know better are doing it too.

          We need to, in the words of Bill Buckley, stand athwart. But against what? And for what? And why?

          The why question is particularly difficult because the young skulls-full-of-mush that are being indoctrinated into Cultural Marxism believe that everyone who came before them had bad motives. Anyone who has had a discussion with today’s yutes will likely come to understand that they don’t take you at face value when you talk of liberty. They may agree with your arguments if you’re patient enough to try to connect with them. But at the end of the day they don’t trust your motives behind the arguments.

          So, in point of fact, I agree with The Pat Rule or “The Political Gospel of Pain” because that pain is likely the only opening for the cult-like mindset being bred into today’s yutes (and their parents).

          With this cultish mindset — and the power of entitlements and an intrusive government’s ability to shape pro-statist opinions — in mind, intramural arguments about what is and is not conservatism are almost beside the point. Any picking of nits is to take up a subject that has absolutely no relevance to today’s indoctrinated “Progressives” and Progressive-like Paulbots (who further muddy the entire equation).

          Limited government. Free markets. Personal responsibility. The rule of law (not the arbitrary rule of men or bureaucracies). Adherence to the Constitution in regards to the national government. The integrity of our borders. The integrity of the ballot box. Personal morality based upon something other than ego or Mother Gaia. The pursuit of happiness rather than expecting someone else to supply it. Hard work and the expectation of a few hard knocks along the way. Opportunity instead of “equality.”

          These are the things that America is based upon, let alone conservatism, and they are not hard to articulate. It’s just that few have the courage to do so in an environment that has become so namby-pamby. To tell people that the must work is now considered “insensitive.” To expect government to live within its means is “mean to the children.” To want to lay a needed pipeline for industrial development is called “raping Mother Earth.” Etc.

          This is the insane cycle we must break out of, a cycle in which Dennis Prager says that people are “nice” but not good. Any fine-toothed quibbles between conservatives and libertarians are quite beside the point. We have to first be on the playing field. And many aren’t.

        • Kung Fu Zu says:

          Over 40 years ago, I had a political science prof (conservative) who went into the difficult question defining left and right. He then said at the most basic level, the received definition was that the left had a positive optimistic view of man while the right had a negative pessimistic view of man.

          I have never thought this correct. As a matter of fact, I find it turns nature upon its head. I think it is more correct to say that they Left has a very negative view of man left to its own devices. The leftist view can only be seen as positive in that they have determined that man is presently flawed buy infinitely malleable thus susceptible to constant reshaping by the political vanguard in its goal of utopia. In fact, I think they are mainly positive about the idea of utopia rather than man.

          The Right doesn’t have a particular goal such as Utopia. Rather, the right understands mankind is made up of many different types, but these types are fairly consistent throughout history. The Right believes that social engineering will be successful to only a certain degree and in any case, it is not the prerogative of the State to be involved in such things, per se. The Right is mainly interested in upholding natural rights and mores/customs that have come down through the ages. This is because they have a historical type of legitimacy and have proven to work, with greater or lesser success, in their particular societies. The Right is cautious about acute change as the result may not be better than the thing which changed and in any case, upheaval will likely errupt from change that is not organic.

          In short, (I hear Micawber when I write those words) the Right has no particular destination in mind for mankind. Rather it yearns for an ordered society where individuals are able to pursue their own ends, within limits, with the minimum amount of interference from an overbearing government. Utopia does not come into the discussion.

          The Left loves humanity, but individuals not so much.

          Of course, there is much more which could be written, but those are my basics.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            That sounds reasonable. Elitism (which includes, but is not limited to, the Left) operates on the basis that the people are too stupid and/or immoral to make their own decisions, but that the elite are smart and moral enough to make decisions for them. Populism is based on the idea that people are smart and moral enough to make their own decisions better than the distant elites can. (This doesn’t require a belief that the people can make good political choices, which is another matter entirely.)
            As I said, modern liberalism is strongly elitist; indeed, this arrogance is the very basis of it, since that’s what justifies their demands for control of people’s lives. So it is that they react so negatively to anyone who challenges them in either respect (such as showing them the errors of their ways), since that strikes at the whole point of their existence.

            • Kung Fu Zu says:

              In my opinion, the modern Left is made up of the Elites who are sure they know better than everyone else, and a large number of the “aggrieved”, who resent the world for reasons as disparate as they believe they lack material success, are too short, too tall, hate religion, being homosexual or lesbian, just feeling different.

              In fact, I suspect many of the Elites are motivated by the same grievances, but are less open about their motivations. They don’t want to give away the fact that they really are as insecure as everyone else and that motivates them.

              There, I have come to the logical conclusion, Leftism is a psychological disorder. Of course, there is the question of the illiterate.

            • Glenn Fairman Glenn Fairman says:

              Whether something is deemed good or evil depends on the assumptions underlying that perspective. The nature of fallen men is nevertheless redeemed by Christ at the Cross and man walks as a stranger in the desert of purification until his transcendence is complete. For the Nietzchean this is nihilism of the highest order because it is a denial of the world for a chimera—-Such Postmodern perspective denies truth and the Christian End of Man. What is escapist and wasteful to one is the Highest Good to the other. It really does hinge upon whether there is an objective reality apart from just the World. For the Christian, the world passes away…There is only the City of God composed of redeemed sons.

              The malleability of not only the intellect but of the soulish nature will effect the highest good for the humanist/naturalist because it will make possible his project of the City of Man where he places his hope….although he may never see its fruition. The Christian views the idea of such an end of history without God as a return to Eden without the sword bearing angel….men who live on their own terms through science and technique in solitary abandon. To the Christian, this is a horror.

              It hinges on this—if man was created for God’s love and good pleasure and can find no ultimate rest and happiness without Him—than the humanist is the most wretched of men in both the temporal and the eternal spheres. If man is merely molecules in motion dancing to his DNA, then he lives for a hollow dream of virtue resolving into annihilation. The rock hard perspective of reality will determine who we ultimately are and how then shall we live….

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                It really does hinge upon whether there is an objective reality apart from just the World…It hinges on this—if man was created for God’s love and good pleasure and can find no ultimate rest and happiness without Him—than the humanist is the most wretched of men in both the temporal and the eternal spheres. If man is merely molecules in motion dancing to his DNA, then he lives for a hollow dream of virtue resolving into annihilation.

                Glenn, as someone who can’t say for sure if there is a loving God engaged in human affairs, I will say that it is entirely important what we believe about our place in the universe. And you said it when you said, “The malleability of not only the intellect but of the soulish nature will effect the highest good for the humanist/naturalist because it will make possible his project of the City of Man where he places his hope…”

                That is ultimately the “Progressive” project. Nothing means nothing unless “They” (thank you, Deana) say it does. This is highlighted in the absurdity of the gay marriage question, for instance. For thousands of years, as Dennis Prager notes, none of the most wise and benevolent thinkers or leaders of any age ever saw an injustice in not letting gays get married. It wasn’t on the radar. It wasn’t on the radar because such a thing is an obvious non sequitur.

                And then — boom! — one day “They” said that to not allow gay marriage is to be a merchant of hate. Anyone who has bought into this argument is a fool. And they should see the nature of any society bound to little more than what “They” say. And that is ultimately what a secular-socialist society is, bound to nothing, uprooting from any kind of nourishing soil, blown by the ill wind of fancy and fad.

                Those of us of a less religious persuasion will ground our ethics more in reason and common sense. But even then, there is an implicit understanding that what is considered good, true, or common sense is not just a matter of opinion, especially of majority opinion. There is the idea of truths being “out there” in the same way that the various fields of quite advanced and esoteric mathematics are “out there” and existed as a reality even before man’s mind could engage them.

                Implicit in the conservative equation is a certain amount of humility as well, what Thomas Sowell terms the “constrained” view of mankind vs. the Left’s “utopian” view. The Left’s view is a false optimistic one. It’s the false optimism of a child’s desire to put on a Superman suit and fly out the window.

                And that really is what the Left (other than a naked drive for power and manipulating other people’s lives) is about. It’s a juvenile, never-grow-up, Peter Pan-ish naive utopian dream that believes the only reason bad stuff exists is because of “rooted” interests (in Cultural Marxist terms, discrimination based on race, class, or sex). It is a cult. It is a cult of people who have never grown up and accepted the fact the life can be a bitch, that bad stuff happens even to good people, that naive feel-good kumbaya intentions are not enough, that there is real evil in this world which has nothing at all to do with some people being poor.

                Conservatives (Christian or otherwise) share this more reality-based view of the world. This world can be improved but is not perfectible. The conservative does not make perfect the enemy of good. And his humility guards against going off on feel-good fascistic tangents of delusion and overflowing with self-conceits….again, the very definition of the Left.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              As I said, modern liberalism is strongly elitist; indeed, this arrogance is the very basis of it, since that’s what justifies their demands for control of people’s lives. So it is that they react so negatively to anyone who challenges them in either respect (such as showing them the errors of their ways), since that strikes at the whole point of their existence.

              Well said, Tim, especially about the source of the negative response to criticism.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            …the Right has no particular destination in mind for mankind. Rather it yearns for an ordered society where individuals are able to pursue their own ends, within limits, with the minimum amount of interference from an overbearing government. Utopia does not come into the discussion.

            Mr. Kung, I don’t know that I’ve heard a more concise and correct definition of conservatism.

  4. Pokey Possum says:

    “Those of us of a less religious persuasion will ground our ethics more in reason and common sense. But even then, there is an implicit understanding that what is considered good, true, or common sense is not just a matter of opinion, especially of majority opinion. There is the idea of truths being “out there” in the same way that the various fields of quite advanced and esoteric mathematics are “out there” and existed as a reality even before man’s mind could engage them.”

    Brad, I liken your use of “out there” to how God described Himself to Moses as “I Am”. He is the “truth” that always has been and always will be.
    You’re holding the ticket, I just hope you (and those like you) get on the train before it leaves the station.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *