The Path of Good Intent

PathOfGoodIntentby Glenn Fairman7/9/16
During the heyday of our republic’s more exacting youth, when the circumspection of men who would rule still pointed in the direction of prudent liberty, the apologetics of vice could gain little traction once the rug was turned back, and the sanitizing light of truth laid bare an errant Heart of Darkness.  Yet, if we fast forward a mere blink of the eye, to a time when Professor Alinsky and a host of political reprobates have captured the moral imaginations of an elite assembly of dwarves, the high stakes acquisition of dominion has become an irresistible command unto itself. And in answering such a command, measures that are more Nietzschean than Nixonian have propelled liberalism down that proverbially road that is paved with the body count of its good intentions.

And in the pursuit of those ends, nothing so trivial as a semen encrusted Oval Office or a scheme to launder Madame Defarge’s foreign blood money can anymore raise a liberal’s eyebrow in disgust. Corruption has always been endemic to fallen man. madame_defarge_ii_by_goldenspringNevertheless, under the Obama administration, the institutions which oversee justice have become so polluted that the ambiguities of moral intent, and not action, have become the new selective standard by which the contemporary notions of right and wrong are adjudicated. In the vulgar dialect of our 21st century, and without the least whiff of irony, this is what passes as due process for the pilgrimage of the Progressive.

How far such corruption is advanced upon the body politic can best be illustrated in an answer from Samuel Johnson to Boswell:

We cannot prove any man’s intention to be bad. You may shoot a man through the head, and say you intended to miss him; but the Judge will order you to be hanged. An alleged want of intention, when evil is committed, will not be allowed in a court of justice.

If “intent” now becomes the selective prism through which justice is apprehended, then any number of crimes can slip through liberalism’s eye of the needle. In truth, this new caricature of justice is delivered with the winking of an eye. It is a rancid vintage offered in new wine skins; that “old injustice” decked out in its whorish regalia of power.

Of all the spurious doctrines of mankind, only the dogmas of liberalism and the collective would insist that their heroic intents be weighed proudly in the moral balance, even to the utter exclusion of their deeds. This is especially poignant when we are reminded that liberalism is a faith consisting wholly of good intentions – a temporal gospel worshipped by its foolish and wretched millions.  How seductive is liberalism’s catechism of benevolent intent, which delivers its largesse of purloined crumbs while relentlessly advancing its insatiable program of consolidated power through an excrement-clotted back alleyway. How deftly it has learned that any number of soothing tyrannies can be spoon fed to its “children” when mixed with the morphine of dependency – so long as they are administered with a condescending hug, a banal racial platitude, and a hectoring of those who dwell on the opposing banks of the River Covetous.

In this new science of politics, the delusion of entitled expectations can offer the wicked a dozen reasons why their choice of questionable means will in fact serve the greater end, and why the necessity of shoehorning heaven into the world requires the judicious bribe, the parsed word, or the creation of schemes that bloom only in the shadows. Among the truly blind, there will be injustice, but as Anthony Eden reminds us, “Corruption never has been compulsory.” The greater sin is not the hypocritical evils a man or woman give assent to for their own sakes, but in the curse it brings to bear through its hellish example. If the breaking of eggs is understood as providing the salutary blessing of personal wealth and power, as well as birthing its own political new modes and orders, this lesson will not be lost on those who wait in the wings. Politicians whose pragmatic moralities spin like weather vanes do not need to be told twice that a new sheriff is in town.

The old adage, “You will become what you hate,” is instructive here. Hilary learned well from the secretive and paranoid example of Richard Nixon: her reluctant spiritual father. However, in their dance of give and take, the “daughter” has emerged the true master: relegating him to the status of piker because he had not enough foresight toHilary-and-Nixon see the Golgotha the young turks were leading him to, and too much of a conscience to play the hardball that would have effectively driven America into two warring camps.  And if some of the men who surrounded Nixon retained enough of the old guard worldview to crack through his stone wall, the zeal of the “daughter” and her coterie of true believers would see to it that nothing as effeminate as an upright heart would throw down liberalism’s grim stronghold of American transformation. Indeed, the Progressive’s Stalinist morality, restrained only by the lip service that collectivist power politics owes to the rapidly fading memory of Constitutionalist America, would condemn its own dear mother to the showers for a dose of Zyklon B before it allowed something as frivolous as honor or a damned soul to stand in the way of its glory.

Liberalism’s collective is a corruption of the dream of justice. Those who administer its sacraments cannot be greater than the master they serve, and they are what they are because they have abased themselves before a nocturnal vision where the rule of law is clouded with asterisks of blood. That these high priests might unwittingly be performing the last rites for such laws may not be lost on them, but having travelled so far down the rabbit hole, it is easy to become upended in the darkness. As an instructive case in point, shall we not meditate on the knowledge that ambition and inordinate desire produces its own moral vertigo: that affliction that induced a once young and talented woman to hitch her star to a sexual predator in the service of political idolatry?

In the end, selling oneself is little different than selling one’s inheritance, or selling out one’s country. The only detail to be haggled remains one of price.  In passing from the world, be forewarned that a wealth of good intentions will count for naught as we stand one by one before That Perfect Justice – with no excuse or ideology to shield us from our own rank self-deceptions.  Having been discharged from the fawning accolades of dead men, what will it profit us as we trudge cursed and unattended down that broad and gently sloping unmarked path towards our own terminal destinies?


Glenn Fairman returns from the wilderness and writes from Highland, Ca.
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20 Responses to The Path of Good Intent

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Thanks, Glenn, for another wonderful essay.

    Liberalism’s collective is a corruption of the dream of justice.

    Sitting around this 4th of July (it wasn’t quite “Independence Day” where I was at) and watching a bunch of old hippies and flower children sing their 60’s protest songs, it occurred to me how this had to be the worst generation America has seen.

    Oh, they’re all very “nice” people. But I get the feeling they haven’t a clue as to how their utopian dream of total “social justice” and kumbaya-24/7 went wrong.

    I know that there are reformed libtards in our midst at StubbornThings. And they are always welcome. Fixing ourselves, and thus later the society at large, is ultimately what we are about here. Only the fascist libtards on the Left expect 100% correctness all the time. Trying to be error-free is dehumanizing.

    I sincerely do not think a 60’s liberal knows how to parse the difference between what they believe were their (to them) wholesome liberal ideas and what has become hardcore Leftism. You and I know that the seeds of liberal fascism are sown in their airy airhead ideas of kumbaya. But they don’t.

    This is the generation that decided, in throes of rhetorical kumbayagasms, to remove “barriers” and such. They were the generation that decided to kick down the walls and fences without a thought as to why they might be there in the first place. And now that shit has happened, and will continue to happen for decades now (likely with increasing bloodshed and destruction), these warmed-over hippies will be able to add nothing to the discussion.

    They are only exceeded by the yutes coming up today who have been indoctrinated not by the warm-fuzzy ideas of the hippies (drugs, sex, rock-n-roll) but by truly totalitarian and intolerant ideas that they’ve been spoon-fed by the Left. The hippies are powerless in part because they are passively harmless now. In their day, they certainly did tear down the walls and cause much systemic destruction. But they no longer have the heart to construct new walls or to say “no” to those whom they see as fellow travelers engaged in “activism” and kicking down further walls (gay marriage, whatever).

    The hippie dream dies hard. In fact, it won’t die at all and these useful idiot hippies will likely see Neil Young, not Fidel Castro, in the little monsters now brewing up their special perfect society.

    The darling little monsters created by the Left are going to be a terror compared to the hippies. We can now laugh at the hippies in their warmed-over tie-dye shirts and their hippie anthems. We will find it harder to laugh at the little monsters whose entire being isn’t to live life but to root out “injustice” and “racism” anywhere and everywhere. They are the new Hitler Youth. They are like that all-powerful kid from the Twilight Zone movie segment, “It’s a Good Life.” All the adults are terrified of little Anthony.

    We should be terrified of the programming being given to kids these days. And the old hippies will be of no use combating this for they simply rationalize it away as a continuation of their Dream.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      “It’s a Good Life” was a story by Jerome Bixby which made it into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and then was turned into a Twilight Zone episode. Except for the first major segment, all the stories in the movie came from episodes. In one case (“Kick the Can”), I think the movie version was better (the TV episode ends with the senior citizens all turned into little kids with no explanation of how they plan to get by now). The beginning of the TV episode of “It’s a Good Life” is especially delightful.

      Unfortunately, though the kids today don’t have that power, I can see your point all too well. They’re the reason the new (liberal) fascism will be no improvement over the standard model.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I watched a bland little 2014 Dutch film the other day titled The Secrets of War. I wish I could give it a better recommendation, but I can’t. I didn’t find it to be anything special.

        But, boy, did those Hitler Youth have some cool looking uniforms. The story follows two young friends (about 13 years old). One (Tuur) is the son of a family that is in the Dutch resistance (although the son has no idea what his parents and older brother are up to). The other boy, Lambert, has a father who is a Nazi collaborator and is also mayor of the town, although Lambert wants only to be a boy and to be friends with Tuur. Lambert’s father promises his young son a train set if he will join his older brother in the Hitler Youth. His father has already bought him a uniform. But Lambert resists the idea.

        Added to this mix is a cute young Jewish girl in hiding. She’s obviously Jewish. No respectable Nazi could have missed her. But you suspend disbelief. Young Katrien (her fake name to cover her Jewish heritage) is eventually accidentally sold out by Lambert because he discovers her pet pig in Tuur’s barn. All livestock was supposed to have been given over to the Krauts.

        The pig incident happened because the friendship between Tuur and Lambert had cooled while that between Tuur and Katrien heated up. Lambert sees this and is jealous of losing his old friend. So he throws his old friend under the bus by ratting on his pig (which was really Katrien’s pig, although Lambert didn’t know it and feels horrible that Katrien is scooped up and shipped off to a concentration camp because of his actions).

        How can anyone watch this and not think of a modern-day Progressives? Oh, after the fact some may feel quite horrible that they threw an Oregon baker under the bus and gave ground to the Hitler Pink Youths. But they did all the same. And I foresee this being a daily occurrence soon. We’ll either face them down or do like Patty Duke’s father did in the Twilight Zone movie and capitulate with obsequiousness and flattery to the little monsters.

        To his credit, Lambert joined the Hitler Youth and put on the uniform but it was only to help his friend, Tuur, escape. His family had been found out as being part of the resistance. Lambert first gets his father (charmed by his son finally agreeing to join the Hitler Youth) to get Tuur released from a Nazi jail (for having kicked a few Nazis while trying to say a last goodbye to his Jewish friend). Lambert then brings Tuur’s family, which is now in hiding in a cave, the supplies they need to escape to Belgium. (I’m not sure what kind of refuge Belgium offers. The movies doesn’t get into the details.)

        In the face of his family and his own guilt, Lambert eventually does the right thing and takes quite a chance. The friendship between Tuur and Lambert is at last restored even as they part ways, probably never to see each other again.

        I consider the Pink Mafia to be basically Nazis and squishy “Progressives” to be their collaborators…and the collaborators of evil leaders such as Obama. I see few Lamberts amongst them, let alone Tuurs. We’ll be looking over our shoulders for quite some time.

    • Meledie Knopf says:

      Eloquently written response! I fear the bite and kick of “little Anthony,” and pray I have passed on to my place in eternity before that particular brand of hell is once again unleashed on mankind! I have read of the horrors of Hitler and his youth. Although ruthess, Hillary pales in comparison!

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I was glad to see your mention of thte presence of a conscience as a key reason Nixon could never match Slick Hilly in the corruption game. This is indeed the advantage liberals possess, having defined virtue as whatever advances liberalism, and convinced that what benefits them benefits liberalism and vice versa (cf. “Engine Charlie” Wilson). So they act as they please without restraint. Republicans are still sufficiently old-fashioned to have consciences.

  3. GHG says:

    Yeah, isn’t it amazing how God can take a broken man
    let him find a fortune, let him ruin it with his own two hands

    Needtobreathe “Difference Maker”

    We bring about our own demise individually and collectively. It’s hard to watch the passing of a friend.

  4. Ah…. “the opposing banks of the River Covetous.” Exactly. This is where much of the mess began — on that fetid river. We have given our societal stamp of approval to desiring not only what others have, but desiring that they not have it. It has become a measure of social acceptance to wish ill to others. Hippyism ages poorly and is even more rank today as Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, than it was when it merely reeked of pot and sex. Another wonderful piece, Glenn.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Brad,

    Where did you get the picture of Madame Defarge? Is that from some movie or TV show? Who knew that they had water in plastic bottles and foam ear plugs in the 1790’s.

    as Anthony Eden reminds us, “Corruption never has been compulsory.”

    If “intent” now becomes the selective prism through which justice is apprehended, then any number of crimes can slip through liberalism’s eye of the needle.

    Hate laws and this recent finding on “lack of intent” are just further steps down the “rabbit hole”.

    Soon the absence of “good intent” , as defined by the Left at any given time, will be enough to indict a person. I believe believing that there are only two genders will soon fall under this category and be a crime.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Glenn supplied the picture of Defarge. Maybe he can explain the anachronisms. I have no idea.

      And regarding “intent” as the new definition of justice, I wouldn’t read into the FBI misdirector’s specific misuse of justice for a universal one. I would put this down as “situational ethics.” Tomorrow if the law has nothing to do with intent but the idea can be used to frame a Republican, then suddenly “intent” will be highly important.

      But who knows with these clowns? The point is to get Hillary off the hook. This has nothing to do with her gender or “intent.” It has to do with beating the Republican.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Glenn supplied the picture of Defarge. Maybe he can explain the anachronisms. I have no idea.

        It made me think of those programs which point out mistakes that get by directors and editors in movie films. I enjoy this type of thing.

        But who knows with these clowns? The point is to get Hillary off the hook. This has nothing to do with her gender or “intent.” It has to do with beating the Republican.

        I agree that in this case, it had to get Hillary off the hook and beat the Republican. But these perversions of justice have a way of becoming permanent and morphing into monsters of law, which the Left will unlease when it suits them.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          You would probably enjoy the various Nitpicker’s Guides to the different Star Trek series.

          Defense lawyers are already planning to use the various precedents used to protect Slick Hilly. Liberals don’t really believe in equal justice, but they claim to, and occasionally they get hoist on their petard.

        • Glenn Fairman says:

          It just seemed to be a nice picture. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. My eyes don’t see too good anymore either.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I agree that in this case, it had to get Hillary off the hook and beat the Republican. But these perversions of justice have a way of becoming permanent and morphing into monsters of law, which the Left will unlease when it suits them.

          We conservatives have typically noted how the Left has run on the fumes of “good intentions.” This is an acknowledgement of “the ends justify the means” in their way of thinking, that their far-off Utopian goal will entail some shorter-term bad things, that you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

          We are also aware that the entire idea of the rule-of-law (knowing the limits and bounds of things beforehand) is anathema to the Left because any limits interfere with their plans and, particularly, with their need for situational ethics. The Left allows one to personally be a scoundrel so long as you support the right causes. Rules, in the way of thinking of the Left, are for little people and for the enemies of the elites (to be used against them). For the Left, the ultimate law is The Party (wonder how Jon would parse that).

          It’s certainly possible that “intent” could be another way for the Left to flout the law. But I find the particular techniques to be less important than the general thrust of the Left — a general thrust almost wholly unacknowledged by the Republican Party who provide no real opposition to this erosion of law. But before there were Republicans there were people, culture being upstream of politics, so the fault, Dear Kung, is not in our parities but in ourselves (further evidence for this is the emergence of Donald Trump as a supposed corrective).

          I’m wary of putting too much emphasis on the weaseling that the FBI misdirector did with “intent.” Let’s remember the Buckley nostrum about moral relativism. A Communist pushes an old lady in front of a bus. A conservative pushes her out of the way. But to the relativist, it’s just two guys pushing an old lady around. Intent matters.

          What the FBI misdirector did was simply make up the law. That he used “intent” is almost neither here nor there. The apt point of law regarding Hillary and her private servers is negligence, not intent. The misdirector, a la John Roberts, simply invented new law on-the-fly to suit his preferred outcome — the domain of tyrants (which both are ideologically).

          Fay Voshell has a good article today. This quote by T.S. Eliot is relevant to the subject at hand:

          Whether truth and justice or caprice and violence are to prevail in human affairs is a question on which the fate of mankind depends…

          The FBI misdirector was anything but truthful, nor did he dispense justice. His opinion was capricious and did violence to truth and law. That’s a simple and profound distinction by Eliot. It is the core of things.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            In terms of the omelette and the eggs, we need to point out that breaking eggs isn’t the same thing as breaking people (except to animal rights zealots, and I’m not sure how many of them really believe that), and that we have enough experience to know that the omelette is always inedible.

      • Meledie Knopf says:

        Spot on! Not the fluffy, vivacious sentence structure so prolifically strewn about herein. Just simply, honestly, ordinarily SPOT ON! Drive on, Jeeves!

  6. Steve Lancaster says:

    In the picture “Devils Advocate 1997” the devil, well played by Al Pacino has just confronted his son Kevin, Kenue Reeves and he asks dad, “why the law?” the answer is illustrative of life today.

    Because the law puts us into everything, its the ultimate high. We’re coming out guns blazing, acquittal after acquittal until the stink reaches G-ds nose. Can anyone deny that the 20th century was all mine?

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Speaking of good (bad) intentions, I was browsing Townhall.com and found this comment by Timothy regarding this article that I thought was a very good point:

    It used to be said that a conservative was a liberal who had been mugged. Today we have liberal ideologues so committed to their delusion that even being victimized by crime doesn’t matter.

    Another poster wrote:

    And what about other German women and young girls; she’d advise them to take a rape or two in the interest of multiculturalism, diversity, and anti-racism?

    I’m pretty sure this is the behavior that Dennis Prager refers to as “nice” but not good.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Jim Bouton in his book Ball Four mentions (sympathetically) an incident in which Mike Marshall was mugged by some blacks, and did his best to avoid mentioning the race of the perpetrators to the police. Presumably it didn’t occur to him (or Bouton) that race is essential for identifying the criminals.

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