This piece will be somewhat out of the ordinary for a Fran Porretto essay here at Liberty’s Torch:
- It won’t link to any news stories.
- It won’t embed any illustrative videos.
- It won’t present a reasoned analysis of contemporary events.
- It will vibrate with unpleasant emotions, particularly anger and fear.
- It will probably contain more profanity than my usual helpings of verbiage.
- And with luck, it will be “out of my system” and not to be repeated...at least not soon.
You have been warned.
There’s a great and terrible evolution in progress in the world. You know it; I know it. Yet we do our best, day by day, not to take notice of it. We have to; if we were to allow it to impinge upon our consciousness, it would probably freeze us in place.
Men are becoming beasts once more.
No, not literally – and here I will pause to regret, briefly, my opening pledge not to embed a video, as the “Of Mice and Men” Monty Python sketch would be fully appropriate – but in terms of the mental and spiritual characteristics that distinguish us from the lower orders.
Man’s mental and spiritual advantages can be summarized thus:
- He can reason out the causes of things through observation, inference, and judicious experiment.
- He can inhibit himself from action on moral and ethical grounds.
Both faculties are experiencing a decline in employment. Don’t ask me for the examples I have in mind; you can find plenty for yourself. Besides, I’m bloody tired of amassing links to stories about people claiming to be the wrong sex, or puppies, or the possessors of the secret to effortless riches, or holders of a “license to rape.” Such stories are everywhere. The violence and insanity have mushroomed near to the point of being no longer exceptional.
The blood-dimmed tide has been loosed.
Beast-men don’t look at one another and see opportunities for collaboration or trade. Beast-men don’t seek like-minded fellows with whom to develop or advance a set of social or political ideas. Beast-men don’t create art of any kind. Beast-men are incapable of maintaining a complex technological civilization, much less advancing it.
And the numbers of the beast-men are growing more rapidly than the numbers of the sane and civilized.
Brace yourselves, Gentle Readers. I’m about to do something that will shock you. Something the bien-pensants will say is intolerant and disrespectful – of them, mostly. Something that will probably get me banned in Boston.
I’m going to define.
In recent years, sanity has been regarded as whatever state of mind conduces to survival within one’s chosen environment. I dislike that definition; it’s relativistic and therefore not useful to one who looks and sees widely rather than provincially. By my lights, sanity is that state of mind which accords with the reality around one.
A sane society is one whose laws, norms, customs, and institutions align with reality and are maintained thus by the overwhelming majority of the participants.
Civilization is a tougher nut to crack. Here’s a typical swing at it, from Princeton University’s WordNet:
Civilization n: a society in an advanced state of social development (e.g., with complex legal and political and religious organizations.)
I call bullshit. A civilization is a society whose ruling norm is civility: a state of affairs governed with the irreducible minimum of violence. Complexity is no way to measure civility. Indeed, it’s no way to measure anything but complexity itself.
Sanity and civility are both retreating from American society. It should provide no salve to our self-regard to observe that we’re still doing better than the rest of the world. We’re losing what our forebears achieved and passed on to us, mostly by refusing to defend it against the lunatics and the thugs.
While we huddle behind locked doors and distract ourselves with “Survivor” and “American Idol,” the lunatics and the thugs are taking our country from us.
Part of our devolution can be attributed to the nice-guy trap. Today’s adult is less likely than ever to defend reality, civility, or common decency, in part because “common decency” has been redefined to include never uttering a sound that might offend or disturb someone else, however deranged he might be. Today’s youngsters are ruthlessly conditioned away from asserting themselves in the face of lunacy and thuggery. Against such feeble defenses, even a weak aggressor can score victory after victory.
But part of it – possibly the larger part – arises from cowardice about one’s own perceptions and convictions: the willingness to concede even an iota of plausibility to those who blatantly contradict the realities around us. That cowardice has been nurtured in us by the Left. Having conquered the educational, journalistic, and media structures of the West, Leftists have exploited them to purvey a relativism that goes all the way to the demand that we deny the evidence of our senses rather than cause the slightest of commotions.
Never before in human history has such a philosophy gained significant sway among men...but never before has it had the law and all the prevailing customs on its side.
Feel free to ignore this tirade. I’m venting and I know it. Indeed, I told you right up front that I’d be venting, so no refunds.
But I take some solace from the small but growing numbers of men who do call a spade a spade...when they’re not so completely exercised by the bullshit that they’re moved to call it “a fucking shovel.” I take some solace from the even smaller numbers of those who, even at risk to themselves, will stand up to the bullies and thugs, beat them back, and (in the cases I find most heartwarming) beat them down.
I’m an old man, and an unhealthy one. I have little to contribute to the righting of our nation other than words. Hopefully my words are worth something, but I don’t delude myself that words are all it will take. The time for talk is behind us. The time for an uprising of the sane and civilized is at hand. The men remaining among us must gird themselves for battle. Unless they can beat back the beasts, confine the lunatics and definitively expunge the thugs, the already frayed rope of American civilization is guaranteed to snap.
That’s enough for the present. It’s time for Mass. Have a nice day.