Last October, James Kalb wrote about the rise of Donald Trump in the context of “political correctness”: “Trump and the Culture of Political Correctness.” Kalb argues that Trump’s spectacle of a campaign, while showy and bacchanalian, is nevertheless less unreal than the official narrative of the American establishment, which refuses to acknowledge its own masquerade. The vivid contrast between the clown who tells the truth and the marm who gravely speaks what everyone knows to be nonsense has set Trump on the path to the White House.
Trump’s campaign has been a personal delight for me ever since he announced his candidacy by forcing the media and the politicians to address the national question. Trump—the smasher of leftist bars on the Overton window. What joy! I do not know whether he will succeed in winning—but I am surprisingly pleased by the American presidential race this year. I put no trust in the sons of men, but I quite enjoy seeing an unholy fool mock the wicked and dishonest sanctimony of the powers that be.
Last month, Bret Easton Ellis penned an essay reflecting on our culture in The New York Times, “Bret Easton Ellis on Living in the Cult of Likability.” I recommend Ellis’ insights on the “reputation economy” and the stifling, inclusive blandness to which we are obliged to conform and pay hommage.
May the Lord have mercy on our nation.
I have tried to avoid watching televised political debates and campaign interviews over the past several months, but I have, at times, wandered into them. On a few such occasions, I have cringed when Senator Cruz and others have mentioned “philosopher kings” with disgust. As any student of Plato’s Republic will know, the intended targets of the politician’s ridicule can in no way be considered philosopher kings, the rule of whom we certainly do not deserve (per de Maistre and good sense).
Well, at least one journalist has called Cruz on his wording, “Ted Cruz is the bad guy in his own philosophic narrative.” I confess that I find it irritating to agree with a whippersnapper leftwing activist in his criticism of the Right’s senator sweetheart. Republican voters deserve better politicians (—or do they, M. de Maistre?).
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon has also recently addressed philosopher kingship in Touchstone, where he meditates on the proper role of Adam (and, by extension, us) in creation. It is worth your time.
Due to this site’s inactivity, a significant backlog of commendable articles that I wish to share rests in my bookmark files. For instance, I had wished to discuss Laura Kipniss’ “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” as well as Kipniss’ ordeals subsequent to that essay, but The Chronicle of Higher Education has moved the article behind a paywall. If you are not aware of l’affaire Kipniss, you may wish to research it online. Shocking—but perhaps not, as we are increasingly conditioned to accept contemporary nonsense as normal.
Speaking of campus desolation, Anthony Esolen has a fine piece in the Intercollegiate Review (from the Fall 2013 issue) on the reductionism rampant in humanities departments: “The Subhumanities: The Reductive Violence of Race, Class, and Gender Theory.” Esolen argues that the current obsession with the postmodern trinity of “race, class, and gender” blinds readers to the works that they are apparently trying to understand.
Indeed, the entire point of postmodernism seems to be blindness—for sight is oppressive. Seeing that which is outside the self affects the self, and we must not allow our fragile egos to encounter ideas or horizons to which we do not consent. Why, such would be epistemological rape!
Esolen, reactionary troglodyte that he is, must know the pain of being dragged from the cave of one’s own choosing. Why would he wish such unpleasantry on anyone?
To answer that question is to refute pomo-ism in its totality, and it is why the XQTLBGFYZ-theoried folks cannot understand Esolen’s criticism.
Insanity is not the correct term for the West’s mentality. From the BBC’s “Cologne sex attacks ‘require police rethink’” (emphasis mine):
“Police in Germany will have to rethink their tactics following attacks on women in the city of Cologne on New Year’s Eve, a senior official has said.
Ralf Jaeger, interior minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, said police had to “adjust” to the fact that groups of men had attacked women en masse.
Three suspects had been identified, he said, but no arrests had been made.
Scores of women say they were robbed or sexually assaulted by men, reportedly of Arab or North African appearance.
Mr Jaeger also warned that anti-immigrant groups were trying to use the attacks to stir up hatred against refugees.
“What happens on the right-wing platforms and in chatrooms is at least as awful as the acts of those assaulting the women,” he said. “This is poisoning the climate of our society.”
This reminds me (and evidently many others) of the Fort Hood incident. General Casey, then Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, infamously responded to the murder of American soldiers by a “fellow American” with, “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
I really do look forward to the day when our enemies’ enablers are lined up against walls throughout the West and shot by future insurrectionists. That day will be terrible, but the earth groans for its dawn. Such vermin deserve their fate, and I cannot muster a Christian apology for them. That is a confession, not hyperbole. There is no love or forgiveness in my soul for them—only a deep revulsion at their miasmic filth.