Sunday, October 06, 2002

Conservatives Need To Get Back to Tradition

When people ask for a classification of my political views, I usually reply with either:

"I'm a classicist"

or

"I'm a Greco-Romanist"

or

"I'm a traditionalist."

I don't say I'm a conservative, because that's not true. I don't say I'm a leftist, because that's not true. But my belief systems - like those of most people - share aspects of both wings of our artificially partisan government. I can bring up any issue and have people saying, "Oh you're just a _________," and then return a puzzled look to their faces with a seemingly contradictory (in party platform terms) position. Some are shocked to see I'm a raving ecofascist who supports many conservative ideas, or that I'm a classicist who supports some aspects of technology and postmodernity. It would be petty to take any delight in this confusion - to me, it's a sign of how degenerate this civilization has become. There are no honest opinions anymore.

The other day, someone asked what I felt on an issue and I gave a succint opinion that was summarized with "But this is my view as a traditionalist." The other person was quick to pounce. "You mean conservative," she said. "No," I said. But it was harder to articulate further than that. I do not believe in the conservative platform any more than the leftist one, and I embrace enough aspects of future to see myself as being distanced from reactionary politics also. Luckily today something came about which exemplifies my conflict with the Right.

Many on both sides are religious, but the people of Christian and other middle eastern religions on the right tend to be rabid supporters of the most indulgently spaced-out fantasies written by ancient religious scribes. Recently one of them expounded on his vision of the world: Muhammed was a terrorist, but "Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses." Tonight, CBS' "60 Minutes" is delivering news coverage of how many American evangelicals and right-wing Christian groups are supporting Israel in her genocidal jihad against Palestinian survival.

Apparently, according to these Christian rightwingers, it is prophesied (in the Bible - a well known book of scientific, philosophical and moral accuracy - yeah, right) and in its parent book, the Talmud, that the return of the Jewish people to the middle east is one of the prerequisites for the second coming of a messiah from god. "It's the end times," babbled one of them, his eyes bulbously fixed on the space in front of his face as if his entire intellect were suspended there in a drugged and delerious state of religious intoxication. In his mind, death will soon be suspended when a mythical god returns to earth as a messiah. He won't have to die. And his fear of death, having been whipped into a frenzy by a civilization content to lead mundane, functional, commercial daily lives offset by a focus on mythological events in the future, he is now a slave to justifying and defending that ideal.

Money flows from American, European and Asian Christian groups into Israel. Support rallies are held. These people honestly think that their support of a murderous and xenophobic and racist religious fiefdom will foster the coming of a prophet who will end the world and deliver us from death. A president preaches about "evil men" and talks about the moral "good" of economic freedom, democracy, womens' right to have a boring career too, and then tells us that we need martial law. It is a situation so surreal that humanity hasn't yet woken up to the truth of it.

Looking into the effects of all this grand rhetoric and moral polarization, a pattern emerges. Reality itself has been hijacked. We no longer see what is, but we see what we can filter through symbolic mindsets which divide the world into two oppositional halves. We can no longer understand the plight of our neighboring country, but we are sure to investigate his conformity to our own religious dogma as translated into secularity (be moral; let the meek equal the strong; be subservient to God and leave all the big decisions to him). Humanity is trapped in its own head, and has gone into insane war mode against itself for the purity of its symbols.

If so many people were not walking around bleating about "God," you'd think it was a mass schizophrenia strike. "The refrigerator told me to kill him!" screams the deranged man, blue eyes glowing with intent, a diaper around his waist and an AK-47 on his arm. "He was the un-cold. I am the cold. Only the very cold can go into the freezer, where we will be safe from death forever." He gets that same bubble-eyed, far-off look... we'd have that man arrested, in our civilized world, but we're about to go on a fourth and possibly final crusade - fulfilling our own prophecy.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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