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A Darwinist Mob Goes After a Serious Philosopher
New Republic ^ | 3/8/13 | LEON WIESELTIER

Posted on 03/24/2013 8:51:28 AM PDT by dirtboy

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To: Alamo-Girl; spirited irish; dirtboy; marron; TXnMA; YHAOS; MHGinTN; metmom; wmfights; D-fendr; ...
Truly, standing apart and looking at Obama's behavior and words it is as if he does not see the world as it really is but as he says it is. Which is to say, he seems to actually be living in his fantasy.

Indeed. He is what Eric Voegelin calls an "activist dreamer"; I just call him a black magician, because he really does want to transform Reality in a "new direction." And it seems to me he constantly evokes "magic words" (lies) in order to make Reality conform to his preference of how it should be in his mind. And that preference excludes God and, as a consequence, utterly degrades the dignity of man — for all his talk about human rights ad nauseam. (He doesn't really mean a word of it.)

Obama as activist dreamer is working a Second Reality. Eric Voegelin — to my mind the greatest philosopher of the Twentieth Century — deeply probed Second Realities and gnostic and utopian constructions, and basically found their genesis in the psychological alienation of their constructors away from the way the world and the human condition actually is. They want to build Utopias. In "Wisdom and the Magic of the Extreme," Voegelin writes we live a time when all of us are threatened in our humanity, if not in our physical existence, by the massive social force of activist dreamers who want to liberate us from our imperfections by locking us up in the perfect prison of their phantasy. Even in our so-called free societies not a day passes that we are not seriously molested, in encounters with persons, or the mass media, or a supposedly philosophical and scientific literature, by somebody's Utopian imagination. [e.g., anthropogenic global warming, LGBT "rights," social justice, etc., just to name a few examples.]

...The intellectual and linguistic corruption of the age, implacably intruding its atrocity into everybody's life, is a matter of common knowledge....

...[Thomas More's] Utopia elaborates his dream of a supposedly perfect society by omitting from its structure an important sector of reality, but he knows what he has omitted and is conscious of his truncated image of reality as a Nowhere. [I.e., a "second reality."] In its contemporary usage by activist thinkers and nonthinkers, the meaning of the symbol has been transformed in a peculiar manner. A Utopia still means the model of a perfect society that cannot be realized because an important sector of reality has been omitted from its construction, but its author and addicts have suspended their consciousness that it is unrealizable because of the omission. I am speaking cautiously of a suspension of consciousness, because it frequently is difficult, if not impossible, to determine in the case of an individual activist whether the suspension is an act of intellectual fraud or of persuasive self-deception, whether it is a case of plain illiteracy or of the more sophisticated illiteracy imposed by an educational system, whether it is caused by a degree of spiritual or intellectual insensitivity that comes under the head of stupidity, or whether it is due to various combinations of these and other factors such as the desire to attract public attention and make a career. Whatever the individual case may be, the suspension becomes manifest in public as the professed belief that the unrealizable image of perfection can be realized. The Nowhere of Thomas More has been inverted to symbolize the Everywhere of the walls which the hybris of a dreamer wants to build around us, and the all-too-human libido dominandi of everyman that moved a More to relegate his perfect order to the Nowhere of a dream has been concentrated in the libido dominandi of the activist who wants to inflict his dream of perfection by violence in everyman's humanity. In the activist's language, Utopianism has become the great symbol that is supposed to justify any action, whatever its human cost, if it pretends to overcome the imperfection of man's existence.

...[But] the dreamworld is not the real world, nor does the dream story of the activist ever really happen....

Voegelin just cuts to the chase an designates such activist dreamers as suffering from a spiritual disease occasioned by their rejection of the ground of being, a flight from reality largely resulting from the "refusal to apperceive" and "contempt for reason." In "On Hegel: A Study in Sorcery," Voegelin writes,

Spiritual disease is not a man's private affair, but has public consequences; the man who deforms himself does not live in a vacuum but in a society; and the Second Reality he has created for himself impinges on the First Reality in which he lives. The character traits assembled in the portrait result from from the friction between Second and First Reality — they maliciously distort the truth as seen from the position of the spiritually diseased man who engages in such actions, but they are regrettably true consequences of existence in untruth.

Voegelin elaborates on this point in "The German University and German Society":

Indeed one cannot realize a Second Reality, but the spiritual closure within it is a real phenomenon and has an actual effect on reality. In this regard the structure of the pneumopathological case doesn't differ from that of the psychopathological: the delusions of the paranoid person also correspond to no reality, but the delusions are real and the actions of the paranoid enter into reality.

Obama obviously is a man who does not live in communion with God. (Hence his execrable character as a man IMHO.) Moreover, he evidently believes that Truth, like the U.S. Constitution, overly constrains his ability to act as he desires. So he dumps Truth and/or the Constitution whenever they are inconvenient to the achievement of his goals. And not only he does this, but the pack of like-minded enablers he has around him, both inside and outside of his Administration, do so as well.

No wonder we today are living "in a madhouse, bursting with vitality," but going Nowhere fast....

Thank you, dearest sister in Christ, for your kind words. It seems a little strange for me to have gotten onto what looks like a "sidebar" to this discussion; for it seems the main interest on this thread is grappling with issues of time, especially relativistic time. (Schroeder is wonderful in describing the latter! Thank you so much for providing the link to his seminal article on this topic.) So thank you also for "indulging me" in this digression.

61 posted on 09/03/2013 12:00:03 PM PDT by betty boop
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To: betty boop
Outstanding insights from you, dearest sister in Christ, and from Voegelin, in all helping us to understand not only this President but the present darkness in our country.

Thank you!

62 posted on 09/03/2013 1:22:37 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; Whosoever
My dear Miss Boop that was sheer poetry.. lilting from poetry to prose with a melody of the spheres..

I don't think I've ever been Booped which such harmonius Boop before..
Sure I've been Booped, but not in such a Booperonius mannar.. with such Boop-OOp-a-Doop...

I think I love you.. signed Yosemite Pipe

63 posted on 09/03/2013 4:12:00 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: hosepipe; betty boop
The one and only betty boop!
64 posted on 09/03/2013 6:33:43 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: hosepipe
YOSEMITE Pipe? Dearest pipe, what is going on with this "Yosemite" business???

Mega Hugs!!!

65 posted on 09/03/2013 7:51:50 PM PDT by betty boop
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To: betty boop
Well I'm Sam's cousin...
And you've gone an Boopalated me..

signed Yosemite Pipe..

66 posted on 09/04/2013 1:55:48 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: Alamo-Girl; hosepipe
Dearest sister in Christ, indeed, DARKNESS increasingly envelops our society, as its members turn away from the Lord Who is the Light and Life. Plus we're all choking on the Kutursmog these days — lies proliferate like kudzu.

Thank you so very much for your kind words of support!

67 posted on 09/09/2013 3:49:21 PM PDT by betty boop
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