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Noemie Emery: Obama's Education of Little Use to His Presidency
The Washington Examiner ^ | January 13, 2010 | Noemie Emery

Posted on 01/15/2010 9:00:25 AM PST by betty boop

David Brooks notes that in the last year, something dire has happened: The public has turned decisively against the "educated classes" and all of their works. At the same time, it has also moved against Barack Obama, who began his term with approval ratings that bumped up against 70, and have now sunk to the high to mid-40s, with "strongly disapprove" ratings that rival those of George W. Bush at his worst.

It has also moved strongly against his — and the educated classes' — ideas. It is more pro-life, more anti-climate change, more free market, less statist, more inclined to favor "harsh" measures against terrorism suspects, more in favor of "waterboarding" the terrorist caught in the brief-bombing effort, more opposed to the closing of Guantanamo Bay.

While the liberal Left controls the White House along with both houses of Congress, the country it governs has moved to the Right. These phenomena are all interrelated: The country is moving Right in reaction to Obama's theories of governance, and Obama and the educated class are one and the same.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Obama_s-education-of-little-use-to-his-presidency-8756295-81272472.html#ixzz0chWlPFSN

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: chatteringclasses; davidbrooks; obama; progressivism
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To: betty boop
BB, I thought you might like this anecdote of mine re Scott Brown -- from another FR thread:

To contrast Scott with Coakley, I was working in my driveway in Norfolk, MA, when Scott came jogging up, introduced himself as a Republican, and said, " I'm running (literally) to be your Representative." (He jogged to every house in the district!)

I said, "there's a Constitutional question I'd like to ask", and he volunteered, "I'm a Major in the Army Guard -- and I carry!"

Bingo!!

After a few minutes of conversation, I asked (for the first time in my life) for one of his signs to put in my yard. I actively supported him as long as I was in MA. And I never regretted it!!!

As far as I'm concerned, Scott Brown is top-notch! I wish him every success -- from here in the Northeast Texas Piney Woods...

Too bad I can't vote in that election -- but I'll stay here in God's Country, thanks... '-)

So, you see, I've been a ScottB supporter starting with his very first campaign. (FWIW, I was one of those who, early on, suggested to him that he run for this US Senate opening). [I refuse to call it, "Kennedy's seat"...] And, at his request, I've been quietly "pulling strings" via this medium ever since Scott decided to "go for it"...

(Lest ye forget we once shared State-residence-in-common -- TXnMA) {GRIN}

51 posted on 01/15/2010 3:16:21 PM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...!!)
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To: Chickensoup; Alamo-Girl; xzins; Quix
...as if those who oppose him are uneducated and/or without wisdom.

Oppose whom? Scott Brown? Why would an "educated person" oppose him?

As an "inhabitant" of the Commonwealth, I can support either Scott Brown or the Democrat Machine in Massachusetts.

That machine is killing us, sucking all life, vitality, creativity, innovation from the people, penalizing us for our law-biding and economically-productive habits. It's getting so bad, the state has been losing population by the hundreds of thousands over the past several years. We are probably going to lose a Congressman in the redistricting following the 2010 census, just because of population loss.

When our most productive citizen/taxpayers are leaving in droves, this only exacerbates the "fiscal problem" here....

People who don't vote for the machine are hardly "without wisdom." Indeed, they might be among the wisest, sanest people left in "public debate" with respect to the critical issues facing our state and nation.

Although Left Progressives marginalize such people at every opportunity, to me they are the only ones who are really paying attention to the well-being of our society, in a genuinely intelligent fashion (i.e., by consulting with the actual historical human record, including their own). I have further concluded that neither the Dem machine in Massachusetts, nor the Obama Administration (with its codependents and enablers in the double-Dem Congress) has any clue about what it takes to constitute a just society.

David Horowitz has said that he never met a Left Progressive that had spent fifteen minutes of his life contemplating what it takes to constitute a "just society."

In case anyone is curious about what a just society is, the classical description is: A society that imposes only one rule/standard of justice on all its members, uniformly, without regard to person or station in life.

That is, members of the "aristocracy" (self-selected or appointed) and members of the "plebean class" (your ordinary "Joe") are subject to the same strict standard of justice. No exceptions. Your wealth and the advocacy of politically- or financially well-connected friends cannot make up for critical shortcomings in your own personal choices in life. Every human person bears that responsibility alone.

IOW, a just society does not regard groups (artificially selected for political reasons or however else constituted), but only individual human persons, as subject to law and ultimately justice under law. IOW, justice can only fall on individual persons. And it inevitably comes.

Cowering in some self-selected group gives one no cover against the judgment to come. It does not affect groups, only souls....

Certainly such behavior does not contribute to the present or future well-being of We the People of the United States, nor of our just responsibilities as sovereign citizens of our extraordinarily, historically, and naturally beautiful home state, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts....

What's "wise" about continuing to elect a "machine" from year to year, forever, to "run" things the people of the Commonwealth would rather "run" for themselves? With as little interference from "public officials" as possible??? Not to mention they're sick and tired of being endlessly fleeced financially (read: taxes, fees, whatever) by the State, in increasingly innovative ways, for no discernible public purpose....

Well, let's see about that "wisdom" thing. As distinguishable from being "intellectual" or "knowledgeable," the contrary being "uneducated," or simply "lacking in knowledge," or even preternaturally stupid.

As if your average every day human being could be said to be "lacking in knowledge" — at least those of whom who continue successfully to manage for themselves, their families, and their communities. They can only do this, of course, if the rules of the game don't change with every passing fancy (i.e., according to no rule the American people have ever seen before) of this administration and the double-Dem Congress that continues (against all reason) to champion and support the Usurper-in-Chief's wrecking-ball policies.

But Obama knows he has to "unsettle the rules of the game" in order to create "fear and uncertainty" — hopefully soon to result in "crisis conditions" — into which he and the federal government can intervene in order to "restore order."

Well, forgive me, but I do believe it is up to the We the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (to use John Adam's language, who wrote the Massachusetts Constitution) to restore the civil order. It starts as a "state-thing," but its ramifications from there project nationally....

I hope and pray my beloved native state of Massachusetts will set a trend. And that trend — joined by other states — sets up lawful conditions for the removal of the Usurper in some way or fashion. And "punishment" for his cohorts in Congress.

Which of course remains to be seen.

Put the dynamic duo of "wisdom v. knowledge" into whatever juxtaposition you want to, in the end "wisdom" is not equivalent to "reason," but is ineffably superior to it. For wisdom is the "value-added" to reason that comes only from experience, personal and social, as recorded from actual human history going back (arguably) 40 millennia by now and counting.

Obama's folks don't pay any attention at all to such matters. They are simply "inconveniences" that ought/must be "forgotten," or the people will continue to be "ungovernable" (from their point of view).

Anyhoot, anybody who has read this piece, and basically agrees with it, will probably be voting for Scott Brown next Tuesday.

What are your plans for next Tuesday, Chickensoup?

52 posted on 01/15/2010 4:13:40 PM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: betty boop

You go, girl!


53 posted on 01/15/2010 4:14:55 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: betty boop

What are your plans for next Tuesday, Chickensoup?

I was refering to Obama.

Tuesday? That is my day for uninhibited unsafe sexual congress with multiple partners.


54 posted on 01/15/2010 4:24:19 PM PST by Chickensoup (We have the government we deserve. Is our government our traitor?)
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To: betty boop

FOR SURE!

PREACH IT SISTER!


55 posted on 01/15/2010 7:36:34 PM PST by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 TRAITORS http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: betty boop

Being educated does not mean that one is smart only that they have been educated. That is a thing the left just doesn’t get you are not automatically wise just because your degree came from an ivy league school. I’ve met some very educated people in my life that made you wonder how they managed to get dressed on their own in the morning!


56 posted on 01/15/2010 8:37:15 PM PST by chris_bdba
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To: TXnMA
Well, thank you dear TXnMA! And thank you for sharing those insights with us!
57 posted on 01/15/2010 9:54:51 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
Wow, what a splendid post, dearest sister in Christ!

I'm hoping this election will be the great turning point in American, to get us back to the "just society" we ought to be.

58 posted on 01/15/2010 10:13:18 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
[ IOW, a just society does not regard groups (artificially selected for political reasons or however else constituted), but only individual human persons, as subject to law and ultimately justice under law. IOW, justice can only fall on individual persons. And it inevitably comes.

This is made abundantly clear in the election of the Affirmative Action President(Barry Half-White).. Same could be said for ANY affirmative action holder of ANY federal, state, county or local government position.. They are there not because of "justice" but because they are a little(or a lot) more equal than others.. Mocking the very premise of "justice"..

97% of black voters voted for the affirmative action president and support affirmative action "justice"..

3% of them are SMART.... a damning indictment but obviously true..

59 posted on 01/16/2010 7:25:23 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: betty boop

It is more pro-life, more anti-climate change, more free market, less statist, more inclined to favor “harsh” measures against terrorism suspects, more in favor of “waterboarding” the terrorist caught in the brief-bombing effort, more opposed to the closing of Guantanamo Bay.

There are those of us who are college educated and think this way.


60 posted on 01/16/2010 7:45:36 AM PST by kalee (The offences we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: TXnMA; Alamo-Girl
Oh! What a wonderful story, TXnMA! I thrilled to learn you know Scott and are supporting him, even if you can't vote for him! Truly, he is top-notch!

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful anecdote!

61 posted on 01/16/2010 3:48:50 PM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: hosepipe; Alamo-Girl; Chickensoup
They are there not because of "justice" but because they are a little (or a lot) more equal than others.. Mocking the very premise of "justice".

Indeed, dear hosepipe! So very true.... Problem is, you are firmly planted in First Reality (as am I); so although this point is perfectly understandable to us, it happens to be inconvenient to prosyletizers of Second Realities.

But Left Progressives — including the Usurper-in-Chief — are denizens of Second Reality, and thus futz around with the language a lot. In their definition, justice is virtually indistinguishable from the idea of "reparations"....

Among other things, such a notion of justice strips man of his personal dignity, and lets him be swallowed up as just another more or less anonymous member of an abstract group, which has been carved out for political reasons by political ideologues. The individual simply isn't important in their dreams and schemes.

Thank you so very much for writing, dear brother in Christ!

62 posted on 01/16/2010 5:23:19 PM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: betty boop; TXnMA; hosepipe
But Left Progressives — including the Usurper-in-Chief — are denizens of Second Reality, and thus futz around with the language a lot. In their definition, justice is virtually indistinguishable from the idea of "reparations"....

Among other things, such a notion of justice strips man of his personal dignity, and lets him be swallowed up as just another more or less anonymous member of an abstract group, which has been carved out for political reasons by political ideologues. The individual simply isn't important in their dreams and schemes.

Precisely so.

There can be no justice in Second Realities.

Without God, man is incapable of even understanding the term.

Man says he wants justice, but he doesn't want what's coming to him. What he really wants is mercy.

Man says he wants equality, but he doesn't want an identical share of intelligence, strength, power, appearance, land, education, etc. What he really wants is the same break as the next guy.

The person living in the First Reality knows that God is the potter and we are the clay. No man is the center of the universe and the master of his destiny.

It's not about what's in it for me.

Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dearest sister in Christ!

63 posted on 01/16/2010 9:37:19 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl; marron; spirited irish; r9etb; hosepipe; Quix; metmom; joanie-f; ...
Thank you so very much for your kind words of support, dearest sister in Christ!

I just loved Noemie Emery’s article. She points out something I’ve noticed, too: what seems to be a growing disaffection for “expertise” among the American populace at large. She doesn’t go into the details, into all the “whys” of the situation. That would make for a really interesting project, IMHO.

Perhaps the reasons can be traced to a conscious or even unconscious “reaction” among the populace to the inroads that American-style social progressivism have steadily made into the fabric of American life over the past century.

As Jonah Goldberg argues in his excellent article, “Richard Ely’s Golden Calf” [National Review, December 31, 2009], American-style socialism has never been of the Marxist type; at least not so far. Historically Americans have rejected the Marxist model of socialism on grounds of its “faith in abstract universal laws, its atheism, and its anarchic violence.”

Instead, American social-progressive “movements” have tended to marry features of Bismarck’s “Prussian model” of state socialism with the Christian Gospel. Evidently Goldberg would characterize Richard Ely — “bar none, the most important lay proselytizer of the progressive social gospel” — as a kind of John the Baptist of this uniquely American model of social progressivism.

Goldberg writes:

Bismarck’s “top-down socialism” was, in the words of liberal historian Eric Goldman, “a catalytic of American progressive thought.” A young Woodrow Wilson wrote that Bismarck’s Prussia was the most “admirable system . . . the most studied and most nearly perfected” in the world….

Much of the philosophical rationale for Bismarck’s top-down socialism came from the “historical school” of German economists…. Imbibing heavily from Hegel and Darwin, the historicist economists believed that all economic facts are relative and evolutionary, contingent upon their time and place. Historicists rejected laissez-faire economics on grounds that there are no immutable or universal laws of economics. [emphasis added]

Which to me is like saying there are no immutable or universal laws of human nature. But I digress:

“The most fundamental things in our minds,” Ely said of himself and his new generation of intellectuals, “were on the one hand the idea of evolution, and on the other hand, the idea of relativity”….

History, like evolution itself, was moving toward greater social cooperation. And it fell to experts to decide how to advance that process…. Not only did this vision provide a perfect rationale for empowering social planners, it necessarily consigned the rights and liberty of the individual to being an afterthought — hence Ely’s advocacy of what he called “coercive philanthropy.” [LOLOL! Note the oxymoronic “double-speak” here!] If experts can glean which way social betterment lies, who is the individual to object? The job of the economist is not to consider discrete questions about how to, say, maximize productivity or measure discretionary income. It is to fix society in all its relations, right down to each individual…. Whether the individual wanted that . . . was irrelevant. [emphasis added]

Anyhoot, marry the Prussian model to the “preferential option for the poor” at the heart of the Social Gospel movement (a/k/a Liberation Theology) — so to "evolve" a new regime in which “technocratic experts” become the “new priests” — and you have an explosive, but quite effective tool of totalizing politics.

Whatever the case, according to Goldberg, “it was Ely's core conviction that the age of salvation could be reached through the judicious application of welfare-state policies”….

Thus Ely stands before us as a utopian thinker and spinner of a Second Reality.

So it might be asked, what is a Second Reality? In a first approximation, it is a programme for transforming the First Reality in which human beings actually live by changing the way we think about it. Its stated object is always the putative "improvement of the human condition" as conceived in the abstract, according to the standards and judgments of self-selected, “expert” thinkers (and doers).

As Goldberg notes, “The philosopher Eric Vöegelin famously warned against ‘immanentizing the eschaton’…. To immanentize the eschaton is to attempt to establish a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth,” after having eliminated God from the picture. “God’s funeral” is the absolutely necessary requirement for “expert intellectuals” to come into their own, flourish, and prosper.

What united the socialists, the progressives, the social gospellers, the pragmatists, the nationalists, the fascists, the Marxists, and the other factions of intellectuals who rallied at the wake of “God’s funeral” was the idea that old ideas needed to be thrown away. These new intellectuals insisted that the “crust of custom” . . . had to be broken, and that the dogmas, assumptions, rules, and habits associated with the old order had to be either ignored or, better, destroyed. This was from the outset a moralising mission because, as they saw it, the old notions of universal truths were created for the benefit of the greedy haves in order to oppress the have-nots.

Or at least, that’s the excuse that is always being offered by our would-be “expert savior class.”

Notice this “haves vs. have-nots” statement is merely an assertion for which no evidence is offered. Yet it is embraced as a first principle upon which all their further arguments depend.

Maybe we need to ask, “What is Reality?” Reality as a noun in the English language dates back to circa 1550 A.D. The word means [according to Webster’s New Explorer Encyclopedic Dictionary, 2006]: (1) the quality or state of being real; (2 [a 1]) a real event, entity or state of affairs; (2 [a 2]) the totality of real things and events; (2 b) something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily.

Which of course invokes the meaning of “necessary” (adjective), which the same source gives as: (1 [a]) of an inevitable nature: INESCAPABLE; (1 [b 1]) logically unavoidable; (1 [b 2]) that cannot logically be denied without contradiction; (1 [c]) determined or produced by the previous condition of things; [1 [d]) compulsory; (2) absolutely needed: REQUIRED.

As evidence that progressivist second realities do not meet the reality test as just described, we can consult the word of one of the highly influential social progressives of the past century, J. Allen Smith: “The real trouble with us reformers is that we have made a crusade against standards. Well, we have smashed them all and now neither we nor anybody else have anything left.”

If I am not entirely mistaken, it seems to me here we have a kind of "confession" from an "elite, expert insider" that — boiling it all down — "God's funeral" entails the funeral of human reason and logic; for to "destroy God" is to destroy the very radix on which human reason and logic wholly depend....

And so it seems to me the progressives of our time that so afflict us are not only trying to “bury God,” they are trying to bury logic and reason itself. When logic and reason are finally “gone,” then all that is left is: mass insanity. And with that — it almost goes without saying — the death of Liberty.

* * * * * *

Anyhoot, I highly recommend the Goldberg article!!! Sorry to run on so long, dearest sister in Christ! I’ve just been thinking about these subjects lately, under the light of the German novelists I told you about, and just wanted to see if I could sketch out some preliminaries here, as I had the opportunity.

You know how I worry about such things!!! LOLOL!

64 posted on 01/17/2010 2:42:50 PM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Man says he wants justice, but he doesn't want what's coming to him. What he really wants is mercy.

p.s.: Oh so very, very true, my dearest sister in Christ!

Which is to say: Such a person does not want to bear any personal moral responsibility for anything. He just hopes that, IF there is a God, that God will forgive him for what he does. And IF there isn't a God, then he doesn't have a problem.

This is kind of the reverse of "Pascal's Wager"....

Which basically states: It is better to believe in God and be wrong, than to not believe in Him, and be wrong. The first way saves; the second destroys....

Citing human intellectual history here, from a most eminent source. FWIW.

65 posted on 01/17/2010 4:10:23 PM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: betty boop
Anyhoot, marry the Prussian model to the “preferential option for the poor” at the heart of the Social Gospel movement (a/k/a Liberation Theology) — so to "evolve" a new regime in which “technocratic experts” become the “new priests” — and you have an explosive, but quite effective tool of totalizing politics.

A new dialectic? - Ely's 'Second Reality being the synthesis?

I'm getting really tired of being reshaped.

66 posted on 01/17/2010 5:30:52 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Democracy, the vilest form of government, pits the greed of an angry mob vs. the rights of a man)
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To: betty boop
Wow. The notion that America is in the midst of a reactionary convulsion against some fictive "educated class" is very Brooksian indeed - superficial, self-serving, and apparently evocative primarily to the insiders of that putative class. The rest of us have to wonder what the hell he's talking about.

There's no "there" there. 0bama has as few qualifications in terms of education as he does in foreign policy - one probably ghost-written best-seller and a piece of paper that states that he survived his track at a prominent educational institution. It's all glitter, and the fact of the matter is that deep-thinkers such as Brooks are all about glitter and little about substance or we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

"People who talk like us" is a fascinating and very revealing phrase inasmuch as it was uttered within the context of the painfully self-aware New Republic. That is very much a sign of class identification but it is not, I'm afraid, much related to education. The commonality, the class signifier if you like, of this gaggle of pumped-up fools is not an Ivy League diploma but the fervent conviction that its members are somehow entitled to rule their fellow citizens by virtue of sheer girth of ego. Real education is supposed to prevent that sort of thing, not facilitate it.

What we are seeing, in my view, is not any rejection of education or the self-advertised "educated" but the rejection of government of, by, and for celebrity, a status to which even the members of the educated class desperately aspire. 0bama is, to be sure, a romantic and polished public figure. Unfortunately those are not even remotely qualifications for government even though heavily misrepresented as such by people who ought to be educated enough to know better.

I cite as evidence the strange notion that although both of the previous two Presidents have degrees from Ivy League institutions, the fellow who can fly a jet fighter is not considered a member of the educated classes and the fellow who can barely propel a flat-tired bicycle is. There's something very wrong with this definition of class.

67 posted on 01/17/2010 6:14:16 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: betty boop
Thank you so very much, dearest sister in Christ, for sharing your insights and those excerpts from Goldberg's fascinating article!

J. Allen Smith's confession is telling, because as you say when they try to pretend God doesn't exist, they have no ground for logic and reason.

I also find it telling that Richard Ely appeals to science (evolution and relativity) as if it constitutes justification to fabricate a second reality.

68 posted on 01/17/2010 10:09:10 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Billthedrill
The commonality, the class signifier if you like, of this gaggle of pumped-up fools is not an Ivy League diploma but the fervent conviction that its members are somehow entitled to rule their fellow citizens by virtue of sheer girth of ego. Real education is supposed to prevent that sort of thing, not facilitate it.

Indeed. Great insights, Billthedrill! Thank you so much for writing!

69 posted on 01/18/2010 9:13:29 AM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: Sherman Logan
Never confuse schooling with education.

And never confuse book sense with common sense.

I learned as much, if not more, during my eight years in the Army, than while earning a bachelor's and a a master's degree.

I've learned much more while teaching Old Testament to 6th graders in my parish over the past 12 years.

The Ivy League is no longer a bastion of higher learning. It is merely a place for networking by elitists.

I'll put my trust in someone with a degree from the University of Idaho over one with an Ivy League degree.

70 posted on 01/18/2010 9:19:56 AM PST by Night Hides Not (If Dick Cheney = Darth Vader, then Joe Biden = Dark Helmet)
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To: betty boop

snip: If I am not entirely mistaken, it seems to me here we have a kind of “confession” from an “elite, expert insider” that — boiling it all down — “God’s funeral” entails the funeral of human reason and logic; for to “destroy God” is to destroy the very radix on which human reason and logic wholly depend....

And so it seems to me the progressives of our time that so afflict us are not only trying to “bury God,” they are trying to bury logic and reason itself. When logic and reason are finally “gone,” then all that is left is: mass insanity. And with that — it almost goes without saying — the death of Liberty.

All so very true. Yet if we ask ourselves what they were trying to escape knowledge of by way of self-delusion, then we come to the spiritual root of revolutionary nihilism. It is this: death. They fear death and more specifically, the eternal reality of heaven and hell.

For example, as Karl Marx probed the question of Gods’ existence, his line of inquiry marched almost in lockstep with Aquinas formulation for the existence of God. Reaching the same conclusion as Aquinas, Karl Marx knew without a doubt that God Is. It was by an act of will that Marx turned from God and in doing so, freely chose to ‘fall’ into darkness: self-delusion, egomania (’I am god’ said Marx), paranoia, schizophrenia, belief in peculiar ideas, and other vices and torments of conscience.

As Plato pointed out and Augustine later refined, man cannot turn away from He Who is mankinds’ very ground of being without downward-spiraling consequences, one of which is belief in peculiar ideas. From the moral insanity displayed by todays’ rank and file rebels to the egomania of Obama, Soros, etc., it appears we are headed for anarchy.


71 posted on 01/19/2010 6:27:52 AM PST by spirited irish
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