Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I am so smart

Two tales of tradition:
Tradition is the best preservative available to humans. Catholic Tradition preserves important elements to our faith and hands them on, and it is capable of doing this even if people forget the reasons. A great example of traditional ecclesiastical architecture, which hands on a certain core of spiritual and liturgical principles, even if the average pewsitter is ignorant of them. When tradition is junked, we lose the ability to preserve elements of our religion and culture and wind up drifting loose.

In the second story, we see the other side of tradition - not as something that preserves a valuable core, but as something that defends us from evil, even an evil that we might not be aware of. The clearing of the caves was to keep the village safe, even though they villagers themselves did not understand the nature of the evil.
Tradition qua tradition isn't necessarily always right or true. The peculiar mix of narcissism, know nothing fundamentalism, and victimhood that is the Islamic tradition is not the tradition of Catholicism. Meaning is impossible without pre-rational traditions which inform our understanding of the world. A modern is someone who believes that meaning can be confined into one method, usually either scientism or positivism. A postmodern is someone who has realized that modernism is nonsense on stilts and despairs of ever finding objective meaning in anything at all. Both the modern and the postmodern seek to liberate the new man from the arbitrary chains of tradition, nation, family, and other constraints that he himself does not choose. We're so much better, freer, smarter, and more open minded than our stupid benighted grandparents. I'm smarter than Isaac Newton because I know how to send text messages and he didn't.

Liberalism differs in the details from time to time and place to place but the one thing liberalism everywhere has in common is freeing the new liberal man from the evils of tradition so he can create himself through his own reason and will. For liberalism there always is - existentially there must always be - some new evil oppressor to overcome. Every single one of us is somebody else's subhuman oppressor. If any of my four loyal readers agree with anything I've written anywhere on this blog, then you are one of the worst oppressive untermenschen in the world. Kind of makes you feel proud, doesn't it?

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