December 12, 2009

Never Conform!

This will be a long post. I've been stewing again. I'm continually shocked at the Gadarene Swine of liberalism, racing to the nearest cliffs in formation; obedient to the current theme, fad or effect (without cause) that liberalism dictates to the troops in its little paper armies. Whether it's the charade in Copenhagen, The Senate, or your local waste disposal committe, they're busy devising some morally unassailable scheme to steal from you, or proudly scaling some moral gradient on your behalf, whether you want them to or not.

The liberals of my generation, now fixed like dried blood on the pelt of America - in the universities, in the news bureaus and entertainment industries,- and throughout the towers of government, once claimed to be rebels. Today they're more dangerous to individual liberty than the totalitarians of the last century. You know who and what they are. We don't need to list their demands. Their asssumptions are so awful, political correctness was rigged to shield them from scrutiny and the tools of perception through ordinary language.

These folks "dropped out" (I know; I was there) by dropping in to a counter-culture which was already in place and a creation of the capitalism they claimed to despise. They considered themselves courageous for having adapted to a permanent masquerade party. Except for some skirmishes in the Civil Rights movement, they never fought against anything that posed a real danger.

Like jackals they snapped at the heels of dazed returning veterans, the hard-working bourgeoisie, or more broadly, at the soft, basically decent American culture and the squeamish authority of parents who were busy building the modern world. When these conformists discarded the tie-dye uniforms, they rode the wave of post-war prosperity into professions and material ease as no generation before them, and believed that they had something to do with it.

Now they're in Act II, Scene III of their lives and they plan to go out oppressing and controlling everything in sight. They're in charge almost everywhere, their ideas are the default ideas of the lazy, the stupid and the "idealistic", and the cancer of following the prevailing mood grows and grows. Consider the following, from "The Art of Non-Conforming" (1953) by British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge:

"If I were to write the Confessions of a Non-Conforming Man, they would begin with an assertion that the mid-twentieth century, far from being a period of enlightenment, has been notable for credulity and servility to a quite exceptional degree. It would be necessary, I should go on, to go back at least to the Dark Ages to find a generation of men so given over to destruction, superstition, and every variety of obscurantism...

Questioning, thus, the basic assumptions of the age, the Non-Conforming Man cannot but find its pretensions particularly derisory. Ironically, ignorance seems to grow with education and freedom seems to decay to the accompaniment of protestations and devotions to its cause...

Civilization presupposes the integrity and inviolability of each separate human being, and it is contemporary neobarbarisms like Fascism, Nazism, and Communism which have sought to destroy the individual in favor of the collectivity...the materialists, the power-worshipers, the demon-demagogues of our time, insist that individual men and women are of no account, and have no destiny of their own apart from mankind's...

Against such a trend, the impulse not to conform constitutes a kind of resistance movement, whose practitioners...are liable to be forced to become cautiously on the fringes of society. Without them, collective assumptions may pass unchallenged, and there may be no one to puncture the pretensions of established authority.

The basic failure of our time, future historians may well decide, has lain in the too ready acceptance of current orthodoxies, whether through fear of being suspected of rebelliousness and consequently punished, or just as a result of mass persuasion...Conformity is more and more the order of the day, inevitably bringing with it that subservience to prevailing fashions of thought, values and behavior which prepares the way for - to use the sombre expression by Belloc more than four decades ago - The Servile State.

To a civilized and free mind any enforced orthodoxy is abhorrent. It is inconceivable that the last word should ever be said about anything, or that history should reach any sort of finality. Non-conforming is a recognition that Man and all his works are inherently imperfect, and therefore susceptible to criticism, if not ridicule.

...Non-conforming is the basis, the very fount, of all humor. A totally conformist society never laughs - laughter itself being a kind of criticism, an expression of the immense disparity between human aspiration and human performance. As such, it is intolerable to all orthodoxy enforcers from Torquemada to Stalin... the twisted fiend Harry Reid, the spider Nancy Pelosi and the monstrous Albert Gore. Today, this is the difference between them and us. They're the end of time, the death of imagination and free thought. We're not. Persuasion won't change them. This is war.


Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Rhod, You really nailed it in those first five paragraphs. The Hippies are all growd up !!!

Rhod said...

Odie, many of the genuine hippies in my circle were decent and patient with a world crazier than they were.

It was the miniature, pampered tyrants in bell bottoms, drooling over some imbecile academic political screed...the Ivy League killers...who found their way into government, who pose the problem today.

Hillary comes to mind, and the scum she associated with.

the malcontent said...

Never EVER!

Velcro said...

That's why I was genuinely surprised at Pelosi and others' criticism of the town hall ruckus; THEY were the people who did worse things back in the '60s! What goes around, comes around.

LL said...

...And because there was need of more pay for the shouters and marchers,
They disbanded in face of their foemen their yeomen and archers.
They replied to their well-wishers’ fears – to their enemies laughter,
Saying: “Peace! We have fashioned a God Which shall save us hereafter.
We ascribe all dominion to man in his factions conferring,
And have given to numbers the Name of the Wisdom unerring.”

They said: “Who has hate in his soul? Who has envied his neighbour?
Let him arise and control both that man and his labour.”
They said: “Who is eaten by sloth? Whose unthrift has destroyed him?
He shall levy a tribute from all because none have employed him.”
They said: “Who hath toiled, who hath striven, and gathered possession?
Let him be spoiled. He hath given full proof of transgression.” ...

Kipling, "The City of Brass"

Wetzy said...

I love this blog.

Hoping the Blind Will See said...

Well stated Rhod, but what event, or set of events, changed them from the people who detested the establishment to the people who embrace it and ALL the power and control over our lives that goes with it? At one time these were people who LIVED the concept of rebellion from the establishment. Now the abhor anyone who acts or speaks out against them. The hypocrisy is quite ironic.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Rhod.

"To a civilized and free mind any enforced orthodoxy is abhorrent. It is inconceivable that the last word should ever be said about anything ... "

This brilliant thought by the Christian Muggeridge recognizes the fallibility of man. The postmodern left puts forth an idea -- in theory at least -- of the limitless bounds of the individual.

To answer HBWS's question ... the Postmodern Left rebels against absolutes and the institutions that have built Western Civilization. They embrace a radical view of the individual that, ironically, ultimately requires all others to conform, be enslaved, or both.

The new postmodern conformists theory of individual autonomy doesn't work. Like all bad thinking, it doesn't make it far outside the laboratory.

There are certain things that are superior to the individual in the universe that at least request that we conform, or bear the consequences ... Those things are not here on earth.

Opus #6 said...

They, like their savior and leader Soros, are Destroyers. They care not to build.

Rhod said...

HBWS's question is central, and the answer probably has much to do with DC's point. The best and most charitable answer from me is this:

I think that progressivism has always been a fixed orthodoxy about what people and society ought to be rather than what people and society actually are. In this way it's indistinguishable from all authoritarian systems of thought.

The left has never been able to reconcile it's contempt for "special interests" against the idealized abstraction of "the people", so it enforces a kind of purity on the people in the form of the technocratic and expertise-managed state which is supposed to deliver neutral results for everyone. I think this explains their loathing for "establishments" that are not composed of THEM.

Once you start with this kind of view, everything rigid and coercive follows...the fetish for "participatory democracy", the equalization of results, the detestation of metaphysics that distract human beings from collectivism, secularisim on a grand scale, the disposition for self-aggrandizement, the imposition of rationalist obsessions on an "irrational" (unknowable) world, and much more.

Everything morbid and destructive follows from a mistaken view of persons acting freely. There are very few things that need to be outlawed or managed by the administrative state. Tell a liberal that, and he'll smile and conceive of you as an ape.

Rhod said...

Wetzy, we love you. Happy Chanakuh.

LL, the battle is an old one, as your Kipple shows. Thanks.

Teresa said...

An excellent and extremely thought provoking post. We must fight against these tyrannical Libs who want to squelch our freedom of speech and control every aspect of our lives. This is war. This is a domestic war that we must fight to win. They are corrupting the minds of our future generations. And, that must stop. Moral relativism is the order of the day for libs. We must promote morality and spread our message far and wide.

LandShark 5150 said...

RHOD -- this is by far -- one of the greatest post I have ever read. You nailed it. I am a better man for reading it and I feel better in knowing that I am surrounded by like minded individuals. We must remain DEFIANT. sharky

Rhod said...

Sharky, in my mind's eye I see a hippy racing back and forth in the nightime ocean, frantically trying for a grip on the bell buoy...but finding he's only half a hippy as he tries to tread water.

Eat a couple for me.

The_Kid said...

" the twisted fiend Harry Reid, the spider Nancy Pelosi and the monstrous Albert Gore. Today, this is the difference between them and us. They're the end of time, the death of imagination and free thought. We're not. Persuasion won't change them. This is war. "

I couldn't possibly agree more.

Red said...

In other words,"Die hippie scum". Which is German for "The hippie scum".