Category: Tim Jones

Is There a Link Between Progressivism and Depression?


The basic philosophy of progressivism is that both man and society are perfectible. Conservatism has been distorted and smeared over the years, but at its most elemental it is a philosophy of “small is better” and is reflected in politics when one hears calls for limited government and less taxes. Edmund Burke, political philosopher and theorist, and the ‘father’ of conservatism said the primary characteristics for a well-functioning society are tradition and obligation.

Because progressivism believes in unbridled individual freedom, that means whether the left realizes it or not, it requires the destruction of limitations because limits put the brakes on behavior that knows no boundaries and therefore crosses over into the boundaries of other people. This will usually require state intervention to enforce the maintenance of boundaries that have been violated, a vicious circle if there ever was one and pinpoints how progressivism inevitably leads to statism and authoritarianism.

Progressivism has led to today’s postmodernism that in turn leads people to think that life is unlimited (who knows how many self-help books use that word over and over again) and is aptly described in the following from a recent essay in The Imaginative Conservative, “Orestes Brownson and the Limits of Freedom:”

Postmodern man — especially in the United States, where issues such as transgender, transsexuality, and transhumanism are popular topics in mainstream society — has constructed for himself a hell of subjectivism that is ultimately as superficial and irrational as calling a dog a cat and then acting as if this designation is legitimate by feeding the dog cat food, offering it catnip, and setting up a scratching post for the dog to sharpen its claws. It is an old problem, one that has its roots in ancient Greece with the sophist Protagoras’ declaration that “Man is the measure of all things.” If man is the measure of all things, there can be no God. Man cannot measure the infinite.

Essentially Progressivism calls for never-ending change, another area where it differs with conservativism in a big way. Conservatism, as its name implies, means to conserve, as in saving what is true, beautiful and unchanging over time. In a word, tradition, as first articulated by Edmund Burke. Progressivism is inherently never satisfied with the status quo. It is always demanding change and pointing to even the most trivial things in the life that are either unfair or offensive or both. It is the philosophy of perpetual grievance that needs to keep people angry in order to keep them in line and not distracted so people won’t consider any alternative points of view. Daniel Greenfield on his blog Sultan Knish described it perfectly with one sentence: 

“To be a progressive is to be committed to perpetual reform in the name of perpetual grievance for perpetual power.”

At the end of 2016, it was reported that around 16% of the population is taking anti-depressants and other psychiatric drugs and another report says that “More Americans suffering from stress, anxiety and depression, study finds”. 

So what is going on in American society and why is there an epidemic of depression and anxiety? To extrapolate on Daniel Greenfield’s quote, what’s going on is that progressivism leads to perpetual discontent. And what happens at a personal level is when the primary values of hyperindividualism are more money, more fun, more things, more vacations, how can one possibly be content? And in the constant and exhausting search for personal peace and acceptance, one inevitably becomes either depressed or stressed out or both. It also leads to isolation and loneliness, usually significant contributors to depression. These are the unintended consequences of unrestrained radical individualism of the left.

The perpetual grievance machine of Progressivism at the political macro level is just reflecting what’s going on at the individual micro level: FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out, also known as envy. Remove grievance and identity politics from the agenda of the Democrats and what do they have left? Absolutely nothing — and the party would collapse. But in the meantime, tens of millions of Americans are hearing from liberal politicians, celebrities and the mainstream media how nothing is ever good enough and so and so is responsible. No wonder everyone is depressed.

The basic philosophy of progressivism is that both man and society are perfectible. Conservatism has been distorted and smeared over the years, but at its most elemental it is a philosophy of “small is better” and is reflected in politics when one hears calls for limited government and less taxes. Edmund Burke, political philosopher and theorist, and the ‘father’ of conservatism said the primary characteristics for a well-functioning society are tradition and obligation.

Because progressivism believes in unbridled individual freedom, that means whether the left realizes it or not, it requires the destruction of limitations because limits put the brakes on behavior that knows no boundaries and therefore crosses over into the boundaries of other people. This will usually require state intervention to enforce the maintenance of boundaries that have been violated, a vicious circle if there ever was one and pinpoints how progressivism inevitably leads to statism and authoritarianism.

Progressivism has led to today’s postmodernism that in turn leads people to think that life is unlimited (who knows how many self-help books use that word over and over again) and is aptly described in the following from a recent essay in The Imaginative Conservative, “Orestes Brownson and the Limits of Freedom:”

Postmodern man — especially in the United States, where issues such as transgender, transsexuality, and transhumanism are popular topics in mainstream society — has constructed for himself a hell of subjectivism that is ultimately as superficial and irrational as calling a dog a cat and then acting as if this designation is legitimate by feeding the dog cat food, offering it catnip, and setting up a scratching post for the dog to sharpen its claws. It is an old problem, one that has its roots in ancient Greece with the sophist Protagoras’ declaration that “Man is the measure of all things.” If man is the measure of all things, there can be no God. Man cannot measure the infinite.

Essentially Progressivism calls for never-ending change, another area where it differs with conservativism in a big way. Conservatism, as its name implies, means to conserve, as in saving what is true, beautiful and unchanging over time. In a word, tradition, as first articulated by Edmund Burke. Progressivism is inherently never satisfied with the status quo. It is always demanding change and pointing to even the most trivial things in the life that are either unfair or offensive or both. It is the philosophy of perpetual grievance that needs to keep people angry in order to keep them in line and not distracted so people won’t consider any alternative points of view. Daniel Greenfield on his blog Sultan Knish described it perfectly with one sentence: 

“To be a progressive is to be committed to perpetual reform in the name of perpetual grievance for perpetual power.”

At the end of 2016, it was reported that around 16% of the population is taking anti-depressants and other psychiatric drugs and another report says that “More Americans suffering from stress, anxiety and depression, study finds”. 

So what is going on in American society and why is there an epidemic of depression and anxiety? To extrapolate on Daniel Greenfield’s quote, what’s going on is that progressivism leads to perpetual discontent. And what happens at a personal level is when the primary values of hyperindividualism are more money, more fun, more things, more vacations, how can one possibly be content? And in the constant and exhausting search for personal peace and acceptance, one inevitably becomes either depressed or stressed out or both. It also leads to isolation and loneliness, usually significant contributors to depression. These are the unintended consequences of unrestrained radical individualism of the left.

The perpetual grievance machine of Progressivism at the political macro level is just reflecting what’s going on at the individual micro level: FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out, also known as envy. Remove grievance and identity politics from the agenda of the Democrats and what do they have left? Absolutely nothing — and the party would collapse. But in the meantime, tens of millions of Americans are hearing from liberal politicians, celebrities and the mainstream media how nothing is ever good enough and so and so is responsible. No wonder everyone is depressed.



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Modernity and the Secularization of Reason


Christ revolutionized the world by introducing the concept of the dignity of every person no matter where they stood in societal order. This led to the eventual creation of individual identity that culminated during the Enlightenment with Descartes’ famous assertion “I think, therefore I am.” In the process, reason unfortunately became detached from religious morality, which has led to the self-centeredness, solipsism, and narcissism we have today. Capitalism, with all of its successes, exacerbates these problems because there is little morality attached to its foundation in reason other than the force of law. This invited the state to intervene in order to act as arbiter, and in so doing gets to impose its own morality, one that will always suit its own purposes, which is the expansion and consolidation of its power. And this is how we got the authoritarianism and soft tyranny of today.

So walking it back again, the road to individuality began with Jesus Christ but the long and winding road to modern times reveals decadence and hedonism as the inevitable dark side as “reason” has thrown the baby out with the bathwater by promoting freedom without restraint and limitations while ignoring the voluntary acceptance of Christian values. 

These values promote community and charity rather than every man, woman, and child out for themselves that exists in today’s hypercompetitive world. And the primary goal has become one of seeking the most pleasure one can get, whether it’s socially acceptable or not. It really is, in the end, every person for himself. One can see it in Facebook posts where people show off their latest foreign trip, foray into the mountains, or a marathon biking endeavor. It’s kind of narcissistic virtue-signaling of how cool I am and what fun stuff I’m doing. On the dark side of pleasure-seeking however, there is the low-grade kind of just smoking cigarettes or drinking wine but following the spectrum to the high-grade kind one finds heavy drinking and pot-smoking, heroin and opioid use, even to sex addiction and rape as the logical outcome of pleasure now being the highest value there is in today’s society. One only needs to ask: where do you fall along the pleasure spectrum?

The Enlightenment secularized reason with no moral strings attached making it morally neutral. This goes a long way in explaining the rise of fascism and communism, all rooted in the reason midwifed out of philosophers such as Hegel, Kant, Rousseau, Locke, Hobbes, Bacon, Hume, and Marx, all of whom set the world on the road to one primarily of humanistic values versus those consisting of transcendental Christian ones that primarily existed during medieval times. 

It also makes American democratic republicanism a first cousin of those tyrannical ideologies since it, too, grew out of the same philosophical soil. Now we see our freedoms slipping away into the soft despotism of the administrative state. The American government is more than happy to see pot use, gay marriage, and abortion legalized as Americans slide into the mindless pursuit of pleasure and instant gratification. When the chaos inevitably arrives out of it, the heavy hand of government will be standing by to make sure it imposes order. 

There is the added benefit that while everyone is focusing on having as much fun as possible, legal or otherwise, the electorate is asleep at wheel of ignorance and apathy while the government continues to grow and extend its reach into everyone’s lives. This is the invisible deterioration of freedom that is happening right under our noses.

From The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch: 

“In a society that has reduced reason to mere calculation, reason can impose no limits on the pursuit of pleasure – on the immediate gratification of every desire no matter how perverse, insane, criminal or merely immoral. For the standards that would condemn crime or cruelty derived from religion, compassion or the kind of reason that rejects purely instrumental applications; and none of these outmoded forms of thought or feeling had any logical place in a society based on commodity production.”

In the end, the detachment between reason and morality has put them at odds with each other, and in today’s world of hyperindividualism, hyperacquisitiveness, and hypercompetitiveness, morally neutral and secularized reason is winning.

Christ revolutionized the world by introducing the concept of the dignity of every person no matter where they stood in societal order. This led to the eventual creation of individual identity that culminated during the Enlightenment with Descartes’ famous assertion “I think, therefore I am.” In the process, reason unfortunately became detached from religious morality, which has led to the self-centeredness, solipsism, and narcissism we have today. Capitalism, with all of its successes, exacerbates these problems because there is little morality attached to its foundation in reason other than the force of law. This invited the state to intervene in order to act as arbiter, and in so doing gets to impose its own morality, one that will always suit its own purposes, which is the expansion and consolidation of its power. And this is how we got the authoritarianism and soft tyranny of today.

So walking it back again, the road to individuality began with Jesus Christ but the long and winding road to modern times reveals decadence and hedonism as the inevitable dark side as “reason” has thrown the baby out with the bathwater by promoting freedom without restraint and limitations while ignoring the voluntary acceptance of Christian values. 

These values promote community and charity rather than every man, woman, and child out for themselves that exists in today’s hypercompetitive world. And the primary goal has become one of seeking the most pleasure one can get, whether it’s socially acceptable or not. It really is, in the end, every person for himself. One can see it in Facebook posts where people show off their latest foreign trip, foray into the mountains, or a marathon biking endeavor. It’s kind of narcissistic virtue-signaling of how cool I am and what fun stuff I’m doing. On the dark side of pleasure-seeking however, there is the low-grade kind of just smoking cigarettes or drinking wine but following the spectrum to the high-grade kind one finds heavy drinking and pot-smoking, heroin and opioid use, even to sex addiction and rape as the logical outcome of pleasure now being the highest value there is in today’s society. One only needs to ask: where do you fall along the pleasure spectrum?

The Enlightenment secularized reason with no moral strings attached making it morally neutral. This goes a long way in explaining the rise of fascism and communism, all rooted in the reason midwifed out of philosophers such as Hegel, Kant, Rousseau, Locke, Hobbes, Bacon, Hume, and Marx, all of whom set the world on the road to one primarily of humanistic values versus those consisting of transcendental Christian ones that primarily existed during medieval times. 

It also makes American democratic republicanism a first cousin of those tyrannical ideologies since it, too, grew out of the same philosophical soil. Now we see our freedoms slipping away into the soft despotism of the administrative state. The American government is more than happy to see pot use, gay marriage, and abortion legalized as Americans slide into the mindless pursuit of pleasure and instant gratification. When the chaos inevitably arrives out of it, the heavy hand of government will be standing by to make sure it imposes order. 

There is the added benefit that while everyone is focusing on having as much fun as possible, legal or otherwise, the electorate is asleep at wheel of ignorance and apathy while the government continues to grow and extend its reach into everyone’s lives. This is the invisible deterioration of freedom that is happening right under our noses.

From The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch: 

“In a society that has reduced reason to mere calculation, reason can impose no limits on the pursuit of pleasure – on the immediate gratification of every desire no matter how perverse, insane, criminal or merely immoral. For the standards that would condemn crime or cruelty derived from religion, compassion or the kind of reason that rejects purely instrumental applications; and none of these outmoded forms of thought or feeling had any logical place in a society based on commodity production.”

In the end, the detachment between reason and morality has put them at odds with each other, and in today’s world of hyperindividualism, hyperacquisitiveness, and hypercompetitiveness, morally neutral and secularized reason is winning.



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Who Is the Real Radical?



These days, you're more likely to find a true radical in a convent than at a leftist protest.



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Opioids and 'the Good Life'


Lately there’s been a great deal of media coverage of the opioid crisis that is going on in the country. It is commonly referred to as a “‘disease’ along with alcoholism and drug abuse. This seems to be an egregious example of political correctness that disguises the real problem in the fog of a euphemism. Cancer is a disease, addiction is a spiritual problem. It is what happens when a society’s primary values are entertainment and pleasure rooted in materialism. And it represents the culmination of what secularism and liberalism have accomplished in itheir efforts to tear down all restraints to one’s conscience by destroying Christianity and biblical morality.

Conservatives believe that pain, suffering and the inherent ‘badness’ within every individual has always existed and that it will be so as long as humans walk the earth. If this weren’t the case, God would have no need to send his only begotten son to be crucified and resurrected. Secularism and liberalism (they are basically interchangeable ideologies) try to rid the inherent ‘badness’ in all of us and the associated guilt of doing bad things by assuaging one’s conscience. So far, these ideologies have been extremely successful not just in marginalizing Christian morality by getting society to accept the recreational use of drugs that long ago began with marijuana. (This is also the case with both abortion and homosexuality.)

Everyday people are bombarded on television and online with advertisements promoting the ‘good life’ whether it’s a shiny new car, a sunny day on the beach or on a cruise liner somewhere in the Caribbean, or partying watching the Super Bowl while imbibing lite beer and scarfing down chips. The messages are always clear: life is meant to be fun! And no pain or suffering allowed because it’s everyone’s right to be happy and free of all pain and suffering. Work has come to mean drudgery where people live for weekends, another message that is constantly promoted via ‘feelgood’ news stories and ads promoting “the good life” in a thousand different version.

From Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies by Ryszard Legutko:

“In today’s world entertainment is not just a pastime or a style, but a substance that permeates everything: schools and universities, upbringing of children, intellectual life, art, morality, and religion. It has become dear to the hearts of students, professors entrepreneurs, journalists, engineers, scientists, writers, even priests.”

Legutko goes on to say:

“The modern sense of entertainment increasingly resembles what Pascal long ago called divertissement, that is, an activity — as he wrote in Thoughts — that separates us from the seriousness of existence and fills this existence with false content… By escaping the questions of the ultimate meaning of our own lives, or of human life in general, our minds slowly get used to that fictitious reality, which we take for the real one, and are lured by its attractions.”

One can easily see how so many Americans who may have had a medical issue that required a painkiller prescription or the unemployed who are bored and alienated, succumb to the nonstop messages that life is meant to be fun and entertaining while the eradication of pain and suffering is the latest human right, then get hooked on the various forms of opioids because they don’t want to be left behind and miss out on “the good life.”

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, in his 1978 tour de force graduation address at Harvard, “A World Split Apart,” described clearly what was happening regarding the triumph of materialism over spiritualism that’s lead to the spiritual poverty of secular humanism:

Every citizen has been granted the desired freedom and material goods in such quantity and of such quality as to guarantee in theory the achievement of happiness — in the morally inferior sense of the word which has come into being during those same decades. In the process, however, one psychological detail has been overlooked: the constant desire to have still more things and a still better life and the struggle to attain them imprint many Western faces with worry and even depression, though it is customary to conceal such feelings. Active and tense competition fills all human thoughts without opening a way to free spiritual development.

Humanism without its Christian heritage cannot resist such competition… If humanism were right in declaring that man is born only to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to die, his task on earth evidently must be of a more spiritual nature. It cannot be unrestrained enjoyment of everyday life. It cannot be the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then cheerfully get the most of them.

It’s easy to see how so many who are not achieving happiness leads to a ‘fear of missing out’, or to use the colloquial acronym, FOMO. So what to do when one is missing out on the happiness and pleasure that society tells them they should be experiencing it: create it artificially through opioid consumption, the ultimate ‘feel good’ experience.

Christopher Caldwell, national editor for the Weekly Standard, recently posted an article on FirstThings, “American Carnage: The New Landscape of Opioid Addiction,” where he goes into superb detail on how its origin and its underlying reasons led to the crisis that it is today. One of the primary reasons is the acceptance of something that was once considered socially unacceptable and easily initiated since it’s use is a reflection of secular humanism in general:

“ …a person who would never have become a heroin addict in the old days of the opioid taboo could now become the equivalent of one, in a more antiseptic way. But a shocking number of people wound up with a classic heroin problem anyway. Relaxed taboos and ready supply created a much wider appetite for opioids.”


“Addiction plays on our strengths, not just our failings. It simplifies things. It relieves us of certain responsibilities. It gives life a meaning. It is a ‘perversely clever copy of that transcendent peace of God.’”

The deeper problem, however, is at once metaphysical and practical, and we’re going to have a very hard time confronting it. We in the sober world have, for about half a century, been renouncing our allegiance to anything that forbids or commands. Perhaps this is why, as this drug epidemic has spread, our efforts have been so unavailing and we have struggled even to describe it. Addicts, in their own short-circuited, reductive, and destructive way, are armed with a sense of purpose. We aren’t. It is not a coincidence that the claims of political correctness have found their way into the culture of addiction treatment just now. This sometimes appears to be the only grounds for compulsion that the nonaddicted part of our culture has left.

According to this New York Times article, “Inside a Killer Drug Epidemic, A Look At America’s Opioid Crisis,” there were 33,000 lethal casualties in 2015. That works out to just over 90 per day. It’s about time this addiction and all other addictions are recognized not as a disease but as a spiritual problem, one whose genesis is in the spiritual poverty of secularism. If the focus on a finding a solution remains in curing addiction as a disease, don’t expect the problem to be alleviated any time soon and that it will continue to get worse for a very long time. You can’t expect to solve a problem when the problem is baked into the solution.

Lately there’s been a great deal of media coverage of the opioid crisis that is going on in the country. It is commonly referred to as a “‘disease’ along with alcoholism and drug abuse. This seems to be an egregious example of political correctness that disguises the real problem in the fog of a euphemism. Cancer is a disease, addiction is a spiritual problem. It is what happens when a society’s primary values are entertainment and pleasure rooted in materialism. And it represents the culmination of what secularism and liberalism have accomplished in itheir efforts to tear down all restraints to one’s conscience by destroying Christianity and biblical morality.

Conservatives believe that pain, suffering and the inherent ‘badness’ within every individual has always existed and that it will be so as long as humans walk the earth. If this weren’t the case, God would have no need to send his only begotten son to be crucified and resurrected. Secularism and liberalism (they are basically interchangeable ideologies) try to rid the inherent ‘badness’ in all of us and the associated guilt of doing bad things by assuaging one’s conscience. So far, these ideologies have been extremely successful not just in marginalizing Christian morality by getting society to accept the recreational use of drugs that long ago began with marijuana. (This is also the case with both abortion and homosexuality.)

Everyday people are bombarded on television and online with advertisements promoting the ‘good life’ whether it’s a shiny new car, a sunny day on the beach or on a cruise liner somewhere in the Caribbean, or partying watching the Super Bowl while imbibing lite beer and scarfing down chips. The messages are always clear: life is meant to be fun! And no pain or suffering allowed because it’s everyone’s right to be happy and free of all pain and suffering. Work has come to mean drudgery where people live for weekends, another message that is constantly promoted via ‘feelgood’ news stories and ads promoting “the good life” in a thousand different version.

From Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies by Ryszard Legutko:

“In today’s world entertainment is not just a pastime or a style, but a substance that permeates everything: schools and universities, upbringing of children, intellectual life, art, morality, and religion. It has become dear to the hearts of students, professors entrepreneurs, journalists, engineers, scientists, writers, even priests.”

Legutko goes on to say:

“The modern sense of entertainment increasingly resembles what Pascal long ago called divertissement, that is, an activity — as he wrote in Thoughts — that separates us from the seriousness of existence and fills this existence with false content… By escaping the questions of the ultimate meaning of our own lives, or of human life in general, our minds slowly get used to that fictitious reality, which we take for the real one, and are lured by its attractions.”

One can easily see how so many Americans who may have had a medical issue that required a painkiller prescription or the unemployed who are bored and alienated, succumb to the nonstop messages that life is meant to be fun and entertaining while the eradication of pain and suffering is the latest human right, then get hooked on the various forms of opioids because they don’t want to be left behind and miss out on “the good life.”

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, in his 1978 tour de force graduation address at Harvard, “A World Split Apart,” described clearly what was happening regarding the triumph of materialism over spiritualism that’s lead to the spiritual poverty of secular humanism:

Every citizen has been granted the desired freedom and material goods in such quantity and of such quality as to guarantee in theory the achievement of happiness — in the morally inferior sense of the word which has come into being during those same decades. In the process, however, one psychological detail has been overlooked: the constant desire to have still more things and a still better life and the struggle to attain them imprint many Western faces with worry and even depression, though it is customary to conceal such feelings. Active and tense competition fills all human thoughts without opening a way to free spiritual development.

Humanism without its Christian heritage cannot resist such competition… If humanism were right in declaring that man is born only to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to die, his task on earth evidently must be of a more spiritual nature. It cannot be unrestrained enjoyment of everyday life. It cannot be the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then cheerfully get the most of them.

It’s easy to see how so many who are not achieving happiness leads to a ‘fear of missing out’, or to use the colloquial acronym, FOMO. So what to do when one is missing out on the happiness and pleasure that society tells them they should be experiencing it: create it artificially through opioid consumption, the ultimate ‘feel good’ experience.

Christopher Caldwell, national editor for the Weekly Standard, recently posted an article on FirstThings, “American Carnage: The New Landscape of Opioid Addiction,” where he goes into superb detail on how its origin and its underlying reasons led to the crisis that it is today. One of the primary reasons is the acceptance of something that was once considered socially unacceptable and easily initiated since it’s use is a reflection of secular humanism in general:

“ …a person who would never have become a heroin addict in the old days of the opioid taboo could now become the equivalent of one, in a more antiseptic way. But a shocking number of people wound up with a classic heroin problem anyway. Relaxed taboos and ready supply created a much wider appetite for opioids.”


“Addiction plays on our strengths, not just our failings. It simplifies things. It relieves us of certain responsibilities. It gives life a meaning. It is a ‘perversely clever copy of that transcendent peace of God.’”

The deeper problem, however, is at once metaphysical and practical, and we’re going to have a very hard time confronting it. We in the sober world have, for about half a century, been renouncing our allegiance to anything that forbids or commands. Perhaps this is why, as this drug epidemic has spread, our efforts have been so unavailing and we have struggled even to describe it. Addicts, in their own short-circuited, reductive, and destructive way, are armed with a sense of purpose. We aren’t. It is not a coincidence that the claims of political correctness have found their way into the culture of addiction treatment just now. This sometimes appears to be the only grounds for compulsion that the nonaddicted part of our culture has left.

According to this New York Times article, “Inside a Killer Drug Epidemic, A Look At America’s Opioid Crisis,” there were 33,000 lethal casualties in 2015. That works out to just over 90 per day. It’s about time this addiction and all other addictions are recognized not as a disease but as a spiritual problem, one whose genesis is in the spiritual poverty of secularism. If the focus on a finding a solution remains in curing addiction as a disease, don’t expect the problem to be alleviated any time soon and that it will continue to get worse for a very long time. You can’t expect to solve a problem when the problem is baked into the solution.



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A Preview of Liberalism’s End Point


Liberals always stake their claim to the moral high ground, or to put it another way, they believe they own the moral high ground. If this were true, and it most certainly is not, then they would have to believe in biblical morality and authority. The problem with liberalism is that it’s rooted entirely in moral relativism where moral authority resides in the individual. Another name for this might be ‘designer morality,’ where a person basically customizes what he or she believes to be right and wrong. By logical extension if everyone owns their own morality then morality ceases to exist and a person can justify basically any bad behavior as good behavior. Dostoevsky was the first to recognize this, most notably in his novel Crime and Punishment, where the protagonist Raskolnikov wanted to test his conscience and conventional morality by murdering someone without getting caught. And it was Dostoevsky who also famously stated “Without God all things are permissible.” Nietzsche carried on where Dostoevsky left off by declaring “God is Dead” and that all that remains is the ‘will to power.’ This is true not just in the realm of the political but social as well. All relationships in a way become power-centric, i.e., who has the upper hand in controlling the other. Morality not only becomes individualized but so does authority. One can easily see how this leads to the political and social chaos and conflict we see in the world today. Looking out further however, it can be envisioned where liberalism is headed — to an end point where not only are morality and authority being customized by the individual, but the individual is literally customizing himself (or herself).

Recently a story came out about a man who paid $50,000 in order to become a genderless alien: “Vinny Ohh, 22, from Los Angeles in California, has had over 110 procedures to transform into a ‘genderless’ extra-terrestrial. The make-up artist believes he’s neither male nor female and so his extreme look is a way to mirror how he feels inside.”

Another story from last year describes a man who transformed his face with tattoos and had his ears and nose removed in order to look like a dragon. Apparently he’s a transgender that now goes by the name of “Dragon Lady.” These two stories represent nothing short of liberalism taken to its logical conclusion. It’s always trying to take down the natural order of things through the elimination of limits and boundaries, destroying a foundation of universal morality and authority as originally outlined in the Bible. A simple equation shows how this works: moral relativism = designer morality = designer self.

This all dovetails with liberalism’s modus operandi of normalizing the abnormal and the mainstreaming of deviancy, sometimes known as defining deviancy down. It was done with abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, and marijuana — and now it’s in the early stages of mainstreaming pedophilia and polygamy. Those who deny there’s a slippery slope to all of this are seriously misguided or dishonest.

A glimmer of optimism about a change of direction for the future is discussed in a recent First Things article by Betsy VanDenBerghe, “Generation Z: Desperate for Rules,” that describes how the current youngest generation is looking for guidance to escape the social anarchy resulting from decades of relativism. Possibly this presages a moral revival:

“Abiding by moral rules, especially when they are explained meaningfully and mercifully, gives teenagers swimming in a sea of relativism and nihilism what David Brooks calls a ‘moral vocabulary.’ Sympathy for multiple generations of family breakdown wrought by moral anarchy isn’t enough. People need norms, writes Brooks, ‘basic codes and rules woven into daily life’ that offer an alternative to the ‘plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refuses to assert that one way of behaving is better than another.'”

Liberals either want to deny or to reject the fallen nature of man, i.e., that we all have a ‘dark side,’ an evil shadow self. Liberals believe that pleasure and feeling good are the highest values to live by and that man is ultimately perfectible. What they don’t recognize is that there are clearly bad and unintended consequences to such a worldview. Conservatism recognizes the natural order of reality, that there are limits and boundaries to what a person can do in ‘the pursuit of happiness’ and that we are all “broken” (and always will be) as the more constructive way to view reality and oneself. Liberalism’s end point will be a grotesque distortion already personified by the genderless alien and dragon lady, of what it means to be a human. Perhaps that’s the way it wants it all to come to an end in the cold and godless alienation of nihilism.

Liberals always stake their claim to the moral high ground, or to put it another way, they believe they own the moral high ground. If this were true, and it most certainly is not, then they would have to believe in biblical morality and authority. The problem with liberalism is that it’s rooted entirely in moral relativism where moral authority resides in the individual. Another name for this might be ‘designer morality,’ where a person basically customizes what he or she believes to be right and wrong. By logical extension if everyone owns their own morality then morality ceases to exist and a person can justify basically any bad behavior as good behavior. Dostoevsky was the first to recognize this, most notably in his novel Crime and Punishment, where the protagonist Raskolnikov wanted to test his conscience and conventional morality by murdering someone without getting caught. And it was Dostoevsky who also famously stated “Without God all things are permissible.” Nietzsche carried on where Dostoevsky left off by declaring “God is Dead” and that all that remains is the ‘will to power.’ This is true not just in the realm of the political but social as well. All relationships in a way become power-centric, i.e., who has the upper hand in controlling the other. Morality not only becomes individualized but so does authority. One can easily see how this leads to the political and social chaos and conflict we see in the world today. Looking out further however, it can be envisioned where liberalism is headed — to an end point where not only are morality and authority being customized by the individual, but the individual is literally customizing himself (or herself).

Recently a story came out about a man who paid $50,000 in order to become a genderless alien: “Vinny Ohh, 22, from Los Angeles in California, has had over 110 procedures to transform into a ‘genderless’ extra-terrestrial. The make-up artist believes he’s neither male nor female and so his extreme look is a way to mirror how he feels inside.”

Another story from last year describes a man who transformed his face with tattoos and had his ears and nose removed in order to look like a dragon. Apparently he’s a transgender that now goes by the name of “Dragon Lady.” These two stories represent nothing short of liberalism taken to its logical conclusion. It’s always trying to take down the natural order of things through the elimination of limits and boundaries, destroying a foundation of universal morality and authority as originally outlined in the Bible. A simple equation shows how this works: moral relativism = designer morality = designer self.

This all dovetails with liberalism’s modus operandi of normalizing the abnormal and the mainstreaming of deviancy, sometimes known as defining deviancy down. It was done with abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, and marijuana — and now it’s in the early stages of mainstreaming pedophilia and polygamy. Those who deny there’s a slippery slope to all of this are seriously misguided or dishonest.

A glimmer of optimism about a change of direction for the future is discussed in a recent First Things article by Betsy VanDenBerghe, “Generation Z: Desperate for Rules,” that describes how the current youngest generation is looking for guidance to escape the social anarchy resulting from decades of relativism. Possibly this presages a moral revival:

“Abiding by moral rules, especially when they are explained meaningfully and mercifully, gives teenagers swimming in a sea of relativism and nihilism what David Brooks calls a ‘moral vocabulary.’ Sympathy for multiple generations of family breakdown wrought by moral anarchy isn’t enough. People need norms, writes Brooks, ‘basic codes and rules woven into daily life’ that offer an alternative to the ‘plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refuses to assert that one way of behaving is better than another.'”

Liberals either want to deny or to reject the fallen nature of man, i.e., that we all have a ‘dark side,’ an evil shadow self. Liberals believe that pleasure and feeling good are the highest values to live by and that man is ultimately perfectible. What they don’t recognize is that there are clearly bad and unintended consequences to such a worldview. Conservatism recognizes the natural order of reality, that there are limits and boundaries to what a person can do in ‘the pursuit of happiness’ and that we are all “broken” (and always will be) as the more constructive way to view reality and oneself. Liberalism’s end point will be a grotesque distortion already personified by the genderless alien and dragon lady, of what it means to be a human. Perhaps that’s the way it wants it all to come to an end in the cold and godless alienation of nihilism.



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