Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cadwaladr: Impersonators of God

In the article Impersonators of God, E. M. Cadwaladr explores the seemingly incredible belief that Leftists have in the power of words. I have noted this tendency over time with respect to the gun debates. Leftists seemingly believe that if they can find the right magical incantation, somehow they can solve the "gun problem." So, for instance, they seek to restrict concealed carrying of firearms in various places. But of course the criminals, the ones they should be controlling, don't care about their rules, and will carry guns wherever they please.   This also shows the limitation on the power of words.  Since Leftists do not define the problem correctly in the first place, (as in guns instead of criminals) they do not come up with the right solutions. Cadwaladr writes about this tendency to see the problems of the world as one of messaging and narrative rather than as actual real problems to be solved by men taking real actions:
Since at least the beginning of the Obama administration, both politicians and what pass for journalists have been using the word “narrative” more commonly -- and with less reservation. “We have to get the narrative right” or “terrorism is a problem of competing narratives.” Similarly, progressives seem to have acquired an unshakeable faith in sending diplomats to simply talk to our enemies -- like Iran or North Korea -- as though they could be persuaded by pure eloquence to give up on their national agendas. Obama himself began his presidency with the odd notion that he could control the world with a series of speeches -- not speeches announcing particular policies, but speeches constructed entirely of grand dreams and virtue-signaling tropes. Not to be ignored is the left’s confidence in flinging the word “racist” like a voodoo curse. To be fair, the tactic of shaming their opponents has worked well for them for decades -- withering weak Republicans in place like Christ’s fig tree. We drown in the perennial mantras of “diversity,” “social justice,” and “white privilege” -- vague ideas that are moldable enough to suit whatever magic incantation the circumstance requires. All of it nonsense. All of it just so much sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Progressives love their words. Educated elocution is the public emblem of their self-declared superiority. They sneered at Bush with his Texas drawl, and they despise Donald Trump who -- let me tell ya people -- is never going to speak like JFK. But at some point, the left’s longstanding literary fixation became something more than a badge of identity. It quietly crossed over the line from affectation into the territory of full-blown delusion. The progressive mind has come to believe that reality itself is merely the invention of words. Leftist academics have long been fond of saying -- (fill-in-the-blank) “is a social construct.” What is a “social construct” other than an edifice of words? The left believes that words have direct, causal powers of their own. In a sense they are right -- and we agree. Consider the words of the apostle John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Language is a powerful tool, and of all the species on earth, humans alone have this powerful tool.  But like all things, it has limitations too.  It only describes a thing, it is not the thing itself.  Just as an architects drawing shows you what the building will be like, but is not the building itself, so language can be used to paint virtual pictures in our minds, but these are only virtual.  They are not reality.  They only work to create reality if enough people believe those words and acts upon them.
The problem for today’s Progressives is that only God is God. Politicians, pundits, and opinion makers are not. Lies are not the Logos. The elastic and malleable narratives of the left are only powerful enough to fool the minds of human beings -- they lack the power to make falsehoods into facts or work miracles on matter. Detroit is still a ghetto transitioning slowly into scrub forest -- no matter what narrative one invents to describe it. Subtitling the Koran “the religion of peace” does nothing to alter the violent conquest ideology outlined on its pages. Gender is not determined by one’s choice of pronouns. Conservatives know these things; postmodern relativists apparently do not. A generation of Americans has lost the capacity to know anything. When truth is invented and reinvented on-the-fly, the very notion of truth is destroyed. Language not only loses what power it does have -- it becomes psychotic gibberish. Perhaps eloquent psychotic gibberish. A predictable discourse of group howls.
Perhaps here is the real lesson of the Tower of Babel. God created man unique among all the creatures. Through language, art and music, man has the ability to conceive the power and wonders of the Creator, but man is not the Creator. When man tries to become like the Creator, he destroys himself, as at the Tower of Babel, or as in the Garden of Eden.  God does'nt destroy man, but rather his actions against God's creation destroys him.  These stories are meant as cautionary tales, not how to manuals. Or, you might listen to a more modern source, Rudyard Kipling's The Gods of the Copybook Headings.

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