Last Crusade 39: War with the Phantoms

We live in an age obsessed with glass ceilings, dog whistles, and micro-aggressions.

Note what these have in common.

The glass ceiling is the alleged invisible barrier which prevents women from being promoted into the positions of top management and bars the from the highest levels of power.

Dog whistles are the alleged inaudible messages sent as code from one racist to another over public airwaves to coordinate and perpetuate their continued oppression of blacks.

Micro-aggressions are the alleged impalpable assaults subtly hidden as thoughtless comments or discourteous gestures.

Micro-aggressions are just like various other forms of assault and battery, such as being lacerated, stabbed, drowned, bloodied, bruised, bludgeoned, or beaten senseless, except that these aggressions are so microscopically slight and insignificant that no one, not even the alleged perpetrator, can detect them. Even the alleged victims will not feel them unless told and trained to do so.

For example, asking someone where he is from is a micro-aggression, as this betrays an unconscious racism, which oppresses the weak. Using the pronoun “he” when grammar calls for it also oppresses the weak. As of the current news cycle, taking tests at a college, doing math, or having a daughter who wears a Disney princess costume of a Polynesian at Halloween, are all forms of oppression.

What these have in common is that all are phantoms.

Now, obviously, no one can take these claims with even the slightest degree of seriousness. Even on their own terms, they make no sense.

If a woman is frustrated with the promotion offered in her current career, let her change jobs, or start her own business. Either you have the skill and drive and talent needed to win for yourself the high position you desire, or you do not. If you do, there is no need to wait for someone else to remove the alleged invisible barrier keeping you from the high position. If you do not, then being given the position as a gift will not give you the skill and drive and talent needed to face real adversity, a union riot or an antitrust lawsuit, fortune might then place between you and your further success.

Likewise, either alleged oppressors have the power to oppress the blacks or not. If they have the power, they would not bother to speak in whispers and codes. If they lack the power, the whispers and codes can be safely ignored, for then no one is being oppressed.

Likewise for micro-aggressions. If someone innocently offers you an undiscernibly small insult, and you are in a position to demand the innocent to apologize, you have power over him, not he over you.  You are the Grand Inquisitor here, and he the heretic in chains.

If he actually had the motive, opportunity, and power to oppress you, there would be visible signs of it: water fountains marked “colored” and “white”, governors standing in schoolhouse doors, police in riot gear with firehoses and attack dogs, death camps surrounded with barbed wire, and the whole visible apparatus of the state.

The alleged oppressors here do not actually have the power to oppress. Or do anything visible or obvious.

Far from being able to call upon armed men in riot gear to enforce Democrat-style Jim Crow laws, in America these days, anyone accused of racism, misogyny, or thoughtlessness to the hypersensitive feelings of any mascot of the Left faces social opprobrium, ostracization, loss of livelihood, and civil or even criminal penalties. In Europe, the penalties are more severe for even small infractions.

So the most that can be said for the Leftist narrative about glass ceilings, dogwhistles, and whispered non-insults is that the perpetrators, if they exist at all, are not more than a scattered, demoralized, and decimated remnant of a once-proud segregationist and slave-owning political party, now fallen, who comfort themselves by nursing a sullen resentment at the loss of their power to oppress blacks and women.

(That would be the party of racists Jefferson Davis, John C. Calhoun, Orval Faubus, George Wallace, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Robert C. Byrd, homophobe Fred Phelps, and women-abusers Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, and so on.)

Please note that there are careers in which a whispered campaign of lies can derail or kill a career, and where anonymous accusations bring on a witch-hunt. Obviously any field where there is a clear and obvious way of judging the merit of a man’s performance is not open to whisper campaigns. But in such fields as the theater, or academia, or politics, where one’s position can insulate one from the results of incompetence, such whispers would be all powerful.

Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of the coordinated hatred from a group of unemployed women, mentally ill men, or cowardly unmanly men, is well aware of how glass ceilings, dog whistles, and micro-aggressions work. The girls and crazies and girlish cowards never confront you directly, never criticize your work directly, but they giggle and offer insults in the form of indirect symbols whose symbolic value they themselves never publicly admit. They anonymously feed stories to a compliant press. They cheer wildly for things which seem to have no meaning, since they are all actually cheering for something else. And they fix the votes or fix the game, all the while accusing you of the same.

Please note the three fields where this is rampant: the theater, the academic world, and the halls of power.  Places where no one is judged on his work, only on his connections. Places where incompetents prosper. These are the places were the Left is paramount.

In sum, the secret conspiracy of oppressors we hear the Left endlessly bewailing exists, if at all, only among them, and only to oppress those who do not conform to their narrative.

Like Hollywood starlets forced into prostitution with overweight producers to win a desirable billing, who then complain about a patriarchy and a rape culture, the Leftists who whine about glass ceilings and dog whistles  are speaking of a world which they build for themselves, as a prison for themselves, but which they fear to blame on their gurus (who are also their jailers), and so blame on those who hold the only hope of liberation from their prison.

At this point, the candid reader might be thinking, “if glass ceilings, dog whistles, and micro-aggressions are by definition invisible, inaudible and impalpable, on what grounds does anyone assert that they actually exist?”

Well, the Left answers this question by shrieking like insane baboons if anyone raises it, slandering and libeling anyone who questions this or any other part of their dogma, and attempting to ruin their livelihood and life. This will deter the question from being asked.

It will not answer the question, of course, because there is no answer.

Leftism does not require grounds to make assertions. Only in a logical and rigorous form of thought, as legal or scientific reason, is precedent or observation or some other form of support offered to uphold an assertion.

In Leftist thought, statements are not statements of fact; they are statements of power.

There is a famous Chinese story of a time when a vizier, thinking the Emperor weak, and wishing to find out which courtiers would join him in rebellion, brought a deer into the court and called it a horse. The emperor politely corrected him, some courtiers agreed with the emperor. The vizier noted who these were, and later had them assassinated, exiled, or executed.

Hence, if a Chinese vizier points at a deer and calls it a horse, the other courtiers who agree with him agree because they fear or admire his power. Those who disagree expect their disagreement to be taken as an act of defiance. The courtiers who say “deer” are in the vizier’s camp and have expressed their loyalty. Those who say “horse” are his foes. Whether or not a horse is a horse never enters into the matter.

In Leftist thought, statements are neither true nor false. True and false are properties that only have a place in describing statements related to reality. “The sun rises in the East” is a statement, for example, that is true, but, if the sun ever were to rise in the west, would be false. “Bow to the idol!” is not a statement that can be either true or false. It is not a statement at all, but an imperative. It is a demand for loyalty.

But this is not the whole explanation. The Chinese vizier in the old story did not, after all, point to a gelding and call it a stallion, or point to a slow horse and call it fast. He did not demand the courtiers to say something haste or bad judgement might allow them honestly to believe. He demanded the courtiers say an obvious, blatant, unambiguous lie. Men place their flags on a flagpole so that they are above all obstructions and clear to see. The lie must be obvious, insolent in its disregard for truth, so that the falsehood is clear to see.

What kind of loyalty is being demanded?

The Leftwing narrative is not merely a political theory nor merely a worldview. It is an ideology. The difference between an ideology and a worldview is this:

A worldview is written in the indicative mood. it can be summed up in a list of statements which one believes to be true or false. An ideology is written in the imperative mood. It can only be summed as a list of duties and prohibitions.

An ideology is a heresy of Christian thought disguised as a political or economic policy. An ideology, by its nature, is something like a glass ceiling and a dog whistle, because it is a phantom that seems to be talking about one thing, but is actually talking about something else.

I say it is a Christian heresy because Ideology as a parasite on the Church. There are no Buddhist nor Shinto ideologies.

I use the word heresy advisedly. A heresy is the act of taking one branch of an organic whole of thought, ignoring its roots and consequences, inflating or elevating that branch out of its proper context, and then using it as a bludgeon to pummel all other branches of the teaching into silence. For example, the Pelagesian heresy took the doctrine of the free will of man to undermine the doctrine of the fall of man. Likewise Calvinism takes the doctrine of the omniscience of God to undermine the doctrine of the free will of man.

In the modern world, all ideologues, starting with French Revolutionaries and up though the Cultural Marxism of the Social Justice Warriors, take the doctrine of compassion for the poor and needy, and the doctrine that God is no respecter of persons, to undermine the doctrine of the fall of man. Man is saved not through Christ, but through Caesar, that is, through the alleged application of scientific reasoning to political and economic institutions. Man is naturally good and improvable, and will evolve into utopian perfection, once certain artificial sources of institutional evildoing and oppression are swept away, such a private property, inequality of income, or unconscious racism.

Heresies are also simplistic. They are, as said above, a reduction of an organic and balanced system of thought into a few simpleminded slogans.

Likewise, an ideology is a one-size fits all answer for all life’s problems: Black and white with no colors, no balancing act, no counting of costs versus benefits, no understanding of the tragic view of life.

Conservativism, by this definition, is not an ideology, for it regards the state merely as one social institution among many, and not the sole, nor even the primary institution. The state is the institution used to maintain law and order, enforce contracts, encourage virtue, and defend from invasion and trespass against natural rights. The free market is an institution for the exchange of goods and services peacefully; marriage is the institution for raising the young and building communities; the Church is the institution for prayer and sacrifice and learning the meaning of life; the arts are for expressing the glory of nature and nature’s great author; and so on. Each has its proper and organic place in the organism of society, and certain personal matters are beyond the reach of any institution.

But the heresy of ideology says all things are submissive to Caesar. Marriage is subordinate to the state; the market is subordinate to the state; the Church is most certainly subordinate to the state; all things serve the state, and even what thoughts are allowed or are forbidden to be expressed, public or private, conscious or unconscious, are all political matters, hence within Caesar’s purview.

Ironically, because ideologies are simplistic, one-sided, and false, all fail at what the attempt. Marxism says one can produce abundant wealth by eliminating all incentives to create it. Cultural Marxism says women can gain equality by helpless dependence on the state, blacks can gain equality by aggravating all mildest dispute with whites, and homosexuals can gain love and approval for their lifestyle by savagely demonizing the vast majority of straights, and rejecting all attempts at peaceful coexistence with them. The success rate of socialism, with between one hundred million and one hundred fifty million innocent men, women and children murdered, at producing peace and plenty is obvious to all but the willfully blind.

By the nature of ideology, they ideologue is and must be willfully blind. To cast doubt on the list of imperatives that comprise his ideology is one of the imperatives. To entertain any doubt, or to hear any debate, on any topic under the control of the ideologue is thoughtcrime. To doubt that America is racist is itself racism. To doubt any iota of the shrieking nonsense uttered by feminists is itself sexism. And so on.

Because they are blind, the natural limits of reality which cause the failure of their ideological Cloudcuckooland theories are invisible to them. Always and ever will the ideologue run into a boundary or barrier that halts upward progress, which always and ever he will not permit himself to see. To him it will be invisible. A glass ceiling.

Because they have left the realm of reason and reality, the ideologue is never talking about the topic of your debate with him. For example, suppose that after a horrific mass shooting, you want to debate a proper response to see it not to happen again. Naturally, you wonder about the foolish leftwing policy that prevents locking patients with dangerous insanity up in an asylum. But this is never discussed. The ideologue can only discuss, with ever increasing shrillness, frustration, and fury as he beats against an invisible glass ceiling, his hope that by taking guns away from sane and law-biding citizens, somehow, by unicorn-powered fairy glitter magic, the guns will vanish from the hands of the insane and the criminal. When you point out that unicorns do not exist, hence cannot make guns vanish, he responds by saying you are aiding and abetting the murders.

He is frustrated because he is pounding against a glass ceiling. The gun control laws cannot produce the unicorn glitter happy-land result he imagines. Gun control laws produce Chicago murder rates.

You think you are talking about gun control. You are really talking about whether government can solve the problem of evil.

Hence, this is a dog-whistle, that is, a conversation meant for the ears of his compatriots alone, which has a second meaning inaudible to normal people. He cannot and dare not say aloud what he is actually thinking, because, were he to say it, the falsehood and fatuous fatheadedness of the whole sacred list of his ideological imperatives would stand naked to the mocking gaze of reality. Fear prevents him.

His ideological system cannot work and never will, because, fundamentally, it is false-to-facts. To believe a fact because it is factual is something his moral code calls wrong, and a hate crime. See, for example, crimes rates among Blacks. To believe a falsehood because it is false, and the more outrageous the falsehood the better, is something his moral code rewards as a sign of absolute party loyalty. See, for example, evidence for manmade global warming.

And so reality irks him with countless tiny splinters of fact. No program ever seems to go right. The feminist is angered that men do not use their superior power over women to impose equality on women as a gift. The black rioters demand police abandon their neighborhoods to crime, and then they are angered when the crime rate rises.

For them, reality itself is an endless micro-aggression. It is an endless, tiny stream of buried and inaudible slights and slanders against the pretensions of the ideologues.

In reaction, the ideologue utters tiny and invisible insults against everyone around him. His continuous sniping, snarking, snarling and risible pose of moral and mental superiority to all mortal men is his retaliation to the mockery the reality makes of his stillborn and dreams.

So the world of phantoms is the world in which the Leftwinger actually lives. All about him is a hidden and apparently all-powerful foe. The foe taunts and mocks him, and eludes his grasp. He is everywhere and nowhere. Normal conversations between normal men now sound like the murmurings of conspirators. Facts and reality form invisible ceilings to progress. Gnat clouds of endless failures and insults accompany every moment. Everything actually is controlled by glass ceilings, dog whistles, and micro-aggressions.

The problem is that these phantoms are all produced by the ideologue himself. They form the thought prison in which he is trapped. They are the false narrative to which he is addicted, and which is slowly killing him, brain-first.

Granted, he placed the fetters on his own limbs with his own hands, and, like Oedipus, with his own thumbs drove out the eyes of common sense. He castrated his own conscience, he lobotomized his own reason, drove a stake through the heart of compassion and humanity in his own breast. We must pity the poor, suicidal fool even as we condemn his suicide. The pain he suffers is real, even if the phantoms he imagines to be causing it are no more than shadows in a looking glass.

The war with these phantoms is real, even if the phantoms are not real. It falls to us to undo all the damage his madness causes. Ask not whether it is fair that this task is ours. The hard fact is that if we do not bind up the wounds to civilization he makes, they will not be healed.

He blames us for his problems. We cannot salve his brow or solve his woe. His problem is spiritual. His savior is not Caesar.