Last Crusade 14: The Promise of Peace

The whole of that nameless modern movement which goes by a legion is names, whether it be called Political Correctness, Liberalism, Socialism, Collectivism, Totalitarianism, Humanism, Secularism, Hedonism or Nihilism, rests on one axiom of moral philosophy: moral agnosticism.

This axiom states that there is not and cannot be a well formed conscience, or a conscience which gives reliable, trustworthy, and universal information about the nature of right and wrong, on the grounds that there is no such thing as universal right and wrong, and that the conscience is a by-product of psychological conditioning by society.

The argument given by legion-named movement typically follows the form of questioning some traditional moral precept, such as chastity, and characterizes this rule is not being confirmed by science, and then takes some breach of that rule, such as incest or homosexuality, and justifies or glorifies it. Then if any man’s conscience troubles him over marrying his own sister, then the argument points at this as an example of the conscience misreading the nature of right and wrong.

Or, better yet, if a man’s conscience condemns the practices of sodomites living peacefully next door, teaching his children in school, or serving as his judge on the bench, but he himself suffers no immediate physical harm, this is also taken as a misreading by the conscience.

Moreover he, but not the sodomites, are condemned as standing in the breach of the public peace, on the theory that he teaching his children to disapprove of their harmless conduct will lead to discourtesy, then violence and oppression, whereas them teaching his children to embrace sexual deviance has no drawbacks.

The only cure, so say the moderns, to establish and peace and good will the man’s conscience threatens is to silence his conscience. He must be convinced that his conscience cannot tell him right from wrong, and that no one knows right from wrong.

Obviously this hoax convinces no one who believes the conscience perceives rather than invent moral reality; nor anyone who believes in the difference between a well-formed conscience and a malformed one; nor anyone who believe the conscience is the voice of God in man; no anyone who believes in the freedom of the conscience, or who believes it is wrong to coerce a man to act contrary to his conscience. This would imply that the conscience is a natural and objective faculty to perceive reality. This would imply that the conscience is natural.

The whole of that nameless modern movement rests on the axiom is that the conscience is manmade.

If the conscience of man were manmade, it would be a product of human willpower, or law, or custom, whereupon we could silence it by an act of will, or by abiding by different laws and customs. If the conscience were a matter of social programming, it could be silenced by adopting a new type of society.

The promise is that this will bring happiness, civility, and peace.

This is a fatal conceit.

First, the promised happiness does not come.

Why not? The conscience comes from heaven, not from society. All that happens when the whisper of heaven in the conscience is ignored is that the unease its message brings is blamed on society, specifically, on those members of society who seem not to be going along cheerfully with the regime of toleration. The conservatives. The Christians.

If you are a Christian, you can expect to be exposed to the sudden, unexpected yet mouth-frothing ire of some stranger in whom you have no interest because and only because you are not sufficiently helping him to perform some atrocity against the unborn or not sufficiently enthusiastic about desecrating a sacrament he wishes to deface.

This stranger is allowed to indulge in sick, sad, and sometimes inhuman vices. He is surrounded by a continual and unending barrage of applaud, praise, plaudits and cheers for his bravery, because and only because of his vice, whatever that happens to be.

So why does he also need your approval, support, tax money, and so on? The whole world is cheering him. Why does he need you to bake him a wedding cake, sign a marriage certificate, rent him a hall, pay for public radio to fill his ears with soothing fake news, and then pay for him to kill his unborn child?

It is because the same moral imperatives still operate in the human soul under the regime of toleration as under the old regime of decency and civility.

The world and the pleasures of the world cannot make him happy.

Merely because your conscience is in working order, it tells you the same message his would be telling him if he were listening. For the same reason his conscience has authority over him, your conscience has authority over him.

And he resents this.

Your conscience has authority over him even though you have no power over him. He knows adultery is wrong, even if it is no longer illegal, so he hates you. Your existence reminds him of how he ruined his life. He knows all fashion of self-destructive vices are wrong, even though they are no longer illegal, so he hates you. Your existence reminds him of how he ruined his life.

By the logic of the Dictatorship of Toleration, since you should not make him unhappy, and since there is no limit to the use of force, you should be forced to make him happy.

More to the point, by the logic of the Dictatorship of Toleration, your conscience lacks legitimacy because and only because it makes the vice-addicted sinner or the pervert unhappy.

Those charged with enforcing the law, always glad to expand their powers, agree. So his unhappiness grants him the right to use the force of the law to compel you to pretend, by any public sign he demands, that you approve of his sins and adore his evils.

Better yet, the alleged fear by a bored busybody that some theoretical stranger may perhaps someday be made unhappy by your lack of participation in shared sin, even if no one has expressed any unhappiness, is sufficient. Unlike a real court of law, or a real scientific proof, the Dictatorship of Toleration is allowed to use evidence that does not exist and rule on issues to which there are no parties and to solve cases where there is no complaint.

Because saying the Dictatorship should only solve real problems and should not try to solve imaginary problems would be a rule of legitimacy. It would be a standard. And standards are what antinomianism abolishes.

By the end of this convoluted process of avoiding thoughts and blinding oneself to obvious implications of one’s premises, the Despot comes to the conclusion that the vices of the vice-addict, merely because they make him unhappy, grant his desire to silence and destroy you legitimacy. Your conscience, merely because they make the vice-addict unhappy, robs your desires of any legitimacy. You no longer have a right to speak: your side gets no lawyer, no trial, no soapbox, no day in court.

The promised civility does not come.

In order for civility to exist, two strangers must hold each other in sufficient mutual respect that, when any disagreement arises, each one is willing to admit, if only for the sake of keeping the discussion civil, that he might be in the wrong.

In the case of legal disagreement, the only way to solve the dispute peacefully is when each one is willing to let his opponent also have his chance to persuade the jury, and each one is willing to submit to the verdict of the jury even if it goes against him. And each has a reasonable expectation the other is likewise willing.

But suppose a man were hauled into court by a child, or a madman, or a savage beast, and set before a jury of children, lunatics and beasts. There could be, in that case no expectation that the other side of the dispute were in its right wits, or were capable of grasping the moral gravity of the debate, or (depending on how young the child) capable of rational speech at all.

Such a man could not allow such an opponent nor such a jury to stand in judgment over him. He could not inspect carefully the exhibits the opposition brought in, nor listen carefully to the complex legal reasoning of the dumb animal, infant or lunatic allegedly establishing a case against him, because there could be no evidence, no reasoning. These are the categories of persons not capable of being held accountable to moral standards. All the man put on trial by the mad could do is talk in a soothing voice and back away, while groping around for a stout stick to use as a club

For the same reason we do not arrest children under seven for shoplifting, or a dog for trespassing, or punish a man who is too mentally ill to understand and control the nature of his actions, we do not put children, beasts, or madmen on trial or ask them to defend their innocence in legal debate.

This is the same light in which the theory and practice of antinomianism requires the Toleration Dictators to regard us.

Consider a single example of many. Suppose a man with no rancor in his heart, and no personal or partisan interest at stake on the topic, just so happens, after some reflection on questions of biology, psychology, philosophy and law, to reverse his longstanding opinion of many decades, and concludes the sexual attraction between persons of the same sex is imprudent and intemperate, therefore morally wrong.  If asked, he could give a step by step explanation of the evidence and logic driving him to this conclusion.

He is someone who honestly, and, with all due sympathy to those suffering from same-sex attraction, reluctantly comes to the conclusion that homosexuality is morally wrong.

I submit that, according to the dogmas that govern political correctness, including the overarching dogma of antinomianism, there is no way for that man to exist. According to political correctness, he is a homophobe. Hence, his opposition to sodomy is not honest; it is a mental illness. He opposes the glories of sodomy because and only because he is a living devil: no insult is too dark to blacken his name. No attempt can or will be made to talk him out of his position, because Political Correctness does not recognize that it is a position at all. It is a mental disorder, a phobia.

Indeed, according to Political Correctness, that man cannot be left in peace to hold that opinion. He might spread it to others. If a mentally unbalanced and potentially dangerous Christian fanatic were to overhear that man mouthing this hateful sentiment, violence would erupt. During the precarious time before the inevitable Christian backlash, riots, internment camps, and mass lynching of gays, many persons of alternate sexual orientation might be exposed to fear for their lives, or subjected cruelly to a type of subliminal and invisible insult called a micro-aggression. That man has no right to free speech, because his speech is hate speech, which is practically the same as an act of overt violence. He must be denied any public platform to spread his views.

In sum, in their eyes, the honest man does not have a case to bring to court, no more than does a child, madman, or brute beast.

Their worldview does not allow the possibility of an honest man coming to the conclusion that any Politically Correct dogma is wrong or bad. If any politically incorrect stance were a legitimate position, it could not be dismissed sight unseen. A homophobe would be a man worthy of respect. His view would be one that reasonable, if mistaken, persons could hold in good faith.

And if so then … this is the crucial point … it would not automatically bestow a crown of moral and mental superiority to reject that opinion sight unseen. Indeed, it would be an act of close-mindedness, a snap-judgment, even a bigotry to do so.

Virtue would once again be granted legitimacy and vice would be illegitimate.

As things stand now in the mind of the Dictators of Tolerance, merely repeating or reciting the bumper-sticker sized slogans of the dogmas of Political Correctness win you, without any thought or effort, the reputation among your peers of being enlightened. You can claim the laurels of being as wise as the Scarecrow of Oz, as good-hearted as the Tin Man, and, because the dogma says conformity to the received opinion of the Left is actually nonconformist iconoclasm, you are as brave as the Cowardly Lion.

But, of course the Wizard of Oz in the film is a humbug, a fraud. He grants none of these qualities: he merely pins on medals, certificate, and honorariums as an outward show of brains, heart, and courage.

So here.

Bu this laziness of gaining the plaudits for virtue by the act of denouncing virtue works if and only if the virtuous stance is one that is rejected as too abominable even to be discussed.

The moment any other politically incorrect stance is upheld as being, even if wrong, worthy of a respectful hearing, the Toleration Dictator’s powers to declare certain topics outside the pale of accepted thought is curtailed. Hence there is a use of power that is illegitimate.

And the act of thinking and weighing the options between being pro-gay and anti-gay (or any other politically correct issue) now becomes respectable, that is, not deserving of instant condemnation. Which means being anti-gay is not deserving of instant, easy and unthinking condemnation.

Notice what that implies.

That implies that a politically correct Toleration Despot who condemns a homophobe without a fair hearing, condemns without authority. He came to the right answer by illegitimate means. He himself is what he condemns: a man of careless judgment hence a bigot.

Likewise, the honest but mistaken homophobe, under this hypothetical, comes to the wrong answer by legitimate means, and therefore is merely an innocent victim of ignorance and error, not a plague-bearing devil-worshipping traitor to all that is good to be burned in the public square.

This creates the very thing antinomianism was designed to obliterate, a distinction between force and authority, that is, a difference between legitimate and illegitimate uses of force.

If some uses of force are illegitimate, totalitarianism is no longer an option; and if using force to stop certain crimes and immoral acts is legitimate, the moralism, morality and the rule of law, living life by a standard, once again prevails.

More to the point, if any of our positions (including such issues not normally considered to have any moral implications, such as alleged manmade changes to global weather patterns) were actually worthy of respect, and actually had a right to a platform and a trial in the court of public opinion, then legitimacy reverts to the standard and traditional morality, including such moral standards as justice rather than social justice, or fairplay rather than victimology, and political correctness is abolished.

Being civil to their polite opponents would destroy the whole intellectual superstructure of these Tolerance Despots at one blow.

The mob does not riot against those with whom it holds a respectful disagreement. The mob does not agree to abide by the solemn outcome of a regular and lawful trial. The mob only counts votes when it wins the vote. When it loses, there is no vote.

Finally, the promised peace does not come.

For its part, the officers and judges enforcing the law and inflicting punishments are likewise not bound to be lawful, honest, or honorable in their conduct or in their use of the powers of the law entrusted to them, provided only that this power is used for expedient goals of practical politics, that is, to bedevil the opposite party, no matter the issue, and no matter who is right or wrong.

It is not that the antinomians openly advocate corruption: it is that their worldview does not admit of the category of corrupt or non-corrupt. They are not able to imagine an honest system of laws, because, as said above, they are not able to categorize anything as a legitimate use of force. To them, all property is theft and all authority figures are tyrants, robbers, and pirates.

In recent years, this idea has been carried to the point of logical absurdity. For the delicate men of this generation, even to voice a strong opinion, or voice a belief that you are right and another is wrong, is illegitimate, since voicing this opinion might bring another man to fear the possibility of force being used on him to bring him into conformity with your standard.

And even here the madness does not stop. Just today I read where a public figure who, to avoid the occasion of sin, abides himself by a rule that he never dines alone with any woman not his wife, subject to the most scathing obloquy and invective. Any example of abiding by any moral standards is also somehow a tyranny fettering and scourging the oppressed, on the grounds that a silent example of good and decent behavior might trigger a spontaneous eruption of mob-violence against the freespirited freethinkers among us.

Force, of course, is used abundantly and to excess whenever this philosophy gains political power: see the Terror of the French Revolution for details, and the genocides (note the plural) under socialist regimes in Germany, Russia, China, and, indeed, anywhere socialism triumphs. In China, North Korea, and Cambodia, the use of force ran free of any possible goal, and it was merely done out of an absentminded lust for terror. Bloodshed for the sake of bloodshed.

At the same time, and with no blush at the staggering magnitude of his cyclopean hypocrisy, the antinomian condemns all uses of force as illegitimate. But ‘all’ does not mean ‘all’.

Owning a gun to shoot a Muslim terrorist who is shooting one hundred people in a gay bar in Florida is illegitimate: you are not allowed to use force to stop him. But he is allowed to use force to wound or kill you. Because diversity.

This high-minded pacifism only applies to us, never to them.

The pattern is obvious once it is seen, but any honest man should be reluctant to see it, out of a natural unwillingness to believe the worst in his follow human beings. But the pattern is there: the enemy regards vice, including violence against the innocent, as having moral authority. That is why they defend terrorists and communists and anyone else willing to destroy civilization. The enemy regards virtue as lacking moral authority. That is why they mock and berate virtuous men, and their most venom are reserved, not for the vices of those mocked and berated, but their virtues.