It is said that heaven created Man and blessed him with the gift of speech; which hell out of envy corrupted with the power of telling falsehoods; but that heaven, which forever makes good out of evil, inspired man with gift of poetry, so that we can use the power of fiction to tell truths too deep for literal words.

But what can remove the gift of poetry?

For someone has removed this gift, not from one or two, but from a majority of creative works currently dominating the commanding heights of the market.

It is not just a mystery, but a shocking one. It is not just a corruption, but a blasphemous one: an entire generation has seen all their most beloved franchises, fictions, movies and myths demeaned and desecrated before their eyes.

And, piling Pelion on Ossa, the old, strong, inspiring works of art have been swept away, and replaced with wretched.

It happened to the fine arts, opera, symphony, painting, sculpture, poetry, before I was born, and happened to popular art, films, television shows, comic books, in this decade.

We have music without melody or harmony, images without proportion or perspective, poetry without rhyme or meter, and all as malformed and grotesque and unsightly as the product of mental aberration.

Here is the puzzle: For most of my life, it was quite clear that those of the frame of mind called then liberal — albeit, even then, this was not a literal term — included many gifted and creative talents, authors, playwrights, musicians, players.

Indeed, in history, Christian poets, Dante and Milton, cannot in justice claim any marked superiority over Virgil and Homer and other pagan predecessors. To give the devil his due, post-Christian poets and romantics, like Byron, likewise showed a remarkable muse.

Likewise, during my own youth, those called liberal working in the popular arts, films, novels, dance, music, were more numerous, and, with rare exceptions, more gifted than those of a conservative frame of mind.

Within the narrow limits of my own preferred genre, science fiction, the anti-establishment, youth-movement, sexually liberated, and pro-civil-rights worldview was vehemently and overwhelmingly represented.

Those, such as Bob Heinlein or Ayn Rand, who were politically conservatives on some issues, such as military or economic questions, were more often than not revolutionary on other issues, such as atheism or sexual liberation.

For every C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Cordwainer Smith, Gene Wolfe, Walter M. Miller, or Orson Scott Card writing from a Christian perspective, one can list ten men of heathen or secular perspective lauded with the greatest fame our genre can bestow.

Say what you like about their politics, the radicals knew how to tell a good story. The heretics and witches knew how to make their Gnostic worldview, and the promise of an orgy-filled utopia among the stars, seem very appealing.

But something happened.

Conservatism was labeled and libeled as hate speech, and conservatives were actively abolished, by a concerted effort of child-molesters and their enablers, from official fandom and institutional publication houses in this decade. John Scalzi of SFWA and Patrick Hayden of Tor spearheaded the effort: they were not shy about their goals.

Instead of Gene Roddenberry making stories to say men cannot be free in utopia or George Lucas saying men must fight their dark side, we now have Kathleen Kennedy and Rian Johnson making stories to say free men are toxic, and that the fight is pointless, for the light offers no more answers than the darkness.

Those usually called Liberals died or retired and were replaced by those we, for this essay, can call Progressives. Both names are inaccurate.

Let me explain, because the Enemy forever changes its name, knowing well that it loses all power when called by its true name.

Technically, a liberal is one who opposes in principle a class system or caste system, and favors individual liberty founded in a theory of the natural rights of man, with government merely the night watchman protecting, but not bestowing, those rights.

The word was appropriated by slow degrees to mean those who interpret a difference of wealth or sex or race to be a type of class or caste system, and who favor government retracting and reordering the rights its bestows, particularly the right to property, so as to achieve utopian egalitarianism.

Liberal originally meant abolishing distinctions between aristocrat and commoner to hold them both equal under one natural law. Gradually it came to mean abolishing distinctions between male and female, using the law to counteract any inequalities or disparities or differences of any kind.

Our forefathers held it to be unfair social artifice for noblemen and peasants to be assigned different rank by birth; the modern holds it equally unfair and artificial for male and female to be assigned different sex by birth: Not sexual roles like nurse or maid, mind you, but biological sex, like bearing rather than siring offspring.

The craving for equality went from a desire to prevent the abuse of the force of law to create differences or rank and class and legal code, and came to mean the use of the force of law to abolish all differences of any kind, natural or artificial, including differences springing from differences in talent, application, merit or good fortune.

Wise and fool, lazy and diligent, drunk and sober, lawful and criminal, male and female, one and all must be brought to perfect homogeneity.

The glorious leader, and an elite clique of our mental and moral superiors, must abolish all limits to elite power in order to effect this reordering, hence abolish equality in order to achieve equality.

The masters were to control all aspects of thought, word and deed of the serviles, in order to force one and all into a social condition where none can envy another.

In short, the word came to mean the opposite of its true meaning.

Likewise, a progressive, technically, is one who holds that fate has a direction, moving forever from the primitive to the advanced, from the barbaric to the enlighten.

The word was appropriated by those who regard constitutional and limited government, private property, sexual dimorphism, to be backward and morally derelict, if not outright evil, and promote chaos and anarchy to destroy it.

How a return to benighted primitive tribalism is enlightened progress is a mystery of their faith.

But make no mistake. As Protestantism came out of Catholicism or Catholicism from Judaism, the common origin does not imply a common identity.

Liberalism and Progressivism are at odds. Liberalism, albeit using the wrong means, sought to promote justice. Progressivism promotes social justice. The two are opposite.

Liberals mistrust big business. They mistrust the CIA and FBI. They cheer for Soviet Russia They are pro-Israel, pro-Free Speech, and wish any men to worship as he sees fit, so long as no one imposes his beliefs on another. The Liberals favor Hugh Hefner’s view of life, and think pornography harmless.

Most of all, the Liberal is a man who follows the dictum of Martin Luther King, to judge each man not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. Liberals are color-blind.

By way of contrast, Progressives have a near monopoly on the corporate culture, particularly Silicon Valley. They adore big business and demand it use its power to affect political outcomes.

Progressives (at least as the weathervane of current season turns) side with the CIA and FBI, and regard inquiries into corruption in those bureaucracies to be treasonous. They fear Russia and routinely accuse political adversaries of being traitors in the pay of Russia.

Progressives (in all seasons) are vehemently anti-Israel and anti-Jew. Free speech is hate speech. They applaud political Islam and hate Christianity and seek its removal, first from the public square, and then from all of life.

Sexual liberation is the male gaze in action, so that any healthy sexual allure between male and female is to be discouraged: only sodomy, lesbianism, and pederasty are encouraged.

Most of all, Progressivism is racism.

The race they hate is the majority in America, that is, whites, which is an unusual approach, but merely calling someone “white” is enough to quell all dialog and halt all reasoning. Any blacks who do not fit the stereotyped view of blacks is a race-traitor, an Uncle Tom, or an Oreo.

For the Progressive, colorblindness is racism, which means antiracism is racism. A is not-A.

The old Liberalism no longer wields any detectable influence on the outcome of any political debate. It is dead. It was killed off by Progressivism, Inter-sectionalism, Social Justice Feminism, or whatever one wishes to call the psychopathology of these vampiric creatures.

The vampires hollowed Liberalism out from the inside and donned the flayed skin, hoping to cash in on the prestige Liberalism earned while alive, all the time doing the opposite of what Liberalism did.

The Enemy, which in this column, for brevity’s sake, I am calling Progressivism, did the same thing to institutional science, to academia, to the news media and corporate culture and the publication industry and the Boy Scouts and the Homo-Episcopalian church, to any other institution foolish enough to allow the vampires a foothold in their organization.

The so-called Liberals of my youth do share some surface features in common with their Progressive doppelgangers: but this is more a matter of protective coloration on the part of the vampires than any honest meeting of the minds. Liberals support women’s equality; Progressives support Muslim misogyny, but will ‘believe all women’ when and only when a woman is leveling a false accusation of sexual misconduct against a Republican.

But one thing the Progressives cannot and did not copy from the Liberals whose flayed skin they now wear is their artistic talent. There is no Progressive Gene Roddenberry or Stan Lee.

Liberals could tell good stories to serve their own self interests, and make their hodgepodge of sentimentalism and economic illiteracy sound good.

They were subtle and persistent across generations in their efforts, and were successful enough in Christian-majority nations, to drive Christianity into ashamed silence.

For some reason, the Progressives cannot tell a story to promote their world view. They cannot make good propaganda.

Instead of Star Wars this generation has The Last Jedi, and instead of Star Trek, has Discovery and Picard. For Doctor Who, we have The Timeless Child. For Terminator, we have Dark Fate.

Charlie’s Angels and Ghostbusters and Karate Kid were all remade with ugly girls replacing pretty girls, girls replacing boys, black replacing white, but, sadly, with nothing new, interesting, or charming added.

Superheroes were more savagely deconstructed: For Superman we are have Zack Snyder’s surly, murderous, craven Man of Steel. Wearing the Batman suit (made perfect because it fits a woman) have Ruby Rose’s Batwoman, whose sole claim to fame is a disordered sexual appetite.

Supergirl, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Flash on CW started as top-notch television, but died of terminal political correctness.


For the emerald-green, curvaceous and sharp-witted She-Hulk as envisioned by John Byrne, we have something literally gray, scarred, and grotesquely ugly.

For Captain America, we have Hydra Cap. For Thor, we have Fat Thor. We are also graced with  Jane Foster as Thor, of which the less said, the better. Our Hawkeye is Kate Bishop. Our Hulk is Amadeaus Cho. Spiderman is Miles Morales. Iron Man is Riri Williams. Wolverine is Laura Kinney.


The New Warriors say farewell to Night Thrasher, Kid Nova, and Firestar, &c, to make way for non-binary, incest-petting, genderflipped Snowflake and Safespace, and body-positive Trailblazer, &c.



In comics and in computer games, female characters, once drawn to proportions of ideal if not overly-ample beauty, are now routinely portrayed as square-jawed, short-haired, flat-chested, narrow-hipped. See Last of Us Part 2 for an example.

American Female Character Design (L)l Japanese Female Character Design (R)

American Female Design (L) Japanese Female Design (R)

And the stories are boring and badly crafted. Compare the magnificently satisfying plot-twist and death of Emperor Palatine in Return of the Jedi with the silly chump-death of Snoke in Last Jedi.

At the time of this writing, Hollywood announced thirty new movies to be released in late 2020 and early 2021. Every and every one is a sequel.

Ponder that for a moment. Not a single attempt at any new story. Not one.

For the record, this is the list: Avatar 2, Jurassic World: Dominion, Fast 9, Rush Hour 4, Black Panther II, Captain Marvel II, The Boss Baby 2, Coming 2 America, Sing 2, Fantastic Beasts 3, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Peter Rabbit 2, Escape Room 2, G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes, Halloween Kills, Godzilla vs. Kong, Matrix 4, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Thor: Love and Thunder, Wonder Woman 1984, Hotel Transylvania 4, Baby Driver 2, Tomb Raider 2, Aquaman 2, Hobbs & Shaw II, Aladdin II, Star Trek 4, John Wick 4, The Croods 2, and Venom II.

Even the Soviet Empire, a nest of evil of which Satan has never inflicted a more degraded and deranged on weeping mankind, even they could make movies worth watching, that is, stories showing (1) originality (2) craftsmanship (3) effectiveness.

Originality does not mean the story ignores artistic norms and traditions, but it does mean that the maker makes new use of what is old or ancient or eternal; craftsmanship means anything from tolerable workmanlike competence to true genius and everything between; effectiveness means the comedy brings laughs, the tragedy, tears, which is to say, that the hearts is touched and eye opened in the way meant.

Sergei Eisenstein’s 1938 Alexander Nevsky is Soviet propaganda meant to stir the patriotism of the Russian people, and provoke hatred toward Germans and Christians. Nonetheless, it also appeals to eternal truths, including brotherhood, bravery, duty; and the craftsmanship is as good as anything in the West. The musical score by Sergei Prokofiev is a work of art by itself.

Likewise, the 1967 comedy  A Prisoner of the Caucasus starring the Soviet version of the Three Stooges is actually well-done slapstick, charming, and the songs are singable.

Here are two films, a serious and a comedic, produced by the most openly evil and inhuman regime in human history — and yet the films are good, and worth watching decades later.

Why could Liberals in the West and Soviets in the East craft good art and effective propaganda, but modern Progressives produce nothing but spew?

The answer is that modern Progressives are not modern. They are postmodern. The social justice woke scolds have passed beyond the jejune egalitarianism and utopian daydream of the Liberal, and beyond the murderous ideology of the Marxist mass-murderer, into something emptier and worse. They are nihilists.

It was a comic book reviewer and fellow Catholic called RJ of the Island who runs a Youtube channel called Fourth Age. It is he who proposes a sound and satisfying answer to the conundrum. My answer parallels his.

The answer rests on a correct understanding and identification of what nihilism is, and what art is.

What is nihilism?

Nihilism is not a gloomy disposition or an affectation of wearing dark lipstick. It is a philosophical, namely, a metaphysical doctrine.

It also happens to be the default unspoken metaphysical assumption of our age: that your truth is not necessarily my truth, because all truth is born of arbitrary consensus, not reality.

The great appeal of this doctrine is that it promises peace. The postmodern mind, seeing the world wars and global tumults of the past century, and despairing at the thought of distinguishing the honest and truthful ideals of the Christian West from the blood-drenched totalitarian psychopathy of Communism, Nazism, and Islam, comes to the absurdly shallow conclusion that loyalty to ideals caused all the world conflicts in history.

Merely have all men reject all higher loyalties, and political and religious fidelity, and abandon all property ownership and means of keeping alive, so the promise runs, and all conflict ceases.  Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try; no hell below us, and above us only sky. Imagine all the people living for today…

Except that the soulless ciphers living without the means to live, and nothing for which to live, and no sense of the future, are fit only to occupy the slave-pen or the grave. What is being described by this promise of peace via preemptive surrender of human faith, aspiration, and life, is not a human consciousness.

Some men are weary of the burden of manhood and wish to return to beast-nature, chewing filth and being fed on schedule by the swineherd.

Such is the emotional appeal of Nihilism. Such is the sole paradise that can be imagined by those who scoff at Paradise.

Our ancestors, in accord with the writings of Grotius and Hooker, Aquinas, Cicero, Aristotle, Socrates, and Moses, held that right reason, that is, reason correctly inclined, revealed to man the truth of a moral law that was not man-made, but eternal; and which superseded and justified the laws and customs of a given city or nation.

Reason not only served the role of revealing scientific truths about physical objects to the mind, but also the role of distinguishing well-formed from ill-formed judgments to the wise.

The stock responses art intends to encourage in the young are also based on right reason: that the lovely should be loved and the hateful hated is not instinctive, but learned, and proper art breathes into the young a due regard for such ideals as truthfulness and patriotism, respect for the old, chivalry toward women and enemies, compassion for the weak — none of these sentiments are natural to Fallen Man.

Right reason hence not only settles disputes about, for example, whether two bodies of different weights fall at the same rate of acceleration, but also questions of virtue and vice, fair and foul.

The ancients properly regarded these things as objective hence firmly in the realm of reason; the modern fashion is to dismiss without examination this idea that moral or aesthetic judgment is objective.

If there is actually an argument to prove the point, I have yet to encounter it. I have been fortunate enough to have read all the major works of all the major philosophers in the West: the argument in not in the material I know.

As best I can tell, subjectivism is a fashion, not a philosophy. It is an unwillingness to address theological arguments, hence to decapitate philosophy. Philosophy without theology is limited in its aims and powers, and cannot address questions of epistemology and ontology without paradox or whim. So writers like Hume, Hobbes, Nietzsche, Marx, as a matter of whim, put ethical and aesthetic questions to one side, and the modern world follows the fashion.

Nihilism is this fashion carried over from ethics and aesthetics to metaphysics.

Nihilism is the rejection of any universal or transcendent truths, or any coherent universal explanation, model, or narrative meant to explain all aspects of life.

Nihilism, in a word, is the rejection of truth.

Nihilism by its nature is anti-intellectual and irrational, because its foundational proposition is self-refuting: a proposition that there is no truth, if true, is false.

Nihilism is also purely destructive. From the self-refuting premise saying it is true that there is no truth, there is no middle premise possible, no conclusion, no punchline, nowhere to go.

Whatever other ideas one holds cannot avoid contradiction with this foundation: nothing can be built on this ground.

The sole mental act of the Nihilist is to point at another worldview and dismiss it as false on the ground that all things are false.

The Nihilists of this generation add a corollary to this axiom: that all alleged truths are merely “narratives” that is, deceptions offered in bad faith meant to lull and cozen the unwary to adopt an unjust social order that victimizes and exploit them to the benefit of their oppressors.

Loyalty to narrative is not based on truth or coherence — there is no truth and logic is suspect — but instead is based on identity politics.

Whites believe in a “white” narrative and males in a “male” narrative and non-perverts in a “heteronormitive” narrative, which are ultimately arbitrary social constructs.  For a black or a female to believe the narrative of another race or sex is contemptible treason.

Naturally, anyone attempting to argue in favor of any position, or to use reason in any capacity whatsoever on any topic, can and must be dismissed as a false narrative, on the grounds that all narratives are false.

Any reasoning on the topic can and must be rejected as an affront tantamount to physical violence because, by definition, to believe a narrative to declare loyalty to deceptions offered in bad faith.

By definition, there is no honest nor rational opposing arguments to be heard: all who disagree are not merely wrongheaded, not just evil, but utterly and absolutely evil.

It is for this reason that no moderation in the accusations of bad faith will ever be heard: no one of alternate viewpoint will be called mistaken, when he can be called Hitler, and he will always be accused of wishes physical harm on the innocent, because racism and physical harm are the sole evils the modern mind acknowledges.

To be unwilling to enforce by law the use the preferred pronoun of someone suffering sexual dysphoria, for example, is tantamount to a wish to erase his entire existence: not just murder, but to consign his memory to oblivion. No accusation of evil is too extreme, because, in a world without right reason, no words have meaning, only emotional impact.

That this corollary (all untruth is racism) directly contradicts their axiom (there is no truth) causes the postmodern mind no difficulty, because logic was discarded by their axiom.

For the Nihilist, no objective standard can exist. In no case is there anything like a law,  a form, a pattern, an ideal.

What is art?

Philosophers have been debating such topic since the dawn of time, and so our conclusions here can only be tentative and partial. I cannot speak of everything art is, but I can speak of certain things all artists know.

I will confine my remarks to poetry, since that is the mother of literature, my own field, but where parallel considerations apply to other arts, the same conclusions obtain.

Art, whatever else it is, takes an inspiration from the imagination of the artist and produces a visible or audible product. In Anglo-american law, the idea is not subject to copyright, and the finished work is. The inspiration exists in the realm outside of time and space where ideas live. The work exists inside the realm of time and space, and has duration and other physical properties.

In other words, the story ‘Lord of the Rings’ by JRR Tolkien exists nowhere but the imagination, but the hardback book ‘Lord of the Rings’ by JRR Tolkien is a physical object occupying space on my bookshelf. One is a representation of the other.

When the reader reads a storybook, if his knowledge not just of the language and symbolism, but also the genre tropes and human nature and worldview being portrayed is sufficient, the words will act like seeds in his imagination, and give rise to an image of secondary world, and the reader will be inspired by the same inspiration the author drew upon.

Despite their differences in experience and taste, they will see the same imaginary thing.

Despite the sameness of the imaginary thing, the differences in experience and language will offer different aspects of the imaginary thing being seen. Where there has been a failure of the artist’s craft or the reader’s grasp, or too great a difference in experience, the artwork will fail, and the reader will be unable to see what the artist intended.

Now, the mystery of art is that not all things imagined are created equal. Some art is deep while other is shallow.

Some images in the imagination are merely the by-product of taking apart one object seen and pasting its attributes upon another, with no rhyme or reason.

A man sees a fire, a goat, a snake and a lion, and in his imagination he pictures as fire-breathing tripartite beast called a chimera. Or he grants a woman’s head to a lioness and makes a sphinx; or a hag’s face to a vulture and makes a harpy.

But notice the difference between these mythical monsters, who represent fury, or mystery, or envy, and something like the Slithy Tove in Jabberwocky, who are described as “something like badgers, they’re something like lizards, and they’re something like corkscrews.It is not an image that lends itself easily to the imagination, and can be nothing but absurd and comical. Toves represent nothing and mean nothing, aside from an oddity meant to raise a smile — which they do.

The chimera and the sphinx, the dragon and the unicorn, seem somehow to take on a life of their own.

No simple description can capture and convey what these mythic images mean, and no one can discern the depths of every connected association conjured up by archetypes of such far-reaching resonance.

By way of example, let us ponder a description of a unicorn from Peter S Beagle’s masterpiece:

  She did not look anything like a horned horse, as unicorns are often pictured, being smaller and cloven-hoofed, and possessing that oldest, wildest grace that horses have never had, that deer have only in a shy, thin imitation and goats in dancing mockery. … the long horn above her eyes shone and shivered with its own seashell light even in the deepest midnight. She had killed dragons with it, and healed a king whose poisoned wound would not close, and knocked down ripe chestnuts for bear cubs.

And here is an equally memorable description of a dragon from J.R.R. Tolkien, in this case, in the words of the dragon himself:

“I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong, strong, Thief in the Shadows!” he gloated, “My armor is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!”

Using such archetypes in a flatfooted way, where the dragon represents greed and the unicorn means chastity, that and nothing more, this is the hallmark of allegory, not of poetry.

As with these chimerical creatures and mythic archetypes, so, too, for all true poetic creation. Whenever we refer to a grasping miser as ‘a Scrooge’ or a bachelor who scorns marriage as ‘a Benedict’, we pay to these invented characters the same homage we pay to Biblical and historical figures when we call a wicked woman ‘A Jezebel’ or a traitorous puppet ‘a Quisling.’

And likewise, not just with characters, but with whole epics and operas, painting and sculpture and symphony and every form of honest artistic expression.

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony means something, and it means something profound. It is something that cannot be put into words, albeit, perhaps the words of Schiller’s Ode to Joy comes as close as words can come to expressing it.

Likewise, Keat’s Ode on a Grecian Urn is less than four hundred words together, but what has been written on it to express and explain its meaning fill volumes.

Deep art is called deep because there is something which the ancients called the muse, some divine source of inspiration, something mysterious, which allows an artist to work. The muse allows an artist to grasp what cannot be grasped. She allows the poet to take an abstract concept or principle or archetype and make it concrete.

The muse allows the poet to take some archetypal thing that exists only in the shared dream-realm of the race, or in our highest aspirations, or in the unseen realms of heaven or hell, or in the Platonic realm of pure abstractions where bloodless images of truth and justice, as naked as angels, stand in all their stark simplicity, and capture this abstract form in a material and sensible expression, something to be seen and heard and understood. This is what true art is.

Even simpler forms of art, such as what is found in the nursery, nonsense penned by Lewis Carroll or Dr. Seuss, touch upon things deeper than at first seem: such as a talking egg whose glory is that words mean only what he commands them to mean; or a youth who has such troubles in getting to Solla Sollew, where they never have troubles (or at least very few), that he arms himself with a big bat with a view to trouble his troubles with a beating or two.

A superhuman disguised as a mild-manner reporter is a living symbol of chivalrous humility; a nocturnal avenger dressed as a bat is a living symbol of the evils evildoers visit on themselves; a smart mouthed teen bitten by a radioactive spider learns the terrible lesson — only after a death in the family — that with great power comes great responsibility.

These things are simple, but also deep. Such characters are principles made incarnate: chivalry, justice, duty.

They have appeal far beyond their original target audience, beyond a single year, or generation, or language, because the truths to which they speak are eternal and universal.

Superman and Hercules, like the child Arthur washed ashore by the ninth wave, or Moses found by the Nile bank in a basket, are foundlings sent to save the people, and anyone of any age or era can enter and dwell in such a tale and let it enter and dwell in him. How is this possible?

It is possible if and only if there is a common mental realm all minds see or grasp, or common experience transcending particular times, places, viewpoints, or ideas. Universal and eternal art is possible if and only if universal and eternal ideas are open to the mind.

Such an idea is the the idea behind particular ideas. Such an idea is called a form, an archetype, a principle.

Art, in other words, whatever else it also is, is at least this:

Art is the incarnation of principle.

Poetry is taking an image, either shallow and local or archetypal and eternal, from the realm of the unseen and abstract, and finding a concrete and visible or audible expression of it in the concrete.

A story that exists in the unseen realm of the imagination produces a book one can hold in one’s hand, holding words one’s eye or ear can see or hear.

Some art is so shallow that is it not art at all, but merely propaganda. Propaganda akin to Pavlovian conditioning where two ideas are presented as connected or associated, so that, by brute repetition, the one comes eventually to stand for the other in the mind of the patient.

Pavlovian propaganda does not operate by any appeal to the reason. It is not rhetoric, not a fallacious argument. It is not an argument at all. It is merely the repeated image conjoined with another image to build up a response where the emotional reflex conjured by the first, now evokes the second.

An example will clarify: wholesome people have admiration for stalwart heroes and respect for venerable old women. This is not merely found in Christian and Jewish worldviews, but also in Norse, Classical, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese. The Catholic who bows to the Virgin respects motherhood no less than the Confucian who pays homage to his grandmother.

In order to deconstruct and destroy such instinctive responses in the audience, it is a commonplace of Progressive entertainment to show heroes as shame-faced failures to be berated and slapped, and old women as foul-mouthed termagants.

See, for example, scenes of Poe the hotshot pilot being slapped by elderly Leia or belittled by sneering Holdo in Last Jedi, or watch a meek and dog-whipped Picard be tongue-lashed by a foul-mouthed old hag in Star Trek: Picard.

Speaking only for myself, I have never felt the impulse to slap and old lady in the mouth until I saw the scene of She-Admiral Clancy dropping the f-bomb in Star Trek.

The Pavlovian response being built up in the audience by such antics is heroism is unheroic and the venerable are not to be venerated. Heroes are halfwits and hags need gags.

One assumes the Pavlovian response intended is to show that woman can be as equally manly as men; but when concocted by dimwits who confused orc-talk for virile virtue, the intent it thwarted, and the opposite of the intended result obtains.

Now, no good story can be built on the principle that heroism is not admirable and that old age is worthy only of contempt. Not even a good horror story or a comedy can be reared on this foundation.

To be sure, the comedy of a senile fool or a horror of a hypocritical hero can make for a perfectly fine story; but in both cases, the comedy is only comical if old age is actually worthy of respect and the comedic fool violates that accepted standard, and likewise with a monster mimicking a hero. Having Santa Claus be an ax murderer is only horrific if the audience respects Santa Claus as the patron saint of childhood innocence.

But on the false foundation of postmodernism, where all narratives are false, there can be no respect for the innocence of youth, no reverence for the wisdom of age, no admiration for the self sacrifice of heroes, nor can any fair damsel be saved, because no one is fair and no one is worth saving.

If there is no truth, then all differences of interest and opinion and all contrary claims of any sort are irreconcilable by  any standard of law, fairmindedness, or justice.

If there is no truth, there is nothing but power. Justice is the will of the stronger, or, rather “justice” and “fair-play” is a fable used by the strong to deceive the weak into accepting their terms of submission. This fable is called a narrative. As soon as this false consciousness is put aside, the “woke” become aware of their degraded condition, and can and must resort to violence to overcome the opposition of their oppressors.

The woke, in this case, have no rights that have been violated, and no redress in justice, since all talk of “rights” and “justice” are likewise merely a deceptive fable.

The woke resort to violence not because resorting to violence is permitted when justice cannot be achieved by lawful means  — there is no justice in the Nihilist worldview — but only because there is not now, and never has been, anything but violence as the basis of all human interaction and all human institutions.

For the Nihilist, all human relationships, between man and wife, mother and child, friend and friend, teacher and student, lord and subject, priesthood and laity, law and citizen, poet and patron — all, all, all human interactions are expressions of the underlying power struggle, a Darwinian struggle for supremacy, which continues without quarter and without mercy between all living things.

To be woke means to be enlightened to the reality that there is no reality, to be smitten with the injustice of the fact that there is no injustice, to be aware of the fact that human awareness is a biochemical brain-illusion, and to bow the knee to the sacred truth that there is no truth, and nothing divine.

The woke open their eyes and see only darkness and void. Theirs is the enlightenment of the benighted.

So why can the Progressives make no progress when it comes to making art?

Why cannot even a single workmanlike sequel to the goldmines of long-established and well-beloved film franchises or  comicbook series be made?

Why can the Progressive not even pen effective propaganda to spread her own message?

Even the relation between poet and patron, teacher and student, to the Nihilist, masks a struggle for power. The Nihilist cannot use rhetoric or specious reasoning to persuade her audience of the truth and virtue and beauty of progressive thought, because she fundamentally believes in none of these things. One cannot reason someone into accepting nihilism, which, by axiom, rejects all reasoning.

But, in the same way a Pavlov’s dog can be conditioned to salivate upon the ringing of the dinner bell, brute repetition of two disjointed ideas, repeatedly presented with some contingent schedule of reward and punishment, will conjoin the ideas.

Hence no Nihilist need say or persuade anyone of the concept that heroism is vainglory and futile, or that all men are dogs. The Nihilist merely takes a known heroic character already beloved of the audience and repeatedly treats him like a dog. Battered by the grueling mindlessness of this repetition, the audience soon becomes weary and sickened, but many simply begin to have the stock reactions Progressives want.

Naturally, this brute repetition is boring. It is never justified nor established by any sort of plot point in the story being told — it is merely a given that a young girl is a better Jedi than the old man who founded the order, but who now, for no reason, disbelieves all the Jedi ideals; and likewise it is merely a given that Starfleet admirals are potty-mouthed bitch hags without any of the ideals of Roddenberry’s starfleet.

The Progressive writer can give no justification for these changes because justifications require a sense of justice, namely, a reason why the rule exists, and a reason for any exception to the rule. But to believe that things need reasons is to depart from what the brute conditioning of Progressivism.

Progressivism is nihilist, which is the rejection of all truth.

It is not just a philosophy, but a worldview, which means that the Nihilist not only disbelieves in truth as a matter of the intellect, in her visceral and unspoken instincts, she disdains and scorns the expressions thereof.

Hence, the Nihilist might acknowledge intellectually that some people are heroic, perhaps on account of suffering or social activism, but deep in her heart, if she sees a story where a hero is glorified, not for his martyrdom but for his bravery, her instincts have been conditioned as if by Pavlov to react with contempt and disgust.

The Nihilist might remember liking some cartoon about Supergirl when she was young, but the idea of purity, beauty and innocence combined with the strength of an angel causes the Nihilist to puke with disgust.

The Nihilist can stomach such portrayal only if Supergirl is a lesbian — because only then is the story one that undermines and wounds and demeans all that is innocent and chaste. Only then does the Nihilist have her revenge.

The Nihilist cannot create art for the same reason Satan in Hell can make nothing that produces joy, and Melkor of Middle Earth cannot create the race of orcs to serve and fear him, but only demean and corrupt the existing race of elves.

Progressivism rejects the unseen world, rejects abstraction, right reason, Aristotelian principle and Platonic form alike.

In technical lingo, nihilism rejects both nominalism and realism. Nominalism holds universals to be built up from particulars; whereas realism holds particulars are manifestations of universals. Whereas nihilism rejects the concept of universal concepts altogether.

The basic concept of nihilism is that there are no basic concepts.

No matter whether nominalism and realism are right or wrong in philosophical terms, as a practical matter, the poet is a realist, taking an archetype from the unseen realm and finding fit words to incarnate it into the seen; and the audience, as a practical matter, is nominalist, taking the particular words the poet sings and seeing the unseen thereby, so that the archetype is made known. In theological terms, those who fall under the poet’s spell receive a revelation.

But if there is no eternal truths, then there are no archetypes for an artist to present to the heart, and no principles for him to present to the mind.

The story told by a Nihilist is always a story about nothing.

The only thing the Nihilist artist can do, her sole activity, is to undo, unmake, destroy and deconstruct the ideals and ideas, the archetypes and forms, other and prior poets have created.

All she can do it corrupt and demean.

She cannot write Star Trek or Star Wars, nor invent a character like Picard or Skywalker, but she can take these heroes and show them as tired and bitter weakminded old failures.

She cannot elicit admiration for an invented hero, because she does not see what elicited admiration for figures like Picard or Skywalker in the first place, or, more to the point, Supergirl.

The emotion of admiration does not exist in the warped brain of the Nihilist nor in her bleak and petty soul: only a high disdain and a sense of injured merit.

She cannot take Picard and use him in a sequel to augment his glory, or make a new story where the space-captain does something entertaining, satisfying, clever, brave or otherwise worthy of admiration and emulation. The Nihilist artist does not admire. She can only undermine. She hates. She retaliates.

She cannot even take a young girl and make her into a heroine, because the concept of heroic self sacrifice is an ideal hence alien to the Nihilist view of reality.

Her only way to portray a heroine is by showing all her powers, skills, and accomplishments come without effort, stress, cost or loss; which is to say, heroics without any heroics.

This also is part of the Progressive nihilist worldview.

No one who has any wealth, honors, applause, high office, or any other benefit, according to the Progressive, has earned such a thing by merit or effort. For, if so, a man would have a right to what he earned.

A hero would deserve to be saluted as a hero.

Instead, in the name of equality, the Progressive holds that all goods, whether material or spiritual, wealth or fame or any form of happiness, which one many might envy in another, is and must be produced by the innately unfair Darwinian power struggle that underpins all human relations whatsoever. You did not earn that. You did not build that. Check your privilege, that is, check your unearned merit you or your forebears unfairly appropriated from the common stock.

Therefore the Progressive cannot show his heroine earn her laurels by hard work and sacrifice, because then she would merit them, and, by axiom, nothing is by merit since all things are by political identity.

The “Mary Sue” is merely the Chosen One, and she gets the Purple Heart without a wound.

Progressivism is nihilism, which is the denial, in principle, of principles. The truth is that there is no truth.

Art takes inspiration from abstractions and archetypes from the realm of the unseen and inspires the artist to create a concrete expression thereof in the realm of the seen.

Truth, principle, archetype, abstraction, form, are all various unseen realities whose reality nihilism denies.

Poetry is the way heaven gives man to express in words the higher truth no literal words can express. Progressivism is nihilism, which denies the concept of truth, much less a higher truth to put into words.

At the root, the Progressive does not even believe in words when taken directly and literally.  The concept of words used truthfully albeit indirectly and figuratively is beyond them.

Progressives cannot create because their worldview fundamentally denies the root of creation.

Poets serve truth; poets create. Progressives serve untruth; Progressives rot.