How did we get here?

My friend has become a progressive cretin. We don’t talk much anymore, so I didn’t see it happen in real time, but recently it became undeniably clear. The Facebook posts and our conversations of the past few months all point to this friend’s enthusiastic conversion to pious, self loathing, worming, squirming, neutered, mutant feminist, white man virtue signaling, posturing progressivism. Earnest support of Bernie Sanders as the spearhead of a revolution. Hemming, hedging, qualifying, prefacing his statements with pseudo sensitive apologies for the unchangeable basis of his existence, his status as a working class white man. Dull witted, ventriloquist repetition of insipid terminology and rhetoric. An operantly conditioned pigeon squawking and shitting in harmony with the ever expanding mass of psychologically self castrated degenerates and their strained, hyper contrived grievances.

We will call him David. This is the story of an intelligence gone sour, turned against itself, curdled by the hothouse atmosphere of maximum outrage and hurt feelings. David used to have actual opinions of his own. Maybe he wasn’t always informed, maybe he was insensitive at times, maybe he was flat out wrong. But he was himself. He had character, personality, he was funny and genuine, a person you wanted to listen to even if you disagreed with him. That person was lobotomized, emptied out, and the space left over was filled with a contemptible prostrating courtier, a greasy flatterer in the progressive palace, where the meek and weak obsess over and stew in their embittered hatred of hierarchy and natural right. I know that deep down he isn’t as botched and wretched as the kind of person he now feels the need to supplicate, but that’s the tragedy of it. He is denying himself, he is sinking in the swamp of belching toads, siding with the perpetually disadvantaged, casting his lot with the outcasts.

In behaving this way, he is a dutiful Christian. I’m sure he is still a nominal atheist, espousing skeptical inquiry and self examination. Despite this, his new political morality resonates with the grand old Christian glorification of failure and destitution, the preference for cripples, drug addicts and prostitutes over hard working, fortunate and successful stock. No complaint is too great for God, no human abomination unworthy of the love and defense of our otherworldly savior. Such love for the idea of a pale, glimmering beyond, such hatred for the world as it actually exists, for how people tend to turn out. I don’t trust a person who returns time and again to inequality, who ruminates and habitually sees only what is unjust and corrupt. Obsession with people who have more, even if they didn’t earn it, and with people who have less, even if they deserve more, is mentally unhealthy.

I would be beyond relieved if I could live a single day without encountering someone who only thinks, whose gears only start grinding, when they detect a racial, gender, or class injustice. People don’t have independent thoughts, they don’t even consider themselves to be individuals. They have transformed themselves into cardboard, stage props for hateful, Marxist screenwriters.

A note of caution

I don’t trust poets. Therefore, I don’t trust myself. They are fundamentally dishonest people. We grant far too much authority to artists, we mistake their technical skills for practical wisdom. I speak out against myself as a source of wisdom, because I possess none, and no matter how smoothly I speak, nothing that I say is rooted in revelation or special insight. These are just words. Philosophers are rare, maybe even nonexistent. Less rare, but still uncommon, are the poets, writers, journalists, the class of linguistic artisans. And one rung lower you have the common man, with his undue deference to the particular class of scribes that best represents his feelings and beliefs.

Force of feeling is not truth. Minority status is not truth. Wealth is not truth. It seems the closest we get to the truth is the episodic awareness of our limitations, the perpetual darkness in which we dwell. We are so far removed from the truth that we need fictional devices to adumbrate it. Metaphors, narratives, myths; whether crudely fashioned or finely tuned, all revolving and mutating around an immovable, inexplicable core. Is death transcendence, the attainment of ultimate reality, or the last of all our desperately cobbled hopes?