Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The unbearable lightness of hubris

I once saw a show on the History Channel called, Ancient Aliens, where a man said that if you change the words "God" and "angels" in the bible to "aliens" then you have a written record of alien contact going back thousands of years.

Recently I read a variation of this argument attributed to Stephen Harper that if you insert "conservative" in front of "Canadians" and "Canadian values" then you...

What is it about right-wing ideology that make these people so prone to magical thinking and revisionism? Is it so difficult to accept that human beings and societies are so complex, variegated, and capable of such amazing goodness/creativity and indescribable evil/cruelty all at once that one should invent a narrative for us to save us from us?

Ayn Rand, and Nietzche before her, had similarwise felt the unbearable lightness of hubris and were repulsed by the messy variegatedness of human existence and history so the latter constructed a Messiah on steriods, one who would do away with the Law where the historical one had merely fulfilled it, and the former sought "mathematics and intellectual rigour" to actualize the Greco-Roman pantheon in the flesh.

-The only problem was that the Objectivist movement had too many head-strong cooks to spoil the broth (ie, the individuals couldn't form the collective), and no one there could actually resolve the inadvertent ironies of an insane, racially OCD mind. One thought he knew the rules of the game of chess when there were actually no rules in Rand's version (the only rule is that Rand has to win). Then again, gods are not people.

Then there is the hapless GOP in America with Rep. Bachmann at its cutting edge. She believes in raparative therapy so much that she and her husband founded an institute (much like the Rand institute) to cure homosexuality through prayer and crisis-therapy. I think the world would be much better served if the Bachmann raparative therapy focussed its efforts on pedophiles - I hear its detrimental effects make people impotent with fear and self-loathing. Now that's what I'm talking about.

Now back to Harper: I think his claim to exceptionalism and uniqueness is that he thinks himself neuro-atypical. His cleanliness OCD only affords him to shake hands with his progeny; he never looks his adversaries in the eye (perferring to make side-swipes across the aisle or huff-and-puff when they're not present); he is rigid and script-driven; he has a severe victim mentality; etc. etc. Without medication he looks like this:


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