Last Crusade: The Authority Of Virtue

The Last Crusade are all who hold faith with in the majesty of truth; the impartiality of reason; the objectivity of reality; the authority of virtue; the verity of beauty; the dignity of man; the equality of the law; the love of patriots; and we hold faith with Christ.

The enemy is a scattered and incoherent coalition of groups that support, with various degrees of zeal and various degrees of knowing evil, certain scattered and incoherent ideas, or, rather, talking points. These ideas are nihilism, relativism, solipsism, antinomianism, subjectivism, humanism, collectivism, socialism, and secularism.

These terms will be defined and examined in future columns: today we discuss antinomianism.

One of the main reasons, if not the main reason, that a crusade is needed, a holy war fought with the golden chivalry of knights and the iron faith of martyrs, is that negotiation is impossible. Compromise is impossible.

Not unlikely; not rare; not difficult. Impossible.

The nature of the enemy is defined by the enemy’s worldview or philosophy, specifically his moral philosophy.

The nature of that worldview absolutely requires that the enemy never negotiate with us in good faith, never seek mutual toleration, never recognize our views as being worthy of contemplation, honest inquiry, honest investigation. It is crucial, in their worldview, that our worldview never, ever be given a hearing. Never.

 

Your humble writer who makes these observations for long years was reluctant to accept them; for nearly three decades of my adult life, in fact. I thought, as many a libertarian or Objectivist might think, that society could be founded upon an unspoken contractual agreement to refrain from trespass into my neighbor’s natural rights provided only he reciprocated and held my rights in equal respect: the force of law to be used only in proportional retaliation to avenge such trespasses.

I thought both Left and Right could welcome this minimal bond of government: the hippies could keep their sexual perversions and psychedelic drugs, and in return the hardhats could keep their wallets and guns and Bibles. Everyone wins.

I thought this because I was deceived as to the intent of the enemy. The enemy professes his goals in terms of increasing liberty, of progress, of equality under the law; and argues that his worldview is a logical continuation of the Western traditions of respect for the individual and compassion for the poor.

But I was deceived, as many others were and are.

Whether most, or some, or none of those who speak such professions with their mouths also believe them in their hearts is a question for another day.

For what the enemy proposes is not liberty. Is anyone free under the regime of Stalin or the regime of Shariah Law?

Nor does he propose equality. Does the law apply with equal impartiality to the commissar or ayatollah as to his subjects, serfs and slaves?

Nor progress. The breakdown of common law, civility, marriage, and all other legal and civic institutions is a deliberate regression to barbarism, a return to the rule of the mob, a return to the prehistorical savagery of tribalism. More than this, it is the corruption even of such bonds as primitive savages and troglodytes cherished, the abolition of marriage bonds and clan loyalty: the enemy proposes a Hobbesian state of nature, a war of all against all.

What the enemy proposes is antinomianism.

Antinomianism is the stand that holds all moral and ethical questions are matters of arbitrary private opinion and voluntary social consensus.

Antinomianism holds that moral rules are manmade, for none exist objectively. Antinomianism holds that nothing is good nor evil, virtuous nor vicious, right or wrong, save that thinking makes it so.

They hold that what are called moral standards are manmade rules used by the ruling group to deceive the ruled group into obedience, that is, into oppression.

Opposed to this is the traditional stance is that moral standards exist, and that the difference between virtue and vice is real, universal, and unmistakable to all human beings with a properly formed conscience.

In their worldview, one deserves respect when and only when one agrees with them. There is no standard by which one can disagree and be respected, for there is no value in persons other than their agreement.

No one is ever turned away from their camp for being an illegitimate follower, hypocrite or pharisee. See, for example, feminists lavishing love on Bill Clinton, despite his abuse of women, due to his lip-service for the sacrament of abortion.

They are only turned away for being insufficiently loyal in their agreement. See, for example, the reliably leftwing author Elizabeth Moon, the inventor of the ‘strong female swordswoman’ trope, being dis-invited as guest of honor from WisCon, because she expressed a mild reservation about inviting into America persons from the Religion of Peace who have no interest in joining the American Way. Her statement almost could be interpreted slightly to imply that some nations, races, and peoples differed one from the other, which cuts against the dogma of multiculturalism. The hysterics of WisCon all shrieked in shrill mania that having Miss Moon present would threaten their life and limb, and make them feel unsafe.

Ideas that express anything other than trans-infinite zeal, adoration, loyalty, wonder and admiration for any leftwing dogma always provoke sensations, if their testimony is to be believed, of paranoid lunacy, disorientation, and phobic terror.

The idea that someone disagrees (or is merely neutral, or is merely lukewarm in their agreement, or merely very enthusiastic, but not absolutely and infinitely enthusiastic) is an idea that, according to their own testimony, makes them feel unsafe; so unsafe, indeed, that they are psychologically unable, for example, to go to a public place for a meeting with other fans to talk about spaceship stories.

The fact that a person who disagrees terrifies them. I am not making this us: they say it. It is their testimony that this is so. How, then, would it be possible to show respect for that person? How possible to give him a fair hearing?

It is not.

To grant respect to opponents, adversaries, and strangers requires a standard. It can be a standard of Christian charity, where you love your enemy, or English justice, where you grant even the guilty the right to a fair trial; or a schoolboy’s standard of goodsportsmanship, where you do not gloat when you win nor whine when you lose: but it is a standard you and your foes share in common.

But the enemy have nothing else aside from whining over imaginary losses and gloating over imaginary victories. They cannot imagine themselves to be martyrs oppressed by devils or crusaders fighting savage infidels unless their enemies are seen as devils and savages.

It must be noted in passing that real outrages, such as poison gas attacks on civilians, never fluster their complacency; but invented or make-believe outrages, such as GOP cooperation with Russians to steal a presidential election, they manufacture without cease.

They cannot grant anyone outside their camp respect, or a fair hearing, or see them as human, because granting respect despite opposition requires adherence to a standard.

And standards are the one thing the standard of denying all standards denies.

Because all ethical questions are matters of arbitrary private opinion, we are all morally obligated to abide by a rule of mutual toleration for any moral lapse in another man or group of men.

The word ‘antinomian’ is obscure. It suits the enemy for tactical reasons instead to call this philosophy of quelling criticism of vice and crime by the names ‘tolerance’ or ‘diversity’.

When used to quell criticism of the vices and enormities foreign nations and barbaric tribes, the word used is ‘multiculturalism’.

Tolerance works this way: If a Christian holds it to be an abomination to murder one’s daughter for appearing in public unveiled, or to perform genital mutilation on her when she is a baby, or to murder her in the womb for personal convenience, or to commit sodomy or perjury; and he holds it to be righteous to eschew contraception, fornication, infanticide and divorce, and right to enforce these principles by appropriate laws; then he is told his adherence to these moral standards is intolerant.

Rigor in moral standards is bigotry, ignorance, oppression and tyranny, on the grounds that no objective ethical rules exist. The Christian moral standards are not to be tolerated.

But when the followers of the Religion of Peace, or partisans the Sexual Revolution, or feminists supporting a sexual predator in high office, happen to come to the opposite conclusions, their conclusions in the moral sphere are to be tolerated.

Nay, not just tolerated. The differences between the variations in lifestyle are to be celebrated as a source of strength to society, of enlightenment to the narrow, and of joy. Diversity disperses ennui.

Obviously no one can honestly believe this hogwash for a moment, since it contradicts itself.

Antinomianism says ethical standards do not exist. If ethical standards do not exist, then logically it violates no ethical standard to spread the falsehood that ethical standards do exist.

We cannot be under a moral obligation to tolerate lapses of moral obligation, if moral obligations do not exist.

It cannot be immoral for the sour-faced Victorian moralists to tyrannize nonconformists into compliance, unless tyranny is immoral.  One cannot even denounce the prudes as hypocrites, unless we live in a universe where hypocrisy is immoral.

And were any other reason proposed to prompt our obedience to this so-called rule of tolerance, aside from an ethical imperative, such as, for example, that it is inefficient, antisocial or untruthful to be intolerant, such a reason,  even if valid, would be a bare fact of only academic interest, when there is no ethical imperative to be thrifty, or civil, or honest.

The rule of tolerance cannot be the sole rule for ethics, for tolerance cannot tolerate intolerance.

And, as countless examples attest, the demand for tolerance only goes one way.

No one says ‘homophobia’ should be tolerated in the name of diversity. In fact, the word ‘homophobia’ was coined to make support for chaste, healthy, natural and wholesome sexual appetites sound like a mental disorder.

No doubt the term ‘homophobe’ as someone to demonize focus-tested better than ‘normal person.’

And this same antinomian philosophy proposes to be not just the rule for sexual injustice, imprudence, and immorality, but all immorality. All human action is to be excused from moral judgment.

Why so? The motive is clear. It is to escape the condemnation of the conscience.

The means may not be clear, and so merits explanation: the means chosen in the modern day have been to smother the sting of the conscience by reducing its authority.

The word ‘authority’ is frequently misunderstood by moderns and deeply misunderstood. Moderns use the word as a synonym for an illegitimate power.

Legitimate power, they dismiss as a chimera. Anyone willfully obeying the civilized law that upholds marriage and protects private property is a quisling collaborator deceived by a false consciousness into aiding and abetting the crimes of the oppressive exploiter class, the patriarchy, the White Devils, the Jews, or whoever the fictional hobgoblin of the season happens to be.

But the difference between force and authority is simple. Force is the ability to punish those who defy commands. Authority is the legal or moral legitimacy of the command, or of the source of the command.

An illustration will help:

Imagine Bedevere kneeling at the side of the mortally wounded King Arthur after his final battle. Bedevere honestly swore fealty to him, and all lawful forms were fulfilled, and he was rewarded by the king with lands and honor, so there is no excuse for disobedience. All Arthur’s men are dead, his kingdom is broken and heirless. Arthur has not even the strength to stand. He commands Bedevere to take a priceless treasure of the kingdom, his sword, and throw it in the deep part of the lake. The sword has both real and sentimental value, not to mention being a historical heirloom for future generations, and so Bedevere does not want to obey. Arthur does not explain, nor can Bedevere deduce, any sense in the command. Arthur lacks any power to punish disobedience. Indeed, if he dies (or is carried to Avalon) while Bedevere is running the errand, Arthur will never even be the wiser.

If, despite all, Bedevere is obligated to obey Arthur, is it because the command is legitimate, and that the moral standard requiring obedience to legitimate commands finds no exception, no mitigation. Arthur has authority but lacks power.

A common case in civilized countries, is one where a sovereign has at hand the present power to enforce his commands in his jurisdiction. In that case, he has both power and authority. In Christian countries there are, an always have been, limits on authority: the king’s law cannot violate heaven’s law. For example, a law forbidding solider to marry, or requiring wives to testify against husbands, or to allow one man to own another, or to compel children to report disloyal fathers to the state, would have been (and were) disobeyed as illegitimate.

The most common case in the modern day, as the tide of civilization decreases, is one where the Powers That Be give commands with no checks and balances to bridle them, without the consent of the governed, and without any coronation or oath of office or other form of law to grant of legitimacy: for example, forced abortions in China, or the use of espionage by the ruling party in America to spy on members of the loyal opposition party.

In this case, the regime has power but lacks authority.  From a moral point of view, such a regime is no different than a gang of robbers or a crew of pirates: prudence, or perhaps cowardice, might advise one to obey for so long as one were within their power.

To repeat: the means chosen in the modern day to encourage antinomianism have been to smother the sting of the conscience by reducing its authority.

The authority of the conscience is reduced by appealing, illogically, to a secondary principle that the conscience, and nothing else, upholds: the principle of respect and toleration for fellow men.

The argument is made … no, strike that. The enemy does not make arguments; he levels accusations. The accusation is leveled that to have a conscience and obey it is intolerant to those who disobey, under the rubric that there is no conscience. What is called conscience is merely a manmade consensus which a psychological malfunction, or sinister conspiracy, misidentifies as a faculty for perceiving a supernatural reality.

Merely by abolishing the concept of legitimate authority, and speaking only of force, the conscience, which commands neither policeman nor hangman to enforce its dictates, no longer has legitimate authority. Because nothing does.

Virtue is dethroned: vice rules with a rod of iron. More deliciously, vice is allowed to condemn virtue as a type of vice.

There is a second benefit the enemy is granted when antinomianism enters the consensus worldview.

By abolishing the concept of legitimate authority, and speaking only of force, limits on the use of power are abolished.

If no use of power is legitimate, no use of power is illegitimate.

We abolish the conscience, and, in return, get a politically enforced code of thought: political correctness. In return for freedom from moral principles, we get a dictatorship in the legal sphere.

And since now the legal sphere must intrude into all areas once governed by a mutual consensus of shared social opinion, nothing is denied to the law. It is totalitarianism.

Law is dethroned; Anarchy among those who hold power is unleashed upon the world. More deliciously, the Anarchists, even as they makes laws abridging free speech and press and association, do so in the name of using the law to strike down the alleged tyrannical oppression of the laws, customs, and institutions, from motherhood to family life to private property, which make normal life in America normal.

Their Dictatorship of Toleration does not allow for the concept of legitimacy to exist, except, perhaps, as a synonym for consensual.

To the Toleration Despot, whatever is consensual is legitimate, including suicide; and no duty is legitimate after consent is arbitrarily withdrawn, not even a lawfully and voluntarily married mother seeing to the health and wellbeing of a child in her womb.

Since consent can be withdrawn at any time, for any reason or for no reason, in effect, the Dictatorship of Toleration concludes that no violation of any ethical or moral rules merits punishment. To be sure, the Despots do punish those who cross them, and severely, but not for violations of ethical and moral rules. Their victims, innocent or not, are punished as warning signs to enforce conformity.

Or they are punished merely for ceremonial reasons, because the ruling class blames the Jews or some other scapegoat and wishes them ill. (This is Utilitarianism in action.)

Only the outward appearance matters to them; only the show trial, never the real trial. If Proposition 8 fails in California, the Mormons, and not the Blacks who voted it down, are punished.

The Dictatorship of Toleration holds that whatever is legal is allowed, and whatever is not allowed must be made illegal. Whatever is not prohibited is mandatory.

You are not obligated to obey your conscience; your conscience is now on the same footing as a gang of robbers or crew of pirates. You are only wise not to get caught when you violate written law, or, failing that, not to get punished.

The great appeal of the Dictatorship of Tolerance is that now we are all free from conscience, free from condemnation, free to be enchained to our base animal natures, free to darken our intellects and dim the lamp of intelligence until shadows hide any uncomfortable thoughts from us. We are now free to smother the music of the spheres with the din of endless diversion and distraction.

With a great sigh of relief, we can all get on with our wenching, tippling, and merrymaking in the public houses and cathouses of the world, and in return allow the sodomites to get on with their buggery in the bathhouses, the organleggers in their abortion mills, the addicts in their opium dens, and the pederasts in their mansions and palaces and pizza parlors.

The great promises of antinomianism is that you will be allowed to indulge your vices in peace if in return you grant that same license to your neighbor.

So, in theory, the watchful dragon of morality rests, the prune-faced Puritans are banished, and every day is Mardis Gras.

But the experiment of recent generations shows the promise is a lie, and always has been.

Instead of being delighted at the de facto abolition of marriage, and of being the temporary live-in lovers of powerful men who beat her bastard children, and abandon her for younger trophy wives, the modern woman is killing children in the womb in record numbers, and committing suicide in record numbers. Among young women, cutting themselves with knifes is a growing sport.

The endless Mardis Gras is no fun.

The Leftists end up, not as the funloving partygoers and quietly meditative Buddhists and love-happy flower children they promised the world they would emerge from the endless Mardis Gras. Instead they became the very same sour Puritans they promised to banish. The rules and restrictions on how to court women and how to look at them without lust are as severe and strict as anything proposed by sober Puritans from Massachusetts Bay.

The difference was that the real Puritans only gave the Scarlet Letter to a woman who committed adultery. Their modern sisters grant that letter to anyone who does not ask repeating consent every ten minutes during foreplay, nor does marriage grant consent. Their modern sisters paint the Scarlet Letter on every conservative, male and female, who lives in the bonds of marriage, which they call rape culture.

The old Puritans only chided idle speech, blasphemous speech, impertinent speech. The new Puritans retroactively outlaw words as thick as snowflakes in a snowstorm, leaving even loyal followers trudging in the snowbanks of unspoken self-contradictory rules and strictures blinded and lost.

You could obey the old Puritans. And if you did, your life would be healthy, wealthy, and wise. You cannot obey the new Puritans. If we live in a world where the Vagina Monologues can be legitimately cast out of favor because they micro-aggress against non-female women, then this world cannot sustain intelligent life forms.

Instead of the endless Mardi Gras we were promised, we have been given an endless Lent.

Endless, because, for them, the cold March winds and drenching rains will never stop, and there is no forgiveness and no Eastertide.

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