A few days ago, I wrote on the subject of capitalism (Does capitalism encourage immorality – part one) in reaction to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Paul Farrell entitle: Capitalism is killing our morals, our future . In a Market Society, everything is for sale. If you remember, I happened to disagree with this idea. After we took some time to contrast the horrors of socialized medicine to America's pre-Obamian world of going to the doctor without a permission slip from the magistrate, it was clear that profit motive has a place in the world and that, contrary to Mr. Farrell's esteemed opinion, the coarsening of our culture has nothing to do with billionaires who will "never voluntarily surrender their control over the American political system."
It's not capitalism that's immoral. Materialism is immoral. Of course, thanks to the Left's cunning supervision and mentoring of our shared culture and language, people have come to believe that capitalism and materialism are synonymous and that they are both synonymous with greed. Nothing could be further from the truth. But…if we don't take the time to become fluent in all aspects this debate then we will never win the hearts and minds of the American people, and we will not be able to overcome the injustices against constitutional liberty that are taking hold in this nation as we speak.
When we detach ourselves from the frenetic influence of political lunatics with an ax to grind and look at the world objectively, we can tease out the truth and begin to communicate effectively with low-information voters so that they can (at very least) not claim that no one told them they were voting under the influence of hallucinogens.
And I beg you not to waste your energy smacking your forehead in shock over the treachery of it all. This kind of blurring of meaning that the Left engages in happens all the time. It's why your children will begin learning about World War II by defining fascism as a right-winged movement… which conveniently places some of the world's most tyrannical dictators on the same side of the political spectrum as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan. There is no right and wrong, you see. There is only Right and Left.
It doesn't matter that fascism, socialism, progressivism and communism are kissing cousins that align themselves with Marxism and that this places Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Francisco Franco, Josef Stalin and Emperor Hirohito on the same side of the scale as Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Lyndon B. Johnson and Barack Obama. Naturally, that information isn't useful for the progression of the Left's narrative so it will be rewritten. If Ronald Reagan is slated to become history's most greed-centered leader since Nero, then we can't have people confusing Enlightenment and freedom with something positive.
But to the point now. How do we successfully separate what have become the grafted theories of capitalism and materialism so that those low-information voters can recognize them as a spliced contrivance made for the Left's pleasure and convenience? Why, we take back the language, of course. We start by teaching the world what these words really mean, and we may as well start with materialism. Per Wikipedia:
All philosophies are said to fall into one of two primary categories, which are defined in contrast to each other: Idealism, and materialism. The basic proposition of these two categories pertains to the nature of reality, and the primary distinction between them is the way they answer two fundamental questions: "What does reality consist of and how does it originate?" To idealists, spirit or mind or the objects of mind (ideas) are primary, and matter secondary. To materialists, matter is primary, and mind or spirit or ideas are secondary, the product of matter acting upon matter… During the 19th century, Karl Marx extended the concept of materialism to elaborate a materialist conception of history centered on the roughly empirical world of human activity (practice, including labor) and the institutions created, reproduced, or destroyed by that activity.
Quoting Karl Marx:
"It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness."
This is a hugely important characteristic of socialism that must be understood and articulated before it can be overcome. The wholesale deception of the full spectrum of Marxist philosophies goes to the core of physicalism and this exists in contrast to the philosophy of spiritualism. Which came first, society or consciousness? And before you give me the "No, duh - consciousness" answer, keep in mind that our entire society is being deconstructed on the premise that man cannot conceive of himself or others except through his social status…that the caveman was completely unaware of himself as a dog or a cow or a reptile might be, and that if it were possible to take a young child and isolate him from the rest of humanity making sure that only his physical needs were met, he would never conceive of himself.
I happen to disagree with that. I think that if you isolated a small child from society, never letting him see another human being, he would go on for a while in isolation. He would wake in the morning to find food placed out for him, he would it eat it and then he would go about his day amusing himself until he grew tired and fell asleep. He would sleep until he could sleep no more and he would wake to discover food once again.
Eventually, he would come to primitively wonder where the food came from and consciousness would be born. And then self. Then he would seek to know the one who was sustaining him, and if it was possible for this man to live many years, he would invent superstition and then mysticism in his quest for the truth. He would see the cycles in nature and know there is a world. He would become ill once or twice and conceive of fear and evil. He would watch how birds fly and science would be born. He would see the birds live and die and mortality would be realized. At some point this person would conceive of a god or the God because that is the essence of human nature.
Karl Marx was not a happy person and he grew into fitful and resentful manhood, lusty in his rejection of the God who he believed had rejected him. Knowing himself to be a person of superior intellect who was worthy of God's love on whatever terms he thought appropriate, he evolved in his thinking to embrace his inner atheist because if God wasn't performing to his expectations then there must not be one. Marx then, along with many of the great intellects of that age, fell into the worship of humanity and led millions and millions of people into Comptism…the idea that commerce is god and materialism was thus born. He confounded us all with industrial monotony and reveled in his new role as high priest of the assembly line.
But this is where God confounds the materialists who seek to cast man into set patterns and unbreakable molds so that they will fit into a well ordered society where everyone knows his place and will be content in a lack of variation. Quoting GK Chesterton:
Wine, the gift of gods to men, can vary with every valley and every vineyard, can turn into a hundred wines without any wine reminding us of whiskey; and cheeses can change from county to county without forgetting the differences between cheese and chalk.
We are all different…even the most identical of twins cannot be made back into one mind and telling someone that he is no more than the role that society assigns him doesn't make it so. There will always be variations from one onerously mass-produced community to the next and eventually people will notice the differences. God will be reborn if only out of the ashes of tedium because discrepancies in the human spirit demand this.
Having achieved the God-centered objective of this article, I wish to redirect your attention to the immorality of materialism. Regardless of the Left's insistence, materialism is not synonymous with the production of wealth (capitalism) or even an obsession over wealth (greed, avarice, covetousness.) Materialism is the rejection of spirituality, the denial of the spirit. The reason that materialism is evil is because it contaminates and eventually destroys all that it touches. It is man-centered and man is inherently flawed so thus are the humanist idols we create for our worship.
I apologize in advance for my lack of closure for this blog post. I will leave this discussion today with a thought which, in and of itself, could lead us into another 1500 word conversation. There is a fair argument that one need not be a theist to be moral in his thoughts and deeds.
To this, I respond only that "pessimism is not in being tired of evil but being tired of good. Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering but in being weary of joy. It is when for some reason or other the good things in a society no longer work that the society begins to decline."
While it is true that one must not necessarily believe in God to live a moral life, one must believe that he does good things for a fixed and external idealism or eventually truth and righteousness hold no more value than the value that doing wrong things has, and that's where materialism is born in the heart.