Thursday, April 16, 2009

Philosophy and the American Politics of Regression

Hegel in his critique of Intuitionism held that regression was part of the historical dialectical process.  Rational thought and Kantian Universalism   -  which arose from the social phase of scholasticism and faith   -   were always in danger of a regression to mere  faith,  which would attack philosophy with zeal.    Democrazation of the world presupposes  retrogression.

The politics of regression are a  deliberate backlash against "elitism"  and "liberal multiculturalism" ;  they are an attempt to return to the foundations,  which are viewed  as having become  hopelessly fragmented and lost.  The original Founding Fathers and the Republic,  along with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,  are viewed as the mythical womb from whence we have been expelled into a foreign wasteland,  and to which we must now return,   or perish.

Of course not all of such longing is irrational:  Much of it makes a great deal of sense.  The problem arises when those bellowing about "The Republic"  are holding viewpoints which are diametrically opposed to it,  and supporting institutions and persons who are its arch enemy.  Morevoer,  these same  are confusing Barack Obama (  who constitutes a return)  with some liberal, elitist, post-feminist post-modernist,   Europeanized and "Swedish"  multiculturalist .  They are confounding the Hegelian historical moment,  the hero of the apex and reversal of history,  with the Clintons.   They see Obama through the lens of the 1990s.  They are trapped in the mirror of that time.  His "socialism"  is a smokescreen for his  cultural conservatism .  His "pragmatic progressivism"  is the same.

Jonah Wennstrom,  in January 2008,  writes his piece,  and entitles it,  Obama the Conservative :    In it, he speaks of Obama's resounding speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004,  and how it stirred the blood of conservatives.  Why is he being confused with a radical socialist,  a neo-feminist,  and a promoter of a radical gay agenda?  Obama,  the Real Conservative  ran an October headline in the online Daily Beast:  Why is this missed by supposedly intelligent people on the right?  Having ears,  they do not hear.  Hearing Obama ,  they do not comprehend the meaning of his words.  James Madison and Edmund Burke are not in conflict with him;  they are one with him.  So why the howling?  It is nothing less than the sound of the will to regression,  the desire for dissolution and annihilation.  

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