“the right to be unhappy”

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin.’

‘In fact,’ said Mustapha Mond, ‘you’re claiming the right to be unhappy.’

‘All right then,’ said the Savage defiantly, ‘I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.’

‘Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.’ There was a long silence.

‘I claim them all,’ said the Savage at last.

Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. ‘You’re welcome,” he said.”

This conversation between John the “savage” and Mustapha Mond, Resident World Controller of Western Europe, takes place in Aldous Huxley’s dystopian science fiction novel Brave New World.

Mond had explained to John the World State’s system of castes, control and consumerism established to create order, stability and happiness. Under the World State the world’s population, economy, technology and culture are made to serve the mission statement: “Community, Identity, Stability”.

John, reared on the Savage reservation and raised on Shakespeare, rejects Mond’s world as described here:

Everyone in Mond’s society belongs: nobody experiences the pain, loneliness, and rejection that has been part of John’s character formation. Nobody in the World State ever suffers any material want, such as hunger or overcrowding. Everyone lives in a clean, new, sterile, sanitary, and bright world with lots of things to buy. Everybody is conditioned or drugged to be happy…

To John, those elements of life Mond has jettisoned are exactly what make us human. Life for John is not worth living without the possibility of deep relationships and intellectual exploration and discovery.

What brought this novel to mind is the Left’s concerted effort to produce a similar globalist World State via the Great Reset. The “public health crisis” and the (illegitimate) 2020 election are the Left’s “gain of function” mutation of our rights and laws to bring about a World State.

Leftist professors, politicians, media provoking agents, Progressives, and even the Pope would have us believe that differences of class, race, income or XYZ can be resolved  and that equality and freedom can be won by A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.”

The Pope after the 2016 election:

It it has been said many times and my response has always been that, if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians. Christ spoke of a society where the poor, the weak and the marginalized have the right to decide. Not demagogues, not Barabbas, but the people, the poor, whether they have faith in a transcendent God or not. It is they who must help to achieve equality and freedom”. [emphasis added]

So, are we to believe that communists think like Christians (based on the communist seizure of Acts 4:32)?

Are we to choose to live under a flag of “Community, Identity, Stability”, where the people, the poor … achieve equality and freedom, and then (theoretically) be free of worry, material want, hate, isolation, disease, and would then be happy!?

I have tried to understand the heuristic behind those choosing freedom and those choosing to be free of freedom and desirous of living in a communist state. The Brave New World suggests to me that there are those who choose fail-prone freedom over happiness and those who choose fail-safe happiness over freedom. These two views are at odds. I see the difference going to the very nature of what it means to be human.

As we heard in John’s response above and from your own experience, you know that freedom involves choice.  And, being able to choose goes to the very essence of being human, does it not?

A material object cannot choose. Artificial Intelligence cannot know the sense of adventure and surprise inherent in the act of choosing. Objects and AI cannot know a sense of failure or of happiness or of worry or of hope that a choice may bring about.  

For those who choose fail-prone freedom, life is tragic, romantic and the sum of all human potentialities. Value is created through freedom and choice: love, goodness, charity, etc. These, taking the initiative freely, will say, “I see what needs to be changed, and it starts with me.”

(Now, you don’t want to make the same choices John “the savage” did. You’ll end up in a very dark place. But you get the gist of what I am saying.)

Those who choose fail-safe happiness over fail-prone freedom, it seems to me, trade their freedom and choices for a doled-out life of (theoretical) material security and certainty. These lay the burden of responsibility for their happiness on the World State. You can see this in the growing welfare state.

These seek to avoid pain and suffering and any effort that might bring about pain and suffering inherent in a choice. These seek the material comfort and surety promised by socialism’s “workers’ paradise.” These, lacking the initiative to choose, will say “I see what needs to be changed and it starts with you.”

For, those who choose fail-safe happiness over freedom, in order to obtain fail-safe happiness, go on to coerce, cancel and control the lives of those who do not conform to the manifesto of the World State of Happiness.

Tragically, fail-prone freedom outliers are considered less than human by the World Staters and are sent to internment camps. You either live in the ‘civilized’ World State of the ‘enlightened’ ‘real’ people or you live as barely human on the Savage Reservation.

There are no families and no religion in the World State. Babies are engineered and hatched in the World State. Babies occur naturally within families on the Reservation. There is a syncretic religiosity on the Reservation. Those of the World State voyeuristically watch the savages and worship the assembly line developer Henry Ford.

When the World State requires you to give up your freedom along with your rights and your property so that it can mete out happiness in the form of physical well-being and solidarity with others in similar chains, what will happen to you? Years ago, I wanted to understand the World State of Happiness, aka, communism, and the threat it imposed on humanity.

During the early eighties I read the three volumes of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s’ The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. (I doubt that Pope Francis has ever read these accounts of the devastation to human beings under communism. He prefers messaging that affirms his Marxist World State religion.)

As I learned from my reading, communism dehumanizes. And, as humans are wont to do, Solzhenitsyn rebelled against the imposition of inhumanity – a communist rule.  The rule had begun as an ideology to put things right and ended as an institution of purges, mass murders and gulag camps.

“Communism is as crude an attempt to explain society and the individual as if a surgeon were to perform his delicate operations with a meat ax. All that is subtle in human psychology and in the structure of society (which is even more complex), all of this is reduced to crude economic processes. The whole created being—man—is reduced to matter. It is characteristic that Communism is so devoid of arguments that it has none to advance against its opponents in our Communist countries. It lacks arguments and hence there is the club, the prison, the concentration camp, and insane asylums with forced confinement.”

― Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Warning to the West

What is certain if you choose fail-prone freedom over happiness is that you are “claiming the right to be unhappy.”

What is certain if you choose fail-safe happiness over freedom: your claiming the right to be happy will not be heard. For, you will have been “reduced to matter”.  Your human nature will be eradicated in your quest for security and stability, aka, happiness.

Further reading:

George Orwell’s 1984, Animal Farm

C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength

Theodore Dalrymple’s The Wilder Shores of Marx: Journeys in a Vanishing World

Trump’s Top-10 Triumphs: A Last Look At A Remarkable Presidency – Issues & Insights

Added 1-25-2021:

Let’s Talk Turkey

Let’s Talk Turkey

But first, a word from our sponsors ….

Map of the New World 1600s
Sam Adams

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace….We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” ― Samuel Adams

“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville

While I was on Twitter, a few years ago, I would jump in on threads where socialism and capitalism were discussed (Better, the terms were tossed about.). The anti-capitalists would denounce capitalism as “unfair” and the rich as “greedy” while insinuating “equality” and “fairness” occurred naturally within the materialist realm of socialism. As an example, they pointed to Scandinavian countries (where, amazingly, none of them had the gumption to take up residence. That would take initiative and responsibility and money on their part.)

The anti-capitalists, assuming a superior moral position, never talked in-depth about the mechanics of socialism other than it being a redistribution of wealth from “rich” to “poor” via confiscatory taxation. And, whether they were oblivious to or welcoming of the growing soft despotism in America that gives people the illusion that they are in control, I could not determine.

On Twitter there were also those who proclaimed Jesus to be a “Progressive”. They offered a litany of “Progressive” attributes assigned to Jesus, among them “anti-rich”, their presumed antithesis to “Blessed are the poor” [“…in spirit”]. There were those, too, who said that the early church was an example of socialism because the early Christian shared everything in common. Apparently, these folks had never read that Jesus warned about the dangers of the love of riches and not that someone who was rich shouldn’t be. Did these folks also not comprehend that the early church did what they did out of love and not out of coercion?

In the current hopped-up milieu of socialism as social justice*, what is the mystique and lure of socialism, central planning, and top-down government when …

Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications, and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing.

For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances – what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range, and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself.

-from “Democracy In America” by Alexis De Tocqueville, Chapter VI: “What Sort Of Despotism Democratic Nations Have To Fear

Long before social media came around fostering populist socialism, I inured myself against the idea of a free lunch. In the 80s I watched Milton and Rose Friedman’s Free to Choose Series on TV. The following video is part of that series.

Plain-spoken Milton Friedman, economist of the Chicago School of Economics, addresses the issue of social responsibility that seems to be the motivation behind a rejection of capitalism and the attraction of socialism. He also presents the fundamental difference between capitalism and socialism: capitalism – an economic market operating under the incentive of profit; socialism – the government market under the incentive of power. Included are his thoughts on collectivism, social justice, moral values, individual responsibility, the doctrine of social responsibility, and philanthropy.

For the many of you around the world who live in disparate circumstances and who read my blog, I pray that you will benefit greatly from this video.

A final word from our sponsors ….

It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the ‘right’ to education, the ‘right’ to health care, the ‘right’ to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.
― Alexis de Tocqueville

What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish? ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

When I refuse to obey an unjust law, I do not contest the right of the majority to command, but I simply appeal from the sovereignty of the people to the sovereignty of mankind.
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men. ― Samuel Adams

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. ― Samuel Adams

The utopian schemes of leveling and a community of goods, are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government unconstitutional. ― Samuel Adams

* Pope Francis is Envisaging and Engendering an Open World:

“On the other hand, if we accept the great principle that there are rights born of our inalienable human dignity, we can rise to the challenge of envisaging a new humanity,” he proposes. “We can aspire to a world that provides land, housing and work for all.”

As one can surmise, Francis welcomes the populism of socialism and “for the good of all” envisages a communist version of Catholicism. For example, if you are a Catholic in China, (or the world for that matter) in his vision you’ll be provided land, housing and work provided that you are the Chinese Communist Party’s version of a “good citizen”.

The above helps explain why Pope Francis deplores the populism that elected Trump. A movement of “free people” is hostile to coercive top down rule and to non-democratic central planning and to the liberty-annihilating communism the Pope dreams of and so desires so as to reshape the world into his Let Us Dream image. The Pope/CCP desires the Ring of Power to conform all men to its will.

The Trump movement seeks to take back life, liberty, and country –identity – from the Ruling Class Obama-Clinton-Biden-Cuomo types who talk down to Americans, considering them “bitter clingers” and “deplorables” and rubes. The Trump movement detests the privileged elites (including Francis), and the unelected bureaucrats, and, essentially, those who are “more equal than others” and deign to tell them who they are and what they are to think and what they are to do. The Trump movement fights to keep America from becoming a third world country, as Democrat mayors prove it is possible with their “Open World” policies.

The Trump movement deplores the overreach and suffocating control of globalism. The movement seeks to remove the tentacles of the “Open World” beast that wants to devour the U.S. – our individual rights, our liberty, our Constitution and our identity  – to feed its One World Fratelli tutti chimera. “We the people” reject the Great Reset.

  The One World forces and the purple and scarlet dressed Whore of Babylon are gathering to fight against the Lord, as foretold.

“The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last…
The great battle of our time.”

Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Added 11-26-2020:

Podcast:

Totalitarian Democracy Roger Kimball in conversation with Mark Bauerlein

Roger Kimball is Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion

Mark Bauerlein is a professor of English at Emory University.

I’m Getting Over Sentimental, And You?

As we head into the New Year let’s take a moment to not look back… 

Ah, yes.

Ah, yes.

 Sentimentality is that taskmaster which keeps us longing for the leeks and garlic of Egypt, the known-knowns of past life, up to and including slavery.

 Sentimentality is gate keeper to the past, fending off reality to preserve sugar-plum memories.

 Sentimentality serves as wooer, policy maker and candlestick maker, ergo, The Great Society (aka “Let’s help the little people and feel good about ourselves in the process”, affirmative action (see The Great Society for further social science mishaps), education (aka job-security for union workers), amnesty (aka imported votes for Progressive Democrats) and multiculturalism (aka “We promote “Diversity” here, just stay off my lawn and don’t get near my rights, you fools.”)

 Sentimentality, the emo that keeps on giving, will keep an angry woman ever angry; never forgiving. For her the past will be kept stewing, waiting for the next victim to be boiled alive.

 Sentimentality will fight fires by removing the oxygen from the room: “This is the way we have always done it.”

 Sentimentality is not tradition. It is more like unclaimed baggage that keeps going around on the airport turnstile day after day. You watch it to see if anyone claims it. If not it’s yours to drag around forever.

 Sentimentality chooses the moldy and crusty bread of the past over the fresh gluten free, sugar-free crackers of the present ala “This white bread reminds me of mom.”

 Sentimentality can be good wine turned into vinegar; old wineskins never replaced.

 Sentimentality is the troll who guards the bridge to the New Year. The troll demands a toll. (Just tell the little bugger, ”I paid years ago, be off with you or I’ll call my Father Time. He’ll kick your little troll butt!”)

 Sentimentality calls up past fears and dreams for advertised future benefits, benefits created at any cost to reality. See the Social Security trust fund. See the Barney Frank everyone-needs-a-house bubble machine that unleashed the Kraken upon world finances when the bubbles burst.

 Sentimentality wants to relive the civil rights and war protests of the sixties and invoke the depression era bindle-bums of the thirties. OWS Millennials ‘must’ ‘re-live’, record and recreate a diorama of those events from a BA degree in Identity Politics perspective. The grapes of wrath must be re-trampled. Social justice must be served with an order of the freshest iPhones.

 Sentimentality “keeps me hanging on” by a thread of delusion. “Marriage is secular, a right, a ‘love-in’.” Sentimentality says “I do” to whatever makes me feel… sentimental. And, sentimental makes me feel all gooey inside like…cable TV lovers.

 Sentimentality demands that Mother Earth be saved from manmade people while avoiding fact-see leftist Pope Francis for further encyclical faldera. Does the Pope realize that the Green Movement believes that overpopulation of the world is the problem? Does the Pope realize that he is actually promoting abortion, assisted-suicide and humanist population control?  (BTW: does the Pope even understand that capitalism fills the coffers of DisneyVatican?)  And, forget “Seasons in the Sun”. We may be facing an Inferno or an Ice Age depending on which way the inverted dated is put up on the overhead. ALGore Rhythm has predicted inverted hockey stick apocalyptic weather conditions to occur at any second now. And this, my friends, despite the fact that CO2 makes growing things…green! We are told by dogged Gaia loving-tenure-loving-paycheck-loving scientists that CO2 is not green ‘making’ ‘stuff’ when man is involved. Mankind only creates off-green “problems,” “problems” that are only resolvable with enormous sums of green taxpayer money. And, to increase our awareness of the right uses for CO2 the greenie bible Mother Earth News reportedly reports “green is god, dude, especially when rolled and smoked.” Anyway “It’s hard to die when all the birds are singing in the sky.”

 Sentimentality: a Disney movie replaying your childhood over and over. You know, the time you spent fantasizing about being princess as a young boy. Animated cels have always portrayed our deepest feelings, the best of our culture and the highest aspirations of our humanity-remember? Who needs reality when you have “Frost”?

 Sentimentality is that trampoline you keep in your back yard just in case you need to jump up and down endlessly to walk away from the back and forth of everyday life.

 Sentimentality gets an Enlightened Epicurean Scientism big bang out of a singular boson appearance but considers God’s silhouette passé.

 “A sentimentalist“, Oscar Wilde wrote, “is one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it”.

 Use “Sentimentality” in a sentence/s: “I prefer my sentimentality over tradition, dudes. Tradition is so predictable whereas ad hoc sentimentality ushers in a new age of Progress as well as a proto-social justice that protests everything that isn’t sentimental.”

 Sentimentality as cultural entrenchment, as socio-political-economic-education policy-see Spoilt Rotten: The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality (subtitle in US editions: How Britain is Ruined by Its Children) by Theodore Dalrymple. Who could resist this book with chapter titles like these: Chapter Three: “The Family Impact Statement”, Chapter Four: “The Demand for Public Emotion”, Chapter Five: “The Cult of the Victim”, Chapter Six: “Make Poverty History!”

 Sentimentality-I could go on but, at this point, if I look back, I just might become sentimental. I won’t look back. Yes, there were good times but I keep those memories like a locket around my neck. And, don’t worry. Good memories have a way of making themselves known and sustaining you at the right time-that is if you create them first. (The Israelites used to create stone monuments as a place of remembrance where Jehovah had intervened. They did not carry the monument around with them. The thought that God is Infinite-Personal became a fixed place in their memory.)

 Taking sentimentality as a daily palliative pill will regurgitate acid reflux. Worse, making sentimentality your GroupThink Emo-a demand to relive all hurts whether real, perceived, projected or revived-leads to unresolved GroupThinkAnger and to “Stokely Carmichael’s idea that “before a group can enter open society, it must close ranks.”” And to the “Day of Rage” (’69, Cornell U) and to Black Panthers with billy clubs at polling places, to the NAACP, to the SPLC’s perverted “Hate-Watch”, to Al Sharpton, Eric Holder and their ilk.

 Looking back, as one who was told not to look back, did not work out well for Lot’s wife. She may have very well thought that God was like her-sentimental about what someone holds dear, in this case her life in Sodom. She may have very well thought that God would not destroy a place she called home. She got it wrong.

 A pillar of salt goes nowhere in life. 

A pillar of the community!

A pillar of the community!

 ~~~~~

Who needs the shallowness of sentimentality when you can have full-bodied hope! And, I’m not talking about “Hope” as found in the “Hope and Change” campaign come-on that was used to lull Millennial lemmings to follow Obama over the cliffs of insanity.

 I am talking real hope. And, real hope includes distancing yourself from sentimentality and going forward with God into sublime reality, as the Apostle Paul described here in his letter to the Church at Rome (Chapter 4-5): 

“…since we believe in the one who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was handed over because of our trespasses and raised because of our justification.

 The result is this: since we have been declared “in the right” on the basis of faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus the Messiah. Through him we have been allowed to approach, by faith, into this grace in which we stand; and we celebrate the hope of the glory of God.

That’s not all. We also celebrate in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patience, patience produces a well-formed character, and a character like that produces hope.

Hope, in its turn, does not make us ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the holy spirit who has been given to us.” (emphasis mine)

 

 

 ~~~

Credits:

The picture of Lot’s Wife –courtesy of MudPreacher.