As many of you already know, my second youngest son was born with Neurofibromatosis. NF is the perfect paradigm of evil. It is a tumor disorder in which the tumors grow along nerve fibers. Because nerve fibers are uniformly arrayed throughout the body, the tumors may appear anywhere and are usually so inextricably interwoven with the tissues of skin, organs and bone that removing them completely is impossible. That is how I see evil. It is inextricable in the fabric of humanity. What is truly important is how we try to deal with it.
Thoreau observed, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of time and money on the needy is doing the most by his mode of life to produce that misery which he strives in vain to relieve.” Ask anyone- they will tell you that they are opposed to evil but few understand that (as I pointed out in my post of 9/2) that evil is part of the universe and especially present in the human soul. There are three main political remedies that claim to hack away at the branches in The West, lets look at which of these might have the best shot at the root.
Progressives, Communists and Solcialists
The emotional lability of Socialism and the allied “Progressive” leftist extremism stems from their belief that it is evil for any one individual to be any better off (regardless that they may be more intelligent, or better educated or even just luckier) than anybody else- The inevitable exception, of course, being those who will run the Stalinist bureaucracy that will be required to compel everyone to accept and participate in this fantastic perversion of reality. When the revolution comes, they-or at least the ones that survive the purges and infighting that always accompanies the success of socialism- will become deities. To see the corrosive effects of the creep of this ideology into the mainstream of Western thought, simply look at the havoc created in Canada by the actions of the Human Rights Commissions. In Canada, now, if you say anything of substance about the national discourse it is considered (I borrow and paraphrase from the title of the new book by Kathy Shaidle and Peter Vere) “Not Nice” and you are fair game to be persecuted for expressing a mere thought. It is inevitable. Socialism (especially the kind that regards itself as Progressive) does not match up with the reality of human nature- so it does not stand up to reason- so the more leverage you give it the more it will attempt to stifle discussion and, ultimately, thinking. (note: for really insightful blow by blow coverage of the CHRC mess you can’t beat Blazing Catfur )
Liberals don’t necessarily agree with socialist principals they are just slowly submitting to the emotional blackmail of the extreme left. At heart, they only want to prevent suffering and because they will not understand the nature, unavoidability and source of suffering they are drawn to the emotional appeal of socialism and its phony egalitarianism. So committed are they to this pious goal of preventing suffering, it doesn’t even occur to them that they actually end by causing much more suffering by their efforts- they are satisfied knowing that they are “doing something for change”. Few will take the trouble to deny that welfare had a great hand in destroying the African American family and that Affirmative action has cast a shadow on the reputations of two generations of black, university-educated professionals- but they support those programs and others like them out of reflex and the soft racism inherent in the inability to imagine that many black professionals could make it on their own if allowed.
Conservatives want only to preserve, restore and enhance the system that has proven to be the world’s most successful at espousing and enabling the individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They do this out of a love of liberty first but they do it in the conviction that there will always be evil and suffering and the best yet devised on earth to ensure that there will be as little evil and suffering as possible, is to leave free people in charge of themselves and give them sufficient checks and balances so that as they govern themselves, the interference of the government will be minimized, the rule of law will be paramount and (all of) the people (through their ballots) will always be in control.
So today, it appears even worse than in Thoreau's time. There are millions whose ill-conceived notions of fairness and openness are actually feeding the roots of evil rather than striking at them.
Through dealing with David’s disease we have had to become conservatives. We know that we cannot just declare the disease “Not Nice” and make it disappear. We know that we cannot prevent him from suffering with it. We can only do the things that will give him his best shot at living and being a productive and competent person. Those things do not include not talking about the problems or letting him sink into a despairing, undisciplined lack of expectations. There is no special Sharia court system, welfare or even affirmative action here. Perhaps we are very fortunate that he has the courage and intelligence to have faith in his doctors, in us and in his future but I am inclined to think that the better you understand and confront evil the more you strike at its root.
It came close enough to me that I could feel its hot breath on my cheek. I will never forget that feeling. It didn't matter that I was liberal and open-minded. It didn’t matter that my little girl was sweet, beautiful and charming. It wants blood, mine and my daughter's would do. If you have had a moment of terror like this let me know... (the /at/ in my email address below is written that way to defeat the spammers, you need to type it in as @) ...yaacovbenmoshe/at/comcast.net
Monday, October 6, 2008
A Field Guide for Fighting Evil- First Principles
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I'm so sorry that your son suffers from such an evil. He is blessed by parents as loving as you.
I don't know if David is old enough, but he might enjoy some of the characters in a novel by Dean Koontz---One Door Away From Heaven.
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