Apr 19, 2015

Reification of the Zero: What's Left for the Left When Nothing's Left?

I have often stated that I despise articles by authors, no matter which side of the political aisle they fall on, which try to determine the supposed "end" of the other side.  I find them a bore and, frankly, they're never right.  There will always be those attracted to the Leftist ideology for whatever reason.  Whether it's because they get a thrill out of feeling that they're "rebels" or simply because they're so afraid of having to deal with their existence and reality as it is that they simply cannot contemplate any idea of what exactly it is life requires. 

The Left will always be the conformiest set of non-conformists you ever will see all the while holding themselves up as intellectual paeans of supposed individuality--as long as you agree with them.  Why is that?  Because Utopia requires un-thinking robots who won't question the condition of their situation.  Accept human beings aren't robots.  Aye--that's the rub. 

And the Religious Right is about as potent in their means of beating back the statism of the Left due to their own commitment to use the machine of government to bring about that "shining city on a hill."  This, for far too many, involves not the protection of individual rights which, ironically enough is what would bring that city to fruition, but a right-less state of people forced into God-fearing submission because--you know, we have to all be prepared to account for our actions when the Final Judgment arrives.  And if you weren't instrumental in helping those secularists find God in order to bring about God's city on earth--well then, you'll just burn in Hell.

So much for the so-called "difference" between the two sides.  But as you can surely see, there is something both of them have in common--a commitment to the achievement of nothing, either here on earth, or nothing in the form of death and what they imagine comes after.  It's almost like there's an abstraction at work--perhaps a numerical abstraction--such as, oh let's see--zero? 

It is, I suppose a malignant form of hopeful wish fulfillment, present within the brain matter of the desperate, committed collectivists found within each of those sides:  the subjectivist, "secular" emotional babies of the Left who thrive on stomping their feet against a reality which will not provide them their wishes and the theocrats of the Right who in an effort to save the country rely on tradition and a God of their own making which reflects back to them the perfect society, their own form of the Left's "Utopia," but the purpose of which is to make their God proud of them in order to have their proper reward in the afterlife--death--the greatest zero of all.

I put "secular" above in quotation marks because more often than not, as much as the Left likes to berate the Religious Right for "sticking their noses in where it doesn't belong"--the Left itself uses religion as a means to the end of their collectivist vision when it suits them.  How often have we heard the familiar strain of "God or Jesus wouldn't want people to go without healthcare" as the excuse for enslaving people.  I'm an atheist who is committed to reason, morality grounded in reality, and a philosophy for living on earth as outlined by Ayn Rand as my means to achieve my own end and my own happiness.  However, I will allow myself this minor ridiculous indulgence to make my point:  I'm pretty sure, somewhere in the vast reaches of cosmic logic, someone has to be saying to themselves, "I'm pretty sure a loving God doesn't approve of slavery of people, either to each other or to their government."

But maybe that's just me. 

Objectivity, by it's nature, requires a relationship to reality.  We judge our criminals based upon this idea.  We use objectivity when trying to decide between taking a job from this employer or that one.  We attempt objectivity when caught in the middle of two dear friends who are fighting and who have asked us to bring an objective third view point to the issue in hopes of resolve.  But somehow, we have lost all reverence for objectivity when it comes to just about anything else.

What is at the heart of all this irrationality?  There's certainly more to it, philosophically, than just one thing in particular.  However, for our purposes here let's discuss what Ayn Rand called the Reification of the Zero.  The website Objectivism Online Wiki describes it as such:
The fallacy of the Reification of the Zero consists of regarding "nothing" as a thing, as a special different kind of existent.   
For those familiar with the Law of Identity, you can see why considering "nothing" as a "thing" is a huge problem.  In Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology the Reification of the Zero is as follows:
This fallacy breeds such symptoms as the notion that presence and absence, or being and non-being, are metaphysical forces of equal power and that being is the absence of non-being.  E.g., "Nothingness is prior to being." (Sartre)--"Human finitude is the presence of the not in the being of man."  (William Barrett)--"Nothing is more real than nothing." (Samuel Beckett)--"Das Nichts nichtet." or "Nothing noughts." (Heidegger).  Consciousness, then, is not as stuff, but a negation.  The subject is not a thing, but a non-thing.  The subject carves its own world out of Being by means of negative determinations.  Sartre describes consciousness as a 'noughting nought' (nĂ©ant nĂ©antisant).  It is a form of being other than its own:  a mode "which has yet to be what it is, that is to say, which is what it is not and which is not what it is." (Hector Hawton, The Feast of Unreason, London:  Watts and Co., 1952, p. 162.)

The motive?  "Genuine utterances about nothing must always remain unusual.  It cannot be made common.  It dissolves when it is placed in the cheap acid of mere logical acumen."  Heidegger.)
Why am I writing all this? 

I'm writing this because I have witnessed that the collectivist Left, after a long sordid history of destruction for destruction's sake, piously proclaiming morality as impotent all the while making moral proclamations about our moral duty to sacrifice ourselves on the cross of environmentalism, and holding up the idea that something can be had for nothing, really are at the end of their ideological rope.

In an article over at FrontPage Mag by Daniel Greenfield entitled The Death of the Left, he writes:
The left is winning, but for the left winning is indistinguishable from dying.
The Left cannot say morality is impotent anymore; most people recognize that reason and morality are the bedrock of living a successful life.  Hell--even psychology, incoherent as it is most of the time due to its own built in irrationalities from having relied on too much bad philosophy, is aware of at least this much. 

They cannot sacrifice human beings as explicitly as their forebears, Stalin and Hitler did and because ditches full of dead bodies don't win elections.  And who wants to be on the good side of the U.N.?  Of course, today's Left achieves their eugenics goals much more under the radar.  We never hear of the hundreds of thousands of people who died because they couldn't get the care they needed under their precious state-run healthcare systems devoted to "compassion."  But, hey, when the government has to save money, they have to save money.  You just suck down that pill and everything will be fine.

And, of course, those kinds of stories don't make good reading material for the spokes-hole lemmings inhabiting today's news networks--news networks who hope to continue having public monies distributed to them from the teat of the government treasury so that they might not have to depend on the ignorant masses for their livelihoods. 

And let's discuss their impulse to elevate the depraved.  Cop killers become honored spokesmen from their prison cells, billions of dollars in hard-earned American money is sent to dictators in the hopes of appeasing their blood-thirsty rule over their citizens and neighbors (all the while, I might add, promoting the same thing here at home).  Hillary Clinton deplores, from high on her perch, the subjugation of women, but those damned American doctors are too free and need to be controlled from D.C.

The Religious Right, of course, senses that morality is important--but they have a collectivist vision of it: they want to teach it collectively via religion in our schools and enforce it collectively through law.  It never occurs to them that, because there is a hierarchy of knowledge, people have to be free in order to make choices--which is, of course, why morality is necessary.  It is a contradiction to say morality comes from commandments.  Commandments are antithetical to reason by their very nature and if you're being commanded to do something against your will--morality has been thrown out the window.

Oh, the Left might succeed--but their success will be their destruction (and ours).  Ayn Rand wrote of this phenomenon in her journals.  The Left is made up largely of people who want to exist without putting the effort into achieving the values necessary for existence.  They want to expropriate the values which the creators create in a free, capitalist society--all the while denouncing the values, effort, time, labor and creativity which makes the attainment of such values possible.  Oddly enough, it is the very capitalism which they spend all their time denouncing which is the only political system which protects the individual--that which they crow they are the champions of.  It is a scramble of the incompetent upon the shoulders of the competent in order that they might not feel the terror of existence bearing down upon them.  The only way to fend off the fear that their souls (consciousness) really is a zero incapable of dealing with reality and existence on their own terms is by putting someone else between them and existence--to use them as a human shield.

We have seen this cycle play out, over and over again, down through the millennia.  And yet, the Left certainly never learns from their mistakes (or history, or philosophy) and most certainly the innocent citizens among them never seem to recognize exactly what is happening--until it's too late.  What they never seem to realize, while they are busy destroying value after value, like locusts devouring one crop after another leaving nothing but a barren landscape in their wake is, if they succeed, there will be no one's shoulders left to stand upon once everything's destroyed.  They will still be subject to having to keep their ill-fated appointment with the CEO of Reality Enterprises where the final ax is to fall, firing their asses--leaving them face to face with that which they tried to avoid all along.  They will be sent to clean out their desk, boxing up bananas which had been used to show children how to put a condom on with their mouths before they even have a rational understanding of what sex is, drawers full of tampons used as earrings, and markers used to create those wonderful placards used in their conformist, non-conformist marches against "the man."

But here's the real inner monologue which goes on in their heads:  "If I can just expropriate enough values to get through my life, who the hell cares what happens to those who come after me?  As long as I don't have to deal with reality and can force the producers and creators to carry me whether they wish to or not, when I'm dead--I'm dead.  I won't have to worry about it anymore."

That is the epitome of the Reification of the Zero.  The bottom line is that all of the so-called things which they Left clothes themselves in as wanting to achieve, can actually be done without violating peoples' rights.  But they don't even make that effort.  They jump right to force.  Why?  Because their ultimate motivation has nothing to do with all the things they say they want.  It has to do with control for control's sake in some instances.  In other instances, it really is simply a nihilistic impulse to destroy the good, the valuable, the efficacious--simply for being so.  Greenfield continues,
The left is at its best when it’s trying to take power. It unleashes its egocentric creative impulses, it writes poems, plays and songs as its heroes die in doomed battles or pump their fists at protests. And then they win, get rich and fat, the people grow poor and the country becomes a miserable dictatorship. Try putting a 300 pound Che on a t-shirt. Or get inspired by Obama lazily playing golf.
A successful leftist revolution quickly becomes indistinguishable from an ordinary oligarchy. Millions may die, but decades later all that’s left is a vast pointless bureaucracy that runs on family connections, an ideology no one understands anymore and an impoverished population ripe for outside exploitation...
The left rams through its ideology by force and when the ideology is gone, all that’s left is the force. 
The Left loves to imagine things--you know, the glorious way in which the world will be when they have all the power.  Let's do some more imagining.  Greenfield continues,
Imagine a future in which the left wins permanently. Just picture Hillary Clinton and then Elizabeth Warren and finally Bernie Sanders kept alive in the Oval Office by electricity and fetal stem cells from babies. Imagine the country run like the DMV. Imagine it divided between the politically connected and the poor. Imagine everyone else giving up and surviving on the black market. Imagine Social Justice becoming a slogan that everyone is forced to repeat, but that no one understands.
And then the Chinese will come along to take advantage of the cheap labor. 
The left is like a suicide bomber or a honey bee. It can’t win. It can only kill and die. A successful leftist regime is a contradiction in terms. The hard revolutions blow up fast and then decay into prolonged misery. The soft electoral revolutions skip the explosions and cut right to the prolonged misery. 
Europe went Full Socialist and gave up. Carter’s malaise has been a reality in Europe for generations.  What was four years in America was forty years in Europe. The American left’s great ambitions; bureaucratic rule, international impotence, national health care, endless education, environmental correctness and childbirth replaced by immigration were realized in Europe. And they killed Europe.
I will leave the rest of Daniel Greenfield's article to speak for itself--it does so quite well.

I'm sorry--but where does one go with a political movement once everyone is capable of seeing exactly what it is you're up to?  When examples abound all around us?  All of this is the unfortunate result of a country which has lost its philosophical footing.  When the better men of a society shun reason--the vacuum has to be filled by something.  Usually that "something" ends up being the worst among us.  


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