Beyond reasonable

When talking the other day about knees jerking all over in response to Donald Trump, I argued that reason had nothing to do with that neurological phenomenon.

Our intellectually castrated masses are aghast not at Trump’s actions qua actions, but at the blasphemy implied by his actions. The president won’t worship modernity’s cult growing out of that pernicious misnomer, the Enlightenment.

If before the Enlightenment our civilisation was driven by man worshiping reason higher than his own, thereafter he has decided that no such thing exists. Man’s own reason alone is sufficient to solve every little problem of life. Man no longer worships God; he worships himself.

As a result, reason suffered the fate of Icarus – it took on an impossible task and died in the attempt. Reason was replaced by emotions, ideas by ideology, thought by sloganeering.

A virtual intellectual universe has been created, one in which all men are created equal; the masses are too stupid to run their own lives but smart enough to affect state affairs; the state can spend our money more wisely than we ourselves; the old religion was opium for the people, while opium is an essential part of the new religion; Muslims can improve our countries, though not demonstrably their own.

A hodgepodge of fallacies were stitched together to form a new patchwork cult, which quickly began to resemble a snowball rolling down the hill at an ever-increasing speed. It gets bigger until it goes over the edge and shatters.

Chesterton wrote: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” By contrast, the new cult is easy. It excommunicates reason and therefore truth. Everything goes; nothing is off limits.

In the past, people assumed that, if A was true and B differed from A, then B was false. Worshippers of the new cult assume that, if A is true, then every other letter of the alphabet is differently true. The simple logic escapes our huddled post-reason masses yearning to be equal: if everything is true, everything is false.

This intellectual catastrophe has befallen every field of endeavour, but few as devastatingly as politics. Real life is going on, but political life unfolds in a parallel, virtual universe.

The same people who in real life display uncanny intelligence, will avidly mouth any hare-brained nonsense dictated by their emotional attachment to the modern demiurge.

We’ve been conditioned to think about politics in terms of meaningless, emotive twaddle. Truth doesn’t matter – we agree with Pontius Pilate’s rhetorical question “What is truth?”, implying that it’s either nonexistent or unknowable or irrelevant.

Take the EU, whose toxic dust one hopes we’ll shake off our feet following yesterday’s vote in Parliament. I haven’t yet heard a single rational argument in favour of that abomination – and won’t because none exists.

Every argument I have heard, and their name is legion, is purely emotional, even if put forth by manifestly intelligent people. The French and the Germans, for example, describe the EU as therapy for the psychological post-war trauma.

The Germans recoiled from the horror of what they had done; the French, from their defeat and subsequent collaboration. Having looked into their respective wardrobes, the two decided to merge them and cross-dress. The Germans no longer wanted to be German, but the French did.

To be honest, I don’t do psychological trauma, certainly not on a vast collective scale. Recognising this as an emotional failing on my part, I’m prepared to accept that explanation as valid. What I’m not prepared to accept is the tissue of transparent lies into which this explanation is wrapped.

The EU, they say, is a purely economic union – a lie, as anyone will confirm who has read the architects of that contrivance, all those Gasperis, Monnets and Schumans. Back in the ‘40s, when the EU was still a twinkle in their eye, they succinctly explained that their goal was a single European state, something that current events amply prove.

The EU, the say, is all about free trade – another lie. The EU is a protectionist bloc, which is the exact opposite of free trade.

The EU, they say, has kept peace since the big war – yet another lie, and one hard to sell to the people of Yugoslavia, Georgia, Armenia and the Ukraine – or to the families of those murdered by terrorists as a direct result of EU policies. What has prevented a major European war is Nato’s – or, not to cut too fine a point, America’s – nuclear umbrella.

Anyway, the British can’t claim a similar PTS disorder: the country acquitted herself rather well in the war. And yet one hears all the same arguments from our own people, including the 114 intellectually challenged MPs who yesterday tried to derail Brexit. Not to be obvious copycats, our lot are throwing their own inanities into the hat.

We need to be in the EU, they say, to trade with European countries, which is a lie, and an ignorant one at that. At no time in history, and certainly not in the heyday of British economic power, has it ever been necessary for a nation to abandon its sovereignty to trade with other nations.

We need to be ‘part of Europe’ to travel freely, they say – another lie. Back in Victorian times the English practically owned such French resorts as Biarritz and Nice. Why do you suppose Nice’s picturesque walk has been called La Promenade des Anglais since 1860? Because English travellers were banned?

The modern secular cult is athirst; it demands sacrifices. The biggest one is reason, wantonly abandoned even by many who are otherwise capable of it.



5 thoughts on “Beyond reasonable”

  1. Of all your, beautifully written articles, most have me nodding in quiet acquiescence. Some have me tutting – and spending, an otherwise more, immediately fruitful afternoon, in Internet research…

    …This one has me leaping from my chair, arms akimbo – and a long drawn out – “Yeeees!”

    1. Dear Mr Fin,

      Thank you very much for your kind words. And my congratulations on being able to leap from your chair with arms akimbo. You must have some leg muscles – I’m turning green with envy even as we speak.

      1. So are you paraplegic ?

        I didn’t arrive at your writing because you had a physical difficulty, I arrived at it because, as an English teacher, I was amazed that someone, who wasn’t English, could express themselves so eruditely in my language…and who could express, what I believe to be the majority opinion, so eloquently

        I use (some of) your articles as an example of what can be achieved in written expression – I hope you don’t mind!

  2. In the age of reason, you were supposed to give reasons and justify them to those that opposed them.
    My namesake was usually too impatient (‘Orthodoxy is my Doxy’) but he was quite good at getting his point across with satire and some of it is still popular today. We now live in an age of emotion and although the seat of emotion is in the brain, it requires no thought or reason so it is usually justified by twaddle that is immediately forgettable.

  3. “The EU, they say, is a purely economic union – a lie, as anyone will confirm who has read the architects of that contrivance, all those Gasperis, Monnets and Schumans. Back in the ‘40s, when the EU was still a twinkle in their eye, they succinctly explained that their goal was a single European state”

    One European community but still twenty or more nations that have endlessly in the historical sense squabbled and argued endlessly.

    Religion was the opiate of the people at one point but today it is sports. Even the Vatican has said so.

    And import a lot of your soccer [football] players too.

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