The Enlightened

Progressives tend to see themselves as progressively virtuous.  They don’t need to do anything to achieve this state of virtue; they are virtuous by default under their worldview because of their beliefs.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief in one’s own progressive virtue is:

• Everything we do will be progressively virtuous.
• Progressive virtue is supremely important.

 

Social dynamics under each worldview create character archetypes — paradigmatic personality types shaped by the positive and negative rewards of a society — specific to that worldview.  Devout progressives believe they and their actions are progressively virtuous. This has led to the development of a character archetype among the progressive elite – The Enlightened – who feel superior to the less virtuous masses. They perceive their own motivations as noble, they feel infallible, and they appropriate the right to ignore, as much as possible, society’s dictates.

The Enlightened:
The progressive elite – devout and progressively virtuous, they feel superior to the general public. They have a sense of mission focused on promoting their morality and culture, and fighting oppressors. They feel relatively infallible since they are inspired by their presumably inherent and transcendent nobility. Because of that, they are close-minded.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Activist Atheists

activist atheism n : the social movement based on the beliefs that God does not exist and the worship of God is unvirtuous.

Activist Atheists:
Newthinkers who, because they believe God-worship is unvirtuous, actively oppose the idea of God and all religious institutions that worship God.

To devout progressives, God-worship becomes a progressively-unvirtuous anachronism that leads people astray from scientific reality and humanity-based principles. Activist atheism prods progressive magazine editors to create covers for their weekly news magazines with titles like “The Rise and Fall of Christian America.” While reports of the death of Christianity in America are exaggerations, away from the extreme of activist atheism, a great body of Americans is unconnected to church or synagogue. When backed against the wall by a pollster, they may admit to a belief in God, but that belief often has no social expression. Meanwhile, Activist Atheists are attempting to remove God from the public square. If they succeed, they will then attempt to remove God from society entirely.

But the path to a God-free society isn’t always easy for devout progressives. They take such care to deny the presence of God, but it can be troubling if his goodness is questioned. To newthinkers, God is their absent father; they are allowed to revile their father, but no one else better try it. In the novel Catch-22, Lt. Scheisskopf’s wife becomes upset and attacks Yossarian for ridiculing God. Yossarian asks why she’s upset, since she doesn’t believe in God. She insists she doesn’t, breaking into tears, insisting that the God she doesn’t believe in is good, not stupid and mean like Yossarian depicts him.*

Activist Atheists are attempting to remove God from the public square. If they succeed, they will then attempt to remove God from society entirely.

Devout newthinkers who have climbed high enough in the cognitive branches of newthink’s worldview tree to internalize the “God doesn’t exist” belief suffer from cognitive dissonance due to two contradictory unconscious beliefs: God is the absent father and God does not exist. An absent father is different from a father who doesn’t exist and never has existed. Newthinkers unconsciously and fundamentally believe in God the Father, but they also believe their father has abandoned them. This is deism, in which God exists, but is not active in the universe. When those who internalize newthink logic get to the point where they believe humanity is the ultimate authority and God doesn’t exist, the point where newthink’s deism becomes atheism, then one of the cornerstones of the newthink worldview – God is the Absent Father – is threatened. The dissonance between the belief in an absent God and the belief in a nonexistent God may be the catalyst toward a new worldview, one which I hope never emerges, in which a new universe metaphor denies the existence of God altogether.

The unconscious belief that God does not exist obviously has major effects as it spreads through society. One is a decrease in the influence of traditional religions. Traditional theologies tend to be dismissed by newthinkers as fantasies, psychological crutches, and/or cultural appendices. Newthinkers elevate science into a means of explaining everything, seen and unseen, in the universe. They unconsciously believe that science, since it comes from inherently noble humans, is therefore more true, powerful and insightful than religion.

Another dynamic is the progressive tendency to create messiahs out of mere mortals. The belief that God doesn’t exist leaves a hole in newthinkers’ psyches which they tend to fill with charismatic figures. As Jonah Goldberg argues in his book Liberal Fascism, progressives yearn for a leader in harmony with the people’s will.** In America, that yearning gave us Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama; in Europe, it produced less benign leaders.

Finally, this belief causes newthinkers to reject traditional principles. They have no foundation in newthink because God doesn’t exist; there is no reward or punishment in the afterlife for good or evil done in this life. In their place are the new principles of political correctness, based on emotion and the unconscious beliefs we are exploring. Unfortunately, as traditional morality declines, so does the pressure to conform to its high standard of conduct – and so does its attendant good behavior.

* Joseph Heller, Catch-22, (New York: Dell, 1962), p. 184.

** Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism, (Three Rivers Press, 2009), p. 23.

The Beats

The belief that we need to return to a natural state generates an unconscious group rebellion against tradition. Newthinkers rebel, not because tradition is truly bad, but because they believe it ties them down or sullies their built-in grandeur. Newthink promotes the tossing of old values. For instance, it undermines a justification of the traditional liberal arts education – that it promotes wisdom – because the validity of traditional wisdom itself is questioned. Newthinkers unconsciously begin to suspect everything they’ve been taught because it leads them away from their innocence. So we enter what Dennis Prager calls “the age of stupidity.” Newthinkers unconsciously believe that if they could only unlearn what they’ve been taught, then true peace, happiness and wisdom would flow from the inherent and transcendent nobility within.

The false emotional association of fun and freedom with newthink, and of ordeal and restriction with Americanism, is newthink’s most powerful promotional force among youth. It created the Beat character archetype and fed progressivism’s various utopian movements.

The Beats:
Modern noble savages who “drop out” of society with the intention of living better and more simply. They unconsciously desire to regain their lost innocence, to uncover their inherent and transcendent nobility. They have a lack of social drive because of their conviction that traditional society only taints them. They prefer freer forms of thinking and expression because of their conviction that society confines them. They tend to purposely live more simply, with less and more primitive technology. Because they think society is corrupt, they are introspective, more interested in the interior world.

My baby-boom generation, led by Progressive Missionaries and Beats, barring a late-in-life redemption, may well be remembered as a generation of fools; our children, led by modern thugs, unless they can redeem themselves and change direction, may be remembered as a generation of thugs.

Much of the hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s was powered by the Beat character archetype, as was the beatnik movement that preceded it, and the new age movement that followed it. The Beat character archetype also explains the progressive resonance with Buddhism, which contains similar themes regarding the need to unlearn old thinking patterns. All these social movements had strains running through them which extolled innocence  and emphasized the necessity of rejecting one’s old beliefs and values.

Each generation, regardless of the worth of many of its members, is defined by its most active segment. My baby-boom generation, led by Progressive Missionaries and Beats, barring a late-in-life redemption, may well be remembered as a generation of fools; our children, led by modern thugs, unless they can redeem themselves and change direction, may be remembered as a generation of thugs.

Progressive Missionaries

The social dynamics of a worldview create character archetypes. Each society rewards certain behaviors that coagulate into personality profiles. As people grow up and find their place in society, their characters are shaped by their worldview. Certain character traits are adaptive and – consciously and unconsciously – encouraged. Others are not. The social dynamics of the “to change the world for the better, change society, not individuals” belief and its entailments create the Progressive Missionary character archetype.

Progressive Missionaries:
Newthinkers who spread progressivism through education, media, politics and the takeover of public institutions.

They are the best of the progressives and their intentions are virtuous. But they often do more harm than good to the chosen recipients of their virtue.

Whereas traditional do-gooders tended to focus on individuals, Progressive Missionaries focus on social change. They often don’t see the trees for the forest. Progressive Missionaries are well-intentioned, passionate, energetic, intelligent, farseeing, confident, perhaps a little arrogant. They are the best of the progressives and their intentions are virtuous. But they often do more harm than good to the chosen recipients of their virtue. Once in positions of influence, they use their institutions for progressive social improvement.

The Elements of a Worldview

I continue laying the foundation for assertions to come.

The shared structure of beliefs comprising the newthink worldview tree produces, like fruit from a tree, all the elements of a worldview: morality, values, conventions, attitudes, social dynamics, character archetypes, self-concept, world-concept and cosmology.

–Morality: a set of rules about what is and isn’t ethical.

–Values: the things a society esteems.

–Conventions: social customs, unwritten rules regarding behavior.

–Attitudes: emotion-laden outlooks. All humans have emotions, but belief creates and guides those emotions; thus, different belief systems create different attitudes. Distinct worldviews cultivate dissimilar emotional outlooks on the world.

–Social Dynamics: Underlying social processes based on a worldview’s unconscious beliefs.

–Character Archetypes: Social dynamics create character archetypes.

character archetype n : a paradigmatic personality type which is shaped by the positive and negative rewards of a society

Positive rewards that shape character archetypes can include praise, fashionableness, money, power, and the mantle of virtue. Negative rewards can include ridicule, unfashionableness, financial hardship, powerlessness, and the reputation of vice. These forces work together to create character patterns that real people tend to unconsciously emulate.

–Self-Concept: what we consciously or unconsciously believe to be true about ourselves.

–World-Concept: what we consciously or unconsciously believe to be true about our world.

–Cosmology: a society’s ideas about the structure of the metaphysical universe.