Friday, January 08, 2016

The Dogs Will Howl and Yank the Leash from Tree to Tree

Mick Hume:

For Scruton, the left intellectuals’ apparent attachment to a higher cause only disguises what they really stand for: ‘Nothing.’ He writes that ‘when, in the works of Lacan, Deleuze and Althusser, the nonsense machine began to crank out its impenetrable sentences, of which nothing could be understood except that they all had “capitalism” as their target, it looked as though Nothing had at last found its voice’. More recently, ‘the windbaggery of Zizek and the nonsemes of Badiou’ exist only ‘to espouse a single and absolute cause’, which ‘admits of no compromise’ and ‘offers redemption to all who espouse it’. The name of that cause? ‘The answer is there on every page of these fatuous writings: Nothing.’

So, what is all this Nothing-ness about? ‘My view’, says Scruton, ‘is that what’s underlying all of this is a kind of nihilistic vision that masks itself as a moving toward the enlightened future, but never pauses to describe what that society will be like. It simply loses itself in negatives about the existing things – institutional relations like marriage, for instance – but never asks itself if those existing things are actually part of what human beings are. Always in Zizek there’s an assumption of the right to dismiss them as standing in the way of something else, but that something else turns out to be Nothing.’

As he notes, intellectuals have the ability to camouflage their nihilism with a dense cloud of verbiage. For clarity, it's best to put an open mic in front of some rank-and-file moron and let him speak unimpeded:

Of course, as with promises of eternal love, a profession of undying rage only serves to mark the speaker as a shallow, hormonal adolescent, or at least the intellectual equivalent thereof. But this is still interesting for the way in which it unwittingly — as is only fitting for a witless twit like Chu — reveals how even the ideals of social justice are, in many instances, nothing but a fig leaf of rationalization for a burning resentment. "Utopia" exists merely as the brilliant light which allows him to see evil shadows behind every actual, existing thing. The enduring presence of imperfection, and the false promise of its inevitable elimination, serve as justification for people like this to indulge their anger and hatred, which is all they really want. Righteous fury is their identity, and venting it on deserving sinners is their twisted form of pleasure. They don't want to relinquish that any more than your average employee wants his job to become obsolete.

But speaking of Scruton, and speaking of resentment: