Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why Wait?

It seems that Christianity and Christian cults, excuse me, sects, that inhabit the U.S. are never at a loss to produce small but fanatical sub-groups who are desperate to impart to the rest of us that the end is nigh. The latest batch of (m)adherents have apparently deemed May 11 of this year as the "beginning of the end." No doubt, some loud and particularly lunatic voice among them has, by dint of some very arcane fundamentalist numerology, discerned that the aforementioned date is of special import. After all, chiliasts don't have much use for hard science, so whoever came up with May 11 must have resorted to a special brand of bible thumping bullshit to come up with their calendar date of doom.

What, particularly, is it about our society that, time and time again, over the centuries, it seems to breed what is, to me at least, a particularly annoying cadre of Good Book desperadoes desperate for the entire societal shebang to be summarily extinguished by the Sky God? My quick surmise of this phenomenon is that the U.S., peopled as it as by more than its fair share of enfeebled men and women, is simply too hostile and difficult a place to survive for some portion of its weaker and more vulnerable members. Tragically, for them, and the rest of us, slipping into group hysteria and/or psychosis becomes the most comfortable and viable option. Put another way, these disaffected and disturbed citizens are, in essence, mental and emotional drop outs waiting for a not so benevolent creator to rescue them-while punishing the rest of us- from what must certainly be a long travail of abject existential misery.

Most folks here in the U.S., and elsewhere, I imagine, just get on with our own personal misery without resorting to this sort of infantile religious lunacy, but, in The Land of The Free, perhaps as a result of Enlightenment thinking taken to its logically nutty extreme, and our very poor public educational system, one can construe any sort of self serving tripe one wants to towards whatever purpose one chooses. In the meantime, I would wish the rapturists best of luck, but I'm inclined to believe it best not to encourage them. Not that these sort require any added motivation.


DED said...

May 11? Bollocks! Don't they know that the Beginning of the End starts on the Winter Solstice in 2012? Sheesh! ;)

Edwardo said...

Bunch of front runners.

Anonymous said...

I see anyone like this, and all I see is someone who cannot be content with the system and has therefore rejected it.

Give me a kooky but impassioned malcontent any day of the week over a well-domesticated liberal reformist.

Since temperament is the one thing where you either got it or you don't, it's only the former who can possibly be converted to the anti-kleptocracy cause. The latter will always be useless, because he's gutless.

Why do you bother attacking people who are admirably malcontented, but just misguided?

Edwardo said...

I'm afraid we disagree. I see nothing about these people that qualifies as admirable. I want neither them nor the well domesticated liberal reformers.

In the meantime, I would lay odds in favor of the "malcontents" despite their disaffection, responding to the system on a day to day basis in much the same way as the (neo)liberal reformers.

The religious psychotics hold fast to the delusion that some external, other worldly entity will deliver them in due course and this allows them to be utterly disinterested in effecting change in the here and now.

Anonymous said...

Sure, most of them will, and when I said "admirable" I didn't mean them specifically, but the fact of their not being contented with consumerism and regular statism.

The fact remains, if I were going to deliver a speech on kleptocracy, and I could choose an audience of disorganized weirdos or well-integrated system liberals, I think I'd choose the former.

BTW, I didn't mean ideological neoliberals, otherwise I would have said it. I meant "progressives" who in principle still dream of the New Deal and so on. But thanks to their fecklessness and conformism, in practice they always end up countenancing and often supporting neoliberal corporatism.

It's the status quo cowardice and conformism that seem indelible in them, while those may be absent from "dissident" cultists.

To put it in Altemeyer's terminology, liberals (including most "progressives") are Right Wing Authoritarian Followers, i.e. they submit to the status quo, while these cultists may be Left-Wing Followers, meaning they submit to something opposed to the status quo.

What were the Jehovah's Witnesses in the eyes of the Nazis? Their anti-conformism was in principle a threat, but their numbers were miniscule. They were weirdos. Yet the Nazis, who we must take as the ultimate experts in these matters, made a point of persecuting even this miniscule sect. Precisely because it was an identifiable manifestation of dissidence, however small and kooky.

Edwardo said...

Okay, Russ, I understand you. I must say, with all the looting that has been aided and abetted by government, it's very difficult to imagine that all but a very few fantasists would dream that some sort of New New Deal might come to pass.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't that long ago that exactly such rhetoric was commonplace, and although I don't often see it put so explicitly these days, the idea is still common among the "true progressives".