Friday, December 14, 2012

It's a Madhouse

Headline: 20 Children Among 28 Dead In Newtown Elementary School Massacre.

It's too terrible to dwell on the concrete details, which have become far too commonplace.   I only note that it was inevitable, and more is on the way.

It's a terrible fact that when the philosophy of a culture becomes utterly irrational, it infects everything.  People become utterly irrational when they come to embrace utterly irrational ideas.  I've remarked multiple times that the Left has become borderline psychotic, and I mean it.  Leonard Peikoff suggested something similar many years ago in his speech, "Modernism and Madness," (1994) which was the source of my own observation, and I've thought about it ever since.

The effect of irrational ideas infects everyone who subscribes to them.  What makes the Left's ideas so pernicious, especially those of the so-called "post-modern" Left, who are something of the apotheosis of worship in the Cult of  Unreason, is the insidious nature of the un-integrated, unreal ideas they advocate -- ideas developed ultimately with no regard for reality, but not merely no regard -- open, defiant contempt for reality.  The ideas they uphold are utterly unintegrated from any rational context by intention, with a brooding leitmotif of loathing for any kind of order to existence, and for any kind of human existence.  This expresses itself in the phenomenon Ayn Rand identified as hatred of the good for being the good:
This hatred is not resentment against some prescribed view of the good with which one does not agree. . . . Hatred of the good for being the good means hatred of that which one regards as good by one’s own (conscious or subconscious) judgment. It means hatred of a person for possessing a value or virtue one regards as desirable.
As she noted,
What is the nature of a creature in which the sight of a value arouses hatred and the desire to destroy? In the most profound sense of the term, such a creature is a killer, not a physical, but a metaphysical one—it is not an enemy of your values, but of all values, it is an enemy of anything that enables men to survive, it is an enemy of life as such and of everything living.
The effect of irrational ideas has to ripple down through a culture.  Putting aside the vocational aspects, our schools today are dedicated to one proposition: destroying the minds of children. The most successful products of our schools now grow up warped and disfigured mentally, in possession of some knowledge here and there -- table scraps for emaciated minds -- but largely shriveled mentally, their cortical folds flattened and disfigured by rabid committments to random eclectic notions bearing no connection at all to reality. 

At some level they know they are freaks. The anger wells up.  From the start of their grade-school they had stewed for years in a pot of  irrationality that washed their brains of any critical faculty and left them inept to live and filled with rationalizations for their metaphysical incompetence -- it's somebody else's fault for their lack of self-esteem or ambition or whatever. The brainwashing was perfect, because they came out of the process not merely unable to recognize their own killers, but admiring them.

With the sanction of a post-modern philosophy that glorifies hatred of anything human, they went home -- to watch post-modern movies or television shows denigrate anything heroic while teaching a mindless amoral violence as the solution to all problems.  And then, when bored with that (for the existentialism of boredom surely permeates the post-modern culture) they settled deeper into their couches to play post-modern video games that glorify mindless violence. 

Then you add the confines of the straitjacket of statism.  All that incompetence and feelings of worthlessness become a suffocating claustrophobic pressure seeking release. With no freedom, no ability to exercise individual judgment and only unchosen duties -- of course something has to give. 

This is the pattern of any extreme authoritarianism driven by an insane philosophy.  Psychological pressure builds till people start exploding.  They go crazy. 

It's happened throughout history, though you don't read much about it unless you look for it. Look up the history of any rigidly authoritarian country like the Soviet Union, or Cambodia -- sometimes the people doing the exploding are the ones in control. (Or -- who was the "Pied Piper" of Hamelin?  A serial killer of children. Put this one in the context of the stultifying religious authoritarianism of the Dark Ages.)

Freedom is the pressure relief valve of psychosis, in a sense, but more fundamentally, reason is what prevents psychosis and the pressure build-up in the first place -- by developing confident human beings who feel fit to live, who are qualified to live freely and independently, and who cultivate a society that allows people to live freely.

Free, rational societies don't breed mass killers.  Authoritarian, irrational societies do breed mass killers.  That's why I said:  more is coming.

Our society has scorned reason. Under government run, left-wing schools of pure, unadulterated brainwashing, too many children are taught nothing but irrational social and psychological doctrines that disfigure them mentally -- by design.

Ayn Rand explained it in one of her most brilliant essays, The Comprachicos. Quoting Victor Hugo in his novel The Man Who Laughs, she made a comparison:
' …The comprachicos, or comprapequeños, were a strange and hideous nomadic association, famous in the seventeenth century, forgotten in the eighteenth, unknown today.

'…Comprachicos, as well as comprapequeños, is a compound Spanish word that means “child-buyers.” The comprachicos traded in children. They bought them and sold them.

' They did not steal them. The kidnapping of children is a different industry.

' And what did they make of these children?

' Monsters.

' Why monsters?

' To laugh.

' The people need laughter; so do the kings. Cities require side-show freaks or clowns; palaces require jesters …

' To succeed in producing a freak, one must get hold of him early. A dwarf must be started when he is small …'

' Hence, an art. There were educators. They took a man and turned him into a miscarriage; they took a face and made a muzzle. They stunted growth; they mangled features. This artificial production of teratological cases had its own rules. It was a whole science. Imagine an inverted orthopedics. Where God had put a straight glance, this art put a squint. Where God had put harmony, they put deformity. Where God had put perfection, they brought back a botched attempt. And, in the eyes of connoisseurs, it is the botched that was perfect …

' The practice of degrading man leads one to the practice of deforming him. Deformity completes the task of political suppression…

' The comprachicos had a talent, to disfigure, that made them valuable in politics. To disfigure is better than to kill. There was the iron mask, but that is an awkward means. One cannot populate Europe with iron masks; deformed mountebanks, however, run through the streets without appearing implausible; besides, an iron mask can be torn off, a mask of flesh cannot. To mask you forever by means of your own face, nothing can be more ingenious…'
She continued in her own voice:
The production of monsters — helpless,twisted monsters whose normal development has been stunted — goes on all around us. But the modern heirs of the comprachicos are smarter and subtler than their predecessors: they do not hide, they practice their trade in the open; they do not buy children, the children are delivered to them; they do not use sulphur or iron, they achieve their goal without ever laying a finger on their little victims. 
This is the ingenuity practiced by most of today’s educators. They are the comprachicos of the mind. They do not place a child into a vase to adjust his body to its contours. They place him into a “Progressive” nursery school to adjust him to society...
She quotes herself in Atlas Shrugged:
He thought of all the living species that train their young in the art of survival, the cats who teach their kittens to hunt, the birds who spend such strident effort on teaching their fledglings to fly — yet man, whose tool of survival is the mind, does not merely fail to teach a child to think, but devotes the child’s education to the purpose of destroying his brain, of convincing him that thought is futile and evil, before he has started to think… “Men would shudder, he thought, if they saw a mother bird plucking the feathers from the wings of her young, then pushing him out of the nest to struggle for survival—yet that was what they did to their children...
I strongly recommend her entire essay to expand on what I'm saying here.

So the mental cripples emerging from our schools, realizing they are metaphysically worthless social pawns, become a kind of suicide bomber. They understand only one thing -- that they possess no reading ability, no writing ability, no mathematics ability, no knowledge of history or science or literature, no morals, no principles to guide them, no introspective ability (because that requires all the rest), no capacity to think whatsoever, and no self-respect, because that requires the capacity to think.  What can they do?

Explode.  They have to explode. It's the only thing they feel capable of doing, and for many the only thing they are practiced in doing, based on long hours ruminating in front of the screen of an imploding culture. 

They can't see inwardly, so all they can do is look outward.  They see some people who are happy, or who might be happy, and they feel a bubbling resentment.  They hear the steady pounding of left-wing culture rap that resonates with the never-ending migraine in their own skulls.  Momentarily, they get a brief cathartic release watching other people "solve" their problems on TV or in movies by shooting, stabbing, strangling or blowing someone up. The "anti-heroes" in those shows project no moral purpose to the carnage -- so the message is simply that even if love is the professed theoretical solution, killing is the only practical one.

This is reinforced when the nightly news flashes on-screen to trumpet the celebration of the doctrine at a wholesale level, with new legislation or Presidential edicts that destroy industries or murder Americans in altruistic wars. 

Seeing all this indiscriminate killing, disfigured human misfits might flee to the narcotic of a video game to get them through another night of escape with a barrage of simulated killing -- but that drug wears off quickly, leaving them only halucinogenic nightmares of unrelenting terror. Repeated day in and day out, the psychological battering eventually drives some to seek out a stronger drug, the only thing they feel competent to do to  redeem the void of their lives-- kill.

And so it goes.  Disfigured as they are, they can't even grasp what's been done to them, nor what might save them--reason.  Where would they go to find out?  A school?  Welcome to the monkey house.  Disfigured mental dwarves have taken over all the places of higher and lower learning and turned them into mad-houses.  Most of the teachers and administrators don't even know they are disfigured, or that they are disfiguring the next generation.   

The current generation, meanwhile, being fully mentally and permanently disfigured by the Comprachicos of the educational establishment and our culture writ large, have been let loose to stumble around for their survival within the cage of our authoritarian society -- which regulates their every movement and whips them at every turn for any expression of individual judgment or pursuit of any personal happiness.  They've no future at all, nothing but random hope for some loose change of an existence.

They see only one way out of the pain of such an existence: death.  This becomes a brooding, festering fascination with it, born of resentment and hatred and loathing and envy for every single creature that is worthy of its own existence. This resentment comes to consume the pathetic shreds of their lives, and some of them determine, when the pressure becomes too great, that one last suicidal gasp is all that's left to prove that they are better, as long as no one else is better off.  Anyone of any happiness, or any potential for happiness, like a child.  Anyone of any ability, any integrity, any achievement, any good in them is a glaring affront to the existence of these metaphysical monstrosities, and must be eliminated, in their psychotic world-view.  Destroyed, obliterated from existence.

Such is the development of a mass killer -- anyone who's main goal is to snuff out the lives of  everyone who might be happy, solely because they might be happy.

Random shootings are modern philosophy played out in action on a small scale. But modern philosophy is also starting to play out on a much bigger scale -- the recent election was our next "Batman shooter" preparing to enter the theater of the nation by engraved invitation -- and it will soon lead to global destruction unless the government-run schools of indoctrinated madness are shut down, but more fundamentally, only if the philosophies of madness that guide those schools are replaced with a philosophy of reason.

(I don't wish to raise the spectre of politics in this essay given the somber nature of the subject, but some time ago I did a commentary on how this kind of analysis applies to the disfigured creature in the White House.  It is a fact that he is closely related in spirit and intention to those who would randomly attack schools or theaters, and this should be borne in mind for the wary.)


  1. Excellent piece, Robb. I couldn't do better myself.

  2. Trenchant analysis. I wish it were hyperbolic.

  3. 'They can't see inwardly, so all they can do is look outward.'
    Taken to the ultimate extreme, this is the very definition of unconciousness.

  4. I found essay only today, through Edward Cline's blog. Although Ayn Rand's Essay, The Comprachicos, was one of the reasons that I took him out of school in order to teach him at home, I did not recognize the broader implications--that a free society does not produce mass killers. I only knew at the time that there was something terribly wrong with the education of the children, and the casual hatred expressed toward my son because he did not learn in the way these teachers taught (if taught is the right word, and I don't think it is). In a very sad way, your essay makes it clear that I made the right decision for my son. I appreciate your essay, Robert, because it completed my thoughts about the matter. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Elisheva. You're very welcome.


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