Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

The perils of prolonged, march of folly-triggered crisis (of watersheds, slippery slopes and divide and ruin . . . )

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As I have pondered the current exchanges at UD and wider circumstances and trends with our civilisation, I have been reminded of the local prolonged volcano eruption triggered disaster and crisis that is now of over twenty years standing.

Yesterday, I put up this visualisation of what I am thinking about — prolonged crisis with double, linked slippery slopes:

tapered divide

Tsubakurodake ridge and trail, Japan (HT: Wiki)

Here, I see how a window of opportunity for sound change can narrow down to a dangerous ridge line with two slippery slopes, where divide and domineer tactics can trigger falling down BOTH escarpments in a mutual ruin of polarisation and folly.

At the same time, I think of Tsubakurodake ridge, Japan, with a ridge-line trail (as we can see).

What that brings to mind, is that here we can see a circumstance where there is prolonged peril of falling into division, mutual polarisation and mutual ruin that invites intervention by the domineering.

Where also, the longer the situation goes on, the harder it is to turn back and escape to sound footing and a safer path.

An excellent example of this is the folly of internal division in Israel in the context of challenging the Greek yoke from 168 BC on (as the books of the Maccabees record) where decades later the Romans were invited in by a faction seeking advantage in a local Hasmonean power struggle. The Romans of course never left.

Likewise, when Greece stood in unity in the face of the Persian invasion, and won, the Athenians unwisely moved from Delian League to Athenian empire, triggering decades of civil wars among the Greeks. The Persians intervened and eventually Athens the dominant naval power (having already fatally weakened itself through the failed Sicilian expedition championed by Alcibiades) was finally defeated by a Spartan led fleet financed by the Persians. Where of course Alcibiades, on the eve of the expedition to Sicily faced a crisis over his recklessly amoral behaviour that led him to defect to Sparta and then (having cuckolded a Spartan king) onward to Persia and eventually back to Athens. In the end, the Athenians preferred to lose the crucial battle on their own rather than trust the counsel of the clever but utterly amoral and manipulative Alcibiades.

In the course of this conflict, the Athenians also went to Persian Satraps for help, with the sometimes this, sometimes that Alcibiades involved up to his eyeballs.

Then (with Athens broken), the Thebans had to break Spartan power in a decisive land battle at Leuctra. A battle that showed the power of a pinning, distractive attack and a concentrated decisive thrust at a schwerpunkt — which would be chillingly echoed in the Ardennes and on the plains of Belgium from May 10, 1940.

And of course Philip of Macedon was the ultimate winner of the intra-Greek 100+ years war, with his son, Alexander then taking the fight to the Persians. (During which, Israel passed from Persian to Greek domination.)

us_islam100yrAnother chilling parallel is the fight to mutual exhaustion between the Eastern Roman empire (Byzantium) and the Parthians (heirs of the Persians) that came to a nominal Byzantine victory in 628 AD. Of course, the Muslim invasions followed, leading to their 100 years of dramatic expansion from Medina and Mecca in Arabia to India in the East and to 150 miles from Paris in the West.

This last, we would do well to remember as we contemplate the 100 year Muslim Brotherhood plan for global subjugation. Not to mention, their settlement jihad strategy.

All of these reflections bring me back to the issue of a prolonged cultural civil war that we so plainly face in our civilisation, where once a march of folly agenda has become entrenched . . . which, as Ac 27 reminds us, can be by way of manipulated democracy . . .  ill-advised business as usual can persist in the face of signs of the sort of prolonged crisis and watershed with dual slippery slopes that has been illustrated above:


As I ponder the increasingly bizarre issues that seem to now be on the agenda of public debate in our civilisation (cf here, here and here recently at UD) Machiavelli’s warning seems to have redoubled force.

It seems there is drastic need for sound reformation before it is utterly too late (and, frankly, it may be too late already), which requires assessment of the commanding heights of the community, worldview and cultural/policy agenda trends and drivers:

seven_mountains_culture_agendaAll of this is relevant to the wider context of the deeply polarised debates over design and imposition of Lewontin’s a priori, lab coat clad evolutionary materialism.

For, it was not for nothing that Plato warned us as follows in The Laws, Bk X c 360 BC even as the prolonged Greek march of folly played out to a bitter end (NB: Aristotle, Plato’s pupil, was hired by Philip to tutor Alexander and companions):

>>Ath. . . . [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [[In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily “scientific” view! Notice also, the trichotomy of causal factors:  (a) chance/accident, (b) mechanical necessity of nature, (c) art or intelligent design and direction.] . . . .

[[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.– [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT. (Cf. here for Locke’s views and sources on a very different base for grounding liberty as opposed to license and resulting anarchistic “every man does what is right in his own eyes” chaos leading to tyranny. )] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles; cf. dramatisation here],  these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless tyranny], and not in legal subjection to them. >>

We can hardly say we have not been warned in good time concerning the matches we have played with in our civilisation for centuries. I find here, that an adapted, somewhat corrected form of Schaeffer’s line of despair analysis is also relevant as we ponder the way ideas have consequences:

Schaeffers_vision_extendedA key problem of course is that the lower storey tends to eat up the upper one, whether nature > grace [= the issue of theology in a material world]:

Dichotomising natrure and grace leads to disjointedness in western man's worldview
Dichotomising nature and grace leads to disjointedness in western man’s worldview

. . . or particulars > universals [= the problem of the one and the many], or nature > freedom [= the issue of responsible, rational freedom and mind in a world largely conceived in physicalist terms], or reason > faith [= the role of faith in a world of reason trending to rationalism, empiricism and skepticism], etc.

As Schaeffer so often said, ideas have consequences.

In our current debates we should ponder with Girgis et al on the increasing loss of the conjugal understanding of marriage, and its implicit societal costs:

[youtube my_FrkFIwzk]

Especially, as we ponder how the death toll from the US’s abortion holocaust under false colour of law now mounts up towards 60 millions, and how the global one (per numbers suggested by Guttmacher) is running at perhaps 40 – 50 millions per year.

Bloodguilt — especially mass bloodguilt such as this — is the most conscience-benumbing, heart-hardening, mind endarkening force I can think of.

If you need to explain our civilisation’s marches of folly,

Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .
Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .

. . . that would be a very good place to start.

Where also, as rights, sound governance, morality and natural law are pivotal concerns in the debate, allow me to share these thoughts again (as originally given in the context of attempts to homosexualise marriage).

Let me first remind of Masha Gessen’s let the cat out of the bag remarks:


Now, let me clip:

>>1 –> inescapably, we are morally governed as individuals and as communities.

2 –> on pain of immediate, patent absurdities, core moral principles are evident to conscience guided reason to certainty and are binding.

3 –> systems of thought that reduce morality to subjectivity, relativism or to illusion end in implying grand delusion and utter unreliability of our intelligence and conscience.

4 –> likewise, for things that undermine the premise that we have responsible, rational freedom and quasi-infinite worth and dignity; aptly captured in the traditional Judaeo Christan premise that we are equally created in the image of the good God and just Lord of all worlds.

5 –> Right to life, to liberty, to conscience and responsible expression, to innocent reputation, to the fruit of our labour and more flow from this, as say the US DoI of 1776 epochally acknowledges.

6 –> That document sums up this view in terms of the laws of nature and of nature’s God. It has far deeper idea roots and a centuries deep history behind it. Its legacy of liberty speaks for itself. Let me clip its first two paragraphs, noting the right of reformation and if necessary revolution in the face of a long train of abuses and usurpations (where the ballot box provides a peaceful instrument of audit, replacement, reformation and revolution but is critically dependent on an informed, responsible public cf the Ac 27 case here . . . a sobering lesson on the perils of manipulated democracy):

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

7 –> In this context, a core basic right is a binding moral expectation to be respected in regards to key aspects of our nature. That is, it is the mirror image and dual of mutually binding obligations imposed by our nature and its inherent dignity. That is rights are inherently matters of moral law connected to our nature.

8 –> As a consequence, a rights claim is a claim to be in the right and to be owed duties of care by others of like morally freighted nature.

9 –> You cannot have a right to the wrong, you cannot demand that others enable and support you in the wrong, such is to poison other souls with the taint of compulsion to do and to support the wrong. Such is monstrous and wicked.

10 –> Likewise, there are no rights to twist key institutions crucial to human thriving as individuals, families and communities. For the blessings of the civil peace of justice and liberty under legitimate law are key requisites of human thriving.

11 –> This holds for demanding that marriage be perverted through lawfare and agit prop, and the linked demand that sexual perversion be acknowledged on equal terms with the manifest order of nature stamped into our genes, organs, biology of reproduction and social- psychological- relational requisites of sound child nurture.>>

Ideas have consequences, and our civilisation faces sobering concerns and issues as we go through a prolonged crisis.

Walking a tightrope is not sustainable for a civilisation.

I think it is highly advisable for us to turn back, addressing both the prevailing worldviews climate and the agendas being imposed on us through the seven mountain commanding heights of a community or civilisation.

Where, also, we need to face the even more challenging question of our own degree of complicity in the problem. Ranging from being swept up in a march of folly, to becoming an activist enabler, to involvement in astro-turfed pseudo-grassroots front groups, to the rarer involvement as a strategic decision maker shaping radical, destructive agendas. In this, I must also . . . under the doctrine of fair comment, point to the rise of Cultural Marxism, the red- double green de facto alliance between the radical secularist left, radical environmentalists and IslamISTS. Clipping from the just linked:

In effect [in Cultural Marxism], we see neo-Marxist analysis transformed from the classic class war to an ideology for identity/minority group activism driven by a sense of oppression to be overthrown; which — per fair comment — can all too easily be manipulated into subversion of institutions, law, policy and community life, in the end demanding approval of evil in the name of true freedom and liberation. Activisim that can easily become pretty ruthless factionalism that may easily run the risk of pushing democracy into mob rule. And, when ruthless activists gain institutional power, a big problem is that they have not learned the habits of sound, balanced, mutually respectful governance, but instead those of ruthlessness.

This montage will help make my point (notice, the red star on the tee-shirt and the rainbow coloured umbrellas):


As a civilisation, we have some thinking and very carefully judged changing and reforming to do. In a very perilous situation where time is not on our side.

Let us begin to think, very, very carefully — while remembering Machiavelli’s warning on political hectic fever. END

PS: The Rick Rescorla story points out how to most people on Sept 10, 2001, the idea of what happened just a day later was unthinkable. But he had foreseen it with his informal security think-tank team all the way back to 1993. Notice, how hard it was to acknowledge the realities and trends. I add this, because it seems necessary — in light of dismissive comments below — to draw attention to the need to understand the risks that are being run with our civilisation (just as happened at Fair Havens in mid-October 59 AD):

[youtube mbHugnu91tY]

PPS: It seems that in response to objections being made I should headline a summary of

>> . . . the agit prop employed by marxists of various stripes — including cultural marxists taking the long subversive march through the socio-cultural institutions — and by their ideological kissing cousins the fascists over the past 100 years.

I again cite the neo-Marxist Alinsky’s key tactics:

5] “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

13] “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

I summarise that agit-prop- activism- and- lawfare- as- an- agenda tends to:

a: sweep up alienated minorities or classes, proceeding onwards to

b: create a dominant narrative of oppression and proposed liberation under messianistic leadership/movements, thus

c: carries with it those who have been indoctrinated and polarised, bringing them under the influence of

d: enabling activists and front groups or issues movements, many of which are in fact

e: astro turf, i.e. pseudo grassroots, not genuinely spontaneous (or else have been infiltrated, betrayed and co-opted for the radical cause by agenda serving agit prop activists), being manipulated and controlled by

f: calculated strategies and cultural/policy agendas, created and sustained by

g: strategic level ideologues, planners and backers/funders. Where the game plan is

seven_mountains_culture_agendah: to seize dominant control of several key cultural institutions thus shaping the dominant worldview, and the cultural/policy agenda and the public discussion — cf the seven mountains analysis framework in the OP above. In so doing,

i: ruthless agit prop will routinely resort to distract, distort, denigrate, stereotype, demonise and scapegoat tactics in order to

j: secure advancement of an agenda that often cannot stand the cold light of day. Where,

k: it is often assumed or implied or even outright asserted that by and large people cannot think clearly and logically so they

l: must be given simplistic, dramatic agit prop narratives that stir their resentful emotions (giving them convenient targets) and these polarising myths also

m: secure their adhesion to the politically messianistic ideology, its top leadership and the local activists. Quite often,

n: The triple tactic advocated by Kirk and Madsen is used: desensitising, jamming out contrary message sources, conversion to toleration or enabling or participation.

o: Then, the radical nihilistic ill-founded agenda, through lawfare [I include subversion of parliaments, bodies of law and regulation and of the executive insofar as this operates under law], is entrenched. Ending in

p: ruin.

These tactics I learned of in studying Nazism and in dealing with Marxists, and saw playing out in my native land to the point of triggering a mini civil war and permanently destabilising the nation through drug trade funded warlordism and politically connected gangs. I saw how the media and education were manipulated. I saw people lose rationality in crisis and go into Canetti’s the madness of crowds. I saw the stereotyping, scapegoating and targetting that Alinsky so cynically advocated.

And I saw the ruin such tactics create as communities go over the cliff and break their backs.

In the case of lawfare, I have seen how manipulation of the sword of justice and of laws can easily institutionalise evil and warp the proper functions of the state and community institutions. In particular, I saw the pernicious influence of evolutionary materialist scientism, linked amorality and institutionalisation of power in the hands of ruthless factions. And I saw the critical importance of a true understanding of moral governance and of responsible, rational freedom informed by insight into human nature and the laws of moral governance of that nature.

Which, I can see being foolishly discarded all across our civilisation as radical causes entrench themselves in the halls of power and impose marches of folly under false colour of law.>>

PPPS: The tone of objecting, dismissive commentary has taken such a stance that I have felt it necessary to remark as follows in comment 339:

>> . . . the religion card fails.

For, the issues at stake on the issue of the twisting of marriage under false colour of law are not religious but philosophical; having to do with the relevant patently, manifestly and even undeniably evident core principles of the natural moral law. That is, ethical and policy matters, having to do with foundations of justice, rights, freedoms and responsibilities of members of a free society.

(And yes, the reputation of freedom in the long term is most definitely in the stakes; the folly of our civilisation is not exactly commending the values of responsible rational freedom to rival civilisations bent on supplanting what they view as our decadent, dying, rotten civilisation. As in, let me add from the 1991 MB Explanatory Memo on the Civilisation/Settlement Jihad process:

“The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ’sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions . . .” [–> cf here for more, including the relevant phased agenda]

Never mind their own problems of boy play — forgive the necessary reference. And when freedom is in the stakes, I must be very conscious of just who, historically, have been first in line to be reduced to chattel slavery. In a context where Africa is now obviously the global geostrategic pivot, the poorly garrisoned, deeply divided strategic resource rich continent ripe for plucking by those whose evil eyes are already on it. And the Nile valley and the Levant’s neighbourhood from the Sinai to the Bosporus is the land bridge that joins three key continents. We are clearly cursed to live in historically interesting times.)

That patently evident natural moral law is manifest in the complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of sound, stable child nurture.

Law, that we scant or disregard at grave peril to our civilisation.

Further, these issues pivot on our being morally governed, responsibly and rationally free . . . which is a premise of being sufficiently rational to debate matters on fact and logic.

Further to this the extreme nominalism being gleefully imposed to try to create as a novelty in law, homosexual marriage, thereby wrenching principles of equality and rights, raises the issue as to how such abracadabra words obtain meaning and force.

The answer is quite evident above: by might and manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘value,’ ‘meaning,’ ‘law’ etc.

So while preening yourself on openness to challenge of your religion by contrast with implied fundy ignoramuses (while by implication it is patent that you have disregarded challenges given to you and others of like ilk in response to your remarks, here on worldview foundations of ethical theism and here on the William G Perry error about truth that has unfortunately been embedded into educational curricula), you are opening the door to raw nihilism and oligarchic domination by ruthlessly manipulative factions.

That is how dangerous the matches being played with are.

I suggest to you, that you would be well advised to pause and think again.

The fire that is beginning to blaze out of control will burn up more than you realise.


PS: And I am very aware of the prevalence of catamites in the days of Plato and onwards in Greco-Roman culture, indeed in the Republic, the discussion of love was about diverse tastes in boys; we need not elaborate on what a Symposium was or easily became as the wine flowed with the conversation and the night wore on, at least by hinted reputation. That is part of what Rom 1 was denouncing, with Nero Caesar as deviant in chief — indeed he became the principal historical exemplar for attempted homosexualisation of marriage under false colour of law by way of — having kicked his pregnant wife to death — castrating and “marrying” a young boy who resembled her. Then, when he wanted more he manifested the inherently destabilising nature of this wrenching of marriage by “marrying” a man and mockingly imitating the cries of a virgin on her wedding night. I will not go further, into the details of public sexually tinged cannibalism (likely with Christians staked out in the Arena as targets). As, Suetonius’ Lives of the Twelve Caesars attests with horrific detail . . . just, do not read anytime close to mealtime or bedtime. I go this far as it is necessary to draw out that the sound lessons of history were paid for in blood and tears; those who disdain, neglect, ignore or reject them, doom themselves to pay the same price over and over again. Also, it is obvious that if I and others refrain from direct reference out of a sense of some things being unmentionable (indeed the first time I heard Rom 1 mentioned from the pulpit is was by way of saying that some things there were of that order, not to be discussed in public), the hints will not be taken seriously. As to connexions to religion, I will simply say that the Moon Ganymede is named after a catamite of the chief Greco-Roman god, Jupiter. Yes, this issue was literally written into our mapping of the skies.>>

. . . and this from 345 will help us address the issue of strategic subversion of our civilisation through 4th generation warfare; noting that usurping the law, law enforcement and security forces in service to a domineering agenda is perhaps even more effective (coming from within) than an attempted, obvious overthrow by openly external groups:

>>Just to make clear what a ruthless civilisation subversion agenda is like, let me further excerpt the translated MB 1991 Explanatory Memo:

“Phase One: Phase of discreet and secret establishment of leadership.

“Phase Two: Phase of gradual appearance on the public scene and exercising and utilizing various public activities (It greatly succeeded in implementing this stage). It also succeeded in achieving a great deal of its important goals, such as infiltrating various sectors of the Government. Gaining religious institutions and embracing senior scholars. Gaining public support and sympathy. Establishing a shadow government (secret) within the Government.

“Phase Three: Escalation phase, prior to conflict and confrontation with the rulers, through utilizing mass media. Currently in progress.

“Phase Four: Open public confrontation with the Government through exercising the political pressure approach. It is aggressively implementing the above-mentioned approach. Training on the use of weapons domestically and overseas in anticipation of zero-hour. It has noticeable activities in this regard.

“Phase Five: Seizing power to establish their Islamic Nation under which all parties and Islamic groups are united.”

EXERCISE: Substitute appropriate terms to see how this fits other movements associated with the red double green alliance. Ask what each member movement ultimately plans for the others and for the society at large.

Then ask yourself, first, do you want to go there, to when the diverse phases 4 and 5 begin to fully play out?

Then ask, what we should do as a civilisation in defense of ourselves as phases 3 and 4 overlap with phase 4 becoming ever more evident through lawfare.>>