Tag: The Left

Seven Days Make One Weak

The Left goes left, Taibbi, investments

I’ve noticed something lately: The liberals I opposed in my youth are the thinkers I enjoy the most these days.

I was born conservative. Not Alex Keaton conservative, but definitely on the Right and far more politically interested than my peers.

As a student at the University of Michigan and Notre Dame, I always found myself to the right of my acquaintances, often uncomfortably so.

But now, 30 years later? Those old liberals and I have moved closer together.

I no doubt drifted a bit to the Left. Although my history studies and innate conservatism initiated my interest in converting to Catholicism, once I joined the Church, I adopted a worldview and faith that tempered my more conservative instincts.

But I was still a JPII convert, which means I have remained conservative.

So I’ve concluded those liberals from my youth have drifted to the Right, which would be normal. People get more conservative as they get older, especially once they have kids and realize that it’s a beautiful world that doesn’t need to be torn down by a centralized state to create a world you’d prefer. When you hold that baby, you think, “This is alright. Right here, right now.” And at that moment, your mental landscape shifts to the Right.

Liberalism is discontent with present moment. Conservatism is contentment with the present moment. That’s why liberalism wants to change things and conservatives want to keep them the same. It doesn’t make one correct and one wrong. It’s just the way things are.

It also means that those self-identified “Lefties” in their 50s are beginning to think more like me. They’re still Leftists, but they have sensibilities more like mine. I’m talking about folks like Bill Burr, Joe Rogan, and Matt Taibbi.

These guys … Read the rest

Is the New Left the Old Occult?

The supernatural and paranormal. Postmodernism and critical theory. What could be the connection?

Over 40 years ago, Norman Cohn, author of that masterpiece about countercultural movements in the Middle Ages, The Pursuit of the Millennium, wrote a review about a little-known book by a young genius who would commit suicide at age 34.

The author: James Webb, a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, a man who Colin Wilson considered “one of the most brilliant minds of his generation.”

The book: The Occult Establishment (1976).

Cohn said:

[T]his book performs an important task. It offers the most vivid portrayal yet given of that hydra, irrationalism; and leaves one waiting, with curiosity if not with trepidation, to see what the next head will look like. 

“In Pursuit of the Irrational,” The Times Literary Supplement, June 17, 1977

The Occult Establishment is now out of print. Amazon says my copy is worth $100, if only I hadn’t beat the hell out of it with my underlinings and side notes.

But I didn’t know it would go out of print, and I didn’t know Webb was a genius of the first order.

Besides, I probably couldn’t have helped myself anyway.

The book is packed with fascinating (underline-worthy) facts about the 20th-century occult.

What is the Occult?

The “occult” is an umbrella term. It means anything pertaining to the mystical, supernatural, magical, and paranormal that falls outside religion or science.

Both religion and science use reason and logic to construct their “systems.”

The occult, on the other hand, embraces the irrational.

Religion and science seek to explain, but the occult revels in the unexplainable.

The occult, in fact, could be, and has been, defined as “rejected knowledge”: the knowledge rejected by the establishments of religion and science (OE, 15).

The term is

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