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Today we continue our PROSELYTIZATION series. We begin this thread by IDENTIFYING and EXAMINING post-Modernism. The reason behind our in-depth coverage of post-Modernism is that your humble blogger has identified it as the foundational philosohpy IDEOLOGY for that which we today call the FrancisTheology™ of the FrancisChurch.

The starting point of obtaining any OBJECTIVELY CORRECT understanding of the FrancisTheology™ is through understanding post-Modernism. To be more specific, what is critical to understand about post-Modernism is how it relates to Modernism. As we can clearly observe on the philosophical level, post-Modernism is a rebellion against Modernism. It is this point that has been highlighted in a post titled Good New Is That Francis Is NOT A Modernist. But That Is The Only Good News…

Bringing our discussion to the ecclesiastical level, this post-Modernist/Modernist dynamic is playing itself out between the neo-Modenists (Pasceni Dominici Gregis  Modernists in a new wrapping – see here) as represented by the post-conciliar church of JPII the Great and the post-Modernists as represented in the FrancisChurch. It is this distinction that needs to be understood in order to understand the underlying tension that is presently visible behind the Sacred Vatican Walls, and understand the current situation in the Catholic Church with the highest degree of accuracy.

And just to tie the above into the PROSELYTIZATION thread, it is only by understanding the philosophical problems, dare I say internal self-contradictions of these two TRANSRATIONAL ideologies, i.e. Phenomenology and post-Modernism, that one can then make the case for a return to Scholastic Reason and Objective Reality. This then allows the heretic, schismatic, heathen, Jew or just your run-of-the-mill everyday fallen away catholic to return to the ONE TRUE FAITH. Or at least this is how your humble blogger sees this process going forward.

So today, we turn our analytical microscope to psychology and Nietzsche. Our aim today is to drill into the post-Modernist’s mind and try to understand what motivates these people. To this end, your humble blogger has transcribed a brilliant video from Dr. Stephen Hicks. In this video, Dr. Hicks turns Nietzsche’s brilliant analytical methodology against the post-Modernists.

For our purposes here, as we are watching these two videos, we need to IDENTIFY how much of what Dr. Hicks describes in the video, is an accurate representation to what we are observing in the behavior of Francis, the oracle bishop of Rome and in his various speeches, conversations, interviews, musings at the Domus Saencte Maerta, and other off the cuff comments, i.e the Francis “magisterium”.  I have added emphasis and emphasis, but if I missed anything, please feel free to drop me a line in the comment box.

So today, we read Francis through Nietzsche…

*****

In older socialist writing, you can often see signs of resentment, envy, anger exalting in the destruction of the socialist revolution will bring. How those capitalists will finally get what’s coming to them.

With post-Modernism, the negative emotionalism is often more extreme. The sheer love of deconstruction, the chronic deployment of crude ad hominem argument. In my reading of the whole history of the Western tradition, these are unprecedented. Stanly Fish calling all opponents of affirmative action bigots lumping them in with the Ku Klux Klan. Andrea Dwarkins male bashing, in the form of calling all heterosexual males rapists. The rhetoric behind it is harsh.

Behind the emotion behind the rhetoric, there seems to be strongly felt negative emotion. Racism and sexism are currently the hot issues, so we might expect overheated language in debating them.

The same vituperation is leveled against historical figures. All those bad dead white European males. So if you are reading deconstructions of great authors like Shakespeare, you don’t find things like… ‘you know, Sharkespeare is great, and it really is kind of sad that I have to point out this element of sexism in him’.  It’s kind of a gleeful dismissing of all of Shakespeare, because he’s got these sexist elements in him.

So I want to try to capture this psychological component as well.   And I find, that for me what is most illuminating is Nietzsche’s concept of “ressentiment”. “Ressentiment” in the French is close to the English ‘resentment’, but it’s got kind of a more curdled bitterness. It’s more seething and poisoned and bottled up for a long time. That’s “ressentiment”. We’re trying to project this psychological state.

I kind of like using Nietzsche here and analyzing the post-Modernists because he’s one of the heroes of post-Modernism. They cite him for his perspectivalism  in epistemology, his use of the enigmatic and loosely structure aphoristic form, instead of the more scientific form, the treatise form, his psychological acuteness in unmasking various guises which is core to the deconstruction methodology. I want to use Nietzsche against the post-Modernists for a change.

Nietzsche uses the concept of “ressentiment” in the context of developing his famous account of master and slave morality. In Beyond Good and Evil, most famously and more systematically in the Genealogy of Morals.  Master morality for Nietzsche is the morality of the vigorous life loving strong. It’s the morality of those who love adventure, delight in creativity, in their own sense of purposefulness and assertiveness.

Slave morality is the morality of the weak, the humble, those who feel weak, victimized, afraid to venture forth into the big bad world. Weaklings are the chronically passive, largely because they are afraid of the strong. As a result, the weak feel frustrated. They can’t get what they want out of life. They become envious of the strong, and they also secretly start to hate themselves for being so cowardly and weak. But no one can live thinking that he or she is deeply hateful. And so the weak invent a rationalization, a rationalization that tells them they are the good, the moral, because, they are weak, humble, passive. Patience is a virtue. So they have to wait a long time to get something that they want. So patience is a virtue. Obedience is a virtue. They can’t do their own will, they have to obey, and make it a virtue. Humility, and so is being on the side of the weak and the downtrodden. People just like you. And so of course, the opposites of those things must be the evil. Aggressiveness, pride, independence, being physically and materially successful.

Does this sound familiar? Sure. But of course Nietzsche says it’s a rationalization. And a smart weakling is never quite going to convince himself of it. And that will do damage inside. Meanwhile the strong will be laughing at him. And that will do damage inside. And the strong and rich will carry on getting stronger and richer and enjoying life. And seeing that will do more damage inside. Eventually the smart weakling will feel such a combination of self loathing and envy of his enemies that he will need to lash out. He will feel the urge to hurt in any way he can, his hated enemy. Of course, he can’t risk direct physical confrontation. He’s a weakling. His only weapons are words.

Now in our times, the capitalists are the strong, the exuberant, the active. For a while in the past century, the socialists could believe that the revolution was coming, that whoa would come to them that are rich and blessed would be the poor. But that hope has been dashed cruelly.  Capitalism now seems like a case of twice 2 makes 4, and like Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man, it’s easy to see that the most intelligent socialist would just have that fact. Socialism is the loser. And if the socialist know that , they will hate that fact, they will hate the winners for having won and they will hate themselves for having picked the losing side. Hate as a chronic condition, leads to the urge to destroy. But again, your only weapons are words. How can you use words to destroy? I think the whole idea of deconstruction come out of this.

Post-Modernism is populated by large numbers of people who like the idea of deconstructing other people’s work. The opposite of constructing something of your own. Consider parallel examples from the world of visual art. I think the visual art world was a little ahead of the post-Modernists this century. Asked to submit something for the display at the Art Institute of Chicago, Marcel DuChamp sends a urinal, which is then displayed. This makes a statement about art. Art is something you piss on. Or there’s the painters De Kooning’s version of the Mona Lisa, a reproduction he makes of Leonardo’s masterpiece with a cartoonish mustache added. That too makes a statement. ‘Here’s an achievement I can’t hope to equal and so I’ll turn it into a joke.’ In fact, destroy it. So you become a bully and a thug, not because it destroys something bad, but just because it feels good to wreck something. So words are your weapons now, you want to destroy the achievements of Western Civilization, especially the Enlightenment, how do you do it?

Well, consider a more personal case. If you have someone and you want to hurt him, hit him where it counts. You want to hurt a man who loves his children, and hates child molesters, what would be the worst thing to say about such a guy? Well accuse him publicly of child molesting, or better yet, spread sneaky rumors that he’s a child molester. You want to hurt a women who takes pride in her independence, spread through the gossip grapevine that she married the man she did, because he’s wealthy. Now the truth or the falsity of the rumors doesn’t matter and whether you believe them yourself doesn’t matter and whether the people you tell them to don’t really believe them doesn’t matter. They get out there and they do their damage. What matters is that you score a direct hit on the psyche of your enemy, your target person. And you know that the accusations and the rumors are going to cause some tremors, even if they come to nothing. And you get that wonderfully dark glow inside knowing that you did it. And it just might come to something after all.

Now the best example of this psychology comes from the deadest and whitest of the European males, Shakespeare. Think of Iago and Othello. Now here I think, Shakespeare nailed this psychology centuries ago, long before the post-Modernists. What we’ve got is that Iago just hates Othello. But he couldn’t hope to defeat him in open confrontation. So how best to destroy him? Well, hit him where it hurts most. His passion for Desdemona. Hint that she’s been sleeping around. Spread subtle lies and innuendo.  Raise a doubt in Othello’s mind about the most beautiful thing in his life. And let that doubt work like a slow poison. And like the post-Modernist, Iago’s only weapons were words. The only difference between the post-Modernsts and Iago is that the post-Modernists are hardly subtle.

Now let’s bring it back to the Western tradition. The Western tradition, it prides itself on its commitment to equality, justice, open mindedness, making opportunity available to all.  The West is proud, full of itself, confident and it knows that it is the wave of the future. This is unbearable to someone who is totally invested in an opposite and failed outlook. And so, that pride is what you want to destroy. Your best bet is then to attack the West’s sense of its own moral worth. Attack it as racist and sexist, as inherently dogmatic and cruelly exploitative. Undermine it at the core.

The words don’t have to be true in order to do their damage. And so, I don’t think it’s accidental that post-Modernism has launched the kinds of attacks on the core values of the West. And it’s done so knowing full well that the accusations it’s making are not true. It’s a psychological compulsion in some cases and so that allows you to hold the contradiction. You can be an absolutist in your assertions and you could assert the relativism and it just doesn’t matter as long as it’s harming someone, your enemy, that’s fine.

That’s the final explanation, my final hypothesis here. I call it the NIHILIST explanation, for obvious reasons.

I think some post-Modernists, the worst of them anyways, are individuals of deep “ressentiment”, psychologically. And the combination of alienation, bitterness, envy and rage leads them to lashing out with an intent to destroy any aspect of culture that seems to them to be the opposite.

Bonus Video:

And here is Dr. Jordan Peterson also explaining why it is “Ressentiment” that is driving the destruction of Western Civilization and the Institutional Church.

And here is a shorter version of the Stephen Hicks video, but set to music…

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