The postmodern age is an age of radical relativism — the belief that human nature varies greatly, and naturally, between evolutionary epochs, historical epochs, contemporaneous cultures and even contemporaneous individuals. The relativists reject our traditional religious claim that this moral variety is, to a large extent, the acting out of moral dishonesty.
Those of us who believe that man is made in the immutable image of God account, quite rightly, for a substantial amount of relativity in morals with this fascinating capacity of human beings to dissimulate, to be inauthentic. The conversion experience, so aptly documented by William James, presupposes this ability of human beings to be dishonest with themselves which is simultaneous with a sense of being dishonest with God. This is the crisis which triggers conversion. The unforgivable sin in Christian theology occurs when individuals wholly commit themselves to this dissimulation, making repentance and conversion impossible.
Now the postmodern deconstruction of Reason itself does not lead to radical relativism. It simply leads to traditionalism. In rejecting rationalism we are rejecting the philosopher’s strange notion of a normative method or standard for arriving at knowledge about Reality which, itself, could only be justified by constructing a whole view of Reality apart from that standard. The normative standard, and its view of Reality, are inseparable. This is not the way that a normative standard of knowledge about Reality is supposed to work.
Instead we may appeal, as I do, to a natural theory of knowledge (a “natural epistemology”) which recognizes that human beings, as such, arrive at their beliefs in ways which are practically authentic or inauthentic, and not in artificial ways which are described in much of our western mythology about science. The scientist arrives at his ultimate beliefs about Reality in the same way the rest of us do — existentially, pragmatically — and the attempt to image an alternative and somehow superior method for metaphysical belief has been the most sub-adult exercise in human intellectual history. Philosophically, all too many scientists think like children. William James and G. K. Chesterton were postmodern thinkers who saw this clearly at the very beginning of the last century.
So whereas those of us on the right are not actually radical relativists, but most often religious traditionalists grounded in the authenticity of the conversion experience and insisting that our competing tradition is more practical for everyone, we must begin, with ferocity, and on a grand scale, our strategic exploitation of contemporary radical relativism to tear the modern state apart. We must now shove radical relativism down the throat of the modern state until it is reduced to moral chaos, and then pick up the pieces in our traditional way.
The gauntlet has been thrown down. The LGBTs and the progressives who stand behind them are asserting that our traditional values are completely relative. These values are, in effect, our unhealthy medical (psychological) problem. They should have no bearing on anyone who does not share them. But remember, the left is relativist when that suits its purposes, and dogmatically rationalist and absolute when that suits its purposes. We must no longer tolerate this hybrid position. We must force the left into a consistently relativist grave.
What is good for the goose is good for the gander. The ignorant children of the left have no idea what they have started. Pandora’s Box is now open. What we must now do, with extreme aggression, is pour the contents of that box, like so much strychnine, right down the throats of the progressives and their authoritarian and essentially conservative government. We must become the true radical relativists. The left uses relativism piecemeal, inauthentically. We must now seriously assert it. When the left resists, we will deconstruct its dogmatism, its naïve rationalism, exchanging places. Nothing is easier to destroy than the liberal claim to an absolute, scientific conception of justice. No one believes in this anymore. The progressives have led us to the bottomless pit of radical relativism. But in order to consolidate their gains they must now retreat from relativism so it cannot be used against them; so it cannot be used to make their gains meaningless. We must not allow them to retreat. We must drive them into the pit they have dug.
Our traditional values have given great offense to the rotten children of the left. But they have given great offense to us, an offense to which we have a naturalistic right, like them. We must stop arguing that there is no right not to be offended and shriek until the state cannot bear it anymore. We must insist that our alienation is just as important as anyone else’s, that the state is just as obligated to protect our relative values; that there is no foundation upon which the government can justify unequal protection. If a man wishes to marry a dog, then we are the ones who should rush to his defense until the modern state has descended into total chaos. We can marginalize the left with its lack of integrity. We can terrify the modern state by insisting on chaotic consistency. Irony is the order of the day.
We must promote the absurd implications of radical relativism while the left starts to retreat from them for fear of total destruction. The left wants to occupy our homes, not destroy them. We must be prepared to burn them to the ground with the matches and the fuel the left has provided.
We must position the progressives as crypto-conservatives who are holding up progress toward a truly enlightened nation where the government is finally, and explicitly, standing on radical relativism. The government must come to admit that there are no universal standards, rooted in human nature, with which to govern. There are no common standards of reason, morality, justice, environmental health, medical health. There is no common understanding of history, of the positive law, of the measurement of utility. In effect, the government’s attempt to order our world must go away. There is no foundation for it. It must allow each community to order itself.
The modern state, committed to radical relativism, must give up governing. It cannot even assert the principle that we should not coerce one another. How could it possibly establish such a principle as a dimension of Reality?
Any collapse into democracy as the method of final resort for establishing a concept of justice is our victory in the long run. Most of the states voting on the issue rejected sodomy-based “marriage.” The heart of Scalia’s dissenting opinion on sodomy-based “marriage” is that the Supreme Court has explicitly rejected democracy. Democratic traditionalism, no matter how unstable its moods, is the progressive’s nightmare. We must force the progressive into the light. He is a systematic perpetrator of hate and discrimination against large segments of the population. We must cry out. We must wail night and day that everything is relative and we, too, must be protected.
We must pursue a radically relativist agenda until there is no government education, but only radically relative private education. We must pursue the principle of radical relativism until our society is utterly fragmented and divided, Balkanized to the point of being unable to survive as one nation. We must assert that gun ownership is a totally natural and legitimate form of obsession, just like homosexuality; a relative foundation of happiness, with respect to which the state has no objective critique. We are the New Ironic Left. Remember that phrase, and begin to use it. It is a countercultural artifact. It is a very powerful weapon.
We must go to the courts with the premise that there is no absolute good and evil, no absolute justice. If the state disagrees it must prove that it has absolute knowledge. Otherwise its judgments are unequal protection by their very nature. If the state replies that, in that case, it should not care, then the game is over. We will end such a government with the help of almost everyone. It will have admitted that it is an arbitrary tyrant. Given this strategy of pressing radical relativism, day in, day out, the modern state cannot win. It will either have to give up its schools and universities, or out itself as a dictator. There is no hope in our experience of policy-making science, or the philosophy of science, that state scientists can establish the nature of reason, of justice, of Reality. If the modern state proposes rule-by-scientist we will get our desired result even faster — the detailed dismantling of the government.
We must become experts in skepticism and relativism and demand that the state prove any claim about the nature of Reality whatsoever, or leave it to the people. We must put the modern state on the defensive as the conservative, resisting change. The left has pulled out a gun. We must drop a cultural bomb — their own — and be done with it. They wanted to play with this bomb. Now we will arm it, and set the timer. We must persuade the common man to carry this nuke — radical relativism — unconcealed wherever he goes. He must use it every day. He must trigger it promiscuously. We are all sophists now.
The modern liberal state must finally be made sincere about protecting everyone’s relative pursuit of happiness. Unequal protection is caused by dogmatic, indefensible claims about the nature of Reality. Judges who consider themselves on the right, must now become radical relativists. It cannot be just for the state to impose any view of Reality on anyone.
Let the chaos begin. The sooner the better. Shove radical relativism down the throat of the modern state until it chokes to death.
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