Punchinello’s Chronicles

November 11, 2008

The Phony Moral High Road

Filed under: The Great Adventure! — Punchinello @ 1:38 am
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been spending a lot of time reading Paulo Coelho, lately. Jeez, talk about a rough life! This guy grew up in Brazil and endured all sorts of really bad stuff. He experienced a military dictatorship firsthand, and spent time in prison for disagreeing. It seems to me that all of those harsh experiences go into his writing, making it unique, interesting, and strongly grounded in reality.

Through all these hardships, he held to a belief that there is a purpose to life, it is organized, and that there is a design behind everything. The result is a blend of spirtuality and practicality that’s entirely refreshing in today’s literature.

One passage in “The Devil and Miss Prynn” struck me particularly apt in today’s world of America (I’ve only changed the tense to the present in the two indicated places for readability):

… Playing the part of a charitable soul [is] only for those who [are] afraid of taking a stand in life. It is always far easier to have faith in your own goodness than to confront others and fight for your rights. It is always easier to hear an insult and not retaliate than have the courage to fight back against someone stronger than yourself; we can always say we’re not hurt by the stones others throw at us, and it’s only at night—when we’re alone and our wife or our husband or our school friend is asleep—that we can silently grieve over our own cowardice.” – Paulo Coehlo

Another excellent observation, to the same basic point:

There are two kinds of idiots—those who don’t take action because they have received a threat, and those who think they are taking action because they have issued a threat.

We live in a historical time where personal feelings are claimed to trump actual reality. This is a time of narcissism, where all of reality has been made contingent upon the denial and arrogance of individual feelings. Not everywhere, but for a simple majority of the population.

Liberalism is essentially this internal belief and justification that the moral high road is founded on feeling good. Violence and aggression never, under any circumstances are justified, according to the liberal ideology. The wars we fight are useless violence, wasteful, and needlessly kill many young men and women. Nothing can justify war, they claim.

No such thing as moral absolutes, goodness, evil, right or wrong exist. All of it is a matter of personal opinion. When a nation is led to war for the purpose of defending human freedom, it’s the leader and his personal aggression at the foundation of that violence, death and destruction.

Ultimately, nothing is worth defending. Even much of our modern legal system is predicated upon a belief that the criminal is powerless to stop himself or herself from destroying the victim’s life. As a society, we’re told the burden is on us to go so far out of the way to protect the criminal’s right to “something,” that we’ve ended up with a mockery of the justice system. What that “something” is, nobody knows; it’s a mystery.

Of all the things that can destroy a person, three of the most powerful and compelling are fear, indecision, and ignorance. All three have now become a de facto standard in modern-day America, in large enough numbers that the next decade is predictable.

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