The Brazilian author Lucia Benedetti wrote a book about WWII called Three Soldiers. I discovered this book when I was eight, I think, and conceived a great fondness for it, which is weird, considering most of the characters in the book are rough men, and the book revolves around both the necessity and the horror of war, and how it changes men.
(Later on, in the states, I found she had written other books, and those were available here. They were a disappointment being infected with both man-hating feminism and America-hatred, but Three Soldiers, at least in my head is untainted by those. I don’t know if this is true, because I haven’t read it for thirty years, having left it behind in dad’s library and since it doesn’t seem to exist in English translation.)
Three Soldiers is where my fondness for war stories originates, and there are many scenes I remember very clearly, such as when the three (Brazilian) soldiers insist they’re not going to visit the tower in Pizza. At the end of the day, much the worse for the drink, they’re climbing the tower with (I think) an equally inebriated American, all the while shouting “no tower.” And there is a scene in which they dig a shelter in the ground which becomes a “nightclub” of sorts. There are also, of course, scenes of battle.
I no longer remember where in the book, but there is a conversation, when the guys are on leave, and none of them can understand why their officer won’t sleep around. They all have cozy arrangements with Italian girls and they ask him why he doesn’t. He says he’s married. And they say, “Oh, but so are half the men.” And then he tells a story.
He says there was this man who decided to build a house, but instead of cement he decided to use excrement. And all the people around, instead of telling him it was folly and stupid and smelly, applauded and lauded his intelligence until the whole thing collapsed in a smelly heap, and then they moved away from him, looking disgusted. He says “that’s what it’s like building a marriage with adultery.”
The parable seems accurate for adultery, but that’s not what this is about.
When reading the news today, from the Lena Dunham craziness, to the unraveling of the VA campus rape accusations, to Hilary telling us that we should have “empathy” for our foes, to the insanity that is the international situation, to the further insanity that is the national situation, I keep thinking of that house built with excrement.
Look, “liberalism” started with good intentions. I’m not talking here of classical liberalism but of that more active, more ah… “positive” liberalism that has at various times called itself “progressivism.”
Okay, the intentions weren’t very good, but they dressed up as good. In Sweden they instituted socialism because they were afraid the proletarian revolution was inevitable, and here too, I guess. Prizes and accolades should be given to that great fabulist Marx who convinced half the world that the masses were about to revolt.
Anyway, the idea at its root was for the upper class to keep control by controlling the doling out of socialism, so they didn’t end up like the Tzar of the Russias.
But it was dressed up in good intentions: care for the poor, universal education, keeping people from starving, enlightening the masses, etc. etc.
Only the dressing doesn’t matter when what’s underneath is just a wish to keep control and also when it’s all funded on a crazy lie: the idea that classes have cohesiveness and will rise and fall on their own and that these great social changes happen spontaneously like yeast.
There were other lies too, behind it: the idea that the economy is a fixed pie and wealth can’t be created, only endlessly redistributed. And the idea that there was some beautiful, innocent, pre market time when people owned everything in common. That was Rosseau, not Marx, but it was there, at the root of the ideas that went to forming this hodge-podge we’ll call progressivism.
It didn’t work as planned.
I mean, either doled out from above or by violent revolution, socialism or its darker red shade, communism, which have different details but both of which are based on reverence for the collective and disrespect for individual property and striving, this regime formed on supposed good ideas and aiming for supposed utopia proved a disaster.
And so, like all the cults, when the end of the world/messiah/spaceship from the Magellanic Cloud fails to materialize, it elaborated reasons for its failure and conditions it needed to meet for utopia. This is how the idea that revolution would come from third world countries came about, and recently the idea that revolution is from the downtrodden, among which the funniest “downtrodden” class is university educated, white, pampered women.
The problem is this – the progressive movement, when it started, was in fact using “good ideas” or “good sounding ideas” to cover up the fear of communist revolution and to help the elites hold on to power.
But the ideas were no obviously risible. Marxism offered itself up as a scientific view of history and therefore predictive of the future, and since that was the great age of science in other realms, who was to say that it wasn’t true? It might need to be tweaked – Darwinism has been – but it could be essentially true and right. Besides, it stripped from history the random appearance of great men who dreamed great ideas and the chaotic events that happened just because things happened to fit a certain way and made it sound like given certain rules things would happen.
That idea has been dead a long time. These ideas died in the mass graves of communist dictatorships. The idea of a top-down creation of a great society died even in Nazi Germany. What’s more the idea of the great proletariat revolution died with a technology that emphasizes mass production less and less.
Many people aren’t aware Marxism is dead and gone, an ideology walking around in its naked bones, all of them rotted. That is because before death was obvious, this zombie ideology had conquered campus and the press and even our entertainment and had slid, unnoticed, into people’s thoughts.
And what’s worse, what is truly horrible, is that when the rot became obvious and the lies plain, from the lie of the beautiful pre-historic communes to the rot of the soviet union, our press didn’t report it, nor our entertainment dramatize it. Instead they made excuses. It wasn’t communism, it was China, Russia, it was Cambodia, it was Cuba, and in the end, it was fallible humanity, which was not worthy of the great progressive project.
To keep believing, to keep holding on to their future utopia, and more importantly, to keep feeling superior to the rest of us, the progressives invented post-modernism.
This is sort of the equivalent of the kid whose *ss has been handed to him in a playground fight coming up with rules that prove he can’t lose and you can’t win.
Oh, I’m sure you’ve been in this situation, all of us have. The kid says his father is eight feet tall, and when his father shows up he’s five eight. And then the kid says, “Well, in my mind he’s eight feet tall, and you can’t say otherwise, so there.”
In the same way the post-modernist project insists there is no objective reality. Reality is what you say it is.
This is when they started building their house with excrement.
Instead of looking around and saying “Okay, this sounded like a great idea, but it doesn’t work in the real world” they held onto it, tighter and insisted the flaw was with the real world.
They could believe this because all the channels that informed/educated/entertained the public had been taken over by their co-religionists and were repeating their beliefs at them.
I watched mass media turn the minor recession of the first Bush years into a major crisis and what’s more blame it on Reagan’s policies which had brought us out of the severe Carter contraction and malaise. I watched them call again and again for higher taxes and more government, because that was the only solution. And people bought it, because what else were they going to do? Go outside respected media sources? But that was insanity.
In the same way, I’ve watched in fascinated horror as they try to pull the same trick – now to pave the way for Hilary – with everything from shows about women executives to the “war on women” and the campus rape crisis.
I’ve watched them inflate a so-so jobs report, which is propped up (as I predicted when Obamacare passed) by low-paying temporary jobs into “major good news” just as I’ve watched the summer of recovery one and two and three and four and five, and whatever many fall flat.
I’ve watched them puzzle over why it’s not working.
It’s not working because they need full control of all channels of information.
In other words, the only way the man who builds his house with excrement can pass for sane and shrewd is if he has full control and can make everyone around him clap and admire, or at least seem to. The minute there is even a guy going “Ew. You’re trying to build stuff with sh*t” the people who were thinking it smelled mighty foul are going to say “Ew” and next thing you know people are disgusted, or pointing and laughing.
Which is what fabulist Lena Dunham who became the “voice of her generation” on nothing much but proclamation is finding out. That’s what the woman who wrote about the UVA case, is finding out, as it’s causing people to dig into her older reports and realize they’re not even good Lifetime Movies. It’s what Vagina Vigilante Rose Eveleth found out when she made a scientist cry for wearing a cool sf-babe retro shirt, and people told her she was full of sh*t. It’s what the SJWs are finding out across the board. Their antics either puzzle people, or make them laugh or – at worst – disgust them. It’s what the president is finding out, as he goes into profanity-laden rants at the press which has fallen on their swords for him. It’s what Michael Man is finding out as people discover that, yep, climate disasters can be not-man-made.
And these poor cultists don’t understand why. It’s not just that they have for years built fortresses around their lies, with hype, and with giving each other accolades and prizes, and with no one else being able to puncture their echo chamber, no. That’s part of it. But the worst part is post modernism. You see, it’s their truth, so how can it be wrong. We should believe accusations of rape automatically for instance, because you see, they fit the Marxist narrative, and so being true in reality doesn’t matter. If reality doesn’t agree, it’s reality that’s wrong.
Pity them, my friends. They’ve built their house with excrement and lies. It’s now collapsing on them and they have no idea why. Pity them, but laugh and point, else they’ll convince themselves that you’re somehow making their perfectly sound home fall down.
In the smelly mess that ensues, it might be too late for them, but perhaps a new generation will learn the difference between sh*t and cement.
In the mean time we’re all going to see more sh*t and if we’re very unlucky more blood than we wanted to.
But in the end, we win, they lose. Has to be, because sh*t is a lousy building material.
Be not afraid.