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Secular orthodoxies made possible only by the Death of Reason, Part One - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Secular orthodoxies made possible only by the Death of Reason, Part One

And, yes, they are browning me utterly off.


  1. Anthropogenic global warming is upon us AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!


Balls.  We are – thank God – in a warm period in an interglacial.  We will likely remain in an interglacial.  We may soon no longer be in a warm period within it.  I’m more interested in what astronomers are telling us than in the duff statistics being bandied about, you see, and we may be in for another Little Ice Age within our lifetimes.  In any event, anthropogenic causality is not established – not ’arf.


  1. Gay marriage is a good and proper thing whose time has come.


Balls and balls.  No society has ever contemplated it, until now, and for good, secular reasons having nothing to do with the current well-known religions.  (Greece and Rome, see….)  Marriage is not a question of love.  Nor is it a religious rite or a sacrament.  (The solemnisation of marriage may be a rite or, as in the Roman communion, a sacrament, but that is another matter entirely: coronations and the blessing of the regimental colours are rites, also, because certain sorts of contract are considered so important that they want to be thus reinforced by ritual – again, as in Greece and Rome.)  Marriage is a bundle – a faggot, if you will – of legal rights and duties, all predicated upon and serving a central principle, that two families, two sets of hopeful grandparents-to-be, are pooling resources, of which the son and daughter being married are trustees, for the potential, eventual heirs of the now-united lines.  Marriage, as a legal institution, has nothing to do with love, romance, or religion: it’s about grandchildren, heritable property and descent, a device for ease of probate.  Without that purpose, the special rights and privileges that attach to it and are what is in fact meant by it, cease to be proper or relevant or, indeed, justified.


  1. One must respect all cultures equally (save of course for our own) and one may not condemn them.


What utter and dehumanising rubbish.  Good and evil, right and wrong, are not constructs that differ from one ‘culture’ to another.  Murder is wrong.  Suicide bombing, ‘honour killings’, arranged cousin-marriage, political corruption, tyranny, sexual assault, FGM, terrorism, stoning-hanging-or-decapitating homosexuals, suttee, slavery, death penalties for apostasy and blasphemy: all are wrong.  Full stop.  One has not only the right, but also the duty, to say so.  And to back those words with action (why, yes, Basher Davis is right about Burma).


  1. Hunting is evil and wanted banning.


This – along with a number of other follies, including the wrecking of the educational system – is the consequence of being governed, or misgoverned, by a gang of bien-pensant Grauniad-istas whose suburban sensibilities, suburban minds, and suburban mental horizons are rooted in old notions of class warfare.


In the ostensible name of the foxes of England – to whom they are doing no favours, as there are no natural controls upon that population remaining absent human interference, and they will now perforce be baited, trapped, shot, and otherwise killed without a sporting chance of getting away – these people would gladly have accepted the wholesale destruction of packs of hounds, a great fall-off, at least, of good horses, the unemployment of thousands, and the effective extinction, partly by predation and partly economic as a result of predation and the necessary, quite dear, countermeasures, of their totemic free-range hens and lambs.


They don’t care: they are driven, to a lesser degree but in the same way as eco-terrorists, the ‘liberators’ of wild boar and lab rats, by their own psychodramas, not least of these being their subconscious fear of the countryside and its population, whom they mostly despise even as they dread.


  1. Labour’s ‘anti-terror’ measures.


I do not altogether repine at the incompetence of this government: the last thing that is wanted is effective tyranny.  However, the idea that – to take the latest mooted folly – HMG should be handed everyone’s emails and ’phone records, and the whole populace be under and on suss, can be made more appalling only by the realisation that this is the same government that routinely loses everyone’s personal information.  Labour, new or old, stands once more revealed as instinctively inimical to the liberty of the Crown’s subjects.


  1. Certain common academic tropes.


Which I will address when heads are cooled.*


  1. Anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.


These of course are the worst, and the most rapidly growing, of the contemptible secular orthodoxies of our time.  There is no point even in arguing their viciousness: anyone who is not a moral cretin recognises their baseness.  Unfortunately, there are any number of moral cretins out there, and they are, naturally, impervious to argument.  One can but force them from the mainstream and isolate them in their natal fever-swamps.  (Just wait: someone will come along, who has no sense of that metaphor and its long political lineage, and treat that as a racialist comment.  Morons.)


The former is simply inane and puerile, as well as ungrateful, and makes fools of Right and Left equally (a good deal of what went wrong with Enoch Powell and his mental state was a visceral and truly unbalanced hatred of the Yanks).  The latter is of course the touchtone and classic sample of sheer evil.  They differ markedly in degree, but not altogether in kind, and hardly at all in the dire nature of their effects.  Both want contemning in the strongest of terms.


Here endeth the Lesson.


* Please not to threaten visiting lecturers with a poker.


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21 comments or Leave a comment
tudorpot From: tudorpot Date: May 21st, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good rant, nods at a few statements. Feel better now?
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 21st, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not so as one wd notice.

But I shall, I'm sure.
darkthirty From: darkthirty Date: May 21st, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the last point is really interesting - as a Canadian leftie, of course I'm supposed to be anti-American, but, shouldn't I also be anti-Russian, anti-English, anti-German, anti-Chinese, anti-Japanese, and so on, in that case? I'm pretty uninspired by nationalism of any sort, in fact.

Of course, I disagree with a good half of what you say, but I did read it without prejudice - I do think the evidence is in that as the level, anthropogenic causality, as you termed it, manifests.

One of the most frustrating things for me as a half Irish/Syrian, half Iroquois is the expectation that I have some sentiment for, uh, beading, talking sticks and burning sage, which I don't. I don't really have sentiments against them either. In this life, they are meaningless in all ways except the most trivial.

Oh, shoot, Vista is service packing 1...
darkthirty From: darkthirty Date: May 21st, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
the level of urbanization of Earth reaches 3%
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 21st, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not if Prezza and Broouuunnnn can help it.

That's the problem with averages, isn't it.
darkthirty From: darkthirty Date: May 21st, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Not if Prezza and Broouuunnnn can help it.

Oh, exhumed the laptop, which is XP.

At any rate, I meant to say, it's the academic tropes I'm really interested in...

No poker in hand....
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 21st, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

All in due time.

'And that was in another post, and, besides, the wnech is dead', to paraphrase lightly.
fpb From: fpb Date: May 21st, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am surprised by your definition of "nationalism" (i.e. being "anti"). I distinguish between patriotism and nationalism, but even nationalism surely has a more positive content than just to spit on anyone else?
darkthirty From: darkthirty Date: May 21st, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just that the nation state, even as a secular entity, has picked up some of the "work" of religion, so that the distinction between politics and religion, with the apparent separation of state and religion, become quite blurred. Science now also often takes on roles that were once fulfilled by religion - probably a good thing, but not without a certain subtle danger. Who can now say where the arrogant sway of science differs so much from superstition?

With the apparent erasure of religion from the mainstream, the ideas that were once represented via religion seem to be finding their way into public discourse in a much more insidious way - and no longer identified as superstition.

It's contemporary arrogance, that is.
fpb From: fpb Date: May 21st, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
You describe a reality wholly unknown to me. It might have been like that in Italy sixty to eighty years ago, but not since the fall of Fascism.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 21st, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well, disagreement is half the fun.

So long as one reads without prejudice, as I have always confided that you would do.

So much of what divides us all on levels other than the seriously philosophical is, isn't it, merely the clash of assumptions and the narcissism of small differences.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: May 21st, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Surprising how much I agreed with, actually...

As a red-blooded American, I of course disapprove of fox-hunting for all the usual reason, whatever they are; but it's way less psychotic than hunting bugs with a magnifying glass, which is right behind baseball as the Great American pastime.

What happens to the pelts? I care because fox or marten collars and stoles are the only furs a fat woman can wear.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 21st, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)


Shades of Little Hartopp and Stalky & Co.

Er, you don't want the pelts under the circs alluded to....

And there are hunts in America, I know.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 21st, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

In practical terms, the NHS is more sad than funny.

A worthy notion, ruined.

I do trust you realise I don't at all mind disagreement.

As for the gay marriage business, my point is that the institution has, over centuries, accreted to itself legal privileges (and obligations) that are justified only upon the assumption that the happy couple will or have the capacity to breed: the basis being that the spouses are, loosely speaking trustees of a now-joined portion of their families's fortunes, for the use and benefit of the future sprogs. See also,


Note that civil partnerships in the UK under the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 are invested with the rights that you identify as the 'point' of gay marriage.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 21st, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

What else? Well, probate, mostly.

Mind, I did not, thank God, read Law at university, and I speak subject to correction by learned friends. That said, I'm not really speaking of - or to - 'validation', whatever that may be (it seems a very woolly concept, and term), but the unique legal characteristics pertaining to marriage and based upon the presumption that it will result in children (not adopted). As I recall, the US yet preserves the greatest extent of marital privileges and duties (incl one spouse not testifying against the other unless the first spouse is the one bringing charges); centuries of common law and statutory enactment, based, again, upon the presumption of offspring (e.g., the presumption of legitimacy, the presumption in law that couples of any age may have issue, the calculation bases of the Rule Against Perpetuities), have created this. And it is the conservative impulse to give weight to this organic process of legal evolution that undergirds the common law systems, and to grant some deference to the past.

The emotive issues are ones I am peculiarly incapable of comprehending, I'm afraid, although I'm certain they are very meaningful to NTs.

On another topic, did you see that Karsenty won his appeal against France2 telly in the al-Durah matter?

Edited at 2008-05-21 08:13 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 21st, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Responsibilities, yes.

But parenting responsibilities were never the point. The descent and distribution of property to legitimate heirs of the body was, and is the justification for all the actual, legal privileges involved and implicated in the married state.

I yield to yr knowledge of the American cases, but I believe I have heard that both courts were thought to have reasoned back from a desired result rather to have applied the law?

And, again, I simply not the person to talk to regarding emotional responses in personal relationships. I am blind and deaf to these, organically.
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 21st, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

As Ld Peter noted -

- Every contingency is provided for; Murbles expects that every man will do his duty.

Because there is no way to determine desire for offspring - or in some instances, possibility - in advance, the law, as I understand it, presumes the possibility.

All I am saying is that so many of the attributes of marriage as a legal institution are predicated upon its being purposed for producing heirs, those special attributes are not justified where there is no such possibility. Were there an absolute way of making certain that a husband and wife had 'no possibility' of offspring, it might well be just and proper to create a less legally privileged class of marriage or partnership for such instances.
From: seneska Date: May 21st, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Feeling better now you've got that off your chest?

Some of it I agree with utterly. Other parts have simply given me food for thought *cough* part 2 *cough*

wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 21st, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

In part, yes.

And I expected that you wd be waiting with bated breath - or, if you'd sushi for dinner, baited breath - for Pairrrrt Twa.
From: seneska Date: May 22nd, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: In part, yes.

Of course. The sushi agrees.

pathology_doc From: pathology_doc Date: May 21st, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Word (though #2 is debatable - I see your reasoning; I'm not sure I agree with it completely).

The icon is for the targets of your rant.

Edited at 2008-05-21 09:28 pm (UTC)
21 comments or Leave a comment