The war on trust

Don’t let it in; fight it; don’t let it get started. Those are the words to the wise from the High Doganate this morning. They apply in many circumstances, today. Gentle reader must be warned that they are not the current position, almost anywhere else. The current wisdom is to make some little concessions, for the sake of a little peace. We should be “reasonable.” The word is misused, for it assumes a relationship of trust, between two or more parties, each informed by reason.

In the world of today, that cannot be assumed. One is dealing with demands that are angry, instead. The Progressive Party (I name it in contrast with my Regressive Party) constantly makes these demands, churning and rechurning an anger that is, at its core, displeasure with God. But they will not, indeed cannot, put their cards on the table. They want something now; they’ll want something else later — more “progress,” as it were. Whereas, we want something today and tomorrow. Already we are speaking to cross purposes.

Under the old political dispensation, that I could still glimpse in my youth, there was lip service to a received order. There was broad agreement on fundamental things. We knew which were our good and bad angels. There was such a thing as “normative” — as there must be in any sane, non-dysfunctional society. There was thus agreement on what is “abnormal,” or perverse.

Liberals wanted more “liberty,” but were sticklers for “process.” Conservatives were instinctively opposed. But the two could still drink together, without risk of poisonings. Both thought “liberty” a Good Thing, and both knew that without some reasonable, and thus “transparent” restraints, it would be lost.

We don’t have liberals any more. The last one died two years ago. Nor, for that matter, do we still have conservatives, because without liberals, they are obviated. We have something instead, to which we must assign the awkward term, “progressivism,” to which the opposite must be “reaction.” Hence the need for our Regressive Party, which wants not only to stop progress, but “set the clock back.” … (Fight “daylight savings time”!)

The progressive lives in the nowhere land of the future. He is, as he says, “planning for the future.” His head isn’t even in the clouds. The clouds would be somewhere; he does not recognize place.

The reactionary lives in the past (which includes the present). He can at least reconstruct, from what we know of history, some things that really were, and must therefore be possible. The Christian, or philosophical reactionary, may even have a clear idea what is better and what is worse, from reflection on cause and effect. The progressive can’t do that.

More fundamentally, the progressive can’t trust. For when there is no “normative” — no normal — there is no ground on which anyone can be trusted. It is worse than that: the very idea of trust becomes an evil for him. How can any individual be trusted to discern right from wrong, good from bad, truth from the lie, when all such categories are either candidly abrogated, or inverted by sophistry?

It is no accident that all progressive proposals require the creation or expansion of a faceless bureaucracy, with jackboot powers.

Reciprocally, we can’t trust them, to help us rekindle or restore any social order. For any such thing must, necessarily, be founded on trust, faith, good faith, reason. But these are the very things the progressives are at war with.