Arcadians versus Utopians

Things are as they are, and will continue to be that way, as a wise man once suggested. He was trying to explain to a young commie (“liberal”) that, you don’t start with a plan. You start by apprehending a real situation. This, however, you have no hope of grasping, if there is some way you want things to be. Reality may include you, but its centre is infinitely outside. You do not control it. More than that: you cannot control it. (Things will happen, for which you hadn’t planned.)

You can play along with nature, which includes human nature, or you can go against it, and court disaster. Worse, you become essentially a criminal, as you take things that don’t belong to you — such as people’s independence, in the name of the Batflu, or whatever.

“I have a dream!” this Czech gentleman would suddenly exclaim, eyes (theatrically) shining. “And it’s a good one!” he would add.

Too, sometimes, he would hop into my office, proclaiming, “I am rabbit!” Or, hanging an arm from his nose, declare, “I am elephant!” Visitors to the office might fear that he was dangerously mad, but I knew better. He was the only fully sane one among us.

His point, in these latter cases, was that, paradoxically, he is not a rabbit; nor an elephant, depending on the occasion. He, and verily we, are not what we imagine. Rather we are what we are; and the more so when, thanks to self-examination, we begin to see ourselves more clearly.

For sure, the world is threatened by the dangerously mad. But these are not people who pretend to be rabbits, or even giant wolf spiders, as I once demonstrated to my smaller little boy. One might, if he wished, pretend to be something else. One might even be an actor, and play another person. But, within limits set forth in the criminal code, this is only our business. Or our director’s, if we are being paid. (They never pay us enough.)

Conversely, the dangerously mad have a rôle for you. And they seek the power to make you play it.

One of the reasons I greet the Left, with genuine and fully deserved loathing, is that they cannot comprehend this. They have a plan, “and it’s a good one.” If you get in their way, they will not only loathe you, but act upon it. They will find a way to punish you, if you hesitate. And you may get in their way, only by being who you are — a simple non-revolutionary; an attempted non-participant in their (sick little) schemes.

W. H. Auden presented this more eloquently than I shall ever do, in his poem sequence, Horae Canonicae. I am thinking especially of the section for “Vespers.” (Gentle reader should listen to it.)

Meanwhile, I shudder at the thought that Americans might be fool enough, to vote for the people who have a plan. And won’t even tell them what it is, until after the election. And could win it, only because they have succeeded in smearing the (essentially Arcadian) incumbent; and drilled all the young commies (“liberals”) to do as they say. (And they will make the adults pay their student debts.)

Now, go read my column in the Catholic Thing, if I haven’t depressed you enough this morning.