Upstream & down

Among students of our Canadian rivers, there is (or was) a scientific consensus that the waters they contain run generally downhill. Crawfish and some other creatures may resist this tendency, but among scientists, “downward wettening” prevailed. And as we are informed, every day in our meejah, we must “follow the science.” As a sometime canoeist in earlier life, I know I did.

Thanks to such discoveries of modern science, we spoke confidently of things that were “upstream” and “downstream,” not only at the frontiers of riparian studies, but also by analogy in many other fields. That, for instance, politics are downstream of culture, was something I seemed to admit, Saturday; although the discerning reader may have noticed that I attributed this view to Breitbart and Gramsci. Myself, I’m not sure anything is downstream from anything any more, in the popular mind; and antiquated concepts such as “up” and “down” may be associated with white supremacy. One might be thrown off Facebook and Twitter, although in my case, as I am not on them, they will have to come for something else.

For really, we are now in the post-scientific age, where our worship of science has become selective. Indeed, from what I can make out, our “science” is only acceptable if it has been made up. Evidence-based researches are quickly banned as “fascist” and “racist.”

Hence, questions about which way the rivers are running. And even the theological authorities in the Vatican, who believe that two plus two may equal five, challenge other things formerly taken for granted. They are on the verge of discovering what are now commonplaces in “secular” society, for instance that men and women are purely cultural constructions, and that if God exists, or used to, He made at least 57 other sexes.

Up here in the High Doganate, however, where we are notoriously reactionary, post-science is rejected. We (let me use the “royal”) still hold that water wanders, of its own accord, from the higher to the lower locations. Obstinately, we affirm “upstream” and “downstream,” even in analogies.

Whereas, the world now holds, and is willing to enforce, that rivers run uphill. Even Breitbart and Gramsci may be dismissed as passé, for politics are now located upstream from culture. The “dictatorship of relativism,” as Pope Benedict called it, which previously agreed to the cultural priority, now seems hopelessly dated. The dictatorship now determines what culture should be.

But not in the High Doganate, my little bubble of backwardness. We (meaning, I) do not paddle upstream, from politics, to culture, to religion — taking this last as a kind of afterthought. Rather, I shoot the rapids, downward, in my little barque without sails.

This was the ancestral order of precedence. Religion came first, in all previous cultures; and is still originative, even now when it takes satanic forms. But God is, or was, the first spring. By the time we’ve passed through culture, down to politics, a lot of mud has accumulated.

Where is Reason, in this diagram? Curiously, I also locate it at the top. Indeed, because it is a universal (in my quaint way of thinking), I am capable of using “faith” and “reason” almost interchangeably. For a clean faith in God is like a clean faith in Arithmetic; and I am fanatic, in my belief that two plus two make four. Too, that murder is always wrong, &c. These are things that, in my retrograde view, simply utter from the spring.

Not that I would insist upon them. For I see that many, perhaps most of the worldlings around me have, thanks to politics and the culture, gone batshit insane. And it doesn’t make sense to argue with them.