Modernity in the West, America especially but not limited to, has succumbed to the temptation of moral outrage at every turn.
Outrage is most often a signal. The internet is awash with armchair quarterbacks, this site included, that continually pontificate and pound out pixels to such a degree that buzzwords ascend to meme status in nearly no time, thus, this is often referred to as something called ‘virtue signalling.’
It is, in fact, just that simple.
Moral outrage is a signal that the outraged has encountered something that confounds their view of their world; it upends their narrative of how life should work in such ‘enlightened’ times. This conflicts with the sense of comfort that the West took into its bosom and nurtured, making it apparent in a few synapses that reality itself cannot be altered by mere human wishes, thus the response is predictable: outrage. All of humanity has experienced those moments, wherein the unthinkable occurs. Sane people understand that these moments will all be with us forever, because the business of life, in and of itself, is ugly and often brutal.
The West, however, in our so-called Modernity, attempted to conjure a reality apart from the one we live within. One can blame Boomers, Gen-Xers, or even earlier generations, the historically-minded walking it all the way back to the French Revolution, but the outcome is the same: There is a way that seems right to us, but the result is Death.
For the universe itself, subjected to entropy from moment one, seeks nothing so passionately as to rid itself at all turns of entropy. At our core, we understand that our universe will, in the end, experience a heat death: with no more energy to transfer from hot to cold, everything grinds to a halt. Life itself is rebellion. It is not kind, nor is it very often merciful. Those traits reside within the sentient, not the processes of nature. It is up to man to seek out and utilize these traits, because the universe itself deals (mostly) in 1’s and 0’s, and the analog components manifest most often in life, not within the Laws of that universe. Thus humanity is given charge over these traits, their implementation, and protecting them.
Modernity in the West attempted to take a ‘higher’ moral road, though there is none, by deeming itself enlightened, possessing nuance that humanity has never, nor will ever, achieve. We in the West lied to ourselves and believed it, that we could in a positive way alter the Laws of nature and our universe but, though through technology we have shifted the perception of these Laws, we have not in any constructive way reduced the various and sundry pains that Life itself hands to us, simply by the nature of our existence.
There is a debate raging (in part thanks to Drudge linking an article) about immigration. The perception of this discussion is predictably altered by our enemy, news media, into a discussion about kindness, loving thy neighbor, etc.. The problem is that this is an incorrect twisting of the issue. The issue, no matter which side you come down on, does require compassion, something sorely lacking in our outraged culture. One who is human has to sympathize with any supposed ‘DREAM(er)’ who is suddenly being chased by ICE with the result of deportation imminent. To deny compassion is to deny part of the sentience of being human in the first place!
But America, and the universe itself, is built on the Rule of Law. Immigrants, by the rule of Law, are welcome here with proper documentation. But to see the issue with any clarity is difficult because the West itself has denied Universal Law for decades, opting to appease the envious, rather than acting in its best interests, which is to reduce the entropy within its own civilization. The problem is not merely, or remotely, limited to bad legislation, that news media that is our enemy, or even the legacy of our Constitution—the problem resides deeper within, as the West now faces the consequences of decades of denying reality in the hopes of transcending reality by legislating and pounding that transcendence into being. This does not and will never work.
(Actions have consequences, and the West, in all facets, has attempted to side-step these consequences, making mental clarity here difficult—illegal immigration is but merely one aspect of the confusion and corruption that entered America by disregarding consequences)
The West is at a crossroads, all the talk about its end is viable, as America has lost her way, like the West, and succumbed to myriad understandable but horrible temptations.
Will America and the West uphold the Rule of Law while also being more than vigilant in the use of compassion (both for the deported and for the citizens who endure what not enforcing the law has brought on them), or will people in America continue to yell and snark at one another through social media?
The latter will surely occur, thus it falls upon the people who are self-aware, who have a heart for the mission of today, to reflect, to remember what it is, precisely, that allowed the West to rise. Since the West is made of humans, there have been myriad things it has done wrong. Yet the West sought to reduce entropy and solidify civilization through tried, tested, and provably useful methods. It has forgotten these, having fallen for the temptation of solipsistic outrage, signalling its virtues rather than utilizing them. Doubt, fear, and distrust rule the mind of the average Westerner, though this need not be the case. The American who seeks peace of mind should reflect, meditate, and engage himself before looking outward. Turning off the TV is difficult for us Westerners, as we’ve come to rely on that Idiot Box to define our lives. This act does offer many rewards, however, including mental clarity.
The West has forgotten itself, to quote Stephen King, it has, ‘forgotten the face of its Father.’
The West, indeed America, should be a bastion of hope, a place where entropy and pain are reduced as much as possible in order to facilitate a healthy society, but it is not that. The West has fallen into moral outrage and anxiety, though we here were not given that spirit of fear, but of power, and good judgment. Compassion and kindness must needs go hand in hand with our rule of Law, because that is what sentience requires of humanity. But the universe also has requirements, and it will not be denied them.