By Dr. Jim Ferguson
Surrealism is an art style which features illogical dreamlike visions in contradiction to reality. Perhaps the most famous depiction of surrealism is Salvador Dali’s melting clocks in his painting “The Persistence of Memory.”
Unfortunately, Dali’s nightmare-like visions have become reality in America’s 2020 cultural revolution. The absurdity is that anarchists are actually selling their warped perspective as recompense for a sin-stained America. And even more disturbing are those in thrall of hatred who embrace anarchist perversity as reality. Insanity is on full display.
What happens when reason is subverted by the passions of hatred? Last week I mentioned the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror led by Robespierre and the Jacobins. The mob and the guillotine were the result, followed by the tyranny of Napoleon and war across Europe. History teaches that the mob cannot be appeased and will eventually come for you. This is the indisputable lesson. In just the last one hundred years, tyranny and the mob produced death and destruction across Russia, Germany, China and Cambodia.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” but is it true? Perhaps it’s only true when reason is still operative. You cannot reason with a mob or with anarchists. Nor can you have dialogue with activists using bullhorns or with the major “news” media whose purpose is to foment discord rather than discourse.
These days there are many examples of absurdity and alternate reality. A red hat with the “Make America Great Again” logo has become an emotional trigger for moronic leftists. Apparently some lives matter (Black Lives Matter, BLM), but you must not speak of others (Blue Lives Matter or All Lives Matter). The handshake, a time-honored sign of greeting and conviviality, is now verboten. Faces hidden behind masks are unable to flash a friendly smile. And verbal communication is likewise impaired by the now ubiquitous “sign of fear.” We’ve been working on our five-year-old granddaughter’s elocution. Though Josie tends to mumble she’s better understood than store clerks in a mask, unless the cashier is wearing the uncomfortable mask on his/her chin!
How absurd to learn the anarchist’s cudgel works on large corporations and executives with linguine spines. Brand name products such as Aunt Jemima syrup, Uncle Ben’s rice and Land of Lakes butter are suddenly deemed racist. Perhaps it’s the skin color of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben that makes the label racist. And how absurd and cowardly to attack statues and historical monuments. I believe the attacks are more than just mob stupidity. The attacks are typical of revolutions. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, in his book The Gulag Archipelago, warned that the way to destroy a people is to remove their history. Make no mistake, the mob’s attacks on our statues and monuments are attacks on our cultural history and our country.
When I was accepted to medical school, I was supposed to finish the last semester and my undergraduate degree. Instead, I opted for “the grand tour” of Europe, the traditional rite of passage for young men of the 17th and 18th centuries. For two months I surveyed architecture, toured museums and visited innumerable churches with such grand interior spaces that “surely the presence of God” was in such places. For me the now common Internet church service rings hollow when compared to seeking the Spirit in God’s sanctuary. And how absurd to close churches, but authorize marching shoulder to shoulder in protests, allowing looting, burning and vandalism without a mask.
I’ve led a half dozen medical missions to Guatemala where the culture is vastly different. As a new “missionary” doctor struggling to communicate and provide medical care in the bush, my preconceived notions of things were often challenged. I remember asking a man if he was “OK” by using the “universal” hand sign. Body language and facial expression told me my patient was … perplexed. I was horrified to learn that the OK sign in that culture meant “You are an a**hole!”
Last year I learned that in the absurd leftist cultural revolution the OK sign is considered a “meme of white power/supremacy!” The Greek philosopher Epictetus once said that your only real possession is your thoughts. However, 2nd century Epictetus was unaware of our modern-day anarchists and the “march of the morons” who blindly follow such destructive Pied Pipers. Epictetus would be horrified to hear the chant of BLM anarchists, “Silence is violence.” In other words, your thoughts are betrayed and you are condemned by failing to outwardly embrace such “wokeness.”
Viktor Frankl survived the Nazi death camps and went on to become an eminent neurologist and psychiatrist. He founded logotherapy which means “healing through meaning.” Logotherapy is considered the third school of psychotherapy alongside Sigmund Freud’s and Adler’s schools. Frankl wrote that there are only two races, the race of the decent and the race that is not.
A decent person and culture embrace virtue. Virtue is morality or righteousness. Ancient cultures were built of what we now call the Cardinal Virtues of courage, common sense, justice and moderation. I reject the race that is not decent or virtuous. Perhaps that makes me a racist, but it has nothing to do with skin color. It has everything to do with virtue and decency.
A wonderful book is “How Then Should We Live” by Francis Schaeffer. In easy to read prose, Schaeffer chronicles Western Civilization and Christian cultural influences. Suffice it to say, Schaeffer thought our Western Civilization was in decline, and these days few would argue to the contrary. But there is hope and a way forward, but not with anarchists like antifa, the Marxist leaders of BLM or the Godless mob.
The Apostle Paul would supersede the Cardinal Virtues with his so-called Theological Virtues in I Corinthians 13. I believe faith, hope and love are the metaphorical rudders of our ship and modulate the other aspects of decent and virtuous behavior.
It’s not rocket science, but it is necessary to overcome the passions of hate and racism with reason and love.
Be decent and virtuous. Resist being duped by “Wormwoods.” Seek the Spirit and push back against anarchy. This is how we should live.