The Unmaking of a Leftist: How I Left the Cult of Progressive Religion

What have all dictators of the past had in common? The cult of knowledge, the control of a socieities knowledge base in the hands of experts. To do this dictators have always symobolically erased and burned the public face of knowledge: the great libraries where such knowledge was inscribed in external systems. Are we not undergoing such a purification rite in our time? We who have so much infoglut that no one but our machines can master the datasets of information and its complexity? And, only the masters of the machinic intelligeneces, the experts in technological systems: the algorithmic masters of complexity hold the keys to this world. And, as in all previous dictatorships the decay of learning, the erasure of culture and religion and mores and customs, traditions, and the memory of the past have been under dissolution for two centuries.

Like all Cults, Progressivism produces neither sustenance, peace, defense, nor philosophy, worthy of its name, yet it does provide one service, which service unites the group, and to which all other operations of the group are subservient: it provides the reassurance that although the actions of the world may neither be understood nor exploited, fear may be shared out and the stranded group may take comfort in its replacement by denial.

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James Ross: They Don’t Dance Much

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“[Ross] showed us that a writer can come out of the red-clay gulches of rural North Carolina during the Depression—that is, a writer can come out of absolutely anywhere at any time—and make high art without resorting to tricks, stylish ennui or pointless savagery.” —Bill Morris, The Millions

Reading They Don’t Dance Much by James Ross, one of the old classic Southern noirs recently published, brought me back to the world I grew up in during the 50’s; or, at least a version of that world in another South. Strangely a part of it reminded me of an older step-brother and his high-school sweetheart who ran off and married a rich man. There’s a character by name of Smut Milligan – and, yea, it’s a nickname – whose from the wrong side of the track, dirt poor, and yet a great athlete. Excepting he’s a sucker for the curve ball, which put him at the bottom of the heap of hopefuls from the Scouts.

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