Liberty of Virtue

Leo Strauss (1899-1973)

Virtue without liberty is not virtue. Liberty without virtue is not liberty. Ethics without aesthetics is not ethics. Aesthetics without ethics is not aesthetic. Dignity without grace is not dignity. Grace without dignity is not grace. Love without respect is not love. Respect without love is not respect.

Medieval Europe existed in a cultural dichotomy between Christendom and Christianity. Christendom is the secular civilization of Christianity while Christianity is organized Christian religion itself. There was always a struggle between Christianity which nominally and outwardly embraced a distorted version of virtue and Christendom which embraved vice. This conflict existed throughout society in all social classes.

Centers of virtue such as convents, noble courts and churches stood against the centers of vice such as taverns and similar establishments where vice was openly and unashamedly practiced.

The problem here is that virtue and vice were reduced to a Christian dichotomy of piousness versus sinfulness which are rather different from the ancient Greek conception of virtue and vice. In particular was the idea introduced that carnal desire was somehow a sin. This gave rise to a culture of taboo inversion where ostensible “pleasure” was derived from the act of breaking rather than from the act of grace.

The increasing marginalization of Christianity in Europe during the modern era did not end this culture of ostensible “pleasure” in taboo inversion. This still pervades of Western society and is profoundly pathological to put things mildly. But surely ought cultural diversity be respected? The concept of “culture” is no less problematic than the conception of “race”. It is true that genetic diversity has value but that does not mean that all genetic diversity has value. It also true that cultural diversity has value but that does not mean that all cultural diversity has value. It is true that gender diversity has value but that does not mean that all gender diversity has value. It is furthermore true that different kinds of diversity have value but surely that does not somehow mean that all kinds of diversity have value.

On the surface was Europe nearly entirely Christian. In practice however were secretive religious/pseudo-religious societies very active throughout European society as including within the Christian church. The secretive religious societies were those of European Median Judaism, the most famous of which is Freemasonry. The secretive pseudo-religious societies are still very much in existence and are often euphemistically described as “occultist” but the description “satanist” is certainly more fitting.

Christendom is pervaded by derivation of pleasure from taboo inversion, in the sense as performance of vice. This of course is not to imply that moral prejudice somehow ought not be challenged and undone but taboo inversion is itself precisely moral prejudice indeed. What is instead essential is to train everyone in ethical courage and instill love of virtue in young persons. Indeed, pleasure needs come from virtue rather than from vice.

None of this is to condone religious moralism and secular derivations thereof. Rather needs the feminist social revolution of universal emancipation become combined with a conservative revolution of return to Greek virtue. It needs be emphasized one more time that virtue is not identical with piousness and that vice is not identical with sinfulness. The ancient conception of virtue and vice preceded the European distortion of virtue into vice. What does this mean? It means that the cultural valuation of virtue was ruined by becoming reduced to structural oppression while conversely vice was elevated into the pseudo-virtue of taboo inversion.

This opens the very question of taboo inversion itself. When is taboo inversion a virtue and when is it a vice? This is a most important question indeed, indeed an essential one as to the future of the trajectory of modernity.

Taboo inversion is simplistic in the sense as constituting a certain provocation as is so common in modern art. What is rather needed is conceptual, social and technological innovation by means of applied science. None of this is to deny the value of undoing moral prejudice but it needs it necessarily be performed by means of simplistic inversion? Taboo inversion of course is simply a barely “secularized” version of Christian iconoclasm. Indeed, taboo inversion is precisely to Christendom what iconoclasm used to be to Christianity.

What is rather needed is a science of Applied Deconstruction as not reducible to an esoteric/arcane science that few are intellectually equipped to understand but rather one which humans generally need to be trained in practicing everywhere they venture.

Instilling love of virtue needs become central to all forms of education as the Feminist social revolution of universal emancipation needs be combined with a conservative revolution of embrace of the ancient Greek conception of virtue, namely love of virtue.

The Eurolect – Politics of the Para-Christian documentation project

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