and moved on to further reflections that may be of interest.
This question goes to the heart of our situation, yet it is a mysterious question that has never been asked before. We could understand people believing in a truth even though it destroys them, in some kind of spiritual or patriotic self-sacrifice, say. Alternatively, we could understand people believing in a lie that enhances their life, as Nietzsche says all past cultures have done. Yet it seems incomprehensible that people would go on believing in an obvious lie even though it is destroying them, as the modern West is doing. However, I think this can be explained.
I believe there is a primary experience of truth and objective value. A person can have this experience, mutatis mutandis, in relation to God, morality, human nature, the cosmos, art, literature, nature, sex, a tradition, a culture, a people, a nation and its way of life, a family, a school, a town, a fire company, a favorite baseball team, any number of things. In a relatively spiritually sound person, this experience results in a belief, whether articulated or not, in the transcendent in some form. C.S. Lewis called it the Tao, which he defined as objective value. I believe that the key change that has occurred in the modern West is that people have lost that experience of objectivity or transcendentce, or, if they havenít lost the experience itself, theyíve lost the conceptualization that should result from that experience. That is, they may value their family, or love their country, but they donít connect these concrete and particular things to the idea of a transcendent good that makes the specific good they believe in possible. It is a rejection of objective value, a rebellion against transcendent truth. Once this happens, the only things left to believe in are immanent things, devolving ultimately down to desire, and, because there is no higher truth to provide a scale of values, all desires must be seen as equal, all people must be seen as having equal value.
A variant on the above is a phenomenon I will call, generically, neoconservatism. Neoconservatives claim to believe in a transcendent, but this transcendent is radically reduced, consisting only of an idea (the equal value and freedom of all persons) or a process (democracy). Neoconservatism, as a type of liberalism, maintains the forms or the verbal formulae of transcendent truth, but not the transcendent truth itself.
So itís a loss of true being, a rejection of truth. THAT is the lie and the father of all subsequent lies. Not believing in the transcendent truth that is the basis of all true values, people donít see their nation and culture as having an inherent value worth preserving and protecting. The nation is nothing but an ever-shifting collection of individuals with their desires, and all desires must be liberated and treated equally. So, for example, people should be able to do with their bodies as they want, said the girl in the McGill paper who was advocating polygamy, and anything that stands in the way of that liberation (which must be recognized and institutionalized by the state) is evil and must be destroyed. Or, on another front, if the nation, which is just a bunch of people anyway, changes into a bunch of Chinese and Mexicans and Muslims, why not?
Bringing this back to the subject of my article, Western people believe that all people and desires are of equal immanent value, and therefore they canít explain why blacks are worse off, except as the result of white oppression. Now of course thatís a lie. Though this lie leads, step by step, to the obliteration of the white people that believe in it and their whole society and culture, they donít mind, because, having rejected the transcendent and objective truth which is the basis of all genuine particular values, theyíre not able to articulate in a whole-bodied, whole-hearted way, their own inherent value as a people and a culture.
So, the suicidal lies to which modern Western peoples subscribe descend directly from the original lie of denying God or objective truth. The lies, and their inability to oppose those lies, have two aspects. First, since Western people are still involved in and committed to the original lie, they are unable to extricate themselves from the resulting lies that lead to their own obliteration. Second, because theyíve denied the truth which is the true source of all particular values, as well as the particular values that embody that truth, they donít mind (or donít see) that the lie is in fact leading to their own obliteration.