Render Unto Harper

We have a nasty bit of business afoot here in Canada, and that nasty bit of business strides the country under the name Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party and current Prime Minister of Canada.

Mr. Harper’s caesarism (or what Arabs would call “pharoahism”) is a growing concern in Canada, so much so that even the UK Guardian takes note, and has described his personal rule as signifying the end of “progressive Canada” and of Canadian social democracy. Mr. Harper’s post-modern conservative deconstruction of the liberal democratic state has been so extreme, in fact, that he has been cast as a veritable devil. And the reason he has to defend himself so aggressively against the popular perception of being a devil is, well, because he is Mephistophelian.

Render unto Harper that which is Harper’s, and unto God that which is God’s. For Harper is Harper and God is God and never the twain shall meet.

Maybe the most Mr. Harper will admit to is that he’s devilish. But even his socially-conservative Christian critics, such as Andrew Nikiforuk, believe Mr. Harper is too much beholden for his power to the Dark Side. Which raises the question whether Mr. Harper’s Christianism (let’s call it that) isn’t merely a cynical pose or might be, in fact, the publicly expressed piety of an abject sinner who feels inwardly that he’s in dire need of redemption and salvation from his own immoral, infernal, and nefarious impulses.

My guess is, that it’s a little of both. Mr. Harper’s cynical Christianism is part politics and part over-compensation for his demonic and Mephistophelian character (which some might call “Machiavellian” or, as columnist Lawrence Martin put it, like “Mussolini”).

Describing Mr. Harper (who is a chronic prevaricator and dissembler) as “the devil” or “Satan” or “The Anti-Christ” (they’ve all been used) might be a bit over the top, unless one considers cynical displays of Christianism for merely ideological and political ends to be anti-Christ (which it probably is) and Jesus used as another political prop and photo-op, but there’s no doubt that Harper’s personal political style oozes Mephistophelian cynicism.

The irony is, Mr. Harper’s cynicism seems to be directed mostly against his own “base” — his own supporters — more so than against his political critics and foes, because his faithful of the true faith are the ones who have been gullible enough to continue to believe his petty-minded dissembling and pretentiousness. Therein lies the irony of The Good Shepherd and his “new conservatism” — it’s precisely his faithful Flock of True Believers that he despises most for being so easily gulled and compromised and drawn along by his Mephistophelian wiles and snares.

But rather than describe Mr. Harper as “anti-Christ” or “Satan” or “the devil” (as even some of my small-c conservative acquaintances do), I would rather describe him as “a nasty piece of business” even though it amounts, in the end, to much the same thing.

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6 responses to “Render Unto Harper”

  1. amothman33 says :

    The ugly is everywhere. I donot need to be a cannadian to feel the nastiness. If it is afoot in your land ,it is afoot and backfoot in our land. when the problems become so huge and so diversified, the recourse to God becomes imperative, not because of the incapacity of the human, but it is the imperative path of history.Our malady is we are all out of order.It is frightening when the half machine and half biology face is accepted.

    • Scott Preston says :

      There seems to be something of a revolt brewing though. But at the same time, a polarisation like I’ve never seen before. Everything, not just here in Canada either, seems to be dissolving into radically opposed antinomies (dualisms) — the essence, in effect, of an advancing incoherence — or decoherence. I think many people are sensing this everywhere.

      At the same time, we have to wonder how the integral is capable of “irrupting” amidst this incoherence, for it seems an ambiguous state of affairs. But, of course, it is here also. The Earth is integrating even as everything seems to be falling apart at the same time. Very strange state of affairs.

  2. amothman33 says :

    In the womb of despair flourishs the effective hope.

    • Scott Preston says :

      I’m glad you mentioned that, because I’m often in the “womb of despair”. And you are quite right… Jean Gebser believed that what we experience as “anxiety” (or despair, in another perspective) was like the birth-passage of the newly born infant through the narrow birth-canal. That is the meaning of “anxiety”, too — narrowing. Some people hold that our notions of “hell” come from the unconscious memory of the experience of birth.

      One of the great Greek philosophers — maybe himself the founder of philosophy itself — Heraclitus was also called “the weeping philosopher” (as well as “the Dark” and “the Obscure”). Why he was given to sorrow rather than joy is perhaps something we may never know, but I’m convinced he despaired at the folly, the narcissism, and the self-inflicted tragedy of human beings. To his contemporaries, he was a very strange man — out of step with his society and his times, it seems. Heraclitus is proof against the rationalist conceit and vanity that “the one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind is king”. Rather, he suffers horribly and endures a hellish loneliness even in (and especially in) the crowd.

      I’m presently re-reading Bruno Snell’s The Discovery of the Mind: The Greek Origins of European Thought — a marvelous book about the passage from the mythological consciousness to the mental-rational consciousness (intellect). Lots in Snell that compares favourably with Jean Gebser — the European Renaissance as “rebirth” of the Greek Mind. I’m not too far advanced into it, yet, but we’ll see what he says about the Arab influence in conserving and enhancing the Greek discovery of the intellect. It was thanks to Jewish ( Maimonides) and Islamic sources( Avicenna, and Averroes) that the European mind awoke to the Greek precedents. I’m not very far along into Snell’s book yet, but hopefully he’ll be cognizant of that. I know that the man called Europe’s “first scientist”, Roger Bacon (around 12th c.) owed a great deal to Islamic sources. I also have a book about him, but I haven’t read it yet. It will probably be my next project after Snell.

      What I’m trying to do, presently, is map the dawn of the mental-rational consciousness (the intellect) from amidst the decay of the mythological consciousness, so I might better understand the present decay of the intellectual or mental-rational consciousness also. Snell is a good source for this origin of the intellectual/mental-rational, as he traces the transition from the mythical to the mentalistic.

  3. abdulmonem othman says :

    Dear Scott you donot belong to Canada you belong to the world.Despair provides us with the best opportunity to practice effective imagination inoder to move from the petit self to the grand self . In the darkness of suffering we will find germs of light and recovery.God is the source of kowledge , not arab ,not greek,ont the jew or any other race,It is said that the best introductions to effective imagination are the letters, that is why there is mantra, there are twenty nine chapters in the koran that start with single letter,two letters.three ,four and five letters,with a referrence that through therse letters or combination thetrof knowledge is descending from the higher realm to the lower.\, of course not through repetition only but it requires serious intention ,honesty,sincerity and faith together with less sleep, less and balanced food,meditation and concentration,Of course not an easy task.for god looks for avery highly spirited person.Our wounds are the very way by which the divine makes contact with us.It is crystal clear that is only through expansion of consciousness that we will be able to transform our own and the world crisis. I donot want to change you to islam, but to say that god is everywhere and willing to take of those who want to change , and god is not a person but the wise and the knowing energy that create every thing and that everything is accountable to It.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Sorry Abdulmonem that I did not respond earlier. After my return from Vancouver, I went into a kind of mental cave and cybernetic hibernation — like a bear.

      Don’t think I don’t appreciate your comments or contributions. I value them very much. Thanks.

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