In the course of commenting on interesting things on facebook, I happened to use a word. It is a very powerful word. In convention, it fits with all the other words I’ve used commonly on this blog – discipline, manliness, order, passion, etc. I have only used it once on the totality of my time here, and it was describing an analogy, not a big idea. I have not used it because it has never crossed my mind.
It is for the best that it has never crossed my mind, and I do not plan on using it henceforth either. It would draw too much attention and build too many associations with certain other thought structures that are in truth very dissimilar to mine.
The word is Purity.
The thread was about marriage and one commenter was saying that it doesn’t particularly matter if marriage was an instutition created for X Y Z purposes, it could still be good if homosexuals were allowed to do it. My response was thus:
Good is only good if it’s pure, purity is only pure if it purges that which is not.
I have a lot more sympathy towards “sanctity” arguments than I do “but it’s fine if i have it too” arguments.
The rest of the comment indicates quite clearly how this is in line with the rest of my “order-based” thoughts, but my usage of “purity” changed the tone of the comment significantly. It is true that order cannot exist if it tolerates disorder – such is the definition of order. If it is true that marriage is pivotal to social order, whatever the effective form of it may be (i.e. the truth of what marriage is, not the up-for-debate definition), then marriage must be purified and protected at all costs. While F Roger Devlin has made it clear that lifetime monogamy is indeed one of the pillars of civilization, I am unsure to what extent it needs to be sanctified in order to be effective.
Using “purity” indicates that I know what order is, and that order is 100% something and 0% something else.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this kind of thought. All thoughts are binary in the end, and it is good to flagstand what you believe. However, it does only an incomplete capture of the concept I am trying to hold as highest. The essence of order is intensity, not purity. Order is a direction and not a state; it is the rate of change which is forever increasing, not simply measuring the change in position from yesterday. Order is pure ideally of course, but purity is not that which holds the rest together.
If I had used the word purity, or focused on its concept, this blog would be much closer to the conventional right wing and all of its beliefs. If you are a real man, if you are disciplined, if you have honor, and etc. Just as the tone of that comment is different from this blog, so would this blog’s tone be changed if I ever used that word. The attachments it has to politics – both left and right – is too great. Politics however is naught but a secular religion, a set of codes for the slaves and not the masters, for the followers and not the leaders. The lowest and most common denominator is that which is disorderly, and the nonsensicality of the ideas triumphed in politics reflects that. Does “pure freedom” really make sense? What about “pure fiscal responsibility”?
It is this stupidity that drives some people – many people – to think of themselves “moderate”.
I do not believe in moderation. I believe in order. Not “a little of this and a little of that”, but rather, “all things in their proper place”.
So all of this nonsense goes away.