GENUIS: Beware the new McCarthyism of the progressive left
In the 1950s, US Senator Joseph McCarthy was known for liberally accusing anyone and everyone of being a communist.
In the context in which these accusations were made, they were devastating. Many people who were not communists still had serious damage done to their careers, because the accusations created doubt and fear about where they stood. McCarthyism used the politics of fear to devastating effect.
Senator McCarthy’s tactics eventually earned him censure by the US Senate, and his name has become synonymous with reckless slander and demagoguery.
But today, ironically, many of those in the so-called progressive left who might once have been his victims have shamelessly adopted his tactics.
Today’s McCarthyists using epithets like “racist,” “misogynist,” “homophobe,” and “white nationalist” instead of “communist.” The labels are different, but the tactics are the same.
How does someone come to get accused under the circumstances of today’s “new McCarthyism?” The most common way is guilt by association. Can you be plausibly associated with someone with odious views?
Did you know them socially, get photographed with them, or speak to the same group of people that they did? Perhaps you associated with them before they took on certain odious positions. Perhaps you retweeted someone saying something perfectly reasonable, without noticing that the same person had tweeted something monstrous a while ago. Perhaps you appeared on a show or podcast to explicitly challenge the prejudices of the host – and yet the pictures alone can be made to tell a very different story.
A person can also come to be accused based on brief out-of-context clips of remarks they have made, in public or even in private, potentially long before they chose to pursue public life. Some of these clips may sound genuinely monstrous.
But we have probably all been in situations where we meant to convey one idea and ended up choosing the wrong word or formulating an idea in a way that could be misunderstood. Perhaps you retweeted a tweet, liked a social media post, or repeated a phrase without fully understanding some aspect of its meaning. These things happen often in normal human society, by accident and without malice.
I think in any normal or civilized conversation a person would be given the opportunity to say “Oops, I didn’t mean that at all the way it sounded, let me start again.” We would expect this courtesy to be afforded especially to individuals who have a long track record of expressing views and acting in a way diametrically opposed to the out-of-context clip.
A local mayor I know, a former Liberal candidate, recently liked an off-the-wall tweet critical of Muslims. He says he has no recollection of it and must have done it by accident. I believe him. But that didn’t stop the then-editor of the local paper from deciding that the error merited a prominent opinion column. Why the story? Is it so implausible that someone bumped the “like” button while scrolling quickly?
More prominently, consider the case of Caylan Ford, a former UCP candidate in Calgary. Caylan is a Chinese Buddhist and a Falun Gong practitioner. She has done extensive work on human rights and has worked for Global Affairs Canada. Presumably GAC does some screening, and is careful not to put bigots into influential positions. I got to know Caylan through her work on the issue of international organ trafficking, and her personal commitments on these issues are genuine.
Caylan resigned as a candidate because of some things she may have said in a private message with someone she thought was a friend. She resigned for fear that this story could have put her party in a compromised position. Unfortunately, the full context of the conversation was never given.
I make no defense of the comments as they were alleged to have been made by the far-left fake news generating “Press Progress” – but all of Caylan’s life work makes it really hard to imagine that she believes or has ever believed what she allegedly said. She clarified as much as soon as the story broke.
Even in cases where a past remark may actually have reflected the views of a person at that time, people can also legitimately change their minds. An individual may have come to certain conclusions, which they then revisit based on new information or experience. It is good for people to be willing and able to change their minds.
People should generally be judged on their present views as opposed to their past views. There may be exceptions, where a person changes their views so many times or so capriciously that they are not credible or trustworthy, but those cases should be the exception.
It is worth noting how the resurrection of past retweets or comments, re-interpreted and misconstrued, can particularly impact people who lack privilege. I have intended to pursue politics from a young age, and so have always sought to express myself judiciously and precisely, at least in public or online.
English is my first language, so I am at less risk of misunderstanding a word in a retweet or accidentally saying something that sounds different from how I intended than someone who learned English more recently. (I certainly have made linguist errors in French during private conversation, which could have got me in big trouble if made on camera).
The new McCarythist ethos may put those who did not have the privilege of certain political and linguist training, or the privilege of expecting and planning for a life in politics from a young age, at greater risk.
We should aspire to a politics in which people are judged based on what they think and believe. Politics should be about policy proposals, debated on their merits. People with odious beliefs, be they communists or racists, should not be elected to public office.
But the proliferation of McCarthyite attacks is bad for politics, bad for the quality of public debate, and bad for society.
The left should be challenged for its increasingly McCarthyist approach, but conservative parties have to be sensitive to this as well. We should be wary of indulging the McCarthyist instincts of the left every time we face an accusation.
Twitter has censored an official video released by RNC Research, which is managed by the Republican Party in the United States. In the video, manufacturing workers in the “blue collar room” praise President Donald Trump for his work on strengthening the US economy.
Subtitled “I’ve seen it getting better and better,” the RNC Research video was flagged by Twitter as a piece of media containing “potentially sensitive content.” Precisely what is “sensitive” about the President’s accomplishments is something only Twitter’s moderation team—and no one else—knows.
The censorship was quickly pointed out by Steve Guest, the GOP’s Rapid Response Director, who was signal boosted by the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., who wrote: “This is a disgrace. Something we should be celebrating the social media masters are censoring such bullsh*t!”
In recent days, the social media platform has come under fire for its move to crack down on “doctored” videos and other forms of deceptive media, including memes. Journalists in the mainstream media cried foul earlier today over a “deceptively edited” video published by the Mike Bloomberg campaign account that showed him mocking his opponents with the sound of crickets playing in the background.
Following the outcry, a company spokesperson for Twitter told Huffington Post that the Bloomberg video would “likely” be labelled as manipulated media under its new rules, which take effect next month.
The rules may be forthcoming, but Twitter—it seems—is already hard at work to prevent any of Trump’s accomplishments from gaining any traction.
Twitter is working out ways to combat misinformation on the platform, and one of the ideas, per a leaked draft to NBC, is to add warning labels beneath perceived lies and misinformation.
Posts by politicians or their campaigns would be vetted by verified fact-checkers and journalists. Presumably, these people would be entirely objective and able to parse information evenly, cleanly, and without any personal bias whatsoever.
This effort comes in the wake of a rollout of a new policy from Twitter to detect and delete deep fakes and manipulated videos. The new system would also enable something of a social credit component, where “users could earn ‘points’ and a ‘community badge’ if they ‘contribute in good faith and act like a good neighbour’ and ‘provide critical context to help people understand information they see.”
Per NBC, “The points system could prevent trolls or political ideologues from becoming moderators if they differ too often from the broader community in what they mark as false or misleading.” What that means is that one, lone, dissenting voice, that does not go along with the opinion of everyone else, could lose their status as a moderator simply because they are willing to diverge from the group opinion. Having an opinion that differs too often will be reason for invalidation.
That an entire group thinks one thing does not make it true. Truth is not discerned by the number of people who believe it. In fact, the mere fact of total consensus is reason enough to investigate.
Warning labels are present in many aspects of life. They are on both prescription and over the counter drugs, on car seats, side view mirrors, and at the edge of cliffs suggesting we not get too close. Health Canada and the US FDA require ingredients labelling on foods. Tobacco products are covered with images of diseased lungs per government regulation. Information is not something that should come with a warning label.
This is not new, but it is more insidious, given just how much information the public currently consumes. In the 1990s, Tipper Gore advocated for warnings labels to come on albums, and she succeeded. Perhaps nothing was more enticing to a kid than an album with the black and white label reading: Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Books by renowned authors like James Joyce were banned for their sexual content.
Tech giants are concerned over their complicity in making misleading or downright incorrect information available for public consumption. They are worried that, as a result of their proprietary algorithms, stories and posts that contain inaccuracies will appear on users’ feeds. What the tech companies want is a corrective. They want to fix it. They want to be able to slap a warning label on there, give it a splashy Pantone shade, and let the issue drop, solved.
If the standard for misinformation were to be applied equally across ideologies, the BuzzFeed’s and Vox’s Twitter feeds would be very colourful indeed. But there’s no reason to believe that will be the case, given past examples. From the dirty Trump dossier to the Covington kids hoax to Jussie Smollett, misinformation flows freely from the woke outlets. And they are always given a pass by big tech.
Andy Ngo had to delete his tweet stating facts from the Human Rights Campaign because they were inconvenient to the progressive narrative. Meghan Murphy is still banned from Twitter for speaking a simple biological truth.
Here’s a thought experiment: How would Twitter categorize this tweet from Hillary Clinton? Is there enough evidence of collusion to warrant her calling Trump Putin’s Puppet?
Twitter’s plan to know what is true based on what the largest quantity of verified moderators believe is true is thoroughly flawed. The plight of heterodox thinkers on Twitter has been well documented, with those who diverge from the common narrative banned or threatened with deletion. Twitter does not know how to discern fact from fiction, and their plan of labelling information with warning labels will stifle truth and discourse, not advance it. The truth is that Twitter is the last place to trust when it comes to the truth.
It seems counter-intuitive to claim that the re-election of the free-speech champion, the notorious politically incorrect jackhammer, Donald Trump, would pave the way to greater censorship rather than greener pastures.
Let me be clear: I’m saying if a Democrat wins in 2020, the first wave of censorship would have proven to be not only an effective political strategy, but it would achieve what Project Veritas has exposed as Silicon Valley’s desire to “change the way people think.” The digital book burners, modern-day tyrants, and behavioral re-educators, could take pause, needing only to tweak the successful model to be re-deployed in future elections, and set on autopilot.
What happens when the king senses his power is fading, and control is slipping from his grasp? Typically, they double-down on the very behavior that makes him the tyrant in the first place. If the past is prologue, then the re-election of Donald Trump will be the breaking point in 2020. The first wave of censorship would be deemed a failure, requiring retaliation and a second wave of expurgation. Unfortunately, what is even more chilling is that the political excommunication will worsen, and Donald Trump will do nothing about it.
According to a recent press pool report, the president applauded the so-called MAGA club. “For 144 days, we set a record stock market. It means 401Ks, it means jobs. Four trillion-dollar companies: Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft. You have MAGA. The trillion-dollar club.” Perhaps, he may be more concerned with the flattering numbers of financial success rather than the staggering numbers of banned or demonetized patriots: Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes, Steven Crowder, Laura Loomer, and the list is literally endless.
Within minutes at the Social Media Summit, intended to highlight big tech censorship and biases, the president began to compliment the stock market and skyrocketing 401(k)s. Great, slow hand clap. Unfortunately, Trump’s showmanship on censorship won’t repair the harm done to those banned online, many of which depended on their conservative activism for a living, and ultimately assisted the president in his electoral success.
Is it financial success if the next 50+ years are consumed by technological oppression? None of the major players banned were in attendance even though they are widely credited for the president’s election. Why, are they too controversial? Would it detract from the summit’s purpose? On the contrary, it would have reinforced its objective. But, we as conservatives have allowed the left to designate what is considered fringe within our own party; meanwhile, the radical left runs rampant with no guardrails or moderators, only having drunken cheerleaders on the sidelines.
The left has lost the battle through the judicial system, and they have been unable to materialize hate speech as a legal definition. Consequently, leftist technology companies are embracing the concept of hate speech by creating community guidelines and banishing violators from their platforms.
Recently reported by The Post Millennial, Censored.TV, founded by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, has been banned on Facebook and Instagram and it is literally impossible to send links to his channel through private communication or DMs. The leftist behavioral re-educators not only want to control what you post in public and in private, they seek to control how you think about issues through conditioning and intimidation.
According to Statista, 59 percent of the earth’s population is plugged into the world wide web, approximately 4.54 billion people. More than ever these social media platforms and applications are an essential component in our social environment and establishing itself as the modern public square. Ignoring the phenomena of digital gulags would hinder controversial, provocative, and inquisitive thinkers from ever reaching an audience, and without radicals, we wouldn’t have Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., or the other Martin Luther.
Out of fear of violating conservative orthodoxy and the idolization of free-market absolutism, we are afraid to take meaningful steps in reigning in the political targeting and digital assassination exhibited by those who control information. YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, is the second largest search engine, and many of the conservative firebrands have been de-platformed and deprived of access to a market that many leftist radicals continue to reach and enjoy.
If the right doesn’t take action on censorship in fear of advancing the tentacles of big government, then the Trump phenomenon will fade; meanwhile, the burgeoning tentacles of big tech will strangle conservatism into a slow death, and there are only so many missteps one can make before the fall becomes fatal. Behold America, a new tyranny is amongst us. A citizen-tyranny where fellow Americans report you not to the government, but to a soy-pounding drone tech employee, sifting through content and complaints made for your improper and impure thoughts (posts).
How would the great architects of Western civilization see today’s frenzy of censorship? We have inherited the world’s greatest tradition and we are squandering it to pathological political knuckle-draggers. Aristotle famously said, “Man is by nature a political animal” with the gift of contemplation and the power of morality. It is indisputable that those who have been targeted for censorship are not the hate-mongers they’ve been falsely accused of being. The real hatemongers are hiding in plain sight, like David Duke, Richard Spencer and radical Islamic terrorists. Strangely, they all have been graced with the privilege of maintaining Twitter along with other various social media accounts. Perhaps, it serves the left’s purpose to raise certain individuals to prominence while degrading true conservatives into obscurity.
Aristotle would have probably agreed, to deny a man his political voice, is to deny him his humanity.
Jordan Peterson gave his first biblical lecture in the spring of 2017. From the beginning, he designed the lectures to educate himself, along with his listeners, in the rudiments of Western civilization.
“When I’m lecturing, I’m thinking. I’m not trying to tell you what I know for sure to be the case, because there’s lots of things that I don’t know for sure to be the case. I’m trying to make sense out of this… This is part of the process by which I’m doing that, and so I’m doing my best to think on my feet. I come prepared, but I’m trying to stay on the edge of my capacity to generate knowledge, to make this continually clear, and to get to the bottom of things.
“The idea is to see if there’s something at the bottom of this amazing civilization that we’ve managed to structure, and that I think is in peril, for a variety of reasons. Maybe, if we understand it a little bit better, we won’t be so prone just to throw the damn thing away, which I think would be a big mistake. And to throw it away because of resentment, hatred, bitterness, historical ignorance, jealousy, the desire for destruction, and all of that… I don’t want to go there. It’s a bad idea, to go there. We need to be better grounded.” – Biblical Series I
Jordan’s latest University of Toronto course had ended two weeks prior; his Patreon page boomed with new donors; the media buzzed with his hard-nosed approach to free speech detractors. He finally had the trifecta of time, capital, and platform for his deepest ideas to reach an international audience.
But in a time of internet porn, video games, and church closures, who would care about a dense, technically-worded, two-hour lecture on Adam and Eve? Explained with a fusion of evolutionary biology, behavioural psychology, a smattering of world mythology, and Jungian psychoanalysis, the lectures may have seemed suited for a stuffy university classroom, rather than a 500-seat public theatre.
In the eyes of YouTube’s censorship team, a culture apathetic to biblical stories was insurance too cheap. Perhaps sensing a threat to their radical leftist dogma, they sought to stymie Jordan’s popularity. On August 1, 2017, he was locked from his YouTube account, without explanation, as he attempted to upload a two-hour lecture on Abraham. That same day, after popular uproar and a flurry of online articles, his account was reinstated—again, without explanation.
In enforcement, such censorship has been softened by modern technology. In intent, it remains in lockstep with the raison-d’être of Thinkpol. This is hardly surprising, as the Bible depicts stories of absolute moral rights and absolute moral wrongs: ironic as it may be, these strictures are anathema to those who hold moral relativity above all else.
“God, in the Old Testament, is frequently cruel, arbitrary, demanding, and paradoxical, which is one of the things that really gives the book life. It wasn’t edited by a committee that was concerned with not offending anyone. That’s for sure.” – Biblical Series I
Apathy for the Bible could never last in a culture grown from Christian values. Jordan’s biblical lectures sold out; a fact that astonished the now-best-selling author. Moreover, the 15 lectures have been viewed 21 million times on his YouTube channel. But the strangest part was the focused silence of his live audience, and how they unfailingly filled each lecture’s final half-hour with carefully-worded existential questions.
As Jordan’s supporters well know, his psychological analysis can move from ancient Mesopotamian politics in one sentence to lobsters in the next, and then finish by tying it all to a Jean Piaget theory. But there are core messages — rules, if you will — about being that he has extracted from the Bible and colloquially explained, making those who care to listen all the wiser.
Rule 1: Never resent the structure of existence
Life is a “catastrophe from beginning to end”, suffering is the default mode of existence, and our ever-changing environment demands that we toil in order to persist. You will be betrayed, your loved ones will become terminally ill, and whatever beauty you possess will wither and be forgotten in a matter of decades. Equity is unknown to nature. To make matters worse, be resentful, ruminating on the tragedy of it all and cursing the force that made this mess.
Everyone understands these sentiments. But the most successful among us acknowledge the horror of life, along with their capacity to contribute to it, and decide to hold faith that they can improve reality. They are alive, after all. What else is there to do? Opposed to nihilism, we could say that every action alters reality and that we may as well spend our time aiming at the Good.
The dangers of resentment have been told for millennia through the hostile brothers motif. In the Cain and Abel story, Cain fails to achieve an aim. He becomes resentful towards the seemingly unfair structure of existence, while his brother, Abel, uses proper sacrifice to thrive. Abel is simultaneously the embodiment of Cain’s ideal, a glowing reminder of Cain’s failure, and a target for revenge. Fueled by resentment, Cain lashes out and murders Abel. But Cain’s ideal, abstract beyond its manifestation in Abel, lives on and judges him with a punishment too great for him to bear.
Resentment is destructive in any form, only adding to our shared plight. When it comes to alleviating suffering, it simply isn’t practical. Neither is passive nihilism (a supposedly careless and neutral state), which causes a lack of meaningful engagement in the world that is both depressing and anxiety-provoking. Depression then causes the amygdala to grow, increasing emotional sensitivity. Suffering intensifies, and thus, reason for resentment. We fragment in the absence of a unifying aim, and our subpersonalities run amok in the cracks.
Rule 2: Listen to your subpersonalities and be wary of their advice
It has been known since the ancient Greeks — and undoubtedly before — that the human psyche is comprised of a multitude of spirits, gods, or subpersonalities. As Jordan noted, “you’re a loose collection of living subpersonalities, each with its own set of motivations, perceptions, emotions, and rationales, and you have limited control over that. You’re like a plurality of internal personalities that’s loosely linked into a unity.”
Some subpersonalities manifest as raw impulses — heated anger, raw lust, arrogant rationale — while others are more subtle manipulations. A timid child, for example, can decide to enter into an “unholy alliance” with an over-dependent parent, to avoid the pains of personal development.
When such voices arise, it is of the utmost importance to hear them for what they are: forces constantly warring for supremacy. Unchecked, they can guide us down a path of resentment. As Carl Jung said, “everybody acts out a myth, but very few people know what their myth is.”
What we consider to be subpersonalities were, to the ancient Greeks, manifestations of gods, giving rise to both creative and destructive instinct. So, the next time you find yourself inexplicably drawn to a hobby, you can think of it as a divine message, delivered by Mercury, to guide you down a mythical path. The key is to listen and determine if it aids your unified aim, rather than to be blindly led.
Rule 3: Direct personal development with your worst experiences
Order and chaos. Known and unknown. Yin and yang. Darkness and light. These are dichotomies used to describe the abstract field in which we function, and the two sides of a prosperous balance. For those of us living in a democracy, order is usually well managed. The easy part. The task of delving into chaos and using our discoveries to update the order is what puts us at risk. But, uncomfortable as it may be, that is the only way to generate wealth for oneself and one’s community.
No matter the scale of the incident, our worst experiences are, intrinsically, the most instructive. That is because it is within the unknown when we are fools, novices, and most easily dissuaded by anxiety and self-doubt. If a bad experience causes retreat into bitterness and resentment, then chaos has won the battle. But if the experience gives rise to constructive analysis and tenacity, then a new tool has been forged. Superficially, defeat has been the short-term outcome: an aim missed, a pitch rejected, a relationship denied. That could be the end of it. Spiritual defeat, as well as material. But for an individual with faith in their aim, it becomes a lesson that makes them stronger. Wealth has been scavenged from the chaos.
This rule is given to us in the story of Joseph. Betrayed by his brothers, Joseph is sold into slavery, and he later becomes a prisoner in Egypt. However brutal, these experiences do not embitter him. He continues to believe in the good and never uses his misfortune as an excuse to transgress his morals. Each misfortunate strengthens him, and, as a result, his competency becomes indisputable and rewarded.
Rule 4: Have a clear aim, and make it the best conceivable aim
Knowingly or not, everyone interprets reality through an overlaying value structure. Subpersonalities can distort those values and take us down paths against our better judgement. But values can also be clarified by aiming at an ideal. In either case, values limit action, and, as such, they play a substantial role in the creation of aims.
An ideal sits at the top of our value structure, and our relationship to it can cause a great deal of positive and negative emotion. In one example, Cain could not bear to see his brother succeed where he had failed, and so, like a jealous lover, he used his brother’s flesh as a means to attack his own set of values. Immediately, Cain judged that he had become ultimately reprehensible, an inhabitant of the deepest hell, for attacking the successful embodiment of his own ideal.
The opposite of that would be to pursue the best conceivable aim and keep faith that it is worth any sacrifice. But the more ambitious an aim, the more sacrifice and faith required. To make matters more complicated, if one’s aim is merely a crude mimicking of an ideal, motivation (willingness to sacrifice) also proves difficult. Challenging as it may be, the axiom is to embody the best possible set of abstract, transcendent values, and to thereby unite heaven and earth.
“The horrors of life are, of course, that everything eats everything else, and that everything dies, and that everything’s born, and that the whole bloody place is a charnel house, and it’s a catastrophe from beginning to end. This is the vision of it being other than that.” -Biblical Series IV
To enjoy life is to have so much faith in an aim that we are excited to make the necessary sacrifices. This outweighs the default horror of existence and makes living a net positive. In other words, aiming for the highest Good makes life not only bearable, but desirable. Biologically, this maintains the health of the hippocampus and its inhibition of emotional sensitivity. At the same time, taking action against chaos causes dopaminergic activation: the suppression of anxiety and pain. These reactions may be considered an evolutionary basis for fortune favouring the bold.
Unfortunately, the transcendent alignment that comes with pursuing a worthy aim disappears when it is achieved. A vacuum follows, ready to be filled with another aim. We can think of this as having a singular, ever-transforming aim that clarifies as a result of our effort to reach it. But it also means that an ideal can never be fully realized. This could be considered a consequence of our ability to conceptualize the future, and the meaning of original sin.
Carl Jung and Friedrich Nietzsche disagreed on how to conceive a transcendent aim. Nietzsche believed that Westerners, having lost faith in Christianity, had to create their own values. Jung thought the lack of unity within the human psyche made that impossible. Instead, individuals should utilize their subpersonalities and cultural history to make a “supreme moral effort” in their lives.
Following Jung’s advice, we engage in an evolutionary process of discovering a transcendent ideal. The bible is a guide: “these [biblical] stories are trying to express what you might describe as an unchanging, transcendent reality. It’s something like what’s common across all human experience, across all time.” Along the way, cultures have represented their ideals in artistic form. That which remains can and should be used to inform our behaviour.
Rule 5: Maintain a cultural locus
Jordan highlighted the practical reason for having a cultural locus during the 2018 Munk debate: “we need something approximating a low resolution grand narrative to unite us. Otherwise we don’t have peace.”
Thousands of years ago, a cultural locus could have been as simple as an upright stone in the center of a village. Representing that shared values existed, and that their embodiment resulted in prosperity, was enough. Today, the Chartres Cathedral is one example of a cultural locus, representing, with its labyrinth and cross-shaped structure, that voluntary sacrifice leads to salvation. Another is the Pietà, representing the role of the archetypal Mother.
These works of art speak to an optimum human experience. As such, they are densely packed with information on how to embody a set of values that the creator’s culture deemed transcendent, practical, and divine.
Faith in shared values makes cultures strong and united — confident enough, for example, to start 200-year construction projects that represent the divinity of those values. But if that faith is lost, a person or culture will fragment internally and lose its peace. Cultural loci protect against that by reminding us of the value of faith, and by giving us stable measures for recalibrating our aims. From this perspective, art can be seen as a tool to stave off chaos.
We should study and maintain our traditional art and places of worship, because there is too much about the human experience for us to learn in a single lifetime. We are historical creatures, and it would be disastrous to disregard the behavioural patterns by which we arrived at our current standard of living. But relying too heavily on the lessons of the dead would be to “live on the corpse of your ancestors,” reneging the duty of cultural revivification and inviting the same kind of chaos that comes to those who live too long under parental control. Therefore, we must maintain cultural loci by combining traditional values and new discoveries, updating the loci as we clarify our conception of a transcendent ideal.