This Thing All Things Devours


In Christianity and Culture, T.S. Eliot wrote of liberalism:

 . . . it is something that tends to release energy rather than accumulate it, to relax, rather than to fortify. It is a movement not so much defined by its end, as by its starting point; away from, rather than towards, something definite. Our point of departure is more real to us than our destination; and the destination is likely to present a very different picture when arrived at, from the vaguer image formed in imagination. By destroying traditional social habits of the people, by dissolving their natural collective consciousness into individual constituents, by licensing the opinions of the most foolish, by substituting instruction for education, by encouraging cleverness rather than wisdom, the upstart rather than the qualified, by fostering a notion of getting on to which the alternative is a hopeless apathy, Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negative: the artificial, mechanized or brutalised control which is a desperate remedy for its chaos.

When one studies the Left from every angle, from inside and out, in both its historical manifestations and its present-day actions, then the human and social particularities cancel out, and its one essential characteristic—what we might call its “chief feature”—comes clearly into focus. That feature, that essence, is entropy: the implacable tendency of ordered systems to run down, to yield to chaos, to exhaust their source of energy, to rust, to decay, and to decompose.

Order is difference. It is inequalities, gradients, distinctions. It is this thing over here being dissimilar from that thing over there in a way that offers the potential for movement, for action, for work. Order is, as Eliot says, the accumulation of energy, just as the warmth of the sun lifts to a hilltop the rainwater that, flowing downward again, powers a mill-race. Entropy is what makes the water end up at the bottom sooner or later, its energy released and spent. Entropy is what reduces mountains to rubble, and what makes bodies rot. Whenever something somehow stands up, entropy is what, sooner or later, grinds it down.

Order is the electric difference between a man and a woman that drives the dynamo of life and regeneration. Entropy is what seeks, in these dying times, to make the sexes the same. Order is a diverse global community of nations and cultures—in individual homeostasis, but with a thousand points of difference, and gradients of assets and needs, that make possible an infinitely complex web of mutually profitable relations and exchanges. Entropy is open borders and mass migration. Entropy is what peels the skins off nations and cultures and boils them together in a pot.

It is only because some things are higher, and other things lower, that we can aspire to anything at all. Order, by preserving differences, is what enables us to stretch our souls.

Entropy levels, flattens, diffuses, deflates, destroys. It is the relentless enemy of everything superior, special, noteworthy, exceptional, and distinctive. It seeks, without pause, to make everything equal to everything else. It is the heat-death of the Universe.

Leftism is entropy.

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About Malcolm Pollack

Malcolm Pollack is a recording engineer and writer living in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. He blogs at malcolmpollack.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mtpollack.

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