Sorcery or Nihilism, Part IV

I concluded the third essay of this four-part series by noting the Right needs new magic words. (See here for parts one and two.)

Let me restate the premise of magic in America. In the deepest part of the well of American beliefs, you will find two compelling demands: America must be ostentatiously moral or be destroyed, and America must be redeemed from the original sin of slavery. These demands are both existentially urgent (i.e., succeed or die) and unattainable by ordinary means (i.e., so difficult to achieve as to be practically impossible). It is in this context that otherwise rationally inclined people turn to practices that are a species of the occult. 

Woke is a species of such magic. If we wave our arms like so, dress like so, change our bodies like so, plant signs in our lawn warding off hate and all its devilry and make all the right incantations, we will be redeemed. 

The sorcery of wokeness cannot be undone by denying its premises in American psychology in favor of alternate premises. Nor can the spell be broken by rational attack. It can only be broken by better magic. 

If the premises that support this sorcery come down from Puritan thought, to what other Puritan thoughts can we adhere, and thereby make better enchantments? 

The early American Puritans, when they conceived of a city on a hill—of their own chosenness, in other words—thought in terms not only of their individual moral ostentation but also of a collective moral ostentation. 

That ostentation expressed itself as consent being a principle of government, not as a rational argument rooted in abstract principles, but as a microcosm of their own relationship with God. As they were chosen by and for God they, too, would choose their government. 

The Puritan minister Thomas Hooker—not nearly as celebrated as Increase and Cotton Mather—gave sermons on consent as the ground of government and liberty well before consent became a rational European Enlightenment principle, first through Hobbes and then Locke. “The foundation of authority is laid firstly in the free consent of people,” Hooker would write on May 31, 1638, 13 years before Thomas Hobbes would write Leviathan and 51 years before Locke would deliver Hobbes’ doctrines repackaged as to be tolerably palatable. 

The entirety of Hooker’s sermon can be found here. The important thing to understand is that the position is entirely a religious one rooted in the Book of Deuteronomy. Hooker’s sermon directly influenced the adoption of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, which Hooker drafted, the first charter on American soil that was not a royal charter. Compare, for example, the Mayflower Compact, which is adopted under the authority of “Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth.” 

The Fundamental Orders begin with: 

For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things . . . ; and well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all seasons as occasion shall require; . . . enter into Combination and Confederation together, to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess, as also, the discipline of the Churches, which according to the truth of the said Gospel is now practiced amongst us; as also in our civil affairs to be guided and governed according to such Laws, Rules, Orders and Decrees . . .

Redemption—the liberty and purity of the Gospel—is based on consent and self-legislation. One cannot exist without the other.

Now spell casting is in order. America must be ostentatiously moral or be destroyed. America must redeem itself from the original sin of slavery. The incantations, auguring, and sortilege needed are the actions of consent. Few things could be more obviously related to the original sin of slavery than consent, as, to state the obvious, slavery is the appropriation of another man’s body without consent. To be redeemed—to liberate oneself and the descendants of slaves—it is urgent to perform the ritual of consent, fundamental consent, not mere periodic voting—the integrity of which has fallen into grave doubt. 

The nation must adopt a new charter. The existing charter, the Constitution, has not been amended since 1971 (the ratification by one state of a more than 200-year-old amendment in 1992 does not suffice to count).

Two generations have come and gone without the American people having had any involvement in their charter. There have been no incantations needed for redemption. 

By accepting this state of affairs, the Right has allowed the Left to bring forth a new sorcery called “Woke,” and attempts to rebut it with rationalism. The result has been abject failure. 

We can only be redeemed—individually and from the original sin of slavery—by seeking a new charter restructuring the organs of government to work. We must end the fetishization of the Constitution as an unchangeable imposition of the past to be rigidly maintained as supreme while simultaneously being ignored. 

Convention, consent, adoption of new laws and new organs of government are our magic words. 

I can already hear several sorcerer’s apprentices saying that will never work. The Left will coopt the new charter. To those neophytes to magic, I say this has already been done by woke leftists.

There is almost no discussion or writing on the Right about a new charter. All the talk is devoted to the preservation or restoration of what is, effectively, long gone. The Right will shrink in horror at the suggestion that we have a unicameral legislature that is more representative than the House by a factor of three. What the Right fails to grasp is that the Left has already changed the Constitution to its liking, consolidating power in the central government and further in the presidency. 

Finally, for those who say there is no rational way that will work, I say, dear reader, please pay better attention. 

I am not talking about reason. I am talking about magic.

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About Jay Whig

Jay Whig is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness. Whig practices law in New York and a resides in Connecticut, specializing in insolvency and restructuring. Opinions are his own.

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