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Evan Sayet on The Other Side of Eden

by David Yeagley · January 30, 2013 · 7 Comments ·

THE OTHER SIDE OF EDEN
A Review of Evan Sayet’s
KinderGarden Of Eden: How The Modern Liberal Thinks
By Dr. David A. Yeagley

Eden is “in.” As a modern construct wherewith to identify human behavior, the ancient Hebrew story of Eden is trending. The eminent Rabbi Ari Kahn has recently published two volumes under the title, Echoes of Eden. I myself created nearly 100 shiurim on Bereshith (Genesis) and the story before the Fall. And now we have Evan Sayet’s philosophical tale of willful naiveté, Kindergarden of Eden (2012). But Sayet really isn’t talking about children, or Eden, but how “Modern Liberals” think, and why they think that way.


Evan Sayet, comedian,
conservative and author.

Yet, we can’t really call it thinking. What Modern Liberals do is parasitical, reactionary, and wholly dependent upon the host, that is, the establishment, or what we call “conservatism.” Liberal “thought” is seemingly utterly mechanical, almost animalistic. In so many words, Sayet declares the Modern Liberal an organic antithesis of creativity. Whereas conservatives build, liberals consume—or tear down.

What’s uniquely captivating about Sayet’s description of modernity is his use of the Edenic metaphor. Eden is employed as a Freudian sort of prenatal paradise, and the irrationality of Modern Liberals is due to a kind of peremptory re-entry—into what they semi-consciously believe is the state of innocence and perfection. Of course, to the Modern Liberal, such a state is infantile. It is the paradise of the womb—total dependency, unconsciousness, and utter irresponsibility.

However, as one who is familiar with the classic aberrancies of modern theology (as I learned at Yale Divinity in the ‘70’s), I notice something very peculiar about Sayet’s approach. He takes the standard, established position that innocence is associated with absence of responsibility, choice, even work, and that such an artificial construct represents the condition of man in Eden, before the knowledge of good and evil. But then Sayet explicates how this same aberration functions in the process of the entire liberal mind conditioning—without once addressing the theological aberration. This is remarkable, really.

For example, in Chapter 1, p.3, Sayet writes that the Modern Liberal’s utopian vision

is predicated on the notion that if mankind lost paradise when Adam and Eve ate the apple and gained the knowledge of good and evil (and its little sisters – right and wrong, better and worse, and so on) then mankind can return to paradise if only everyone would just “regurgitate the apple” and give up all recognition of the existence of the better.

Sayet follows this thought by saying, “To the True Believer [the Modern Liberal], then, indiscriminateness –the total rejection of the intellectual process – is a moral imperative because it holds the key to returning to paradise.”

Again, in Chapter 2, p.29, Sayet writes

Like Adam and Eve just prior to eating from the apple, the Modern Liberal has never had a mature thought in his life. That is, he has never once attempted to gather the facts, study the evidence and weigh these things in a rational formulation in order to seek out the rightful answers. This is because, like Adam and Eve in Eden, he’s never once had to.

The analogy works perfectly, despite the universal misunderstanding of Eden, I should say, the established distortion thereof. Sayet uses the aberration of liberal theology and turns it on itself. Indeed, Sayet has actually beaten the liberal at his own game, theologically. This is what is critically unique in Sayet’s Edenic allegory of the Modern Liberal. The liberal ideology simply cannot sustain itself logically.

Let’s take a careful look at this. In Genesis 1 and 2, there is abundant evidence of “good” (טיב towb) before there was ever the introduction of “evil” (רץ rah). And the “good” that is juxtaposed with “good and evil” is not a different kind of good. The Hebrew word is the same.

The liberal pretends that in present life, after the Fall, on this side of Eden, evil can be separated out of the equation altogether. The implied belief is that the “good” in “good and evil” is a different kind of “good” from Genesis 1 and 2, before the Fall, before man’s expulsion from Eden. The aberrant liberal notion is that paradise must therefore be a place really without good or evil. That is innocence for the liberal. Again, this is predicated on the idea that there are two kinds of good, and that the one before the Fall, in Eden, was inappreciable. Thus, what God pronounced “good” is, to the liberal, actually unaccountable and useless as a concept.

I remember Professor William Muehl at Yale, who once said that those who try to transcend (or eliminate) evil end up falling far beneath it. Muehl had referenced Adolf Hitler in fact. To coerce a theory of utopia on others, this side of Eden, is to engender tyranny, of the most intense order. Who would choose that, knowingly? Probably no one.

But leaders easily deceive the public with the promise of security and betterment.


Rabbi Ari Kahn, in a casual moment.

Sayet pictures the Modern Liberal leader as one betting everything on some Jungian Collective Unconscious. And, the way the ‘low information’ voter responds to liberalism, the odds look good that a liberal paradise is the winning steed. A life of ease and security is the desire of the heart, and its deepest motivator. Freedom is too heavy a concept, carrying too much responsibility with it. Dependency is much easier, and happier. Freedom is rather brooding. Dependency, or inertia, smiles like a nirvanic pinyin, a happy Buddha.

Irresponsibility, however, inevitably crashes on the cold concrete. If and when society does ‘awake’ it will be one raging giant. The rotundity of the floating fetus will become the gaunt agony of a desperate but noble patriot.


Maitreya Buddha in Budai form.

Would that Sayet’s book had been published before the 2012 presidential campaign (–for that matter, the 2008 campaign). Mitt Romney was not able to persuade enough Americans of the meaning and worthiness of freedom. He did not articulate it clearly enough. It came down to freedom, or free stuff. Obama promised free stuff. Obama won.

A testimony like Sayet’s, so simple, clear, and compelling, might have turned the tide. Let’s hope that Kindergarden of Eden makes a difference in the 2016 election. If enough people read the brief and clarion text, it surely will.

Posted by David Yeagley · January 30, 2013 · 4:29 pm CT · ·

Tags: American Patriotism · Bad Eagle Journal · Conservatism · Liberalism · Politics · Religion




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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sioux // Jan 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm   

    So those wise and innocent Libs believe they can put the Genie back in the bottle if they just kill off enough of us Bitter Clingers who keep ruining everything. They are the morally superior ones because they believe they can bring paradise to earth, right? I can just picture Bill and Bernadine sitting in their living room explaining this to the sponge-bob Barry. Michelle Whatevuh could care less as long as she gets her free stuff.

    So, we can’t reason with these overgrown Brats; we can’t get them to go sit in the corner and leave us alone any more. Houston, we have a problem – Now you understand why there has to be manned space exploration.

  • 2 David Yeagley // Jan 30, 2013 at 10:44 pm   

    In an unexpected way, Sayet is re-saying what I said in “Liberalism: Ancient Phallicism” I proposed that liberalism is like an Oedipal Complex, in whites. I said they want to destroy the father(s). They want to destroy what the founding fathers left them. I called them “white oedipal liberals.”

    According to Freud, it is ultimately the quest to re-enter the womb. That’s why he said everyone (particularly men) is fixated on the mother, and all that profound desire is merely sublimated the rest of our lives.

    Liberalism is sublimated womb (nirvana) fixation.

    Sayet doesn’t use these terms, but, that’s essentially the wave length he’s on, I think.

  • 3 David Yeagley // Jan 30, 2013 at 10:48 pm   

    By the way, I know many of you are having problems turning pages. This is BLUE HOST, my hosting company. They have failed me now for many weeks. No improvement. I will be switching to a new hosting company, I’m afraid.

    This is tedious, somewhat risky, and time consuming. I will try to do this at night, so my readers won’t miss anything. Just internet realities. BLUE HOST is one of the top ten, but, not on top among them. All I can do is try something else.

    These things cost, of course. People are strapped for money, and few people donate. (I wish my readers could at least click on the Google ads. I get pennies for that. It adds up. And they don’t count my own clicks, so ya’ll have to click!)

    We shall see. I am very weary of these long waits for a simple page turn. My apologies for the readers!

  • 4 zephyr // Jan 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm   

    Saw a comment posted on a news story recently:

    “In a nation of children, Santa always wins.”

    The innocence angle you’re discussing here certainly seems to fit what we’re dealing with on a daily basis. And I believe it all ties in to the fact that liberals are motivated by a guilt they cannot really identify, or choose not to deal with.

    Most don’t believe in God (at least, not the God of the Bible), and claim everything is “relative”.

    Yet, God created humans with an innate sense of good and evil (note Adam and Eve’s reaction to God’s presence after they sinned, and they really had no familiarity with what sin even was, yet they immediately sensed the wrong they had done).

    Liberals have no outlet for their God-given sense of good and evil. They have no way of accounting for it, however diminished it may be. They do feel guilt, deep beneath their lying, solipsistic, scarred mentalities; but they don’t know what to DO with that, how to appropriately respond to the guilt, or even what really causes it, because their worldview doesn’t allow for good and evil or even God Himself.

    Those persistent pinpricks of guilt that ultimately become psychologically unbearable are the promptings of the Holy Spirit to repent. But they don’t acknowledge God the Spirit either, and since in their world good and evil don’t exist, they try unsuccessfully to resolve their angst through “good works” (e.g. establishing gov’t programs, “saving” the planet, etc) –which is ironic, given their relativistic worldview.

    I think deep down even they must sense how impossible it is to formulate values after effectively removing the Source of all values. And of course their efforts are futile, because their arrogance prevents them from recognizing and repenting of their sins before God–the only thing that would bring them real peace. Better to project their inward guilt onto society at large and let the rest of us deal with their foolishness and the weight of their sins.

    It’s a vicious cycle, sin without repentance. A downward spiral of teeth-gnashing and no resolution. Hard to imagine living life like that, rejecting all that is true and clinging bitterly to what is false.

  • 5 zephyr // Jan 31, 2013 at 12:05 am   

    I should clarify my comment re: human knowledge of good and evil. It would be more accurate to say that God created us with an innate capacity to understand good and evil ~ which seemed to kick in the instant the forbidden fruit was eaten.

    Maybe that is part of the mystery of iniquity? That you have to have sinned to know what it means? Still we don’t understand it as God does; we are only too intimately familiar with the bitter fruit it yields.

    But even sinning brings no knowledge of death, necessarily. It didn’t for Adam and Eve right away; probably did not really register until Cain killed Abel. Revelation indicates that Satan himself doesn’t really seem to believe he will die, still fighting til the end.

  • 6 David Yeagley // Jan 31, 2013 at 10:21 am   

    Wow.
    Quite the testimony there, Zypher. Astounding.

    The truth is an astounding thing, indeed. Once in a while, we’re given a glimpse of the real thing. I’m trust we are all appropriately humbled by the grandeur of your testimony.

    The truth stills troubled waters like nothing else can.

  • 7 David Yeagley // Jan 31, 2013 at 10:58 am   

    Innocence is not ignorance. This is where liberals are mistaken as to their concept of Eden before the Fall. Innocence is goodness–dynamic and creative. This is what God declared.

    The knowledge (experience) of evil is the only thing that destroys innocence, and all its goodness.

    Sayet’s book is one of the most provocative works in modern political literature–and it is quite short.

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