The Complete Failure of Modernity

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Published on: August 11, 2015

Individually and collectively human life is focused on defining the nature of salvation, implicitly or explicitly, and then achieving it.

Failure is inevitable when we do not understand the true nature of human salvation. 

But there is a second kind of failure, even more pathetic, which secular Progressives fall prey to along with the first.  They define salvation in some completely false and paltry form, and still fail to achieve even this relatively modest, temporal goal they have set for themselves.  Modernity, since the Enlightenment, has not only failed to understand the true nature of human salvation, it has failed to achieve the completely immanent state of salvation which it set out to realize a long time ago.  As Christians we are, of course, glad of the failure, understanding it to be the providence of God.

Progressives must claim that the achievement of salvation is under our own control in order to justify the ironic sacrifice which is required — the loss of individual freedom due to the loss of individual significance.  In the long run, their temporal, immanent, conception of salvation always requires us to accept government coercion including the regulation of breeding, birth and death based on the regulation of any device (free media, firearms) which encourages competing thought and action.   When the progressive project begins to fail, having led to mass alienation, the establishment asks us to suffer even more coercion.  It requires us to share its blind faith in the realization of Utopia, no matter how faltering.  All that is required, it claims, is more and more government power concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people as the organization by which all opposition to the Good and Just is overcome.  This has happened before in modern history.  The efforts were led by Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, the Japanese military.

The Progressive project always degenerates into the grotesque, as we have recently seen in the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood executives.  The progressives must assert that what is patently horrifying, is not.  Their strange and unpopular view of Reality suddenly becomes much clearer.  The Nazis taught us that social engineering, as the route to immanantized salvation, always leads to the horror of denying the value of any one individual life.  The contemporary progressive is a neo-Nazi who becomes radically evil by failing to understand her tendency toward the Nazi’s biological program of salvation.  For once salvation is defined in strictly temporal, secular, naturalistic terms, the most time-compressing route to it is eugenics, abortion, human experimentation, and euthanasia.  This is where all anti-Christian, anti-transcendental, conceptions of salvation lead.

At this point in history the obvious moral invalidity of the modern secular account of salvation, and the tragically costly and busted attempt to achieve it, is moving history along again.  Most of us have not forgotten the Nazi experiment and understand the relationship between all “progressive” secular movements, Nazism as a vision of unification based on the complete subservience of individual and traditional interests, and the perfection of human biology.  Margaret Sanger was a progressive, and one who had a profound influence on the Nazis.

Of course the success of capitalism cannot be salvation by Christian standards, and it has not been.  This is not just a matter of the poor always being with us.  Spiritual emptiness and spiritual violence cannot be overcome by sleeping in big homes and riding in luxury cars.  Capitalism has been easily corrupted into cronyism and fascist partnerships with a patron government protecting its own.  Capital, on its own, is bereft of virtue.  Virtue saves capitalism, not vice versa.  A hard-working, law-abiding, successful pornographer or abortionist is not a recommendation of capitalism per se.  

The modern, secular project is a complete and pathetic failure.  It showed us its true meaning in the middle of the twentieth century.  The remaining proponents of this project are the most obtuse of all their comrades.  They are living on the declining side of the whole modern view of Reality.  But because America has not yet been a Nazi or Marxist experiment, they remain hopeful that it, too, can be made subject to a new attempt to perfect the modern nation state as the suppression of all competing traditions. 

No one can give up on salvation without ending in suicide.  The progressives have no choice but to pursue the immanent concept of salvation they still cling to, despite all the evidence against it, or completely change it.  Like the rest of us, they have no reason for living without a concept of salvation.  This is not necessarily the pursuit of happiness.  Progressives gave up on making us happy a long time ago.  We are too recalcitrant.  They believe salvation lies in making us comply no matter how unhappy it makes us.  They have become obsessed with their salvation, not ours.  They will not be happy until they have punished us with a Utopia we cannot live in due, on their view of it, to our own corruption.

We must now completely destroy the next generation’s faith in the modern project which it is the function of modern secular education to induce.  The modern project dies over and over again, and is resurrected over and over again, because anti-theists have nowhere to go for a concept of salvation except the one which has already failed.  After every failure, they must have faith that only some detail went wrong and if we can fix that detail we can succeed.  They cannot admit that they are not the opponents of fascism, but its unrelenting true believers.  Hitler and Stalin were just modernists with conviction and authenticity.

We must destroy the modern project in the hearts and minds of our children so we can aggressively reassess our situation in this now postmodern world and move forward with absolute clarity based upon our Christian understanding of human salvation, both individual and collective.

We begin with a summary of what the modern project has been:

  1. The promulgation of faith in the Enlightenment myth of universal reason, overcoming all traditional differences and manifest in scientific progress, even with respect to describing Reality.
  2. The universalization of morality in the concept of utility and the supposedly objective measurement of net utility.  The reduction of morality (morale) to pleasure and pain.
  3. The universalization of non-traditional, even anti-traditional secular education grounded in the myth of universal reason as the foundation of a universal curriculum; education as indoctrination in the secular account of salvation.
  4. The construction of the welfare state, within the modern nation state, as the attempt to make every individual rational — autonomous of bias and tradition — by insuring the economic conditions of considered, social behavior.
  5. The construction of the modern nation state, which overcomes ethnicity, tradition, and even geography, by force, to incorporate a vast expanse of land and people as the wherewithal to stabilize the world, creating a new order out of just a few dominant nations, and creating large economies which can support the welfare state.
  6. Control of the quality and quantity of the citizens through birth control, abortion, and eugenics.
  7. The progressive substitution of expert control for democratic control.

All of these objectives are rooted in a false view of Reality, a false view of the true ends of human life.  They presuppose that the only legitimate goal of human life is to serve the ends of the modern nation state, and finally a comprehensive world order — one tradition, one scientific language, one view of Reality, one nation, one world, one reason.  But of course, the only end which the modern nation state and the new world order could possibly have, is to make the people who control them drunk with power.  The German people, in the end, would not annihilate themselves for what had become meaningless.  The only people who were temporarily saved by Nazi Germany were the ones who controlled it.  There was and could be no other meaning to it.  We do not care about the ends of the modern nation state.  We do not care about the elite will to power.  It is both bizarre and boring.

Besides the failures of the mid-century attempts to construct new social orders based on reason and science (it is important to remember the very scientistic, rationalistic dimension of National Socialism illustrated in Hitler’s rejection of the German conservatives) there are many other failures of Enlightenment modernity.  For if modernism were a success we would not have Indian reservations, Europe would be more unified than it really is, there would be no internal struggles within modern nation states between religions, ideologies, political parties, conservatives and liberals; there would have been no separation of Pakistan and India, there would be no problem of international terrorism, there would be no attempt to destroy Israel.  It goes on and on.  The modern project, based on reason and science, is dust.  Science, experts, cannot know what is ultimately real.  They cannot describe the true ends of human life.  Their concept of nature, their anthropology, is completely controversial.  And in any event they have no way to deduce normative behavior — morality — from their natural “facts.”

Immanuel Kant and the Utilitarians failed in their project of placing human morality on the cornerstone of human reason alone.  Kant’s categorical imperative is either too inclusive (elevating any behavior we would universalize including a good golf swing) or too exclusive (ignoring consequences).  The utilitarian reduction of goodness to pleasure created practical problems, like the claims of pedophiles and the like, which could not be overcome without capitulation to the intuitions of traditional morality.   Secular morality today has collapsed into “emotivism” of which you will find a good account in
Alasdair MacIntyre‘s philosophical best-seller
After Virtue
.  There is no objective measure of net pleasure and pain in individuals let alone entire societies.  The whole idea is puerile.  Philosophy has not successfully defended the notion of universal reason and the government schools are now recognized not for their universal rationality but their unforgiveable, coercive attempt to program students in the competing tradition we call “liberalism” or “progressivism”; this in spite of its increasingly obvious morbidity.  It indoctrinates students in a view of science which has long been considered controversial among philosophers of science.  We deplore the failure of modern education to induce practical forms of virtue in almost anyone.  We are bored with a steady stream of entertainment in which human beings are no longer interesting due to their consummate decadence and lack of passion.  More and more people are recognizing the profit motives and the Nazi motives guiding on demand abortion, and the position of the welfare state has never been more economically and morally precarious.  Above all else the modern project has not turned its beneficiaries into model, “rationally autonomous” citizens.  It seems to have made them more evil by making them less dependent on anyone who would regulate their behavior.  We are no longer convinced of the international role of the modern nation state, when even small countries can build the bomb, and we see its economic pretentions disintegrating into stagnation based on the manipulations of the national banks on behalf of the elites.

As usual, I must remind you that the very best way to disabuse your children of the notion that modernity is a living option in the now postmodern world, is to get them out of the government schools. 

I pray that our children will one day demand a public funeral for modernity.

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