Conjuring Satan—False Transcendence and Counterfeit Words in an Age of War

1. The Ukraine War as an Ideological Struggle of Light and Dark

Shortly before she was murdered, Daria Dugin appeared in the documentary, Azovstal on YouTube (hedged with warnings, lest anyone believe its contents), by John Mark Dougan, an American living in Moscow these last six years, and former police officer and marine [a more stable link to the documentary, in case Youtube removes it]. The documentary is about the war that that has been waged by the Ukrainian government in the Donbas for some eight years and which has led to the people of the region joining the Russian federation.

For those who simply repeat the refrain of the Western media that people in the region are awaiting their liberation by NATO supplied and trained Ukrainian troops, and that the election that transpired there in October 2022 was rigged, I recommend they watch this documentary—perhaps they may also watch, while they are at it, another of Dougan’s YouTube presentations. This is a testimony by Maria Lelyanova. When she first met Dougan, she was a vehemently anti-Putin Russian liberal who took her news from Western outlets (apparently it is possible to do that in Russia). They got into a conversation about the war and Russia’s role in it—it was, she said, all Putin’s fault, and most Russians were either ignorant, or like her and her friends totally ashamed of their country and its aggression.

Having met Dougan and having been a liberal and strongly anti-Putin Russian who took her news from Western outlets (it is possible to do that in Russia), Lelyanova engaged in arguments with him about the war and Russia’s role in it. Dougan’s response was to ask her if she would be willing to accompany him to the Donbas region, and see the truth for herself. To her credit she agreed—whereupon she saw the state of devastation of the region and listened to stories that led her to conclude that everything the Western media had told her about what was going on in the Donbas was a lie; the anguish on her face throughout her discussion with Dougan bespeaks the horror she had just witnessed as she roamed and spoke with the people there.

As for Daria Dugin, she knew from the outset that the Western media was lying. Her interview with Dougan was, I believe, her last media appearance before her assassination. She conducted it within the shell of a bombed-out school—and spoke of the terrors inflicted by Ukrainian troops and the ethnic supremacist militia, which Western “journalists” occasionally reported on, prior to Western media owners and government officials deciding that such truths were not in the public’s interest, and the only story to tell was the duality—Ukraine government and anti-Russian Ukrainians very good freedom lovers vs. Russian government and most Russian people completely evil.

That line, combined with the unity of purpose of Western governments (including non-NATO members) in supplying weapons to the Zelensky government and Ukrainian army, and Western media, who supply the propaganda that Ukraine is winning, that Putin will die, or be toppled any second now by a popular uprising, etc.—lends support to Daria Dugin’s claim that this war has become far more than a regional war. And, indeed, given the causal chain that led to it, and given the anti-Russian machinations that convinced the Western public that Russia was seeking world conquest by toppling the United States of America, it appears it was planned to be an international event.

Early indicators of the international machinations by the West are evident in the CIA support for Chechen and other Islamist militarists operating in the Caucasus during the second Chechen War; Joe Biden’s senate resolution 322 of 2005, which acted specifically on behalf of two Russian oligarchs and criminals, and was really the prelude to the Magnitsky Act of 2016 (you know the one named after the martyr “lawyer” [sorry that is the word that the Irish citizen who lobbied for the Act, Bill Browder, deems to be an accurate descriptor for the word “accountant”], allowing for the seizure of Russian assets); the US pronouncement at the Bucharest Summit Declaration by NATO in 2008 that NATO supported Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO.

It was in that same year that the five-day Russian-Georgian war occurred. Having been the recipient of generous military funding and training by the US (as well as weapons from the then pro-Western Ukrainian government), Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili thought he had been given the green light to attack the autonomous republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

This decision led to Russia’s military response and the beginning of what was up until that moment a new low in post-Cold War Russian-US diplomatic relations. Saakashvili, by the way, is now in a Georgian prison doing time for corruption. But before that, thanks to the support of Ukrainian President Poroshenko, he had a stint as a Ukrainian politician in 2015-16, as governor of the Odesa Oblast, only to come into conflict with Poroshenko (with each accusing the other of corruption). He was subsequently kicked out of Ukraine, only to re-enter the country through Poland before he was kicked out yet again. Thereupon, he was granted permanent residency in the Netherlands, until his Ukrainian citizenship was restored a year later by Zelensky. But then he decided to sneak back into Tbilisi, where he was arrested. Funny old world, isn’t it, when such men are heroes?

Certainly, by the time of the Maidan of 2014, NATO and the US government and the EU had made sure, and the media had fallen in line with its reporting of the “Revolution of Dignity,” that Russia was a major threat to the West’s strategic interests; or more accurately the hegemony of values and priorities that suit the tastes and interests, the careers and prospects of the West’s ruling class and those whose professional careers are predicated on serving that class.

So, when Daria Dugin reported that this war was an ideological struggle between globalism, which she depicted as those who have marshalled and stand for the darkness, and its opponents, those who are fighting for light, she was expressing which values she stood for in the context of a war that should have remained regional, were it not for the incessant machinations of the globalist project of the Western world’s elites, and its dependents and enablers, from the government to the media to the universities and to the various covert and overt intelligence agencies, weapons manufacturers and military contractors, and the military itself.

Those who watch Daria Dugin and think that the Ukrainian army are fighting for freedom against the incursions of the evil Russian Vladmir Putin hell-bent on world conquest—first Ukraine, then the rest of Europe—if they were to watch this clip, they would think that this only confirmed how evil and deranged she was that she could have the truth in such reverse, and that she had lies like flies fly from her mouth.

The demonic, as Kierkegaard, was wont to say, is the truth in reverse, and the devil is also the Prince of Lies. The question is: who here speaks the language of the devil, whose mouths are full of (f)lies?

For her part, Daria Dugin had no compunction in using the kind of language that was once routinely used throughout Christendom, but which has now largely evaporated in the West along with the belief in hell or the devil. It is not the preferred language of the Western, ostensibly well-educated liberal progressive metro-cosmopolitan urbane class, which defers to what they consider to be the kind of abstractions that all good, true and beautiful people use, such as rights and morality (of which they are the paragons).

These same smooth-talking progressives now throw their lot in with the president of an oligarchical ethno-nationalist state, from which millions of ethnically impure people fled prior to the Special Military Operation or invasion (according to how you interpret the events since February 2022), that was beholden to its own neo-Nazi styled militia before it became an all-out war state. Its very existence owes much to those same smooth-talking sophisticates who used a combination of media outlets, private/corporate and public finance, and political meddling to assist the channeling of urban political regional interests into a military overthrow of a functioning, albeit undeniably corrupt democracy, which nevertheless was able to maintain the peace between groups that cohabitated and yet lived with deeply divided allegiances and historical memories, by allowing political, regionally different, interests to compete in elections. Given what has transpired in the last eight or so years in Ukraine, Daria Dugin’s language strikes me as reasonably apt, as the country has become a living hell for much of the population—though, as is always the case, those who create hell on earth, often have the resources to live in a better neighbourhood.

While our urban sophisticates generally want to leave God out of it, they purport to be not only the class who knows everything important about the way the world is and what can be done to make it even better, which is to say they not only know what can be done to make it totally inclusive, diverse and equitable, but to be motivated by love. As such, they are compelled to denounce all those enemies of humanity out there (such as Daria Dugin, before and after her murder, and her father, and of course, the least human of all alive today, Vladimir Putin). Their love requires the daily media outpouring of bile and brimstone toward any who do not share the fantasies that they see, or agree with, or who do not use the words, the spells and incarnations, they chant repeatedly to ensure mass psychosis and hypnosis: the defiant must be shut up, abused, dehumanized—or, as we still put it, in spite of our enlightened sophistication, demonized. But ideological language has always been but the secularized use of words to express the depth of faith of the ideologues who are prepared to kill and sacrifice their enemies to get their world and to designate those who are non-human.

In other words, the Western sophisticates agree with Daria Dugin that the war is not just a regional fight but a planetary ideological struggle between the light and the dark. The only difference being which is the force of light: the one that prefers old fashioned traditions like families and churches? Or the one with the rainbow flags in churches (see below), drag queens reading to kiddies in libraries, and proudly designating the pronouns they insist on being called by, as they denounce anyone and everyone as a racist who does not go along with this? Racist? Well, one can always rely upon Creepy Sleepy Joe—as Kevin of Kevin’s Corner has christened him—to let the cat out of the bag (recall him saying how his party had put together the greatest election fraud in history):

“We need to challenge the hundreds of callous and cynical laws introduced in the states targeting transgender children, terrifying families and criminalizing doctors who give children the care they need,” said Biden.

“We have to protect these children so they know they’re loved and we’ll stand up for them and so they can speak for themselves,” he added.

“Folks, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, they’re all connected!” he claimed.

“But the antidote to hate is love,” Biden continued.

And drugs. And surgery. And ensuring that every one of the members of medical, psychiatric, social work, and teachers associations and boards get on board (or lose their credentials and job) with the decision to not inform little Mary, who is a tom-boy, or little Johnny who likes to dress up in little girls’ clothes that this is probably a phase that a lot of children go through, but instead join children in their fantasy whilst locking them inside a destiny laid out by the Big Medical and Pharmaceutical Complex pushing expensive and life-altering surgery and drugs.

Not only that, these same interests are determined to prevent the parents of these children from having any say in the matter. And that’s because, as the President, who could barely get thirty or forty people to attend his meet-and-greets when he stepped out of the basement to campaign before becoming the most electorally successful President in the history of the United States, himself says (albeit in more mealy-mouthed words) to not push for drugs and surgery is not only hateful but racist.

Now, it is true that Joe knows a thing or two about racism—Kamala Harris certainly thought so when she was telling other Democrats and the world why he would not make a fit President because he was a…. (nudge-nudge, wink-wink), and were he alive I am sure his old pal, who also knew a thing or two about racism, Senator Robert Byrd and KKK organizer and member, might be able to set us straight and confirm that if we don’t believe Joe we too are haters, and racists. That is the kind of reasoning and love that preside with the leading forces of the West’s light.

Forgive me, but I spent some forty years reading the greatest minds who have every put pen to paper, and when I try to make sense of the intricacies of the dialectics of imbecility—of which Joe is truly a master—I always need to hammer away at a few thousand brain cells. But the dialectic of imbecility, and the love and reasons, and the words that drive it, is nothing other than fake words, fake reasons and fake love. And those whose livelihoods and power is predicated upon the cultural triumph of the dialectics of imbecility also require ensuring that anyone who thinks what they are doing is as preposterous as it is politically and culturally deadly are to be deemed as haters, and hence to be punished for engaging in hate speech. Yes, indeed—the truth in reverse.

The underlying question of this lengthy and far roaming discussion that links this great evil of our time with the diabolical fakery of words (lies) and transcendence is—to whom and to what is that love directed? That was the great question of Augustine who grasped that our loves are the weights that bear us to where we are in our lives and worlds. There is no doubt the team represented by the Empires of Lies is built on love—for all worlds, all realities to which we contribute are built upon our loves; for our loves are the springs of our action. But while the Beatles in their youthful exuberance sang, “All You Need is Love,” one could hardly expect a pop group to be sufficiently well-versed in Augustine or Dante (though I think Bob and Leonard were, even in their younger days), to explore how love of the self and the things of the world are precisely why the world is the way it is. That’s why love and hate are not merely antipathetical but part of a continuum—to love God, His creation, His laws, and His gifts is to hate the devil and vice-versa (albeit demonic creation is, again as Augustine said, always privative, always negation and defacement).

2. A War Built on Lies and Conspiracies of Liars

Before, though, I dig deeper into the matter of love, and the central love—that of the self—that conjures up Satanic powers, let me just pause further upon the way in which this war has been built on lies—and lies obviously include the use of silence to conceal truth—and the use of force to defend lies, or for those with a more religiously attuned sensibility, let’s observe more of the (f)lies spread by those who serve the Prince of Lies.

As I argued in a previous essay, Putin, sadly, was telling the truth when he called the West an Empire of Lies, run by liars. He was calling out the fact that the leaders of the West were completely indifferent to the truth that Ukraine had been mired in a civil war for some eight years that had provided NATO with the opportunity to train and supply an army, that had long thrown off any concealment of serving the entire Ukrainian population, ready to take that war to another level, as it marshalled in excess of 100,000 men on the borders of the Donbas. The imminence of turning the autonomous regions of Donetsk and Luhansk into a killing field that would have made the previous 14000 or so dead (that is the usual number cited) pale into insignificance compared to what in all likelihood was about to happen as the self-declared autonomous regions were about to face a full escalation of destruction.

But this essential trigger behind Russia’s actions was never reported by the mainstream media or discussed by a political class who spoke as if all of a sudden that imperial itch which has possessed those nasty Russians from time immemorial and Vladimir Putin ever since he was a boy torturing flies and cats, inexplicably seized power of a country that had been doing so swimmingly well, a country mired in a war with Chechnya and its terrorists, subjected to the rapacious brutality of the mafia, oligarchs, and Western grifters plundering Russia’s bargain basement priced formerly state controlled resources.

Inane as the lie was, though, it worked because it was sold to a population who take pride in their knowledge, even when they know nothing (but I am getting ahead of myself for this is the very essence of the satanic), and sold by those who are so caught up in their lies that they generally believe them, too. That is because they have cleverly built a world of mirrors which reflects back the lies they speak to themselves, to each other, and to the population who takes their information from them.

Funny wasn’t it, how the mainstream media predicted the war, even down to trying to identify the exact day of invasion, whilst being silent on the massive deployment of Ukrainian troops on the Donbass, as if that deployment were nothing—but again the demonic specializes in making as much of nothing, as it does nothing of much.

Likewise, Western reporters and pundits, in the main, thought nothing of the fact that the Minsk agreement had meant nothing except as an excuse for doing nothing about people being bombed and killed in their homes—in a recent interview in Die Zeit, Angela Merkel has said, what should have appeared obvious to anyone who thought about what was going on “over there,” that being a signatory to the agreement had just been a way of buying time, so Ukraine, with NATO help, could build up its army.

I do not believe one Western journalist prior to the civil war becoming a war between nations had ever thought that the people of the Donbas region were intending to massacre the majority of the Ukrainian population and were arming themselves to go out and conquer Kiev. The population in the Donbas, because of their historical memories and attachments was, though, not a population in which the government in Kiev had the slightest interest in protecting. But it was a population which wanted to protect itself from a government and the various ultra-ethnic nationalist militias, who were pushing for ever more political persecution, and the continuation of ethnic cleansing that their national hero Stefan Bandera had engaged in when collaborating with the Nazis.

Though, unfortunately for the people of these regions, they happened to live in the “industrial heartland of Ukraine”—which accounts for some 80% of Ukraine’s oil, natural gas and coal reserves, and vast deposits of precious minerals and metals, as well as rare earth minerals essential for so much modern technology, so the option of being left alone was not going to fly with a kleptocratic class that had allied its interests with ethnic purists. Of course, those who blame the Russians claim that these resources are the real reason for Russia’s invasion—the problem with that, though, is everything else we have been talking about. Which once again is indicative of this event being conducted by the West’s appeal to truths in reverse.

The epithet “Empire of Lies” applies as much to the European Union as the USA, with its preposterous claims (deluded self-understanding?) of being a force for peace, a soft-power, when it suits its interests (to spend money on projects that make it an ever-greater imperial force) whilst also being a supporter of other people fighting their wars because it suits the West’s larger program. All of the West’s warehouses, full of human rights research, draft documents, protocols, treaties and covenants mattered not a jot when there was a coup in 2014, or a killing-fields about to happen. If the EU had been useless in stopping the horrors of the Balkans in the 1990s (keeping its hands clean by belatedly coming in to try the war criminals it held responsible and to broker peace deals), on this occasion they were going to be far more proactive, and go all out in support of the ethnic-nationalist state—and the Neo-Nazis, which, of course, for the West do not really exist outside of the diabolical imaginations of Vladimir the evil one and his minions. That is probably why the USA, Germany and Italy are among the 50 countries that voted against the proposed resolution put by Russia opposing the glorification of Nazism. But why would the West care? Ukraine is a democratic state, and its decisions to close down Russian-speaking media and schools, to allow its ethnic militia to infiltrate its institutions and sabotage any change of reassuming more peaceable ties with Russia (that was Zelensky’s mandate), and now just recently raiding and closing down Ukrainian Orthodox Churches (UOC—Ukraine’s largest denomination), are just the kind of realist pebbles in the diplomatic shoes that imperial Western powers have to deal with as they race ahead, dreaming up and filling up treaties, covenants and the like, devoted to “human rights.”

These issues indicate the problems that the West has in presenting itself as the force of human goodness is that there is no consistency other than its right to dictate what “good” and “evil” are in the world. To someone who takes good and evil seriously this is exactly the way that people intending evil behave—they say what suits them when it suits them, rather than inflect their speech in deference to what they know to be true. Truth may shine in its own light, but it is darkness that requires the extinction of speech which would light up what transpires in its coverings.

The war, as in so much that has preceded it in the West, has also proceeded by way of censorship and denunciation—perhaps in a time of open warfare this would be considered a state of exception. But there is no declaration of war by the US or European powers, and the control of speech in the West is no longer anything exceptional. And everything of significance concerning this war is proceeding under cover of darkness—the main stream media refuses to allow any serious discussion of why Russia is at war, and simply ignores news that shows a very different side to the violence committed during the war. Who in the West, for example, would know that Marianna Vyshemirsky, the pregnant woman photographed, early in the war, in the Mariupol hospital which had just been shelled, and whose picture was sent all over the globe as an example of Russian brutality and cruelty, is now a Russian citizen supporting the Russian war effort? At the time the photo was taken, she was critical of the Ukrainian government and army—but her account of events was spun into an attack upon Russia and a tribute to Ukrainian bravery and determination.

Or, let’s pause upon the biggest story of the moment, a story which our media and the US government are attempting to hide/bury—the story of FTX, the biggest case of financial fraud since Enron, and political graft possibly since ever. It is a story that ranges from straight-out fraud and political and media coverup, to corrupting scientific research and influencing public policy, to bankrolling politicians, primarily, though not only, the Democratic party (FTX was the second biggest donor to the Democrats), and its progressive causes, to money laundering and this war. It is a story with a cast of characters so wide that no Netflix Series could do justice to the telling, from Sam the vegan and his parents (his Mum being a Hilary lawyer) and goofy poly-girlfriend Carolyn Ellison and her parents to (gee golly gosh, heavens to Betsy, well I never) the Clintons (and probably their parents), and the Bidens and Tony Blair and…. you and I both want this essay to have an ending, so let’s just say lots and lots of powerful and wealthy people.

In any case, as soon as the collapse was made public, along with the money-laundering, connections to the war and the political loop to the Democrats was being talked about, the factcheckers and Google algorithm manipulators were setting everyone straight that there was no money laundering going on because those who one would consider involved, like members of the Ukrainian government, and the various political recipients of FTX money, and honest Sam himself had said it just wasn’t so. Though back in March of this year, that is before the FTX collapsed and before those who make up the facts that pass their own factchecking set to work on the straight story, there was a story in CoinDesk with the headline, “Ukraine Partners With FTX, Everstake to Launch New Crypto Donation Website: FTX is converting crypto contributions to Ukraine’s war effort into fiat for deposit at the National Bank of Ukraine.” It continued:

“Ukraine Partners With FTX, Everstake to Launch New Crypto Donation Website: FTX is converting crypto contributions to Ukraine’s war effort into fiat for deposit at the National Bank of Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian government launched a new crypto donations website on Monday, streamlining its multimillion-dollar effort to turn Bitcoin into bullets, bandages and other war materiel.

Aid for Ukraine,” which has the backing of crypto exchange FTX, staking platform Everstake and Ukraine’s Kuna exchange, will route donated crypto to the National Bank of Ukraine, Everstake’s Head of Growth Vlad Likhuta told CoinDesk. Ukraine’s crypto-savvy Ministry of Digital Transformation is also involved.”

It will probably take years before anything like the full extent of this particular labyrinth of lies and fraud and endless shell-companies, and players making an incalculable number of decisions involving other people performing an incalculable number of legally dubious to out-right criminal tasks will be sufficiently public enough to be more than a salacious story of youthful folly, gaming and sex, buried amidst a blur of complexity, mostly to be cordoned off, when it gets interesting, into the financial pages.

In the meantime Bankman-Fried has finally been taken into custody in the Bahamas (which some say may well have been done to make sure he does not have to answer harder questions at the congressional hearing he is meant to appear before). And the big question is: will he be suicided like Jeffrey Epstein, or can he just keep his mouth shut in a mid-level prison with vegetables, video games, porn and drugs?

Only a week or so earlier, the New York Times had Bankman-Fried appear along with other illustrious global leaders, including the man of the year himself, Zelensky, and Zuckerberg, Janet Yellen, the actor Ben Affleck, and the CEO of Blackrock, as part of its DealBook Summit. But my readers might be thinking, but this is a heck of a digression from the war and the diabolical nature of our Western world.

Sadly, though, it is only a digression in so far as the entire story the media chooses to tell is to ensure that everything they say about FTX, which is actually very little, is a digression from the real story of politicians being funded by an enormous financial fraud and money laundering scheme that reaches from the globalist party of the US (that also allows for the RINO’s on the take—presently the press is trying to make it look as if Sam gave away donations to all parties equally, lest one suspect that the money was used to push certain liberal progressive globalist causes) to Ukraine and back. And then there is the possibility it just may have been crafted to ensure that there is no way to escape a social credit surveillance society, and the globally regulated digitalization of money that crypto has threatened to destabilize. That this objective and the objective of Russian regime change are mere variations within the greater objective—a liberal progressive globalist world feudal system, as laid out in the Great Reset and Agenda 2030. That’s the big conspiracy—well, actually it is not really a conspiracy—it is openly stated.

The conspiracies are all those everyday meetings, plannings and activities which don’t make it into the light of day, because none thinks their objectives would be better met if knowledge about them were more public. And now that the mainstream and tech media and intelligence agencies have conspired to suppress investigative reporting that reports the “wrong”—i.e., unapproved—”facts,” they can sleep comfortably in the knowledge that even if someone finds out and tells the world, they won’t be heard, though they often involve “lies” and making nothing of much—like people’s life-time savings, efficient energy systems and a reliable food supply—and much of nothing really important—take your pick from all the great “nothings” that are supposed to keep the planet and us safe from extinction—the capacities of solar and wind power to provide all the energy we will ever need, wearing masks and taking vaccines so we will be “safe,” and the pedagogical and institutional commitment to great big abstractions which dictate policy, emancipation, equity and the like. Conspiracies, conspiracies?

Sorry, of course, there were no people conspiring to do such dastardly things as deceive the Russian Federation into believing that NATO would not expand into its environs, or plot and achieve a coup in Ukraine, or start persecuting and killing Ukrainians who identified themselves as ethnically connected with Russia, or tell lies about how Russia had interfered in the US election of 2016 to such an extent that it had created the vilest succubus to ever hold presidential office, an orange haired Hitler no less, who even said he wanted to be able to cooperate with Russia, or to ensure that people would think that the information revealed on Hunter Biden’s laptop was all planted by Russians, or to ensure that people who argued the case for NATO’s role in causing the war be subjected to algorithms making their work appear conspiracy theory/Putin stooge crazy.

Likewise there was no conspiracy to ensure that President Trump would be barred from social media; nor to ensure that others who wanted to use social media to argue against mandatory vaccines be de-platformed or cast out of their profession; nor to denounce, or de-platform, sack, or incarcerate people who think Black Lives Matter is socially divisive and destructive agit prop rather than the truth; or who beg to differ on the claim that every girl or woman who thinks she is a boy or man is really a he, or who might think that the formerly he—now—she should not be in a woman’s toilet, sports-team, prison, or woman’s beauty pageant; or who think that it is not hateful to distinguish between gender and fantasy; or who think free speech means tolerating speech that goes against the new dictates on which words or their use are hateful and are a call to outright violence. For while people may well, spontaneously come up with very bad and mad ideas, to dictate which ideas be stamped as “true,” even ones as crazy as that sexual organs don’t really mean anything when it comes to sexual identity (now confirmed by no less an authority than the Cambridge Dictionary)—when it comes to enforcing and policing narratives, or implementing action within certain institutions, social spaces or media, requires panels meeting to decide which narratives, words, ideas are to be tolerated and which are to be identified as in need of being censored.

No matter how much our ruling classes bandy the term “conspiracy theory” about to shut people up by shaming them for being idiots in believing what their eyes and ears might reveal rather than the corporate media, there have been conspiracies aplenty alright, and they have all involved threats and coercion, misinformation and disinformation. And they have all been done in the name of freedom and democracy. As I write this, the mainstream media hatred being directed toward Elon Musk for releasing the so called “Twitter Files” is only matched by its utter inability to care about the magnitude of the particular conspiring that was going on at Twitter between political stakeholders, state intelligence officials and its management—which also just happened to include some very high-up former state officials—about who and what to censor or shadow ban.

Is this the world—a world in which our political class, our media and the majority of our intelligentsia simply demand they be believed and obeyed, in spite of speaking out of ignorance and/or outright lies—that those warred against Nazis (or spoke out against communists) fought for?

One person who thinks not is Youtuber and journalist Mark Jones, a former British citizen also living in Russia, who reports under the name iEarl Grey. In a podcast with John Dougan, Jones made the salient point that he is continuing the same fight as his grandfather, who fought against the Nazis. I cannot help but agree with him. And with echoes of Daria Dugin, he adds, “I don’t need to be an ideological citizen to see the ideological battle that is being fought. We have the degraded Western democracies of the West, the collective West, with their pronouns, with their trans rights. I call it Godlessness. This to me is the same war my grandfather fought. And simply I cannot side with Nazis. To support them would be to betray my grandfather’s memory and the honour of all those who fought in the Great Patriotic War. So, to me this isn’t about what country you are from; it is about whether you choose the side of light with Christian orthodoxy on the one side, or whether we choose darkness and the satanism of the West.”

I have formerly said that I do not see Russia or China as “saving” the West, for I think the West as such has been devoured by its own darkness. I am less interested in concurring that Russia as such represents the light, than emphasizing that the West is being devoured by its own darkness, by its own satanic conjurings—and this is also what the Russian and Chinese political leadership sees.

3. Why Talk of Satanism—or, Why Even Non-Religious People Can Learn from Religious Language

For those who recoil from such starkly religious language as expressed by Mark Jones and Daria Dugin, or, God forbid, Alex Jones or the writers in the Epoch Times or E. Michael Jones and many others who have devoted their lives to struggling against the West’s self-mutilation and conscious Luciferian decision and descent, I would ask your forbearance and willingness to consider that the deployment of such language is not simply or even exclusively based upon a faith and in a doctrine and teaching which one may or may not have, but a realization that the language bereft of the figurative imaginative power is less able to assist us in grasping reality.

The philosopher G.W. F. Hegel wisely saw the relationship between grasping and concepts—in the German, they share the same stem—and he also, again wisely, saw that conceptualizing follows our figuring through images, rites and the representations of religious belief. But where some like Herder, Hamann, (and my good and humble self) beg to differ with Hegel’s conviction that the concepts of reason provide a more accurate and adequate expression of the real than our faculty of imag(in)ing. Hamann had made the powerful observation that faith trumps knowledge—though Hegel had built his entire philosophy in arguing the opposite against various proponents who had believed they had identified reason’s limits.

But unlike the various targets of Hegel’s criticism (Kant, J.G. Fichte, F.W.J. Schelling, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and Friedrich Jacobi), Hamann was not arguing that faith leads him to knowing more important things than what knowledge yields—but rather that faith is the condition of us being able to go in search of our knowledge and mount our reasons. That is why, Hegel’s philosophy requires the very thing that is its own ruin—a total system—while Hamann’s thought is content to pick holes in the metaphysical towers of Babel he saw the philosophers around him constructing, whilst combing satire, irony and a concession of ignorance with a philological and hermeneutical attunement to history and his own environment.

No serious faith is predicated on theology, or philosophical argument—those things come later. A faith informs and forms a life; the life of oneself and the life of those who bond with and around their faith. To understand what faiths do, requires looking at where faith has been a source of action and how it has cultivated the natural habits and sentiments. There is nothing special about faith itself—it is as J. G. Hamann insisted, an essential part of what we are—if you will, it is an ontological condition. The issue is: which faith? (Which is, but a variant on what/who to love?)

All religions—and all the language that finds religious modulation and expression, which is to say all language which not only speaks to but which is bound up with personal and social creation as it is borne by devotion, rite, ritual, incantation, supplication, and the moods of exhilaration, despair, despondency and love—deal with the arc from life to death. This is the case not only for individuals but for collectives who share that language and sense of what is to be revered and shunned, and hence of how that collective and its members live, what it holds sacred.

The tragedy and sorrow of the West today, which is of such a magnitude that anything resembling salvation cannot simply come from politics, but only from a complete redirection of faith, which is the real source of culture and the meaning of our collective and personal lives, comes from the faith that it has adopted. That faith along with the crisis of the West has been diagnosed by countless thinkers, each of whom have identified different aspects of it. To mention just a very small portion—Eric Voegelin, for example, addressed the gnostic roots; Leo Strauss, the scientistic displacement of classical wisdom; Heidegger its preoccupation with beings and technics at the expense of openness to Being; Chesterton and Belloc, the loss that accompanied the defeats of the Church; or Jacques Ellul, our worship of power and its mechanics.

While I have framed the crisis of our time in terms of a geo-political spatial entity, “the West,” the fact is that Western civilization was ever poised between turmoil, destruction, death, and a creative spirit that expanded and conjoined those in search of greater—a universal kind of—solidarity. Crisis is ever with us; or to use religious language, our souls are ever on the verge of being lost, and the devil and sin never far away.

The issue of our time is not so much the ever-permanent presence of the forces of destruction, war, pestilence, and our own tortured and torturing hearts, but the added layer of delusion and deceit that are not just discernible in our practices but in how we speak and (don’t) see what we are or what we do. In such a world of self-delusion and self-imposed blindness my heart breaks for the generation of lost souls of the young so caught up in their wrath and fanaticism that they seriously think that once the weather is under their control and they can have the sex organs of their choice, and that they can enjoy themselves unconditionally—be fully emancipated—all will be well. They are so f’d up and they have been made that way—and they think they can fix up the world, when they would, if I may defer to Jordan Peterson, be better off just learning how to tidy up their bedrooms, and then going and reading a serious book or two, or doing the gardening or something else useful, because thanks to the failure of the last generation so many are not capable of doing anything other than throwing tantrums and pulling down statues, burning books, and buildings and denouncing people for lacking their approved “virtues.” To say that we are in the grip of Satanism is only far-fetched if one has no idea that Satanism is the worship of death and the killing of our God-given or (for the naturalists, natural) potentialities.

Dostoevsky and Baudelaire both understood that the devil is a smooth-talking, urban sophisticate oozing charm and wit. Baudelaire and Dostoevsky’s Ivan Karamazov were themselves too intelligent to believe in God, but that did not stop them being visited by the devil; the demonic—as with the hellfire of war—is like that; he just comes in, irrespective of what we think or believe. And that is the condition we find ourselves in. We live in a world where evil masks itself under the very abstractions that serve to conceal intentions beneath the grander sounding norms we venerate. That is, our kind of intelligence is purchased by sacrificing the most elemental apertures of the species’ intellection—the eye and the ear—and the symbolic imagination, as it combines our most important communal associations of life and death. We also live in a time when we are oblivious to how what we worship and say is an invitation to our own collective and personal demise. We summon the demon who speaks to us in soothing tones, because we think we are so very clever. That faith in our cleverness is closely bound up with the displacement of our daily acts of transcendence in favour of descent into our own appetites and innards of destruction, assisted at every step by the words and formulae that we draw upon to drive us ever further down there.

4. Satanism as a Romance with the Self (and the Warring Members that Make it)

The difference between Paul’s description of the flesh as made up of warring members and Freud’s depiction of the Id is negligible in so far as they both identify our appetites as tumultuous and destructive. But where Paul sees our salvation in becoming members of Christ’s Church, being born anew in Christ, Freud holds out the prospect of a rational cultivation of our most potentially destructive appetites which will make us more fulfilled and complete.

As convinced as Freud was of his intelligence, diagnosis, and psychiatric cure for our discontents, many would say that he sought the impossible—for there is no rational cultivation of our appetites as such, merely rationalizations about why we might succumb to our appetites. That even Freud knew they had to be curbed was the basis of his Eros and Civilization, and that they could be connected to the death drive (the demonic) of Beyond the Pleasure Principle. The great political and social question facing every group is where must they be curbed? And the respective answers to that inevitably draw us into what does the group hold as sacred—which might also be put thus: What do we accept as having unconditional authority over us? Knowing the answer to that question—which can also be formulated as which God(s) do we serve—is essential for identifying why a particular “life-world” (to use the term of Edmund Husserl) is the way it is. The respective answers we can find in the West of a mere few generations back compared to today provide the key to what we have become. But allow me an anecdote that I think provides an important cipher about what the educated professional classes of the West hold sacred.

Last night, I went to a concert given in a Uniting Church. The concert was beautiful—two harpists with glorious voices. On the wall behind the performers was a huge cross, though Jesus was not on the cross—and no image of Him was to be seen in the church. Beneath the cross lay a huge gay pride flag. A smaller version of the flag was to be found on the window as one entered the church. The symbolism was all too evident, though I have zero doubt that those involved in making the decision thought that they were good people making a statement about their commitment to diversity and inclusivity. They may well find aspects of the Christian tradition to their liking, though I am also sure that they find much that is merely the “prejudice” of a more “ignorant” time, and they most likely believe that their faith in diversity and inclusivity is divinely intended. I also suspect that Christ’s absence not only from the cross but this church had to do with the belief that God is beyond gender—and, at least prior to transgenderism requiring a complete overhaul of pronouns, quite possibly a she—though it is hard to spin Jesus Christ in his earthly incarnation as not being a man. Perhaps, for them, the absence of Christ suggests Christ redeemed. In any case, he would be among the supporters of LGBTQ+ because they, in case one had not noticed, are still persecuted; and to deny the right to hang the pride flag in the church or on government buildings would only confirm how much hatred still exists toward members of this community.

That they might not be able to fly this flag in the mosque does not stop the same people denouncing those who would deny that it should be flown in a sacred space as homophobic, being able to swiftly change gear and denouncing as Islamophobic someone who also might point out that Muslim countries are far less tolerant of LGBTQ+ things, and that if they tried it on there, they probably would be getting, at the very least, a very long jail sentence. Comparative cultural understanding—as opposed to blathering meaningless formulae, such as the importance of respecting all cultures—does not figure very highly among the inclusivity and diversity ethic. But this is why the Vice Chancellor at my university can urge all students staff to celebrate Ramadan one day, whilst encouraging all to participate in LGBTQ+ week celebrations the next. He was particularly proud of the drag queen participation to kick off this year’s annual Christmas party.

I also have no doubt that had I spoken up and said I thought the use of a church to fly a pride flag was not only dumb, and a tasteless, political and bullying gesture directed at traditionalists, but an act of sacrilege, I would most likely have been hissed at, and most assuredly asked to leave. The people who made this decision to hang the flag beneath the cross think that it is not only acceptable but a sign of their goodness and their faith that the wall of their church be adorned with a huge flag to a group bonded by its sexual choices.

That the flag itself is one which is equated in its symbolism with the word “pride” is itself indicative of the great importance, indeed as its placement illustrated, the sanctity that is now placed upon our sexual appetites. The way in which sexuality features in contemporary Western culture and daily life is an interesting symptom of the difference between us and previous generations.

Sexuality in itself within the Christian tradition belongs to “mere nature”—although nature is construed as being divinely created—rather than belonging to the sacred as such; and it was only in the holy bonds of matrimony that it took on the form of a sacrament. That is, apart from the fact that Christians (and Jews and Muslins for that matter) have traditionally condemned same-sex practice, there is a more important point that I think is the source of serious social disintegration and civil strife. For my point is not about whether same-sex practice is moral or not, but where sexual appetite itself now figures in the order and scale of values, and in the ordering and configuring of our institutions; also, whether sex is something that is done or something to be sacralized. This is where I believe the real social division around sexuality—in all manner of variations—sits today: there is not a dispute within public institutions about whether people, of a certain age, may express their sexual preference, but whether a particular type of sexual preference should be a source of a certain kind of sacredness. That kind of sacredness is itself predicated upon a particular view of the self, which is itself symptomatic of an orientation to life that defies its “laws”/orders—for it is the defiance of life’s laws, made under the presumption that the self is the creator of its own laws.

The most important poem in the English language, Paradise Lost, took this act of revolutionary defiance as its central theme—the fall as the result of pride; the result of the created aspiring to take control of creation; the angel taking the place of God. Blake, Shelley, and Byron would all see Milton’s Satan as a heroic figure, though while it is indisputable that Satan gets all the best lines in Paradise Lost, Milton’s depiction of Satan is not in the slightest bit flattering. Milton’s Satan is a creature of restless being, and endless suffering. His sole solace is the words he tells himself. They themselves are but the delusions of a self that flies to become what he cannot be; in search of escape from the prison of a self—a prison that is completely of his own making. It is a great fall, to go from being one of God’s favourites to a lowly slithering creature seeking to tempt others into sharing the same ambitious delusions that have made a hell of his own self. There is, in sum, nothing heroic in Satan’s actions—his words are all heat and light, putrid sulfur; and his deeds are nothing more than restlessness, accompanied by words.

For his part, God does not need great lines—His word is creation itself. The modern mind may wish to elevate to a heroic station a being who is a king over nothing but his own torment, and may recoil from Milton’s expression of faith, but the poem is an expression of faith. And while it is also an attack upon the abuse of prerogative political power, and rightly so given how the doctrine of the divine right of kings had so easily become a formula in defiance of Christian duty, rather than a means for delivering it—it is much more a prophetic poem of what happens when man seeks an infinite universe and ignores the finitude and fragility of his own being.

Milton may have been hailed by the romantics, but he was no romantic. Nevertheless, if one wishes to understand the modern soul, one cannot underestimate the importance of the romantic consciousness—and that consciousness would be responsible for valorizing various priorities in what we now value and how we now act, by calling for others to join in the creative ambitions they held.

It was also the romantic consciousness that valorized the demonic on the basis of Satan being the arch rebel, not only against God, but against the order of creation itself. In 1797 the literary critic Friedrich Schlegel noted the “tendency of modern poetry to Satanism.” When Schlegel made this note, Blake had already written the Marriage of Heaven and Hell, whilst Goethe would follow shortly after with the publication of Faust, a work which provides a definitive formulation of the demonic—the spirit of negation—and then Baudelaire and his lyric masterpiece, The Flowers of Evil, with its section devoted to Satan’s Revolt. That is to say, the leading poets of Great Britain (Blake, Shelley and Byron), Germany, and France all made the devil intrinsic to modern “redemption.”

Just as words are the currency in which past and future are inflected via the priorities of the present, poets excel in their ability both to gauge the value and efficacy of that tender, at the moment of its circulation, and to combine those words in ways which elevate our sensitivity to what really is and what thus must also be. Shelley may have been overstating it somewhat, and mistaking the modern poet with the Homeric bards, when he said that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, but only somewhat. For the master craftsmen of the word introduce new coin that when potent enough becomes part of our everyday life and way of living: for good and ill, our priorities owe much not only to the sexual revolution of the 1960s but the modern bards with guitars who have been our pied pipers into this world we now inhabit. They are late pieces of ballast from the Romantic revolution; and I confess I love much of their creation, but I cannot deny that so many of the most creative musical minds and performers of the last fifty years have sided with and enthused those who are making merry hell, and their muddled musings whether coke-baked or merely the produce of narcissistic self-delusion have invariably supported the present ruling class that is creating a world of slavery in the name of freedom. Van Morrison, God bless him, and Eric Clapton have made themselves hated today by speaking out against the hellish conformity that our ruling political class is building. But poets and musicians have contributed to the fueling of the Heroic/Satanic defiance which has made the Self the be-all and end-all of existence.

That defiance was also the defining gesture of an age which had emerged from the first anti-Christian revolution and was limping toward the first openly atheistic revolution—ironically enough given the range of this essay, it is noteworthy that it is that country, having consciously thrown off its atheistic and communist past, that is now considered the source of all today’s evil by Western powers whose attack upon the truths revealed through traditional Christianity is a centre-piece in the strategy of their “world-making.”

Revolution was both a product of an enlightened age wishing to overturn crown and altar and all traditions which were not created by reason’s light, and the romantic age that sought to unleash the vitality of darker powers and passions in order to bring into existence a world that was as sublime as the artistic creations of the geniuses of the spirit. On the surface romanticism was a reaction to the excess of faith in light of an earlier generation; but it was also primarily a family squabble within the modern soul, a fraternal reaction, in which genius was “the middle term,” the genius who could fathom and express all. In the one, the scientists were the geniuses who could plot the mechanics of the world that could be incorporated into medicine and the various physical structures of the world and ourselves to build a better one for our needs. In the other, the world was to be an artistic occasion for those with the vision and insight and knowledge to also build anew. Though, unlike the philosophes many of them seemed far less ready to ditch tradition, for they appreciated it was a repository of experience and knowledge, and they would find sustenance in myth because it expressed knowledge of intimations and things closer to the nether aspects of our being. But in the main, and with occasional notable exceptions of genuine religious conversion, tradition was not itself something that should fetter the genius of the poetic creator; and its more typical legacy was to have fellow artists view traditions as syncretistic aesthetic opportunities. Romantics and the enlightened philosophes were both engaged in building the world out of the vicissitudes of the self as a god in its own right.

Carl Schmitt had astutely observed this in his book Political Romanticism when he wrote of the centrality of J.G. Fichte’s egoic philosophy in romanticism. For Fichte, the world is but the fact-act of the postulating and ever acting I; and the world but the occasion for that act. Having noted how the romantics were “fond of perceiving themselves as members of a higher organism,” Schmitt continues: “Just as in the schism between reality and possibility and between finitude and infinity, the community and history had availed themselves of functions that, in Christian metaphysics, belonged to God, here too they became the true cause for which everything else is only an occasion. Closer examination shows, however, that it is neither of these two demiurges—humanity and history—but rather the romantic subject itself that takes everything as an occasion. Here the opposition of romantic productivity to the activity that Fichte’s ‘ego’ postulates is the appropriate point of departure for the exposition of the romantic character. That is because this Fichtean ‘ego’ became the romantic subject.”

Revolution was another common thread between enlightenment and romanticism. The dialectical character of that relationship, as well as its revolutionary commitment, is visible in the kinds of contradiction that are typical of the modern radical imagination and which are starkly evident in the contemporary mythologizing and “romanticising” of indigenous life, of natural wilderness and of the energy provided by the sun and wind, on the one hand, and faith in science and social and emancipation progress—”I believe in the science”—on the other. It is the contradiction that breeds Extinction Rebellion and a society in which surgical tampering (and hence highly developed science) with genitals and vaccines is seen as essential commitment to emancipation; a society in which an entire population can be forced to wear masks because nature is a threat to our very existence, and one in which all things natural are to be esteemed so that the mere Anthropocene can be seen as a kind of cancer upon infinitely wonderous and sacred nature, a society in which the drive for total emancipation exists side-by-side with the drive to ensure none not comply with technocratic dictates. In sum, it is a society that in wanting to have everything is prepared to leave so many with nothing – perhaps mere organ assemblages to be harvested for the new transhumanist gods, or brain implants that will be able to be programmed to do the bidding of those doing the transplanting.

The revolutionary mindset that united the men and women of clarity and distinctness, of light and mind, and the students of the mechanical parts and laws of existence, with those devoted to discerning and expressing the darker and more chiaroscuro truths disclosed by myth and stemming from heart and passions, as Camus pointed out in his brilliant and important mid-20th century work L’Homme révolté, was above all a metaphysical revolt, a revolt predicated upon the deities of our own mental imaginings responding to the inevitable trials and habitual unfairness that comes with life; not rebellions we undertake against specific injustices.

Camus had rightly also identified the primary importance of the Marquis de Sade within this call for metaphysical rebellion—for de Sade wanted nothing less than the entire annihilation of the world, if that were necessary to satiate his infinite libidinous energy. It was, albeit unintentionally, a position that mirrored the philosopher Kant’s insistence that justice must be done even if the entire world were to perish. Neither was interested in modulating his passions (Sade) or ideas (Kant) to the requisite adaptations of life’s craggy contingencies. The dialectic of the modern satanic and moral purist (as expressed by Kant philosophically, and the Jacobins politically) eventually yielded a mindset in which absolute emancipation and absolute justice were perfectly congruent, and the body and it sexual organs were to provide the point of “indifference.”

Total freedom construed appetitively (Sadean and not-Kantian), and complete virtue unsullied by appetites (Kantian and not-Sadean) has become the West’s sacred temple—which is to say the temple is the self, the self, though as it conforms to what it is supposed to be—virtuous and fully committed to total emancipation, which is also to say a self that is compliant with what the satanic heroic rebels define it to be.

The monument to that dialectical resolution was the totalitarian revolutions of the 20th century, the children of which are the people who seek to completely rebuild the world so that it conforms to their ideas about emancipation. Their intellectual “leaders” invariably recognize the Marxian and post-Marxian “mother” (total critique in search of complete emancipation), but largely ignore (mainly through ignorance or willful decision not to confront inconvenient truths) the absent/unseen fascistic “father” (corporatism and “communities” bound by leadership). To be sure, both built obedience around the cult of the leader; and today’s globalised corporatist powers have retained the primacy of compliance with the decrees of leaders, whilst, quite cleverly leaving the primary leaders to remain rather faceless (though the narcissistic temptation to be loved and seen does afflict many of the more prominent ones).

Thus, just as the modern elite, as I have suggested many times in this magazine, reconciles communism and aristocratism of Marx and Nietzsche by having radicalised foot-soldiers tear down traditional authority in the name of equality, the power of the most wealthy is enhanced by their purporting to represent the interests of their clients, which is to rebel against the existing order of oppression. That representation relies upon those very foot-soldiers, who also seek out vassals (their own clients) amongst those in the lower classes.

Communism did breed a new class of rulers, as earlier dissidents said time and time again; but global corporatist governance has been far more successful in retaining its power over its under-classes and maintaining relationships of dependency, thanks to ensuring, with the help from their foot-soldiers, that they are sexually satiated, even if pornography is the primary means of slaking sexual desire amongst the less well-resourced males, drugged up, and self-satisfied in their “knowledge” about the world; which, given that they are educated into a level of sophisticated stupidity, is nothing but phrases and formulae circulated by teachers, professors and journalists, who pretty much think the exact same thing on any important topic.

If as I have suggested the modern revolutionary disposition is predicated on the hybrid of enlightened and romantic ideas and priorities about us and the world, not only as they are but what they can be, it is also, as Milton foretold, pride that is the fulcrum for the creation of this new world; and that pride is nowhere more obvious when we note how lacking in experience, how young the greatest exponents of revolution are, when they choose to devote their lives to it. Saint-Just was not even thirty when he went to the guillotine, Robespierre not forty, Marx in his mid-twenties when he wrote, feverishly from Paris, that he had discovered the solution to “the riddle of history,” Lenin’s brother Alexander was twenty-one when he was executed for his role in attempting to assassinate the Tsar, which no doubt played a decisive role in Lenin himself, drawn into revolutionary circles before he was twenty.

The notion that youth know so much that they should be politically committed is so commonplace in the West (New Zealand is currently having a judicial inquiry into whether sixteen-year-olds should have the vote) that to suggest that there is a connection between political commitment and pride would be seen by many people to be mere prejudice. We are meant to believe that even a child is not only able to diagnose the causes of the world’s ills, as if the world’s ills are settled and knowable to all, but also knows how to fix them. Of course, “fixing the world” requires believing in the science and the technocrats and corporate and political global (Western) leaders, who fund the science and whose profits are predicated upon the same leaders selling their solutions to the population at large. All of this is pride writ gigantic: from the billionaires and technocrats who believe they alone (hence those who criticize them must be silenced) can save us from oppression, poverty, climate, overpopulation, disease, and possibly even death itself so they and some of us—ermm, I mean them—may live forever, to the politicians, teachers, journalists, celebrities who tell us what to do, and what to think, so the planet and the species can be saved, to the poor idiots who think that they should be proud of their sexual being, and the even poorer idiots who think that all of this should be the priority of the Christian churches.

If I may briefly return to the great big pride flag in that church for the moment. Pride in one’s achievement is something not to be taken too far; for one’s own grasp on reality, being up today may be swiftly followed by being very down tomorrow: fortune is a great wheel. But the brief flicker of pride in a moment of great achievement, the success following devotion to a pursuit involving vast efforts, much time, and many obstacles may well be warranted and briefly pleasing—but pride in one’s mere being, and in a being defined by sexual appetite is something of very recent pedigree, and not something that owes anything at all to achievement. Being proud of one’s sexual appetites is so silly it belongs in comedy, as evident in some of the best jokes by the late great Norm MacDonald. Heterosexuals don’t have a flag, but if they did, that would be as diabolical as it was foolish—and it is not inconceivable that the great new world order might one day require that people bond around some symbol expressing their sexual preference.

Folly is ever the footman of the (d)evil—folly opens the doors and windows of the soul for (the d)evil’s entrance. We have in the West succumbed so much to folly, we think it is a gesture of solidarity and love (and see as hateful those like me who think this is nuts) to embrace this destruction of meaning and this elevation of sexual pleasure that it is perfectly reasonable to hang a pride flag under a cross in a church.

Were one simply to draw on the church wall people engaging in anal sex or cunnilingus or fellatio it would be far harder to keep up the pretense that we were talking about something dignified—but it would at least be honest, an honest way of saying that we want sex—”and when do we want it—now.” But that is only partly true of course; for while that is what the symbolism of the flag really expresses, the fact that this desire is dressed up and decorated and valorized in a way that is as far from actual sex as possible—flags are usually associated with ceremonies requiring strict decorum, while churches are (at least for non-Satanists) not usually the place for sexual activities.

What is essentially a statement about sexual desire and choice, a statement of the sort that satanists would, in more ritualistic attuned times, make by having orgies in a church, is publicly presented as if it were about love. But the Church and traditions more generally have never persecuted people for merely loving each other; the strictures of tradition kick in when it comes to how the love is demonstrated. Early Christian fathers were not romantic—sex was sex and love was love; and given how common it is for people to have sex who do not love each other, and how common it is for people who love each other deeply and not to have sex, it is symptomatic of the triumph of the myth of romantic love (so brilliantly dissected in Flaubert’s Madam Bovary) that we who live in an age that is so hypersexualized want to delude ourselves into thinking sexual attraction is the equivalent to love and that that should be the basis of the family.

Most of the human race until relatively recently would have thought this ridiculous—note this is a very different point from saying that sexual attraction may also involve love, and may even lead to love, but in and of itself it is not love. This is why I would be just as incensed over the stupidity of a flag dedicated to any kind of sexual pleasure or relationship in a church as I am to the pride one. I am incensed not because I find same sex immoral, but because I find the idea of hanging up a flag about sexual preference (and transforming preference into an identity) in a church to be a symptom of the mental derangement and blindness of the modern soul—a derangement based upon a failure to understand what is really sacred and what is simply something people choose to do. Dressing this all up as if it has some kind of historical continuity with the early Church martyrs, who adopted lives of renunciation, is simply an indication that people have lost their minds—and losing one’s intellect, as Dante reminded his readers in The Comedy, is also the price one pays for favouring sin. One chooses damnation, by choosing the particular objective of the moment, in place of fathoming the discernable flow of consequences that follow from damnable choices.

No, the real issue is sex and NOT sex—it is a desperate hunger for the sacred. The fact that the church I visited has thrown out all vestiges of sacred imagery except the centre-piece of the Christian faith, the cross (albeit a Christless cross) does not mean that those who attend it wish to live without the sacred. We as a species are creatures who desperately require transcendence. In a time where we compartmentalize life so that religion is simply a compartment we can enter into or leave alone, it is commonplace to ignore the fact that while religions cultivate us in different ways according to what they deem sacred and what aspects of our selves and lives they prioritize, they do so because of an original disposition which persists even in a purely secular environment. That disposition is natural, which is why the failure to reflect upon our nature is a very stupid and dangerous thing; and the insistence upon our lives being mere social constructs is an extremely unfortunate formulation that shows indifference to the limits of the act of “construction.” Construction, of course, is an engineering term and no one thinks they can construct a bridge or building without the right materials and knowledge—but in social thinking, the term serves to displace the importance of the materiality of ourselves, and to valorize the use of words—which stands in the closest relationship to the way in which false transcendence is bound up with false words.

And that is what this war in Ukraine has exposed—a war that is very much the result of false words entered into by an “Empire of Lies,” which has made of the self and its appetites the true object of worship. To be sure the larger abstractions of freedom/emancipation and equity enable that act of worship, lest the inanity of it be too obvious. But therein is the great diabolical trick—self-worship based upon verbal rites/formulae that are but vapid incantations deployed to hurt and persecute—all done in the name of love.

We are all dependents, at every second; and though the stupid elite enablers like to babble on about their autonomy, our dependent nature is not lost on those who have strategically positioned themselves to decide what the future with our limited resources must be like—which is just another way of deciding who must do what, to ensure their survival and wealth enhancement—which is also to say, who will live, and who will die.

The thing about the devil’s party, as I have said in the book I coauthored with my friend Guan BeiBei on Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin, is that it can never endure, because it is a party of Selves devoted only to themselves and their own appetites. But that too is why the values are so empty—and being so empty must be proclaimed at such volume and with such force and why the cultural war keeps finding new sacrifices to be made: today I read of a lesbian actress being threatened with a three-year jail term in Norway for an act of hate speech, i.e., publicly stating that sex organs define male and femaleness. The Satanic powers feast of our conceits and what we are prepared to give and to say to justify the appetites that fuel them.

Little daily acts of transcendence require that we lose our self in something higher, in an art, a craft, a love, a relationship, a commitment, a way, the depth of our faith and the Lord or God we serve; and that in losing ourself, more becomes of our selves—that is also because it is not a known identity but a mystery to be revealed. When words assist us in that transcendence, they too reveal their potency, through the very reality that they reveal. The Satanic is the promise of the overcoming of mystery, of the obliteration of revelation. Its means for achieving this are delusions, fueled by lies and animated by pride, which is followed by death—death of the soul, and of peoples.

I said above, I do not know if I can unequivocally affirm that Russia represents forces of light in the present war, but I cannot unsee the darkness in the forces that the West has sided with. Turning that around, if indeed it were possible, can only begin with us not being willing to accept lies as truths, and refusing to enter into the satanic church of the modern self’s identities and appetites.


Wayne Cristaudo is a philosopher, author, and educator, who has published over a dozen booksHe also doubles up as a singer songwriter. His latest album can be found here.


Featured: “Sole Morte,” by Odd Nerdrum; painted in 1987.

Mainstream Journalism: A Morality Tale in Four Acts

The story of Patrik Baab is, supposedly, an open book: The experienced investigative reporter, who worked as a Northern German Broadcasting (NDR) editor for many years, and who refuses to be silenced, let alone canceled. He is taking action against the attacks and is suing the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel. After denunciatory “reporting” by one of the spokesmen in German attitude journalism (Haltungsjournalismus—reporting, which frames opinion from the point of view of the power elite), the university immediately revoked his teaching position. He is now taking legal action against this. In what follows, we tell the true story of a real journalist in the year 2022, in four acts: A textbook on research; the scandal of politically biased reporting at the NDR state broadcasting agency in Kiel; Mr. Baab’s research trips to Russia and Ukraine; and a lawsuit against the revocation of his teaching assignment, which was filed with the Schleswig Administrative Court, shortly before Christmas.

[To view a selection of Mr. Baab’s documentary films, please follow this link.]

We have received the lawsuit and other documents relating to the revocation of the teaching position at Kiel University. In addition, we rely on a statement by Mr. Baab as part of the attempted clarification of the NDR scandal, which was published a few days ago on the website of the MEP of the Pirate Party. Of course, we also looked at Mr. Baab’s book, Recherchieren (Research), which is highly recommended to critical journalists as a textbook, but it can also be read as a critique of contemporary (political) journalism.

Act One: The Book

For Patrik Baab, research is the core activity of every journalist. It is the basis of criticism of prevailing opinion. Against this background, he published his book at the beginning of the year. In it, he not only writes about the tools of the trade of the investigative reporter, but also criticizes in detail the current conditions in mass media. A concise quotation will serve to clarify his position:

“In a very eloquent way, neoliberal minded journalism is becoming a silence cartel. The press apparently no longer demands anything from politics. Instead, it continually proclaims to people that they are living ‘without alternative’ in the best of all possible worlds. In this way, they themselves have contributed to narrowing the space for public debate to the continuation of the existing situation, with all its ills, without any alternatives. Political measures now focus only on a few system-immanent excesses; the fundamental questions are relegated to the realm of conspiracy theories.”

Anyone who writes something like this should no longer be allowed to train budding journalists, as Mr. Baab did at two universities until the middle of this year. This opinion is held at least relatively blatantly by Volker Lilienthal, who holds the chair of the “Rudolf Augstein Foundation Professorship for the Practice of Quality Journalism” at the University of Hamburg. His review of Mr. Baab’s book predetermined what would happen later: Mr. Baab was stripped of his lectureship. Professor Lilienthal was disturbed by Mr. Baab’s politically entrenched point of view, which does not give a very good impression of the German media landscape. Mr. Lilienthal is part of a conservative media network based in Hamburg, linked via the “Netzwerk Recherche.” Its task, in theory, is to promote investigative journalism, but in practice, it is a coterie.

Hotel in East Ukraine, where Mr. Baab was staying, right after a 155-mm-shell hit the parking lot; fired by a Ukrainian self-propelled gun of NATO-origin. The windows were all shattered, but no one was hurt. Photo Credit: Sergey Filbert.

Act Two: The Scandal of the Kiel State Broadcasting Center

First RBB (Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting), then NDR. In the fall, things did not go well for Germany’s public broadcasters. While the scandal at RBB was primarily about accusations of taking advantage, the NDR got down to the nitty-gritty. Journalism itself became an issue. The editor-in-chief of the Kiel state broadcasting center, Norbert Lorentzen, the head of politics there, Julia Stein, and the director of the state broadcasting agency, Volker Thormählen, were accused of influencing research in the interests of the ruling CDU (The Christian Democratic Union of Germany), which runs the government in the federal region of Schleswig-Holstein. Initially, it was about another journalist who was allegedly obstructed in his reporting on a police scandal. But those journalists who investigated the events soon came across Patrik Baab, who had also voiced accusations against the management level of the state broadcasting house.

Mr. Baab himself said nothing more about it, after labor court proceedings; the parties concerned had agreed on that at the time. Nevertheless, details of the accusations to light in the reports. Mr. Baab, who had co-authored several films for NDR about the still mysterious death of former Schleswig-Holstein premier Uwe Barschel, sharply criticized the state broadcaster’s top management. In his report for the auditing firm Deloitte, which was supposed to review the scandal, he wrote, among other things, in retrospect of the direct criticism of his research by state broadcasting agency director Thormählen:

“It was clear to me that the aim was to steer the coverage in the sense of a CDU rope team. My memo about this meeting, which later became part of the labor court dispute, was not contradicted by NDR in court.”

Pirate Party member Patrick Breyer published the link to Mr. Baab’s statement that was leaked and showed up on the internet.. Breyer definitely saw—unlike most commentators in their articles about the Deloitte report—the appearance of political consideration of the NDR in Kiel.

Mr. Baab had also reported “interrogations” in the radio station’s political editorial department:

“This seemed to me to be intended as a journalistic disciplinary tool. In my opinion, it was about forcing pre-emptive obedience by creating fear. The goal of the interrogations was to break any future resistance to political intervention in the program from the outset.”

Mr. Baab refused to be broken, but agreed before the labor court not to repeat the accusations made in 2019 in an editorial conference. According to his own statement to Deloitte, the fact that he was now once again the focus of media coverage came as a surprise to him.

Interviewing a soldier in a shopping street in Donetsk, where some hours earlier 14 people, including children, were killed, when an Ukrainian 155-mm-shell hit a supermarket. Photo Credit: Sergey Filbert.

While Mr. Baab said nothing, or was not allowed to say anything because of his duty to keep confidentiality according to his working contract, NDR reported on him in its media magazine Zapp as a “controversial critic” of the broadcaster. By then, much more had happened than a trip to the East. Mr. Baab saw the Zapp report, as he wrote to Deloitte, as an “act of revenge on behalf of the executives in question, carried out by freelancers who act according to instructions and are economically dependent.”

Act Three: A Trip East and the Consequences

Since the middle of this year, Patrik Baab had been in the “passive phase” of his long-term contract” at NDR, as it is called in administrative German. He is no longer working at the station, will soon retire and now has time for his own projects. One of them is a book, for which he traveled to Ukraine several times, as he says himself when asked. On the trip, he shot some films together with Russian-born video blogger Sergey Filbert. He was in eastern Ukraine during the referendums that were to decide whether Donetsk and Luhansk would join the Russian Federation. In terms of timing, the trip was not coordinated with all this; had nothing to do with it, Mr. Baab told journalist Georg Altrogge a little later. He had been preparing for the research since May, in order to report on the Russian Federation’s “war of aggression on Ukraine in violation of international law,” Mr. Baab said. He had also made a public appearance there, for public media. Mr. Baab was in eastern Ukraine as an election observer, some Russian media reported, and the major news portal T-Online picked up the thread, though having been informed that this is wrong. It all started with the report by Lars Wienand on September 26, followed a little later by Altrogge’s article in Die Welt. A week later, Zapp picked up the story.

Interview with a resident whose housing block, in the suburbs of Mariupol, was completely destroyed during heavy fighting between Russian and Ukrainian military forces. Photo Credit: Sergey Filbert.

Reactions from the universities Mr. Baab works for were not long in coming. The first to take action was the Berlin University of Media, Communication and Business (HMKW). Here will just quote repeat a paragraph from our article from the end of September:

Presumably, it went as follows: The T-Online journalist learned of Mr. Baab’s presence on site, researched his background and made a press inquiry to the Berlin University of Media, Communication and Business (HMKW). “Do you know what your lecturer is doing there? At the mock referendums? He’s legitimizing them! Do you think that’s good?” That’s how it might have been. It doesn’t matter how exactly, because according to its own statement, the university was on the phone with the delinquent, who was made one by his mere presence in the wrong place at the wrong time. And then a statement was hastily published on the homepage. The gist: We condemn and distance ourselves (HMKW, 26.9.22). Meanwhile, the article appeared on the net. Author Wienand could now add the accomplishment of his mission right away; online many things can be changed and enhanced quickly.

Kiel University followed suit a little later. On October 3, Mr. Baab was notified of the revocation of his teaching assignment on the subject of research. He was thus “canceled” for what he is supposed to teach the students. Research in the field seems undesirable, it can shake the already established opinion.

Mr. Baab’s appearance as an “observer” lent “the appearance of legitimacy to Russia’s occupation and annexation of Ukrainian territories in violation of international law,” three professors from the Institute of Social Science at Kiel University wrote to Mr. Baab. (The letter is available to our editors.) The letter went on to say that the university, and in particular the Department of Political Science, would be threatened with an immense loss of reputation if the impression should arise that lecturers “endorse Russia’s behavior, which is contrary to international law.” Heavy guns were then brought out—only by revoking the teaching assignment could the reputation, order and functioning of the university be preserved. A hearing would be dispensable “due to the imminent danger, and in the public interest.” Mr. Baab’s lawyer reacted to the latter statement with bewilderment, and in his objection filed a few days later, he referred to the need for a procedure based on the rule of law. The objection was rejected, and Mr. Baab is now suing the university.

Before we come to this last act of the story, a short detour to Albrecht, the Kiel student newspaper. There, an author who had attended a seminar with Mr. Baab shortly before took up the topic and let Mr. Baab speak at length. This article had no clear slant, even though it became clear that the author opposed “well-known narratives” of the Russian side and accused Mr. Baab of being too close to those who represent precisely these narratives. Nonetheless, a little of the principles of journalism that Mr. Baab may have taught in the seminar stuck with the author. He asked Mr. Baab, i.e. “the other side,” and let him have his say, but could also have asked the university why it refers to the reports of “Russian state media,” according to which Mr. Baab was an election observer. Normally, after all, this media is accused of propaganda. Hintergrund recently asked the university a question along these lines, but the university did not provide any information, citing the ongoing legal proceedings.

Act Four: The Lament

And so we arrive at the fourth act of the story. Mr. Baab is suing Kiel University with the aim of having the revocation of his teaching contract rescinded. This should not have been revoked. The plaintiff is a committed journalist and was neither an election observer nor could he be perceived as such, writes Mr. Baab’s lawyer in the grounds for the lawsuit, which is available to our editors.

“The plaintiff, as a journalist committed to reporting on location—and not from afar like other media observers—undertook highly risky research on location in order to actually perceive and report on the situation on location with his journalistic experience.”

This statement says it all. It contains—in addition to the concise justification of why an experienced journalist should not be thrown out just like that—a clear assessment of most of today’s reporters: They observe from a distance. One could add to the lawyer’s words in spirit that they do not allow their preconceived image in the sense of the prevailing opinion to be destroyed by on-the-spot checks.

An Azov Battalion tank destroyed in the Azov steel mill. Notice the “Wolfsangel” (a Nazi emblem) on the side of the tank. Photo Credit: Sergey Filbert.

The fact that mainstream journalism has largely gone to the dogs is due precisely to this attitude—the attitude toward war and the attitude toward the profession. Because journalists have to observe on location, they have to go everywhere. And they must be allowed to do so.

Because it is precisely about denying a journalist this basis for work and this right, that we will continue to keep an eye on the Patrik Baab case. In its many facets, it represents a moral portrait that shows us the reality of today’s mainstream journalism in one example, in one person. It shows how journalism could and should be—and how it is instead.

By focusing on Patrik Baab, we have brought into focus the great decline of western journalism—the double standards, attitude journalism, the partisan stance when it comes to the war in Ukraine and issues relating to the Corona Virus. We have looked at mainstream denunciationism, the fake news stories that the leading media disseminate and admit, if at all, only coyly. And Mr. Baab’s story is about Cancel Culture, as well as the close connection between politics and public broadcasting.


This article appears through the kind courtesy of Hintergrund.

War and Chaos: The Metaphysics of War

Part 1. A Brief History of Chaos: from Ancient Greece to the Postmodern

The Chaos Factor in the U.S.S.R.

The most thoughtful observers of the Ukrainian front note the peculiar nature of this war: the chaos factor has increased enormously. This applies to all sides of the Special Military Operation, both to the actions and strategies of the enemy and our command, as well as to the dramatically increased role of technology (all kinds of drones and UAVs), and the intensive online information support, where it is almost impossible to distinguish the fictitious from the real. This is a war of chaos. It is time to revisit this fundamental concept.

Chaos for the Greeks

Since the word—χάος—is Greek, then its meaning must also be originally Greek, related to semantics and myth, and hence to philosophy.

The very root meaning of the word “chaos” is “to gape,” “to yawn,” that is, an empty place that is localized between two poles—most often between Heaven and Earth. Sometimes (in Hesiod) between the Earth and Tartarus, that is, the area under hell (Hades, aedes).

Between Heaven and Earth is air, so in some later systems of natural philosophy chaos is identified with air.

In this sense, chaos represents an as yet unstructured territory of relations between ontological and further cosmogonic polarities. It is in the place of chaos that order appears (the original meaning of the word κόσμος is beauty, harmony, orderliness). Order is a structured relationship between polarities.

Erotic-Psychic Cosmos

In myth, Eros and/or Psyche appear (become, arise) in the territory previously occupied by chaos. Eros is the son of fullness (Poros, Heaven) and poverty (Penia, Earth) in Plato’s Pyrrho. Eros connects opposites and separates them. Likewise, Psyche, the soul, is between the mind, the spirit, on the one hand, and the body, matter, on the other. They come to the place where chaos reigned before, and it disappears, recedes, pales, pierced by the rays of a new structure. It is the structure of an erotic—psychic—order.

Thus, chaos is the antithesis of love and soul. Chaos reigns where there is no love. But at the same time, it is in place of chaos—in the same zone of existence—that the cosmos is born. Therefore, there is both a semantic contradiction and topological affinity between chaos and its antipodes—order, Eros, and the soul. They occupy the same place—the place between. Daria has called this area the “metaphysical frontier” and has thematized it in different horizons in her recent writings and speeches. Between one and the other there is a “gray area” in which to look for the roots of any structure. This is what Nietzsche meant, that “only he who carries chaos in his soul is capable of giving birth to a dancing star.” The star in Plato, and later in many others, is the most contrasting symbol of the human soul.

Chaos in Ovid

The second meaning, which can already be guessed from the Greeks, but which is not too strictly described by them, is found in Ovid. In the Metamorphoses he defines chaos through the following terms—a rough and undivided mass (rudis indigestaque moles), consisting of poorly combined, warring seeds of things (non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum), having no other property than inert gravity (nec quicquam nisi pondus iners). This definition is much closer to Plato’s χόρα, “the receptacle of becoming,” than to the original chaos, and resonates with the notion of matter. It is the mixing of the elements that is emphasized in such chaotic matter. This too is the antithesis of order and harmony; hence Ovid’s Discordia-enmity, which refers back to Empedocles and his cycles of love (φιλότης)/war, enmity (νεῖκος). Chaos as enmity is again opposed to love, φιλία. But here the emphasis is not on emptiness, but on the contrary, on the ultimate, but meaningless, unorganized fullness—hence Ovid’s “inert gravity.”

The Greek and Greco-Roman meanings equally oppose chaos to order, but they do so differently. Initially (with the early Greeks), it is rather a void as light as air, whose sinister character is revealed in the gaping mouth of an attacking lion or in the contemplation of a bottomless abyss. In Roman Hellenism, the property of gravity and mingling comes to the fore. Rather than air, it is water, or even black and red boiling volcanic lava.

Chaos at the Origin of Cosmogony

From this instance, chaos, begins the cosmogony and sometimes theogony of Greco-Roman religion. God creates order out of chaos. Chaos is primordial. But God is more primal. And he arranges the universe between himself and not himself at all. After all, if God is an eternal affirmation, you can have an eternal negation. There can be two kinds of relationship between the two—either chaos or order. The sequence can be either—if it’s chaos now, there will be order in the future. If there is order now, it will probably deteriorate in the future and the world will descend into chaos. And then again God will establish order. And thus, a period of time. Hence the theory of cosmic cycles, clearly stated in the Statesman by Plato, but most fully developed in Hinduism and Buddhism. Hence, Empedocles’ continually alternating eras of war/love.

Hesiod’s cosmogony begins with chaos. In [the theogony of] Pherecydes of Syros, it begins with order (Zas, Zeus). Time can be counted down from morning like the Iranians, or from evening like the Semites. Chaos is not opposed to God. It is opposed to God’s world.

As long as there is no order, the earth does not know that it is earth. For no distance has been established. And so, she merges with chaos. Earth becomes Earth when Heaven proposes to her and gives her a wedding veil. It is the cosmos, the ornament behind which chaos hides. So, it is with Pherecydes, in his charmingly patriarchal philosophical myth.

Chaos of the Golden Age

Plato’s late dialogue the Statesman gives a description of the phases of the history of the cosmos, where we can recognize two types of chaos, the initial and the final.

The first phase is described by Plato as the reign of Kronos. Its peculiarity is that the Godhead is inside the world, immanent to it. In this period all processes unfold in the opposite direction to the usual. The sun rises in the west and sets in the east. People are born out of the earth as adults and only grow younger with time, until they become a drop of seed and disappear into the earth. The sexes do not exist—all are androgynous.

This state can be partly correlated with chaos, but only with the primordial, in which order is implicit in the form of the immanent presence of the Divine. This is the “chaos” of the golden age. Some details of Plato’s account of Kronos’ reign can be correlated with Empedocles‘ fanciful description of the cosmic age of discord, but in Plato the reign of Kronos is presented, in contrast, as a time of peace and contemplation—androgyny is engaged in philosophy.

The Transcendental Order

The second phase is the reign of Zeus. Here the relationship between God (the Nurturer) and the cosmos changes. Zeus is removed to an “observation point” (περιωπή), a “watchtower” on the other side of the cosmos. God is now transcendent to the world, not immanent to it as under Cronus.

Plato describes it this way: “In the fulness of time, when the change was to take place, and the earth-born race had all perished, and every soul had completed its proper cycle of births and been sown in the earth her appointed number of times, the pilot of the universe let the helm go, and retired to his place of view; and then Fate and innate desire reversed the motion of the world” (Statesman, 485).

Order henceforth ceases to be implicit, dissolved in the cosmic environment itself, and becomes explicit. Zeus is the judge. He, by virtue of his distance from the cosmos, distinguishes when the cosmos and humanity behave harmoniously and according to the law and when they deviate from it.

Zeus’ reign is in turn divided into two periods. In the first, the cosmos is oriented toward Zeus, imitates him, follows his instructions and precepts. This forms the order—the one we know. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. People are henceforth divided into two sexes, male and female. Here we can recall Aristophanes’ story from another dialogue, Symposium, which deals with the dissection of androgynes who rose in rebellion against the gods. Conception, fetal maturation, birth, and adulthood take place in the usual order. Exhausted old men die and are buried in the ground.

Final Chaos: Late Antiquity

Gradually, however, the cosmos, left to itself, loses its resemblance to the Divine, forgets its instructions, and begins to move on its own volition in an uncertain direction.

Plato describes it this way: “Now as long as the world was nurturing the animals within itself under the guidance of the Pilot, it produced little evil and great good; but in becoming separated from him it always got on most excellently during the time immediately after it was let go, but as time went on and it grew forgetful, the ancient condition of disorder prevailed more and more and towards the end of the time reached its height, and the universe, mingling but little good with much of the opposite sort, was in danger of destruction for itself and those within it” (Statesman, 273).

It is important that Plato here uses the expression “ancient condition of disorder” (παλαιά ἀναρμοστία), although in this myth itself there was no disorder at the beginning of cosmic unfoldment (Kronos’ kingdom). “Antiquity” here is placed not on the time scale but in a logical topology and indicates the primordiality of the emptiness “preceding” the origin of the world. The fall into the “pathos of ancient disharmony” (τὸ τῆς παλαιᾶς ἀναρμοστίας πάθος) is due to oblivion (λήθη). But oblivion, is opposed to memory, which is the reference to something meaningful in the past. Memory is the memory of Zeus and even of the much older periods of Kronos’ reign, where the original philosophy—the prisca theologia of the Florentine Neoplatonists—originated. Chaos is ancient, not because it represents something very early. On the contrary, it arises precisely when memory is shortened, if not erased altogether. In some sense, such chaos is something new and even the newest. It appears precisely at the end of the world. It is the ultimate chaos. It triumphs precisely when the content of the history of existence fades.

After the cosmos, left to itself, finally collapses (which means that order exists only when it is oriented toward something higher than itself, toward Deity, while by itself, taken purely immanently, it is sooner or later doomed to an imminent fall), the Provider, in mercy, reproduces it again. And everything repeats again—the sun rises again in the west, men are born from the earth asexual, etc. (These images remarkably resemble some of the details in the description of the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment in Christianity and monotheistic traditions, as well as in Zoroastrianism).

It is important for us that the “ancient chaos” in this picture comes at the end of Zeus’ reign; that is, after order has collapsed. Such chaos, therefore, is final. It arises precisely because of the loss of memory of the eternal; that is, of the even more ancient than chaos itself. In the final chaos, antiquity is erased. Therefore, it becomes pure becoming; the ephemerality of the present, ready to collapse into an already completely meaningless future. Such a future never arrives, constantly slipping away, leaving only the recursive absurdity that repeatedly reproduces itself.

The truly initial chaos is opposed to this ultimate chaos. Initial chaos is closer to the very first version of its Greek interpretation: a void not yet filled with order, hierarchy, a vertical structure. It lacks materiality, density, mixing and resistance. It is as transparent and permeable as pure air.

The ultimate chaos, on the other hand, is reminiscent of Ovid’s chaos. The remains of order are mixed in it; such chaos is residual. It follows order when order no longer exists. The final chaos is murky, filled with the senseless jostling of bodies (which Plotinus hated so much). It resists any creative impulse.

At the moment of cosmic midnight, there is a transubstantiation of chaos—the final chaos turns into the initial chaos.

The Disappearance of Chaos in Christianity—But tohu wa-bohu

In Christianity, chaos disappears. Christianity knows only one God and His creation; that is, order, peace. Once upon a time “the earth was sightless and empty, and darkness over the abyss” (תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ וְחֹ֖שֶׁךְ עַל-פְּנֵ֣י תְהֹ֑ום ). The Hebrew term tohu means precisely emptiness, absence, and fits well with the Greek concept of chaos. Already in this phrase, with which the first section of the Old Testament begins, tohu is mentioned twice, which is completely lost in the translation—the first time it is rendered “without sight,” and the second time in the plural (עַל-פְּנֵ֣י תְהֹ֑ום) in the combination “over the void,” literally “over the face of tohu“). The word bohu (בֹ֔הוּ) in the combination tohu wa-bohu (תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ) is no longer used in the Bible (except Isaiah 34:11), which simply quotes the expression from the beginning of Genesis. Thus literally “the earth was chaos and ?, and darkness (hsd) over the face of chaos (or in the face of chaos).” In the Greek sense, we could say that “the earth was hidden by chaos,” which made it impossible to see (by Heaven, created in the first line of Genesis) that the earth was the earth.

Here God creates clearly not out of chaos, but out of nothingness. And he creates at once the light spirit (Heaven) and the dark flesh (Earth). Chaos is what is between them; what hides their true relationship.

Man is in the Place of the Cosmos. Don’t Slip into the Abyss

The rest of the creation process already transforms chaos into cosmos. God’s spirit, hovering over the waters, builds order in place of disorder. This is how stars, plants, animals, people, and fish appear. But this cosmogonic act was not of much interest to the Jews (unlike the Greeks). Their religion dealt with an already created world (the cosmos) that needed to build a right relationship with God the Creator through man. Man stood in the place of chaos. He could slip into the abyss of Abaddon, or he could ascend to the heavens, like Elijah. In the Book of Job (28:22) Abaddon as Earth, Chthoniê in Pherecydes, is mentioned in the context of the veil. The veil is the cosmos. Man is the world, but it is based on chaos. This is true, but Jewish and later Christian theology almost never refers to chaos. Here everything is personified—and even the enemy of man, the devil, is not a molded element, but the quite distinct personality of a fallen angel. In the Christian era, chaos recedes to the periphery, following in many ways Judaism, especially the later one.

Gas: The Dutch Alchemists’ Chaos

We see a certain interest in chaos during the Renaissance, and especially among the alchemists. Thus, the word “gas” comes from the Dutch alchemist J.B. van Helmont, who understood it as a “gaseous state of matter,” and in Dutch it means “chaos.” In this more prosaic capacity, chaos-gas finds its way into modern chemistry and physics. But it has little in common with the grandiose cosmogonic and even ontological concept of ancient metaphysics.

Chaos: The Unrecognized Essence of Materialism

A new wave of fascination with chaos came in the twentieth century. With increasing attention to pre-Christian—primarily Greco-Roman—culture, many ancient theories and concepts were rediscovered. Among them was the complex notion of chaos, which offered a very different movement of cosmogonic thought from the creationist narrative of Christianity, on whose overthrow modern materialist science is based. We have seen how close the early interpretation of chaos was to matter. And it is even strange that materialists for so long were unwilling to see this, despite the fact that the parallels between the ideas about matter and those about chaos are surprisingly consonant and analogous. But even despite the fascination with chaos, no full-fledged conclusions have been drawn about this interpretation of materialism, and the study of chaos has unfolded on the periphery of philosophy.

Unpredictability

In physics, chaos theory began to emerge in the second half of the twentieth century among those scientists who were primarily concerned with nonequilibrium states, nonlinear processes, nonintegrable equations, and divergent series. During this period, physical and mathematical science highlighted a whole vast field that represented something that defied classical calculus models. Generally speaking, this could be called “unpredictability. One example of such unpredictability is a bifurcation—a state of some process (e.g., particle motion), which with absolutely equal degree of probability at some particular moment can flow both in one direction and in a completely different direction.

If classical science explained such situation by insufficiency of understanding of a process or knowledge about aggregate parameters of system functioning, then the concept of bifurcation suggested to consider such a situation as a scientific given and to move to new formalizations and calculation methods, which would initially allow such situations and in general would be based exactly on them. This was solved both through the appeal to Probabilistic Situation Calculus, modal logic, construction of the World-Sheet Action for the Three-Dimensional Ising Model (in superstring theory), including a vector of irreversible time inside a physical process (rather than as the absolute Newton-time or even understanding time in the four-dimensional Einstein system). All this can be called “chaos” in modern physics. In this case, “chaos” does not mean those systems that are generally impossible to calculate and in which there is no regularity. Chaos is amenable to calculations, influences and can be explained and modeled—like all other physical processes, but only with the help of more complex mathematical constructions, special operations and methods.

Subduing Chaos without Constructing Order

It is possible to define this whole field of research into chaotic processes (as understood by modern physicists) as an effort to master chaos. It is important that we are not talking about building a cosmos out of chaos. It is rather the opposite—the construction of chaos from the remains, the ruins of space. Chaos was suggested, not to eradicate it, but to comprehend and, in part, deepen it. To control and moderate it, not overcome it. And since not everywhere was the level of chaos advanced enough, chaos had to be artificially induced by pushing the decaying rationalistic order toward it. Thus, studies of chaos acquired a kind of moral dimension: the transition to chaotic systems and the art of managing them were perceived as a sign of progress—scientific, technical, and then social, cultural and political.

The New Democracy as Social Chaos

Chaos theories were now gradually shifting from fundamental physics and the philosophy of myth to the sociopolitical level. If classical democracy assumed the construction of a hierarchical system, only pushing back the decisions of the majority, the new democracy sought to delegate as much power as possible to individual persons. This inevitably leads to a chaotic society and changes the criteria of political progress. Instead of ordering it, progressives seek new forms of control—and these new forms move further and further away from classical hierarchies and taxonomies and gradually converge with the paradigms of the new physics with its priority given to the study of the realm of chaos.

Postmodernity: Chaos Strikes

In culture, the representatives of Postmodernism and Critical Realism took this up, and enthusiastically began to apply physical theories to society. At the same time there was a transition from the quantum model, which was not projected onto society, to synergetics and chaos theory. Society henceforth did not have to create any normative hierarchical systems at all, shifting to a network protocol—to the concept of rhizome (Deleuze and Guattari). The model became the case of the mentally ill seizing power over doctors in the clinic and building their own liberated systems. In this, the progressives saw the ideal of an “open society”—generally free of strict rules and laws, and changing their attitudes via purely random arbitrary impulses. Bifurcation became a typical situation, and the general unpredictability of schizoid people would be placed in complex nonlinear theories. Such people could be controlled, not directly, but indirectly—by moderating their seemingly spontaneous, but in fact strictly predetermined thoughts, desires, impulses and aspirations. Democracy was now synonymous with chaos. The masses were not just choosing order, they were overthrowing it, leading the way to total disorder.

Pacifism and the Internalization of Chaos

Thus, we come to the connection between chaos and war. Progressives traditionally reject war, insisting on the rather historically dubious thesis that “democracies do not fight each other.” If democracy inherently contains the idea of undermining normativity and order, the hierarchy and cosmic organization of society, then sooner or later history leads democracy to the point where democracy does turn into pure chaos (this is exactly what Plato and Aristotle believed, convincingly demonstrating that this is logically inevitable). The abolition of states, following the pacifist notion that war is an inherent part of the state, should lead to universal peace (la paix universelle), since de facto and de jure the legitimate means of war would disappear. But states perform the function of harmonizing chaos; and sometimes for this very purpose they throw destructive energies outward, toward the enemy. So, the war on the outside helps to keep the peace inside. But all this is in classical democracy—and especially in the theories of realists.

The new democracy rejects the practice of exteriorizing the dark side of man in the context of national mobilization. Instead, the most responsible philosophers (such as Ulrich Beck) propose the interiorization of the enemy, to put the Other inside oneself. This is in fact a call for social schizophrenia (quite in the spirit of Deleuze and Guattari), for a split in consciousness. If democracy becomes chaos, then the normative citizen of such a democracy becomes a chaotic individual. He is not going into a new cosmos; on the contrary, he drives out the remnants of cosmos, taxonomies, and order—including gender, family, rationality, species, etc.—out of himself definitively. He becomes a bearer of chaos. But—unlike Nietzsche’s formula—progressives taboo the act of giving birth to a “dancing star”—unless we are talking about a strip bar, Hollywood or Broadway. The schizo-citizen is not able to build a new cosmos under any pretext—after all, that’s why the old one was so hard-won.

Chaos democracy is post-order, post-cosmos. Destroying the old is proposed not to build something new, but to sink into the pleasure of decay, to succumb to the allure of ruins, rubble, fragments and decay. Here, on the lower levels of degeneration and degradation, new horizons of metamorphosis and transformation open up. Since there is no longer any hierarchy between baseness and heroism, pleasure and pain, intelligence and idiocy, what matters is the flow itself, being in it; the state of being connected to the network, to the rhizome. Here everything is side-by-side and infinitely far away at the same time.

Schizoids

In doing so, the war does not disappear, but is placed inside the individual. The chaotic individual wages war with himself; he aggravates the schism. Etymologically, schizophrenia means “dissection,” “cutting,” “dismemberment” of consciousness. The schizophrenic—though outwardly calm and peaceful—lives in a state of violent rupture. He lets the war in. This is how Thomas Hobbes’ hypothesis of the “natural state” of humanity, described by this author as chaos and war of all against all, is justified in a new way. However, this is not an early “natural” state, but a later one; not preceding the construction of hierarchical types of societies and states, but following their collapse. We have seen that chaos is the opposite of cosmos, just as enmity is the opposite of love in Empedocles. We have also seen that Eros and chaos are alternative states of the topos of the great in-between. So, chaos is war. But not all war, because the creation of order is also war, violence, taming the elements, ordering them. Chaos is a special war, a total war, penetrating deep inside. This is a schizoid war, capturing in its rhizomatic net the whole person.

Total War as a War of Chaos

Such total schizo-war has no strictly assigned territory. A knight’s tournament was possible only after marking out the space. Classical wars had theaters of operations and battlefields. Beyond these boundaries was space. Chaos was given strictly designated zones of peace. Modern war of chaotic democracy knows no boundaries. It is waged everywhere, through information networks, drones, UAVs, through the mental states of bloggers who let the underlying chasm shine through.

Modern warfare is a war of chaos by definition. It is now that the concept of discordia, “enmity,” which we find in Ovid and which is inherent in some—rather ancient—interpretations of chaos, opens up. Chaos is based precisely on enmity—and not on the enmity of some against others, but of all against all. And the purpose of the war of chaos is not peace or a new order, but the deepening of hostility to the very last layers of human personality. Such a war wants to remove the human connection to the cosmos, and at the same time to deprive the creative power to create a new cosmos, the birth of a new star.

Such is the democratic nature of war. It is conducted not so much by states as by hysterically divided individuals. Everything is distorted here—strategy, tactics, the ratio of technical to human, speed, gesture, action, order, discipline, etc. All this is already systematized in the theory of network-centric warfare. Since the early 1990s, the U.S. military leadership has sought to implement the theory of chaos in the art of war. In 30 years, this process has already passed through many stages.

The war in Ukraine has brought with it exactly this experience—the direct experience of confrontation with chaos.

Part 2. New World Chaos

The Conflict of Two World Orders

It seems that in the Special Military Operation, we are talking about a conflict of two world orders—unipolar, which is represented by the collective West and Ukraine, and multipolar, which is defended by Russia and those who are willy-nilly on its side (primarily China, Iran, North Korea, some Islamic states, partly India, Turkey, but also Latin American and African countries). This is exactly what it is. But let’s look at the problem from the point of view that interests us and find out what role chaos plays here.

Let us emphasize at once the point that the term “world order” clearly appeals to an explicit structure; that is, it is the antithesis of chaos. So, we are dealing with two models of the cosmos—unipolar and multipolar. If so, it is a clash between worlds, between orders, structures; and chaos has nothing to do with it.

The West offers its own version—the center and the periphery, where it is itself the center and the center’s system of values. Russia and (more often passively) its supporting countries advocate an alternative cosmos: there are as many civilizations as there are worlds. One hierarchy against several, organized according to autonomous principles. Most often on a historico-religious basis. This is how Huntington envisioned the future.

The clash of civilizations is a competition of worlds, orders. There is a Western-centric and there is a pluralistic one.

In this context, the Special Military Operration seems to be something perfectly logical and rational. The unipolar world, nearly established after the collapse of the bipolar model in 1991, does not want to give up its leading status. New centers of power are fighting to free themselves from the power of a decaying hegemon. Even Russia might be in a hurry to challenge it directly. But you never know how weak (or strong) it really is until you try. In any case, everything here is quite clear: there are two models of the cosmos battling each other—one with a pronounced center and other with several.

Either way, there is no chaos here. And if we encounter something similar to it, it is only as a phase-transition situation. This would partly explain the situation in Ukraine, where chaos makes itself felt in full force. But there are other dimensions to the problem.

Hobbes’ Chaos: The Natural State and the Leviathan

Let’s take a closer look at what constitutes a unipolar Western-centric world order. It is not just the military and political domination of the U.S. and vassal states (primarily NATO countries). It is also the implementation of an ideological project. This ideological project corresponds to a progressive democracy. The meaning of “progressive democracy” is that there should be more and more democracy, and that the vertical model of society should be replaced by a horizontal one—in the extreme case, a network, rhizomatic.

Thomas Hobbes, the founder of Western political science, imagined the history of society as follows: In the first phase, people live in a natural state. Here, “man is a wolf to man” (homo homini lupus est). It is an aggressive initial social chaos, based on selfishness, cruelty and force. Hence the principle of war of all against all. This, according to Hobbes, is the nature of man, for man is originally evil. Evil, but also clever.

The intelligence in man told him that if you continue to be in a natural state, people sooner or later will kill each other. And then it was decided to create a terrible man-made idol, the Leviathan, who would impose the rules and laws and make sure that everyone followed them. Thus, mankind solved the problem of coexistence of wolves. The Leviathan is a super-wolf, knowingly stronger and crueler than any of the humans. The Leviathan is the state.

The tradition of political realism—first of all in international relations—stops there. There is only the natural state and the Leviathan. If you don’t want the one, you get the other.

Chaos in International Relations in the Realist Tradition

This model is quite materialistic. The natural state corresponds to aggressive chaos, enmity (νεῖκος)—the one that represents Empedocles’ alternative to love/friendship. The introduction of the Leviathan balances enmity by imposing on all “wolves” rules and norms, which they dare not violate for fear of punishment and, in the end, death. Hence the formula put forward much later by Max Weber—”the state is the only subject of legitimate violence.” The Leviathan is knowingly stronger and more terrible than any predator, and therefore is able to stop a series of irreversible aggressions. But the Leviathan is not love, not Eros, not psyche. It is only a new expression of enmity, total enmity, raised a degree higher.

Hence the right of any sovereign state (and the Leviathan is sovereign and this is its main feature) to start a war with another state. While pacifying enmity inside, the Leviathan is free to unleash war outside.

It is this right to war that becomes the basis of chaos in international relations, according to the school of realism. International relations is chaos precisely because there can be no supreme authority between several Leviathans. At the macro level, they repeat the natural state: the state is selfish and evil because the person who founded it is selfish and evil. Chaos is frozen within, to reveal itself in war between states.

Political realism is not entirely extinct in democracies to this day, but neither is it considered a legitimate point of view in international relations.

Locke’s Order

But that is not all. Hobbes was followed by another important thinker, John Locke, who formulated a different school of political thought, liberalism. Locke believed that man himself was not bad, but rather ethically neutral. He is tabula rasa, a blank slate. If the Leviathan is evil, so will his citizens be evil. But if the Leviathan changes his temperament and his orientations, he is able to transform the nature of people. People themselves are nothing—you can make wolves out of them or you can make sheep out of them. It’s all about the ruling elite.

If Hobbes thinks of the state that existed before the state and predetermined its monstrous character (hence Hobbes’ chaos) and compares it with the state, Locke considers the already existing state and what might follow, if the state itself ceases to be an evil monster and becomes a source of morality and education, and then disappears altogether, handing the initiative to reeducated—enlightened—citizens. Hobbes thinks in terms of past/present. Locke thinks in terms of the present/future. In the present, the state is evil, selfish and cruel (hence wars and chaos in international relations). In the future, however, it is destined to become good, which means that its citizens will cease to be wolves and wars will cease because mutual understanding will prevail in international relations. In other words, Hobbes proposes a dialectic of chaos and its relative removal in the Leviathan (with a new invasion of inter-state relations); while Locke proposes fixing the violent nature of the state by remaking (re-educating, enlightening) its citizens and abolishing war between nations. But the enmity inherent in Hobbes, Locke proposes to replace not with love and order, but with commerce, trade, speculation. The merchant (not the prophet, priest or poet) replaces the warrior. Thus, trade is called doux-commerce, “gentle commerce.” It is gentle compared to the brutal seizure of booty by the warrior after the capture of the city. But how brutal it is, is evidenced in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

Importantly, Locke thinks of the post-state purely commercial order as something that follows the age of states. This means that the collective mind hypostasized in the Leviathan is by no means abolished, but only brought down to a lower level. A re-educated, enlightened citizen (former wolf) is now a Leviathan himself. But only a new one. By re-educating his subjects, the enlightened monarch (synonymous with an enlightened state) re-educates himself.

World Government as an Enlightenment Project

This is where the theory of political democracy begins. The state enlightens its citizens, uproots aggression and egoism, and becomes altruistic and pacifist itself. Hence, the main law of international relations: democracies do not fight each other.

And further, If states are no longer selfish (sovereign), they are capable of democratically establishing a supra-state instance of World Government, which will see to it that all societies are good and only trade among themselves, and never go to war. Gradually, states are abolished and One World, a global civil society, comes into being.

Economics: Locke’s Chaos

It would seem that in Locke, and in the later tradition of liberalism that continues his ideas, chaos has been removed. But not so. There is no military chaos, but there is an economic chaos. Thus, there is no aggression, but the chaos remains. And aggression and hostility remain, but acquire a different character; namely the one imposed on society by the commercial (capitalist) state. And specifically, the Western European state of the New Age.

That the market should be free and the economy deregulated is the main thesis of liberalism, that is, modern democracy. Thus, chaos is reintroduced, but only under another guise—with aggression trimmed back and egoism outright. The Leviathan is identified with reason (it was established on its basis), and reason is thought of as something universal. Hence Kant and his transcendental reasoning and calls for universal peace. This reasoning is not abolished (along with the overcoming of the Leviathan), but is transformed, softened, collectivized (the Leviathan is collective), and then atomized into a multitude of units, written on the blank slates of atomic individuals. Post-state man differs from pre-state man in that the mind is henceforth his individual domain. This is how Hegel understood civil society. In it, the common rationality of the old monarchy is transmitted to the multitude of citizens—the bourgeois, the townspeople.

Therefore, in liberal theory, since the Leviathan is rationality, the distribution of rationality to all individuals eliminates the need for it. Society will be peaceful in this way (as predicted by the Leviathan above), and will realize its wolfish tendencies a step removed—through commercial competition. The liberal racist social Darwinist theorist Spencer says the same thing in a harsh form.

Gentle commerce, doux commerce, is gentle chaos; chaos in the context of liberal democracy.

The New Democracy and Governance: The Gentle Chaos of Dissipation

In the West there is a balance of Hobbes and Locke, a pessimistic and retrospective understanding of the state (and of human nature itself) and an optimistic progressivist one. The former is called “realism,” the latter “liberalism.” Both modern, Western-centered, modernist theories coincide in general, but differ in particulars. Primarily in the interpretation of chaos. For realists, chaos is inherently evil and aggressive. And it was to combat it that the state was created—the Leviathan. But the chaos did not disappear; it went from the internal to the external. Hence the interpretation of the nature of war in realism.

Liberalism shares the interpretation of the genesis of the state, but believes that evil in man can be overcome, with the help of the state, which transforms (enlightens) and then enlightens its citizens as well—up to the point of penetrating their code, their nature. Here, the state, and above all the enlightened state, acts as a programmer, installing a new operating system in society.

With the success of liberalism, the theory of a new democracy or globalism began to take shape. Its essence is that nation-states are abolished, and with them disappear wars, and the very aggressive and selfish nature of man is changed by social engineering, which transforms man—turns the wolf into a sheep. The Leviathan no longer exists, and the old—military-aggressive, wolfish—chaos is abolished. The chaos of global trade, the mixing of cultures and peoples, the flows of uncontrolled migration, multiculturalism, the mixing of everyone and everything in the One World begins.

But this generates a new chaos. Not aggressive, but soft, “gentle. At the same time, control is not abolished, but descends to a lower level. Whereas government, even in the old democracy, was an elected, but hierarchical, vertical structure, now it is a question of governance, or “governing,” in which power enters the interior of the governed subject, fusing with it until it is indistinguishable. Not censorship, but self-censorship. Not control from above, but self-control. This is how the vertical Leviathan plasmatizes in the horizon of scattered atomic individuals, entering into each of them. It is a hybrid of chaos (the natural state) and the Leviathan (universal rationality). In fact, this is how Kant thought of civil society. The universal spills over into atoms, and now it is no longer an external instance, but the enlightened citizen’s own individual reasoning that curbs his own aggressiveness and moderates his own egoism. This is how violence is placed inside the individual. Chaos splits not power and the masses, not states among themselves, but man himself. This is Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society (Risikogesellschaft)—the danger now emanates from the self, and its own schizophrenic splitting becomes the norm.

Thus, we arrive at the schizo-individual, the bearer of the particular chaos of the new progressive liberal democracy. Instead of harming others, the liberal “chaoticist” harms himself, beats himself, splits and divides. Sex reassignment surgery and the promotion of sexual minorities in general are a godsend. The optionality of gender, the freedom to choose between two autonomous identities in one and the same individual. Gender politics allows “chaoticism” to take full effect.

But it is a special chaos, devoid of formalization in the form of aggression and war.

“Chaotic” as the Human Norm of the New Democracy

This is the order of the new democracy that the West seeks to impose on humanity. Globalism insists on commercial chaos (the free market) combined with LGBT+ ideology, which normalizes the split within the individual, postulates “chaoticism” as an anthropological model. This assumes that rationality and the prohibition against aggression are already included in “chaoticism”—through the mass demonization of nationalism and communism (primarily in the Soviet, Stalinist version).

It turns out that the unipolar world, and the corresponding global order, is an order of progressive chaos. It is not pure chaos, but not order in the full sense of the word. It is a “governance” that tends to be rolled out horizontally. This is why the thesis of World Government is too hierarchical, too Leviathanian. It is more correct to speak of a World Governance, a World Governance that is invisible, implicit. Gilles Deleuze was right to point out that during the epoch of classical capitalism, the image of the mole is optimal: capital works invisibly to undermine traditional, pre-modern structures and build its own hierarchy. The image of the snake suits the new democracy better. Its flexibility and its wriggles point to the hidden power that has entered the atomized mass of the world’s liberals. Each of them individually is the bearer of spontaneity and chaotic unpredictability (bifurcation). But at the same time, a rigid program is built into them, predetermining the whole structure of desire, behavior, and goal-setting—like a factory with working desire-machines. The freer the atom is in relation to the constellation, the more predictable its trajectory becomes. This is exactly what Putin meant when he quoted Dostoyevsky’s The Demons in his passage about Shigalev: “I begin with absolute freedom and end with absolute slavery.” The Leviathan as a global idol, a man-made omnipotent demon is no longer needed, since liberal individuals become small “Leviathans”—exemplary “chaoticists,” freed from religion, estates, nation, gender. And the hegemony of such a progressive-democratic West represents not just order in the old sense or even democratic order, but precisely the hegemony of “peaceful” chaos.

Pacifists Go to the Front

To what extent is this Lockeian chaos peaceful? To the point where it faces no alternative; that is, no order. Moreover, we can talk about the order of the West itself, even about the old Hobbesian democracy (it can be collectively called Trumpism or old liberalism); and even more about other types of order, generally undemocratic, which the West collectively calls “authoritarianism,” meaning the regimes of Russia, China, many Arab countries, etc. Everywhere we see other articulations of order that openly and explicitly oppose chaos.

And here is an interesting point: when confronted with the opposition, the pacifist liberal New Democratic West goes mad and becomes extremely militant. Yes, democracies do not fight each other, but with non-democratic regimes, on the contrary, the war must be merciless. Only a “chaotic,” with no gender or other collective identity, is a person; at least a person in the progressive sense. All the rest are the backward, unenlightened masses on which the vertical order, either the cynical Leviathan or even more autonomous and autarkic versions of the order, rests. And they must be destroyed.

Post-Order

Thus, the unipolar world enters a decisive battle with a multipolar world, precisely because unipolarity is the culmination of a will to end order in general, replacing it with a post-order—a New World Chaos. The interiorization of aggression and schizo-civilization of “chaoticists” is possible only when there are no borders in the world—nations, states, “Leviathans;” that is, order as such. And until there is, pacifism remains utterly militant. Transgenders and perverts get their uniforms and set out for an eschatological battle against the opponents of chaos.

Chaos Gerasene Pigs

All this throws a new conceptual light on the Special Military Operation; Russia’s civilizational war with the West, against unipolarity and for multipolarity. The aggression here is multi-dimensional and has different levels. On the one hand, Russia proves its sovereignty, and thus accepts the rule of chaos in international relations. No matter how you look at it, this is a real war, even if not recognized by Moscow. Moscow hesitates for a reason—this is not a classic military conflict between two nation-states. This is something else—it is the battle of a multipolar order against unipolar chaos, and the territory of Ukraine is here precisely a conceptual frontier. Ukraine is not order, not chaos, not a state, not a territory, not a nation, not a people. It is a conceptual fog, a philosophical broth in which the fundamental processes of phase transition are going on. Out of this fog can be born anything. But so far it is a superposition of different kinds of chaos, which makes this conflict unique.

If we view Russia and Putin as realists, the Special Military Operation is a continuation of the battle to consolidate sovereignty. But this implies a realist thesis of the chaos of international relations and hence the legitimization of war. No one can forbid a truly sovereign state to do or not to do something, as this would contradict the very notion of sovereignty.

But Russia is clearly fighting not only for a national order against the globalist-controlled chaos, but also for multipolarity; that is, the right of different civilizations to build their own orders; that is, to overcome the chaos with their own methods. Thus, Russia is at war with the New World Chaos just for the principle of order—not only for its own, Russian order, but order as such. In other words, Russia seeks to defend the very world order that is opposed to Western hegemony, which is the hegemony of interiorized chaos; that is, globalism.

And another important point. Ukraine itself is a purely chaotic formation. And not only now. In its history, Ukraine is a territory of anarchy; a zone where the “natural state” prevailed. A Ukrainian is a wolf to a Ukrainian. And he is even more a wolf to a Muscovite or a Yabloko. Ukraine is a natural area of anarchic free-will, an entire playground, where atomized chubby autonomists seek profit or adventure, unconstrained by any framework. Ukraine, too, is chaos, hideous, inhumane, and senseless. It is ungovernable and cumbersome. Chaos of rampaging pigs and their friends.

These are the Gerasene pigs, into which the demons cast out by Christ entered and they rushed into the abyss. The fate of Ukraine—as an idea and a project—comes down to that very symbol.

Special Military Operation—The War of Polysemantic Chaos

It is not surprising that different types of chaos collided with each other in Ukraine. On the one hand, the global controlled chaos of Western new democracy has supported and oriented the Ukrainian “chaoticists” in their confrontation with the Russian order. Yes, this order is still only a promise, only a hope. But Russia, from time to time, behaves exactly as this hope’s bearer. We are talking about empire, multipolarity, and confrontation with the West head-on. Most often, however, this vector is clothed in the form of sovereignty (realism), which made the Special Military Operation possible. We should not lose sight of the deep penetration of the West inside Russian society—the chaos in Russia itself has its own serious backing, which undermines the vector of Russia’s identity and the defense of its order. The fifth and sixth columns in Russia are supporters of Western chaos. They are the ones who are sharpening and corroding the will of the state and the people to win in the Special Military Operation.

Therefore, Russia in the Special Military Operation, being a priority on the side of order, acts at times according to the rules of chaos, imposed by the West (New World Chaos), as well as by the nature of the enemy itself.

Russian Chaos

Russian Chaos. It must win, by creating a Russian Order.

And the last thing. Russian society has a chaotic beginning in itself. But it is another chaos—the Russian chaos. And this chaos has its own characteristics—its own structures. It is opposite of the New World Chaos of liberals, because it is not individualistic and material. It is also different from the heavy, meaty, bodily-sadistic chaos of Ukrainians, which naturally breeds violence, terrorism, trampling all norms of humanity. Russian chaos is special; it has its own code. And this code does not coincide with the state; it is structured completely independent of it. This Russian chaos is closest to the original Greek, which is a void between Heaven and Earth, which is not yet filled. It is not so much a mixture of the seeds of things warring against each other (as in Ovid) as it is a foretaste of something great—the birth of Love, the appearance of the Soul. Russians are a people preconditioned for something that has not yet made itself fully known. And it is precisely this kind of special chaos, pregnant with new thought and new deed, that Russian people carry within them.

For such a Russian chaos, the frameworks of the modern Russian statehood are cramped and even ridiculous. This chaos carries the seeds of some inconceivable, great, impossible reality. Russian dancing star.

And the fact that the Special Military Operation includes not just the state, but the Russian people themselves, makes everything even more complex and complicated. The West is chaos. Ukraine is chaos. The Russian people are chaos. The West has order in the past. We have order in the future. And these elements of order—fragments of the order of the past, elements of the future, outlines of alternatives, conflicting edges of projects—are mixed in with the battle of chaos.

No wonder the Special Military Operation looks so chaotic. This is the war of chaos, with chaos, for chaos and against chaos.

Russian Chaos. It is this that must win, creating a Russian Order.

Part 3. Chaos and the Principle of Egalitarianism

Orbital Systems of Society

The most important feature of chaos is mixing. When applied to society, it results in the abolition of hierarchy. In Интернальные онтологии (Internal Ontologies) we discussed how unsolvable social problems and conflicts arise when the orbital structure of society is replaced by a horizontal projection. Orbitality is taken as a metaphor for the movement of planets along their trajectories, which in the case of the volumetric model does not generate any contradictions, even when the planets are on the same radius, drawn from the center of rotation. It is orbitality that allows them to continue moving freely. If we project the volume on the plane and forget about this procedure, the planets will collide with each other. And, accordingly, the effects of such a collision will be produced.

When applied to society, this gives a situation thoroughly explored by the sociologist Louis Dumont in his programmatic work Homo Hierarchicus and in his Essays on Individualism. In Indian society, where the principle of orbitality as represented by the caste system is preserved, the conflict and contradiction between the ideal of individual freedom and the strict regulation of social life for different strata and types of society is not even remotely visible. Neither was it found in the institution of Christian monasticism, along with the preservation of the medieval system of estates. Simply freedom and a rigid system of social obligations and boundaries were placed on different levels, without creating any contradictions or collisions. Staying in society, that is, moving along the social orbit, one was obliged to strictly follow caste principles down to the smallest detail. But if one chose freedom, a special territory was set aside for this—personal ascesis (monasticism in Christianity, hermitage of sanyasis in Hinduism, sangha in Buddhism, etc.), which was considered quite a legitimate and socially accepted norm. But personal spiritual realization was situated in a different orbit, in no way detracting from class organization.

Dumont shows that the problems begin precisely when democratic egalitarianism begins to prevail in Western European society and bourgeois notions displace the medieval hierarchical order. The question of freedom and hierarchy is now projected onto the plane, making the problem fundamentally unsolvable. Individualistic society seeks to ascribe freedom no longer to a select few ascetics, but to all its members—by abolishing estates. But this expansion of individual freedom, not outside society (in the forest, in the wilderness, in the monastery), but within it, generates even greater restrictions. All individuals, placed on the same plane and deprived of their orbital—caste—radii, encounter each other randomly, further restricting the freedom of the other—and in a chaotic and disorderly manner.

Such dogmatic individualism still produces a hierarchy, but only this time based on the basest criterion—either money (as in liberalism) or a place in the party hierarchy as in totalitarian socialist societies. And the fact that such a de facto hierarchy develops in an egalitarian culture makes it even more acute, because it represents a logical contradiction and outrageous injustice.

Bourgeois Order is Bourgeois Chaos

Here again we are dealing with a pair—order/chaos. Egalitarianism destroys qualitative hierarchical order, social orbitality. Thus, it produces just chaos: random encounters between individuals. At the same time, the interaction between them is reduced to the lowest, bodily, levels, since it is these that people of different cultures, types, and spiritual orientations share. Carriers of finer organization, who occupy the place of the elite in hierarchical societies, are thrown down to the corporeal bottom, where they are forced to find themselves among beings of much coarser nature. This is the mixing or projection of orbital types on the plane.

And the higher types, of course, are drawn to such a position and create socio-psychological vortexes around them. Having no legitimate place, they begin to stir up chaotic processes. Added to this is the disordered search for total freedom, which everyone is invited to engage in, not in a special—ascetic—zone, but in the thick of society. This exacerbates the chaos in egalitarian societies.

Classical democracy believes that a solution to this problem should be sought in the construction of a new—this time democratic—hierarchy. But such a secondary hierarchy is no longer orbital, volumetric and qualitative, but is constructed on the basis of the material-bodily attribute. It is a horizontal “hierarchy” that does not overcome chaos; but on the contrary, makes it increasingly fierce. The main criterion in such a bourgeois-egalitarian society (which declares equality of opportunities) is money; that is, the generalized equivalent of material wealth. Any other hierarchy is rigidly rejected. But the stratification of society into the ruling rich and the subordinate poor, up to the point of reducing the proletarians practically to slave-like living conditions, does not remove the contradictions. And in this, socialist theories and Marxism are quite right—in capitalism, class antagonism only grows as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Egalitarian chaos is not relieved by the transition from classical hierarchy to the hierarchy of money; but, on the contrary, it erupts into violent class wars. Where there is chaos, there is war, as we have repeatedly noted. Therefore, as capitalism develops according to its autonomous logic, it cannot but produce a series of systemic crises, moving toward a final collapse. Chaos takes over.

The Socialist Chaos of Totalitarian Bureaucracy

An alternative, but also egalitarian model of socialism proposes to solve the problem by abolishing even the material, monetary hierarchy, insisting on full property equality. Here all hierarchy is denied, and class antagonism is proposed to be removed, through the abolition of the entire capitalist class. Communism is thought of as a peaceful utopian chaos in which there will be no contradictions and full equality will triumph.

This, however, contradicts the nature of chaos, which manifests itself precisely in disordered collision. And the flatter—as in communist theories—the social model is, the more explosive the manifestation of chaos.

We see this in the level of violence in communist societies, which manifested itself in systemic repression, and in the creation of party bureaucratic hierarchies, driven primarily by the need to punish—first, class enemies, and then, just the unconscious part of society.

Both capitalism and communism, in their classical versions, in their variously egalitarian systemic versions, attempt to abolish hierarchy (orbitality), but at the same time to tame chaos, to make it predictable, controllable and “soft.” However, this contradicts the nature of chaos, which is oriented against any order—even horizontal order.

The Radical Egalitarianism of the Postmodern: Feminism, Ecology, Transhumanism, LTBG+

The new democracy already discussed proceeds from the fact that previous egalitarian projects, both bourgeois and socialist, failed in their mission; and instead of completely abolishing the hierarchy, they re-framed it in new forms. Capitalist societies created a new ruling class out of the rich, while socialist regimes created new hierarchies of the party nomenklatura. In this way, the goal was not achieved. This is where the Postmodern begins.

In the Postmodern, or new democracy, the problem of equality is posed with a new acuteness, taking into account the preceding stages and social experiments. Thus, the theory of the necessity of a radicalization of equality; that is, the transition to an even more horizontal social model, from which all verticality—even two-dimensional and materialistic—is removed. This leads to four major trends of new democracy:

• equality of the sexes,
• equality of species,
• equality of people and machines,
• equality of objects.

Gender equality is realized through feminism, the legalization of gay marriage, transgenderism, and the promotion of the LGBT+ agenda. Gender ceases to be an orbital distinction, where men move in their orbit, women in theirs, but both mix randomly in a chaotic mass of gender uncertainty and a fickle chain of temporary playful identities.

Deep ecology seeks to equate humans with other animal species and, more broadly, with other environmental phenomena, reducing humanity to a purely natural phenomenon; or, at times, even a harmful anomaly.

Transhumanism seeks to equate man with a machine, and to insist on his equality with a technical apparatus, albeit a fairly advanced one. But advances in technology and genetic engineering, as well as advances in the digital domain, allow for more advanced thinking systems, making man a kind of historical atavism.

Finally, object-oriented ontology denies the subject as such, regarding man as a random uncorrelated unit in a purely chaotic and irrational multitude of all kinds of objects.

Gender Chaos

Gender policy is designed to abolish hierarchy in the field of gender. This can be achieved in three ways, which determine the main trends in this area:

• To fully equalize men and women in all respects (radical feminism);
• Make gender a matter of individual choice (transgenderism);
• Abolish gender altogether in favor of a new type of genderless creature (cyberfeminism).

In the first case, society establishes the most brutal gender egalitarianism. In this case, female and male individuals cease to be socially distinct, which inevitably leads to gender chaos. In such a situation, some may continue to insist on their gender and its specificities (for example, women seeking to increase their rights as women), some are simply indifferent to gender identity, while others demand its complete abolition. This generates high turbulence and continuous clashes of chaotic individuals among themselves, under conditions of gender uncertainty. Obviously, the conflicts of confused atoms in such a situation do not diminish, but grow like a snowball.

The policy of turning gender identity into a matter of personal choice—with the expansion of the practice of anatomical sex-change operations into ever newer categories, up to and including children—leads to the fact that gender identity becomes a kind of easily replaceable paraphernalia, analogous to a fashionable costume. Gender changes as easily as clothes in a new season; which means that a person begins to be understood as an essentially sexless being, and this sexlessness constitutes his nature, reducible to pure individuality.

In this case, it is transgender people who emerge as the social norm. The tensions inherent in gender as such and the psychology associated with it are here distributed between individuals who encounter each other without any ordering algorithms. People’s attraction and repulsion cease to be subject to any norms, and the whole society becomes a pansexual field of vibrations of essentially sexless units. Something similar as an ideal is described by Deleuze and Guattari.

Finally, philosophically responsible feminists such as Donna Haraway, united under the term “cyberfeminism,” propose to abolish gender altogether, since all forms of it—including homosexuality, transgenderism, etc.—are based on a dual, asymmetrical and hierarchically organized code. Postmodern thought concludes that any distinction is already in itself an inequality, which means that someone will always be superior and someone inferior. In order to abolish this, it is necessary to absolutize and normalize a crystalline, sexless being. But humans and animals cannot become such. Consequently, cyberfeminists conclude, it is necessary to abolish man and put in his place a cyborg, a humanoid machine. Here, radical feminism is directly connected to transhumanism.

All of these trends are not alternative, but are developing in parallel. And it is easy to see that all of this adds up to the chaotic systems of the new democracy.

Eco-Chaos

Modern ecology applies egalitarianism to a different field. This time it is not gender identity (male/female inequality) but species identity (human/environment) that is at stake. Ecology demands that this inequality be mitigated, if not abolished. The most extreme versions of fundamental ecology put forward the idea that humans represent a fault line in the evolution of nature and should be abolished as an anomaly.

Human activity is polluting the environment, destroying ecological landscapes and many animal species. Humans litter the world’s oceans, cut down forests, disturb the earth’s interior, and contribute to mutations in the atmosphere, particularly in the ozone layer. Environmentalists suggest that we reconsider the thesis that man is the apex of creation and the peak of evolution and take it as axiomatic that man is one of the phenomena of nature and, therefore, has a number of primordial obligations to nature.

Previously, man and nature were thought of as two different realms—two orbits. The sphere of the mind and the sphere of the earthly material environment did not overlap. The philosopher Dilthey proposed to strictly divide the sciences into the sciences of spirit (Geistwissenschaften) and the sciences of nature (Naturwissenschaften)—each domain needs its own algorithms, principles, semantic structures.

Ecologists demand that this hierarchical distance be abolished and, at a minimum, spirit and matter, thinking and non-meaningful life, be equalized in rights. In addition, they insist on a radical revision of the relationship with the environment: it is not a zone of externality, but an existential landscape of human existence. Man is inscribed in nature and nature in man. And this reciprocal relationship must be equal and reversible.

Thus, ecological thought seeks to abolish yet another asymmetry—to reduce man to an animal species, to an element of nature. Man ceases to be the center and turns into the periphery—along with all other natural phenomena. Thus, man himself becomes a medium, a natural habitus.

Extreme versions of ecology go even further, and consider man an anti-nature phenomenon, a threat to the environment. Therefore, for the planet to live, the human species must be exterminated or at least significantly reduced. Otherwise, overpopulation, planetary catastrophe and the disappearance of life itself cannot be avoided.

This ecological approach—in a moderate version—seems quite reasonable and attractive. However, the rejection of hierarchy in this case, too, turns the natural-human ensemble into chaos. Nature itself does not have a pronounced center—everything in it is on the periphery, and therefore the approximation to its implicit logic (for example, in the postmodernist philosophy of Deleuze, where the priority of the tuberous rhizomatic principle is concerned) leads to further chaotization of man and human society.

Moving from the pastoral idyll to more responsible forms of ecological thought, we begin to notice that nature is inherently aggressive, violent, and powerfully amoral in the unfettered elements. Nature can smile, but it can also be angry; all of which is done independently of human behavior and in no way correlates these states with man or his mind (ecology categorically rejects any hint of anthropocentrism). That is why some ecological theories—above all those related to deep ecology—explicitly proclaim the laws of dark and blind aggression that prevail in nature as a model for the organization and human life. In Postmodern philosophy, this turn from the humanistic pastoral to sadistic and destructive pictures is generically called “Dark Deleuze,” since in some passages of this brilliant philosopher one can find Nietzschean motifs taken to an extreme, to celebrate life as a stream of blind, all-destroying aggression.

Chaos of Intelligent Machines

The degree of chaos is also heightened as the philosophy of transhumanism takes shape, beginning with an equation between man and machine. Here another hierarchical orbitality is overcome.

The notions of the closeness of man and machine had developed among New Age thinkers long before modern transhumanism. Materialism and atheism pushed exactly this interpretation of man as a perfect machine.

The French philosopher Julien Offray de La Mettrie explicitly stated this when he titled his seminal work, L’Homme machine [Man-Machine]. This thesis generalized such a trend in medicine as “iatromechanics” or “iatrophysics” (Giovanni Borelli, William Harvey, etc.), where various organs of the human body were presented as analogues of working tools: arms and legs as levers and joints, lungs as bellows, heart as a pump, etc. Descartes had even earlier insisted that animals were mechanisms which could easily be quantified in the future and their direct—and even more perfect—analogues could be created. But Descartes took the human mind—its subjectivity—out of this picture. La Mettrie went further than both Descartes and the “iatromechanics” and proposed that man entirely be regarded—not just his body—as a machine. Yes, this machine had as yet an unrecognized engine, the intellect that drove the whole mechanism, but in time it too would be computed, and hence a replica of it would be created.

As psychiatrists later studied the functioning of the brain, the idea of the mechanical structure of the mind was further developed, and the discovery of synapses in the cerebral cortex was seen as confirmation that science had come close to unraveling the functioning of consciousness.

From the figure of Man the Machine, materialist science developed the machine component, both in the body, the psyche, and neurology. In psychiatry, the “Helmholtz machine” theory, which developed La Mettrie’s thesis with a much greater degree of detail of the mechanical structure in man, was in circulation.

By the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, neurobiology, cognitive science, digital technology and genetic engineering had come close to creating the model of the machine of which La Mettrie spoke. But still some uncertainty about Artificial Intelligence as a mock-up of consciousness persisted. Thus, in the field of Artificial Intelligence two areas were distinguished:

• the area of data accumulation, storage and systematization,
• neural networks capable of creating semantic structures (e.g., artificial languages) independently, without the operator’s participation.

The first area is sometimes called “Weak Artificial Intelligence.” It is far superior to the human brain in its speed and ability to store and manipulate data, but it lacks the will, which, together with reasonableness, is a necessary component of the subject. And so, the “Weak AI” is technically many times stronger than the human brain. And yet it is only a Machine, although superior to Man-Machine.

But a truly strong AI comes about when “weak AI”, i.e., the structure of data manipulation and technically controlled processes, is controlled not by a human operator, but by a powerful neural network. This is Strong Artificial Intelligence. This is where the will factor comes in. The machine is now fully Human. Now it is a Machine-Man.

Full transition from the Man-Machine hypothesis to the Machine-Man construction is the Singularity that modern transhumanists talk about. Once this moment arrives, the difference between man and machine, between organism and mechanism, will be abolished. Just as once apes (according to Darwin’s theory) gave birth to man, who picked up a tool and thus opened a new page of history, in the Singularity man will pass on the baton to Artificial Intelligence.

But such a transition represents the ultimate risk. Man and machine find themselves on the same plane for a while, colliding with each other. A human will not immediately weaken to the point of trusting the machine completely, which may well decide that further existence of the species is inexpedient. For example, if the neural network becomes acquainted with the teachings of the deep ecologists. And the Strong Artificial Intelligence itself will not immediately gain full energy autonomy and independence from hardware, and even from operators. The chaos that is sure to ensue in such a situation has been described many times in science fiction literature and vividly anticipated in cinema—in The Matrix, Mad Max, etc.

Once again, the egalitarianism of the new democracy inevitably leads to chaos, aggression, war, and brutality.

The Chaos of Objects

The most honest among postmodernists and futurists are the representatives of critical realism (or object-oriented ontology). They take New Age materialism to its logical end and demand the complete abolition of the subject. Quentin Meillassoux notes that all philosophy and science, even the most egalitarian and progressive, cannot go beyond correlation. Every object is bound to have a correlate, a pair, either in the realm of the mind (classical positivism), or among other objects. Meillassoux and other critical realists (Graham Harman, Ray Brassier, Timothy Morton, Nick Land, etc.) suggest abandoning the search for correlations altogether and immersing oneself in the object itself. This requires breaking definitively with the central position of reason and treating consciousness as an object among others.

In practice, this is possible only through the complete elimination of man as a subject, a bearer of reason. That is, man is now thought of as a mysterious, unknowable, arbitrary, and uncorrelated object like all things in the outside world. Meillassoux even criticizes Deleuze for overemphasizing life. Life is already a violation of the deep silence of the thing, an attempt to say something, and thus to introduce inequality, to create the preconditions of hierarchy and orbitality. Hence the proposal of object-oriented ontologists not just to abolish man, but to abandon the centrality of life.

Now even the chaos of biological species devoid of a human center is not enough. The next—and logically the last–stage of egalitarianism requires the rejection of life, including natural life. This theme is most vividly developed by Nick Land, who reduces the genesis of life and consciousness to a geological trauma to be overcome through the eruption of the Earth’s lava and the bursting of the Earth’s core through the shell of the cooled crust. According to Land, the history of life on earth, including human history, is only a small fragment in the geological history of the cooling of the planet and its quest to return to a plasma state.

In this model there is a transition from the apology of biological chaos to the triumph of material chaos. The abolition of all kinds of hierarchies and correlations reaches its apogee, and egalitarianism, brought to its logical limit, results in the direct triumph of dead chaos, destroying not only the subject but also life.

Egalitarianism is the Road to Chaos

The gendered, ecological and transhumanist agendas are already indispensable features of the new democracy today. The movement toward the final abolition of the subject and of life in general is a distinctive vector of the future. Egalitarianism is a movement toward chaos in all its forms. And always—contrary to the initial and purely polemical idyll—chaos appears as a synonym of enmity (νεῖκος) of Empedocles; that is the equivalent of war, aggression, destruction and annihilation.

Already the abolition of class hierarchies, placing people of a spiritual and military nature on the same plane as peasants, artisans, and laborers, generates an unnatural social environment in which there is a disorderly jumble of bodily impulses—as people of different natures have in common—and even then only in appearance—the body. Bourgeois society includes heterogeneous elements that cannot help but blur its systemic functioning. Moreover, the absence of higher orbits prevents the lower orbits from maintaining their trajectories. A slave without a Master (in Hegel’s formula), ceases to be a Slave, but does not become a Master, either. He falls into panic, begins to rush about; then to imitate the Master; then to return to the habitual consciousness of the Slave. This is already a state of chaos.

As egalitarian tendencies intensify, chaos only grows. And new democracy—in its postmodernist expression—is more and more openly admitting that it is leading the cause towards chaos and an increase in its degree. Not the other way around. While classical liberals relied on the invisible hand of the market to order the chaotic activity of desperately competing market agents, the new liberals openly seek to make the system more and more turbulent. This becomes the ideology and strategy of globalism.

Part 4. Chaos Theory in Military Strategy

The Article by Stephen P. Mann

Another dimension of chaos that should be examined in the context of the Special Military Operation is the application of chaos theory to the art of war. This is not a random reconstruction or a mere observation of the course of military operations on the Ukrainian front. It is more than that.

Back in 1992, the fall 1992 issue of Parameters, published by the U.S. War College, published a feature article by staff officer Steven R. Mann, deputy chief of the U.S. military mission in Sri Lanka, with the evocative title “Chaos Theory and Strategic Art.” The article offers a version of the application of the nonlinear logic explored in scientific theories of chaos to military strategy. Later, it was this approach that became dominant in the theory of network-centric warfare. In a sense, network-centric warfare is a practical implementation of the basic principles of chaos theory to the military sphere. Network-centric warfare is a war of chaos. Here, of course, chaos is understood in the spirit of modern physics—as the study of nonequilibrium, nonlinear systems, bifurcations, probabilism and weak processes. To the ancient chaos of philosophy, or to the chaos of political theory and international relations, this field has a rather indirect relation. Nevertheless, we are dealing precisely with chaos, which means that, after making all the necessary distinctions, we go back to the philosophical foundations. But this should be done cautiously and with careful consideration of all epistemological perspectives.

The Main Points of Chaos Theory

Steven R. Mann lists the main points of the physical theory of chaos thus:

• Chaos theory refers to dynamic systems—with a large number of variables.

• In these systems there are non-periodic regularities, seemingly random data nodes can add up to non-competitive, but nevertheless ordered patterns.

• Chaotic systems exhibit a sensitive dependence on initial conditions; any even slight change in the initial state leads to disproportionately divergent consequences.

• The presence of a certain order, suggests that patterns can be predicted—at least in systems with a weak level of chaoticity.

Mann emphasizes that there is no contradiction between chaos theories and classical physical and mathematical science. Chaos only nuances into physical laws and rules in some special classes—borderline or nonlinear—systems. Mann writes:

• Classical systems describe linear behavior and individual objects; chaos theory describes statistical trends with many intensely interacting objects.

• What is calculated here is not a set of linear trajectories, but the probabilistic behavior of systems—not predictable at the level of linear predictions, but embedded in a probabilistic trend.

Increasing the Concept of Theater to Nacro Proportions: Total War

Applying this principle to the field of military confrontation, Steven Mann draws an important conclusion: a direct combat encounter between two regular armies has a limited number of factors (number of combatants, quality and quantity of weapons, terrain and nature of defenses, military and logistic support, features of command style, etc.) All this applies to classical strategy and remains within linear processes. There is no room for chaos here, as the results of the processes are relatively easy to calculate from the outset. Traditional strategy deals precisely with such situations, which form systems, ordered series, and clearly defined patterns.

Military strategy as a discipline is quite conservative, and the histories of warfare by the generals of ancient Greece or Rome, as well as the treatises of the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, and the generalizing systems in the spirit of Clausewitz remain valid and unsurpassed to this day. But all of this applies to that war which Carl Schmitt called “the war of forms.” It is classical warfare, and it is generally linear. And so, the theory of chaos is not fully applicable to it.

Things change when we expand our area of attention and put a particular Theater of Warfare (TVD) into a broader context. Now we must take into account especially the constantly changing balance of power in international relations, the factor of prompt access to information and the possibility of its retransmission, the psychological state of society, the characteristics of the ideologies involved in war, the religious and ethnic context. If we do not isolate the zone of direct warfare, but include it in a more complex field of interaction of numerous and diverse actors, the picture becomes so complicated that linearity disappears, and we get a completely new picture—Schmitt called it “total war,” astutely emphasizing that this phenomenon is associated with liberalism, atomization and new pacifism. War becomes total precisely when one side completely denies the other belonging to the human species. Thus, pacifists and liberals recognize their realist and liberalist opponents as “non-human,” which deprives them of their status as formal adversaries. The opponent becomes total, which means that the war with him goes beyond the boundaries of the direct TVD and extends to the entire society. It is then that war becomes non-linear, and its laws tend to chaos.

Liberalism denies the enemy its right to possess form, blurs its forms, and thus transfers its aggression into non-military areas—primarily in the information sphere. This is precisely how it becomes chaotic. It is indicative that the application of the theory of chaos to military strategy by American experts was conceived in the early 1990s—the article by Steven Mann in Parameters was published in 1992, during the first phase of the “unipolar moment” (Charles Krauthammer). This is how the theory of network-centric warfare began to take shape, as a full-fledged strategy of chaos.

The Implementation of the Theory of Chaos in Local Conflicts

The Americans have applied it in practice already in Afghanistan, and then during the invasion by the Americans and their allies in Iraq in 2022, and then during the color revolutions in the Arab world—in Libya and Syria. The Russian-Ukrainian confrontation in Novorossiya in 2022 was in full measure a network war. Network war is a war of chaos. This means that it obeys the nonlinear laws and is extremely sensitive to initial conditions.

Disruption of the Russian Spring: The West’s Victory in the Battle for Initial Conditions

That is why in 2014, after the reunification of Russia with Crimea, it was so important for the West to stop the process of the collapse of Ukraine, to stop the recognition of the independence of the republics of Donbass and prevent the introduction of Russian troops (the legitimate President of Ukraine Yanukovych could easily invite Russia to protect against a coup). In this situation, the West used all its power to influence Vladimir Putin and, under the aegis of a “cunning plan,” to prevent Russia from invading and liberating Novorossiya. This was about just the initial conditions. In 2014, they were entirely in Russia’s favor. By postponing the Russian invasion (strategically inevitable in general) for eight years, the West managed to change these conditions. This is how the West outplayed Moscow in the war of chaos, using the sixth column—the pro-Western liberal segment of the Russian elite, which deliberately misinformed Putin about the real situation and induced him to accept Western initiatives—up to and including the false promise of recognizing Crimea as Russian and lifting sanctions. The supporters and propagandists of the “cunning plan” turned out to be common traitors, directly contributing to the fact that eight years later Russia started military operations in much worse starting conditions. Recently Angela Merkel directly admitted that the Minsk agreements were needed by the West only for one thing—to militarily prepare Ukraine for a full-fledged war against Russia. We can see clearly now how they prepared themselves. Those in Russia, who were in lavish support of the “cunning plan” today look like traitors. No matter who they are.

The use of agents of influence to change the system as such is the most important principle of network warfare. For the classical intelligence services, which acted according to a linear logic, all of these chaotic processes went unnoticed. Influence on the leadership of Russia was exercised in more subtle ways, sometimes based on subtle, weakly identifiable actions and disturbances. The application of the principles of chaos in the conduct of military operations against Russia from 2014 to 2022 passed almost completely unnoticed by the Russian leadership, which was adhering to the principles of classical linear strategy.

In the Special Military Operation, We Were Faced with a War of Chaos

As a classic military operation, the Special Military Operation was also planned, and up to a point it was successful. Until the West realigned itself and began a full-fledged war of chaos against Russia, using the entire spectrum of network-centric operations—a large-scale information campaign, economic sanctions, pinpoint terror, political pressure, and psychological campaigns designed to disorient and confuse the enemy.

Chaos made itself felt in the theater of war for Novorossiya. Western specialists in network-centric warfare linked surveillance, electronic and satellite reconnaissance, control of MLRS and other systems, UAVs and drones into a single bundle, where streams of information were instantly analyzed and decisions were immediately made on this basis. At the same time, all military activities were transmitted in real time to the information warfare centers, where they were refracted depending on the effect—something was reported, something was silenced, something was distorted, something was just invented. Thus, an information tsunami was created, overwhelming Ukraine itself, Western countries and their subordinate global media, reaching the territory of Russia itself. A microscopic or even fictitious event on the front was sometimes inflated to gigantic proportions and global decisions were made on the basis of information that was not even verifiable, but rapidly changing. Reality in such a process almost completely disappeared behind the impenetrable wall of information, which was essentially purely military in nature.

At the same time, Russian society, integrated in general into Western technology and systems, was completely defenseless against such continuous attacks, which took place not only from the outside, but also from the inside.

The Effectiveness of Anarcho-Terror

The chaotic nature of warfare by the Ukrainian side was also manifested in the use of small groups. This is another principle of the wars of chaos. The most important role in them is played by small military groups— Diversion and Reconnaissance Groups, which act relatively autonomously. The theory of network-centric warfare suggests replacing the very category of direct and clear orders with the “commander’s intent.” This means that a Diversion and Reconnaissance Group or small cell of terrorists is not given a detailed plan for conducting operations, but only general parameters and desired objectives. In practice, however, the opportunity is given to act according to the circumstances. If the main target cannot be hit, but an unexpected—spontaneous, unpredictable—opportunity opens up to hit another one, this is what should be done.

Conducting such autonomous military-terrorist operations is historically close to the anarchically organized Ukrainian society, so the war of chaos was perceived quite organically by the Kiev troops. Aggression, sadism and stabbing in the back, terrorist attacks against civilians, rapid penetration deep into the enemy and attack from the rear—all this is psychologically close to Ukrainians, residents of the frontier, and has repeatedly, historically made itself felt. This time it was fully in line with NATO’s new military theory, whose first principles we find in Steven R. Mann.

Russian Adaptation to Chaos War

What conclusion can be drawn from the observation of the fact that, against its will, Russia is taking part in a war of chaos? In part, some practical conclusions have already been drawn.

We noted the sharp increase in the importance of information security and the need to conduct a full-fledged information war, to counteract the psychological operations of the enemy, to create its own networks and its own systems of protection of information.

Further, on the air defense fronts, everyone saw with his own eyes what a huge—sometimes decisive—role different kinds of drones (UAVs, etc.) play in combat operations. The role of “smart weapons” has been clearly demonstrated in clashes with NATO weapons, and Russian military formations have been forced directly in the field to create a system to combat drones with their own similar types of information gathering and weaponry. We have not yet realized the need to equip all combat units (soldiers and vehicles) with independent video cameras, and integrate information flows into a single control center. But we are getting there.

Enemy Diversion and Reconnaissance Groups have given the Russian troops a lot of trouble because they are autonomous, spontaneous and depend on the “intent of the commander” only (and not on strict orders). Terrorist cells and sabotage groups that operate behind—sometimes deep behind—our troops have also proven quite effective. We have not yet developed a response strategy.

Russia has not fully understood the speed of decision-making, which was fatal in the case of NATO’s MLRSs and especially the HIMARS systems, whose controls are locked into satellite reconnaissance data, instant targeting response and change of location. In our case, the entire cycle takes incomparably longer, and the decision-making instances are separated from the scouts and from the actors—including targeting and redeployment—by numerous formal steps. Chaos warfare involves rapidity of decision and action, which is designed to subvert traditional systems of warfare. Another invasion of nonlinearity.

Agents of Influence in Russia

Nor have we yet fully grasped the subversive role of the vast network of agents of Western influence operating within Russia, subtly sabotaging decisions and impeding the necessary adjustment of society—including the informational and cultural environment—to the goals of the Special Military Operation. Russia is also not fully engaged in purging the residency network (and any liberal or Westerner is its potential representative). A full-fledged center for psychological operations against the enemy has not yet been created, either against Ukraine or, all the more so, against the West.

The Secret of the Effectiveness of the DRP/LPR Volunteers, the Wagner Group, the Chechens

In many ways, Russia is fighting the war by the classical standards, reacting to the chaos and network-centric challenges in a reactive and defensive way.

It should be noted that the most effective in this war are the structures that intuitively or spontaneously follow the logic of chaos. These are first of all the militias of the DRP and LRP, habituated to fighting the Kiev regime and using the same tactics against the chaotic Ukrainians. Next is the Wagner Group, also organized by the network principle, and integrated with the media holding company and quietly going to the extremes of risk in their actions. This can serve as a prototype of a full-fledged network warfare. Ethnic militias, especially Chechen militias, have proven to be excellent. Their strategy includes the consideration of religious and ethnic factors, which makes them not just military units, but a full-fledged network.

In short, there are examples of successful chaos warfare in the Special Military Operation as well. But this applies to individual segments of the Russian forces and does not affect the armed forces as a whole, which are focused on waging war according to the old, linear rules.

In the structure of the Russian Armed Forces, it was long ago necessary to establish a directorate for military research of chaos, if only because the enemy for at least 30 years has been fully developing these strategies and studies the new network principles and uses them to build its army. By losing sight of this, we condemn ourselves to defeat.

Part 5. Katechonic Order

Russia in Battle with the Civilization of Chaos

If we consider the problem of chaos in a philosophical and historical perspective, it becomes very clear that in the Special Military Operation we are talking about Russia’s fight against the civilization of chaos, which is, in fact, the new democracy, represented by the collective West and its rabid proxy-structure (the Ukraine). Parameters of this civilization, its historical and cultural profile, its ideology as a whole is quite easy to identify. We can recognize the movement toward chaos from the very first rebellion against orbitality, hierarchy, ontological pyramidal volume, which embodied the order of traditional civilization. Further, the desire for horizontality and egalitarianism in all spheres only increased. Finally, the new democracy and globalism represent the triumph of chaotic systems that the West still strives to control, but which are increasingly taking over and imposing their own chaotic algorithms on humanity. The history of the West in modern times and up to the present is a history of the growth of chaos—its power, its intensity, its radicality.

Russia—perhaps not on the basis of a clear and conscious choice—found itself in opposition to the civilization of chaos. And this became an irreversible and undeniable fact, immediately after the beginning of the Special Military Operation. The metaphysical profile of the opponent is generally clear. But the question of what is Russia itself in this conflict, and how it can defeat chaos, given its fundamental ontological foundations, is far from simple.

Something Much More Serious than Realism

We have seen that formally, from the point of view of the theory of international relations, we are talking about an opposition of two types of order: unipolar (the West) and multi-polar (Russia and its cautious and often hesitant allies). But a closer analysis shows that unipolarity is a triumph of new democracy and, consequently, chaos; while multi-polarity based on the principle of sovereign civilizations, being an order, does not reveal anything about the essence of this proposed order. Moreover, the classical notion of sovereignty, as understood by the realist school of international relations, itself implies chaos among states, which undermines the philosophical foundation if we consider the confrontation with unipolarity and globalism as a struggle precisely for order and against chaos.

Obviously, in the first approximation, Russia does not count on anything more than the recognition of its sovereignty as a nation state and the protection of its national interests, and the fact that it had to face the moderated chaos of globalism for this purpose was in a sense a surprise for Moscow, which started the Special Military Operation with much more concrete and pragmatic goals. The Russian leadership’s intention was only to contrast realism in international relations with liberalism, and the Russian leadership did not count on any serious confrontation with the institution of chaos—especially in its aggravated form—and did not even suspect such a prospect. And yet we find ourselves in this situation. Russia is at war with chaos in all senses of this multifaceted phenomenon, which means that this entire struggle acquires a metaphysical nature. If we want to win, then we have to defeat chaos. And this also means that we initially position ourselves as the antithesis of chaos; that is, as the place that is opposed to it.

Here it is time once again to return to the fundamental definitions of chaos.

The Edges of Chaos

First, in the original Greek interpretation, chaos is a void, a territory on which order has yet to take root. Of course, the modern chaos of Western civilization is not like this—it is not a void; on the contrary, it is a pervasive explosion of materiality—but in the face of a true ontological order, it is indeed insignificant, its meaningfulness and spiritual content tending toward zero.

Second, chaos is mixing, and such mixing is based on disharmony, disordered conflicts and aggressive clashes. In chaotic systems, unpredictability prevails, as all elements are out of place. Decentricity, eccentricity, becomes the engine of all processes. The things of the world rebel against order, striving to overturn any logical construction or structure.

Third, the history of Western European civilization is a constant inflation of a degree of chaoticism; that is, a progressive accumulation of chaos—as a void, a mixing and splitting aggression of ever smaller and smaller particles. And this is accepted as a moral vector for the development of civilization and culture.

Globalism is the final stage of this process, where all these tendencies reach a maximum degree of saturation and intensity.

The Great Void Demands a Great Order

Russia with the Special Military Operation challenges this whole process—metaphysical and historical. Consequently, in every sense it speaks on behalf of an alternative to chaos.

This means that Russia should offer a model that can fill the growing void. And the volume of the void is correlated with the strength and inner power of the order, seeking to replace it. A great void requires a great order. In fact, it corresponds to the act of the birth of Eros or Psyche between Heaven and Earth. Or the phenomenon of man as a mediator between the main ontological poles. We are dealing with a new creation, an affirmation of order where it is no longer there, where it has been overthrown.

To establish order in such a situation, it is necessary to subdue the liberated elements of materiality. That is to cope with the flows of fragmented and fractured power, defeating the results of egalitarianism brought to its logical limit. Consequently, Russia must be inspired by the highest heavenly principle, which is the only one capable of subduing the rebellion of chthonic principles.

And this fundamental metaphysical mission must be carried out in direct confrontation with Western civilization, which is the historical sum of the escalating chaos.

To defeat the titanic powers of Earth, it is necessary to be representatives of Heaven, to have a critical amount of its support on our side.

It is quite clear that contemporary Russia as a state and society cannot claim to be already the embodiment of such an organizing comic beginning. It is itself permeated by Western influences and tries to defend only sovereignty without questioning the theory of progress, the materialistic foundations of the natural sciences of the New Age, technical inventions, capitalism, or the Western model of liberal democracy. But as the modern globalist West denies Russia even relative sovereignty, it forces her to raise the stakes endlessly. And thus Russia finds itself in the position of a society in revolt against the modern world, against the egalitarian chaos, against the rapidly growing emptiness and accelerating dissipation.

Not yet truly an order, Russia faces chaos in a deadly battle.

Katechon—The Third Rome

In this situation, Russia simply has no choice but to become what it is not, but what position it is forced to take, by the very coincidence of circumstances. The platform for such a confrontation certainly exists, in the roots of Russian history and Russian culture. It is primarily Orthodoxy, sacred values and the high ideal of the Empire, endowed with the Katechonic function, which should be seen as a bulwark against chaos. To a residual degree, the attitudes of harmony, justice, the preservation of traditional institutions—family, community, morality—have survived several centuries of modernization and Westernization, and especially the last atheistic and materialistic age. However, this alone is far from enough.

To confront the power of chaos in a truly effective way, there must be a full-scale spiritual awakening, a profound transformation and a revival of the spiritual foundations, principles and priorities of the sacred order.
Russia must promptly establish in itself the beginnings of the sacred Katechonic order, which was laid in the 15th century in the continuity of the Byzantine heritage, and in the proclamation of Moscow as the Third Rome.

Only an eternal Rome can stand in the way of the all-destroying stream of emancipated time. But for this, it itself must represent an earthly projection of the heavenly vertical.

Hetoimasia

In ecclesiastical art there is a subject called “The Throne Prepared”—the Greek, hetoimasia, ἑτοιμασία. It shows an empty throne flanked by angels, saints, or rulers. It symbolizes the throne of Jesus Christ, on which He will sit to judge the nations when the Second Coming takes place. For now—until the Second Coming—the throne is empty. But not quite. The Cross is placed on it.

This image refers to the Byzantine and older Roman practice of placing a spear or sword on the throne at a time when the Emperor was away from the capital—for example, for war. The weapon shows that the throne is not empty. The Emperor is not there, but his presence is. And no one can encroach on the supreme power with impunity.

In the Christian tradition, this has been reinterpreted in the context of the Kingdom of Heaven and consequently the throne of God himself. After the Ascension, Christ withdrew into heaven; but this does not mean that He does not exist. He is, and He is the only One who truly is. And His kingdom “has no end.” It is in eternity—not in time. That is why the Old Believers insisted so strongly on the ancient version of the Russian version of the Creed—”His kingdom is without end,” not “there shall be no end.” Christ dwells on his throne forever. But for us mortal, earthly ones, at some point in history—between the First and Second Coming—this becomes unnoticeable. And as a reminder of the main absent (for us, humanity) figure, the Cross is placed on the throne. As we contemplate the Cross, we see the Crucified One. Thinking of the Crucified, we know of the Risen One. As we turn our hearts to the Risen One, we see Him rising, coming again. “The Throne Prepared” is His kingdom, His power. Both when He is present on it and when He is withdrawn. He will return. For all these are movements within eternity: In the final analysis, His reign has never been interrupted.

Russia, which today enters the final battle with chaos, finds itself in the position of one who is fighting the very Antichrist. But how far we are from that high ideal, which the radicality of the final battle demands. And yet … Russia is the “Throne Prepared.” It may seem from the outside that it is empty. But it is not. The Russian people and Russian state bear the Catechumens. It is to us today that the words of the liturgy, “I am the Tsar who lifts up all,” apply. With an extraordinary effort of will and spirit we lay on ourselves the burden of the One who holds back. And this action of ours will never be in vain.

Against chaos, we do not just need our order, we need His order, His authority, His kingdom. We Russians carry the Throne of the Prepared. And there is no mission in human history more sacred, higher, more sacrificial than to lift up Christ, the King of Kings, on our shoulders.

But as long as there is a Cross on the throne—it is the Russian Cross. Russia is crucified on it. It bleeds its sons and daughters. And all this for a reason. We are on the straight path to the resurrection of the dead. And we will play a vital role in this world-wide mystery. For we are the keepers of the Throne. The people of the Katechon.


Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.


Featured: Throne of Preparation (detail), Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, Torcello, mosaic, ca. 11th century.

“God is Dead”

Aphorism 125 of Nietzsche’s The Gay Science is the epiphanic place of nihilism, connected with de-divinization, with the Gottes Tod, with the “death of God.” Unlike the scientific and anti-metaphysical discourse that developed in the space of the modern, Nietzsche did not affirm the non-existence of God, arguing it perhaps more geometrically. On the contrary, he alluded to the death of God and, therefore, to his decline; or, more correctly, to the evaporation of an order of values and ontology that found its ultimate foundation in the figure of God. In the words of The Gay Science:

“Who has given us the sponge to erase the horizon completely? What have we done to unhook this earth from the chain of its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Is not ours an eternal fall? And backward, sideways, forward, to all sides? Is there still an above and a below? Are we not wandering as if through an infinite nothingness? Do we not feel the breath of emptiness upon us? Is it not colder? Does not night keep coming, ever more night?”

The Nietzschean phenomenology of the death of God alludes to the cancellation of the entire horizon of meaning around which Western civilization was oriented, now at the mercy of an “eternal fall” and an “infinite nothingness” that leads it to ruin without references, without values and in an “empty space”: “Is there still an above and a below?” Or, more generally, a solid point of reference for orientation in the Babel spaces of the de-divinized world devoid of foundations? For the sake of philological rigor, it is worth remembering that the death of God, before Nietzsche, figures in the work of Hegel—in Faith and Knowledge (1802), Hegel writes, in fact, that the sentiment on which the religion of the moderns rests is crystallized in the formula: “God himself is dead” (Gott selbst ist tot). In the opinion of the Heidegger of Holzwege, it is also the first recorded appearance of this formula in the history of Western thought.

Following in Nietzsche’s footsteps, the decisive question is not whether God exists or not, but whether he is alive or dead; that is, whether or not a world of meaning and project, of meanings and symbols, is organized around the idea of God. The nihilism of the death of God does not coincide, therefore, with the subjective gesture of one who, like the fool in Psalm 52, denies the existence of God (dixit insipiens in corde suo “non est Deus”). Instead, he alludes to the historical process of devaluation of all values, to the decline of the horizon of meaning around which Western civilization was organized: a process at the end of which nothing remains of God and being. With Heidegger’s grammar, “the nihil of nihilism means that there is nothing of being,” and that, we may add in the Nietzschean way, there is nothing of God either. Thus writes Nietzsche in the posthumously published fragments:

“What I describe is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming…: the rise of nihilism…. What does nihilism mean? It means that the supreme values are devalued. They lack purpose. The answer to “why?” is missing…. So, we cannot postulate any “beyond” or any “in-itself” of things. Value is missing, meaning is missing…. Result [of this devaluation]: moral judgments of value are… negations: morality is to turn one’s back on the will to exist.”

Die Heraufkunft des Nihilismus, “the rise of nihilism” is what Nietzsche describes in statu nascendi his own epoch, prophesying the dominant character it will acquire in the history to come (“the history of the next two centuries”). In addition to outlining its development, Nietzsche highlights some defining features of the phenomenon of nihilism. First, he emphasizes its processual character—nihilism is not a “fact,” but a process that has begun and is in the process of development, the logic of which consists in the fact that die obersten Werte sich entwerten, “the supreme values are devalued.” By virtue of this Umwertung, “the end” (das Ziel), the answer to “why” (wozu), value, meaning, the beyond and the in-itself of things, morality are missing. Everything rushes into the abyss of meaninglessness, as nothingness devours every thing and every project, every meaning and every value. And, in this way, Western man finds himself condemned to live in the nihil of a civilization in which God is dead and there is no longer any answer to the fundamental questions, which are no longer even asked.

As in the film, The Neverending Story (1984), based on the book of the same name, nothingness has devoured all reality and all ideals. This is the horizon of meaning; or rather, of the meaninglessness of the postmodern era, perpetually suspended between “passive nihilism” and “active nihilism,” theorized by Nietzsche, who understood the latter as an overcoming of the former. In the postmodern era, as has been stressed, active nihilism and passive nihilism coexist as a depressive disenchantment of those who no longer believe in anything and a consumerist superhumanism of those who make their own being and their own power coincide with purchasing power in the market. With the death of God, the sun goes out, understood in its double sense: a) as the center of gravity around which life revolves, now at the mercy of disorientation and estrangement (Entfremdung); and b) as a source of energy capable of illuminating and heating the life of mortals. The sun, which Plato assumed in The Republic as the image of the “good in itself” (αὐτὸ ἀγαθόν) and as “beyond essence surpassing it in dignity and power” (ἐπέκεινα τῆς οὐσίας πρεσβείᾳ καὶάι0), is extinguished. And there remains only the icy darkness of the de-divinized reality, mere background available without limits for the processes of usability and transformation of the techno-nihilistic will to power.

The desolate scenario of the dark desert of the “night of the world” (Weltnacht) arises—darkness falls upon the world and humans do not perceive the absence of God as a lack, even mocking those who, like the Nietzschean madman, distant heir of Plato’s liberated caveman, dare to pose the problem of the Gottes Tod. In fact, the madman, when he announces in the market the death of God, provokes “great laughter”:

“Where has God gone?” He exclaimed. “I’ll tell you! We have killed him, you and I! We are all his murderers! But how did we do it? How could we empty the sea, drinking it to the last drop?”

The murder of God coincides with the process of devaluation of values and consumption of being: a process by which, in the end, there is nothing left of values and being, since everything—at the material and immaterial level—becomes a fund made available by the technocapitalist will to power, which trades and exchanges, produces, markets and consumes everything.

In the time of Vollendung, of the “fulfillment” of metaphysics in planetary technic, what survives is only a grandiose apparatus which, arranging everything in view of its own unlimited power, Heidegger himself interprets as the Weltbild, the fundamental “world image,” within which the figure of the modern Weltmarkt, of the “global market,” the culmination of technique and nihilism, can be constituted. Thus writes Heidegger in “What are poets good for in times of misery?”:

“The humanness of humans and the thingness of things is lost within the self-asserting manufacturing (des sich durchsetzenden Herstellens), in the calculated market value of a market (in den gerechneten Marktwert eines Marktes), which not only spans the earth as a world market, but which markets as the will to will in the essence of being (im Wesen des Seins marktet) and thus brings everything that exists into the action of a calculation, which rules most tenaciously where it does not need numbers.”

Being and values are consumed, and in their place survives the post-metaphysical disorientation, the “absence of homeland” (Heimatlosigkeit), evoked by Heidegger, and the fall into an endless abyss. The ontology of capital is nihilistic, insofar as it presupposes that being is not, and that there are only entities available for the processes of techno-scientific manipulation, oriented to excessive growth. Likewise, its morality is nihilistic and relativistic, since it is based on the universal negotiability of values, which all precipitate into nothingness and become relative to the only surviving value—the exchange value of a market that has as its objective nothing but the unlimited self-empowerment of the device of the Wille zur Macht, of the “will to power.”

The Nietzschean thesis of the death of God has had, moreover, an important repercussion in the theological field; and this according to a spectrum of positions, ranging from Karl Barth’s theology of crisis to Bultmann’s theology of demythologization, from Bonhoeffer’s theology of κένωσις (or “emptying”) to the so-called “theologians of the death of God.” The thesis generally shared by these authors, although quite different from each other, is that secularization is complete, man is mature and, therefore, no longer needs God. In Bonhoeffer’s words: “The world lives and suffices itself, in science, in social life and politics, in art, in morals, in religion. Man has learned to fend for himself, without recourse to the working hypothesis: God…. We have seen that it goes on—exactly as before—even without God.” There is no doubt. The time of the death of God coincides with that of absolutized nihilistic relativism; that is, with the “dictatorship of relativism,” as Joseph Ratzinger has defined it.


Diego Fusaro is professor of History of Philosophy at the IASSP in Milan (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies) where he is also scientific director. He is a scholar of the Philosophy of History, specializing in the thought of Fichte, Hegel, and Marx. His interest is oriented towards German idealism, its precursors (Spinoza) and its followers (Marx), with a particular emphasis on Italian thought (Gramsci or Gentile, among others). he is the author of many books, including Fichte and the Vocation of the IntellectualThe Place of Possibility: Toward a New Philosophy of Praxis, and Marx, again!: The Spectre Returns[This article appears courtesy of Posmodernia].


Featured: “Lamentation of the Virgin,” by the Rohan Master, from the Hours of the Cross, folio 135, plate 57; painted in 1435.

Political Media: Guard-Dogs of Individual Liberty or Totalitarian Lapdogs?

A common presumption held by many Western elites today who tend to control today’s major communications media, is that they constitute some sort of global world political order, an Enlightened World Scientific State.

My chief concern here is to consider the political rights and moral responsibilities of modern communications media. By “political rights” I mean extent of “circumstantial freedoms,” of freedom to exercise speech unfettered by political interference. Since political freedom consists in exercise of human actions toward others, and since the moral virtue of justice is the measure of the limits of right and wrong action toward others, by “moral responsibilities” I mean the limits placed upon unfettered communications-media free speech that justice demands in any and every political order.

Three Senses of “Freedom”

To answer this question with some precision, we have to understand the nature of human freedom in general, how circumstantial freedom differs from human freedom considered generically, the nature of political association, and the function that government essentially plays within political organizations.

Like we do in most cases of speech in any native language, when we use the term “freedom,” we generally do so by referring this term analogously: chiefly to some cause existing within a subject that generates the activity in question, and secondarily to anything else that, in some essentially useful way, relates to this cause. For example, when we use the term “health” analogously, this is generally understood to refer to some quality existing within a living body that results from some internal harmony of organic relations occurring within the body. Nonetheless, in an extended way, we also refer the term “health” to medicine, exercise, diet, and even books because they help to promote, preserve, and protect it.

The same is true regarding the term “freedom.” When we talk about it, what most adult human beings tend chiefly to be talking about is a cause internal to a human being that generates some individual independence from outside interference in executing free choice.

In this sense, in its most perfect instance, freedom is a cause that exists within individual human beings that the great French author Yves R. Simon has called “an active indifference caused by masterful choice.” This definition chiefly refers to “moral freedom,” a kind of freedom possessed as a quality of soul belonging to a person who tends to understand the natures of things, the organizational constitution, relations of parts that exist in things, which exist around a person and to which a person knows how to relate in healthy ways.

This moral sense of “freedom” differs from another positive sense of “freedom,” which refers chiefly to the natural ability to make choices. While such freedom is a reality, it is freedom in a deprived sense, just as health as a natural condition found in most people is not the strongly possessed health of a person who follows a strict regimen of nutritious diet and rigorous exercise.

Both these senses of “freedom” differ from a third sense, which refers simply to not being restrained to act by some external agent or agency. In all human generations, this sense appears to be the way most youth and emotionally infantile people tend to understand freedom. Yet this is freedom in its most deprived and negative sense. Considered in and of itself, freedom to act amounts to nothing if a person is externally unrestrained from acting but has no internal abilities to act, no internal qualities (talents) that cause human actions to be strong, healthy, masterful, great.

Not being externally restrained from acting is not the chief cause of human action being free. Internal qualities of excellence, greatness, are its chief causes. These qualities are principally the classical moral and intellectual virtues recognized by healthy cultures, societies, cultures, and States within any and every age.

Nonetheless, since no human being can perfect natural abilities without freedom of exercise, without some limit of unfettered ability to execute external actions (without some limit of circumstantial freedom), and because, by nature, all human beings have a moral responsibility and duty, to pursue human happiness, all human beings have a natural right and moral duty to pursue just limits of circumstantial freedom in different forms of social life.

I say that all human beings have a moral responsibility, a moral duty, to pursue human happiness because the natural inclination to pursue our happiness, to exercise human acts and bring them to mature, healthy development is a necessary condition for exercising moral liberty, human freedom in its highest form. Moral rights and responsibilities are properties of human liberty relative to the highest pursuit of natural human goods—the greatest of which is human happiness.

Liberty, Political Associations, and “the State”

Individual liberty is only desired because it is an essential enabling means for exercising human action, for living a good human life in as perfect a fashion as possible. This moral duty to pursue human happiness through exercise of individual human freedom is the source of all moral rights, including the natural human right to form political associations and to establish communications media to insure that governmental agencies do not overstep their limits of just authority as agents of the State, of political self-governance.

Understanding the rights and duties of communications media is impossible in any age without a precise understanding of the nature of political associations, especially today that of States and nation-States. One reason for this is because, since media are parts of organizations, understanding the rightful limits of media activity essentially depends upon knowing the kind of wholes, organizations, of which these media are a part.

Many people today, especially utopian socialists and politicians of many different persuasions, make the mistake of misunderstanding the nature of the political organization to which political media (print and other news organizations) essentially belong. They tend to do this by identifying a State with a government. In doing so, knowingly or not, such people often unwittingly fall into the trap of adopting the political mindset of a totalitarian, or despot.

No government is a State. Governments are agents of a self-governing people, just as are real estate agents, stock brokers, and educational administrators. Politicians are agents through which human beings constituting a self-governing political organization called a “State” engage in associational self-governance.

A tendency on the part of administrators within any and every agency, however, often arises (especially within large, centralized, bureaucracies) for administrators to think they constitute the whole organization. Instead of realizing that they constitute a topmost part of an organizational whole, they often tend to get the grandiose idea that they are the whole, that they do not represent a rule of law (command and control) imposed by others, but that they are the rule of law. The existence of free communications media within political associations is crucial to prevent this sort of misunderstanding from occurring, of shaping heathy public opinion so as to maintain public awareness of politically relevant social interactions of benefit or harm to a political body.

In the past, before the advent of new, internet communications, this moral responsibility fell largely on the shoulders of a free press and television news media. In the present age of electronic media, this situation is changing dramatically; other forms of social media networks are growing that are starting to compete with, and even beginning to replace, traditional print media and television news organizations.

The only way to distribute power is to divide it. In every case this involves preventing monopolization of power in the hands of one, or a few, people. Within democratic political organizations a free media is essential for decentralizing governmental administration, for helping, through relatively unfettered governmental interference, constantly to help distribute leadership roles to parts of a political organization with the talents, qualifications, to execute those roles.

Hence, all legitimate, democratic, political media (not propaganda organizations: presently often called “fake news” outlets) have a natural right to a just amount of circumstantial freedom as is necessary to conduct their work of conveying political truth to help shape the informed public opinion needed to engage in cooperative self-rule through representative government. The just limits of such freedom are constituted by no less circumstantial freedom as is necessary to exercise this political duty and no more than is compatible with the just exercise of circumstantial freedom of other essential political institutions that foster individual self-governance.

To be able to execute their work and precisely understand the just limits of their circumstantial freedom, members of legitimate news media (not propaganda institutes posing as legitimate news media) must have a precise understanding of the nature of the modern State and the essential role that members of the communications media play as a watchdog within the State.

Regarding the nature of the State, they need to understand that the government is not the State. The State is a free association of people, including members of a free press, seeking more perfect union through peaceful cooperation. In this sense the State is a free association of people involved in collective self-government through a rule of law, agreements of just self-regulation, for which they hire the services of different administrative agents.

The government’s job is chiefly to represent the people to secure peace through enforcement of just laws made by informed citizens through their representatives. As such, the government, like the media, is simply an agent of citizen self-rule and regulation (that is, an agent of the State). And an essential role of a communication’s media within the State is to represent the people considered as a political whole to insure that the government does not exceed the circumstantial freedom that citizens invest in it to represent them in citizen self-rule. Beyond that, the media has an inalienable moral right and responsibility (which no political government has the moral right unjustly to limit) to communicate to citizens any and every political danger that really threatens citizens and the State and any political good that enhances peace and cooperation among citizens and citizen self-rule.

The Situation Today

Unhappily, today, under the grandiose, utopian socialist, misunderstandings about human nature, the nature of political associations, and political self-rule, members of different forms of media often fall into a form of self-misunderstanding in which, instead of following their moral responsibility to be guard-dogs of individual liberty, they become propagandistic lapdogs for totalitarian despots.

A common presumption held by many Western elites today—especially by economic and educational bureaucrats, and members of the entertainment industry—who tend to control today’s major communications media, is that they constitute some sort of global world political order, an Enlightened World Scientific State. Being possessed of true social science, understanding the true nature of Freedom as scientific control of individual action, they are hell-bent on destroying every vestige of individual liberty and national sovereignty so that they can establish their Enlightened, scientifically-regulated, and technologically-controlled freedom that will finally liberate all the rest of us poor, backward, fools from clinging to our petty bourgeois, philistine idea of individual freedom.

That being the case, a chief moral duty and professional responsibility of today’s political media is be vigilant guardians of individual liberty and the justly possessed right of people’s to self-governance. And a chief moral obligation this media has is not to pander to despots for career advancement or similarly self-aggrandizing motives as Enlightened despots seek to mislead citizens into believing that our true liberty consists in living the life of an Enlightened serf.


Peter Redpath was Professor of Philosophy at St. John’s University. He is the author/editor of 17 philosophical books and dozens of articles and book reviews. He has given over 200 invited guest lectures nationally and internationally, and headed many prestigious organizations. He is the only non-Polish scholar to hold the Laudatio Achievement Award for attainment of intellectual and organizational wisdom, from the Department of Philosophy, Culture, and Art at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, in Poland. More information is found at his website. [Portions of this essay were originally published in the International Journal of World Peace, Vol, 18. No. 1 (March 2001). This article appears through the kind courtesy of the Catholic World Report.


Featured: A toy spaniel, a Pomeranian and a Maltese terrier at a basket, by Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Wegener; painted in 1855.

The German Conservative Revolution (1919-1932)

The term, “Conservative Revolution,” coined by Armin Mohler (The Conservative Revolution in Germany, 1918-1932), houses various currents of thought, whose most prominent figures are Oswald Spengler, Ernst Jünger, Carl Schmitt and Moeller van den Bruck, among others. The term, perhaps too eclectic and diffuse, has nonetheless gained acceptance and taken root to embody a number of “idiosyncratic” German intellectuals of the first half of the twentieth century, without organizational unity or ideological homogeneity, much less a common political affiliation, who nurtured projects for a cultural and spiritual renewal of authentic values against the demo-liberal principles of the Weimar Republic, and within the dynamics of a process of Palingenesis that called for a new German and European renaissance (a re-generation).

Thus, it seems appropriate to make an attempt to situate the Conservative Revolution (CR) ideologically, especially through certain descriptions of it by its protagonists, complemented by a synthesis of its main ideological attitudes—or rather, rejections—which are, precisely, the only link of association between them all. Because the revolutionary-conservative is defined mainly by an attitude towards life and the world, a style, and not by any program or doctrine.

According to Giorgio Locchi, between 1918 and 1933 the Konservative Revolution never presented a unitary or monolithic aspect and “ended up outlining a thousand apparently divergent directions,” contradictory even, antagonistic at other times. Here we find such varfied characters as the early Thomas Mann, Ernst Jünger and his brother Friedrich Georg, Oswald Spengler, Ernst von Salomon, Alfred Bäumler, Stefan Georg, Hugo von Hofmanssthal, Carl Schmitt, Martin Heidegger, Jacob von Uexküll, Christian Günther, Werner Sombart, Hans Blüher, Gottfried Benn, Max Scheler and Ludwig Klages. All of them were scattered around a network of diverse associations, thought societies, literary circles, semi-clandestine organizations, political groupings, most of the time without any connection whatsoever. These differences have led one of the great scholars of the CR, Stefan Breuer, to argue that the “Conservative Revolution” did not really exist and that such a concept should be eliminated as an interpretative tool. But, as Louis Dupeux argues, the CR was, in fact, the dominant ideology in Germany during the Weimar period.

The origins of the CR—following Locchi’s thesis—must be placed in the mid-nineteenth century, although locating what Mohler calls the “ideas,” or rather, the “driving-images” (Leitbilder) common to all the animators of the CR. Precisely, one of the effects of the collapse of the old and decadent attitude was the discrediting of concepts in the face of the revaluation of images. Aesthetics versus ethics is the expression that best describes this new attitude.

In the first place, the origin of the image of the world is situated in the work of Nietzsche—it is the spherical conception of history, as opposed to the linear one of Christianity, liberalism and Marxism; it is, in fact, an “eternal return,” since history is not a form of infinite and indefinite progress. Secondly, the idea of the “interregnum”: the old order is sinking and the new order is in the process of becoming visible; Nietzsche again being the prophet of this moment. Thirdly, the combat of positive and regenerative nihilism—a “re-volution, a return, reproduction of a moment that has already been.” And fourthly and finally, the religious renewal of an anti-Christian character, through a “Germanic Christianity,” liberated from its original forms, or the resurrection of ancient Indo-European pagan divinities.

It turns out, then, that Nietzsche constitutes not only the starting point, but also the nexus of union of the protagonists of the CR, the teacher of a rebellious generation, who was filtered by Spengler and Moeller van den Bruck, first, and Jünger and Heidegger, later, and as masterfully exposed by Gottfried Benn. In Nietzsche’s own words, we find the first warning of the change: “I know my destiny. Someday my name will be joined to the memory of something tremendous, to a crisis such as there was not on earth, to the deepest conflict of conscience, to a decision pronounced against all that has hitherto been believed, demanded, revered.”

Nietzsche is the tip of an iceberg that rejected the old order in order to replace it with a new renaissance. And the generational representatives of the Conservative Revolution perceived that they could find in the German philosopher a “direct ancestor,” to adapt the revolution of European consciousness to their Kulturpessimismus. Ferrán Gallego has summarized the essence of the Konservative Revolution as follows:

“The praise of the elites… the instrumental conception of the masses, the rejection of the ‘nation of citizens’ [understood as isolated atoms] in favor of the integral nation, the organic and communitarian vision of society, as opposed to mechanistic and competitive formulations, the combination of leadership with hostility to individualism, the adjustment between the negation of materialism and the search for material verifications in the sciences of nature. All this, presented as a great movement of revision of the values of nineteenth-century culture, as an identical rejection of liberalism and Marxist socialism, was still far from being organized as a political movement. The impression that a historical cycle had ended, that the momentum of rationalist ideologies had expired, the contemplation of the present as decadence, the conviction that civilizations are living organisms, were not exclusive to German pessimism, accentuated by the rigor of defeat in the Great War—but it was an international crisis that called into question the very foundations of the contemporary ideological order and that many experienced in terms of a generational task.”

Louis Dupeux insists, however, that the CR does not constitute, at any time, “a unified ideology, but a plural Weltanschauung, a sentimental constellation.” Whether they are considered “idealists,” “spiritualists” or “vitalists,” all the revolutionary-conservatives considered political struggle as a priority, and liberalism was considered the main enemy, although the political struggle was situated in a spiritual world of idealist opposition, not in the objective of the conquest of power, desired by the mainstream parties. According to Dupeux, the formula of this “spiritualist revolution” was to propitiate the passage to the constitution of an “organic national community,” structured and hierarchical, consolidated by the same system of values and directed by a strong State. In short, a “cultural revolt” against enlightened ideals and modern civilization, against rationalism, liberal democracy, the predominance of the material over the spiritual. The ultimate cause of the decadence of the West was not the sentimental crisis of the interwar period (although it does symbolically mark the need for change)—the neutrality of liberal states in spiritual matters had to give way to a system in which temporal and spiritual authority are one and the same, so that only a “total state” can overcome the era of dissolution, represented by modernity. Thus, the work of reformulating the discourse of decadence and the necessary regeneration was to be undertaken by the CR.

If we were to underline certain basic attitudes or tendencies as constitutive elements of revolutionary-conservative thought, in spite of its contradictory plurality, we could point out various aspects, such as: the questioning of the supremacy of rationality over spirituality; the rejection of the political activity of the demolitionist parties; the preference for a popular, authoritarian and hierarchical, non-democratic State, as well as a distancing from both the “old conservative traditionalism” and the capitalist and Marxist “new liberalisms,” while emphasizing the experience of war and combat as the ultimate realization. The reformulation of the ideology was based on the need to build a “third way” between capitalism and communism (whether the Prussian socialism of van den Bruck, the revolutionary nationalism of Jünger, or the national-Bolshevism of Ernst Niekisch). And over and above these attitudes there hovered the common feeling for the need to sweep away the decadent and corrupt present as a way to regain contact with a life founded on eternal values.

Mohler himself, who understood the CR as “the spiritual movement of regeneration which sought to sweep away the ruins of the nineteenth century and create a new order of life”—just as Hans Freyer thought that it would “sweep away the wreckage of the nineteenth century”—provides the most convincing evidence for a classification of the central motifs of CR thought which, according to his analysis, revolve around the consideration of the end of a cycle; its sudden metamorphosis, followed by a renaissance in which the “interregnum” that began with the generation of 1914 will come to a definitive end. To this purpose, Mohler rescued a series of German intellectuals and artists who nurtured community projects for cultural renewal, based on a genuine rejection of the dem-liberal principles of the Weimar Republic.

For Mohler, according to Robert Steuckers, the essential point of contact of the CR was a non-linear vision of history, although he did not simply take up the traditional cyclical vision, but a Nietzschean spherical conception of history. Mohler, in this sense, never believed in universalistic political doctrines, but in strong personalities and their followers, who were capable of opening new and original paths in existence.

The terminological combination “Konservative-Revolution” was already associated as early as 1851, by Theobald Buddeus; subsequently by Yuri Samarin, Dostoyevsky, and in 1900 Maurras. But in 1921, Thomas Mann was the first to use the expression CR in a more ideologized sense, in his Russische Anthologie, speaking of a “synthesis… of enlightenment and faith, of freedom and obligation, of spirit and body, god and world, sensuality and critical attention, of conservatism and revolution.” The process of which Mann spoke “is none other than a conservative revolution of a scope such as European history has not known.”

The expression Conservative Revolution was also prevalent in the theses disseminated by the European Cultural Union (Europïsche Kulturband), led by Karl Anton, Prince of Rohan, a Europeanist aristocrat and Austrian cultural leader, whose 1926 work, Die Aufgabe unserer Generation (The Task of Our Generation)—inspired by Ortega y Gasset’s The Modern Theme—uses the term on several occasions. However, the phrase “Conservative Revolution” gained full popularity in 1927, with Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s most famous Bavarian lecture, when he set out to discover the truly Herculean task of the Conservative Revolution: the need to turn the wheel of history back four hundred years, since the ongoing restorative process “in reality begins as an internal reaction against that spiritual revolution of the 16th century” (he is referring to the Renaissance). Hofmannsthal, in short, called for a movement of reaction that would allow man to escape from modern dissociation and rediscover his “link with the whole.”

In the words of one of the most prominent representatives of the Conservative Revolution, Edgar J. Jung: “We call Conservative Revolution the revival of all those fundamental laws and values without which man loses his relationship to Nature and to God and becomes incapable of building an authentic order. In place of equality, inner worth is to be imposed. In place of social conviction, just integration into statal society; mechanical choice is replaced by the organic growth of leaders. In place of bureaucratic coercion, there is an inner responsibility that comes from genuine self-determination. The pleasure of the masses is replaced by the right of the personality of the people.”

Another commonplace of the Conservative Revolution is the self-consciousness of those who belonged to it, that they were not merely conservatives. Indeed, they were at pains to distance themselves from groups belonging to “old conservatism” (Altkonservativen) and from the ideas of “reactionaries” who only wished to “restore” the old. The central concern was to “combine revolutionary ideas with conservative ones,” or “push them in a revolutionary-conservative way,” as Moeller van den Bruck proposed.

Of course, the “conservative revolution,” however much the so-called “neoconservatives” (be they of the Reagan, Bush, Thatcher, Aznar, Sarkozy or Merkel type) may regret it, has nothing to do with the “conservative reaction” (an authentic “counter-revolution”) that they pretend to lead against progressive liberalism, postmodern communism and the counter-culturalism of the left. The weakness of the classic-traditional right lies in its inclination towards centrism and social democracy (“the seduction of the left”), in a frustrated attempt to close the way to socialism, sympathizing, even, with the only possible values of its adversaries (egalitarianism, universalism, false progressivism). A serious mistake for those who have never understood that political action is just one more aspect of a long-standing ideological war between two completely antagonistic conceptions of the world.

Finally, the neoconservative right has not grasped Gramsci’s message, has failed to see the threat of cultural power over the State and how the latter acts on the implicit values that provide lasting political power, ignoring a truism: no change is possible in power and in society, if the transformation it seeks to impose has not first taken place in minds and spirits. It is a bet on consumerist, industrial and accommodating “neoconservatism,” the opposite of what is being imposed today—to recreate a “conservative revolution” with a European patent which, in Jünger’s phrase, merges the past and the future in a fiery present.

Meanwhile, counter-revolutionary “neo-conservatism,” based on the thinking of the German émigré Leo Strauss, is nothing but a kind of “reaction” to the loss of values that have an expiration date (precisely his own, those of the mercantilist and imperialist Anglo-American bourgeoisie). Their principles are ideal and humanitarian universalism, savage capitalism, academic traditionalism and totalitarian bureaucratism. For these neocons, the United States appears as the most perfect representation of the values of freedom, democracy and happiness based on material progress and a return to “Judeo-Christian” morality, with Europe’s obligation to copy this triumphant model.

Anglo-American “neoconservatism,” reactionary and counter-revolutionary, is, in reality, a democratist and traditionalist neo-liberalism—read Fukuyama—heir to the principles of the French Revolution. The Conservative Revolution, however, can be defined, according to Mohler, as the authentic “anti-French Revolution”: the French Revolution disintegrated society into individuals; the Conservative aspired to reestablish the unity of the social whole; the French proclaimed the sovereignty of reason, disarticulating the world to apprehend it in concepts; the Conservative tried to intuit its meaning in images; the French believed in indefinite progress in a linear march; the Conservative returned to the idea of the cycle, where setbacks and advances are naturally compensated.

In the antagonistic Conservative Revolution, neither “conservation” refers to the attempt to defend some expired form of life, nor “revolution” refers to the purpose of accelerating the evolutionary process in order to incorporate something new into the present. The former is typical of the old reactionary conservatism—also of the ill-named neoconservatism—which lives from the past; the latter is the hallmark of false progressivism, which lives from the most absolute present-future.

While in much of the so-called Western world, the reaction to the democratization of societies has always moved in the orbit of a sentimental conservatism, inclined to extol the past and achieve the restoration of the old order, the revolutionary conservatives spared no effort to mark differences and distances with what for them was simple reactionaryism, even if it was, in Hans Freyer’s expression, a Revolution from the right. The Conservative Revolution was simply a spiritual rebellion, a revolution without any goal or future messianic kingdom.


Jesús Sebastián Lorente is a Spanish lawyer. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Elmanifesto.


Featured: The imperial banner and sword of Emperor Maximilian, by Albrecht Altdorfer; painted ca. 1513-1515.

Revelation, Philosophy and Theology

Olivier Boulnois is a French philosopher, specialist in Duns Scotus, Saint Augustine and more generally in medieval philosophy. He is the Director of studies at the École pratique des hautes études and Associate Professor at the Institut catholique de Paris, where he teaches religion and Christian philosophy of the Middle Ages.

He has recently written an interesting book which traces the history of “theological science” from its Greek emergence to the “collapse of the cornerstone” at the dawn of the sixteenth century. Far from being limited to the alternative between the God of revelation and the God of the philosophers, the Greek theologia, recuperated by the Latin Fathers and raised up as the “queen of sciences” by Scholasticism, has been the object, from the Thomistic moment onwards, of a deconstruction that continues into the contemporary period. Professor Boulnois sits down with Philitt to discuss his book.

Philitt (PL): Your book tells of the epic of theology, from its Greek emergence to the “end of the desire for God” in the modern era. Why have you reread the history of theology in the light of the “desire for truth” and what link do you establish between this desire for truth and the “desire for God?”

Olivier Boulnois (OB): We all live on clichés. For example, the idea that in the Middle Ages, philosophy was the servant of theology. But when we talk about philosophy being the “servant” of theology, we are taking the problem the wrong way round. For since its Aristotelian origin, theology is a philosophical science, the highest possible science, “theological science.” When I have embarked on a history of theology “as science” (subtitle of the book), it was to show how it develops by differentiating itself, like the branches of a tree—one branch of theological science remains purely philosophical (and sometimes in conflict with religious thought), while another branch takes up revelation and gives an interpretation of it. To say that philosophy is the “servant” of theology is to say in reality that one branch of philosophy is grafted onto another and depends on it.

It is in this perspective that we must read the “desire for truth.” Aristotle’s Metaphysics begins, from its very first words, by stating that man desires above all to know the truth. But what fulfills this desire is par excellence philosophy. And the summit of philosophy is the science of the divine (which Aristotle calls theologike episteme, “theological science”). We must not forget that even the intellectual life is itself a way of living; it is even, for Aristotle, the highest form of existence. Now, in speaking of the desire for God, Augustine says nothing less: if God is the sovereign good, He is also the one who fulfills our highest desires. There is thus a possible articulation between Aristotle’s desire for truth and Augustine’s desire for God. Moreover, for Augustine, God is the Truth; it is His most proper name. So, Augustine starts from the same analysis as Aristotle. In fact, he wrote: “Man desires nothing so much as the truth.” But he places the summit in God—to know God is to know the supreme truth, to satisfy our deepest desire.

Olivier Boulnois.

PL: Tracing the life and destiny of theology as a science leads you to study its apogee and notify its decline. When do you situate this apogee and when does its decline begin?

OB: In reality, I did not really build my investigation on the pattern borrowed from the history of empires: rise and fall, Aufstieg und Niedergang. The birth of a theological science can be described quite precisely, if we analyze Aristotle closely. Later, with the Stoics, the Aristotelian concept was transformed into mythical, physical, and political theology. In the Hellenistic period, it became the supreme science of Neoplatonism. So, it is not a question of a rise, of a progress, but of a restructuring and a transformation.

What bothered me more was the other end of this story. As a historian of philosophy and, through that, a philosopher, I had an impression that was hard to justify: from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, roughly, theology was the predominant discipline; but then it ceased to be so. Why is this? There are institutional reasons for its predominance, since it was the Church that sponsored the university, and institutionalized the teaching of philosophy in the faculty of arts. But there are also doctrinal reasons: we are in a system of knowledge, an episteme, where the great philosophers are also great theologians (from Albert the Great to Pierre d’Ailly, for example). But from the 17th century on, we are hard pressed to find great theologians who have contributed something to philosophy. So, there was a rupture. Where does it come from?

I think we can put forward three hypotheses: First, the condemnation of Pomponazzi at the Lateran Council (1513). By generalizing its rejection of Pomponazzi’s position and by demanding a philosophical demonstration of the immortality of the soul, the Council aimed at bringing philosophy to heel, by calling on philosophers to demonstrate certain essential truths of the faith (Descartes would still claim this). But this had an unexpectedly perverse effect. It actually stripped theology of its own object: if the philosopher becomes a “Christian philosopher,” if his task is to demonstrate the truths of the Christian faith, what is left for the theologian?

The second hypothesis is that theology has become detached from the logic of desire found in both Aristotle and Augustine. For some theologians, everything happens as if, on the one hand, there were henceforth the natural desire of man, which could only be satisfied by philosophical truths and by the God of the philosophers, and on the other hand, the supernatural, which no longer comes to fill the natural desire, but which is in a way superimposed in its own order, placed in us by God, which means that the desire of God is no longer the natural desire of man. It is truly the genius of Henri de Lubac to have perceived the subtle deformations that occurred at the end of the Middle Ages and that brought about these mutations. So, I took up the matter again, reworking the texts. What I discovered was quite astounding: originally, this new definition of the desire for God was explicitly directed against St. Thomas Aquinas. But when Cajetan makes it his own, he cannot speak out against Thomas, since he is the master general of the Dominican order and the defender of the Thomistic school. So, he slips this idea into his commentary on Thomas as if it were Thomas’. This is a typical example of what one does when one belongs to a school—one makes the master say what one thinks, not what he really said.

Finally, there is a third hypothesis, which is the idea that the new physics has supplanted theology. When we study the Galileo case, we see that Cardinal Bellarmine offered him a solution that was basically traditional; that maintained the superiority of theology while allowing him to support heliocentrism. It would have sufficed for Galileo to say that he spoke “according to the principles of natural science,” and that he did not claim to speak the absolute truth, which belongs to theologians. And yet Galileo, with astonishing courage and obstinacy, was not satisfied with this solution: scientific truth, physical truth, must be absolute truth, on the same level as theological truth. But then, in mixed questions, where Scripture and science intertwine, it is the physicist and not the theologian who has the last word. Theology was no longer the master of Scripture interpretation; it was no longer the queen of the sciences, an untouchable, unquestionable discipline.

So, to come back to your question, there was a beginning, and then there was a relative decline of theology in the 16th century. Of course, theology as a teaching subject did not cease to exist, but it largely retreated into positive theology, i.e., into the search for proof that theological interpretations are indeed based on the Bible and tradition. It no longer had anything to say to man’s desire.

PL: “All theology is therefore bound up with a metaphorology,” you write. What meaning do you give to “metaphorology” and what place does it hold in the history of theology?

OB: The expression “metaphorology” is not mine. It comes from Hans Blumenberg, the author of Paradigms for Metaphorology. But curiously, Blumenberg does not have a general theory of metaphorology—he analyzes a series of “absolute metaphors;” that is to say, what we commonly call images in French: the light of truth, the heart of the problem, etc. We know very well that truth is not a sensitive light, that the problem has no beating heart, etc. But we cannot replace the light of truth with the heart of the problem. We cannot replace the light or the heart with an adequate concept. These images take the place of a concept.

On the contrary, when I speak of metaphorology, I am speaking of the theory of metaphor that was developed by the “theologians” of the three great revealed religions: for example, by Augustine, Al-Farabi or Maimonides. The problem comes from the fact that the Scriptures are texts full of images: the hand of God, His throne of glory, His face and His back, etc. What are we to make of them? What are we to make of this? First of all, all authors agree on one point: we must go beyond any anthropomorphism. Unlike the gods of polytheism, the unique feature of the one God is that He is not visible; that He has no body, no representable form.

But then, should we say that these metaphorical images have no meaning and that the Scriptures are useless? A purely philosophical reading might be tempted to say so. But for most of our authors, the Scriptures serve a purpose: they are addressed, not to an elite of philosophers, but to the people who live by images and are guided by their desires and representations, in order to guide them towards salvation. The Bible and the Koran thus serve to form a people of believers, to frame it politically, to guide it morally and spiritually. But to make sense of metaphors, or to seek the truth beyond metaphors, is to interpret the Scriptures. Therefore, theology is an immense metaphorology. If the Scriptures are a forest of symbols, this means that we are never finished searching for their meaning. To go through them is to go through different levels of faith. This is Augustine’s experience—we begin by taking everything literally; but then we notice the tensions and contradictions; the text seems absurd. So, one goes in search of deeper, more spiritual, “allegorical” readings. All exegesis presupposes a metaphorology. And without metaphorology, theology would not be possible.

PL: In your book, you note how, at different times in its history, theology has seen the threat of “double truth” arise and how theologians of each era have sought to avoid this duplication. What threat does the “double truth” represent for theological science and how has it responded to it, up to Galileo?

OB: In reality, it is the theologians who have invented this threat. And in believing to exorcise it, they made it exist. Strictly speaking, the expression appeared in 1277 in the writings of the bishop of Paris, to condemn the error of the masters of the faculty of arts. According to him, when they taught philosophy, they taught Aristotle and affirmed things that were contrary to the faith; but at the same time they proclaimed themselves to be good Christians, who upheld the truths of the faith. Saying one thing and thinking the opposite is the fantasy of the “double truth,” which orthodoxy wants to fight.

Now what interested me was that we see, as early as Augustine, but obviously without the expression, the same fear, the same fantasy, being constructed. Except that Augustine’s solution is not at all the same. It consists in limiting the validity of what the theologian can say. In matters of science, his teaching has no relevance. It is better not to make a pronunciation on sciences that are beyond our understanding, for fear of being laughed at. But Thomas Aquinas brings up this argument several times. And Galileo makes it his main defense.

In the 13th century, there was clearly a problem of articulation between theology and philosophy. The condemnation of 1277 is only a symptom of a fundamental difficulty. But if we go beyond the bishop’s suspicions, we see that the masters of the arts, in order to practice philosophy, sought to defend the autonomy of philosophy. For that, they admitted that what they taught was not the absolute truth—either they limited themselves to quoting and commenting on Aristotle’s texts without holding them to be true, or they deployed their discourse from the data of natural science. For example, any serious interpreter of Aristotelian physics is obliged to admit an eternal world, because it is the cornerstone of his conception of the world. But of course, as a believer, the same individual can admit that the world is created; and this is for him an absolute truth. But it is precisely this form of autonomy, this way of basing philosophy on hypotheses, of seeing in it, truths that are true only relatively and not absolutely, that the bishop of Paris, Etienne Tempier, interpreted as a “double truth.” For his part, he had a simple solution: we forbid all philosophical propositions contrary to the Christian faith; and to be sure that no one takes them up, we make a list of them!

So, to answer your question, it was the intervention of theology that was a threat to philosophy, much more than the double truth was a threat to theology. The double truth did not threaten anyone, since it did not exist. It is an inquisitor’s fantasy: nobody seriously supported it before the condemnation of 1277.

PL: The slow construction of theology as a science, from Aristotle to St. Thomas Aquinas, was suddenly shaken at the end of the 13th century. Do you share the idea that, from that time on, the history of theological science would be confused with that of Thomism? Who would you say was the last Thomist?

OB: I repeat, “theological science” goes back to Aristotle. It is not at all confused with Thomism. What we see is something else: the term theologia was a Greek term, foreign to the Latin language. Yet it emerged several times in Latin. First in Augustine, where it designated the Stoic conception of the various ways of relating to the gods (through myths, the laws of the city, or the science of nature). But, probably because the term was too deeply linked to polytheism, Augustine did not use the word to designate the discipline that he himself practiced. He preferred to speak of philosophia christiana (“Christian philosophy”), or “Christian doctrine.” Boethius (5th century), at least once, translates Aristotle’s expression, “theological science,” by the word “theologia.” Finally, Abelard (12th century) was the first to call a book Theologia, no doubt in the sense of Boethius. For him, it was only the title of the book, a pedantic way of saying “Treatise on God.” But it is from Abelard onwards, and it seems from his oral teaching onwards, that theology designates a separate discipline.

In the 13th century, what is new is that following the reception of Aristotle’s principal treatises (notably those on science, the Second Analytics), the scientific status of theology is questioned—in the name of what, can this discipline call itself a science? And there, one notes a progressive elaboration, where all the important theologians of the 13th century contributed their stone to the edifice: Alexander of Halss, Bonaventure, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas. In this global movement, the great strength of Thomas is to have dared to make the great leap—to be the most Aristotelian of all. That is to say, to have had the courage to work, to assimilate and to criticize the greatest non-Christian philosophy available at the time. This is why his solution on theology as science is both the strongest and the most Aristotelian. It is the strongest because it affirms that our theology, the one we elaborate from revelation, depends on the science of the blessed (the one God and the angels have of themselves and of the truth); that it is “as if subordinated” (quasi subalternata, “quasi-subalternated”) to this other science, a bit like (quasi) optics depends on the principles established by geometry. It is also the most Aristotelian, because it can be shown that this superior science coincides with what Aristotle called the “theological science” (which comes down to the science that God has of Himself). It is therefore precisely the introduction of Aristotle’s metaphysical model into the heart of Christian thought.

As for the idea that theological science is then confused with Thomism, it is frankly false. In reality, Thomas was immediately attacked by his greatest successors precisely because he was found to be too Aristotelian. He was criticized for almost all his positions, and especially for theology as a science. For example, for his successor at the University of Paris, Henry of Ghent, the “quasi-subalternation” of which Thomas speaks is a deception—for those who have the science of revelation (men on earth) are not the same as those who have the divine science (the blessed). Then came other great theologians, all original—Duns Scotus, Peter Auriol, Ockham, Gregory of Rimini, Gabriel Biel, Luther. It was above all the Dominican order, and then the authority of the papacy, that allowed the maintenance of a Thomistic school (with all its internal contradictions, as we have seen in the case of Cajetan).

PL: If you establish the responsibility of certain Thomists in the decline of theology, you also insist on various “affairs” that toppled the medieval edifice, in particular the “Galileo affair.” Could one say that theological scientificity has been the object of a “deconstruction” in the modern sense of the term?

OB: As I said, the assertion that the supernatural is completely external to man’s desires was originally a non-Thomistic position. Then it crept into the Thomistic tradition, and it contaminated part of theology. But not all of it, since there were other traditions, more faithful to the Augustinian paradox—man desires to reach the truth, but he cannot reach it by himself; he needs grace. I have also spoken of the Galileo affair and I have mentioned the case of the Lateran Council V. There are surely other factors as well.

But then, can we say that there is a “deconstruction” of theological scientificity? Clearly, yes. Henri de Gand is only the first of a long series of criticisms. It is therefore a deconstruction that occurred at the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century, one or two generations after Thomas. It is insistent on the idea that Christian theology has a specific status, that it rests solely on faith, and that it is therefore science only after the act of faith. It then becomes a hypothetico-deductive system—faith provides initial data, the articles of faith, which function as axioms, and theology speculates only afterwards, to deduce the consequences.

Consequently, the construction of theology as a science has only really held solidly for a century or so, between the first great Summits, such as that of Alexander of Hales, and the radical criticism made by William of Ockham. Then, we see the rebirth of new doctrinal syntheses, which are still called theological, but which each have their own model of scientificity. Each of them articulates, in different proportions, a part of exegesis and a part of rational speculation. At the end of the 14th century, it was the popes themselves who called for a “return to the sources;” that is to say to the Fathers of the Church against scholastic subtleties. And Thomas swings to the side of the classics—one must read Thomas because he is a more reliable source, because he supports a kind of common position prior to the conflict of interpretations in the 14th century. We also see the birth of “schools”: the great universities of the Renaissance begin to have chairs: a chair of Scotism, a chair of Albertism (inspired by Saint Albert the Great), a chair of Thomism, etc.

PL: Modern philosophy’s criticism of the “ontotheological constitution of metaphysics,” as Heidegger puts it, parasitizes the fate of both theology and metaphysics. To what do you attribute such an impasse? Does the alternative between thinking being without God and thinking God without being have a future?

OB: The problem, when revealed theology is understood as a science, is that, in order to be a science, it has to model itself on Aristotle’s theological science. At that point, it carries on its shoulders the whole history of metaphysics. Now Heidegger has described metaphysics as an ontotheology. It should be noted first of all that this is not in itself an insult; it is a description. I have criticized elsewhere (in the book Métaphysiques rebelles) this description, because I found it simplistic; this model must be multiplied, to adapt it to different cases.

But of course, this characterization of the God of metaphysics is also intended, according to Heidegger, to oppose the God of philosophy and the God of faith. And obviously, if we want to think philosophically today about the God of revelation (and not go around in circles talking only about the God of philosophers), we must think about the God of faith, hope and charity. If we want to think of the living God, we gain absolutely nothing by reintroducing here the question of being. To think the God of believers, and not an abstract concept, we must start from Revelation. We must also start from what it means to believe, hope and love; but this amounts to the same thing, since it is through Revelation that we can say and understand what it means to believe, hope in and love God.

PL: At the end of your study, you emphasize the emergence of a “new form of philosophia christiana.” Why did you use this expression? To what fate does “Christian philosophy” seem to you to be destined?

OB: Ah, I see that my sentence can be taken backwards. So, I have expressed myself badly. The “philosophia christiana” here is not what Gilson called “Christian philosophy.” It is the doctrine that the Fathers of the Church practiced, before the construction of theology as a science—it is the interpretation of the Scriptures, the interpretation of Christian existence in the light of the Scriptures, and the interpretation of the Scriptures in the light of Christian existence. Augustine also says, “Christian doctrine.” I sincerely believe that the work of deciphering the Scriptures, of interpreting their metaphorical images, of overcoming their apparent contradictions, and thus of discovering a spiritual meaning, is the work of a lifetime, in every sense of the word. The Christian faith is not a system, a worldview, an ideology, to which one adheres or not. It is something that one discovers, that one deepens, in which one progresses. When we try to acquire an understanding of it, it provokes a virtuous and endless circle—faith seeks intelligence, and intelligence seeks faith. Augustine said it very well.

It is in this sense that I was talking about returning to the philosophia christiana. This has little to do with what Gilson called “Christian philosophy.” Let us say that there are at least two meanings of the expression “Christian philosophy” in Gilson, depending on whether he is a historian or a philosopher. As a historian, his genius was to say, even if reason is a natural faculty, and if philosophy is an autonomous discipline, historically, we can see that Christianity did not leave philosophy in the state in which it had found it. Christianity has deeply affected, stimulated, modified, enriched and transformed the fundamental concepts of philosophy. In this sense, there was indeed a history of Christian philosophy; that is, of philosophy in a Christian regime. But as a philosopher, Gilson increasingly hardened his position, arguing that Christianity, in a way, required a certain number of philosophical theses, and that, basically, the truly Christian philosophy was that of Saint Thomas Aquinas. In the climate of the 1930s to 1950s, this theory is understandable. But today it no longer makes much sense. Today, a Christian philosopher does not have to defend certain pre-assigned theses. He is simply someone who tries to understand his faith better, and to think about contemporary questions in the best possible way, in the most rational and scientific way.


Featured: Jesus among the Doctors, by Albrecht Dürer; painted in 1506.

The Revolution of the Stupid

History, said Ortega, is amusing, unlike Nature, which, mere repetition of itself, is boring. But historical amusement also includes tragedy. At this moment, apart from the fact that everything is degenerating to begin again, according to the law of anakyklosis described by Polybius, and the games with which the capricious goddess Fortuna entertains Clio, what is amusing now are the idiotic simplifiers, who remind us of the schreckliche Simplifikateure (horrible simplifiers)—Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.—whom Jacob Burckhardt saw coming and who “enlived” the 20th century. The new simplifiers, whose destructiveness does not even have any collective purpose, except rhetorically, are legion. They are people who were born stupid, attained the state of stupidity, or stupidity was thrust upon them. As Paul Tabori’s (1908-1974) tell us in his book, The Natural History of Stupidity [published in 1959 as The Natural Science of Stupidity, and then in 1993 as, The Natural History of Stupidity]: “Stupidity is Man’s deadliest weapon, his most devastating epidemic, his costliest luxury.”

Stupidity is also an important historical factor, sometimes the decisive one. But, like boredom and weariness, it has scarcely been studied as a cliopolitical category—perhaps because, as Napoleon is said to have said, surely thinking of his adversaries and enemies, “in politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” The revolution inspired by stupidity has distorted Karl Popper’s dream of an open society. To begin with, after the implosion of the USSR, stupidity confirmed the possibility of the end of history, naively diagnosed by Francis Fukuyama as the triumph of liberal democracy. In reality, it was what is generically called “social democracy,” disguised as liberalism in which reigns the “market of desire” of the “libertarian liberalism” of May 1968, denounced by the Marxist Michel Clouscard. The result is that many people today share the feeling that ill fare the lands of the West. It is already a cliché that the future of a demoralized Europe, given over to carpe diem, is dark and gloomy rather than disturbing. It is enough to bring to mind the moral and spiritual desertification and the plummeting birth rate, instigated by stupid governments, which will marginalize Europe from history.

[See Guillermo Mas Arellano, “Destruir la civilización: tres pensadores franceses” (“Destroying Civilization: Three French Thinkers”). In the press, it is becoming common to find allusions and articles about the stupidity or nonsense of politicians].

The stupid are narcissistic to a greater or lesser degree, and politics attracts narcissists like a honeycomb of rich honey attracts flies. But not enough attention is paid to their influence on politics and, therefore, on history. Karl Marx wrote in The Eighteenth Brumaire and Louis Bonaparte: “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language.” In other words, men make history without knowing what they are doing. The result depends on circumstances, on the protagonists and, fifty percent according to Machiavelli, seventy-five percent according to Frederick the Great, on chance. To say that one is on the right side or with the correct course of history is, then, stupidity (from stupidus, “dazed”), a concept that reduces the DRAE [Dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language] to “remarkable clumsiness in understanding things.”

The present time is much more revolutionary than that of the Great French and Soviet Revolutions with the decisive interlude of the revolution of the intellectuals of 1848.

[Olavo de Carvalho: “the really decisive power is, in the long run, that of a priestly or intellectual order.” Once the intellectuals—Auguste Comte’s savants—became the ruling class, they began to spread more or less utopian ideas—beliefs, which ended up becoming ideas—beliefs that dissolved the European tradition of politics and led to totalitarianism: secularism, atheism, radical individualism, Freemasonry, nationalism, statism, interventionism, collectivism, socialism, communism, anarchism, racism, nihilism, etc.].

The present time is so abnormal that it has become normal to speak of the beginning of the reign of the Antichrist—the earthly Jerusalem—of the Apocalypse, of the Great Tribulation, or simply of the end of the world. Contributing recently to the spread of these prognoses are the real or supposed pandemic-business of the coronavirus and the scientistic myth of climate change in which even the singular Jesuit Pope Francis believes, “fascinated,” says Chantal Delsol, “by ecologist religion and post-Christian humanitarianism.”

Douglas Murray begins his widely read book, The Madness of Crowds [the Spanish translation of which bears the subtitle, How identity politics drove the world to madness]., with the phrase “we are going through a great crowd derangement.” Some brief annotations, comments and examples on the nature and importance of stupidity may be worthwhile, simply to draw attention to this possible cliopolitical category, which helps to understand, for example, that of misgovernment, both of which are nowadays practically normalized.

Polybius (200-118 B.C.) judiciously warned against attributing to divine intervention, events whose causes can be discovered to explain their origin and end. It is, therefore, pertinent to relate the existing confusion with the fact that societies that consider themselves “liberal” democratic are beginning to be, or are already, ochlocratic plutocracies, spiritually governed by Stupidita, a little known but very active ancient divinity, to whom Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825) dedicated a valuable essay-homage

[The god of stupidity and insanity in Greece was Κοαλεμος (Coalemos in Latin), of whom little data is known and whose etymology is disputed].

Hans Blumenberg pointed out the craving for novelty as a distinctive feature of Modernity and according to Jacques Barzun, “the new is always the best” is its guiding principle. Parodying Schopenhauer, Nietzsche’s mentor, ex novo lux: the critique of customs, usages, the historical past, religious, moral, aesthetic and political traditions by the subjectivist metaphysics of modern rationalism (Heidegger), and the slogan of the French Jacobins who legally proclaimed “1789” the “Year Zero” of the new history of man freed from all the past—prepared the reign of Stupidity. “The vulgar progressivism that considers everything past as essential barbarism” (Ortega).

The cult of their own identity is a defining feature of the narcissism of the stupid. The admirers of themselves (the greatest vice of all is the vice of oneself, said C. S. Lewis—the “identity” politics of fashionable multiculturalism—”all the brains in the world are powerless against whatever stupidity is in fashion” [La Fontaine, 1621-1695])—confuse differences with “diversity.” Combined with the collectivization of idiocy—which makes the most idiotic idiots feel intelligent—it may be the best explanation of what has been called the suicide of Western civilization by auto-narcissism. What Oliver Cromwell said could be applied to progressive politicians—the majority: “A man never goes so far as when he does not know whither he is going.” But, if Richter is to be believed, the triumph of Stupidity could be “the long-sought universal remedy against all maladies”—a search intensified by intellectuals won over by the ideological mode of thought that has been competing with traditional religion since the Great Revolution.

Stupidity is highly contagious. Boileau used to say: “an imbecile always finds another imbecile who admires him.” Hence the mass of optimists—”optimism is the opium of the people” (Milan Kundera)—are prone to think that universal stupidity is the normal state of humanity, and the pessimists, better informed people, maintain that human stupidity is a mathematical constant.

Flaubert, author of the unfinished novel Bouvard and Pécuchet, concerned about the presence of stupid people everywhere, concluded, in the manner of Carl Schmitt, that “stupidity is the enemy“—a fact often overlooked by historians, without realizing that history is also, in a way, Koalemos’ fight against common sense. Which, fortunately, as Unamuno warned, was already the least common of senses in his time.

[Flaubert captured early on the essence of political correctness: they are “imbeciles, he said, those who do not think as you do”].

At present, everyone is intently media-watching, whether with censorship, self-censorship or even without censorship, which reveals, in their eagerness to appear transgressive, that Koalemos vincit. That is to say, they corroborate, in the words of Quevedo, that “all those who seem stupid, are stupid; and, moreover, so are half of those who do not seem so”—as it should be in advanced democracy, of which so much is said without knowing what it actually consists of.

The general cause is, as Lucien Jerphagnon recalled in his important book, La… sottise? Vingt-huit siècles qu’on en parle (Stupidity…? Twenty-eight centuries of talking about it), and the one pointed out by St. Augustine—stupidity is a consequence of Adam’s sin, and since man is a sinner, the stupid are the majority. This raises the dilemma of whether stupidity is democratic or that democracy itself is stupid. But given the truth that democracy is the realm of opinion, it can be inferred, for example, that it is the messianic export, urbi et orbi, from North America of the democracy prophesied by John Dewey as the religion of progress—the greatest revolution of all times, since it entails the universal reign of Koalemos, a reign in which the normal, common sense, is condemned, and what was once considered abnormal is innovative and transgressive and is thus praised as correct.

[“If stupidity did not look so much like progress, talent, hope, or improvement, no one would want to be stupid,” said Robert Musil, in “Über die Dummheit,” “On Stupidity” (1937)].

Those who are not on the right side of history, fortunately less and less, protest because the persecution of the sane, the normal, the usual is enforced, and the abnormal imposed, without understanding that it is what, finally, Koalemos gratias, should be normal.

The greatest danger of stupidity consists in politicis, in that it is not incompatible with being “cunning.” For “the probability that a given person is stupid,” judiciously writes Carlo M. Cipolla, “is independent of any other characteristic of the same person.” The stupid can be intelligent and “there are stupid men who possess vast knowledge,” said Tabori. A very serious problem, if Jean-Baptiste Molière was right, for whom “people are never so close to stupidity as when they think they are wise.” In this case, as “every form of intelligence has its form of stupidity” (Robert Musil), if the intelligent person thinks he is wise, he tends to detach himself from the reality in which he lives and to live in unreality. For example, inventing an ideology or ascribing to one, generally, if possible, democratic, as the socialist one claims to be, since every ideology has a utopian objective. This is what Julien Benda called “the treason of the intellectuals,” the modern clerics, who exchange the religious faith of the priests for faith in the uncertain. Today they usually officiate as organic intellectual priests dedicated to fostering collective stupidity.

[Charles de Gaulle said: “You can be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupid things they can think of, as well as some that are beyond imagination.” This is the case of President Biden and his cohort of cretinous leftists. The Mathematical Association of America has declared mathematics to be racist].

The stupid, said Jerphagnon, completing Flaubert’s observation, are those who ignore their own condition and consider stupid those who say or do something that does not please them, “so they are a very large family.” He recalls Plato’s confession to Simonides in the Protagoras, St. Augustine’s acknowledgment that the absolute majority of men—and women—are imbeciles, fools and idiots, and Descartes’ assertion that “we rarely have occasion to deal with completely reasonable people.” In short, “throughout history there have been people, and not exactly insignificant ones, who have denounced stupidity; it is possible to smell it everywhere and it floats in the atmosphere of all times,” with which Jerphagnon concluded his interesting inquiry.

It is necessary to distinguish, however, the normal stupidity of ordinary life, in which we all do stupid things, from the much more serious stupidity of the elites as such. The first, generally harmless, is like the sauce of life. It is a literary and theatrical theme—comedy as a specific genre—elevated to the rank of art by the cinema with Chaplin, Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel (“the Fat and the Skinny”), the Marx Brothers, Jerry Lewis, etc. The second, that of the ruling classes, is on the other hand very dangerous; especially when it affects like a plague the strata of politicians and intellectuals. Then it is revolutionary—it operates as a highly contagious and destructive disease, capable of annihilating peoples suffering from stupid governments, especially if they are trapped in the forma mentis of ideology, which justifies and empowers the will-to-power of the stupid, tendentially narcissistic. Ideology is a partial truth that is presented politically as universal (Antonio García-Trevijano), with the utopian pretension of definitively reconciling with itself the human species, a group, even individuals, anxious to change their social position. As Gómez Dávila wrote in a short extract: “Ideas tyrannize those who have few;” and ideology fanatically guides those who achieve power with the support of the mass of fools who believe others who are less foolish. With the not infrequent collaboration of businessmen who take advantage of the stupidity of others. Ortega’s man-mass is the normal individual, sick with stupidity, led by the most astute.

[Richter: “Those who have most favored and nurtured the Stupidity of the people are those who have profited the most”].

The big problem is when the stupid rule, a revolutionary inversion of natural hierarchies. “The fool will be servant to the wise” (Proverbs 11:29). The inversion of the hierarchical order in public life is the reason why collective stupidity is today an expanding phenomenon, described as infantilization by those concerned with the spread and intensity of the phenomenon in everyday life.

John Paul II recognized that “stupidity is also a gift of God, but we must not misuse it.” A frequent motive is vanity, which often deviates or obscures intelligence. Then, the intelligent person aspires to be what he is not and acts stupidly, because “pride is a fairy that satisfies all the desires of the idiot” (Jean Paul Richter), a creature who always wants to be satisfied with himself. And since vanity, as Hobbes observed, is a frequent affliction of the politician, today we can speak of the predominance of the “idiot genus” because of the large number of politicians, required by bureaucratization in the statist governments, supported by the mass of the stupid. Moreover, idiots prefer the company of idiots. Karl Kraus used to say, “the secret of the demagogue consists in making himself as stupid as his audience so that they believe they are as intelligent as he is.” That is why it does not matter to the professionals of politics, political careerists of the demagogy that is presented as democracy, to promote manipulable fools, or to make themselves look like idiots in order to attract fools and increase their entourage with fools; and with clever people who pass themselves off as fools.

In addition, there is what Wilfredo Pareto said: in every political order, there is always a political, cultural and economic elite. And since the idiot is also his own best friend—stupidity with political and cultural power—today the media, is very profitable for economic oligarchies, especially if it is coupled with a lack of scruples and emotional appeals to humanitarianism. Well, humanitarianism justifies, for example, that the Herodian rulers and the innumerable idiots that inhabit the earth consider abortion progressive, the greatest, by far, of the genocides—it is usually already the first cause of mortality in many “advanced” countries—and euthanasia, another even more humanitarian genocide underway, which only benefits businessmen.

[Added to abortion as a contraceptive resource is the “need” to exterminate before birth those that Álex Navajas calls, “the climate killers,” because as the population increases, the damage to Mother Earth increases].

Carl Schmitt used to say about humanitarianism: Wer Menscheit sagt, will betrügen, he who appeals to humanity wants to deceive. The decadence of Europe, victim of the humanitarianism described by Robert Hugh Benson in 1907, in the apocalyptic novel Lord of the World, is often compared to that of the Western Roman Empire.

[It is curious that Pope Francis recommends this book from 1907, critical of Comte’s religion of humanity, a religion of sentiment. For example, the hymn of the Masons (“The Lord that dwells in earth and sea”) combines feelings and emotions that exalt humanitarianism, a secularization or politicization of Christian charity].

Various causes are adduced. Philippe Fabry argues, incorporating the interpretation of Mikhail Rostovtzeff to that of Montesquieu, that the main cause was the loss of freedom. Hanlon’s well-known principle or law—”one should not attribute to wickedness what is almost always the consequence of stupidity”—completes the explanation. But there is no shortage of evil idiots.

[Ricardo Moreno Castillo rightly adds that stupidity is more harmful: “Stupidity is more harmful than evil because it is easier to fight against the second (because it acts with a certain logic), than against the first (which lacks it ). You can talk to an evil person and even convince him that he could be much happier becoming a good person. A stupid person, on the other hand, is invulnerable to reasoning. If we could suppress the evil in the world it would be a little better. But if we could suppress stupidity, the world would be so much better” (Introduction, p.18).].

Historical experience teaches that men become stupid when their civilizations decay. Ortega recalled this precisely with regard to the Roman Empire. But it is doubtful whether it was stupidity, mainly that of the ruling oligarchies converted into decadent castes, that caused freedom to decay; or whether, on the contrary, it was the decadence of freedom that caused the intensification of collective stupidity. Probably both. What is certain is that the decadence and disappearance of cultures and civilizations owes much to stupidity.

It is written in Ecclesiastes (1:15): stultorum infinitus est numerus (as to fools, infinite is the number), a disputed translation of the Vulgate of St. Jerome, which coincides, however, with the phrase of the pagan Cicero in the Epistola ad familiares (9. 22. 4): stultorum plena sunt omnia, “all things are full of fools.” Assertions corroborated by Albert Einstein: “there are two infinite things: the Universe and human imbecility, but I doubt the former.” The intensity of politicization, driven by ideologization, unconscious or conscious promoter of stupidity as an interpreter of faith in Koalemos, proves it at this moment. Since religions are the key to cultures—a word related to cult—and civilizations, it is obvious that idiocy is incompatible with them and it is necessary to destroy them so that the god of stupidity may prevail. The religious founders, knowing what Ecclesiastes, Cicero, other sages and common sense said, wanted to improve the human condition. It is not strange that the psychiatrist, a lay substitute for the confessor, has become the family doctor, as faith in the biblical God migrated to the State and the market, as the American theologian William T. Cavanaugh says.

The politicization—”even the personal is political”—which substitutes religion for politics, affects first and foremost the ruling classes. The dumbing down by “the antiquarians of ideology” (G. Morán) and the maternal humanitarianism of feminist bio-ideologies (women are the most oppressed class according to Marxist-Leninist neo-faith) is beginning to be as evident as the influence of propaganda (no less humanitarianist, and, I might add, merciful—”the banalization of compassion,” says Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez de la Peña—”without ceasing to be destructive”) of the fourth estate, the media in the hands of “loquacious illiterates” (Alberto Buela). “Compassion, in this century, is an ideological weapon,” said Gómez Dávila in one of his famous scholia. A weapon easy to handle even by the stupidest, it is used by rulers and businessmen without the slightest scruple to attract and convince the masses they exploit.

Once religion, which provides security compatible with freedom, has been superseded by politicization, which creates uncertainty, one of the problems of “affluent societies” (J. K. Galbraith) consists, in fact, in the alliance between the political, cultural and economic elites against the people, at the time when The Revolt of the Masses (Ortega) and The Revolt of the Elites (Christopher Lasch) coincide. This alliance explains the influence of the manqué individual, who, as Michael Oakeshott observed, began to gain popularity and followers with the development of state capitalism—the only real “capitalism”—coinciding with the formation of the new estate of professional politicians, when the State, a technical apparatus, the artificial form of the Political, was affirmed. Professionalization that also explains the political rise of the eternal estate of the idiots. Against the first, the Jesuit Pedro de Ribadeneyra cried out in his Tratado de la religión y virtudes que debe tener el príncipe cristiano para gobernar y conservar sus Estados. Contra lo que Nicolás Machiavelo y los políticos de este tiempo enseñan [Treatise on Religion and Virtues that the Christian Prince must Have to Govern and Conserve his Realms, and Against what Niccolò Machiavelli and the Politicians of that Time Taught] (1595). Against the second, much more numerous, Richter testified in the essay in which he poses as the spokesman for Stupidity. “The begetters have played a role in our revolutions,” lamented Chateaubriand, incapable of understanding “the right side of history,” as former US President Obama, Nobel laureate for the extraordinary merit of being black, although there are hundreds of millions of blacks, liked to say.

Stupidity, said Voltaire, is “an extraordinary disease” of narcissists incapable of perceiving their own stupidity. Its peculiarity consists in the fact that, since “it is not the sick person who suffers because it, but others,” it becomes socially more dangerous than the dominion of the wicked, because, as Ortega pointed out, “the wicked sometimes rest; the fool never.” Indeed, the fool, a character unmistakable with the insane, the ignorant, the narrow-minded, the short-sighted, the illiterate or the uneducated in the conventional sense, has no limits.

[The famous wise Count of Keyserling liked to talk with the shepherds of Gredos and Baztán, whom he considered among the most cultured men in the world].

Cicero said the same earlier: “any man can make a mistake; only a stupid person keeps on doing the same thing.” And Einstein confirmed it: “the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has limits.” A scientific statement by whoever makes it, which excludes normal people guided by common sense, becomes the greatest enemy of stupidity—a reason for the stupid to try to extirpate it, when they achieve power. Hence the fifth rule of Cipolla’s little manual, in agreement with Moreno Castillo: “the stupid person is the most dangerous type of person that exists.” A rule applicable with reservations in private life, which multiplies the danger of fools when they act in public life, in which they are more and more numerous. Perhaps also as a consequence of the combination of humanitarian liberalism with democracy, in which everyone can give his opinion, although his opinion generally reproduces that of stupid people who spread the ideas of others among the multitude of fools by nature.

Indeed, in the democratic context, the stupid easily act as wise men. Heine observed during the German Vormärz: “the wise emit new ideas and the fools expand them.” One explanation may be that, according to the great philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, “almost all new ideas have a certain aspect of stupidity (or foolishness) when they are first produced.” The Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa saw it differently: “no intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed with it.” Both views are reconcilable: the English journalist and historian Paul Johnson realized that the spread of moral relativism owes much to the interpretation and dissemination—obviously by fools—of Einstein’s theory of relativity, one of the origins of “post-truth” and the fact that, as the great statesman Felipe Gonzalez said, “in democracy, the truth is what the citizens believe to be true.”

The growing interference of fools in politics is surely the greatest danger to democracy. Almost two centuries ago, Tocqueville grasped that North America did not get along very well with excellence and meritocracy.

[Tocqueville’s fears have been realized. Tocqueville would not come out of his astonishment if he could see that, by one of those unforeseeable twists of history, America – which Hegel saw as an immature nation and Raymond Aron still said was not a nation – is one of the greatest dangers to freedom, while Russia seems to defend it. See Thomas Molnar. Le modèle défiguré: L’Amérique de Tocqueville à Carter (1978); Sheldon S. Wolin, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (2008); R. R. Reno, Return of the Strong Gods: Nationalism, Populism, and the Future of the West (2019); Zbigniew Janowski, Homo Americanus: The Rise of Totalitarian Democracy in America (2021)].

And Nietzsche, a critic of mass democracy, warned in 1872 against superficial, popularizing and reductivist pedagogy. But for almost a century now, “the conspiracy of the imbeciles” (the expression is by Jean-Paul Brighelli) has been dedicated to establishing “the predominance of the cretin.” The continuous pedagogical reforms to “democratize” teaching, especially since 1968, when the homo festivus et stupidus appeared on the scene, encourage collective idiocy.

[The pedagogical fashion consists of promoting the emotional and absurd investigations instead of teaching and training students in the fundamentals].

Bureaucratized Universities—bureaucratization, which may be necessary due to technique, idiotizes the administered when it is excessive—cultivate idiocy, which the new media, “the priesthood of the ruling class” (Zbigniew Janowski), spread like a contagious disease. Radio, cinema, television, internet, cell phones, tablets, telephones and the “entertainment industry” multiply infinitely the influence of the press of Heine’s time. Back then, the large number of illiterates protected people from cultural cretinism. Today, “to promote culture is to crown the mediocre,” said a pessimistic Gómez Dávila, who always kept in mind die schrekliche Simplifikateure that Jacob Burckhardt, one of his two “patron saints” (the other was the skeptical Montaigne), feared so much. “Stupidity is always there, one would realize it if one did not always think of oneself,” said Albert Camus, and the simplifiers fascinate fools with a bit of propaganda.

Even Noam Chomsky recognizes that “propaganda is to democracy what a club is to a totalitarian state.”

[Edward Bernays (1891-1995), Freud’s nephew who settled in the USA, is credited with the invention of the technique of public relations, and the origin of propaganda as a method, namely, marketing, to channel and “manufacture thought.” Bernays successfully organized a campaign to make women equal to men by encouraging them to smoke. See Bernays’ Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923), Propaganda (1928), Public Relations (1945), The Engineering of Consent (1955), and Philippe Darantière, Le techno-nihilisme. Idéologie du changement de civilization].

Pius XII warned in his Christmas radio message of 1944: “Propaganda models all souls after the same pattern, taking away their peculiarities and almost their very life. Even the differences in psychology and attitude between the sexes tend to diminish as much as possible. For all this, the people, which is essentially a great family of diverse but harmonious souls, gathered around what is common to them, disappears. And the mass emerges, with its great empty, collective, enslaved soul.” A mass composed of subjects—at least in Europe there are no other citizens than the politicians who rule in the parties—who live in a more or less virtual unreality, what has been called “metaverse” or metauniverse, the universe beyond. It is happening with the new generations, more and more infantilized. For the new media not only creates what Heimito von Doderer christened die zweite Realität, the second reality inhabited by “the digital idiot,” but it has exponentially increased the possibility of propagating theories and doctrines whose idiocy knows no bounds, while instilling fear of reality as the only truth.

Although violent totalitarian States or Governments still exist (today we must say patriarchal, masculine or sexist—Machiavelli, for example, is a “sexist” in the feminist new-speak) most, if not all the European States and Governments and those of the exsanguinated Christianity, are Sovietizers (Vladimir Bukowsky). Robert Spaemann marked them as totalitarian “liberals.” Rod Dreher calls “soft” totalitarianism, in Live Not by Lies, that which is being imposed in the United States, encouraged by the government of the left-wing cretins presided over by Biden, whose last resounding feat has been to provoke Russia led by Putin, the “satanic enemy” of the progressivism of the stupid.

[One difference between the USA and Europe and other countries is that, there, “the wicked,” led by former President Trump, another anti-progressive “Satan,” are enemies of the stupid].

Self-proclaimed liberal democrats states and governments promote—and finance—stupidity (not always intentionally but for stupidity’s sake) in education, in the media and through the infinite and increasingly maternal Legislation, which conditions behavior by idiotizing the way of acting and even speech, which, among other things, must be automatically emotive and inclusive.

Peter Sloterdijk does not believe that the capacity to think is being lost. What is happening is that life today does not invite us to think: we live in such a hurry that news is rushed through without giving us time to digest it. He is quite right.

[Karl Steinbuch published, in 1966, Die informierte Gesellschaft. Geschichte und Zukunft der Nachrichtentechnik (The Informed Society. History and Future of News Technology), on the need for society to be sufficiently informed. In 1989, he published Die desinformierte Gesellschaft: Für eine zweite Aufklärung (The Disinformed Society: For a Second Enlightenment), warning that the abundance of news was destroying education, whose disaster he predicted, and bewildering public opinion. In 1992, he published Kollektive Dummheit: Streitschrift gegen den Zeitgeist (Collective Stupidity: Polemic against the Zeitgeist)].

But it is a fact that, due in part to technological advances and sentimental humanitarian pedagogy (unfortunately without poetry, “the voice of the ineffable,” as Juan Ramón Jiménez used to say) collective stupidity is becoming widespread, encouraged and guided by governments which, aided and encouraged by the new technologies, are all practically totalitarian today—states in which, as experience shows, there is an abundance of functional illiterates and idiots in positions of command. But the stupid revolutionaries are generous. Bent on the noblest task of equalizing everyone, they impose educational laws to bring the new generations up to their level.

There are still subjects or administrators who think and complain that their governments treat them as imbeciles. But they do not realize how imbecilic are the supportive rulers, who want them to be equal to them. The skeptics who remain (and seem to be more and more in number because of the authoritarian if not tyrannical measures because of the coronavirus and the increase in taxes to defeat “sinister” climate change) fear that, if the rulers are incriminated for their wastefulness, kickbacks, bribes, vote-buying through subsidies, threats, excesses or other corruptions—defense lawyers could allege, as a mitigating or exonerating circumstance, that they are poor fools.

It is worth clarifying that collective stupidity or dumbing down is a very different phenomenon from the “weak thinking” described by Vattimo. It has been frequently observed since Robert Musil wrote that “freedom and reason… have not been in good health since the middle of the 19th century or a little later.” This was the time when, according to Whitehead, began the destruction of common sense, thanks to which stupidity was bearable. The manipulation of political language by Soviet agit-prop contributed effectively to its destruction. One of the first to notice a great regression in the intellectual level was precisely the Soviet dissident Aleksander Zinoviev (1922-2006), reconverted to communism when the USSR imploded, perhaps shocked by the superior stupidity of the supposedly liberal democracies.

[Cf. Michele Federico Sciacca, L’oscuramento dell’intelligenza; Alain Finkielkraut, The Defeat of the Mind; C. Castoriades, La Montée de l’insignifiance (The Rise of Insignificance). André Glucksmann held postmodernism responsible in La Bêtise (Stupidity), and Giancarlo Livraghi, The Power of Stupidity. On the relationship of postmodernism with the turn of socialism towards modal ideologies, typical of cretinocracy, see Stephen R. C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. The postmodern appears, Ernst Jünger mocked, when a woman puts on a new hat. Fashion, which is frequently a falsification of customs, is also often the cradle of stupidity, for fashionable stupidity is preferred to old-fashioned wisdom].

The propagandistic use of (pseudo)political language as common language, the “inclusive” language—”so a word out of the thought of the heart of man” (Sirach 27:7)—already makes it possible to legally punish the inconvenient or incorrect judgment with the very new and unlawful “hate crimes;” Orwell’s “thought crimes” in 1984. “The corruption of language reveals that of man,” said A. García-Trevijano; and the totalitarian powers want to coercively impose the language of stupidity as a common language, so that its corrupt nature is not noticed.

The rise of revolutionary cretinocracy is not attributable, however, only to the bureaucratization of politics by the ideological mode of thought—whose spirit is totalitarian—typical of the protective States of maternal tendency that treat their subjects as children. “Ideologies render to those who lack ideas the same service as wigs do to bald men” (Ricardo Castillo) and create sectarians and one-sided people who “have only certainties” (Bertrand Russell), while normal intelligent people are full of doubts. Mark Twain advised not to argue with the stupid so as not to be put on their level.

Bureaucracy—”the government of nobody” (H. Arendt)—is consubstantial to the State, a technical apparatus whose ratio, the status ratio, contributes powerfully to impose the quantitative culture of rationalism over the qualitative, aided by the social sciences, which confuse quantity with importance, as if in real politics everything had been decided in advance.

[See, René Guénon, The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times. The ratio status, inherently interventionist, turned into l’ordre publique (public policy) of the Napoleonic État de Droit (rule of law), uses governance, a business technique adopted by the technocracy of the liberal Totalitarian State].

Bureaucracy is the form in which the State is personified by governments eager to “protect people from themselves” as Gunnar Myrdal recommended to his government, perhaps inspired by the biblical saying that the number of fools is infinite, even if they are Swedes, to establish the “Empire of Good” described by Phillipe Muray. Unbelieving, Sloterdijk ironizes: “so many civil servants allow the State not to be seen.”

“The fool is greedy, envious, petty,” said Unamuno. And Voltaire and Ortega failed to add that, if the stupid have power, they easily become, without realizing it, scoundrels. To achieve the noble goal of equalizing everyone in idiocy, the bureaucracy commanded by the stupid is concerned about culture and civilization, which reflect the identity of a people with itself. Hence, its direction is entrusted to direct and indirect nomenklaturas in which swarm more or less fatuous fools, madmen [perhaps because there is no shortage of insane people, Alain de Benoist generalizes and considers the stupid to be insane], organic intellectuals and non-venal intellectuals who still believe, no longer in the goodness of socialism, but in that of communism, promoted in part by the UN, and by “experts,” advisors, specialists, convinced of, or feigning, their moral superiority—careerists and crooks, rogues, knaves, criminals and international financial mafias, who exploit emotions. Fools instinctively corrupt culture to assert themselves in power, as is happening at the moment, when children are perverted, for example, with the Bolshevik argument that “children do not belong to their parents.” [Are they res nullius or state property? If they belong to the State, does the State copulate?]

According to Cipolla’s third rule, “a stupid person is a person who causes harm to another person without at the same time obtaining a benefit for himself, or even obtaining a harm.” And since stupidity is now a contagious pathology so widespread that it can be called a pandemic, we are beginning to talk about the urgency of a movement to survive what can be considered the pathological religion of stupidity. Rémi Brague blames the phenomenon on the failure of the modern project, describable as the planning of the future in imitation of Creation, implicit in the Pelagian “New Christianity” of the Count of Saint-Simon, “the father of planners” (Wilhelm Röpke), creditor of Marx, Lenin, Hitler, Mao and other progressive atheists. The renewing principle of techno-scientific Christianity reads: “Religion must direct society towards the great goal, which consists in obtaining as rapidly as possible an improvement in the lot of the poorest class.” As this religion tends to equalize, this explains its success among the supporters of social justice, despite the fact that there are also degrees of stupidity among equals.

Brague, who suffers from the reactionary disease of preserving common sense, wonders if there is any sense in the existence of human beings in the context of the culture planned by what skeptics call the “international of stupidity,” very well represented by the virtuous tyranny of the stupid “counterculture” of woke bio-ideology. The progressivism of the fools who exploit the clever, which politically functions as the Maoist wing of the “robolution,” as they say in Cuba. Robolutionism that aspires to destroy culture—the key is the “sexual revolution”—by imposing its particular nihilistic, rather than Marxist, conception of morality and culture. Thomas Sowell published in 1999 the very current Barbarians inside the Gates.

Morality, the ethos, depends on the religious beliefs that concretize and fix, in a certain way, the customs and uses, that is to say, the Law, the aesthetics, etc. But the invading morality of our days is not the same as the one we knew, warns Alain de Benoist in Les Démons Du Bien (The Demons of the Good). From the new moral order to gender ideology.

It is possible to synthesize the new morality of the new culture imposed by the stupid ungovernments in that of the aforementioned woke fashion. Spread from California as a “counter-sexuality” to free the human being from sexuality (we must be idiots, agree the reactionaries and libertines), replacing it with other pleasures, such as the love of trees and plants. The devaluation of the body thrives in the environment of the “age of digital dementia,” observes Juan Manuel de Prada.

[The idea of contrasexuality, which already has many followers in the world of idiots, seems to have been suggested by Michel Foucault, who was homosexual].

The new morality of the imbeciles is a mutation of the “anti-fascist” puritanism of the pathological political correctness prevailing in the immature “Imperial Republic” (R. Aron) to which one could apply Dostoyevsky’s phrase “tolerance will reach such a level that intelligent people will be forbidden to think in order not to offend the imbeciles.”

Saul David Alinsky, Tolstoy according to Thomas Mann and other influences adapted Marxism-Leninism to the United States, which is today the champion of “cultural Marxism,” Neo-Marxism that has little of Marx. Marx, who was not an idiot, said he was not a Marxist (je ne suis pas marxiste); and to be a Marxist today is a symptom of incurable idiocy. “The poor,” recognizes the French Marxist Thomas Piketty, “no longer vote for the left,” which is usually the preferred choice of idiots fascinated by the myth of social justice that legitimizes the robolutionaries. But the American mercantile spirit, just as it once led democratic anti-Bolshevism, now exports profitable pathological nonsense, also democratic, such as equating the foolish with the clever through Calvinist political correctness, and revives supposedly Marxist movements such as Black Lives Matter, but in the Nazi version, which substitutes class for race. An amusing trick of Fortuna with the permission of Clio, so that Hitler retrospectively defeats Stalin and the communists clinging to the dogma of the class struggle.

Racist identity movements are subsidized—as before in the USSR of the class struggle—by big businessmen, financiers and multinationals, generally from the US, attracted by the profitable, fashionable stupidity (secular and political ideologies and religions are today fashions) of the “woke culture,” which cultivates the ego of idiots by increasing their self-esteem, and by “cancel culture” of the hyper-individualism of “woke capitalism”—another way to ruin the hated middle classes to control the economy and establish the messianic New World Order of the rich. For, as Cavanaugh says, “the ‘one world’ ideology only really benefits those who own capital, which can move freely across borders.” The stupidity of the fashionable counterculture can be very profitable. On the occasion of the coronavirus pandemic—skeptics call it, Plandemic—there is talk of a political-media-pharmaceutical conspiracy to make multi-million dollar deals by taking advantage of global stolidity.

[The New World Order of globalism seems like a whim of greedy, conceited, stupid or bored billionaires—four things not incompatible—mainly North Americans, grouped around or led by the Zionist George Soros. One of his dangerous diversions is the harassment of Putin, a supporter of the traditional order].

It is worth commenting on the case of Spain, before concluding these notes. It is an unbeatable example of the first fundamental law of human stupidity enunciated by Carlo Cipolla: “each one of us always and inevitably underestimates the number of stupid individuals circulating in the world.” Ungoverned by the successive governments of the Monarchy of Parties, increasingly stupid, Spain constitutes an excellent example of the capacity of political stupidity to move mountains.

[“When the dictatorship disappeared in Spain due to the death of its incumbent, the different species of fools became evident,” writes Moreno. As the stupid are not indifferent to money, encouraged by Mr. Solchaga, minister of Mr. Felipe Gonzalez, a lawyer practicing as a statesman, they began to throw cash around to control the economy and get rich].

Indeed, the Kingdom of Koalemos’ Stupidity managed to establish itself in Spain perhaps more solidly than in other countries, taking advantage of the third reinstatement of the Bourbon Dynasty, by skillfully using the Preamble of the 1978 Carta Otorgada (Charter of Grant), certainly not the Constitution, since, prudently, political freedom was not returned to the people, and replaced by the right to vote ritually for the parties. Renan said that human stupidity is the only thing that gives an idea of infinity. And the Preamble suggests, precisely as a guideline, to establish an “advanced” democracy in order to progress infinitely.

[Reinstatement is not the same as restoration. The first modern Reinstatement was that of Fernando VII, the second that of Alfonso XII and the third that of Juan Carlos. In fact, there was a fourth fleeting Reinstatement, that of Amadeo de Saboya, which implied a change of dynasty. Some believe that the awarding of the Order of Charles III to the podemite Pablo Iglesias and other politicians loyal to Sanchismo by Felipe VI, has dealt the coup de grace to the Crown].

Influential monarchists foolishly recommended the convenience of a “pass to the left”—for which the naive and the foolish instinctively voted—in order to consolidate the Monarchy. [For the third time in less than 175 years and, in fact, at the expense of the Zeitgeist, republican and democratic].

In fact, an oligarchic consensus was instituted, like the social-democratic one existing in Europe, with a modernizing left wing around the Socialist Party, undoubtedly the one preferred by the King, “engine of change,” which included resuscitated separatists and communists, and a contemporizing right wing, of the “center”—judging by the facts, a branch of the socialist party to fix the economic flaws and control the dissenters. The Monarchy of Parties chopped up the Nation in the Charter of Grant according to the principle divide et impera, the “modernization” fostered collective stupidity and reduced politics to a razzle-dazzle between the consensual parties, in fact, a uni-party. Finally, the most idiotic people of the Kingdom have come to power, who surpass in totality the undeveloped stupidity of Dr. Zapatero and his entourage—the incapable Dr. Sanchez and his stupid females and stupid males.

[See, Y. Couceiro, “La superioridad moral de los necios,” La tribuna del pais vasco (13. IX. 2018). The moral superiority of the socialist religion lies in the fact that it conceives politics as a civil war to definitively redeem humanity—a bloodless war, by means of legal revolution in pacifist socialisms, or a bloody war, as necessary, in its most radical varieties, the communist and the anarchist, also with different variants. Mr. Zapatero resumed the Spanish Civil War by inventing the law of Historical Memory and other legislation. Dr. Sanchez aspires to win this civil war definitively, without knowing how far he is willing to go. The precedent that opened the way was the politicization of the judiciary by Mr. Gonzalez, Charlemagne Prize winner in 1985, deservedly praised by Hispanic and many non-Hispanic idiots].

The problem of Spain, which began in 1711 with the Bourbon establishment and worsened since the Spanish War of Independence (the Peninsular War), consists in the fact that, as the stupid men and women in power only know how to play at destroying, in the first place, culture and, with it, the State that supports them, the Nation is finally in a position of religious, moral, aesthetic, political, social, economic, sexual, demographic crisis. And as a Nation about to be extinguished.

[Thanks to the power of the sacralized State—and the complacent failure of the Church—they can declare a sin against Stupidity a crime in civil terms for whatever they can think of. For example, hate crimes or opposition to abortion].

The current misgovernment is “100% integrated by a cast of intellectually disabled people” (F. Jiménez Losantos dixit), practically all of them confessed republicans in a State that is formally monarchic. In order to celebrate them as they deserve in the elephantine, corrupt and absurd State of the Autonomous Communities, new ministries, general directorates, institutions, etc. have been invented. The final objective seems to be to restore Hispanic-American unity by integrating into the 21st century socialism bloc, nostalgic of the much-missed Soviet Union, and as a victim of satanic capitalism, apparently an enemy of Koalemos.

[Cf. Royal Decree 1150/2021 of December 28 (B.O.E. 31. XII. 2021) by which the Sanchez government authorizes itself—just like the famous Ermächtigung Gesetz of March 24, 1933, which granted Hitler full powers—to dictate the measures it deems appropriate to guarantee National Security].

The citizens suppressed for more security by the socialist party’s decree of a civil war nature, like all socialisms, the definitive death of Montesquieu and The Spirit of the Laws [since the division of powers is fictitious, Montesquieu’s fundamental rule is also violated, as in all liberal totalitarianisms: “The tax on goods is the tax of freedom. The tax on persons is the tax of servitude.” A tax against the family, one of the limits that Bodin—the theoretician—placed on state sovereignty, and concentrated in the Marxist social-democratic tax on income]—the objective of the successive monarchical governments seems to be, at least from a certain moment, the Kulturkampf necessary to put the Nation at the forefront of the age, led by progressive ideologies, such as bio-ideologies, enemies of the antiquity of common sense and the ratio status. The main ones are: the misandric or gender one, which, stricto sensu, is limited to defending the legitimate human right of women to be idiots, even if Putin says it is “a perfect phantasmagoria,” and in a broader sense defends, for example, legally regulating the menstrual cycle; the ecologist, defender of the Earth against human perversity that chokes it with CO2-impregnated fumes; the hygienist, health or sanitary (greatly strengthened by the support of the churches—vaccination is “an act of love,” they say in the Vatican) favoring dictatorship (assuming vaccination is necessary) to tyranny (if it is unnecessary) to combat the coronavirus flu.

[Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg and President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has asked for a Covid passport to be required for access to religious services. Where is the Church “on the move” headed? National Socialism invented the “public health policy”—the function of the WHO—which suppresses the natural right or freedom of the individual to decide about his body and the way to heal himself].

These three ideologies are mothers of the LGTB and all the other letters, of the “counter-sexualist”—there is a ministry in charge of an energetic sexual commissar, who sings the truths to the dawn star—the animalist—there is a general direction for everything related to animals (it is not clear if it includes or excludes “politicians,” perhaps because the director has not heard of Aristotle), “ecosexualism” (love to/and with trees and plants), climate change (a branch of ecologism)—the fight against fumes including cow flatus, as well as Pachamamalogy, which enjoys a certain appreciation in ecclesiastical environments, etc. They have the undeniable merit of creating numerous bureaucratic jobs that remedy structural unemployment, which remains fixed as the highest in Europe (at this moment double the European average) since the “transition” began.

Everything points to making Spain the universal example of how collective stupidity can triumph, undoubtedly, the ideal way to advance democracy in order to establish die wahre Demokratie, the true democracy—something like the Kingdom of God in the land of the Puritans of the Fifth Monarchy—dreamt of by Karl Marx as the goal of all socialisms, the desire-mandate to which the Law of the [anti]historical Memory, popularly known as the “Law of the Hysterical Revenge,” points to—the Law that the socialist misgovernment of Dr. Sanchez (of course, a democrat, since the democracy of the stupid can only be socialist or communist) calls with more precision of “Democratic Memory.” Typical laws, with which, as Richter says, “the idiot forbids reason to go beyond memory,” in order to channel peacefully in the correct march of history towards universal stupidity, those who are not yet idiots as they should be and the new generations—if there are any, given the fall in the birth rate, encouraged, with the help of propaganda, by the high taxes that punish families so that they become idiotic and do not procreate.

The nature of the political consensus among the oligarchies is obviously very different from that of Cicero’s consensus omnium, the social consensus determined by the ethos that unifies the peoples. It has ensured that, even if the Nation is not totally idiotized, it is at least in the hands of so many fools, childish people, even for their age, as it has never been before. Without lacking the resentful, delinquent, wicked and everlasting careerists, who always come to the honeycomb of rich honey that are Budgets. O tempora, o mores! The time of stupid apprentices of the customs of Ali Baba and his gang, in “a country,” laments a reactionary journalist, “inert, anesthetized, stupefied, dumbfounded and something like a fool.”

The politics of the transition (“transaction” Jesús Fueyo specified) to the Monarchy in which the Church “became mute,” as Tocqueville said of the French in The Ancien Régime and the Revolution, is, for the reactionaries entrenched in common sense, a mess characterized by the disputes between the traditionally anti-national or anti-Hispanic left—converted, again Koalemos gratias, to Latin Americanism, an expression more stupid and, therefore, more correct than Hispano-Americanism—and the social-democratic left that acts as a centrist “right.” Democracy—”the sovereignty of a people over its destiny” (J. Fueyo)—identified with outdated anti-Francoism, awaits its turn. In the meantime, democracy, Yeah!

The secret of the consensus between the left and the fetish of the center is that, as Nicolás Gómez Dávila (1913-1994) perceived, the right and left “have signed against the reactionary [in the sense of the one who reacts] a secret pact of perpetual aggression.” Consensual Hispanics do, in fact, reasonably brand people, groups or parties that are not in tune—those that do not accept, for example, the decomposition of the oldest nation in Europe, or oppose the culture of death—as being extreme right-wing. This is a very logical curse-argument, since the “right” is the right wing of the oligarchic consensus. They are also labeled as Francoists or “faças.” The apothegm, says Amando de Miguel, of historical fascism, “well, there is no other,” “everything within the State; nothing outside the State.” An apothegm from which the anti-politics of the misgovernment (which perhaps borders on criminality, as long as the penal code is not duly modified to adjust it to the ethos of the kingdom of Koalemos) of the rulers, acolytes and plugged-in members of the PSOE Sanchista, standard-bearer of Stupidity, benefits from.

“If there are no completely intelligent men, there are completely stupid ones,” writes Moreno Castillo. Most of the completely stupid have integrated into the new socialism—socialisms attract fools—and the reactionaries, who are not even stupid, since they live in a world apart—perhaps they do not even vote—say that politics has turned Spain into a dunghill. Some scornfully equate the progressive Kingdom of Spain to the solidly established Kingdom of Peronia, laus Koalemos, in Argentina, from where it radiates imperially to the whole world, together with its Venezuelan partner and the Cuban luminary.

Having practically finalized these flash-notes, the leadership of the right wing of the socialist party, led by characters so infantile and stupid that they have committed political suicide, imploded. In principle, it was not a mere incident in the race to advanced democracy. As Dr. Sanchez also imploded the socialist party, not to improve it, which is certainly impossible, but to re-found it as PSOE and Co. [Probably following Peter Drucker’s advice when a business enterprise is going badly, Sanchez has a doctorate in economics]—the disappearance of the monopoly of consensus by the two original dynastic parties leaves the Monarchy of Parties out in the open. The historian Pedro González Cuevas writes in his recent book: “Felipe VI and his descendants have the future against them. And the fact is that, unlike his father, they have nothing to offer either to the left or to the nationalists.” The reaction of the subjects to the crisis of the self-styled popular party, which for many has become unpopular, reveals a certain weariness with the concentration of stupid people in the political class. However, judging by the symptoms, the popular party will continue to be the unpopular coryphaeus of the socialist party and its associates.

Finally, everything is unknown in the struggle between stupidity and common sense. Will neuroscience and the fashionable artificial intelligence intensify the permanent revolution that is leading the West to dumbness and servitude, and will they obtain the universal remedy so that everybody will definitely be an incurable idiot? The traditional magister vitae, history, would cease to be a work of art (Ranke); the new history would finally be the story of the vicissitudes of Stupidity and those still capable of thinking, residing in the paradises of the stupid, would have to console themselves by imagining, like Blaise Pascal, the joy of living in an intelligent hell.

[With corrections to the version published in Razón española, no. 232 (July-August 2022), and with thanks to Arnaud Imatz].


Dalmacio Negro Pavón (Madrid, 1931) has been professor of History of Ideas and Political Forms in the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid and is currently professor emeritus of Political Science at the CEU San Pablo University. He is also a full member of Real Academia de Ciencias Morales y Políticas (the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences). He has translated and edited several classic works of German, English and French political thought. His many books include El fin de la normalidad y otros ensayos (The End of Normality and Other Essays), La ley de hierro de la oligarquía (The Iron Law of Oligarchy), Lo que Europa debe al Cristianismo (What Europe Owes to Christianity), Il Dio Mortale. Il Mito dello Stato tra Crisi Europea e Crisi delle Politica (The Mortal God: The Myth of the State amidst the European Crisis and Crisis of Politics), and La tradición de la libertad (The Tradition of Liberty).


Featured: “An Allegory of Folly,” by Quinten Massys; painted ca. early 16th century.

Why Turbo-Capitalism wants to de-Christianize the West

In keeping with the theoretical framework outlined in my book, Minima mercatalia. Filosofia e capitalism [Small Business. Philosophy and capitalism], absolute-totalitarian capitalism or turbo-capitalism, as it has been implemented since the sixties of the “short century,” acts by annihilating every limit that can hinder or even slow down its logic of development and reproduction. This logic consists in the colonization without residue of the real and the symbolic, according to the rhythm of omni- mercantilization [conversion of everything into market and commodity], whose only teleological orientation is the unlimited and boundless will to power, and whose foundation is the destruction of every material or immaterial limit—turbo-capitalism becomes absolutus, “perfectly complete,” as soon as it becomes “liberated from” (solutus ab) every limit that can contain it, discipline it and, perhaps also, halt its advance. The incessant demolition of frontiers and bastions of resistance to this conversion of everything into a market is what, with total intentionality, is celebrated as “progress” by the new mental order generated by the completely new world order under the banner of capital.

In contrast, “regression” [“involution”] is the term with which the order of the dominant discourse delegitimizes every figure of the limit or, more simply, of non-alignment, with respect to the enveloping global movement that transforms everything into merchandise, reifying the world and life. And this, in post-1,989, is valid both for “material” and political elements stricto sensu, such as the national sovereign State (which I dealt with in Glebalizzazione. La lotta di classe al tempo del populismo [Glebalization: The Class Struggle in the Time of Populism]—“glebalization,” the serial production of new exploited, underpaid and precarious servants)—the last bastion of popular sovereignty and of the autonomy of the political; and for the properly spiritual dimension linked to cultural identities (at the center of my Difendere chi siamo. Le ragioni dell´identità italiana [Defend Who We Are. The Reasons for Italian Identity], to critical thought (which I studied in Pensare altrimenti [Think Otherwise]) and, especially, to the religion of transcendence.

That unlimitedly self-empowered will to power, in order to be able to realize itself, must colonize the entire planet, following the dynamics of what we usually call “globalization” (a pious name for the new figure of all-inclusive imperialism), and must, “uno motu,” take hold of each and every conscience, provoking the destruction of any cultural and spiritual sovereignty, specifically the dis-identification (the annihilation of all identity) and the de-divinization of the world (the neutralization of all sense of the sacred and of transcendence).

In this perspective, Christianity is in every way incompatible with the new spirit of capitalism since, apart from guarding the sense of the sacred and of transcendence, it lives historically in concrete institutions which, like the Church of Rome, have their own autonomy and, if you will, their own political as well as spiritual sovereignty. So that the so fashionable slogan “war of religion,” with which the postmodern discourse tends to liquidate tout court all religion of transcendence, insofar as it can be assimilated to the fanaticism of potentially terrorist revolts, can perhaps be replaced by the opposite locution “war against religion,” a formula with which, by means of a gestalt reorientation of thought, we refer: A) to the already evident incompatibility between religion of transcendence and atheistic religion of the market, between Christianity and capitalism; and B) to the no less adamantine “war”—now open, now underhanded—that the civilization of markets has declared on the religion of transcendence “ut sic.”

The “retreat of Christianity” is also explained, in part, in connection with the struggle against religion led by the materialistic and spiritless inspiration characteristic of the technocratic order. In the context of this “war against religion,” which is deliberately concealed under the rhetoric of the “war of religion” from the sphere of the globalized free trade zone, Christianity is granted only one possibility: to adapt to relativistic nihilism by pretending to remain itself and thus to lead the faithful and the West itself into the abyss of the nothingness of the civilization of the markets. In other words, and in accordance with what has been pointed out, turbo-capitalist globalization asks Christianity either to allow itself to be “killed” by the nihilism of techno-capitalist civilization, or to “commit suicide” by voluntarily diluting itself in this nothingness; that is, to redefine itself as a mere appendix of the civilization of the markets, assimilating and spreading the same relativistic and nihilistic vision of the world, stripped of any link with transcendence and the sacred, to ultimately end up being transformed into a megaphone of the same political, social and economic conception based on the dogmas of the sans frontières market, the free circulation of merchandise and commodified people, the neoliberal and American-centric one world, and the whims of consumption with rainbow tones for the ruling classes, improperly designated with the noble title of “civil rights.”

In short, globalization asks Christianity, sic et simpliciter, to continue to exist by renouncing its being and becoming an integral part of the very project of globalization founded on the fanaticism of the free market. And when attempts are made to escape this destiny, recovering the spirit of transcendence and the sacred, of tradition and the divine, as occurred during the brief but heroic pontificate of Ratzinger, the clash between Christianity and capitalism becomes irreconcilable. There is shown, in all its crudeness, the real enmity that pits the religion of the sacred against the nihil of the “horrendous order”—as Pasolini called it—of the civilization of capital; an enmity that, in this case, has been resolved in favor of the latter, through the restoration—with the appointment of “Pope” Bergoglio—of a new and more stable compromise of Christianity’s submission to the neoliberal oligarchic bloc. Pope Ratzinger was the extreme and epic attempt of Christianity to reverse its own tendency of evaporation and self-dissolution, resisting nihilistic relativism, thanks to a recovery of the heart of Christian doctrine and tradition, and vindicating in the full sense the reasons of the sacred, the eternal, the transcendent and the Corpus Christianorum.

In the preceding figure of “dialectical capitalism,” just as we have codified it in Minima mercatalia, religion was presented as an essentially dialectical element: it could justify both revolt in the name of the kingdom of heaven and subordination to the constituted power as an image of divine justice, depending on whether the “hot current” or the “cold current” of Christianity prevailed, to use Ernst Bloch’s syntax in Atheism in Christianity. At the time, religion could be used as an instrument of government and it was possible to find a bilateral agreement with it, as for example happened in Italy with the Lateran Pacts (1,929).

Absolute-totalitarian capitalism, for its part, not only no longer needs the religious phenomenon to prop up its own power, but it must get rid of it, recognizing it as an impediment—potential or real, depending on the context—to its own logic of development and reproduction. From a different plane, the Christian religion refers to a higher order that, however, should not necessarily always be understood as a structure of domination and power. Undoubtedly, in the past Christianity has represented an obstacle, because power also needed a religious justification. The power of truly totalitarian neo-capitalism and potentially superior to everything that has preceded it, no longer needs a “celestial” justification: it is strong enough to be self-sufficient. Furthermore, it fears that any possible reference to the higher order of the transcendent may turn out to be intrinsically contradictory, if only because of its appeal to a different and higher dimension than that of the totally colonized real in the form of a market.


Diego Fusaro is professor of History of Philosophy at the IASSP in Milan (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies) where he is also scientific director. He is a scholar of the Philosophy of History, specializing in the thought of Fichte, Hegel, and Marx. His interest is oriented towards German idealism, its precursors (Spinoza) and its followers (Marx), with a particular emphasis on Italian thought (Gramsci or Gentile, among others). he is the author of many books, including Fichte and the Vocation of the Intellectual, The Place of Possibility: Toward a New Philosophy of Praxis, and Marx, again!: The Spectre Returns. [This article appears courtesy of Posmodernia].


Featured: “Christ Expelling the Money-Changers from the Temple,” by Nicolas Colombel; painted in 1630.

Christmas and the Aesthetes

This essay was first published in 1905.


The world is round, so round that the schools of optimism and pessimism have been arguing from the beginning whether it is the right way up. The difficulty does not arise so much from the mere fact that good and evil are mingled in roughly equal proportions; it arises chiefly from the fact that men always differ about what parts are good and what evil. Hence the difficulty which besets “undenominational religions.” They profess to include what is beautiful in all creeds, but they appear to many to have collected all that is dull in them. All the colours mixed together in purity ought to make a perfect white. Mixed together on any human paint-box, they make a thing like mud, and a thing very like many new religions. Such a blend is often something much worse than any one creed taken separately, even the creed of the Thugs. The error arises from the difficulty of detecting what is really the good part and what is really the bad part of any given religion. And this pathos falls rather heavily on those persons who have the misfortune to think of some religion or other, that the parts commonly counted good are bad, and the parts commonly counted bad are good.

It is tragic to admire and honestly admire a human group, but to admire it in a photographic negative. It is difficult to congratulate all their whites on being black and all their blacks on their whiteness. This will often happen to us in connection with human religions. Take two institutions which bear witness to the religious energy of the nineteenth century. Take the Salvation Army and the philosophy of Auguste Comte.

The usual verdict of educated people on the Salvation Army is expressed in some such words as these: “I have no doubt they do a great deal of good, but they do it in a vulgar and profane style; their aims are excellent, but their methods are wrong.” To me, unfortunately, the precise reverse of this appears to be the truth. I do not know whether the aims of the Salvation Army are excellent, but I am quite sure their methods are admirable. Their methods are the methods of all intense and hearty religions; they are popular like all religion, military like all religion, public and sensational like all religion. They are not reverent any more than Roman Catholics are reverent, for reverence in the sad and delicate meaning of the term reverence is a thing only possible to infidels. That beautiful twilight you will find in Euripides, in Renan, in Matthew Arnold; but in men who believe you will not find it—you will find only laughter and war. A man cannot pay that kind of reverence to truth solid as marble; they can only be reverent towards a beautiful lie. And the Salvation Army, though their voice has broken out in a mean environment and an ugly shape, are really the old voice of glad and angry faith, hot as the riots of Dionysus, wild as the gargoyles of Catholicism, not to be mistaken for a philosophy. Professor Huxley, in one of his clever phrases, called the Salvation Army “corybantic Christianity.” Huxley was the last and noblest of those Stoics who have never understood the Cross. If he had understood Christianity he would have known that there never has been, and never can be, any Christianity that is not corybantic.

And there is this difference between the matter of aims and the matter of methods, that to judge of the aims of a thing like the Salvation Army is very difficult, to judge of their ritual and atmosphere very easy. No one, perhaps, but a sociologist can see whether General Booth’s housing scheme is right. But any healthy person can see that banging brass cymbals together must be right. A page of statistics, a plan of model dwellings, anything which is rational, is always difficult for the lay mind. But the thing which is irrational any one can understand. That is why religion came so early into the world and spread so far, while science came so late into the world and has not spread at all. History unanimously attests the fact that it is only mysticism which stands the smallest chance of being understanded of the people. Common sense has to be kept as an esoteric secret in the dark temple of culture. And so while the philanthropy of the Salvationists and its genuineness may be a reasonable matter for the discussion of the doctors, there can be no doubt about the genuineness of their brass bands, for a brass band is purely spiritual, and seeks only to quicken the internal life. The object of philanthropy is to do good; the object of religion is to be good, if only for a moment, amid a crash of brass.

And the same antithesis exists about another modern religion—I mean the religion of Comte, generally known as Positivism, or the worship of humanity. Such men as Mr. Frederic Harrison, that brilliant and chivalrous philosopher, who still, by his mere personality, speaks for the creed, would tell us that he offers us the philosophy of Comte, but not all Comte’s fantastic proposals for pontiffs and ceremonials, the new calendar, the new holidays and saints’ days. He does not mean that we should dress ourselves up as priests of humanity or let off fireworks because it is Milton’s birthday. To the solid English Comtist all this appears, he confesses, to be a little absurd. To me it appears the only sensible part of Comtism. As a philosophy it is unsatisfactory. It is evidently impossible to worship humanity, just as it is impossible to worship the Savile Club; both are excellent institutions to which we may happen to belong. But we perceive clearly that the Savile Club did not make the stars and does not fill the universe. And it is surely unreasonable to attack the doctrine of the Trinity as a piece of bewildering mysticism, and then to ask men to worship a being who is ninety million persons in one God, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

But if the wisdom of Comte was insufficient, the folly of Comte was wisdom. In an age of dusty modernity, when beauty was thought of as something barbaric and ugliness as something sensible, he alone saw that men must always have the sacredness of mummery. He saw that while the brutes have all the useful things, the things that are truly human are the useless ones. He saw the falsehood of that almost universal notion of to-day, the notion that rites and forms are something artificial, additional, and corrupt. Ritual is really much older than thought; it is much simpler and much wilder than thought. A feeling touching the nature of things does not only make men feel that there are certain proper things to say; it makes them feel that there are certain proper things to do. The more agreeable of these consist of dancing, building temples, and shouting very loud; the less agreeable, of wearing green carnations and burning other philosophers alive. But everywhere the religious dance came before the religious hymn, and man was a ritualist before he could speak. If Comtism had spread the world would have been converted, not by the Comtist philosophy, but by the Comtist calendar. By discouraging what they conceive to be the weakness of their master, the English Positivists have broken the strength of their religion. A man who has faith must be prepared not only to be a martyr, but to be a fool. It is absurd to say that a man is ready to toil and die for his convictions when he is not even ready to wear a wreath round his head for them. I myself, to take a corpus vile, am very certain that I would not read the works of Comte through for any consideration whatever. But I can easily imagine myself with the greatest enthusiasm lighting a bonfire on Darwin Day.

That splendid effort failed, and nothing in the style of it has succeeded. There has been no rationalist festival, no rationalist ecstasy. Men are still in black for the death of God. When Christianity was heavily bombarded in the last century upon no point was it more persistently and brilliantly attacked than upon that of its alleged enmity to human joy. Shelley and Swinburne and all their armies have passed again and again over the ground, but they have not altered it. They have not set up a single new trophy or ensign for the world’s merriment to rally to. They have not given a name or a new occasion of gaiety. Mr. Swinburne does not hang up his stocking on the eve of the birthday of Victor Hugo. Mr. William Archer does not sing carols descriptive of the infancy of Ibsen outside people’s doors in the snow. In the round of our rational and mournful year one festival remains out of all those ancient gaieties that once covered the whole earth. Christmas remains to remind us of those ages, whether Pagan or Christian, when the many acted poetry instead of the few writing it. In all the winter in our woods there is no tree in glow but the holly.

The strange truth about the matter is told in the very word “holiday.” A bank holiday means presumably a day which bankers regard as holy. A half-holiday means, I suppose, a day on which a schoolboy is only partially holy. It is hard to see at first sight why so human a thing as leisure and larkiness should always have a religious origin. Rationally there appears no reason why we should not sing and give each other presents in honour of anything—the birth of Michael Angelo or the opening of Euston Station. But it does not work. As a fact, men only become greedily and gloriously material about something spiritualistic. Take away the Nicene Creed and similar things, and you do some strange wrong to the sellers of sausages. Take away the strange beauty of the saints, and what has remained to us is the far stranger ugliness of Wandsworth. Take away the supernatural, and what remains is the unnatural.

And now I have to touch upon a very sad matter. There are in the modern world an admirable class of persons who really make protest on behalf of that antiqua pulchritudo of which Augustine spoke, who do long for the old feasts and formalities of the childhood of the world. William Morris and his followers showed how much brighter were the dark ages than the age of Manchester. Mr. W. B. Yeats frames his steps in prehistoric dances, but no man knows and joins his voice to forgotten choruses that no one but he can hear. Mr. George Moore collects every fragment of Irish paganism that the forgetfulness of the Catholic Church has left or possibly her wisdom preserved. There are innumerable persons with eye-glasses and green garments who pray for the return of the maypole or the Olympian games. But there is about these people a haunting and alarming something which suggests that it is just possible that they do not keep Christmas. It is painful to regard human nature in such a light, but it seems somehow possible that Mr. George Moore does not wave his spoon and shout when the pudding is set alight. It is even possible that Mr. W. B. Yeats never pulls crackers. If so, where is the sense of all their dreams of festive traditions? Here is a solid and ancient festive tradition still plying a roaring trade in the streets, and they think it vulgar. if this is so, let them be very certain of this, that they are the kind of people who in the time of the maypole would have thought the maypole vulgar; who in the time of the Canterbury pilgrimage would have thought the Canterbury pilgrimage vulgar; who in the time of the Olympian games would have thought the Olympian games vulgar. Nor can there be any reasonable doubt that they were vulgar. Let no man deceive himself; if by vulgarity we mean coarseness of speech, rowdiness of behaviour, gossip, horseplay, and some heavy drinking, vulgarity there always was wherever there was joy, wherever there was faith in the gods. Wherever you have belief you will have hilarity, wherever you have hilarity you will have some dangers. And as creed and mythology produce this gross and vigorous life, so in its turn this gross and vigorous life will always produce creed and mythology. If we ever get the English back on to the English land they will become again a religious people, if all goes well, a superstitious people. The absence from modern life of both the higher and lower forms of faith is largely due to a divorce from nature and the trees and clouds. If we have no more turnip ghosts it is chiefly from the lack of turnips.


Featured: “St. Columba Altarpiece,” by Rogier van der Weyden; painted ca. 1455.