Atheistic Humanism, the Democratic Party, and the Catholic Church

David R. Carlin is a former Democratic state senator who was once a leading figure in Rhode Island politics. In his new book, Atheistic Humanism, the Democratic Party, and the Catholic Church, he explains that the “mind” of the Democratic Party has been converted to atheistic humanism, an ideology (or worldview) that is the deadly enemy of Catholicism. It is this ideology that has given America its present-day culture of sexual freedom, abortion, gay marriage, and transgenderism. More and more this atheistic ideology controls the chief propaganda organs of American culture, that is the entire Media-Education-Entertainment Complex, and of course the Democratic Party itself.

This excerpt from Atheistic Humanism, the Democratic Party, and the Catholic Church comes through the kind courtesy of Lectio Publishing.

When I had finished writing about ninety-nine percent of this book, I happened to be driving through my neighborhood one day (I was driving home following a periodic visit to my cardiologist) when I noticed a colorful cloth banner, rectangular in shape, hanging on somebody’s front porch. It said:

  • Pro-BLM
  • Pro-science
  • Pro-choice
  • Pro-feminism
  • Pro-LGBTQ
  • Pro-humanism
  • Pro-immigrant

I slammed on my brakes in order that I might pause for a moment or two to admire the banner, which is a nearly perfect summary of the dangerous anti-Christianity mentality I am denouncing in this book, a mentality I call atheistic humanism. The person who made the banner is, I suppose, an atheistic humanist, and so, very probably, is the person who owns the porch in question.

If you know how to read the language of atheistic humanism, you will know how to interpret the many “pro” labels listed above.

  • “Pro-BLM” means “the USA is a systemically racist society, ruled by white supremacists”
  • “Pro-science” means “we don’t believe in the Bible or any other divine revelation”
  • “Pro-choice” means “pro-abortion”
  • “Pro-feminism” means “we deplore toxic masculinity”
  • “Pro-LGBTQ” means “we endorse an immense variety of sexual perversions”
  • “Pro-humanism” means “anti-Christianity and pro-atheism”
  • “Pro-immigrant” means “pro-open borders”

Atheistic humanists are smart people, at least usually, and so when making propaganda they know how to clothe their dangerous ideas in harmless, often even attractive, words and slogans. And so, instead of saying, “Let’s mass-murder unborn babies,” they say, “Let’s defend a woman’s right to choose.” And instead of saying, “Almost all white Americans are racists,” they say, “Black lives matter.” Instead of saying, “The Bible is bull***t,” they say, “We believe in science.” And so on.


Great civilizations sometimes collapse. If we have any doubts about that, we can read Arnold Toynbee’s multivolume work, A Study of History; or another multivolume work, Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. In the second and third and fourth centuries AD, the old pagan civilization of the Greco-Roman world gradually but (as we now can see in retrospect) inevitably collapsed and was replaced by a new civilization based on Christianity.

It is possible that those of us living today are passing through a somewhat similar crisis of civilization, a crisis in which an old way of life is dying while a new is being born. If in those ancient days paganism, an old thing, was being replaced by a new thing, Christianity, so in our time Christianity, which is now an old thing, is perhaps being replaced something new, a worldview based on atheism. It is not easy for those living through one of these great transitions to know what is happening. Only after the transition is complete, only after the old thing has quite definitely passed away, can we be sure that it is truly dead and that it is therefore too late to save it. As the philosopher Hegel, meditating on the mysterious course of history, once said, “The Owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.” So I’m not quite sure that our civilization is crumbling; perhaps we are simply going through a bad patch; maybe we’ll have to wait five hundred years before making a definitive judgment on that.


But something is happening, something momentous, whether we call it a bad patch or a collapse of our old civilization. Christianity is under severe attack by a great enemy, and it is this enemy—along with its political arm, the Democratic Party—that I plan to examine in this book. Although this attack is underway in many places, not just in the United States of America…

…But what is this new thing, this new thing that is a great enemy of Christianity? What should we call it? Many Christians, both Catholics and others, like to call it a new paganism, a neo-paganism. I think this is a great misnomer. The ancient paganism of the Roman-Greek world, quite unlike today’s anti-Christianity, was religious. All paganism is religious, paganism being the generic name for polytheistic religions. Ancient paganism certainly wasn’t religious in a Christian or monotheistic way, but without question it was religious. It had multitudes of gods, altars, rituals, and holy days. By contrast, this new thing, this candidate to replace Christianity, is not at all religious. Either it involves outright atheism, or it leans strongly in the direction of atheism. It is a decidedly secular or non-religious faith; more than non-religious, it is anti-religious; very specifically, it is anti-Christianity. At the same time, it is humanistic; or at least in its outwardly most attractive form it claims to be humanistic. A more or less accurate label for it would be secular humanism. A more accurate name still would be atheistic humanism—for atheism is the most thoroughgoing kind of anti-Christianity, and atheism lies at the core of this new and superficially benign faith.

There are various kinds of atheists. Some of them are beastly; they give vent to their basest, most animalistic impulses (think of violent criminals). Others are demonic; they love evil, not for the eventual good it may produce, but for its own sake (think of Nazis). The atheists I will be focusing on in this book are the (apparently) best kind, the humanistic kind. They are neither beastly nor demonic. They make an honest attempt to be human and humane. They even make an attempt (albeit a very unsuccessful attempt) to mimic what they imagine to be the ethic of Christianity. It is atheists of this kind—the “good” atheists, so to speak—that present the greatest danger to Christianity in general and to Catholicism in particular. I should point out, however, that once these “good” atheists are in command of society, the way will open for the entry of atheists of the beastly and demonic.


Ideological Structure of the Democratic Party

To understand today’s Democratic Party we must understand its ideological structure, and to understand this structure we have to see (a) who produces the party’s ruling beliefs and values, (b) who distributes these beliefs and values, and (c) who consumes them.

We may picture this structure as a pyramid. At the top of the pyramid are the producers, relatively small in number. Below them are the distributors, much larger in number. And at the base of the pyramid are the consumers, the enormous number of rank-and-file Democrats. The beliefs and values move downward, as with the force of gravity. They begin with the people at the top of the pyramid; they are eagerly seized upon by the people in the middle; and these middle people energetically pass these beliefs and values on to the party’s rank-and-file…

The producers of these strongly leftist beliefs and values are people who are commonly referred to as intellectuals, but who more correctly should be denominated as ideologues. “Intellectual” is a very broad category; it can refer to any highly educated person who has a lively and continuing interest in some field of thought. For instance, a Shakespeare scholar would be an intellectual, and so would a physicist, and so would a professor of constitutional law. But not all intellectuals are ideologues; in fact most of them are not. An “ideologue” is a sub-category of intellectual. He (or she) is an “activist” intellectual; an intellectual who is promoting a political agenda; an intellectual whose commitment to a more or less revolutionary outcome shapes his (or her) perception of political reality. The pure intellectual studies reality to see what conclusions ought to be drawn. The ideologue already “knows” the conclusions prior to beginning the study; he then shapes the evidence to fit his a priori conclusions.

The producers of the beliefs and values of the Democratic Party are ideologues, leftist ideologues—progressives they like to call themselves. They have a kind of ideal society in mind, and they believe that the Democratic Party is the political vehicle that can, if guided correctly—which is to say, if guided by themselves—contribute greatly to bringing this ideal society about.

Only rarely are these ideologues elected officials. Far more often they are professors at colleges and universities, including law schools; and these are often America’s very best colleges and universities and law schools. They can also be found in significant numbers at leftist “think tanks.” On some occasions they are journalists. Or they are writers of political or historical or sociological books (this last category largely overlapping with the earlier categories).

The distributors of these beliefs and values are persons who may be described as “passive ideologues” in contrast to the “active ideologues” just described. That is to say, they don’t create the leftist beliefs and values they adhere to, but they receive them with enthusiasm. These are the people who dominate what may be called the “command posts” of American popular culture—or what may alternatively be called America’s “propaganda industry.” I have in mind the leftists who dominate such fields as journalism (both electronic and print), the entertainment industry (Hollywood, TV, popular music, etc.), and our colleges and universities. It is also common for public school administrators to be distributors of these beliefs and values, less common (though far from unknown) for classroom teachers to be so. Minsters of liberal churches and theologian-professors at liberal seminaries are also distributors. Finally, we must count the great majority of Democratic elected officials, from local town councils up the President of the United States, as distributors—along with the political activists who help these officials get elected.

Some of these distributors are more enthusiastic in their leftism than others. Those who are very enthusiastic—an enthusiasm that sometimes, especially among young persons, verges on fanaticism—call themselves progressives, while the more temperate leftists prefer to call themselves liberals. Whether progressive or liberal, however, they take their beliefs and values from “above” and pass them along to the common people “below.” They are like missionaries, spreading a gospel they deeply believe in even though they didn’t invent it.

The producers and distributors of these leftist beliefs and values are of course also consumers of their beliefs and values. But the great majority, indeed the overwhelming majority, of consumers are rank-and-file Democrats who are for the most part non-ideological—or would be if left to their own devices. Their motives for adherence to the Democratic Party are various. Sometimes it is a matter of family tradition: “My parents were Democrats, my grandparents were Democrats,” and so on. Sometimes it is a matter of racial identity: “Most blacks are Democrats, I am black, therefore etc.” Sometimes it is a matter of labor union membership: “My union supports the Democrats, therefore etc.” Sometimes it is a matter of economic interest: “The Democrats are good for my paycheck or my welfare check, etc.” Sometimes it is a matter of personal inertia: “I have always voted Democrat, etc.”

Very often it is a matter of imagining that the Democratic Party today is essentially the same thing it was decades ago: “This is the party of FDR and JFK, so how can I not vote for it?” This is what may be called “the fallacy of essentialism.” Some things—geometrical figures, for instance, or numbers—have eternal essences. They never change. A square always was, is now, and always will be a plane figure with four equal sides and four 90-degree angles. Some people imagine that their favorite political party is rather like this; that it remains essentially what it was in its golden age.

Even though these Democratic voters are for the most part non-ideological, and even though they have little or no personal attachment to the leftist values of abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, recreational drug use, and euthanasia, and even though they don’t believe that the USA is a “systemically” or “fundamentally” racist society, and even though the whites among them (most of them are whites) don’t believe it is racist to assign heavy penalties for crimes of violence committed by blacks and other “persons of color,” and even though they have no wish that public schools should teach little kids to adopt an attitude of tolerance toward a variety of sexual perversions—even though all this, these rank-and-file Democrats are willing to go along with the ideological agenda handed down by the ideological rulers of the party. Why? Because it is their party. It is a party they are in the habit of trusting, a party they are in the habit of supporting. Besides, they don’t like the other party, the rival party, the Republicans—just as Red Sox fans don’t like the Yankees. Like good team players, they operate on the assumption that if the captains of their team say ABC while the other team says not-ABC, they will have to agree with leaders of their team; they too will have to say ABC. To do otherwise in the midst of battle would be an act of disloyalty.

In sum, that’s how a small number of people (the ideological leaders of the party), having persuaded a much larger number of people (the propaganda arm of the party), can shape the political preferences of a vast number of people (the rank-and-file members of the party). And that’s how an intellectual elite whose ideas and values are far out of the mainstream can shape the destiny of a nation. A small number of leftist ivory tower intellectuals/ideologues (at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, great state universities, etc.) win converts at vital propaganda outlets (the New York Times, MSNBC, Hollywood, etc.), and these leftist propagandists in turn tell ordinary Democrats what political and cultural agenda they should support.

The “Drama” of VOX (and its Prompters)

VOX is a Spanish political party founded in 2013 by former members of the conservative PP (Popular Party). A member of The European Conservatives and Reformists Group, a center right political group of the European Parliament, VOX is committed to NATO and the EU, but is classified as populist and far-right by its opponents and enemies.

Every summer, as is well known, has its informative “silly season.” The one of this summer of 2023 is undoubtedly VOX: the crisis of VOX, the disappearance of VOX, the demolition of VOX, the annihilation of VOX or even the apocalypse of VOX, which in terms of nouns, when it comes to summer silly seasons, none are superfluous. Let’s just call it the drama of VOX. And as in every drama, hidden in the prompt corner of the stage, we discover the prompter. In this case, a veritable crowd of prompters.

The sudden convergence of “everyone against VOX” is very evidently part of strategies designed from outside the party in question, but it is true that VOX has become a problem. For the enemies, because the bug refuses to die, and for the friends, or for those who once were friends, because VOX has turned out to be something different from what they once thought it was. Between the pressure from one and the other, VOX may end up becoming a problem even for its own voters. In this way, VOX would end up in the sad list of parties that could have been and were not, such as UPyD, Ciudadanos and soon, hopefully, Podemos. In the end, the function of VOX, like that of the previous ones, would have been none other than to temporarily correct the inadequacies of the two-party system. Some people are already selling the bear’s skin before it is hunted (counting the chickens before they are hatched). It is not surprising that the sellers (the prompters of our drama) have their bazaar in the media factories of the “right-wing” opinion. Another thing is that there really is merchandise to put on sale.

When Everyone Discovered “Their” VOX

That the left attacks VOX is entirely natural: the Spanish left has never had such a tough enemy before. The attacks coming from the other side deserve more attention: why has the press, conventionally called “right-wing” (that is to say, the one that is not on the left), broken away to sell the offal of VOX? This is a particularly interesting issue, and on which what follows will focus.

First of all, it is worth recalling something. When VOX made its big leap, in the 2018 Andalusian elections, we were able to witness a portentous spectacle: dozens of right-wing (and center) opinionators turned to Santiago Abascal’s party, which they had generally ignored or despised in previous years, and opened the doors of the mainstream media for him. Not only did they open them, but they spread red carpets for VOX to enter, and adorned Abascal’s temples with laurels; and if they did not send Canephorae to offer him myrtle and acanthus, it was simply because nobody remembers who Ruben was anymore. In that spectacular reception there was, however, something disturbing: the VOX that the manufacturers of right-wing opinion were discovering was not VOX itself, but “their” VOX; that is to say, what everyone wanted to see in the phenomenon of the moment. It is necessary to understand this—that we were coming out of the frosts of the Rajoy septennium (2011-2018), hodgepodge of all the disappointments, and everybody was looking for a new hope. That is why everyone saw in VOX what they wanted to see.

Liberals wanted to see a party that, at last, openly proposed a model of restriction of public spending and low taxes after Rajoy’s social-democratic betrayal. Christians wanted to see a party that dared to raise, without qualms, issues such as the right to life (i.e., the limitation of abortion) or full freedom of education. Conservatives wanted to see the party that was really going to stand up to the social and cultural hegemony of the left. The self-styled “constitutionalists” wanted to see an incorruptible defender of linguistic freedoms, national unity and the equality of all before the law, in the face of the continuous separatist blackmail. The identitarians wanted to see the party that for the first time dared to denounce the ravages of illegal immigration. The patriots wanted to see the party that was going to put national interests ahead of the demands of Brussels. Everyone, in short, wanted to see in VOX the party that was going to represent them precisely where no one, neither on the right nor on the left, could do so already. Even more—for many, the appearance of VOX was supposed to force the People’s Party (PP) to return to being a “right-wing” party.

It is true that VOX has been, to a greater or lesser extent, all those things. However, it was not fully any of them, nor did it want to be. VOX was born to respond to some very specific realities; but political reality is dynamic, never static. On the other hand, this reality, so to speak, is made up of different but interconnected spheres (economic, social, institutional, etc.) that rarely admit a univocal interpretation. In other words, one can be more or less liberal in economic matters, more or less conservative in cultural matters, more or less Christian in social matters and more or less sovereigntist in State policy— and the result need not be contradictory, but it would inevitably leave unsatisfied those who sought a solely liberal or solely Christian response, for example.

The Frustrated Expectation: It Turns Out that VOX had a Life of its Own

In part—and only in part—what is happening right now around VOX has a lot to do with this frustration of expectations. It turns out that VOX had a life of its own. Liberals have begun to feel uncomfortable with a party that, as a patriotic party, criticizes globalist ideology, as an identitarian party, criticizes mass immigration, and as a Christian party, criticizes abortion and LGTB ideology. Christians have begun to feel uncomfortable with a party that, as patriotic, dissents from episcopal laxity towards illegal immigration and, as conservative, insists on fighting battles from which the Church has already retreated. Conservatives have begun to feel uncomfortable with a party that, because it is identitarian and patriotic, shuns the consensus of the system, does not slobber all over Brussels, is little given to exercises of moderation, is excessively open to the popular classes and climbs up on tractors. The “constitutionalists” (always self-described) are beginning to feel uncomfortable with a party that puts the nation ahead of the Constitution. The identitarians are beginning to feel uncomfortable with a party that is too open to immigration of Latin American origin. And even the patriots, they too, feel uncomfortable with a party whose foreign policy coincides with NATO. So, suddenly, a lot of people seem to have discovered that VOX is not what they thought it was. So, the erstwhile reed-pipes have started to turn into spears (or knives).

Apart from personal issues and petty squabbles, all these reservations, all these “discomforts” must be taken with the utmost seriousness, because they are part of the political reality of our time, and in a very particular way, in the sphere of what is known as “the right wing.” Moreover, the exercise allows us to understand what a movement like VOX can paint in the current landscape.

The conventional right and left, in Spain as elsewhere, are formations that respond to a vision of reality still inherited from the 20th century: liberalism versus socialism, Atlanticism versus sovietism, Christianity versus nihilism, Constitution versus separatism, etc. This mental framework still persists today because it is comfortable and, moreover, guarantees the survival of the main stakeholders involved—but it has long since ceased to respond to objective reality.

What really survives today of the old families, of the twelve tribes of the lost right? Globalism has ruined the liberal dream of a world that would achieve justice and prosperity by itself through the virtues of the market alone. The evolution of our political system has ruined the “constitutionalist” dream since it has been demonstrated that the Constitution can be dynamited within the constitutional system itself. The drift of the Church under the pontificate of Francis has ruined the dream of political Catholicism, which believed it was possible to build a social right capable of defending non-negotiable values under the protection of the sturdy pillar of the Holy Mother. The brutal ideological paradigm shift of this decade, which has turned nation states into mere administrators of Agenda 2030 and the West into a progressive theme park of globalization, has ruined the conservatives’ dream, for the simple reason that there is nothing left worth preserving. This is the reality of that which is called “the right wing” at this point in the 21st century. And no brighter, by the way, is the horizon of the left, which gets its masses drunk on gallons of infantile nihilism, while handing over real sovereignty to powers alien to the people (to any people).

We are not talking about theoretical issues, but all of this has an immediate translation at the level of daily politics. For example, one cannot continue to happily defend “legal and orderly immigration” when one knows that the phenomenon pulls down wages and, by that means, impoverishes the already impoverished middle classes. Also, for example, one cannot continue dogmatically embracing the free circulation of goods when one knows that this means giving priority to foreign products manufactured at a better price (because they are produced under worse conditions) and condemning local producers to closure. And also for example, and to take a very Spanish case, one cannot continue to champion the Autonomous Regions, when one knows that, in practice, this is leading to a galloping limitation of citizens’ freedoms and to a steady erosion of the State itself.

All these things have made the terms “right” and “left” contain less and less substance. The left knows it and that is why they have resorted to desecrating tombs to cover up their ideological emptiness. They also know it in the PP, which has opted to renounce any strong idea for the sake of “centrality.” But these are twists and turns. Reality moves, things change and politics, which is the government of things, cannot remain oblivious to the transformation. Unless one decides to let oneself go, to follow the dominant current, to abstain from any action, from any decision, and to limit oneself to manage what is there. That is where the PP has wanted to place itself and that is what VOX does not support (and that is why in the factories of the right they no longer support VOX).

Tearing the Media Shroud

Now the PP and its opinionators feed the “VOX hecatomb” with the undisguised ambition of keeping the spoils of the corpse: “Of those three million VOX votes, two would be enough for us to do what we want to do.” Well… to do what? Because that is where the question lies; but this is precisely the question that right-wing opinion makers have decided not to raise. They remain in their old frame of mind. So old that they explain the VOX crisis as a struggle between Falangists and fundamentalists against liberals; that is, the terms we would use to explain a ministerial crisis in 1969. It is as if we were describing the quarrels of the European Commission talking about Guelphs and Ghibellines. Actually, it is not only VOX who should be self-critical.

It is said that Manuel Fraga (General Franco’s Minister of Tourism and Information between 1962 and 1969, and Minister of the Interior from 1975 to 1976, after King Juan Carlos I’s accession to the throne—Trans.) once, while evaluating the Spanish media landscape in the late 1980s, uttered the following sentence: “In Spain, the right wing will not win as long as Anson continues to run ABC.” The dictum has to be taken as a synecdoche and can be interpreted as follows: in Spain the right wing will not win an election as long as its opinion factories continue to be tied to the interests and servitudes intertwined in the last twenty years. In reality, it was the other way around: first came the victory of the PP in 1996 and then the departure of Anson from ABC, although the old master was already badly mauled. Be that as it may, the essence of the sentence applies to us: the Spanish right wing will not be able to change the country in depth as long as its opinion factories remain tied to the networks of interests consolidated over the last forty years, whether they are local hyper-leaderships or corporate interests, or well-tied subsidy systems. For that world, for its tribunes and talking heads and opinionators, VOX is a strange phenomenon that does not fit into their comfortable mental framework. It is easier to resort to labels from more than half a century ago: Falangists, fundamentalists, liberals and all those things. It is easier, yes—but it is a lie. And they know it.

Now the question is to see if VOX will be able to overcome the story of its own death and build a new mental framework, an atmosphere of ideas where it can breathe. It will not be easy, because the mainstream media have already woven the shroud of the deceased. From now on—although, in reality, all this began halfway through the last electoral campaign—everything that happens in VOX will be unanimously interpreted as a sure symptom of imminent extinction. And yet, all the problems that VOX has been putting on the table will continue to be present: the rupture of national unity, the objective reduction of liberties in the hands of separatism and its left-wing crutches, the objective fading of national sovereignty (in energy, health, food, etc.) with immediate harm to ordinary citizens, the rampant degradation of social morality and citizen security, etc.

In the end, the strength of VOX is not in the ideological families that compose it, but in the lacerating reality that it denounces. That was what drove the movement from its beginnings—and that is the framework from which it should not depart, on pain of ending up, this time—yes—like those other parties that could have been and were not. In other words: VOX must get off the stage and write its own drama. And let the self-criticism be made by the prompter himself.

José Javier Esparza, journalist, writer, has published around thirty books about the history of Spain. He currently directs and presents the political debate program “El gato al agua,” the dean of its genre in Spanish audiovisual work. This article appears courtesy of La gaceta de la iberosfera.

From the American Dream to the American Nightmare

Higher education has transitioned from a focus on affirmative action (AA) to a focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). How did this come about and what does it mean?

In the minds of their advocates, both AA and DEI are aspirational public policies focused on rectifying “underrepresentation” in the workforce of groups historically subject to inequalities in education and in the workforce. The former policy (AA) was initiated in 1965 and focused on improving equality of access (opportunity). It was subject to lengthy and controversial legal litigation over the use of quotas. By 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court held that “States may choose to prohibit the consideration of racial preferences in governmental decisions.” (DEI) is a later version and continuation of (AA). It arose from several sources including Higher Education and Immigration Law. It is seemingly focused on training of current employees in the workplace, but job applicants are required to subscribe and committed to achieving some version of equality of outcome.

The following account traces the long and circuitous route by which these policies came about. My account of this transition has three interrelated elements: the intellectual origin, the institutional context or evolution of higher education in America, and finally the larger political context. It is important to keep in mind that these controversial policies originated within and were welcomed by the academy, and these policies remain aspirational in the sense that they have no firm legal standing either in legislation or in the U.S. Supreme Court. My contention is that (AA) and (DEI) seek to replace the American Dream of a meritocracy with the Nightmare of egalitarianism.

Part I: Intellectual Origin

The modern context of egalitarianism originated with the success of Newtonian physics and its ability not only to explain and predict natural phenomena but to give us control over them. As Bacon and especially Descartes expressed it, it helped to make us the “masters and possessors of nature.”

Inspired by Newton, the French philosophes developed the idea of the social sciences. Specifically, they sought not only to explain and to predict social phenomena but to gain control over the social world. They proposed to pursue a social technology as a reflection of their Enlightenment Project. Such mastery was not only intended to achieve power but to bring about a social utopia.

(Isaiah Berlin characterizes the Project as follows: “…there were certain beliefs that were more or less common to the entire party of progress and civilization, and this is what makes it proper to speak of it as a single movement. These were, in effect, the conviction that the world, or nature, was a single whole, subject to a single set of laws, in principle discoverable by the intelligence of man; that the laws which governed inanimate nature were in principle the same as those which governed plants, animals and sentient beings; that man was capable of improvement; that there existed certain objectively recognizable human goals which all men, rightly so described, sought after, namely, happiness, knowledge, justice, liberty, and what was somewhat vaguely described but well understood as virtue; that these goals were common to all men as such, were not unattainable, nor incompatible, and that human misery, vice and folly were mainly due to ignorance either of what these goals consisted in or of the means of attaining them—ignorance due in turn to insufficient knowledge of the laws of nature… Consequently, the discovery of general laws that governed human behaviour, their clear and logical integration into scientific systems—of psychology, sociology, economics, political science and the like (though they did not use these names)—and the determination of their proper place in the great corpus of knowledge that covered all discoverable facts, would, by replacing the chaotic amalgam of guesswork, tradition, superstition, prejudice, dogma, fantasy and ‘interested error’ that hitherto did service as human knowledge and human wisdom (and of which by far the chief protector and instigator was the church), create a new, sane, rational, happy, just and self-perpetuating human society, which, having arrived at the peak of attainable perfection, would preserve itself against all hostile influences, save perhaps those of nature” (The Magus of the North, pp. 27-28).

Thus, the intellectual origins lie specifically in the French version of the Enlightenment Project. The Enlightenment Project was the attempt to define, explain, and control the human predicament through science and technology. This project originated among the French philosophes during the eighteenth century, among whom the most influential were Diderot, d’Alembert, La Mettrie, Condillac, Helvetius, d’Holbach, Turgot, and Condorcet. The philosophes were inspired by Bacon’s vision of the liberating power of science, Hobbes’ materialism, Newton’s physics, and Locke’s empiricist epistemology. The Project was epitomized in the nineteenth century by Comte and in the twentieth century by positivism. Denying the Christian concept of sin but still choosing to play God, these philosophes initiated the modern hubristic search for a secular utopia. What the Enlightenment project did was to change our idea of what knowledge is and what it is for.

The legacy of the French Enlightenment persisted throughout the nineteenth century in the works of Comte and Marx. Voegelin maintains that this is a form of Gnosticism, the Christian heretical attempt to achieve heaven on earth. “In the Gnostic speculation of scientism this particular variant reached its extreme when the positivist perfector of science replaced the era of Christ by the era of Comte. Scientism has remained to this day one of the strongest Gnostic movements in Western Society; and the immanentist pride in science is so strong that even the special sciences have each left a distinguishable sediment in the variants of salvation through physics, economics, sociology, biology, and psychology” (Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics, p. 127).

Egalitarianism is based upon a False Analogy to Physical Sciences

Our first claim is that affirmative action and DEI are policies based on the contention that there are such things as social sciences (Social studies, or the attempt to study and to understand the human/social world is not committed to the assumption that understanding means prediction and control. Nobel laureate Hayek’s understanding of economics and the market economy explicitly precludes prediction and control)—and specifically social technology able to explain, predict, and control social phenomena. The agents of this policy are deeply embedded in the social science programs of the modern university.

As we shall see, the most influential variants of this policy are Marxist in origin. Karl Marx believed not only that he had found an explanation of the social world but that he could predict its future evolution and identified the working class as the agents of reform through violent revolution. All of Marx’s predictions turned out to be false, so Marxist theory had to be revised. (It is worth noting in this context the modification introduced by Lenin, namely “colonialism,” the exploitation of non-western countries for their raw materials and low cost of labor. This alleged “exploitation” indirectly helped workers in the developed world to enjoy a higher standard of living and therefore not revolt. The same kind of argument can be read back into the domestic economy). The important relevant revision was provided by Antonio Gramsci in his doctrine of the “long march” through the institutions, specifically a revolutionary party needed the working-class to develop organic intellectuals who articulated an alternative hegemonic ideology critical of the status quo. Gramsci maintained that the agent of change was not the working class but the class of intellectuals and that the latter would bring about a peaceful revolution through the gradual take over of the major institutions in society like the university.

A. Hidden Structure Fallacy

Two features of “social” science allegedly analogous to physical science are worth noting. Modern physics does not explain phenomena (e.g. color) by reference to what is directly observable. On the contrary, modern physical science explains what is observable by reference to an initially hidden substructure, not visible to the naked eye (e.g. microbes, molecules, quarks, etc.). Subsequent experimentation gives us access to this initially hidden substructure by means of sophisticated equipment.

In an attempt to replicate this feature of physical science, the alleged “social” sciences explain the surface by reference to an initially hidden substructure (Marxist economics, Freud’s ego, id, etc., choices made behind Rawls’ “veil of ignorance”). So, today, for example, we are told that there is such a thing as “institutional racism.” However, there is a disconnect here. Instead of a hidden substructure that later gets verified or observed, the social sciences present a cornucopia of rival theories with no way to choose among them (libertarian, liberal, socialist, Marxist, Feminist, Critical Theory. Etc.).

To make matters worse, if one social scientist disagrees with another both can dismiss the other by claiming that the rival is a victim of a hidden bias. There is thus an infinite regress of hidden structures: your account, my account, your account of why my account is wrong because it reflects a hidden structure, my account of the hidden structure that explains why you cannot overcome your account (e.g. why “white” people who have not suffered “discrimination” cannot understand “black” people but “black” people can somehow understand and explain “white” people; likewise, “white” people can understand that “black” people suffer from the mental disorder of racial paranoia, etc.). This not only brings civil discourse to an end but it also gives enormous rhetorical advantages or power over the debate. The only social technology produced to date is the power to control debate.

B. No Replication by other Scientists

There is one final twist to the argument. A number of philosophers of science (e.g. Kuhn, Feyerabend, even Wittgenstein) have pointed out, rightly, that a theory in physical science is deemed “true” or in some sense viable if the theory meets the criteria (tests) agreed upon by the community of physical scientists. In short, intellectual acceptability depends upon a prior professional social consensus. Even Hayek pointed out that physical science rests upon assumptions that science cannot establish. Armed with this insight (anticipated by Vico in the 18th century and even to be found in Gramsci), social scientists contend that agreement amongst the community of “social” scientists is sufficient to establish the validity of a hidden structure account about the social world.

The foregoing analogy does not work. To begin with, physical scientists do not merely have conversations but engage in replicable experiments that do identify something “out there” independent of us. Moreover, the physical sciences have allowed us to extend human life, conquer diseases, engage in space exploration, etc. whereas, the “social” technologists to date have wrecked economies, engaged in needless wars, promoted social unrest, and provoked destabilizing mass migrations.

C. Concepts are not Things

In the “social” sciences, we meet only concepts and not things. Microbes and molecules are real; “systemic racism” remains a linguistic expression. There is also the question of who are the authoritative members of the community of social sciences (e.g. tenured members of the Harvard sociology department?). This may begin to explain why the contemporary university seeks to silence dissent and to discredit if not prevent certain kinds of research. Worse yet, the purveyors of this view need to appeal to a grand social consensus outside of their disciplines in order to identify their specific disciplines. Either they deny, for political reasons, that a valid social consensus exists (NO GRAND NARRATIVE) or they invoke an infinite regress. In practice, what this amounts to is that you only speak with others who already agree with you and shun, dismiss, or silence those who do not.

D. IAT Test: An Example of Unreliable Pseudo-Science

Let me give an example of pseudo-social-science. The implicit-association test (IAT) is intended to detect subconscious associations between mental representations of objects (concepts) in memory. Its best-known application is the assessment of implicit stereotypes such as associations between racial categories and stereotypes about members of those groups, e.g., associations involving racial groups, gender, sexuality, age, and predictions of the test taker. The IAT was introduced in 1998 and has been used as an assessment in implicit bias trainings (e.g. in diversity training) designed to reduce unconscious bias and discriminatory behavior.

IAT is the subject of significant debate regarding its validity, reliability, and usefulness in assessing implicit bias. Arkes and Tetlock offer “three objections to the inferential leap from the comparative RT (Reaction Time) of different associations to the attribution of implicit prejudice: (a) The data may reflect shared cultural stereotypes rather than personal animus, (b) the affective negativity attributed to participants may be due to cognitions and emotions that are not necessarily prejudiced, and (c) the patterns of judgment deemed to be indicative of prejudice pass tests deemed to be diagnostic of rational behavior.” (In press: H.R. Arkes, “The Rationality, Interpretation, and Overselling of Tests of Implicit Cognition,” in J.A. Krosnick, T.H. Stark, & A.L. Scott, eds., The Cambridge Handbook of Implicit Bias and Racism (Chapter 11, pp. 319-330). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2023).

Part II. Institutional Context: Evolution of Higher Education in the U.S.

Historically the modern American university emerged in the 19th century from a variety of sources: religious affiliation, local communities, and private benefactors. From the beginning the university consisted of factions with competing paradigms. The oldest paradigm, the Ivory Tower so to speak, originated in the small liberal arts college with a religious (usually Puritan) affiliation and famously romanticized by Newman. The purpose of liberal education was to preserve, critique, and to transmit our cultural inheritance. In seeking to subordinate itself to the outside world, the university would only compromise itself and become an instrument for commercial or political exploitation.

A teacher is one who initiates a student into a cultural inheritance. The inheritance only comes alive when exhibited in the living embodiment of an instructor. The teacher exhibits academic virtues by consistently and coherently organizing intellectual judgments and inviting the learner to share in that process. Teaching was successful when students learned how to construct a self-understanding inclusive of the inheritance, a particular way of ordering or appropriating the inheritance, and to do so in a way that leads to the acquisition of an intellectual personality of their own.

A second paradigm is the German research model of the university with its emphasis on the disinterested pursuit of knowledge, the graduate school and the training of professionals. In this model, knowledge cannot be in the service of special interest groups because knowledge knows no political boundaries. Although non-political, the spectacular success of this model in science and technology eventually encouraged government subvention.

The third paradigm is utilitarian, wherein the university is seen as an institution for solving various and sundry social problems. In this model, the university exists as a means to social ends defined externally to the university itself (e.g. an A&M).

Looked at from our contemporary perspective, it is now clear that Newman’s moral model of the university has evaporated or has been marginalized; the research model has been corrupted and coopted; the notion of the college graduate as a civil servant has evolved into the notion of a special class which aims to run society. It is the politicized utilitarian model that has triumphed.

At first glance it is clear that institutions that were supposed to be the locus of higher education have become entwined with and encompass an enormous range of social, economic, and cultural activities. In the process, they have become big businesses with vested interests. In attempting to encompass all of these activities, institutions of higher education have abandoned learning. In so doing, such institutions have evolved into fraudulent enterprises. This is not to say that everything that occurs within institutions of higher education is fraudulent; nor is it to say that this outcome was planned or even foreseeable. It is to say that institutions of higher education have evolved, and in the course of that evolution factors internal to and external to the institution, intellectual and non-intellectual, have contributed to the rise of a Tower of Babel, meaning that the experts can no longer communicate with each other and have no clear common purpose. Symptomatic of this problem is a lack of consensus on the meaning of concepts like “learning,” “higher education,” “university;” no one seems to know what “teaching” is as opposed to “instructing” or how to evaluate it; no one seems to know the difference between “research” and “scholarship.” We have, in short, lost all sense of purpose. The fraud consists in maintaining that all of the activities that occur within present institutions of higher education are legitimate, consistent with each other and capable of forming a coherent whole under the rubric of the pious rhetoric that appears in mission statements and commencement addresses.

Although seemingly serving these external interests, universities have become a home for the adversary culture, for all those groups that are hostile to the very activities the university seeks to encompass. What are we to make of this contradiction? Schumpeter has observed that most modern intellectuals (including clergy and media people) are generally at odds with the representatives of the business community even though academics are dependent upon commerce for their own existence and comfort. Part of this opposition is reflected in the firm commitment of the academic world to socialism even when it has been repeatedly shown that centrally planned economies woefully and of necessity underperform free market economies. Schumpeter attributes this opposition to jealously on the part of academics who resent the fact that the leadership of modern culture emerges from the business community instead of the academy. Here we have a clue as to what has happened, namely, something was transformed in the evolution of the university from a medieval to a modern institution.

Higher education is the initiation into an inheritance, and it was from the beginning institutionalized in universities. As medieval institutions, universities saw themselves as the elite defining institutions of the culture, as superior to and independent of the state, as playing both a Socratic role with respect to the culture as a whole and a potentially adversarial role with respect to individual institutions such as the state. The source of our difficulties lies in the conflict between these roles, the conflict between the Socratic initiation into the inheritance and the adversarial relation between a self-defined elitist institution and the rest of the culture.

As Western Civilization evolved the content of the inheritance evolved. Unfortunately, certain historically contingent aspects of the medieval world became mistakenly identified with the content. Given the late medieval context, academics believed in a collective, holistic, and hierarchical common good, a good to which the good of individuals was subordinate, a good that encompassed both the church and the state. Intellectuals, in short, see themselves as the high priests of the collective good The university as agent of the church not only articulated that good but enlisted the subordinate state to promote the conditions necessary to achieve that good.

The modern world is not the medieval world. There are two elements in the medieval view that are at odds with modern culture. The most distinctive institutions of modern culture are individual rights, the rule of law, a republican form of government, and a market economy. First, modern culture is post-Reformation and therefore does not believe in a holistic common good. There is, instead, the individual good rooted, at least initially, in the relationship of individuals to God. There is no holistic common good over which academics may preside, only a cultural inheritance. Universities, however, may still perform the functions of providing a context for learning and maintaining a Socratic role vis-a-vis the rest of the culture. Second, there is no one institution, and therefore no one group, that authoritatively articulates the cultural inheritance. Without a collective good, intellectuals in the modern world are merely trained communicators who might be spokespersons for a particular interest group. Schumpeter’s observations and diagnosis are not only accurate, but we can explain the situation further by reference to the medieval origins of Institutions of Higher Education. The now mythological holistic common good is the metaphysical phantom behind central planning.

The Enlightenment Project allowed academics to reassert the cultural hegemony of the university. College graduates were no longer mere civil servants but definers and implementers of the good. The good was understood as the medieval cosmic order now accessed by physical and social science. Since media people are trained by the academics, they too become advocates of the project. It should come as no surprise that the press is no longer Socratic but adversarial.
How did this happen?

The internal transformation begins with how the Puritan Ivory Tower underwent a remarkable secularization. Inspired by 19th-century Transcendentalists like Emerson and Thoreau (environmentalist, author of “Civil Disobedience,” and whose support of John Brown turned abolitionism into a civil religion), these “heretical” Puritans (now a sect of Presbyterians) surrendered the concept of “original sin” and replaced it with a moral universalism in which it was assumed that all people were naturally good and corrupted only by their environment. As Santayana allegedly remarked, “Thoreau was impervious to the evidence of evil.” What began as WASP Hegemony evolved first into Wilsonian (President of Princeton University became President of the U.S.) Progressivism that assimilated all Americans in the 1920s but by the 1960s had evolved into liberal-egalitarian idealism applicable to the entire multicultural world. This view is expressed in a speech given by Harvard historian Arthur Schlesinger to the American Historical Association (1942) titled “What Then is The American, This New Man?” Schlesinger declared that: “The American character … is bottomed upon the profound conviction that nothing in the world is beyond its power to accomplish.” In his 1989 essay, The End of History, Francis Fukuyama argued that American liberal democracy and modern technology had produced the final form of political association. Henceforth, all societies would, in time, inevitably take on the form of liberal democracy.

What will probably strike some readers as an aside or a remarkable coincidence, worth noting is that the 16th century English theologian Richard Hooker’s critical portrait of Puritan methodology in his Ecclesiastical Polity aptly catches what has become today “Woke” methodology in higher education and its attendant “witch hunt.” Puritans exhibited a Millenarian vision of spiritual redemption through worldly reform; severe criticism of social evils and the conduct of the upper classes; they are virtue signalers; experience themselves as the elect and distinguish themselves from the damned; concentrate popular ill-will against the establishment; recommend a new form of government as the “sovereign remedy of all evils;” turn a blind eye to any part of our intellectual inheritance that is incompatible with their doctrine; anyone who uses tabooed instruments of critique will be socially boycotted and defamed; there is a special role for women: emotionally more accessible, tactically well placed to influence husbands, children, friends, more inclined to than men to serve as spies/”commissars” concerning the state of affections in their circle, and more liberal in financial aid; they are impermeable to argument and have their answers well drilled – beyond shaking by argument; sacred documents had to be carefully chosen and the interpretation standardized; propaganda is a form of political action not a search for truth; where they control the means of communication, all theoretical argument is prohibited (Voegelin, pp.135-144).

Going back to the medieval origin of universities focused on educating the clergy, the faculty had always viewed itself as the moral and intellectual elite. The Puritan roots of higher education in the U.S. always had as its aim the notion of the college graduate as part of a special class which aims to run society. Heretofore, it had been assumed that knowledge cannot be in the service of special interest groups because knowledge knows no political boundaries. In the 1960s, the secularization of Puritanism came to mean that colleges promoted a specific political agenda, namely liberal-egalitarian idealism associated with transcendentalism or humanism. That agenda emerged from the so-called “social” sciences.

The alleged “social” sciences, acting as a kind of “fifth column” starting in the 1960s, achieved intellectual hegemony over the entire university curriculum. The humanities were social-scientized under the aegis of “deconstruction” seeking the hidden structure meaning of texts so that Shakespeare, for example, was now read not as someone who had important insights into the human condition but perhaps as a racist or homophobe. Here is a typical itinerary that reflects a forced interdisciplinarity: the student registers in a philosophy department; instead of the Truth for which she was searching all that she is offered is tiresome analysis; bored, she changes disciplines and ends up writing a thesis entitled “The Phenomenology of Moby Dick” or “How Class Struggle is related to Paternalism.” Following all this, she will be hired in a department of literature, or social sciences, or psychology and will satisfy in turn the disappointed philosophical aspirations of a new generation.

“Deconstruction” became the origin of the view that there are multiple but no authoritative narratives or grand theory. (According to Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, the postmodern condition rejects universalizing theories. Lyotard argues that we have outgrown our needs for metanarratives that bring together social practices. Any narratives we tell to justify a single set of norms are inherently unjust. Little narratives have now become the appropriate way for explaining social transformations and political problems. This is easily translatable as a rejection of Huntington’s “creed” and the promotion of multiculturalism). By a not so strange coincidence with Rousseau’s elusive “general will,” the substitute for an authoritative narrative was whatever the majority, or those who spoke in the name of the majority, voted for or agreed to. As we shall see, this had important implications for immigration policy.

The American Historical Association (the national professional organization for academic historians), issued a statement supporting the removal of Confederate monuments from the public square because the 1861-1865 War was about slavery. American historians and legal scholars acting now in a post-modern idiom for whom the “realities of race and slavery” stain and color nearly all events in antebellum history, just as Marxists stained and confounded everything they touched from an obsession with class struggle, will ignore or dismiss constitutional claims about the right of secession and by an act of will confer “factual” status on the official doctrine that the War was about slavery. And since most academic historians subscribe to that thesis, it is presented as something determined by “experts.”

In philosophy, John Rawls (winner of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award) was a barometer of the direction of academic thinking. In his youth, Rawls was influenced by Marx’s essay On the Jewish Question, criticizing the idea that inequality in ability justifies the distribution of wealth in society. G. A. Cohen, used Rawls’s writings to inaugurate Analytical Marxism in the 1980s, and the same can be said of Habermas and the Frankfort School. In the Law of Peoples (1999) Rawls embraces a form of multiculturalism)—eschewed and replaced even the historical account of our norms by articulating the method of “reflective equilibrium” to undercover the alleged “hidden” structure of our moral intuitions. Rawls’s theorized, in a series of articles written between 1957 and 1963 and a book in 1971, that justice meant “fairness” which really meant equal basic liberties, “fair” equality of opportunity, and facilitating the maximum benefit to the least advantaged members of society in any case where inequalities may occur.

(The qualification “fair” opens the Pandora’s box that leads ultimately from equality of opportunity to equality of result. See below on Hume’s discussion of “fair.” Notice as well the difference between a society which maximizes benefits for all and one which is focused on maximizing benefits for the least well off. The former defines itself in terms of its “most” successful while the latter defines itself in terms of its ‘least’ successful).

Rawls’ sympathizers and critics pointed out that he had not gone far enough. Even in a system of perfect equality of opportunity there would be some inequality of result. The children of super-achievers would have gained privileges that the children of others did not. Such inequality and the resulting resentment was, as Marxists argued, the root of all other social problems. It is at this point that cultural Marxists hijacked the liberal-egalitarian agenda in the academic world.

(Just as Hooker had in the sixteenth century exposed the logic of Puritan Gnosticism, David Hume had in the 18th century in the Enquiry Concerning Morals exposed the logic of inequality. First, there is no consensus on what is a fair distribution; second, you cannot in advance assign resources to who will make the best use of them because this is not something anyone can know in advance {refutes central planning}; third, if in the beginning you give everyone equal resources this will be followed by interactions that will lead to a new inequality of result; finally, all of this will require an all-powerful central authority to maintain the ongoing equality).

An important transition had occurred. Rather than demanding that Americans live up to their norms, it had now been revealed that those norms, the entire history behind them was inherently evil and exploitative. If so, then against that standard Western Civilization was a fraudulent form of exploitation. What followed was a scholarship of endless denigration of Western achievement. Not even the physical sciences could resist. Western physical science had, unbeknownst, all this time operated within a flawed set of moral foundations. Something, later, like Covid became a social/political/ideological problem and not a medical problem.

This intellectual voyage provided an opening for Frankfort School cultural Marxists like Marcuse. Rawls had to be supplemented by Dworkin who in turn gave way to critical race theory. Pre-law students usually majored in political science (subtly conceptualizing law into applied politics) and when they arrived at Law Schools were introduced to the U.S. Constitution as a document written by white males who had owned slaves. Social technologists turned law schools into preparing graduates to be federal bureaucrats, activist judges, and regulatory agents.

To recruit more like-minded faculty for Gramsci’s “Long March through the Institutions,” a succinct mission statement coined by Marxist student activist Rudi Dutschke in the 1960s, whole new disciplines of inequality grievance studies were introduced. John Ellis (2020), in his book, The Breakdown of Higher Education, shows how Antonio Gramsci inspired Marxists and Students for a Democratic Society, the latter publishing in 1962 the Port Huron Statement. In that document, Students for a Democratic Society “decided . . . their only choice was to “wrest control of the educational process from the administrative bureaucracy…(and) consciously build a base for their assault upon the loci of power” (Ellis, pp. 48-52). They went on to use universities to convert young people to their ideology. Radicals patiently built their numbers until they had achieved a 5-to-1 left-right faculty ratio by the turn of the century (2000). That dominance allowed radicals to control most new faculty appointments, and the left-right ratio accelerated dramatically, reaching about 12 to 1 by 2016. The affected institutions include law schools and business schools. The best discussion of Marxism in higher education is American Academia and the Survival of Marxist Ideas, by Dario Fernandez-Morera (1996).

Part III: Political Background

As we shall see the political context was both a cause and an effect of the growth of affirmative action and its transition to DEI.

The utilitarian conception of the university understood as serving an external political agenda was facilitated by federal funding. In an important sense, there is hardly any longer a totally private institution of higher learning. The external sociological origin of this triumph lies in the commercial exploitation of the university’s research resources, in the political appropriation of the university’s scientific research capacity commencing with the Cold War, and in the vast expansion of the number of people accepted into the institution during the 1960s. It’s always about the 1960s.

In the immediate post WWII period, both major political parties, Democrats and Republicans, shared different but overlapping narratives. Both supported what I shall call the “American Dream,” namely the view that through hard work and merit (talent) any American could become economically successful. It was always understood that a meritocracy meant inequality of result, but this was accepted on the grounds that all were then better off (“a rising tide raises all boats”). Republicans wanted to protect this Dream for those who already had achieved it and for their posterity; and Democrats wanted to extend it to those (unionized workers) who felt that they had been unfairly excluded.

Heretofore, Blacks, when allowed to vote, had, for historical reasons, supported the Republican Party going back to Lincoln and Reconstruction. All of that was about to change. The 1954 Brown v. the Board of Education decision by the Supreme Court outlawing segregated schooling and the 1964 Civil Rights Act protecting voting rights, among other things, convinced Black leaders that their path to the American Dream was paved by increasing the power of the Federal Government, the favored tactic of the Democratic Party. What Democrats discovered was that their power base was no longer with the working class but with groups who perceived themselves as previously excluded (i.e., “victims”). Post WWII economic growth had already lifted many members of the working class into a share of the American Dream, and this led to a steadily increasing movement away from the Democratic Party (e.g., “Reagan Democrats” in the 1980s and many Trump supporters in 2016). These changes did not go unnoticed by cultural Marxists who had already perceived that the great revolution would not be accomplished through the working class. In due course, the cultural Marxists would take control both of the Democratic Party and even the leadership of the Black community. By 1991, the NAACP had, according to Andrew Young, achieved its civil rights goals. But it was losing members, revenue, and influence, so a new direction had to be taken. Blacks formed an alliance with other groups who perceived themselves as victims.

Two other interrelated political phenomena are worth noting, namely multiculturalism and immigration. Prior to the 1960s, immigration rules favored Europeans from north-western Europe (U.K. and Scandinavia). In addition, immigrants had been encouraged/required to assimilate to the dominant culture. The dominant culture was, according to Huntington, Anglo-Protestant. The dominant culture encompassed a specific set of norms or “creed” (individual liberty, rule of law, equality before the law, limited government, and market economy).

Elsewhere, it has been argued that those norms, including the transition from an agricultural economy to an industrial and technological economy, had empowered Western Europeans, in general, to colonize (dominate) the globe, allowed Britain to create a global empire in the 19th century on which “the sun never sets,” enabled the U.S. to “win” the Cold War against the Marxist-Leninist Soviet Union, and ultimately become the world’s superpower. “English” is now the world’s universal second language (certainly the major language of commerce, politics, and academe). Assuming this to be the case, success within the U.S. (and economic success as a “developing” “country”) depended upon already possessing or mastering those cultural norms.

Within U.S. politics, Democrats characterized good government as democratization understood as majority rule; Republicans characterized it as limited government or a Republic with a Constitutional legal system that protected individual rights. Post WW II and in response to the Cold War, both major parties promoted decolonialization (self-rule) and democratization, as opposed to Soviet centralization of all power, in international affairs.

The counter-narrative, i.e. the cultural Marxist narrative, is that the success of north-western Europeans and their heirs (Anglo-American world) was the product of the denigration and exploitation of the “non-white” colonized world. The remedy was not revolution (original Soviet Marxist theory) but democratization and multi-culturalism. Multiculturalism is not just about the wide availability of ethnic restaurants but “is about the proper terms of the relationship between different cultural communities.” This is understood to mean that the standards by which the communities resolve their differences, “the principles of justice must not come from only one of the cultures but must come through an open and equal dialogue between them” (Parekh, p. 13).

This has two major immediate implications. Domestically, it means that politics is now about negotiation among different “cultural” groups wherein each group’s culture enjoys equal dignity and respect. The older notions of success and meritocracy through competition are to be discarded as remnants of bias. “Cultural appropriation” occurs when a member of a majority group assimilates a cultural element of a minority group without due regard for its original meaning and thereby implies the subordination and disrespect of the minority culture.

The Democratic Party embraced this view in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act and with the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. The latter act removed “de facto discrimination” against Southern and Eastern Europeans, Asians, Africans and other non-North-Western European groups.

“Discrimination” simply means making fine distinctions. This is usually a good thing. “Discrimination’ has taken on a largely negative connotation when associated with irrelevant or counterproductive criteria. Several waves of immigrants had been successfully integrated into the creed of Anglo-Protestant culture largely because of assimilation policies. It was now assumed by an ignorant public without any serious discussion or debate that anyone coming to America would fit in simply by osmosis. We were told that America was a “land of immigrants,” something that is impossible. You can only immigrate into a country that already has a culture; and the U.S. already had an Anglo-Protestant culture because of its English settlers. The original settlers were not immigrants but settlers. Of course, if one claims that the misnamed “Native American” tribes were a country, then the English settlers were just another immigrant group. What was overlooked was the deliberate intention of cultural Marxists to welcome those who might resist assimilation to the creed. It all depends on one’s “narrative.”

The Immigration Act of 1990 rescinded the provision discriminating against members of the LGBT+ community. It also introduced for the first time a “Diversity Immigrant Visa” to be determined by the Attorney General to rectify imbalances. “Diversity” has the clear meaning here of referring to cultures or countries. In essence, this transferred authority to deal with immigration issues from the judiciary to the unelected civil service (staffed largely by university trained attorneys). This Act also clarified but extended “family reunification” immigration visas to immediate family members. For immigration purposes, immediate family is defined as one’s spouse, parents, or unmarried children below age 21. Demographically this increases the percentage of the population that is not derived from north-west Europe.

With regard to immigration, it means that all cultures are to be equally respected (= given equal weight). Hence, there is to be no favoritism for north-west (i.e. “white”) Europeans. This reflects the replacement of what Huntington (2005) had called the “creed” by the norms of cultural Marxism (instead of transforming the earth you must repair the damage of climate change, instead of a free market economy you advocate a managed global economy where the difference between crony capitalism and socialism disappears, instead of limited national government you espouse unlimited leadership by the UN, instead of the rule of law you advocate rule through law, and finally, you are defined by membership in a group).

(As Michael Oakeshott put it, “The emergence of this disposition to be an individual is the preeminent event in modern European history… there were some people, by circumstance or by temperament, less ready than others to respond… the familiar anonymity of communal life was replaced by a personal identity which was burdensome… it bred envy, jealousy and resentment… (it developed) a new morality… not of ‘liberty’ and ‘self-determination,’ but of ‘equality’ and ‘solidarity’… not… the ‘love of others’ or ‘charity’ or… ‘benevolence’… but… the love of ‘the community’…(the anti-individual or mass man, i.e., those attracted to identity politics) remains an unmistakably derivative character… helpless, parasitic and able to survive only in opposition to individuality.” See also “Pathology of Identity Politics”).

The alarm bells were beginning to ring. As Schlesinger pointed out:

There remains however a crucial difference between the Western Tradition and the others. The crimes of the West have produced their own antidotes…to end slavery, to raise the status of women, to abolish torture, to combat racism, to defend freedom of inquiry and expression…that continent is also…the unique source—of those liberating ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, the rule of law,… These are European ideas, not Asian, nor African, nor Middle Eastern ideas, except by adoption.

From Affirmative Action to DEI

The undefined expression “affirmative action” began innocuously enough in executive orders issued by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. It soon began to take on a variety of evolving meanings.

Definition 1 (open-search): Affirmative action consists of those policies designed to advertise all openings as widely as possible and to monitor appointments and promotions processes in order to insure that the process is open, nondiscriminatory, and promotes excellence. (As we shall shortly see, this was clearly the intention and extent of the original legislation).

Definition 2 (punitive): Affirmative action consists of any policy, private or public, ordered by the court to redress proven cases of individual discrimination. The remedy may involve a specific numerical objective, but the numerical objective is limited to a specific time and place.

Definition 3 (backward-compensation): Affirmative action covers any policy designed to redress alleged cases of discrimination against a group by placing members of the group in the positions they would have allegedly held if the alleged discrimination had not taken place. This is a contrary-to-fact conditional: it claims to identify what would happen if something else had not happened. (This was exactly what the original legislation was designed to prevent by adding 703 (h) and 703 (j)—see below).

Definition 4 (backward-compensation): Affirmative action covers any policy designed to redress alleged cases of discrimination against a group by placing members of the group in the positions they would have allegedly held if the alleged discrimination had not taken place. This is a contrary-to-fact conditional: it claims to identify what would happen if something else had not happened.

Definition 5 (forward-preferential): Affirmative action designates any policy in social planning, without any causal claim of what would have been, designed to produce a democratic and diverse society in which all power, resources, rewards, etc. will reflect the percentage of the population of the officially designated groups. Instead of equality of opportunity we shall endorse equality of result. The Hidden Agenda.

Legislative History

It is useful to cite the legislative record concerning these definitions. As then Senator Hubert H. Humphrey put it, “Title VII does not require an employer to achieve any sort of racial balance in his work force by giving preferential treatment to any individual or group.” Senator Harrison Williams noted that Title VII “specifically prohibits the Attorney General or any agency of the government, from requiring employment to be on the basis of racial or religious quotas. Under this provision an employer with only white employees could continue to have only the best qualified persons even if they were all white.” Senator Joseph Clark stated, “Quotas are themselves discriminatory.” If anyone still has any doubts, then recall the words of Representative Emanuel Celler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the congressman responsible for introducing the legislation:

It is likewise not true that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would have power to rectify existing “racial or religious imbalance” in employment by requiring the hiring of certain people without regard to their qualifications simply because they are of a given race or religion. Only actual discrimination could be stopped.

Original Legislation

Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 unequivocally outlaw compensation or preference (see definitions 3 and 4 below). Two provisions spell this out:

703 (h) it shall not be unlawful employment practice… for an employer to give and act upon the results of any professionally developed ability test provided that such test, its administration or action upon the results is not designed, intended or used to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

703 (j) Nothing contained in this title shall be interpreted to require any employer… to grant preferential treatment to any individual or to any group because of the race, color, religion, sex, or national origin of such individual or group on account of an imbalance which may exist with respect to the total number of percentage of persons of any race, color, religion, sex or national origin employed by any employer.

As we all have come to understand, what a law means depends upon how unelected federal bureaucrats choose to understand it. The labor department had its own definition: Definition 3 (backward-compensation); see above.

Court History

In the pivotal Alan Bakke case (1978), Justice Powell, in the plurality opinion, specifically attacked and rejected the backward-looking argument for compensation (definition 3). “…But for this discrimination by society at large, Bakke “would have failed to qualify for admission” because Negro applicants…would have made better scores. Not one word in the record supports this conclusion. (italics added)… (it) offers no standards for courts to use in applying such a presumption of causation to other racial or ethnic classifications….”

Although Powell urged “strict scrutiny” to be applied to affirmative action programs, in a second opinion he suggested that schools might take race, as one factor, into account in order to achieve a “diverse” student body. Powell did not clarify what he meant by “diversity.” Powell did not link “diversity” to cultures or ethnicity, and he could not link it to egalitarian outcomes because that would have contradicted his official opinion.

Mercifully, the latest Supreme Court decision has ended the waffling and reasserted the primacy of meritocracy.

It is now almost 60 years since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It has been 60 years during which the university as an institution has been thoroughly taken over by cultural Marxists; during which every institution in the U.S. (civil service, military, medicine, sports, entertainment, etc.) has bent over backwards to root out any vestige of discrimination; during which even the business community has adopted or at least paid lip service to the “woke” agenda; during which we have seen that the top household income positions are held by Indians (India), Taiwanese, Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese, Iranian, Turkish, and Nigerians as opposed to whites. Nevertheless, the household incomes of Blacks (as a whole) and Hispanics (as a whole) continue to lag. Rather than question the original diagnosis for this lag, cultural Marxists have doubled down on outlawed policies of compensation and preference by changing the names.

(Hundreds of thousands of Blacks and Hispanics have achieved economic, social, and professional success. There are several plausible hypotheses about why some prosper and others fail to do so. These alternative explanations and possible alternative policies are dismissed without discussion because they do not fit the cultural Marxist narrative).

Federal Bureaucracy at Work: From Affirmative Action to DEI

Institutions of higher education, seized upon the term “diversity” and linked it to what we have identified as the fourth definition and justification of affirmative action. Borrowing from the Immigration Act of 1990, “diversity” was linked to multi-culturalism (see the online definitions from the Merriam-Webster dictionary and Cambridge dictionary) and the assumption that federal bureaucrats could engage in post-hoc rectification. (For examples of how Federal bureaucracies misrepresent legal decisions see N. Capaldi, “Twisting the Law,” in Policy Review, Spring (1980), pp. 39-58).

“Diversity” and “Inclusion” were specifically derived/defined from immigration law. Immigration law, going back to the 1920s attempt at assimilation had focused on domestic nation retention/maintenance; but specifically the debate surrounding the 1965 ACT, was focused on future nation building. Coupled with America’s foreign policy in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union and The End of History conception of remaking the world in our own image, it was a short step to imagining a world homogeneous in all respects. Therefore, the U.S. had to “look” like the UN. Nation building applied to or was retroactively imposed upon the the U.S. “Globalization” came to mean much more than doing business internationally.

The key point of conflict was “equality.” Either the world would aim for a meritocracy (Huntington’s Anglo-Protestant core) with its inevitable version of inequality of outcome or the world would aim for something vaguely egalitarian (cultural Marxism). Hence, the concept of “equity.” Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity is different for it recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact (additional?) resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances. The process is ongoing, requiring us to identify and overcome intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or systemic structures. In such a world, meritocracy becomes a form of unintentional systemic bias (racism?).

Inclusion means the practice or policy of including and integrating all people and groups in activities, organizations, political processes, etc., especially those who are disadvantaged, have suffered discrimination, or are living with “disabilities.”

It is worth noting that people with disabilities surely are victims (perhaps of the “genetic lottery” in some cases), but they are not usually victims of social or institutional policies or arrangements as is alleged in the case of other (racial, ethnic, etc.) groups. However, they are likely to be economically disadvantaged and therefore beneficiaries and supporters of proposed democratic party policies of the redistribution of wealth and positions of power.

All of this sounds like a way of improving productivity by adjusting distribution. It slides easily into equality of result. But there is something even more ominous. To achieve the foregoing noble ends, a new class of administrators needs to be created. The concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion must apply to them, i.e., the members of government bureaucracies and the leaders of every private institution have to mirror the general population. This becomes a sort of bizarre version of what Tocqueville warned us were the dangers of a “democratic” culture. Recall here, as well, Hume’s warning that a specially empowered class is required to maintain the egalitarian structure. To conclude, Bertrand de Jouvenel said it best. Redistribution strives to transfer wealth from the rich to the poor, but all that we have ever accomplished is to transfer power from the individual to the state. The new world of DEI focuses on distribution not production, on equality and not individual excellence, on specially identifiable groups and not autonomous individuals. Nevertheless, the leaders or spokespersons of the groups will enjoy power, prestige, and perks not available to the rest of the group. The end product is neither a classless society nor an egalitarian one. Some are always more equal than others.

Keep in mind that universities, largely influenced by the social science faculty, had already been practicing some forms of affirmative action in the post WWII era and had since then openly welcomed and promoted it. Moreover, the demographics of university personnel has consciously strived to reflect an international demeanor.

The business world soon followed suit. In order to obtain some specific government contracts, private companies had to submit to the Department of Labor not only a bid but an affirmative action plan and show “good faith” in implementing it. The easiest way to “show” good faith is to adopt hiring quotas. It became part of the overhead of conducting a business. Moreover, in order to avoid being harassed, sued and absorbing enormous legal costs by a government agency, even if you are innocent and committed to the most rigorous meritocracy, is to adopt a quota hiring policy. Always remember, the “long march” through the institutions is designed to achieve revolutionary results by gaining control of institutions and government bureaucracies whose employees were all educated in institutions of higher education run by cultural Marxists and their allies and fellow travelers.

The number of well indoctrinated cultural Marxists is further increased and embedded (another “fifth column”) even in the business world by requiring or expecting companies to hire affirmative action officers and diversity training specialists. Diversity training is any program designed to “facilitate positive intergroup interaction, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and generally teach individuals who are different from others how to work together effectively” (“The Impact of Method”).

The Race Issue(s):

Hierarchy: Every society and every social entity has an elite who get privileges. There is no way to avoid a hierarchy. Even egalitarians themselves need, and insist upon, an elite to maintain the proposed equality.

The important question is whether the hierarchy has Functionality. What makes a hierarchy functional or dysfunctional? Answer: if the hierarchy serves to maximize the interests of all relevant parties. Traditionally, Anglo-American societies has aspired to achieve meritocracy because the pursuit of excellence benefits everyone. It benefits everyone because outstanding individuals create things (entrepreneurs, technology, medicine, sports, arts, etc.) that benefit everyone and actually create more opportunities for everyone. American Blacks as individuals have many examples (hundreds of thousands) of being part of the elite—success stories. This refutes every claim that the history of slavery and ‘Jim Crow’ necessarily hold people back.

The Black elites are not mathematically analogous to White elites. However, there is no reason to believe that any talent is proportional to a group’s size. History seems to confirm this. The greatest obstacles to more Black success are fatalism, the assumption that individuals are not responsible for their decisions, poor family structure, poor education policies and teacher union activism, previous government programs of welfare and affirmative action, the greed and corruption of some Black political and cultural elites, misguided liberal political and social theories and policies.

At the same time, a large percentage of American Blacks are dysfunctional (illegitimacy, unemployment, literacy, numeracy, imprisoned, etc.). THIS IS A FACT! Apologists automatically assume that (a) everyone is born ‘good’ and corrupted only by their environment (same way they presume that gun deaths are caused by guns not by people), (b) claim America is inherently racist or anti-Black achievement, (c) that the solution requires non-Blacks to make unending concessions (now its reparations), and (d) just in case equality of outcome is still not possible in a meritocratic society, then meritocracy has to be surrendered, OR replaced by egalitarianism and we as individuals are all to be conceptualized by group membership (class, race, culture, whatever). This is the hidden agenda of cultural Marxists.

Many Americans have believed, even before 1776, that Blacks (sub-Sahara African origin) as a group would never fit into American society. Even as late as Lincoln, Americans considered the policy of repatriating or emigrating Blacks to another less challenging environment (originally, e.g., Liberia). Affirmative action and DEI policies in a “woke” environment are beginning to exhaust the public’s patience and trust. It is time to consider that this may be the only viable alternative. Other countries are also beginning to learn that mass migrations often bring people from other cultures and subcultures that reject or resist assimilation.


The seamless transition from affirmative action to DEI reflected a series of public policies that challenged the Anglo-Protestant norms of America’s original settlers (liberty) and set in motion the current conflict with the norms of cultural Marxists (equality). That conflict originated in institutions of Higher Education with the domination of the social sciences by the utopian vision of a social technology. It was aided and abetted in institutions founded by Puritans under the influence of Transcendentalist millenarianism. The conflict spread beyond the universities when cultural Marxists gained control of the Democratic Party.

Nicholas Capaldi is Professor Emeritus at Loyola University, New Orleans.

Featured: Dante and Virgil in Hell, by Filippo Napoletano; painted ca. 1619-1620.

The Dictatorship of the Financial Plutocracy

Thanks to the processes of supranationalization and the order of the dominant discourse, the peoples themselves are increasingly convinced that fundamental decisions do not depend on their sovereign will, but on the markets and stock exchanges, on “external links” and on higher sources of transnational meaning. This is the reality that the peoples, from below, simply “must” second electorally, voting always and only as the superior rationality of the market and its agents demands.

“The markets will teach Italians to vote the right way,” solemnly affirmed, in 2018, the European Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget, Günther Oettinger, condensing in one sentence the meaning of “market-compatible democracy.” And, in convergent terms, the Eurotechnocrat Jean-Claude Juncker had categorically stated that “there can be no democratic choice against the European treaties” (Le Figaro, 29.1.2015). Theses such as those just mentioned, about a supposedly necessary separation of popular representation and the sphere of political decision-making, would have been considered until recently as reactionary, authoritarian and inadmissible attacks on democracy. With the crisis of 1989, on the other hand, they became hegemonic in the order of the dominant logo—to such an extent that anyone who dared to challenge them in any way was repudiated as “populist” and “sovereigntist.”

The neoliberal right and left are today applying the same economic and social recipes. And the latter are no longer the result of democratic political negotiation, since the economic and monetary sovereignty of sovereign nation states has disappeared. Therefore, the recipes are imposed autocratically from supranational financial institutions, which in turn are not democratically legitimized (ECB, IMF, etc.). And since both the progressive right and the caviar left do not question the processes of de-democratizing supranationalization of decision-making (which, by the way, they mostly favor), both end up legitimizing the sovereignty of the post-national economy and, with it, that of the stateless class of neoliberal plutocracy, which always hides behind the apparent anonymity of “sensibly suprasensible” entities such as the Markets, the Stock Exchanges or the International Community.

Even in 1990, Norberto Bobbio maintained that “by the left today is understood the force that is on the side of those who are below, as well as by the right that which is on the side of those who are above.” Even then, Bobbio described in detail the nature of cleavage in the framework of modern dialectical capitalism; in whose spaces, indeed, the left had represented the interests of the dominated (those at the bottom) and the right those of the dominant (those at the top). However, Bobbio failed to decipher the obsolescence of this hermeneutic scheme in the framework of the new absolute-totalitarian capitalism—in his scenario, as should be clear by now, the left, no less than the right, represents the part, the interests and the perspective of those at the top.

Therefore, overcoming the treacherous right-left dichotomy, it is essential to re-sovereignize the economy in order to restore the primacy of sovereign decision-making; and, finally, to establish popular sovereignty, id est. democracy as κράτος of the δῆμος. For popular sovereignty coincides with a community master of its own destiny, therefore capable of deciding autonomously the key issues of its own existence. The dichotomy between socialism and barbarism has not ceased to be valid; with the fundamental novitas, however, that both the right and the left have openly placed themselves on the side of barbarism. And consequently, a new democratic socialism après la gauche must be shaped.

Intellectuals organic to capital—the new postmodern clergy—and politics subsumed under neoliberal power—progressive right and caviar left—keep the dominated classes, the national-popular Servant, inside the globalized cavern of capital. They convince the dominated that it is the only viable system. And they induce them to choose among fictitious alternatives, which are also based on the assumption of the neoliberal cavern as an ineluctable destiny, if not as the best of all possible worlds. Against the new mental order and the mappa mundi forged by the intellectual clergy in support of the dominant pole, we must have the courage to admit that the antithesis between right and left exists today only virtually, as an ideological prosthesis to manipulate the consensus and domesticate it in the capitalist sense, according to the typical device of “repressive tolerance” through which the global citizen is given the “free” choice of adherence to systemic needs. In fact, the choice is non-existent insofar as the two options, within which it is called to be exercised, share, at bottom, a common identity—right and left express in different ways the same content in the order of turbo-capitalism. And, in this way, they provoke the exercise of a manipulated choice, in which the two parties involved, perfectly interchangeable, feed the idea of the possible alternative, in reality non-existent. Thus, the real alternation between right and left guarantees not the alternative, but its impossibility.

It is for this reason that, in order to carry out the “gestalt reorientation” that will allow us to understand the present and orient ourselves in its spaces with thought and action, it is necessary to say goodbye, without hesitation and without remorse, to the already worn-out and useless dichotomy between right and left. That is why the abandonment of the dichotomy must not run aground in the shallows of disenchantment and the appeasement of all political passion for the rejuvenation of the world—the enduring passion of anti-capitalism and of the operative search for ennobling ulteriorities must, instead, be determined in the theoretical-practical attempt to theorize and operate new schemes and new maps, new syntheses and new fronts with which to relive the “dream of a thing” and the anti-adaptive pathos fueled by the desires for greater and better freedom. To paraphrase the Adorno of Minima Moralia, freedom is not exercised by choosing between a right and a left that are perfectly interchangeable and equally allied to the status quo. It is exercised by rejecting, without possible mediations, the manipulated choice and proposing real alternatives that think and act differently, beyond the alienated horizon of capital. We must reject alternation, in order to bring the alternative back to life.

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: Allegory of Greed, Egbert van Heemskerck the Younger; painted ca. 17th-18th century.

Kiel University Sacrificed Freedom of the Press

Patrik Baab has won outright. The ruling of the Schleswig-Holstein Administrative Court in his favor is now legally binding.

So now it’s official: Patrik Baab did nothing, with his trip to eastern Ukraine, that would justify ending his teaching position at Kiel University. The ruling of the Schleswig-Holstein Administrative Court of April 25 of this year is now legally binding. This is because Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU) has allowed the deadline for appealing to the Higher Administrative Court to expire.

After a lot of chest-beating, in the end, CAU did not dare come out of hiding. Its decision to kick journalist Baab out may have been a kowtow to the political situation and especially to the foreign policy course of the German government—but this decision was never legally tenable.

Freedom of the Press Before Political Pandering

The reasoning of the Schleswig-Holstein Administrative Court explicitly emphasized “the freedom of science according to Article 5 (3) sentence 1, GG (Grundgesetz—German Basic Law) and the freedom of the press according to Article 5 (1) sentence 2, var. 1 GG, which the plaintiff [i.e., Baab] is entitled to invoke. The scope of protection of the freedom of the press guarantees,” the court explained in detail, “in its subjective-legal dimension, the rights of freedom against the state for persons and organizations active in the field of the press; in addition, in its objective-legal meaning, it guarantees the institution of the independence of the press.”

Freedom of the press, it goes on to say, “includes, with respect to printed matter, all conduct that serves to obtain, prepare and disseminate opinions and facts for the public… Holders of freedom of the press are also entitled to a subjective right of defense against indirect infringements.” The court expressly emphasized that Baab’s trip to eastern Ukraine at the time of the referenda also falls under this protection, as he was researching for a book and acting as a journalist.

This argumentation is nothing less than a strengthening of the freedom of the press in Germany. It has an impact on other journalists and publicists in the country who see themselves exposed to the reach of politics and academia. The ruling also says that freedom of the press is more important than the anticipatory obedience of various educational institutions that think they have to throw themselves at the mercy of ideologizing politics. Therefore, we are also dealing here with a rejection of ingratiation.

Kiel University as a War Party

Patrik Baab was a journalism lecturer in Kiel. There he taught research, critical questioning—in short: He showed what freedom of the press can achieve—and this at a university that has now received more or less official confirmation that it has not only failed to appreciate that very freedom of the press, but has torpedoed it. A fatal report card for the teaching institution. Can we hope that journalists trained there will have grasped, in the course of their studies, what the qualities of freedom of the press actually mean?

The administrative file on this incident, which is now available, is peppered with one-dimensional classifications of the Baab trip. The university protagonists quoted in it made themselves a war party in the matter. In effect, there is no mention of investigative openness as a value in itself—nor is there a brief interjection that journalists (should) go where it hurts.

But that’s exactly what Baab has done. Basically, he has shown his students—in exemplary fashion—what journalistic work means: not being satisfied with what other professional colleagues have already written, remaining suspicious, displaying skepticism and getting a picture of the scene for yourself. His employers, Kiel University, however, have now emphatically demonstrated that these values are not necessarily required at all—journalists who apply them tend to appear to be a nuisance, and they’d rather be shown the door.

Now What?

The aforementioned administrative file mentions several names of professors who were in lively exchange when Baab’s trip became known via t-online—a news portal, known for its campaigns against intellectuals critical of the German government, and belonging to an advertising group that receives a large part of its orders from exactly this government. Again and again, the accusation was made that Baab had the wrong attitude—and therefore he must be unsuitable as a lecturer. The fact that he did not get on with the job, i.e., with a completely strict condemnation of Russia, thus led to the charge that he also refrained from factual analysis. This is a reproach throughout. Yet Baab has condemned the Russian invasion several times—his condemnation, however, also does not paralyze his journalistic ethos.

After the court decision, which the CAU did not even object to, apparently knowing that it had overreached considerably, the question now arises: Who will take responsibility for this democratic and constitutional failure? Who will justify the fact that funds allocated by the public were wasted for such an act of political pandering?

For example, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at Kiel University, Christian Martin, who was heavily involved in Baab’s dismissal and who teaches comparative governance and politics? Shouldn’t one expect more sensitivity to publicity from a teacher in this subject, i.e., a sense of how journalism is done and where not to get in its way? After all, this case is no trifle; here, a university has proven that it is willing to sacrifice freedom of the press just to puff itself up as being politically correct. The danger of teaching attitude rather than expertise does not seem so small—especially when people like Baab are thrown out the door.

Roberto J. De Lapuente is a journalist who writes from Germany. He is the author of Rechts gewinnt, weil Links versagt [The Right Wins because the Left Fails]. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Overton Magazin.

Featured: The Seal of Kiel University, with the motto: “Pax optima rerum” (“Peace is the best thing”).

Families of the Regime

The people have exercised their right, to the acclamation of the candidates proposed by those who are truly sovereign: the parties. And they have voted more of the same. It cannot be otherwise; whatever they do and whatever they vote for, the subjects of the Spain of agendas will always remain entangled in the partitocratic web, in the political spider’s web of the oligarchy. Coffee with cream or cream with coffee.

Since 1982, Spain has been ruled by a single party with two rival factions. One of them leads the ideological agenda and distributes funds among its supporters, among the enormous clientele that lives and prospers thanks to the handouts from the treasury. The other, the conservative one, is dedicated to consolidate the “advances” imposed by their rivals and to fix the accounts that they unbalance. When the numbers add up, they are kicked out amidst the Solanesque jubilation of the countrymen.

The current electoral campaign shows us the exclusively personal, cacique nature of the struggle for the electorate. Not a single idea, because they all say the same thing. Everything has been fixed on Sanchez; the person (not at all interesting) of the President of the Government is central in a campaign in which, however, in everything else the families of the Regime are in agreement. There are practically no differences in anything, only in the distribution of public funds. For the voter everything can be summed up in “Sánchez yes” or “Sánchez no.” In nothing else do the contenders for a seat and a public salary differ.

Only Vox strikes the discordant note and only Vox is radically stigmatized by the unanimous consensus of the beneficiaries of the single discourse.

Is a different government going to change anything, if there is one? Do the math. The Spanish right wing limits its nonconformism to the arcing of public assets, nothing more. It clenches its fist and cuts spending. This puts it in a situation of inferiority in front of an adventurer who happily distributes what he has and what he does not have and who makes pacts with anyone in order to maintain himself. That is why he wins, that is why he rules.

The absolute lack of principles is all that this solemn tacky man needs. The Reason of State is superfluous in a strictly personal project.

As always (thanks to the 78 Constitution, let us not forget) the privileged regions will continue to pimp “Madrid” and the minorities will consolidate their dictatorship. The majority must pay the taxes, which they must. With Sánchez or without Sánchez, with the Galician or the Andalusian. The puppet changes, but the music does not change. And not even the puppet is mute anymore—four more years under the same jackass. The nation is into the rhythm. The cooler, the better. The mass is always female.

And Spain? Well, what the poet said: a name, Spain is dead. It has been dead for a long time. Now all that’s left to do is to shroud it. With crown and all. Just the date of the burial needs to be announced.

Sertorio lives, writes and thinks in Spain. this review comes through the kind courtesy of El Manifiesto.

Featured: Murga gaditana (Street Band of Cadiz), by José Gutiérrez Solana; painted in 1935.

Wokeism, A New Religion?

Jean-François Braunstein, philosopher and professor at the Sorbonne, has written a new book on Wokeism, which seeks to describe and criticize Wokeist theories, while providing us with a remarkable and comprehensive overview. The book also contends with the fact that this post-Protestant, North American cult has entirely come to fill the vacant spiritual space of the West. This interview, with Élisabeth Geffroy, comes through the kind courtesy of La Nef.

Élisabeth Geffroy (EG): How is wokism akin to religion? More generally, what fate does it hold for rationality?

Jean-François Braunstein (J-FB): The term “woke” means “to awaken” and was first used by the Black Lives Matter movement to designate an awakening to social justice. But the term also has a strong religious dimension. The Woke are “awakened” to a new global vision of the world, very different from our own. It’s also reminiscent of the great American Protestant “awakenings” (revivals) of the 18th and 19th centuries. For the Woke, the equivalent of original sin is “white privilege;” but this is a sin for which there is no forgiveness. The idea is to radically separate the pure from the impure, condemned as “racist” or “transphobic.” In the wake of George Floyd’s death, the Woke rediscovered certain rituals of contrition, such as genuflecting or washing the feet of blacks, at large gatherings, with a strong emphasis on emotion and enthusiasm.

The Woke are bigots. They refuse to debate their opponents, whom they see as evil. During the takeover of Evergreen University in 2017, one of the students ordered one of the professors to stop arguing because “logic is racist.”” Cancel culture” wants to ban anything in Western culture that doesn’t conform to Woke beliefs. The Woke are also highly proselytizing, now targeting primary and secondary schools.

Jean-François Braunstein.

What’s even more astonishing is that this religion originated in Western universities, founded since the 19th century on the legacy of the Enlightenment: argumentation, academic freedom, rationality. Yet the Woke are resolute critics of Enlightenment values, such as universalism and reason, as well as individual autonomy.

EG: Could you explain to us how the world that the Woke build and want to inhabit is in fact an imaginary one, and their thinking a magical one that dismisses reality?

J-FB: Gender theory posits that what distinguishes masculine from feminine is not the body, but our awareness of being male, female or whatever. This idea that the body is inessential is reminiscent of the Gnostic heresy, which explained that the body is the evil from which we must free ourselves.

Gender proponents therefore reject biology—but also the testimony of our senses, when they ask us to share the feeling of someone who believes they are of one gender or another, when they are clearly of the other. Transactivists are asking us—and asking society, by changing the sex of a person’s civil status on a simple declaration—to enter into what philosopher Kathleen Stock calls the “imaginary world” of gender.

Similarly, to preserve the idea that “felt” gender takes precedence over the body, they speak of people being “assigned” male or female at birth (AMAB or AFAB), as if the choice of gender were arbitrary and imposed. Planned Parenthood promotes this imaginary world by explaining that a man can be pregnant and that the penis is not a male sexual organ. Women are to be erased, as they are too reminiscent of the difference between the sexes.
This imaginary world of gender is all the more appealing because it is completely in line with the metaverse proposed by big tech, where you can change your gender at the click of a button. The idea that it is possible to change one’s body at will also evokes transhumanist utopias. Big tech’s commitment to these transgender and transhumanist theories compounds the threat of this imaginary world.

EG: “The problem is that we prefer to endanger the majority for the benefit of a tiny minority of convinced activists who present themselves as eternal victims,” you write. Does this sentence tell us about Wokism?

J-FB: I was referring here to the claims of a minority of transactivist activists, in particular men who “declare” themselves to be women, without having changed sex, and claim to participate in women’s sports competitions or to be held in women’s prisons. The result is that women’s sport will be entirely dominated by these trans men, and women prisoners will be abused by these same trans men.

More broadly speaking, it goes without saying that presenting oneself as a “victim,” even if it’s just an unverifiable “feeling,” is a formidable weapon. All it takes is one “victim” to declare himself shocked, and whole swathes of Western culture are annulled. Censorship, and above all self-censorship, is the rule in universities, in the media and in big tech, where the Woke reign supreme. These militant minorities, organized and determined, easily take control of universities, or associations and unions.

EG: You speak of a “deliberate enterprise to destroy science” by the Woke. Could you elaborate on this?

J-FB: These attacks on science have their origins in gender theory, which denounces biology for establishing that there are only two sexes in the human species. This denunciation of “virilist biology” evokes the Stalinist period when Lyssenko opposed “bourgeois science” and “proletarian science.” But mathematics is also accused of being “virilist” and “racist” because mathematicians are predominantly white men, or “colonialist” because calculus is said to have been used to count slaves on slave ships.

Since science was born in the West, it should now be replaced by “indigenous knowledge.” This is what is happening in woke New Zealand, where traditional Maori myths are taught in the same classes as Western science.

The Woke have also invented a new epistemology which explains that all knowledge is “situated”: science is always made from a certain “point of view”—that of the dominant, white Western males. There is no such thing as objective knowledge. For the Woke, it is now necessary to take the point of view of the “dominated.” Truth no longer exists—we mustn’t seek “truer knowledge,” but always take the “point of view of the dominated.” This assertion that truth does not exist is, of course, contradictory, since it presents itself as true.

EG: You link part of Wokism’s success to a younger, more psychologically fragile generation that is “offended” by everything. Could you explain this link?

J-FB: A number of sociologists have noted that generations Y (born after 1980) and Z (born after 2000) are particularly fragile because they have been brought up away from any risk by “helicopter parents” who watch over their children from a distance to avoid any upset. For these “pampered” generations, American universities have invented “trigger warnings” when studying destabilizing subjects, whether it’s the Holocaust with Primo Levi, rape in Ovid or alcoholism with Scott Fitzgerald. This overprotection increases the psychological fragility of these generations.

EG: In the course of your analysis, you repeatedly give pride of place to notions of common sense and ordinary decency, and you place great hopes in the resistance of the working classes and “real-world workers” to the wacky ravings of the intellectual classes. Could you explain why?

J-FB: “Ordinary people” are in the best position to oppose the wacky Woke. We see this in the United States, where a majority of parents no longer accept that their children are being taught, from primary school onwards, that they can choose their gender, or that they are necessarily racist if they are white and victims of racism if they are black. Those who have been called “real-world workers” since Covid are well aware that bodies exist. They don’t live in the virtual world of connected “intellectual” elites. Nor do Blacks and Latinos accept that their children be taught that they will necessarily be victims, any more than Whites accept that their children should be taught that they are “systemically” racist. A real “culture war” has begun on these issues, and will no doubt be at the heart of the next American presidential election.

Featured: A membership certificate for the “Wide-Awake Club,” a Republican marching club formed in February or March 1860.

Liberalism: Satan’s Scheme to Usurp Creation

In 1872 Frederick Engels wrote a letter to Theodore Cuno saying, “The thing to do is to conduct propaganda, abuse the state, organize, and when all the workers are won over, i.e., the majority, depose the authorities, abolish the state and replace it by the organization of the International. This great act, with which the millennium begins, is called social liquidation.” That same year, Fyodor Dostoevsky published a novel about revolution and rebellion titled, The Possessed; other translations have seen it titled, Demons. It is a book about revolution and rebellion “in the name of unlimited freedom” and how the ideas for such acts are connotations of demons. Richard Pevear’s forward to his translation explains it this way, “…implicit at least in his (Dostoevsky) analysis is the possibility of an evil or alien idea coming to inhabit a person, misleading him, perverting him ontologically, driving him to crime or insanity.” In one memorable scene the revolutionary theorist Shigalyov who by today’s standards is considered the modern-day liberal declares, “My conclusion directly contradicts the original idea I start from. Starting with unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism.” Pevear adds, “Here we have the voice of the demonic idea in its pure state.”

Anytime a moment in history defines a reality, there are always prior moments you can go back to in depicting a historical backdrop; so let us go back to the beginning; the Garden, and specifically the fundamental attitude shift in creation when the serpent brought forth the idea to Eve that she could “be like God” if she ate of the fruit. Adam and Eve lived peacefully in the Garden of Eden, perfectly harmonious with God and creation. They had complete freedom to do as they pleased; there was only one rule; they “must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” When the only rule in the Garden was violated, liberalism became ubiquitous with creation because humans got the idea they could “become like God, knowing good and evil” by acting as autonomous individuals who determine what is right and wrong and rejecting established traditions, authorities, and religion.

Rush Limbaugh once said the most prophetic things about liberalism: “I think we wouldn’t be here today if there had been a proper education and understanding of liberalism by a majority of the American people,” and “that so many people on our side do not recognize and have not recognized the threat posed by standard, ordinary, everyday liberalism.” Today, conversations about liberalism are more and more copious. As Rush Limbaugh astutely pointed out, a quick search online reveals the scope of the discussion on the subject—liberalism is the problem, liberalism is the solution, we need to expand liberalism, we need to limit liberalism, we need to improve liberalism, we need to get back to basic liberalism. This essay puts forth the argument that the ideology of liberalism is closely linked with Satan’s manipulation of our passions, with the aim of influencing and directing us. As Christopher Dawson wrote in The Judgment of the Nations, “Here in this world we are staying in an inn where the Devil is the Master and the world is landlady and all kinds of evil passions are servants and these are the enemies and opponents of the Gospel.”

In 1888, Pope Leo XIII wrote that at its source liberalism is demonic, “But many there are who follow in the footsteps of Lucifer and adopt as their own his rebellious cry, “I will not serve…who, usurping the name of liberty, style themselves liberals.” The ideology of liberalism aims to dismantle traditional structures and beliefs, and often portrays the past as being dominated by superstitious practices and institutions meant to restrict personal freedom. It does this through politics. In his article, “The Consequences of Catholicism for Political Theory,” Benjamin Studebaker, an honest Marxist holding a PhD, says that our society can be considered “post-Catholic” because Catholics had to subordinate morality to politics embracing pluralism: “This is why liberalism is fundamentally a post-Catholic ideology–it cannot work in a context of full atheism, in which good/truth/God have been rejected. In a context where these things have been wholly rejected, we return to the principle of might makes right. By trying to flesh liberalism out and make it feel more substantive, the liberal theorists have moved more and more people away from good/truth/God toward an emphasis on desire satisfaction and autonomy.”

The realm of politics can be seen as the intersection of liberal ideas and demonic influences, potentially leading to distorted perceptions of reality. Liberals are overactive in the institutions that produce the ideas informing people about so called “new truths,” about who are the real reactionaries, and how to remake the world. For the liberal, politics is everything, and everything is political. Who you are politically means the most to liberals because it is Satan’s way of categorizing his detractors. Bishop Fulton Sheen once commented that politics would be the method for enslaving mankind, saying, “…but he (Lucifer) was suggesting to the Lord theology is politics…the mastery of the world in the future will depend entirely upon politics.” Lucifer has become a symbol of rebellion since the Garden uprising, reflecting the revolutionary political movements of past centuries, which sought liberation from moral restrictions and promised a new Eden.

Around the end of the eighteenth century, revolutionaries “demonized themselves, so to speak, in order to demonstrate their complete rejection of the Christian establishment.” Satan would become a “positive political role model, a symbol of political goodness.” We know that the people we associate with can influence and change our behavior in various ways, from simple things like the sports team we cheer for to the foods we eat. However, it can also influence our opinion about tradition, values, reality, and power. The Russian Mikhail Bakunin was a revolutionary socialist who encouraged anarchism through his writings. In one, titled, God and State, he writes, “But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience: he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge.” To Bakunin, Satan symbolizes revolt and reason, and that belief in God was “one of the most threatening obstacles in way of humanity’s liberation.” Satan was seen by many socialists as a symbol not only of intellectual enlightenment, but also of actions that were deemed sinful by certain individuals. In 1907, the socialist magazine Brand published a short story called “In Hell.” The story depicts a proletarian, who is imprisoned, having a dream about Hell. In the dream, Lucifer explains, “Jehovah is conservative, but Lucifer is a democrat,” and Hell is not a place of torment at all: “…Christianity preaches asceticism and self-denial; we preach happiness and pleasure. Hence, all the things considered sinful on earth are practiced here: eroticism, dance, theatre, and cheerful melodies.” Another short-lived socialist publication, Loki: Pamphlet for Youth, asserts that Lucifer is the spirit of liberation, “the human lust for rebellion, the battle between oppressor and oppressed.” West German anarchist-terrorist, Michael Baumann, claims satanist tendencies were widespread in his political circles. “Hail Satan” was actually the internal greeting.

Some people view tolerance as a liberal value. However, others believe it is used as a technique to help establish a totalitarian state by eroding the principles necessary for maintaining freedom. Tolerance advocates manipulating the human will: “Tolerance thus becomes a device to elevate certain liberal ideas and constituencies above public criticism rather than trusting that they will eventually emerge victorious on their merits in open public debate.” Lenin knew that tolerating something against your values would eventually become intolerance towards you. Paul Gabel in his book, And God Created Lenin: Marxism vs. Religion in Russia, 1917-1929, put it this way: “Nothing in thought or aspiration seemed to Lenin more incomprehensible than tolerance. For him it was indistinguishable from lack of principle. It was the beginning of contemptible surrender.” It is common for liberals to believe that they are tolerant simply because they identify as liberal and not as “intolerant Christians.” However, recent studies have shown that Gen Z is less tolerant of opposing views despite considering themselves more tolerant than previous generations. It is clear that Gen Z is very disconnected from reality and history. For instance, they are waging war on statues, distorting historical facts, and disregarding the importance of biology. This behavior could lead to a dangerous shift towards proto-fascism and the imposition of immoral beliefs. You are rendered invalid, if you do not capitulate to such pathologies. Gen Z is, as Blake said of Milton, “of the Devil’s party without knowing it.”

A recent study from 2020 found that “political ideology may also be relevant to mental health, as people who are more liberal, especially those identifying as ‘extremely liberal,’ are more likely to have mental health problems. It is suggested that may be because conservatism is associated with greater religiosity.” It is possible that the perpetual cycle of mental illness could be from the prevalence of mental health professionals being liberal. One study found that only six percent of professionals in psychology described themselves as conservative and feared the negative consequences of revealing their political beliefs to their colleagues. The study found they were correct: “In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring, many social and personality psychologists said that they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues. The more liberal respondents were, the more they said they would discriminate.” There is also research that demonstrates that liberals are less happy than conservatives: “conservatives are more likely to embrace family-first values and virtues that steer them towards wedlock and fulfilling family values” liberals, on the other hand, embrace the “false narrative that the path to happiness runs counter to marriage and family life.” Four studies from several countries concluded that “childlessness leads to liberalism, support for homosexuality, abortion, and promiscuity, while parenthood creates conservatism and traditional values.” In an article from Current Affairs titled, “Why We Should Abolish the Family,” lets you know right in the beginning: “The family is a conservative project that limits human flourishing. The family must be abolished.” Another article from Slate shares the sentiment but calls out the fearful liberals to take credit, “Yes, Culture Helped Kill the Two-Parent Family. And Liberals Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Admit It.”

The insight of Dostoevsky’s Demons of liberal parents producing revolutionary children was again made prophetic with Midge Decter, a century later, with her book, Liberal Parents, Radical Children: “we allowed you a charade of trivial freedoms in order to avoid making those impositions on you that are in the end both the training ground and proving ground for true independence. We proclaimed you sound when you were foolish in order to avoid taking part in the long, slow, slogging effort that is the only route to genuine maturity of mind and feeling.”

Children of liberal parents are more prone to accept revolutionary ideas because liberal parents are more concerned with “injustice” in the world and how they failed to change it. One mother confesses that her son “learned progressive values from my husband and me. When he was in elementary school, we took him door-to-door to canvass for John Kerry and Barack Obama. When he was in middle school, we took him to rallies to protest Scott Walker’s union-busting Act 10. In high school, he learned to make sophisticated arguments for his liberal positions on civil rights and economic fairness.” Then she becomes shocked for creating a monster. Often, the seed of liberal indoctrination parent’s plant gets germinated by the liberal professors, and flowers into revolutionary activity.

Another example on how liberals are revolutionaries bent on destroying the foundation for a free civilization is from Michael Walzer, written in the 1996 issue of the liberal intellectual magazine, Dissent that sought to find the middle ground between communism and liberalism, and gave a list of liberal political successes since the 1980s: affirmative action, feminism, the emergence of gay rights, the acceptance of cultural pluralism, the transformation of family life, changing sexual mores and new household arrangements, the process of secularization and the fading of religion in general, Christianity in particularly from the public sphere—classroom, textbook, legal codes, holidays and so on—legalization of abortion, gun control, environmentalism, and constraining police powers. What one would assume are natural evolutions of human reason and rationality, Walzer admits that these victories were not won in the central arenas of democratic politics but by the revolutionary activities of “liberals and the liberalism of lawyers, judges, federal bureaucrats, professors, school teachers, social workers, journalist, television and screen writers—not the population at large.”

Walzer admits that the sense of cultural collapse we feel is the result of these liberal “victories”: “…and that the victories of the left have caused the collapse.” Completely unconcerned about what type of society we will be left with, when the institutions that make a society dissolves, Walzer ask: “How would it be held together? Would it be stable? What would everyday life be like within it?” Then he confesses, “The focus of the left and liberal politics these last thirty years has been overwhelmingly on “liberation” from various restrictive institutions and practices-not on the creation of new institutions and practices.” When in positions of influence where decisions are made on how culture is shaped, liberals will seek to make their liberal ideas normative. A Disney executive in charge of content was caught on video confessing to having a gay agenda and adding queerness to children’s programming. What helps make sense of this is that she is also a mother to a transgender and a pansexual child.

In my film, It’s Easy Being Green When You Have No Choice: Sustainable Development and the End of History, I explore the concept of elevating creation above the creator, as warned in Romans 1:25. Satan, known as the revolutionary liberator of creation from the confines of Christianity, goes beyond man and women directly to the Earth itself. Interestingly, six months after the official end of the Soviet Union and Mikhail Gorbachev’s resignation, he became an environmentalist and attended the first Earth Summit to usher in the phenomenon of sustainable development. Recently, Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks claimed that sustainable development is part of “Satan’s plan” because it is not only about global rationing and control of natural resources but has also become an instrument to impose liberal values.

Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians warned them that our battles are not physical but spiritual, not flesh and blood but against “Principalities and Powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness on high.” People are beginning to express that the most viable explanation for what is happening in the world today is supernatural. Jonathan Pageau just comes out with it: “People are afraid to talk about these things… I’ll say it straight out, there’s a demon that is a watcher, watching over a pattern of reality, and that is what is maintaining it together and making its boots work in the world and these people are possessed and are unwilling agents of a demon and they’re bringing about this system.”

As we recognize that politics alone cannot resolve our problems, religion serves as a foundation for values, ethics, and morals. However, with the rise of liberalism, the significance of Christian ethics has declined. While liberals may believe that a world without religious influence will be more ethical and freer, it could lead to tyranny, as we rely solely on our own reasoning to determine what’ is right and wrong. Then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger put it this way:

But when we look at the presuppositions and the consequences of this seemingly marvelous expedient that lifts the burden of man’s inconstancy, we realize that this unburdening—“liberation”—is based on the renunciation of morality, that is, on the renunciation of responsibility and freedom, on the renunciation of conscience. That is why this sort of “kingdom” is an optical illusion with which the Antichrist dupes us—such a liberated society presupposes perfect tyranny. I think we must make it clear to ourselves again today, in all earnestness, that neither reason nor faith ever promises that there will be a perfect world someday. It does not exist.

If you are liberated from the right moral formation on how to act, what is going to be the result? Irrational behavior. And when enough people start to act irrationally, you are going to get a reaction (and it is not Donald Trump)—it is banks closing your account or refusing to do business with you because of what you think. It is the FBI placing parents on a terrorist watch list for acting like parents, or being banished from participating in the economy or community for not agreeing with the evolving liberal morality, and technology being used for the wrong reason and in unethical matters. In the Garden, Adam and Eve were free. As Pope John Paul II explains, their freedom had limits, “The man is certainly free, in as much as he can understand and accept God’s commands. And he possesses an extremely far-reaching freedom since he can eat of every tree of the garden. But his freedom is not unlimited: it must halt before the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” The problem with liberalism is that it has no limits, and sometimes you need limits. Tyranny shows up when liberalism runs its course and passions are incapable of being contained, and a new order is needed to keep the emerging disordered society functioning. The problem with most liberals is that they do not understand the consequences of their actions. This essay argues that demons are guiding those unknowingly liberal actions. Lucifer comes to you as a representative of liberalism and says he will liberate you—but what it really means is liberation from the moral order; and once liberated from the moral order, you are put under another form of control, not of your choosing.

Liberal elites spend billions of dollars socially engineering the manipulation of passions on how the reality of race, sex, science and religion is perceived. The culture is being deformed and molded into a ceaseless confrontation between every man, woman, and child. In principle, what is going on is the marketing of the idea of liberalism—it is being sold like a product, and it has no competition at the level that it is currently being consumed. The solution is not our side acting like play-by-play announcers on the sidelines, constantly commenting on the malaise or the occasional anti-woke slices of entertainment. Our target is not preaching to the choir but engaging directly with liberals and appealing to their concept of what they are for and against. Many individuals want freedom and oppose tyranny. However, some have been misled into thinking that liberalism is the only path to achieve freedom and happiness. They may even reject alternative worldviews based on the Bible, often dismissing them from historical context because they view the Bible as restricting their personal freedom and view it as oppressive, to enforce a moral code that goes beyond their individual autonomy. It is essential to understand that embracing liberalism can lead to a loss of freedom and the rise of oppressive political systems.

Instead, it is crucial to value Christian morality, traditional families, and customs as they serve as a true safeguard for freedom and liberty. This can be achieved by rejecting liberal ideologies and promoting the alternative idea that liberation without end will lead to a totalitarian state.

Anyone promoting liberal ideas needs to be prevented from reinfecting society and people need to be persuaded to stop voting for liberals.

We need to associate every social, cultural and political malady with liberalism—write books about it, publish articles and op-eds, and produce entertainment demonstrating the ineptitude of liberalism and liberal ideas in stories.

If you need an example why liberals need to be rejected the way, as Christians and conservatives are, read about the teacher who is “proud as f–k to be a liberal” and is in love with Communism; and if you want to see what happens when liberals are have power, watch this.

If the word “Mother” and “Father” can be eliminated and redefined, then so can liberalism. If Robin DiAngelo can publicly say and have CNN promote the idea that if “you’re a white person in America you’re a racist, pure and simple, and without a lifetime of conscious effort you always will be,” then we can promote the idea that if you are a liberal, you are undermining society in diabolical ways, and with a little conscious effort you can reverse the slid to tyranny.


Prioritizing individual autonomy and choice above all else will result in tyranny. Many people believe that any limitation on equality and freedom as a result of non-liberal values is oppressive. The liberal believes that the main goal of government is to protect its citizens from this type of oppression. As a result, it strives to eliminate these values from an ever-growing range of daily activities. James Kalb in his article, “The Tyranny of Liberalism,” explains how liberalism become tyrannical this way, “[liberalism] demands submission to arbitrary principles and conclusions. It insists on controlling everything that affects public life, including the human soul. It responds to criticism by silencing the critic. It destroys concrete freedom by centralizing power, by undermining standards that make free social life possible, and by destroying our connections to others and so making us dependent on universal systems utterly beyond our control. And in the name of giving us what we want it denies us everything worth having.”

Frank Pinski is a filmmaker and writer on politics and culture who also works as a researcher in the legal field. His debut film, It’s Easy Being Green When You Have No Choice: Sustainable Development and the End of History, explores the impact of sustainable development on freedom.

Featured: Demons Pulling People into the Jaws of Hell, by Heinrich Kley; painted ca. 1910-1915.

The Power of Authority: How We Defeat the Antichrist

And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him. That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity (2 Thessalonians, 2).

Jesus Christ, the omnipotent, came to save us from enslavement to power. He did this by overpowering the powers of this world, not with His almighty power, but with his divine authority. When he told Pilate that He could at any moment summon legions of angels to defend Him, but would not do so due to His Kingdom being “not of this world,” He was telling Pilate and us that authority trumps power, and the kingdom based upon true authority is sovereign over all others. The Jews rejected Him because they worshipped power, their own, and He both refused to join in their idolatry and unmasked it as such. The Jewish leaders crucified Authority itself, and any person from that day on who knowingly and deliberately rejects the divine authority of Jesus Christ does the same.

There were foreshadowings of Christ’s unmasking of power without authority in both the Old Testament—consider Jerimiah’s call to surrender and Isaiah’s Suffering Servant—and in pagan literature, the Iliad being, as Simone Weil has shown, an unmasking of the collective suicidal delusion of the archaic worship of force, with the reconciliation between Achilleus and Priam hinting at the transcending of this worship. But it was the Passion of Our Lord, the ultimate epiphany of power with no authority in His murderers, and authority with no power in His crucified helplessness, that fully unmasked and conquered the satanic system of the sovereignty of power with no authority and authority annihilated by power. It would take a thousand years or so for the pagan-power system to be fully repressed (but certainly not destroyed, for both anti-Christian Judaism and paganism lived on underground, as it were) and the Christian system to be substantially incarnated in Western society (to read an incomparable study of this transformation, see Andrew Willard Jones’ The Two Cities). But as Jones demonstrates, the deterioration and fragmentation of the Medieval system of universal peace over violent conflict and divine authority over demonic power in the fourteenth century within the metaphysical acid of nominalism led to Protestantism, confessionalization, the “Wars of Religion,” and the rise of the sovereign nation-state, in which spiritual power was made subservient to temporal power. Well before the manifestly diabolical French Revolution, the pagan power system was for all intents and purposes back, though now wielded by Christian sovereigns and peoples, as he writes:

After this period, the relationship between rulers and their subjects changed. Previously, people tended to have overlapping religious and political loyalties and associations. No one ruler could claim all of a person’s obedience. Instead, societies tended to be diverse, with local authorities, such as the local lord and bishop, sharing most direct authority, and with these small groupings united into larger ones in similarly diverse ways. Any given person had a wide range of relationships with a wide range of authorities, including universal authorities, such as the emperor and the pope, that transcended all local power. Now, however, it was agreed that the people of each country were solely subject to a single state. This was not a division of religion from politics because nearly all the states of Europe were confessional states, with highly centralized churches, but it was the positioning of politics, of the temporal power, as the only real human power. The spiritual was entirely subservient to it and operated entirely within its bounds. Each country would decide what religion was and how it would function inside its own borders, and other countries were indifferent to its actions. Wars between countries, then, would no longer be over spiritual things but over merely temporal things like natural resources, power, or eventually ideology.

“The temporal power as the only real human power.” This has been the case ever since, and it has only become more pronounced and institutionalized. Unless it is institutionally reversed, with power in complete submission to authority, no personal or private employment of power, however benevolent, graced, and aimed at the Good, will do the amount of good that is required and desired by God. And such a reversal now cannot be accomplished by the employment of merely human power, just as the original overthrow of the system by Jesus was not accomplished by power. It can only be accomplished by the omnipotence of authority, ultimately of truth, which is to say, by the authority of truth taking the place of power in both the souls of individuals and society at large.

The scamdemic was the global enthronement of power without authority, and was permitted by God as a trial and test for Christians in preparation for the reign of Antichrist, a trial and test which they, as a whole, failed. By now, it is clear to many of those—but not enough!—who knew right at the beginning that the pandemic was based upon lies, a coordinated and orchestrated psy-op, that it was and is something even more evil than this, namely, an all-out war by the satanic elite against, literally, the whole world, to end in the death of billions and the complete physical and spiritual enslavement of the rest. But though the enemy employs massive and deadly physical terrorism as a tactic, its main goal, getting its marching orders from Lucifer himself, is the damnation of souls. Thus, its main weapons are not physical, but psychological and spiritual—intimidation and seduction. They are now winning this war, in my estimation, for the masses of the world have capitulated to its intimidation and seduction. This didn’t have to happen, and it doesn’t have to happen now or in the future. They can only win the war for our souls with our free cooperation.

Just as a temptation from the Devil has power over us only to the extent it is consented to, a lie has power only when it is believed, and the most power when it is deliberately preferred to the truth. And this is precisely what happened in March 2020. Those who should and could have known better surrendered to power with no authority, knowing, or at least suspecting, that it had no authority. How do we know this? Because, by and large, the claims they made were not questioned as to their truth, and the measures that were implemented were not questioned as to their goodness. And anyone who did question them was mercilessly attacked by these unquestioners and deemed to be evil. But to accept a claim that is neither self-evidently true, previously known to be true, nor made by a credible authority without questioning it in the light of truth is to sin against and betray the authority of truth. Moreover, these claims were used to justify the use of power, what was soon to be manifested as a tyrannical and totalitarian employment of power the likes of which had never been seen in human history. But to exert or condone the use of power without questioning its goodness, a power not seen to be justified by the authority of the Good, is also to sin against and betray the authority of Truth, the Truth about the Good.

We could have defeated the whole scamdemic and all the connected evil that has ensued in its wake up to the present time, as well as conquered the enemies of Truth who now rule us with an iron grip, by simply asking questions about their eminently questionable claims and unjustified exertions of power: Is it true, based upon what I can see with my eyes and what tradition has taught me and what I know from experience about health and sickness, that we are really in the midst of a deadly pandemic? Why was a sophisticated simulation of virtually the same Covid-19 pandemic scenario held in October of 2019? Why are the hospitals putting so many people on ventilators when this was never done before and is killing more people than it is saving? Is Ivermectin really just a horse dewormer? Do masks really protect us from viruses that are way smaller than the mask mesh? Are the CDC and the WHO and Anthony Fauci and my town’s public health officer completely authorized to issue commands that trump all other authorities as well as settled law? Does the governor of my state have the right to shutdown the economy without the consent of the people and that of state representatives? Does the Pope have the right to cancel Holy Week? Why are exceptionless, and constitutionally protected rights suddenly abrogated by fiat, and at the behest of unelected, globalist bodies? Why is the sacred political principle of subsidiarity begin violated on every level? Why are doctors and scientists who question anything certain public officials claim being censored and cancelled? Why are questions being prohibited and the people who ask them treated like traitors and violent criminals?

A person asking questions regarding the claims and actions of those in power indicates that he holds the truth and the good to be ultimate authorities, not the claims and actions themselves or the people and groups who make and do them. But not only did most Christians not ask these questions, but they also mocked and persecuted those who did. If you would have asked these Christians if they believed they had personal access to the truth and the good, and the obligation and responsibility to ensure that everything they believed and every action they did or permitted to be done to them was acceptable only by the authority of the truth and the good, they would have assured you indeed they did believe such. But, as a whole, they showed only lip service to these beliefs in how they responded to an intimidating and seductive power demanding their allegiance and rewarding them for giving it. There were many, of course, due to prolonged conditioning in a culture of power worship and bereft of counteracting conditioning in sub-cultures of theistic belief and practice, who really did not believe in the authority of transcendent and absolute moral and spiritual truth and goodness, and these were sitting ducks for the totalitarian onslaught. They gave in immediately and with pleasure. But there were also many who did not explicitly or consciously believe in transcendent authority, who would have even mocked such authority as superstitious and unenlightened and oppressive, but who yet acted as if they did believe by asking truth-seeking questions to power and courageously resisting its commands—and suffering a lot for it. But the many well-formed Christians, particularly Christian leaders, had no excuse, and they committed treason against the sacred authorities they should have honored. Under the extreme duress and seduction purposely unleashed on us by the Satanists, it was difficult. But this is what it means to be a Christian. They showed their real colors—the colors of hypocrites, liars, and cowards. Some repented of their treason, but not nearly enough to make a difference. Christians lost this all-important spiritual battle, and we are not in good stead for the next one.

What the Scamdemic revealed was that the vast majority of religious believers in America were and are, underneath pious externals, either liars or cowards, for when the demand to offer the pinch of incense to the Satanic Caesar was made, they did it, showing their ultimate allegiance to Power over Authority, to Power without Authority. If all or even most of these repented, even now, I wouldn’t be writing this article. But I have seen no sign of mass repentance. If anything, there is a doubling-down. They could have asked questions, and when their questions were not answered, they could have refused to believe unjustified claims and obey unjustified commands. They freely chose and are now still freely choosing not to. I daresay Christians still can defeat this ongoing totalitarian onslaught simply by disobeying power with no authority. If we had done this in 2020, the totalitarians would either be in jail right now or dead by execution for crimes against humanity.

The scamdemic and all that came in its wake, the Globohomotrans cult, the Ukrainsane, and the CBDC program, as well as the emergence of an Antichurch fully on board with all these evils counterfeiting and attempting to replace the real Catholic Church, are all unprecedented crimes against humanity and God. But, they are only the precursor, the anti-John-the-Baptist to the Antichrist, as it were, preparing souls by a baptismal rite of mortal sin and the preaching of unrepentance for the final spiritual test and trial. Those who allowed themselves to be satanically baptized into power-worship and unrepentance will be judged, and their judgment will be their total enslavement to power without authority, the very definition of the Antichrist:

Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.

Our mission now is to fight against the precursor of Antichrist with all our strength, but not with the worldly and illusory strength of power, but only with the infinite power of authority. How do we do this? Simply by ensuring that all we say and do, any word we speak, any employment of and obedience to power is aimed first and foremost at manifesting to ourselves and to others the authority of the True and the Good, ultimately Jesus Christ and His Church. If we had all done this in 2020, the Luciferians’ war against humanity would have been defeated before it began. It is not too late now to employ the power of authority for the salvation of humanity.

We must prepare ourselves spiritually for the arrival of Antichrist and help those prepare who have received the love of truth, but who may not be quite prepared for this next and final test and trial. I fear that those who have not received the love of truth, who refused and still refuse to ask questions of power, may be lost. But we can still pray for them and must do so, for God’s mercy is infinite and incomprehensible.

Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski teaches philosophy and humanities at Memoria College. His latest books are Modernity as Apocalypse: Sacred Nihilism and the Counterfeits of Logos, and Words, Concepts, Reality: Aristotelian Logic for Teenagers. He writes here.

Featured: Antichrist seated on the Leviathan, from the Liber Floridus (Ghent University Library), folio 62 verso, ca. 1090-1120.

A Complex “Near Abroad”

The Euro-Atlantic economic and security system, which can be summarized with the EU and NATO, also looks towards the southern shore of the Mediterranean. These two organizations have gradually expanded their cooperations with the nations bordering the Mediterranean coast, establishing different architectures and programs of dialogue, economic and security cooperation.

For the EU the ENP (European Neighbourhood Policy) developed since 2004 is geared immediate neighbours both to the east (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and to the south (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Tunisia). As of 28 June 2021, Belarus has suspended its membership in the Eastern Partnership. Libya and Syria currently do not fully participate in the ENP. NATO established the Mediterranean Dialogue was launched in 1994 and include Algeria, Mauritania, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt (it includes also Israel, Jordan and for Libya there is the open door, if it wants to join).

However, the progressive extension and worsening of the political, economic, social and security situation in the nations south of the countries bordering the Mediterranean, and for the same countries on the southern coast obliged these two organizations to enlarge their attention to an important and large part of the African continent.

The “near abroad” concept and vision for EU and NATO, consequently expanded from Maghreb to its neighbouring region, Sahel. Both are affected by a grid of problems, fractures and opportunities and it is an obliged choice, a painful necessity in order to reduce potential damages.   

The Maghreb (in Arabic, “the West”) is a geographical and political region that includes five countries: Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco Mauritania, and the disputed territory of the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara. The Sahel (“the edge” or “the limit”) is a geographical region that extends south of the Sahara Desert, through ten countries: Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia. Both spaces add up to almost 9 million square kilometers, more than twice the size of the EU. This are count more than 550 million inhabitants with a 3% of birthrate. In its social structure, with different intensities, the concept of tribe or ethnic group still prevails. The majority religion is Islam, which in some countries coexists with animistic practices.

In these regions there are failed States, such as Libya, and others are marked by internal conflict, such as Tunisia; there is regional rivalry between countries, both from the political and diplomatic point of view as well as security (Morocco and Algeria); in other territories the presence of terrorist organizations is stable (Mali or Nigeria) or there is political instability (Burkina, Niger or Mali); certain nations suffer almost endemic famines (Sudan, Eritrea or Ethiopia); some countries are places of transit or origin of irregular immigration flows to Europe (Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali or Niger). And in all of them, the democratic standards, to a greater or lesser extent, are lower from Western standards. Many of these nations have natural resources that should favor their economic development and are of special interest for Western industry and economy. The risks and threats related to this area of the planet are a recurring object of interest in successive national security strategies, as well as for NATO and EU.

In this enormous region, terrorist activity with a jihadist ideology is together with other instability elements such as illicit trafficking, political instability, famine, forced displacement of the population, irregular immigration networks and poor and weak governance. In the dynamics of jihadist terrorism, it is a constant to use regional conflicts as training grounds for future terrorists who will end up acting in Western countries. These groups spread their propaganda through social networks to ideologize people who finally join the jihad in conflict zones or in the Western countries where they reside after legal and/or illegal migration. In the region there are economic resources of interest but physical and legal insecurity hinders legitimate business activity in the region.

Currently, the Sahel countries with the highest terrorist activity are Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. Mali has more than 1.2 million square kilometers and a very low population density. The country and the populations in the north and south show notable differences both ethnically and culturally. As a result of the agreements of the Berlin Conference of 1884, artificial borders were imposed in Africa that separated ethnic groups and cultures, a process that also affected Mali. Traditionally the population of northern Mali (Arabs) has not felt identified with the policies of the Government of Bamako (Black dominated). The fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya triggered the return of numerous Tuareg fighters to the north of Mali and the reactivation of initiatives to advance towards the independence of the northern regions gathered around the self-proclaimed state of Azawad. The Malian forces where not in condition to control the situation and the area of fighting was used by jihadist armed groups to occupy part of the territory. The Bamako government’s inability to control the country led it to request international aid. In January 2013, the “Serval” operation began—led by France—, which in July 2014 was renamed “Barkhane,” extended to Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and concluded at the end of 2022. In 2013 the EU launched a military training mission for the Malian forces called EUTM-Mali, which would end in 2024, and two civilian missions, EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUCAP Sahel Niger, whose mandates will end in January 2025 and September 2024 respectively, and giving the strong hostility of Bamako, the first one is probable that will be not renewed. For its part, the UNSC approved by Resolution 2100 of April 25, 2013, the establishment of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), a peace enforcement mission that had aims to pacify northern Mali and is concluded, on the request of Mali (and the withdrawal of the “blue helmets” is ongoing and it would be completed at the end of this year). All these efforts did not overcome the threat, which at the contrary licked to Niger and Burkina Faso. After the last military   coup in Mali, on May 24, 2021, social and government rejection of Western troops—especially French ones— has increased. The final thing is that all the international presence is on the way to leave the country and the current government is relying on the mercenaries of the Russian company Wagner to combat terrorist groups and the anti-Western feeling spread in Burkina Faso. While the Tuareg groups maintain an agreement, certainly precarious, with the Government, while the jihadist-based armed groups have been congregating around two major groups: the Support Group for Islam and Muslims and the Islamic State for the Greater Sahara, which count on several thousand militants with the capacity to occupy territory and control the population through terror. Attacks on humanitarian aid convoys or MINUSMA columns and bases are frequent. The first and most obvious consequence of terrorist activity, not only in Mali, is the growing IDPs both to safer areas of the country and to Mauritania and Senegal, where these refugees live precarious life.

Irregular immigration is another of the risk factors that can affect the security side. This is not necessarily caused by immigrants, but by organizations that stimulate and control illegal trafficking: specialized structures, linked to other criminal traffic, that obtain great benefits and disregard the risk of losing their lives to which they expose immigrants. Irregular immigration can entail other risks —such as the increase in social unrest as a consequence of massive arrivals—which is why it is a phenomenon that can be easily used as an instrument of political pressure, like it was done by Morocco against Spain in occasion of the hospitalization in that country of the leader of the independentist movement of Western Sahara, POLISARIO in May 2021. And, in some cases, it constitutes the gateway to Europe for jihadist terrorists.

Down to Maghreb, as above mentioned, there is Sahel; this area includes countries with important differences in their economic structure and natural resources. However, they are all among the LDCs. The region has been facing multiple challenges for years —such as political instability and insecurity—, added to the economic and health crisis caused by COVID-19 and the increase in energy and food prices, a consequence of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

In the case of countries in which around 80% of the population depends on agriculture and livestock —with the exception of Nigeria—and where the primary sector represents between 20 and 45% of the GDP, the climatic conditions and the expanding desertification, are factors which challenge any option for growth. Some of these territories are rich in natural resources, including the rare earths. This is the case of Chad, where more than 90% of exports are fuel, rare hearts and precious metals, or Niger, where 80% of exports, directed to France and the UAE, are concentrated in uranium—Niger is the third world exporter of this mineral. The case of Ethiopia is significant: it has significant gold and tantalum reserves. Despite its natural wealth, as general view, the benefit obtained affects the governing leadership, linked in some cases to foreign interests, and the population does not get an improvement in their income.

On the other hand, the industrial sector is very limited, mainly linked to agri-food sub sector, with a low demand for labor with the notable exception of Nigeria’s petrochemical industry in consideration that the country is the largest producer in Africa, representing the 80% of the national export (as comparison, in Chad, income from the exploitation of natural resources constitutes almost 22% of GDP; however, the oil sector generates 80% of these incomes).

The services sector presents various degrees of development in the Sahel, with the exception of Nigeria and Senegal (for this country is tourism the leading subsector).

Trade relations are concentrated in the export of hydrocarbon (oil and gas), rare hearts stones and metals (particularly gold). In addition to commercial exchanges between neighbors, the relations that the Sahel countries maintain with China, India, US, Switzerland, UAE and EU (particularly with France, Belgium and Spain). However, there are important barriers that hinder the arrival of investors: insecurity, legal and tariff obstacles, high installation costs caused by the enormous expenses in electricity and protectionism against imports.

The region’s population structure is typical of developing countries: due to the high birth rate and low life expectancy, there is a high percentage of young people.

Undoubtedly, a characteristic common to the countries that make up this geographical area is the situation of poverty in which a large part of the population lives. In the Sahel, between 30 and 40% of the population lives on less than $2 a day. Extreme poverty is especially concentrated in rural areas, where the population depends on agricultural or livestock production, subject to climatic fluctuations. The percentage of the population living in rural areas is especially high in countries such as Chad (77%) or Mali (53%), which explains the significant economic dependence on the primary sector and the difficult access to basic services, such as education or health, a situation that leads to high levels of illiteracy and high mortality rates.

In addition to the problems mentioned, there is increasing demographic pressure on certain areas of the region, caused by internal displacements caused mainly by armed conflicts.

The Maghreb occupies an extensive area that includes densely populated coastlines and desert and unpopulated areas that end up bordering on the Sahel. This circumstance produces a double territorial imbalance —between the coast and the interior and between the countryside and the city— which has triggered an exodus to the cities, whose services have been overwhelmed and suffering. The main industrial and agricultural activity in the Maghreb is located in the coastal areas; it is complemented by an important mining and hydrocarbon activity in a large part of the territory. These factors encourage the Maghreb to have a GDP per capita of more than $3,000. Mauritania with $1,700 euros it remains more closer to Sahel. However, GDP growth has been irregular, not sustained and insufficient to generate the resources required by demographic pressure. However, it remains higher than Sahel.

The economies of the Maghreb are based on three pillars: the agri-food sector, the export of manufactures and a significant contribution from hydrocarbons and minerals. In the agricultural model, modern agriculture, for export, focused on Mediterranean products (fruit, olive oil, vegetables), and traditional agriculture, dedicated to cereals, converge. This sector concentrates about half of the workforce in Morocco, but only contributes between 10 and 15% of GDP, which underline a low productivity. In Tunisia, the figures are more balanced: the activity employs 16% of the labor force and accounts for a similar percentage of GDP. In the rest of the region the weight of agriculture in exports is lower.

Fishing is a fundamental sector for Mauritania, representing 10% of GDP and 35 % of its exports. For Morocco it represents 16% of exports. Both countries have very rich fishing grounds, however exposed to risks of overexploitation. Example of it is Morocco, which has already exhausted the fishing grounds in its internationally recognized sea border and the only fisheries reserves are now in the water of the disputed Western Sahara and Rabat use it as political tool with economic and political partners/customers like EU (especially Spain and Portugal), but also South Korea, Russia and China in order to legitimize his presence in the former Spanish colony.

Mainly, the industrial sector of the Maghreb has experienced growth in the north, influenced by its proximity to the EU and its low costs. In the case of Morocco and Tunisia, the protagonists have been light manufacturing; the automotive and aeronautical industry; in Algeria the steel and petrochemical industries are strong. However, the Maghreb run around the exploitation of natural resources, mainly hydrocarbons and minerals. The largest producers of oil and natural gas are Algeria (98% of export revenue) and Libya (95%). Morocco, less rich in hydrocarbons, is the world’s second largest producer of phosphates, while Algeria looks to develop the same sector and with Chinese help, the iron ore. Mauritania is hopeful that oil exploration projects will become a reality, after many promises, and iron ore now accounts for the bulk of its exports. Tunisia, despite being below its neighbors Algeria and Libya, is a producer of phosphate, iron, zinc and some oil.

The commercial activity of the Maghreb materializes fundamentally in countries of the EU; Mauritania, whose main customer is China, is the exception.

All the countries of the Maghreb and the Sahel were colonies of several European nations, but even under foreign rule existed tribes/clan dynamics which where formalized after the colonization. To this lack of political experience was added, during decolonization, artificial borders separating ethnic groups, establishing territorial units with no elements in common and the new states were unable to exercise effective control. The classic elements that make up a State—people, territory and power, governed by a legal order—have not fully articulated to ensure the necessary political stability, especially in the Sahel.

With regard to the political form of the new States, except for Morocco (even if a constitutional monarchy, the king keep an iron fist in controlling the policymaking and governance), the rest of the countries in the regions studied were constituted as French-inspired semi-presidential republics. Due to the aforementioned circumstances and the lack of stable party systems, these have frequently degenerated into personalist governments, threatened, in turn, by frequent coups, especially in the Sahel.

The wave of democratization that began in the 1990s and continued through the first decade of the 2000s gave us a glimpse of some hope, which had vanished after the failure of the so-called Arab Spring. Political fragility, corruption, the emergence of jihadism and the expansionist policies of certain countries, added to the effects of climate change, are threatening the very viability of the States of the Sahel, since without political stability robust and sustained economic growth cannot be born. Electoral systems in the Sahel area operate in a framework of political pluralism that is not guaranteed and do not generate trust among citizens. Consequently, the results are often disputed, especially when the general interest is neglected in favor of the tribal or ethnic interest. In this environment, constitutionalism becomes a purely semantic issue. European attempts to support certain governments in the Sahel so that they are able to control their security crises have not had the expected success; Support from countries with more lax democratic standards has been shown to be more effective, making available to those supported procedures that cannot be assumed by Western values.

Maghreb and Sahel are marked with a greater or lesser extent, by political and institutional instability, little chance of progress for young people, high rates of poverty, illiteracy and insecurity. All this conditions the more than uncertain future of an area besieged to a large extent by corruption, whose governments, whatever the political form of the State and the current system, lack the capacity to protect and empower their populations. The situation described generates social discontent that, on many occasions, is transformed into different forms of violence. Thus, there seems to be an obvious link between poor governance, corruption and violence, creating the potential combination for “a perfect storm.” Governance can be understood as the provision of political, social, economic and environmental goods that the citizens has the right to expect from their State, and that a State has the responsibility to provide its citizens. Poor governance manifests itself in various aspects that, broadly speaking, are shared by the least developed countries in the area:

Low economic development and extreme poverty. According to the Human Development Index (HDI) of UNDP, which includes 189 countries, those of the Sahel are at the bottom in development, with a GDP up to ten times lower than the territories of the Maghreb, which is already low, and it is estimated that at least 40% of its inhabitants live in extreme poverty, that with the endless increase of population, it will worsen the situation.

High unemployment rates and low literacy. Poor reforms are reflected in the high unemployment rates in some countries. These are very young societies, with high fertility rates and low literacy (especially in the Sahel area). The inexistence of qualified employment opportunities represents a great loss for the States, since the emigration of citizens interested in jobs of this profile prevents their contribution to national governance.

Corruption. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, whose classification includes 180 countries and territories around the world, the public sector in the Maghreb and the Sahel is among the most corrupt on the planet. Corruption is due to political and cultural reasons and generates economic stagnation and institutional disaffection. Values such as freedom, security and transparency have not yet settled in the upper echelons of the political and military establishment.

In terms of democratic governance, there is a setback connected with high doses of institutional instability, caused by popular revolts more or less vast, as in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, or coups, as in Mali, Guinea or Burkina Faso, white coups in Chad, civil war in Libya and Ethiopia, perennial presidencies in other states. Institutional instability significantly weakens state structures and makes it difficult to implement public policies that build confidence at the internal and international level.

The extension and link between terrorism and criminality have as consequence, in some cases, of the weakness of governments and internal disagreements.

The insecurity encourages massive population movements within countries and between neighboring States and to Europe. Added to the foregoing is the socioeconomic exodus, caused by poverty and poor governance, which is precisely the reason for political instability and insecurity. These phenomena lead to hundreds of thousands of refugees, IDPs and migrants, collapsing of the already limited public services due to terrorist and criminal threats.

It is undeniable that, without skilled security forces that generate confidence among the population, progress towards economic and social development is improbable. All this generates poverty and uncertainty and encourages emigration through criminal networks in Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia, Libya to Europe.

For this, it is necessary, without a doubt, to maintain collaboration. Although it may be time to propose a new model, one that does not lose sight of the social, political and cultural reality of these countries and considers that the Western model is not welcomed and directly applicable to territories that carry a colonial past and still suffer the consequences of an unfortunate territorial division (and this is used as excuse to excite the chauvinism of the local population with the aim to consolidate the governing elites, especially now, while Russia and China take advantage of it in their confrontation with the West). Further, the emphasis of the respect of collective and individual liberties from the West it is saw with open suspicions and hostility by the region leaderships which consider these concepts as way to increase moral corruption and push for access into domestic affairs, revealing the authoritarian nature of these states.

In the field of security, it would be convenient to have a more active participation in the training of the military and security forces of the countries of the Sahel zone, (while for Maghreb this is less necessary, giving their better quality) and it would even be necessary to contemplate their accompaniment in the fight against terrorist and insurgent groups, assuming the possible risk of their own casualties. The training and provision of new skills must be accompanied by a program to monitor their effective and adequate use and their correct maintenance through a calendar of targets, conditional on meeting previously defined objectives and accepted by both local governments and by the Union or the participating Member States.

In the economic and social field, it seems necessary to create the bases to achieve sustained development, which fosters the conditions so that the population —especially young people—, mostly settled in rural areas, does not consider emigration as the only possible solution to their situation of extreme poverty. In this sense, cooperation programs could be launched aimed at modernizing agricultural and livestock production systems, improving the supply of products or developing value chains and promoting an incipient auxiliary and transformation industry linked to said production. To this end, together with international cooperation, duly coordinated with actions in other areas, the use of other types of financing should be promoted, such as microcredits, which entail monitoring and monitoring of medium-term results. Additionally, the evaluation of the impact of the projects seems to be a key element that will make it possible to redefine priorities and improve their design. However, any initiative in this sense will not achieve the objectives pursued if two essential conditions for the desired economic and social development are not met: security and national political stability and good governance.

In the field of governance, it is evident that the strengthening of institutions is a necessary step to promote the rule of law, transparency in public activity or the fight against corruption, among other aspects. Programs aimed at training officials and advising or collaborating with public administrations could perhaps have a direct effect on the better functioning and stability of the institutions. A public function made up of servers with a high level of professionalism and competence could minimize the impact of crises and/or political instability. However, as already mentioned, the push transparency and rule of law is not welcomed by the local elites and any action should be oriented to corner them into accept it and avoiding that this situation will drive those elites to rapprochement to Moscow and China, as already happened, especially for cases like Algeria, that does not depend to the economic dependence from the West.

Enrico Magnani, PhD, is a retired UN official and expert in military history and international politico-military affairs.