Charles Dudley Warner (1829—1900) was a widely read American essayist and novelist. He was a friend of Mark Twain, with whom he collaborated in writing the novel, The Gilded Age: The Take of Today.
His essay, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” was published in the Century Magazine (December 1900), and deserves to be read in our own age.
The Pursuit of Happiness
Perhaps the most curious and interesting phrase ever put into a public document is “the pursuit of happiness.” It is declared to be an inalienable right. It cannot be sold. It cannot be given away. It is doubtful if it could be left by will.
The right of every man to be six feet high, and of every woman to be five feet four, was regarded as self-evident until women asserted their undoubted right to be six feet high also, when some confusion was introduced into the interpretation of this rhetorical fragment of the eighteenth century.
But the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness has never been questioned since it was proclaimed as a new gospel for the New World. The American people accepted it with enthusiasm, as if it had been the discovery of a gold-prospector, and started out in the pursuit as if the devil were after them.
If the proclamation had been that happiness is a common right of the race, alienable or otherwise, that all men are or may be happy, history and tradition might have interfered to raise a doubt whether even the new form of government could so change the ethical condition. But the right to make a pursuit of happiness, given in a fundamental bill of rights, had quite a different aspect. Men had been engaged in many pursuits, most of them disastrous, some of them highly commendable. A sect in Galilee had set up the pursuit of righteousness as the only or the highest object of man’s immortal powers. The rewards of it, however, were not always immediate. Here was a political sanction of a pursuit that everybody acknowledged to be of a good thing.
Given a heart-aching longing in every human being for happiness, here was high warrant for going in pursuit of it. And the curious effect of this ‘mot d’ordre’ was that the pursuit arrested the attention as the most essential, and the happiness was postponed, almost invariably, to some future season, when leisure or plethora, that is, relaxation or gorged desire, should induce that physical and moral glow which is commonly accepted as happiness. This glow of well-being is sometimes called contentment, but contentment was not in the programme. If it came at all, it was only to come after strenuous pursuit, that being the inalienable right.
People, to be sure, have different conceptions of happiness, but whatever they are, it is the custom, almost universal, to postpone the thing itself. This, of course, is specially true in our American system, where we have a chartered right to the thing itself. Other nations who have no such right may take it out in occasional driblets, odd moments that come, no doubt, to men and races who have no privilege of voting, or to such favored places as New York city, whose government is always the same, however they vote.
We are all authorized to pursue happiness, and we do as a general thing make a pursuit of it. Instead of simply being happy in the condition where we are, getting the sweets of life in human intercourse, hour by hour, as the bees take honey from every flower that opens in the summer air, finding happiness in the well-filled and orderly mind, in the sane and enlightened spirit, in the self that has become what the self should be, we say that tomorrow, next year, in ten or twenty or thirty years, when we have arrived at certain coveted possessions or situation, we will be happy. Some philosophers dignify this postponement with the name of hope.
Sometimes wandering in a primeval forest, in all the witchery of the woods, besought by the kindliest solicitations of nature, wild flowers in the trail, the call of the squirrel, the flutter of birds, the great world-music of the wind in the pine-tops, the flecks of sunlight on the brown carpet and on the rough bark of immemorial trees, I find myself unconsciously postponing my enjoyment until I shall reach a hoped-for open place of full sun and boundless prospect.
The analogy cannot be pushed, for it is the common experience that these open spots in life, where leisure and space and contentment await us, are usually grown up with thickets, fuller of obstacles, to say nothing of labors and duties and difficulties, than any part of the weary path we have trod.
Why add the pursuit of happiness to our other inalienable worries? Perhaps there is something wrong in ourselves when we hear the complaint so often that men are pursued by disaster instead of being pursued by happiness.
We all believe in happiness as something desirable and attainable, and I take it that this is the underlying desire when we speak of the pursuit of wealth, the pursuit of learning, the pursuit of power in office or in influence, that is, that we shall come into happiness when the objects last named are attained. No amount of failure seems to lessen this belief. It is matter of experience that wealth and learning and power are as likely to bring unhappiness as happiness, and yet this constant lesson of experience makes not the least impression upon human conduct. I suppose that the reason of this unheeding of experience is that every person born into the world is the only one exactly of that kind that ever was or ever will be created, so that he thinks he may be exempt from the general rules. At any rate, he goes at the pursuit of happiness in exactly the old way, as if it were an original undertaking. Perhaps the most melancholy spectacle offered to us in our short sojourn in this pilgrimage, where the roads are so dusty and the caravansaries so ill provided, is the credulity of this pursuit. Mind, I am not objecting to the pursuit of wealth, or of learning, or of power, they are all explainable, if not justifiable,—but to the blindness that does not perceive their futility as a means of attaining the end sought, which is happiness, an end that can only be compassed by the right adjustment of each soul to this and to any coming state of existence. For whether the great scholar who is stuffed with knowledge is happier than the great money-getter who is gorged with riches, or the wily politician who is a Warwick in his realm, depends entirely upon what sort of a man this pursuit has made him. There is a kind of fallacy current nowadays that a very rich man, no matter by what unscrupulous means he has gathered an undue proportion of the world into his possession, can be happy if he can turn round and make a generous and lavish distribution of it for worthy purposes. If he has preserved a remnant of conscience, this distribution may give him much satisfaction, and justly increase his good opinion of his own deserts; but the fallacy is in leaving out of account the sort of man he has become in this sort of pursuit. Has he escaped that hardening of the nature, that drying up of the sweet springs of sympathy, which usually attend a long-continued selfish undertaking? Has either he or the great politician or the great scholar cultivated the real sources of enjoyment?
The pursuit of happiness! It is not strange that men call it an illusion. But I am well satisfied that it is not the thing itself, but the pursuit, that is an illusion. Instead of thinking of the pursuit, why not fix our thoughts upon the moments, the hours, perhaps the days, of this divine peace, this merriment of body and mind, that can be repeated and perhaps indefinitely extended by the simplest of all means, namely, a disposition to make the best of whatever comes to us? Perhaps the Latin poet was right in saying that no man can count himself happy while in this life, that is, in a continuous state of happiness; but as there is for the soul no time save the conscious moment called “now,” it is quite possible to make that “now” a happy state of existence. The point I make is that we should not habitually postpone that season of happiness to the future.
No one, I trust, wishes to cloud the dreams of youth, or to dispel by excess of light what are called the illusions of hope. But why should the boy be nurtured in the current notion that he is to be really happy only when he has finished school, when he has got a business or profession by which money can be made, when he has come to manhood? The girl also dreams that for her happiness lies ahead, in that springtime when she is crossing the line of womanhood—all the poets make much of this—when she is married and learns the supreme lesson how to rule by obeying. It is only when the girl and the boy look back upon the years of adolescence that they realize how happy they might have been then if they had only known they were happy, and did not need to go in pursuit of happiness.
The pitiful part of this inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness is, however, that most men interpret it to mean the pursuit of wealth, and strive for that always, postponing being happy until they get a fortune, and if they are lucky in that, find at the end that the happiness has somehow eluded them, that; in short, they have not cultivated that in themselves that alone can bring happiness. More than that, they have lost the power of the enjoyment of the essential pleasures of life. I think that the woman in the Scriptures who out of her poverty put her mite into the contribution-box got more happiness out of that driblet of generosity and self-sacrifice than some men in our day have experienced in founding a university.
And how fares it with the intellectual man? To be a selfish miner of learning, for self-gratification only, is no nobler in reality than to be a miser of money. And even when the scholar is lavish of his knowledge in helping an ignorant world, he may find that if he has made his studies as a pursuit of happiness he has missed his object. Much knowledge increases the possibility of enjoyment, but also the possibility of sorrow. If intellectual pursuits contribute to an enlightened and altogether admirable character, then indeed has the student found the inner springs of happiness. Otherwise one cannot say that the wise man is happier than the ignorant man.
In fine, and in spite of the political injunction, we need to consider that happiness is an inner condition, not to be raced after. And what an advance in our situation it would be if we could get it into our heads here in this land of inalienable rights that the world would turn round just the same if we stood still and waited for the daily coming of our Lord!
Featured: Fröhliche Sangesrunde mit einer Donaulandschaft (Merry Round of Singing, with Danube Landscape), by Rudolf Alfred Höger; painted ca. 1930.
This very interesting exchange between an Iranian, Esfandiar, and Julie Cronshaw on the topic of ballet, points to the importance and necessity of the arts to properly cultivate the ground of culture so that it may yield good fruit.
Julie Cronshaw is a graduate of the Royal Ballet School’s Teacher’s Training Course and has danced professionally in ballet companies in Germany, the United States and Russia. Currently, she is the Artistic Director of the Highgate Ballet School in England. She gained her Cecchetti Teaching Diploma in 2009 and Fellowship (the highest teaching award given by the ISTD) in 2010. Julie guest teaches regularly in Paris. She is a founding member of the Auguste Vestris Society, a non-profit, Paris-based teaching organization which is dedicated to promoting classical ballet, particularly the work of great ballet masters such as Enrico Cecchetti and August Bournonville.
Esfandiar (Es): Hello Miss Cronshaw. This is Esfandiar here in Turkey but I am from Iran. My friends in the Lebanon have told me about your film Ballet’s Secret Code, on the teacher Enrico Cecchetti, and that now it has 460,000 views after two years on YT.
We have no ballet in Iran since 1979 but I like it. I feel happy when I see the people dancing to that beautiful music and I would like to do it too. Also, the Russian people here always talk about ballet and their favourite dancers. I read about it, I have learnt names for steps and watched many films. These are my questions to you about Enrico Cecchetti.
Julie Cronshaw (JC): First of all, thank you for taking the time to write to me.
It has been quite a surprise, to follow the rise in audience figures of Ballet’s Secret Code, since its release in January 2021. The project evolved from a ‘light-bulb’ moment which distilled the Method of Cecchetti’s Days of the Week into a few simple principles, and which I felt needed to be shared. When the project was finally finished I could say to anyone who asked: if you want to know, it’s on film and the information is freely available to all.
What has been even more of a surprise is to receive and read the hundreds of interesting comments and questions from across the world. There have been some lively debates on aspects of ballet as an art form and how the principles relate not only to other kinds of dance and sports, but also to society in general.
Es: What is the difference between what they teach in Russia today, and Cecchetti ? Is Cecchetti too old-timer for stage-dancing now?
JC: To be honest, the only ballet classes in Russia that I have seen recently are on the internet and the last time I watched a Russian ballet company live in London was when the Bolshoi Ballet visited a few years ago. Their dancers are so superb technically and artistically, and the love, reverence and understanding they have for the art form is palpable, I don’t wish to criticise…that would be petty and small-minded of me! Cecchetti -and a decade or two before him, August Bournonville- were not wrong when they said that the light of Terpsichore would shine again in Russia when it had dimmed in Europe.
Still as we say here, ‘A Cat may look at a King’ and when I watch a Russian ballet class sometimes it is interesting to see how the dancer’s anatomy is pushed far beyond what I believe to be aesthetically and morally acceptable. This is a personal observation! I state it clearly on the documentary, a dancer’s body is their instrument, don’t trash it! Do you not wince in empathic pain when you watch unnecessary contortion and the extreme stretching? This is in their classes and onstage as much as it is in so many other companies and schools around the world.
Also I notice the ‘international style’ combinations one sees in so many ballet classes everywhere (Jean-Guillaume Bart of the Paris Opera refers to them as ‘McDonalds’ ballet’) are creeping into some of their company classes too.
When I danced briefly in Russia in 1994, the company classes were full of ballet steps I recognised from my Cecchetti ballet training and had not otherwise seen for a while – I was living in the USA at the time and not studying Cecchetti Method. The Vaganova style is different but the principles are the same, exactly as they were back then, as far as I experienced for the short time I was there in that company.
The Russian dancers are otherwise so fabulous and they deliver what an audience expects these days, which would be a short answer to the second part of your question: is Cecchetti too much of an old-timer for today’s stage dancing? I fear “Yes, at the present time”. This could all change and hopefully for the better, because we can all see how the Western world is descending into a very dark place at a very fast pace.
Artists have always reflected the society around them and this includes its moral, cultural, philosophical and spiritual aspects. Whether one likes or loathes what a choreographer puts onstage, it usually reflects some of these aspects in his creations. I discovered just how prescient a well-known contemporary choreographer is, when I gave a presentation on ballet, ballet training and the arts in the summer of 2021 and showed an excerpt on video. I’m not sure if the piece was intended to be for or against trans-humanism and the war on women, but it was quite frightening and some of the audience asked me to switch off the video as it made them feel sick.
If one can be optimistic about the future of humanity then there is a place for Cecchetti’s Method in the ballet companies of that world. Cecchetti’s training is moral, as well as anatomically sound, and of great artistic merit. The old laws of England tell us: Be honest, do no harm and cause no loss. Cecchetti would surely agree.
Es: I do a lot of sports, but I would one day like to try ballet. I see that the Italian man in your film does not have today’s special ballet physique. But he can do the steps. The ballerina is quite old and can still do all the steps. You are quite old and can do the steps, too. So, is it necessary to be young and have special ballet physique to dance Cecchetti correctly?
JC: How does one define “old”!? When you watch those of us with maturity who can dance those Cecchetti combinations, we do not feel “old” because the enchaînements (step combinations) do not require us to push our muscles, ligaments and joints beyond their limits. We enjoy and appreciate the sophistication of these wonderful combinations, where younger dancers cannot, yet. And we do not need to compete with the ballet-gymnast who can kick up their legs for effect when we are instead, whether consciously or not, exploring the geometric shapes and Platonic forms within an adage set to a Beethoven sonata. There is of course a minimal necessary technical requirement and a very high bar is set for some of the combinations, but this is classical ballet and an art form to be studied for years, decades, not just a jog around the gym.
It is recommended that if one wishes to become a competent practitioner of anything, better to start when one is young – but Cecchetti Method does not preclude beginners who are adults or dancers with less than perfect physique. As it is a Method based on the efficient mechanical actions of the human body in motion, it can be taught to anyone who is willing and reasonably able to learn it.
Es: I notice that Cecchetti seems very decent, I think it’s the word, compared to today’s ballet. There seem to be more steps to the music, difficult, fast steps; it is less exhibitionist, less putting the body on show. In the Middle East, we don’t like it when private things are shown in public. Cecchetti could be more popular in the Middle East because of decency. Do you think?
JC: Cecchetti lived and worked at a time when people were more modestly clothed and classical ballets favoured elaborate costumes, a story, and step combinations.
As the 20th century wore on, what became “acceptable” in society (or rather, it has been proposed, what has been thrust upon us by influential people intent on pushing their own agenda) also became acceptable on the stage. As I mentioned above, artists reflect what is going on around them, so ballet styles have changed too. Of course you can argue, times have to change, but one should always strive for better in any age, or leave that which is good and true to serve as a baseline from which to begin to explore the new.
The classical ballet can so clearly express the most noble expressions of humanity in form and movement and yes, simply through steps! It’s a language.
We have now reached a point here in the West where we are scraping the bottom of the barrel culturally and morally, and it’s in the arts as well. There is a profound disgust that many of us feel when we are subjected to the unmentionably vile ugliness of modern art. As spectators we must distance ourselves from it or we will suffer emotional and spiritual abuse, which causes us long term psychological damage and leads to societal moral decline and degradation.
Es: I study physics. You write on your Website The Cecchetti Connection that Cecchetti knew about the physical principles that he put into each day of class for one week. Why is that important? Instead of just thinking up nice moves to keep students happy?
JC: Without standing upon the basic physical principles of movement that correspond to natural law, dancers would, almost literally, not have a leg to stand upon.
The beauty of Cecchetti’s Days of the Week is that each day concentrates both the dancer’s body AND mind on a specific set of steps with similar movement qualities, and builds upon their complexity and variety as the dancer’s competency and artistry develops. As a result, the dancer’s competency and artistry also develop through the repetition and increase in complexity of the original basic step of the day—and the following week this step returns to provide the theme for that day’s class.
Just as the ballet class is structured with a barre and centre work, Cecchetti took the structure and development of basic movement principles one by one, and taught them in their most obvious order, across six days of the week. They begin on Monday with the notion of aplomb and progress to the Saturday class of bouncing allegro.
It’s a very disciplined and highly organised method of working that constantly scales up the dancer’s capacity to improve technique and movement possibilities. Just kicking up the legs, doing multiple turns and throwing oneself across the floor with a few fancy circus tricks is not only hazardous, but also eventually stagnates the mind and will have the opposite effect on any thinking dancer whose level of artistry would otherwise grow with maturity, even as their pliancy and strength starts to decline.
Es: You are a Fellow of the Imperial Society of Dancing, Cecchetti branch. Someone told me that it is harder than getting a PhD, so many years of study and theory, and you have to dance all the steps well too. How did you learn all the things that you know about Cecchetti ? Who are the teachers who were your guides?
JC: I could not comment on a comparison of the difficulties of becoming a Fellow in the Cecchetti Method with the challenges of attaining a PhD! When one has danced classical ballet all one’s life, and then teaches, at some point it becomes either an obvious or natural progression to study in depth the Method learned for so many years.
I am thankful to all my many ballet teachers for sharing their years of experience, knowledge and wisdom. I was not Cecchetti-trained as a child, and when I lived in the USA I was a professional dancer, working with my former husband, whose career was with American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet.
As a student at the Royal Ballet School, I studied with the internationally-renowned Cecchetti teacher Richard Glasstone and then trained on and off with him over many years.
Roger Tully has been the most profoundly influential ballet teacher I have ever worked with, and he taught a completely different style of ballet class, but always stated the principles.
It was because of his teaching that I put two and two together and realised the underlying principles behind Cecchetti’s Days of the Week. In 2007, I was lucky enough to be asked to join the Société Auguste Vestris, a not-for-profit teaching society in Paris, whose founder is a woman of exceptional intellectual and practical capabilities, Katharine Kanter. The extraordinary people that Katharine knows from around the world and has brought together—either to become part of the society or to give presentations and workshops—has stimulated a quest for knowledge, and for certain it sparked off a latent intellectual predisposition that sent me down the path I’ve been on ever since!
Thanks to Katharine, a series of lucky happenstances, useful contacts and the financial support from the AV Society, I was able to persuade two dancers to take part in the film and find the spaces and the time to rehearse them. Then the film itself gradually came together! I read all I could find on Cecchetti and his contemporaries. His life story often provides a background context when I am occasionally asked to write an article for a Cecchetti or other dance journal.
Es: I have watched many films from the 50s and 60s. For example, Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes in The Swan Lake, 1960. The music is very fast, faster than today. But she can do all the steps in time, very fast “inside” turns and very fast backbend, or else tilting sideways or forwards on one leg off-balance. She was old then, 40, but she doesn’t seem worried. Her muscles are pretty; she doesn’t look athletic. Today, the girls look like sportswomen with big muscles, they are tense and push the steps hard. Why is that? Is ballet a sport?
JC: Margot Fonteyn was not only an artist of the highest level but also a very special human being, according to the anecdotes of those who knew and worked with her. The artist reflects their state of being and doing through their art. Dancers today are not educated to think and act either inside or outside of the studio, in the way that Fonteyn did.
During the decades that Fonteyn was a prima ballerina, Cecchetti Method was still being taught extensively in London, for example at the Royal Ballet School even though the Founder and Director of the Royal Ballet company at that time, Dame Ninette de Valois, was already looking around internationally for teachers and dancers to enhance the technical level of the company, its prestige and global appeal. The style of the Royal Ballet, exemplified by the choreography of Frederick Ashton, showed intricate footwork, lyrical lines and fluid port de bras. It developed as a combination of the teaching of the first and second generation of Cecchetti trained dancers, Ballets Russes emigres, and other independent ballet teachers from around the world.
This style of dancing depended upon step choreography and gestures to convey a story or sometimes an abstract idea. It was the way things were done in those days, and it wasn’t the fashion to dance onstage in one’s underwear. Nor to kick the legs up and perform ballet tricks for sensational effect. This is maybe why dancers today push so hard and have the big muscles and dance like it’s a sport: the training encourages effect and show, not so much anymore the crystallisation into form of an idea or ideal from the realm of the imagination, and projected through the highly contrived – and perfectly suited for it- environment of the theatre stage.
As a side note, one cannot say that dancers from those mid 20th century decades could not do the tricks, like the fouettés and so on, of course they could, but there was another aesthetic that took precedence over the effects. Technique was used as a means to an end not its end. Ballet is an art not a sport.
Es: I have also watched the Russian ballet films from the 50s and 60s. I enjoy to see the girls like Svetlana Efremova or Gabriela Komleva. Other girls are good too. They could do anything, jump high, criss-cross very fast with the feet, also doing very hard steps on their toe-tips. They seem better than the girls today, stronger, telling about the music, and also, making it look easy. Why is that?
JC: They are fabulous yes aren’t they? The technique taught in those days was more likely focused on step combinations and different kinds of steps rather than stretching and effects, as I’ve tried to explain in replying to your previous question! When one takes up more time in class stretching at the barre, obsessing over the height of an arabesque, hitting those numbers for pirouettes and wondering how one is going to look wearing not much more than a leotard or shorts that evening onstage, it must surely change one’s approach to training!
I have a theory that the rampant narcissism in society and especially in the ballet, is in no small part, brought about by the ongoing unpleasant cultural changes being forced upon us at all levels, the abusive, un-education system, the horrendous global situation, political lawlessness and the pervading sense of uncertainty in the world that dancers pick up upon because they are artists and reflect that which is around them.
Es: I have watched films with American men dancing classical ballet now. Their leg muscles seem bulged up, especially the quadriceps, and they seem to put the weight to their toes. I am a sportsman and I don’t put the weight on my toes. The American men are thin but they look heavy. Why is that?
JC: The body is a heavy and solid object! When one puts weight over the toes the direction of force is directed downwards and the effort required to shift it is more than when the weight is distributed about the central axis – and where the musculature in the torso can be more efficiently directed.
When the legs do more work proportionately to that of the torso it becomes obvious that the muscles in the legs will develop disproportionately to the muscles in the torso.
Es: Does Cecchetti have special steps, special training, for men ? Do the feet have to be pointing outwards as much as in modern ballet which is 180°?
JC: There are lovely combinations for the male dancer including long, sustained adages, some choreographed and complex others using simple repetition of movements and poses in the basic directions of the body. There are slow adagio pirouettes (turns) and fast, virtuosity pirouettes, for which the Maestro was renowned in his dancing years, and all sorts of jumps, not just the big leaps across the stage but bouncing combinations (in the style of Bournonville), petite and grande batterie (criss-crossing the legs in beats close to, or farther off the floor)) and unusual, off-balance combinations that wouldn’t look out of place in a contemporary class!
No, the feet do not have to be turned out to 180 degrees, and Cecchetti’s 5th position doesn’t over- cross, which helps to keep the legs turned out at the thigh and facilitates speed.
Es: I saw your “Tips for a Ballet Teacher.” You talk about renversé (bending strongly and turning upon oneself, either towards (en dedans) or away (en-dehors) from the standing leg). I don’t understand how you can hold off-balance like that while moving downwards or turning. You don’t fall down. Is it special muscles you use? Or is it the move that helps you?
JC: It’s the momentum of the turn generated by the torso, the correct carriage and use of the head as it’s heavy, and the coordination of the legs and arms, all of which are vital for carrying the momentum of the renversé and enabling the recovery, especially if it’s into a position of extension en l’air (the gesture leg is fully stretched and held in the air), as in renversé en dedans.
Es: I saw that Lebanese teenagers have sent you a video of a ballet they made up, to honour Cecchetti, after they watched your film. Please tell about that.
JC: The YouTube video made by this couple (who were young but not teenagers, if I recall!) was made during one of the Covid lockdowns. They rehearsed and produced a pas de deux in the summer heat, in a ruined building which was little more than a shell, and the piece they created, was very simply and honestly done, sincere and very artistic. I was contacted through the Ballet’s Secret Code e-mail address and sent the link. It reminded me of what Roger Tully used to say in class sometimes, and it would be said not in irony, but as a high compliment:
“It could almost be dancing!”
Featured: Anna Pavlova in the Ballet Sylphyde, by Valentin Serov; painted in 1909.
For more than 30 years, Mikko Paunio has studied the new-old nature pantheism that was born in the UN framework, with its partners the Club of Rome and the World Economic Forum. This religion has largely replaced Christianity in Western countries. Nature pantheism specifically draws from the “wisdom” of theosophy, which is based on the esotericism and occultism of the world’s most famous con artist, Madame Blavatsky, who claimed to have discovered the “lost truth” that unites world religions.
Many Christians around the world have been worried about the rise of nature pantheism for decades and have harshly criticized church fathers who have stumbled into the new religion, such as the Pope. As an agnostic and a former long-term social democrat, Mr. Paunio finds myself in allegiance with these Christians, because these Christians do not mix faith and reality like nature believers do.
This is the story of how the wacko Temple overlords of Davos (the WEF) took over the world and how the coming winter’s trials, arising from Europe’s green energy reality, and how the trials will trash these wackos’ Great Environment Narrative.
This article was originally given on October 1, 2022, as a commissioned presentation in Finnish, at Mediapolis Tampere, in a Symposium entitled, “Salattu valta”[“Occult Power”].
Esotericists Participate in Social Discussions Covertly, Lest their Hoax-Thinking be Revealed
In the mid-1980s, I did my doctoral dissertation on vaccination compliance and vaccination coverage in the MMR project. The MMR project eliminated measles, mumps and rubella from Finland. In the last part of my dissertation, we sent a letter to the parents of 70,000 unvaccinated children, in which we detailed the aforementioned diseases and their public health significance. Within a week, Helsingin Sanomat (Finland’s The Guardian) published a letter to the editor written by an unknown lady stating that the MMR vaccination is unnecessary, because recent studies have shown that tenderness towards children raises antibodies against these diseases. A few years later, I sat on the Helsinki Health Board as a social democrat politician with the husband of the woman in question, among others. Both he and his wife were esotericists and occultists and had adopted the cult of Rudolf Steiner i.e., Anthroposophy. Later I found out that the author of the letter has translated a large amount of German anthroposophical medical literature into Finnish, including crystal, zone, aroma, and other homeopathy-like therapies. In effect, the occultists have very well positioned themselves—not only in Finland but in the whole world—and that their influence is enormous, considering that in my dissertation I showed that their share of parents was only one tenth of one percent.
Occultists always operate surreptitiously, i.e., they rarely reveal in public their real beliefs, because the justifications for their policy recommendations are so irrational that it is better to be silent about them. However, they make mistakes in the public sphere from time to time, which eventually turns the public against them. Helsingin Sanomat’s readers never got to know the background and motives behind the letter.
The Thinking of Occultists is Based on Nonsense Dressed up as Science
The Austrian mystic Rudolf Steiner, who died in 1926, saw a vision in one of his inner-space flights, and told about his vision in his 1910 lecture in Hamburg, “Natural and Accidental Illness in Relationship to Karma;” that it is favourable, in terms of an individual’s soul journey, that the body contracts measles during childhood. Due to the extremely high contagiousness of measles, it has had an even greater influence in reducing the size of the populations in the history of mankind than the more deadly smallpox, which was less contagious and occurred later and less frequently in life than measles. The aforementioned letter-writer’s whimsical beliefs and their background caught my attention, as a measles expert, and which led to a decades-long interest in the irrational thinking of occultists and the social dangers associated with it.
According to historian Anna Bramwell, a third of the Nazi inner circle were anthroposophists and that greenness was an essential part of the Nazi ideology (Figure 1). A representative figure of the Nazi faction, August Haussleiter, in the first party congress of the German Greens, was chosen to its first presidium. During the party conference in Offenbach in 1979 Haussleiter crafted the politically significant green operational theses (ecology, social, grassroot democracy, non-violence) , which the Finnish Greens copied into their own programs as such, as did other green parties around the world.
Anthroposophy is often promoted as being science, even though it is nonsense. In what follows, I will cover a lot of things, the essence of which is that ultimately global agendas based on esotericism and occultism or, more simply, the new nature pantheism, are nuts and therefore socially dangerous. Thus, for example, the policy demand of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, which it has imposed on itself i.e., carbon neutrality by 2030, is ultimately cruel and unethical, as I will show.
The Environmental Policies of the UN, the Club of Rome and the World Economic Forum are Esoteric Nonsense
The justifications of the UN and the World Economic Forum’s anti-enlightenment global policies, aimed at subjugating people, are dressed in the form of science, even though they are based on esotericism and the occult and are therefore only the irrational thinking of fools. The central tenets of environment, i.e., climate change and loss of nature, have been credibly dressed in the form of science with the help of the mainstream media. However, the key actors of the World Economic Forum have made big mistakes over the past few years, which will ultimately compromise their pseudo-science narrative of doom and gloom.
Back in 1991, in my first book, Vihreä valhe [The Green Lie], I made the observation that a large part of the activists of the neo-Malthusian Green anti science movement were attracted to anthroposophy or the more original occult thought, i.e., theosophy. Member of the European Parliament and Vice President of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala (Green League) was, for example, the long-time editorial secretary of the theosophical magazine Ruusu Risti, and Pekka Haavisto (Green League) and Finland’s current foreign minister—who has admitted that he was fascinated by Rudolf Steiner’s The Gospel of St John, a work that has nothing to do—despite its name—with Christianity. Anthroposophy separated from Theosophy about 120 years ago, forming its own occultist sect.
Esoteric: Personal. Occult: Hidden or Secret
What is esotericism and occultism? Esoteric means personal, which was described by the singer Pekka Streng, who died young, in his song “Inside me, I found the gate” from 1970. Divinity is in man himself, which can be found through contemplation and meditation with inner-space flights. As an agnostic and as a secular person, I find myself on the same front with devout Christians, because these Christians don’t mix religion and reality like the WEF occultists do, and because I believe these wacko temple overlords are very dangerous folks.
The origin of the emerging nature pantheism, can be found in the esoteric fabrications of the world’s most famous deceiver ever, Madame Blavatsky, at the latter half of the 19th century, although esotericism has itself a long history dating back to the Kabbalah. Blavatsky lied that she had been to Tibet and had found the long-lost truth there with the help of local gurus. With the help of her truths, she held spiritualistic sessions for people who lost their loved ones, where they contacted the other side, or did masterful eye-rolling tricks, believing that she was capable of miracles. She was finally caught when a professional British magician named John Maskelyne exposed Madame’s tricks to the whole world in 1912 with his book The Fraud of Modern “Theosophy” Exposed: A Brief History of the Greatest Imposture Ever Perpetrated Under the Cloak of Religion. However, the hype sold and many Finnish artists were also in love with Madame Blavatsky, such as Akseli Gallen Kallela.
The Covert Influence of Esotericists
When I was a young medical researcher, I became one of the secretaries of the Prime Minister’s Energy Committee in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in Finland. I myself and the other secretaries had to read an endless handwritten stream-of-consciousness from a committee member called Pentti Malaska, professor of future studies at Turku University of Economics and Business. He was later revealed to have been an occultist. Malaska was also Finland’s Mr. Club of Rome, in the Finnish Chapter of the Club of Rome. In the early 1990s, Malaska had almost an unlimited access to Finnish mainstream media as an energy policy expert, and he was perhaps the most central player when the new 5th nuclear power plant crashed in 1993 in a parliamentary vote. All his handwritten antinuclear comments were nonsensical and useless to us secretaries when we wrote a report to support the conclusions of the Energy Committee released in 1988. The final report of the committee laid the foundations so that Finland decided to accelerate her nuclear program in 2002, despite heavy antinuclear campaigning by the Green League and its allies.
The Wacko Ideas of Well-Known Finnish Futurists
Pentti Malaska, who passed away in 2012, was the chairman of the World Future Research Association in the 1990s. He spoke in 1997 at the association’s Brisbane meeting in Australia. In his speech, he predicted, for example, the emergence of a non-carbon-based new machine Man and made a forecast that the Internet will become the revolutionizing quantum brain of global consciousness. In dressing this theosophical esotericism in new transhumanist patterns and clothes, Pentti Malaska’s fellow esotericist and self-professed economist Paul Wildman, who has been involved in the UN future research programs, further developed Malaska’s ideas by quoting Malaska on a transhumanist platform.
Wildman created four new machine-human categories for transhumanists which, according to Wildman, they come from outer space: 1) Etorgs, 2) Macrorgs, 3) MVorgs and 4) Psyorgs. Etorgs are lizard-like human-hostile extraterrestrial organisms known from Hollywood films, i.e., classic UFOs, Macrorgs are perhaps even galactic life entities according to the Gaia theory, which classifies the Earth as a living organism. MVorgs are apparently micro-life forms, born from bits of consciousness, and finally Psyorgs are angels, draculas and the like, born from the existence of non-material consciousness. Let us remember that Rudolf Steiner presented the true spiritual order of the world, which included angels, seraphim, cherubim, luciferic spirits, astral storms and etheric bodies.
The current dominant religion of Western industrialized countries, i.e., nature pantheism is based on esotericism and occultism, and has been promoted in the Club of Rome, the World Economic Forum and in the UN for decades.
Nature pantheism, which has become a political state religion in Western countries, has had a strong hold from the beginning, in the UN framework of sustainable development and its supporting partners, such as the World Economic Forum or the Club of Rome.
The movement that led to the current neo-Malthusian green dystopian development got a major kick-off by the Club of Rome with the famous 1972 report, The Limits to Growth, which predicted world destruction (Figure 3). The founder of the Club of Rome, the wealthy Italian industrialist Aurelio Peccei, was an occultist and esotericist. For this reason, it is not at all surprising that esotericism has been rampant in the Finnish section of Club of Rome, whose many members have been awarded Aurelio Peccei medals.
Aurelio Peccei, Theosophist
Aurelio Peccei’s 1977 book, The Human Quality, reveals his worldview based on Theosophy and the discovery of the inner self, like the songwriter Pekka Streng. According to Peccei’s understanding, the crisis of humanity is related to man’s inability to understand his role in a changed world. We are neither psychologically nor functionally adapted to life in our new demanding role. According to Peccei, the Achilles heel of humanity is finding a place in a renewed world. For Peccei, the solution to global problems can be found inside man and not outside him. The change that takes place from within a benevolent, albeit destructively behaving person and the spiritualization of his human image, contains the keys to the solution.
The new humanism was enough for Peccei, unlike his close collaborator, Ervin Laszlo, who in his careless enthusiasm for transhumanism got sidetracked and eventually had to found his own club. No worries, because this promoter of humbug was later chosen to become scientific advisor to the Director-General of the UN Educational and Scientific Organization, UNESCO. Peccei’s new humanism promoted the distribution of wealth from north to south, in the name of world peace. He also emphasized reducing the powers of states and transferring it to supranational bodies such as the UN. Peccei envisioned a new kind of governing system for the whole world and considered the sovereignty of states to be a big problem. He strongly believed that the surrounding reality forced a person’s inner change and salvation; but he believed that the inner change of a person would take decades before the masses would be taught to live as well-behaving citizens in the Global Empire of Man dreamed up by Peccei.
From the beginning, the World Economic Forum committed itself to promoting the neo-Malthusian environmental agenda as a partner of the United Nations, idealizing poverty and borrowing ideas from the Club of Rome.
Klaus Schwab, the current head of the World Economic Forum, founded his organization on the recommendation of Henry Kissinger, the economic Nobel laureate John Kenneth Galbraith and the real Dr. Strangelove, Herman Kahn, in 1971, apparently partly relying on CIA grants already in the mid-1960s, according to investigative journalist John Vedmore in his recent long article, “Dr. Klaus Schwab or: How the CFR Taught Me to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” The original purpose of the WEF was to secure US hegemony in Western Europe.
Early on, Klaus Schwab recruited the by far ever most influential unelected UN environment official, Maurice Strong, a wealthy, un-educated Canadian industrialist (1929–2015), to head the WEF foundation. Maurice Strong was THE central figure in pushing forward the sustainable development agenda since the UN’s first environmental summit in Stockholm in 1972 (Figure 4). He was also an inveterate occultist and esotericist.
Baca Grande: The Wizard’s Big Mistake
The actual slip-up happened in 1990, when a Canadian journalist named Daniel Wood got to spend a week at the home of Maurice Strong and his wife Hanne on the Baca Grande farm in the state of Colorado, USA. Wood wrote a long essay about the visit in the Canada West magazine, entitled, “The Wizard of Baca Grande.” It turned out that Strong and his wife had bought the Baca Grande farm in the southern part of the state of Colorado in 1978 and had built a nature pantheistic sanctuary of all the religions of the world, i.e., Theosophy, in this once one of the largest ranches in the USA. Wood describes what he saw: “All over the landscape there are signs of this latest utopian settlement: a sophisticated Catholic Carmelite monastery; A $175,000 solar-powered Hindu temple; a remarkable mustard-yellow hut; an underground Zen Buddhist center combined with organic gardens; a house containing crystals” used in therapy by anthroposophists, etc.
The most amazing things were revealed in the conversations held for a whole week. Like Peccei, Strong considered that the most important frontline in correcting development was the competition between the innermost of human beings’ and the cosmos. But that was just the warm-up. The article revealed that in the early days, when Strong was walking on Baca Grande with a journalist named Bill Moyers, they had seen a sage bush spontaneously flare up in front of them. This, according to Wood, was a divine omen to Strong that Baca Grande would have an important role in saving the planet. According to Wood, Strong also mischievously developed a game in his mind, in which he would use mercenaries to kidnap the participants of the Davos Economic Forum and hold them hostage and end the planet’s “consumption party.” He doesn’t have to do this anymore, because the top leaders of corporate life have decided—though forced by community SDG directives in the European Union—in their passion for responsibility to stop people’s consumption parties and join hands with the WEF in a joint world management project against the rest of us. Strong’s widow Hanne is a mysticist who imagines herself to be a born-again Indian. Maurice Strong used a middleman to acquire $1 million from money meant for Iraqi children and avoided prison, unlike his middleman.
Global Politics of the Day via Klaus Schwab’s 2016 Big Mistake
Well, now the table is set for a more day-specific discussion, but before that, we’ll glance to 2016, when Klaus Schwab made a really big mistake. In January 2016, he appeared in a television interview with RTS Suisse in Switzerland, where he openly revealed his crazy esoteric occultism.
Anyone can watch that interview with Klaus Schwab because it has been published by so many YouTube channels or on TikTok. In it, Klaus Schwab tells how the microchipping of humanity will begin in ten years. At the beginning of the interview, Schwab says that microchips are first placed in people’s clothes, then under the skin and in the brain, and finally with the help of microchips implanted in the brain, people can be connected to the digital world, i.e., the Internet. According to Schwab, this creates a fusion of the physical, digital and biological worlds.
The interviewer asked to understand Schwab’s thoughts that “we are without feelings naturally connected to the digital world like this?” Schwab replies: “Yes, you speak and say, I want to connect with everyone now.” He continued: “First, we have personalized bots, and I saw Mr. Zuckerberg predicting that by the end of this year we will have such a robot serving him as a butler.” Interviewer: “Like in Downton Abbey, will we have personal butlers and servants or slaves in the future?” Schwab: “Yes, but there is a difference. This AI-equipped servant learns and is thus your intellectual partner in addition to providing physical assistance.”
Everything that Schwab mentioned on Swiss TV in 2016 is simply unethical science fiction. No such technology exists, nor will it ever exist. It’s just a cranky old man’s cranky thinking based on inner-space flights and ideas derived from occult rituals.
Klaus Schwab’s First Lieutenant Yuval Harari’s Big Mistakes, and His Science Façade Created by the WEF
Before I discuss the errors or slip-ups of Klaus Schwab’s top lieutenant, Yuval Harari, I will give an example of how the WEF deliberately created a fake natural science CV for Yuval Harari, who is actually a historian (Figure 5). The profile of globally super popular Yuval Harari, an Israeli thinker, can be found on the WEF website. In it, Harari’s natural science backdrops have been carefully crafted and displayed on the WEF website. He has been made to appear knowledgeable about the natural sciences by mentioning that he has written for the world’s leading natural science publication, Nature.
My surprise was great, because he actually has an article in Nature, which is titled, “Reboot for the AI revolution.” When writing to the science community, he does not tell the fantastic story he told in the spring of 2020 on the BBC’s Hard Talk and CBS’s 60-Minutes programs that the elite have microchipped people with vaccinations in order to get them under surveillance and under the control of mighty people. Of course, no such technology exists except in the wet-dreams of esotericists, or as they now call themselves, “transhumanists.” If Harari had written in Nature the same lines of thought as given in the aforementioned TV appearances, they would never have been published in Nature, and if they had been published, he would have received a tsunami of letters to the editor. Harari’s Nature article is just flat-out artificial intelligence hype, which everyone can get to know easily by Googling it. In his Nature article, he doesn’t get any closer to Schwab’s and his own fantastical ideas than this:
“So computers could come to solve problems and even analyze human emotions much better than humans, without ever developing emotions.”
In the fashionable WEF or TED-X seminars, to journalists and politicians and to the general public, and in the aforementioned TV programs, Harari delves into the nonsensical—that the scientific problems of microchipping by vaccinations to organize mass surveillance of citizens have been solved with the huge advances in science. When writing to the scientific community in Nature he does not come closer than this to his fantastic storytelling to politicians, journalists and the general public:
“The challenges posed by the integration of information technology and biotechnology in the 21st century are undoubtedly greater than the challenges posed by steam engines, railways, electricity and fossil fuels.”
In the last sentence of the essay, he then aligns with his master and his master’s ideas of doom and gloom:
“Given the enormous destructive power of our modern civilization, we cannot afford failed models, world wars and bloody revolutions. We have to do better this time.”
Klaus Schwab: It is Important to Connect People’s Brains with the internet
In many YouTube videos, Schwab’s comments on the EU Commission’s microchip initiative to Ursula von der Leyen at the WEF 2022 Davos meeting can be found. Schwab emphasized that it is important to create a connection between the human brain and the digital world.
I am not at all surprised that tens if not even hundreds of millions of people now believe that the elite are planning something sinister for the ordinary people who have, for example, refused Covid vaccinations for “reasonable” reasons. One also has to wonder that such recklessness insanity effectively has also infested mainstream media and the politicians in power.
Through Klaus Schwab’s Young Leaders program, the WEF has infiltrated Finland’s cabinet, as the current Prime Minister and Finance Minister are now students in the program (Figure 6).
On February 1, 2022, prominent Scottish social media journalist James Melville tweeted with a photo: “So we invade governments,”
As mentioned, both of Finland’s top young politicians have been selected to attend Klaus Schwab’s training: the World Economic Forum’s Young Leaders program. The length of the training program is five years, after which they are accepted as alumni in this elite group of influencers of WEF. According to Wikipedia, there are 800 WEFs Young Leaders around the world.
The Circular Economy: The Downfall of Modern Industrial Society
Real Clear Energy, a prominent American energy policy discussion outlet, approached me in August and asked me to write a story of Finland’s alleged circular economy miracle and what is meant by the concept of circular economy. With this article, I proved how the World Economic Forum used Finland’s Innovation Fund SITRA and at the time Vice-President of the EU Commission Jyrki Katainen to promote Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset project, both in the EU and worldwide.
In 2016, SITRA, which is subordinate to the Finnish Parliament, delivered a fabricated report on Finland’s circular economy miracle and created the current circular economy concept for the World Economic Forum, which is harmful to the environment, to human health and the economy. By exploiting this concept, the European Union Commission made presentations to the EU legislators, e.g., the green finance taxonomy regulation, Jyrki Katainen’s circular economy package and the massive Fit for 55 climate package, which is still mainly in the hands of EU legislators, and which ultimately will lead to Soviet-style five-year planning and the downfall of modern industrial society.
The 2016 Report of SITRA on Finland’s 21st Century Circular Economy Miracle was Fake News
For 20 years, I have written more than a hundred official evaluations and comments on EU Commission’s waste legislation initiatives and its implementation in an EU member state. I have witnessed from my vantage point the bankruptcy of Finland’s circular economy and green waste policy in the 21st century, and how the forces behind rational waste policy finally got their way and a comprehensive municipal and industrial solid waste incineration plant network was built in Finland similar to that in Denmark and Sweden. This network is currently operating at maximum capacity due to the energy shortages caused by the green policies aggravated by the war in Ukraine. All that remains of Finland’s circular economy are smoking ruins. However, it will has to be faked because of the binding but unenforceable utopian circular economy legislation inspired by Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset.
How the Scenarios of the Globalists will Collapse in the Coming Winter
Thanks to the unconditional support given to them by the mainstream media, WEF’s insane global policies that are meant to impoverish us and aggravate environmental problems, have gained ground in all Western institutions, including protestant churches and the Catholic Church (Figure 7). For example, the Pope announced in his 2015 green Laudato Si encyclical that he had joined the crackpot temple overlords of WEF.
The war against energy production launched by the Club of Rome in 1972 will have its grim final show this winter. This owes to Vladimir Putin’s successful attempts to pay for anti-fossil fuel campaigns in Europe in the 2010s and after Joe Biden came to power also in the US. These prevented fossil energy investments. Just 15 years ago, Europe produced more natural gas than Russia. This winter, Europe is completely at the mercy of Russia, because defenseless Europe, took the decision to impose energy sanctions on Russia.
The aforementioned big mistakes of Klaus Schwab and Yuval Harari, combined with the political turmoil during the coming winter, will undermine the dominance of the crackpot temple overlords and their lackeys. Cold and hunger can make people see through the lies of the environment narrative that the current mainstream media brings home to us every day. The earth’s climate is not recklessly changing and we are not threatened by nature-loss.
The whole world has begun to wake up to the WEF’s scandals of which the mainstream media is still silent and about all the appalling stories—which tells us a lot.
TikTok has a bunch of selected video clips about Schwab’s dreams to microchip the brains of the rest of us and to connect us to the internet. Above Schwab’s microchip TikTok microchip quotes it reads “29.5M views” (it is 64.5 million, and counting).
As far as I know, Finland’s responsible media have not told the Finns that Schwab has bragged that he chooses young politicians to join the WEF in order to gain influence. Finland’s mainstream media have also not told that Klaus Schwab wants to microchip the brains of our people so that he can monitor, control and influence our mental movements.
No such microchip technology exists and the reason why Schwab tells such lies is because of his own esoteric and occult interests.
The 2022 Davos Meeting Discussed Taking Away People’s Cars and Forcing Them to Eat Bugs
Why doesn’t Helsingin Sanomat (Finland’s The Guardian) and Yleisradio (Finland’s BBC) report on Klaus Schwab’s irrational beliefs, but otherwise report comprehensively how climate change is being discussed at the World Economic Forum? In my opinion, this irrefutably proves that the mainstream media is tuned against us ordinary people. Last spring’s WEF meeting discussed how to take people’s cars away and how to force them to eat bugs. Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green League) and Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (Social Democrat) represented the State of Finland at Davos.
The Mainstream Media is Against Us the People
Why has Helsingin Sanomat and Yleisradio been silent about Yuval Harari’s irresponsible and nonsensical talk of microchipping people with vaccinations, even though such microchips do not exist. They are just the wild wet-dreams of the esoteric occult sect, the transhumanists, rampant in the upper echelons of the World Economic Forum. Harari’s writings have recently been harshly criticized in Current Affairs in July this year with notably few if any follow-up stories. Harari’s ideas were described briefly as irresponsible scientific populism in the newspaper called Tekniikka ja Talous also in Finland.
We the people can get the evidence of the genuine WEF “secret” society of wacko Temple overlords easily with the click of a mouse and by googling. However, we are accused in mainstream media of being “conspiracy theorists” when we wonder about the weirdness of the WEF. In the summer, my brother and I bought t-shirts from the US, that read: “Give us new conspiracies, because the old ones have come true.” There is nothing secret in WEF’s “secret” alliance against us, the people than the fact that the mainstream western media wants to keep the WEF a secret from us ordinary people, which of course will never happen.
The WEF’s Cruel Human Experiment in Sri Lanka
I’m not surprised that hundreds of millions of people think the elite are planning something sinister for us and have thus refused Covid-19 vaccinations for “common sense” reasons. One also has to wonder that the strange WEF hype infects the mainstream media and the politicians in power.
A good friend of mine sent me a link to the 2016 Sri Lanka Economic Forum website. The economic forum in question was one of the regional forums of the World Economic Forum, where George Soros and other actors of the global economy planned the green inclusive sustainable development of Sri Lanka, which—as it turned out—was neither. The academic profile of the meeting was polished, e.g., by engaging Harvard University in the meeting and inviting climate change activist, money printing advocate and economic Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz to be the speaker. The inclusive vision of the meeting extended to 2023, when manna was supposed to rain from the sky in Sri Lanka and macroeconomic stability was supposed to prevail.
In 2019, newly elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa—whose political party is described as socially right-wing and economically left-wing—unveiled a grand “Green New Deal” and his vision for Sri Lanka. In many respects, it resembles the European Union’s Great Reset, i.e., the aforementioned community legislation enacted and still to be enacted, which the European Central Bank has supported by printing money. The Sri Lankan Disaster was ultimately caused by the policy directed through the UN and the WEF, which has aimed to steer countries towards meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development so-called SDG goals.
For several years, I have written essays and reports and given presentations in English about the destructiveness of these SDG policies, especially for the poorest countries, based on my work in the World Bank. Particularly destructive is the SDG6 policy, from which the letter H, for “hygiene,” has been dropped. Promoting hygiene, as was done in rich countries during the past century, made it possible to eradicate intergenerational under nutrition, which is a devastating public health problem in poor countries, and now affects 800 million people. Hygiene promotion does not suit those who believe in Malthusian ideas and nature pantheism, because it would require the extension of electricity and water supply to billions of poor people.
Sri Lanka’s Green Transition Reminiscent of the EU and US Green Transitions or Build Back Better Policies
The main cause of the massive disaster was the complete greening of Sri Lankan agriculture. At the beginning of March 2022, the catastrophic consequences of this greening were updated on the pages of Foreign Policy, i.e., four months before the final collapse. It appears from this article that in April 2021, Rajapaksa’s government implemented its green government program and banned the imports and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides nationwide and ordered the country’s two million farmers to switch to organic farming. The program was called “a vision of splendor and prosperity,” just as now in the EU we are being sold the Fit for 55 Climate Package and the absurd regulations of the circular economy with the promise of an open and brilliant future.
After seven months of absurdity, Rajapaksa’s government had to back down on the green agricultural policy, but permanent damage had already been caused to food security and Sri Lanka had to buy expensive rice from the world market, which contributed to the macroeconomic crisis. At the end of last June, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited the country. During the visit, future reforms were agreed upon, with which the collapsed macroeconomic stability will be restored with a loan granted by the IMF. Yuval Harari’s “Useless People”
The catastrophic events in Sri Lanka and the involvement of the WEF in creating this cruel human experiment have made many people wonder, what the ultimate goals of the world’s power elite really are? Now many commentators have drawn attention to the fact that Yuval Harari has spoken and written a lot about useless people. Conspiracy theorists and devout Christians in the US have had an unfriendly eye for a long time on the mysterious Georgia Guidestones, built in 1980, with writing in English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Russian, as well as Babylonian, classical Greek, Sanskrit and ancient Egyptian. These writings were meant for the people after the end of the world, which was labelled as the future Age of Reason. The stone was destroyed by blowing it up last July. Its first wisdom read:
“Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.”
We the People Need to Wake Up—and Fast!
I don’t come from a religious family, but from a family that has supported social democrats for three generations. After a long and varied consideration, I made the decision to join the Finns Party, because in recent years the far left thinking has become anti-democratic and finally has become so repulsive that I resigned from Finland’s Social Democratic Party in January 2021, after having paying membership fees since 1977. I have a long career as a skeptical researcher. Science is not a faith but fundamentally based on doubts and questions. I have come to the conclusion that democracies and nation states are threatened with destruction—if the citizens do not wake up to protest the supremacy of these insane temple overlords. I’m sure that next winter’s trials resulting from decades of green energy policies and the revelation of the stupidity of the WEF’s idiots to an ever-wider group of people, even by force with the help of social media, will lead to an awakening.
We the people, ordinary workers and entrepreneurs who love their country and family, must wake up to defend enlightenment, freedom and modern society. Only the pursuit of the good, starting from one’s own starting points, can displace these human experiments conducted from abroad. Finland, as a society in its own right and as historically dominated by other nations, is now a solid platform for some kind of crazy experiments, unless our decision makers are aware of the enormous dangers associated with them.
Mikko Paunio, MD, MHS is Adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki, Department of Public Health. This article comes from a presentation in Finnish in Tampere (Mediapolis), given on October 1, 2022, at a seminar called “Salattu valta” (“Occult power”) which was organized by Jäävuori (Iceberg). The title of the original presentation was, “WEF: nuoret johtajat ja Klaus Schwabin ohjailu” (“The Young Global Leaders and Klaus Schwab’s Steering”).
First and foremost, the nation means sovereignty, for which its people will stand up and be counted.
Throughout History, France’s people have fought for her unity, independence, dignity, and for certain principles, legitimately upheld. That certainty rested upon an awareness that her destiny was interwoven between the government of the day, and the people. Never in her history had De Gaulle’s certaine idée de la France been cast overboard, even in the midst of frenzied partisan politics.
That interwoven sense of destiny is now frayed, given the citizenry’s current disregard for elections (I decline to entertain our politicians’ anecdotal excuses) and Frenchmen being notorious for their acute political conscience. In my view, rather than disinterest, what the no-show vote points to is distaste for the ruling class’ incompetence, along with a latent and intensifying hostility to the system, its policy and decisions. Add to the no-show vote those thronging the dissident, essentially right-wing, parties; and between the people and the ruling classes one sees a gulf looming.
A class of oligarchs, led by front-men of the Ecole nationale de l’Administration, has adopted lock-stock- and-barrel a web of foreign beliefs, spun through myriad societies and entities—all twanging away at that one, Unipolar, US string. A class whose collective brain is squatted upon by Anglo-American ideology, namely that a nation’s people are pawns in the game of international, US-run finance. That class has rushed to sign up for the EU and NATO, crony-clubs run out of Washington DC.
In the recondite mental-space that class inhabits, the citizen becomes a bleating consumer-sheep; national borders go up in puff of smoke—there will be no language heard but English, no armies formed save within NATO, no manufacture founded unless it feed US banks and interest-groups, no currency traded other than that of account, namely the US dollar (or some interim substitute), with the so-called Western World tugging its collective forelock before the Washington camarilla.
Amongst the phenomena attending this geopolitical nightmare—huge waves of immigration, designed to submerge protest in each nation; bring insecurity on every street to frighten the citizenry into submission; 24/7, wall-to-wall encouragement for the most abject, backward forms of behaviour; infantile methods of acculturation that void education of all content, vitiate Reason and free-will and erase Christianity as an approach to religious belief. The mass-media come amongst us not to inform but to indoctrinate, peddling disinformation and official untruths. History never happened, the family and decent mores went out with the horse-and-buggy… and so forth.
In a word, they wanted decadence, and they have got it in spades—the ruling class now in place has consciously chosen to dissolve France into some sort of barbarian magma, a vast seething sub-human cauldron, as Count Coudenhove-Kalergi, “Europe’s” éminence grise would have it. A magma to be push-me-pull-you’d by the US and its acolytes.
At the end of the day, mark my words, it is Man, and not France alone, in danger; Man in all his greatness as a thinking being. Should the nightmarish outlook described above prevail here and throughout Europe, it will take over the world, save for China and a few, doubtless Asian nations. Therefore, a French patriot who would defend his nation’s identity and the dignity of Man is a humanist, as I suggest in my latest book, Le patriotisme français est un humanisme (ED2A Publ.).
Throwing off the shackles of short-term thinking, allow me to recall a few amongst the more notorious US misdeeds with regard to France. One’s first reaction is dismay, followed by dread, as one contemplates the authorities’ passivity before the advancing Hegemon. In theory, these leaders were elected to press France’s interests and her role in the world. I confess to mounting anger, as I observe our leaders complacently standing by, whilst the country falls prey to another, perfervidly nationalist state bent on conquest. Our leaders have allowed themselves to be dragged into hazardous adventures, solely to placate the xenophobia and hubris of Germany and the Anglo-Americans. Are these people collaborators? Is this treason?
No need to scroll too far back in history to find the US Hegemon lurking. From WWI on, when President Wilson caught up Theodore Roosevelt’s purported “peace” torch (thank Heavens for Clémenceau), the US resolve to rule the world has only stiffened. The end of the USSR was seen as a new and unlimited playing-field for the US, where limitless impertinence might prevail.
To illustrate: in 2010, Russia had ordered two Mistral class helicopter-carriers from France. With the ships already in the yards under construction, in 2014 the USA pressured President François Hollande to rescind the contract, on the specious pretext that the Crimea had been “annexed,” i.e., returned to the Russian fold, and that Russia was backing the threatened Russian majority in the Donbass area. Another case in point: on 15th September 2021, Australia, at Washington’s instigation, unilaterally rescinded the contract for building 12 conventional submarines in France, then turned round and signed one with the USA and the UK for building nuclear submarines. A friendly attitude on the part of our allies, no doubt?
Or just very recently, the latest spot of intrigue cooked up by our German friends, in relation to the SCAF (Système de Combat Aérien Futur), originally a French programme with German and Spanish participation. All too readily, it became plain how keen were our German partners on technology transfer—and then we learnt they would be buying US F18s rather than the French Rafale. In a nutshell, to keep the EU on the straight and narrow, the USA’s key ally is Germany, which is why the USA holds no end of goodwill for Ursula von der Leyen (whose family, by the way, is more American than German).
By now, the French are quite alone in referring to the “Franco-German tandem,” one that Berlin has had shewn scant reluctance to crash. Put paid to the SCAF, put paid to the joint helicopter project (the Apache, rather than the Tigre), put paid to the joint patrol vessel; equip Europe’s armies with US materiel, obstruct French arms-exports—all stunts which the US has either incited underhandedly, or openly demanded. Not to speak of the attempt to destabilise French nuclear deterrence, by suggesting France share that, as well as her seat at the UN Security Council.
Pushing the boat ever-further out, Berlin now seeks to have qualified majority voting within the EU on security issues, rather than their remaining strictly a national matter. Should France consent, she will be dragged into wars willy-nilly, and watch her foreign policy and nuclear deterrence go down the drain.
The USA is behind these manoeuvres, which Germany will play along with as she intends to be its foremost partner. Matters have only got worse since France rejoined NATO in March 2009.
As for France enjoying an independent energy supply, the key is our nuclear reactors. But in order that US-German firms may invest and dictate prices for most electrical energy sources, Germany has blithely helped sink EDF.
Lest we forget—the critical chunk of Alstom was sold to General Electric, thanks to the man who happens to be President of France. Alain Juillet testified thusly to the Parliamentary Defence Commission: “With this Alstom business, we’ve gone and sold to the USA the means to manufacture turbines for atomic submarines, which means that France can no longer build them without US permission.” That the USA preys on France’s high technology has become so glaringly obvious that the French government had to veto the Teledyne attempt to take over the defence optronics firm Photonis. Under pressure from public opinion, in 2019 an Act (loi Pacte) was adopted, to give the Economics Minister greater power to monitor foreign investment.
War is not the only area where US imperialism seeks to govern by its own rules. Set up by the Marrakesh Treaty en 1994, the WTO no longer suffices to serve that purpose, so extra-territoriality in law has become the latest Big Stick wielded by the USA.
Any foreign company trading worldwide may thus find itself on the receiving end of extra-territorial US laws, simply because somewhere, somehow, such firms necessarily have some kind of tie to the USA. The laws amount to a dictatorial system holding sway over players worldwide, no matter their country of origin. Competitors are weakened or crushed; over the past decade, billions of dollars in fines have come down upon French banks and firms, swelling the US Treasury, on the specious pretext that these firms had some tie to individuals or states which the USA considers “terrorist.”
As the USA controls liquidity flows, so can they mould minds. Whilst funds like Blackrock and Vanguard rule the economy, they also invest in the mass-media, 90% of which is held by 9 conglomerates, controlled in turn by the pension funds. Our screens are over-run with ghastly US films and videos—braying out from a cultural desert, let alone Halloween and English-language advertisements, trampling on an Act of Parliament (loi Toubon) meant to defend French.
There is method to all this madness: imposing a certain mindset, bringing all thought into line with Basic American, making an outcast of any non-conformist culture, and ensuring the US reign over Europe. The claim to manifest destiny, to self-evident intellectual superiority, was confirmed by the Monroe Doctrine and brandished by Zbignew Brzezinski, advisor to Presidents.
After WWII, the plot only thickens. On 28th May 1946, a France in dire straits had little option but to sign the Blum-Byrnes agreement, whereby she agreed to allow in, certain US products. One major French concession was that US films were no longer to be subject to quota, whilst France could henceforth reserve 4 weeks only out of 13 for French films. By the first semester of 1947, 340 US films had flooded in, with only 40 French shown! Thereafter, Hollywood would set about to retool the French mind, instill the American Way of Life and broadcast US propaganda.
When all is said and done—all is NOT said and done! I do not doubt but that France will overcome the onslaught of this erstwhile ally become a foe to nations and to civilisation tout court, a foe—pride cometh before a fall—who will most likely, and very shortly, taste defeat. By giving free rein to every manner of disorder, the USA has slammed the door on itself and turned away from the true Western world, whilst Russia, reborn, shews herself to be the leaven for renewal.
In the Ukraine, the ongoing conflict, eagerly sought by the USA, will doubtless prove the turning point. The USA, the EU and their NATO arm-bangle are likely heading straight for the wall, as the self-righteous obtusity of the USA beggars belief. Military academies in France (and I expect in the USA as well) teach us to coolly and objectively analyse an adversary top-down: weapons systems, environment, terrain, climate, men, officers whilst our initial operating orders take all these factors into account. One can only surmise that the USA’s overweening sense of superiority has so blinded its strategists, that it underestimates the adversary, having drawn no lessons from all the—lost—wars it has pursued since WWII. Leaving aside the fact that on no account can one truthfully say that the USA single-handedly won that War.
France has tangled herself into a conflict which in no way concerns her. There is no point in pretentiously waving the banner of liberty: the Ukrainian elite is utterly corrupt, the Ukrainians anything but unanimously hostile to their Russian brothers, whilst the territory is fast in the grip of British and American diplomatic and military power. President Macron has been sending the Ukraine equipment needed here by our own armed forces; he has led our country to lose huge investments in Russia, and our people to suffer on all fronts—economic, financial, energy. Meanwhile Francophone Africa looks to Moscow for safety, an outcome plainly due to France’s kowtowing to Washington. Should one care to analyse our waning influence and power in Africa, one will hear our African friends say things which should greatly disturb French leaders. No French patriot would have allowed such decadent, even perverse, influences to prevail in this country as they how do. Francophone Africa has taken note of our decadent state, and has decided to walk away—towards countries they recognise as dignified and respectable. Inevitably, the influence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation will continue to grow.
A sovereign France has at hand tools of greatness, into which feed her intellectual, scientific and economic wealth: nuclear weapons and deterrence, the overseas territories of the world’s second largest sea-power, her friendship with Africa within the wider French-speaking world, her seat at the Security Council, and the world’s second largest diplomatic network.
Meanwhile, our “friends” loot our technological potential, strive to cut us out of our role at the UN and to subject our nuclear power to NATO. They hold our language and civilisation in contempt, and impose upon us a lifestyle that flatly contradicts morality and French customs; they block our access to resources and to our habitual partners. Through twisted geopolitical manoeuvres, aided and abetted by the French ruling class who ply every trick in the rhetorician’s trade to blame Someone Else, they have plunged us into a dreadful economic crisis. What does one call such people?
Doubt not, but that Russia will win the war in the Ukraine. This is not wishful thinking, but a statement based on observation of facts. I DARE say that this will redound to France’s advantage, by breaking the chains of NATO and the EU. Totalitarian in their aims, dancing to the US piper’s tune, these two international bodies have revealed to all and sundry how false and how extremely dangerous they are. For the USA, this will prove the latest in a string of defeats.
Were France not in the grasp of petty, impulsive and ill-informed mannikins, she could seize the great occasions bearing down upon us to rise to her former heights. Russia is not our enemy!
“The most dangerous man in the world”—this is how the Russian philosopher and geopolitician Alexander Dugin is referred to by his American counterparts. This alone is enough for a decent person to pay the closest attention to Dugin’s ideas.
Dugin is the undoubted enemy of the civilizing West, in all its manifestations, from the simple—the geopolitical project of Western global domination (globalization), through the negation of the Western ideological project (liberalism), to the high philosophical level of justification of dehumanization (object-oriented ontology). Dugin contrasts the first with a multipolar world, the second with the Fourth Political Theory, the third with Tradition.
Based solely on the Schmittian formula for the definition of the political—friend-enemy—it is not difficult to find one’s place in relation to Dugin: those who are for the West, globalization, and dehumanization (the transformation of man into a posthuman being, from a subject into an object) are against Dugin. The rest of us are “for him!”
You might ask, why, in fact, do we need to identify ourselves precisely with Dugin? Very simply. Because it was Dugin who created the theoretical foundation for all post-Soviet patriotic thought, grounding each point of this alternative to the West worldview matrix in the deepest way possible, having worked out each thesis in detail.
Everything you wanted to know from the realm of thought, but were afraid to ask, is in Dugin. Even if you are a liberal, a globalist, and a supporter of transhumanism, you need, if you are a serious thinker of course, to find an antithesis to each of your theses (to prove them, such is the law of scientific thought). No problem—Dugin has it all.
Even at the very beginning of the collapse of the Soviet bloc, when only liberalism (then called democracy) was offered as the sole alternative to Sovietism (at the suggestion of the West), Dugin developed and offered for public discussion the ideology of the Third Way, an independent ideological model of the new Russia, alternative to both Sovietism (with Marxism at its core) and the ideology of the West (with liberalism at its core).
Dugin contrasted the West’s assertion that there is no alternative to its model of development based on Modernism—with Tradition, the negation of which has been the foundation of Modernism with materialism, progressivism and positivism at its core for the last three centuries.
Dugin responded to the assertion that there was no alternative to the dominance of time with the thesis of the inviolability of Eternity. When people began to accuse him of proposing a Third Way as an alternative to the first (liberalism) and second (Marxism) ways, Dugin pointed out that it was then nothing more than fascism (the third political theory). Thus, Dugin pointed out that we are talking in general about going beyond the Modern; that is, about the Fourth Political Theory, which is based on Eternity, Tradition, God—everything that the Modern, with its liberalism, Marxism and fascism, has fully denied. In response to the West’s assertion of the “objectivity” and “inevitability” of globalization (the thesis that all “advanced” members of the Russian political class have repeated like a spell since the early 1990s), Dugin proposed a multipolar world theory, based on an assertion of geopolitical pluralism.
In fact, geopolitics at that time, by Soviet inertia, remained “a pseudoscience justifying bourgeois imperialist expansion.” It was Dugin who took and translated all the fundamental works of the classics of geopolitics—from Mackinder and Mahan to Schmitt and Haushofer, and in between all the other major authors—and summarized all the basic criteria of geopolitical science in his Fundamentals of Geopolitics, written in 1995-1996 and published in early 1997. It was then that a whole galaxy of Russian geopoliticians appeared, rewriting Dugin’s textbook with varying degrees of diligence and zeal; while before that book, there was not a single one.
Dugin responded to the West’s proclamation of the project of European integration and the creation of the European Union by declaring a Eurasian Union, which he had previously worked out on an ideological level from as early as the late 1980s. It was Dugin’s neo-Eurasianism that first substantiated the need to position post-Soviet Russia as the basis for a special, non-Western and non-Eastern Eurasian civilization, Russia-Eurasia.
Dugin responded to the West’s assertion about the benchmark of its historical path of development and the universality of the model of Western society, a Western civilization proper, to which there is no alternative, with 23 volumes of Noomakhia, describing in a first approximation, the types of civilizations, their depth, metaphysical, cultural and geopolitical validity, as an alternative to the emasculated, primitive and superficial civilization of the collective West.
There is not a single statement by Western ideologues, thinkers, and philosophers to which Dugin and his intellectual group have not provided a similarly substantiated, conceptually elaborate, and profound response. It is no exaggeration to say that Dugin has it all!
When people ask me what I read, I half-jokingly (or maybe half-seriously) answer that “I only read Dugin.” Not literally, not because there is nothing else to read, but because before approaching any question, topic, concept, or philosophical idea, one must first look at what Dugin has written about it. This is only because Dugin has already read and comprehended all of this, and has presented it in a capacious, paradigmatic, and concentrated manner, in accessible language, drawing attention to the most important, while not emphasizing the secondary, and summarizing it in meaningful conclusions.
In order to be convinced of this, it is enough to conduct a little experiment, which I think I have already mentioned somewhere: just type in any meaningful combination of concepts, an intellectual formula, or a concept in combination with the name Alexander Dugin into any search engine, and you will get a selection of links to texts in which these ideas, models, or concepts have already been conceptualized, stated, and framed.
This is how Dugin’s ideas came to dominate the intellectual field not only in today’s Russia, but also in the thinking environment of the rest of the world, including the West, where the thinking part of society represents an alternative camp to the liberals, globalists and transhumanists. It was precisely because Dugin triumphed, took the intellectual upper hand, and forced everyone to think paradigmatically and holistically, that he worked through the entire sphere of the Ideas in all of their manifestations. He has already reversed the course of history, if we take the sphere of thought. But it takes time to be convinced of this firsthand, for the Idea descends from the sphere of the philosophical, where it is contemplated as an ideal image by the inner sight, through the sphere of the scientific, into the expert, and then into the media community, from where it becomes the property of the masses; and how long it will descend there depends not on the philosopher, but on the quality of the media in which the idea lives, develops (if it develops), and is conceptualized.
This unpredictability of the quality of environments affects the accuracy of predictions. As Dugin himself notes, a philosopher, giving a forecast, is never wrong about what will happen, but is almost always wrong about when it will happen. Maybe that’s because he is focused on Eternity, disregarding time.
Everything Dugin has written, said, elaborated on an intellectual level, is unfolding, coming true, incarnating before our eyes. You don’t have to be a profound philosopher yourself in order to open his books, articles and interviews, to read, listen to, comprehend and understand that everything, everything Dugin wrote and talked about in the 1990s and 2000s, has either already been realized or is being realized before our eyes, at this very moment. And what has not yet been realized is sure to come true. I cannot say when.
This is exactly why Dugin is, for example, “Putin’s advisor,” which the West and the rest of the world are convinced of. I have had to answer this question more than once everywhere—in Iran, in Turkey, in conversations with intellectuals in Latin America, Europe, Asia or Africa. Everywhere where thought matters, they are convinced that it is Dugin who determines the main vectors of Putin’s policy. Simply because everything Putin implements has previously been written or said by Dugin. What can I say to this? I don’t dare argue.
This is why we live in Dugin’s time. And this is why he is the most dangerous man for the West. If only because Dugin destroyed all the myths, so carefully and meticulously created in the West, about the standard of the Western way of historical development and the development of Western thought, about the universality of Western civilization, about the no-alternative to, and objectivity of, globalization, about the advantages of liberalism, about the objectivity of man. Everything, in fact, that the West needed to dominate the world, humanity, to be the ruler over all.
At the same time, no one in the West could demonstrate his intellectual superiority over Dugin (who was invited to hundreds of intellectual discussions with Western ideologists and philosophers), to demonstrate the primacy and validity of Western intellectual thought in an open dialogue—neither Brzezinski, nor Fukuyama, nor Bernard Henry Levy (deified by the contemporary Western intellectual community).
In an open intellectual confrontation with Dugin, they look pathetic and unconvincing. In plain English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dugin leaves no stone unturned in Western liberal-globalist concepts, justifying his rightness at any level of discussion—from television broadcasts with one-second running time, to scientific audiences in hours-long debates.
This is where all the baseness and meanness of the West comes into play. Unable to defeat Dugin in an open debate, Western political technologists stoop to the level of meanness, dirty tricks, and petty sordidness. An entire section at the State Department has been working to discredit Dugin, ordering one discriminatory campaign after another for nearly a decade and a half. The array of political and technological methods used to smear Dugin does not lack originality or variety. What is the West most afraid of? Fascism (they have suffered from it there and created it themselves) and the occult (which is just scary in itself). The next step is then easy—just identify Dugin with these two terrible phenomena. Fortunately (for them), the same method works here—type “fascism” and “occultism” into a search engine and—voila. Dugin has studied and described all of Western thought—from the Presocratics and Plato and Aristotle, through the fall into Scholasticism and Cartesianism, to New Age, Modern and Postmodern.
Naturally, this includes the twentieth century period, including such European phenomena as Fascism, National Socialism with its racial theory, occultism, and so on. By the same logic, you can accuse someone who writes about insects of being an insect. This is exactly how they operate—if Dugin wrote about fascism, then he is a fascist; and if he wrote about the occult, then he is an “occult fascist.”
In order to discredit Dugin, American political technologists hire a contractor, local subcontractors, and all kinds of State Department sub-suckers who for small pay endlessly have cutting & pasting unreadable hodge-podge for ten years, endlessly combining the words “Dugin,” “fascism” and “occultism” with all their derivatives. The results are very silly; but they are many; and it is then easy to refer to one another endlessly, portraying the “scientificity,” “thoroughness” and “validity” of each other’s libels. The calculation is the same—if you type “Alexander Dugin” into a search engine, with such an abundance of ordered filth, something containing “fascist” and “occultist” is sure to pop up, and the ordinary reader does not even follow the links, being satisfied with the headlines.
All of this, according to the Western clientele, was supposed to make Dugin “toxic,” as young people now say it, in order to even theoretically rule out a synthesis between the main politician of today’s world, Vladimir Putin, and the main intellectual. In a sense, as it turned out, they did achieve this. However, Dugin himself, with the dignity of a philosopher whose eyes are turned inward, contemplating an ideal image of thought, continued to remain silent on the matter, while Putin continued to implement the strategies described by Dugin, also ignoring the stink and untidy machinations of Western “partners.”
Desperate to change any one thing at all, the Western perpetrators decided on the nastiest meanness of all—murder. However, the prince of this world has someone to confront him. Russia has entered the final eschatological battle for the end of history. God and the devil came together in the final battle, and the field of battle, as Dugin himself says—the human soul, as well as the human mind. The wars of the mind. Noomachy. Dugin’s time. Endkampf.
Valery Korovin is a journalist and sociologist. This article appears courtesy of Zavtra.ru.
We are so very pleased to bring you an excerpt from a very crucial book, How the West Brought War to Ukraine, by Benjamin Abelow. To orient readers, we begin by quoting the one-paragraph blurb from the back cover:
According to the Western narrative, Vladimir Putin is an insatiable, Hitler-like expansionist who invaded Ukraine as an unprovoked land grab. That story is incorrect. In reality, the United States and NATO bear significant responsibility for the Ukraine crisis. Through a series of misguided policies, Washington and its European allies placed Russia in an untenable situation for which war seemed, to Mr. Putin and his military staff, the only workable solution. This book lays out the relevant history and explains how the West needlessly created conflict and now labors under an existential threat of its own making.
The book is endorsed by many experts. For example, in the words John J. Mearsheimer: “For anyone interested in understanding the true causes of the disaster in Ukraine, How the West Brought War to Ukraine is required reading.”
Please support the valuable work of Benjamin Abelow and purchase a copy of this book, and spread the word. What follows, copied by permission, is the entire Chapter Seven from this short and readable eight-chapter book.
How Overly Pessimistic Narratives Become Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
The story of an evil, irrational, intrinsically expansionist Russia with a paranoid leader at its helm, opposed by a virtuous United States and Europe, is a confused and strange confabulation, inconsistent with a whole series of directionally aligned events during the past 30 years—events whose significance and meaning should have been readily apparent. In fact, the predominant Western narrative might itself be viewed as a kind of paranoia.
The provocations that the United State and its allies have directed at Russia are policy blunders so serious that, had the situation been reversed, U.S. leaders would long ago have risked nuclear war with Russia. For U.S. leaders to assert otherwise, as they now are doing, represents a dangerous disregard of reality. In some cases, this disregard surely represents willful demagoguery. But for some policy makers it must be well intentioned, occurring for the simple reason that they continue to interpret new facts in light of the same spent narrative.
Major press outlets also bear responsibility. Rather than seeking to contextualize events properly for their readers, the media have trumpeted the government’s preferred narrative. Whatever its motivations, the mainstream media have implemented, and continue to implement, a regime of propaganda that misinforms the public and can only be perceived by Russia as an affront to the national character of its people. Online providers of information are doing much the same. In fact, as the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and First Amendment lawyer Glenn Greenwald has shown, massive censorship of dissenting views is now occurring at many levels of society in both the United States and Europe.
Although it is difficult to look at the horrific images coming out of Ukraine without revulsion and anger, succumbing to blind emotion and embracing the dominant Western narrative is a dangerous error. It empowers the worst forces in Washington, including the nexus of bureaucratic power and commercial interest that President Eisenhower, a fivestar Army general, termed the military-industrial complex, about which he warned the American public in his final televised address as U.S. president. This narrative also enables the most Russophobic and militaristic of European leaders, as well as those with the least guts to stand up to misguided American policies. The narrative clouds the minds of American and European citizens, leading to jingoism and war-mongering.
My primary goal in this book is to correct a false narrative, and for a very practical reason: because false narratives lead to bad outcomes. Narratives are inevitably reflected in behaviors; they are both descriptive and generative. By functioning as models of reality, narratives serve as guides for action. Then, through the dynamic of action and reaction, push and pushback, they can produce the results they allege are already present. In this way, a narrative that is overly pessimistic about the intentions of a potential opponent—what I term a “narrative of suspicion”—can potentiate the very threats it purports to mitigate.
This description underlies the classic dynamic of an arms race that culminates in escalation and war. It instantiates not the paradigm of World War II, with its associated images of implacable expansionism and Western appeasement, but of World War I, in which Germany, Britain, Western Europe, and ultimately America sleep-walked into catastrophe. Yet now, because of the nature of nuclear weaponry, catastrophe can happen more easily, and with more devastating effect.
As with World War I, each side, fearing the worst from the other, seeks to make itself invulnerable through a military strategy that necessarily also has offensive potential—a double-edged strategic sword that policy analysts term a “security dilemma.” This is precisely what George Kennan predicted with respect to NATO expansion, and in respect to which he has proven correct. That expansion, which was justified in the name of defense, has been perceived by Russia as an offensive threat and led to actions that are, in turn, perceived by the West as expansionist. In 2014, Richard Sakwa offered a pithy retrospect on the situation that Kennan had anticipated:
In the end, NATO’s existence became justified by the need to manage the security threats provoked by its enlargement. The former Warsaw Pact and Baltic states joined NATO to enhance their security, but the very act of doing so created a security dilemma for Russia that undermined the security of all.
And since Sakwa wrote, the situation has only gotten worse, in good measure because the United States and its allies have carried out a parallel set of military expansions outside of NATO.
Mr. Putin, whatever authoritarian tendencies he might possess, was not born on a set path. In the current zeitgeist, it may be considered heretical to state the obvious: that Mr. Putin, like all human beings, is influenced by a combination of what is within—his psychology, beliefs, and values—and what is without, the dynamic external circumstances that confront him. This is simply a truism. It is likewise a truism that chronic exposure to certain patterns of external events can change a person’s inner tendencies, or, at least, selectively magnify some tendencies at the expense of other, sometimes opposite tendencies.
Incrementally, in steps small and large, the West has disregarded Russia’s reasonable security concerns, considering them irrelevant, stoking Russian concerns about encirclement and invasion. At the same time, the United States and its European allies have implied that a rational actor would be assuaged by the West’s statements of benign intention: that the weapons, training, and interoperability exercises, no matter how provocative, powerful, or close to Russia’s borders, are purely defensive and not to be feared. In many instances, Western leaders, especially from the United States, have actively disrespected Mr. Putin, sometimes insulting him to his face.
In doing all this, the West has suggested that Mr. Putin is imagining strategic threats where none in fact exist. This Western framing—which posits a lack of legitimate Russian security concerns coupled with implied and explicit accusations of irrationality—underlies much of the currently dominant narrative. It also underlies the ideological position of the Russia hawks who play such a prominent role in Washington. In personal relationships, the combination of threatening actions and accusations of paranoia would be considered gaslighting. Is the situation really so different in the realm of international politics?
During times of war and military threat, even the leaders of free countries lean toward authoritarianism. Sensing great danger, they may tighten the reins of power, imposing top-down control and expanding the categories of domestic action and speech that are considered treasonous. It is not extreme to suggest that the provocations described in this book created in the mind of Mr. Putin and other members of the Russian political and military class an evolving sense of siege and emergency. My point is that one must contemplate the possibility that Western actions contributed not only to Russia’s foreign policies, but to untoward aspects of Russia’s domestic politics as well. In fact, George Kennan predicted this in 1998. NATO expansion, he said, would “have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy.”
Political actors, both individuals and corporate actors, such as bureaucracies and nations, are not static entities. Rather, the human decisions we call “policies” emerge from a concatenation of conscious intentions; unconscious motivations; accidents of history; and personal, human interactions, including blatantly threatening, humiliating, and disrespectful interactions and words, such as those that have emanated from the mouth of President Biden. And it is quite possible that the actions of the United States and its European allies exerted, and continue to exert, a more profound effect on the policies of Mr. Putin, including his domestic policies, than some are inclined to think.
A little more than half a century ago, in 1956, the German Jewish philosopher Günther Anders published a book with a prophetic title, Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen (The Outdatedness of Human Beings). He is credited with a quotation, the history of which can be found at this link. The quotation can be considered as belonging to three authors: Anders, Huxley and Serge Carfantan, who gave it its final form. Whatever the ultimate source of this quotation, I have taken the liberty of commenting on it:
“In order to stifle any revolt in advance, one must not use violence. Methods like those used by Hitler are outdated. You need only develop such powerful collective conditioning that the very idea of revolt will not even cross people’s minds. Ideally, individuals should be conditioned by limiting their innate biological abilities from birth…”
This is done already. And even gone way beyond. A whole generation is being trapped in a totally chimerical identity problem, by making them believe that freedom consists in choosing not only so-called sexual identity, but also the sexual body in which they want to grow up.
“Then, we would continue the conditioning process by drastically reducing education in order to bring it back to a form of integration into the world of work. An uneducated individual has only a limited horizon of thought, and the more his thoughts are confined to mediocre concerns, the less he can rebel.”
For half a century, we have been working in France to impose pedagogical methods that have shown their inefficiency, with the complicity of teachers whose ideological marking to the left made them particularly favorable to these new tendencies. The Anglo-Saxon model of a narrow-minded pragmatism, strictly oriented towards adaptation and relational conformism, was imposed in secondary and higher education.
“Access to knowledge must be made increasingly difficult and elitist. The gulf between people and science must be widened. All subversive content must be removed from information intended for the general public. Above all, there should be no philosophy. Here again, we must use persuasion and not direct violence: we will massively broadcast entertainment via television that always extols the virtues of the emotional and instinctive.”
Access to knowledge means—good books, annotated bibliographies, teachers capable of introducing difficult works, of situating them, of commenting on them and of making them accessible. Above all, no philosophy; and where it is still taught, it is only an exegesis deficient in intelligence of abstruse texts that high school students do not have the sufficient level of language to understand them, even literally. By forbidding a large number of teenagers to master the language, a necessary but not sufficient condition for thinking, we block their access to written culture. At the same time, we discredited the field of study that constituted the visibility of these typical skills of the exercise of thought (literature, philosophy, history) until we were able to liquidate purely and simply this “literary” field of study, a moment that we will call the “Blanquer moment.”
“We will fill people’s minds with what is futile and fun. It is good to prevent the mind from thinking through incessant music and chatter.”
In buses, on the station platforms, wherever you have to wait, except at the post office, you have to put up with unbearable musical threads dominated by Anglo-Saxon songs and all kinds of noise whose mixed qualities are praised.
“Sexuality will be placed at the forefront of human interests. As a social tranquilliser, there is nothing better.”
It is indeed everywhere, omnipresent. You are harassed if you are not sexually active—chastity and continence have become unintelligible. Even at the age when one can hope that one’s senses will be appeased and one can take care of one’s grandchildren, one’s garden, and others, one is harassed on the question of sexual activity. And this age, which traditional societies respect and venerate because it is emblematic of the wisdom acquired by and through an entire existence, is dishonored by a whole perverse, perverted and perverting press.
BFMTV is the brilliant daily tribute to the stupidity divinity. Let’s add Koh-Lanta and all the programs intended to show in the most indecent and vulgar way the problems of all kinds of poor people who make fools of themselves without being aware of it.
“In general, we will make sure to banish seriousness from life, to deride anything that is highly valued and to constantly champion frivolity: so that the euphoria of advertising becomes the standard of human happiness and the model for freedom.”
For twenty years, a whole generation was fed by the “Guignols de l’info,” which made fun of life and politicians, until that historic moment when the parody of François Hollande as president, by the comedian Canteloup, seemed more real than the real man himself. That he amply deserved to be mocked in this way, there can be no doubt. But it is appropriate to recall Blaise Pascal’s text on the two greatnesses. We would be entitled to despise Hollande as well as Macron in their totally corrupted persons. But we are bound to respect the function they represent, or have represented, even if they have, each in his own style, dishonored it, thus dishonoring the country, the nation and the people who elected them. As for the press, it has signed on to it for years and still shows its in-culture, and shows the god it worships: the divinity Stupidity.
“Conditioning alone will thus produce such integration that the only fear – which must be maintained – will be that of being excluded from the system and therefore no longer able to access the conditions necessary for happiness. The mass man produced in this way must be treated as what he is: a calf, and he must be kept a close eye on, as a herd should be. Anything that allays his lucidity is good socially, and anything that could awaken it must be ridiculed, stifled and fought.”
And so here we are. And we seem to be getting to the point where those who do not share the prevailing rhetoric may be excluded from the health care system. This mass man is now being closely monitored. Everything is set up, including the feedback questionnaires sent by the “high authorities of the hospital,” supposedly to contribute to the improvement of the structures. Who do they think they are fooling?
“Any doctrine questioning the system must first be designated as subversive and terrorist, and those who support it must then be treated as such.”
This is how a young woman with the significant first name of Cassandra was heavily penalized for carrying a sign with the word “WHO” written on it during a demonstration. This is how the leaders of the Yellow Vests were heavily punished. Meanwhile, the real terrorists preach holy war in our prisons or settle comfortably in our psychiatric asylums, financed by the taxpayers.
Yes, here we are…
Programmed obsolescence is not only in the machines that turn the planet into a huge landfill; it is now programmed for humans. This is what we call the Great Reset, with the complicity of the masses, which were once called peoples and nations.
Some doubt this and Pope Francis seems to find it all very convenient. It is time he opened his eyes. It is urgent, because it is also the Church that is going to be reprogrammed with built-in obsolescence…
So, of course, in Canada, an endless line of truckers drove towards Ottawa to protest against the odious measures of Justin Trudeau’s government. They were obviously defending their particular interests. Let’s not dream, the ideal of freedom was probably not their primary motivation. But it was a start.
The organized division of society, with a view to controlling and squeezing it, could well one day turn against those who have destroyed the glue French society—a certain shared idea of France, of its political, religious, literary and even loving history, a certain confidence in its institutions.
Justice is the glue of peace. It is rooted in a Law, the divine Law scorned in the most ignoble way, in all the domains of life—family, marriage, children, education, history, respect of politics.
It is also a law of history—when a society becomes too radically evil, it is wiped off the face of the earth. The new European empire will know the fate of all empires: it will collapse and go to fill a chapter in the history of the world, in what will remain of our textbooks, or in rewritten history books.
Marion Duvauchel is a historian of religions and holds a PhD in philosophy. She has published widely, and has taught in various places, including France, Morocco, Qatar, and Cambodia.
Something extraordinary happened one morning in December 2020.
When he got up the night was still lingering in the sky. London plane trees, so doleful in the rain, were still dripping. The ground below was piled thick with soggy leaves, and a dull foreboding hung in the air.
Shards of streetlights shone on the wet asphalt. It looked as though the rain was about to end.
The day before Christmas in London in the year of the pandemic, Shifa thought to himself. The year of sorrow and dejection. The preceding few days things had gotten even gloomier. Every now and then an ambulance would dart through the deserted streets with sirens wailing. Hospitals were over-stretched, the news said, and the city cemeteries were just about full.
He had been reading Daniel Defoe’s account of the bubonic plague that scourged the city in 1665. About cartloads of dead being dumped into mass graves and about some, still alive, screaming and clawing out of the shallow pits. A brutal record of the fright, the deaths, the stench, the greed, and of the evil lurking in men as the pestilence ravaged the city.
A gnawing awareness of a similar agony—of having seen the horror and of a solemnity of being still alive—rippled through’s Shifa’s mind. The old plague lay mingled with the spectre of the present.
The weather too had been miserable. For weeks torrents of rain whipped up by gusty winds had been blighting the country, causing severe flooding in places. The lockdown had made everyone forget that a year consisted of four seasons. That there were nights and days of varying lengths and temperatures. That the once familiar outdoor still displayed facets of beauty and changing vistas.
Sickness, convalescence, separation across continents. Misery had struck his family too as it had so many others. There would be no Christmas celebration this year.
It was Thursday, the day of luminous mysteries. Shifa took out his rosary and sat down facing the charcoal sky. Slowly his eyelids closed.
By the time he finished the third decade Shifa had sunk into a rhythm of repetition. Praying the rosary for him sometimes turned into an unconscious and vague ritual. This morning, however, he was curiously alert as he came to the fourth decade. The mystery of the transfiguration. With blinkered eyes he tried to imagine how the illumined face of the teacher might have looked like to the apostles assembled on the bald mountain that night.
It was then that he was shaken by the irony. To meditate on a body made up of blood, flesh, and bones transforming itself into light—on a day like this? How could one contemplate light when the earth was awash in blinding darkness?
With eyes shut he whispered all this to himself. Drowned earth. Denuded trees, barren gardens, empty streets. Overhead a pouring sky. Wake up. Shed off your stupor.
Fingers still clasping the beads Shifa opened his eyes, and an unearthly beauty greeted him. The sun had pierced through the clouds, and a pale golden hue lay diffuse in the glistening air. Bewitched, he watched a curtain of liquid, diaphanous gold silently settling on grey, red, and beige buildings.
The leafless skeleton of the majestic tree of paradise across the window stood sheathed in a preternatural luster.
This was transfiguration, it occurred to him. Light had entered the darkness, gently spreading its silken luminosity. As it increased in brightness, the glow turned the earth itself into its glory. It appeared as though the world was being consecrated by an act of benediction promising the return of hope to a saddened world.
Ezekiel had once encountered the glory of God. “As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day,” said the prophet, “so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance.” And he continued, “Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 1:28).
Scientists say about 80% of our experiences are visual. The eye’s response to light constitutes our external reality and thus determines our interactions with the world. Yet “What is light?” never elicits a simple answer, writes Glenn Stark in the Encyclopedia Britannica, because light is “experienced, explored, and exploited” in so many contexts that its literal meaning is inextricable from the metaphorical.
The English language is especially rich with its nuances. The sun lets us see the world and helps us know it. The mind enlightens us with understanding. Visions and inspiration help us gain insight.
Even a scientist, while observing light’s nature (its impacts and interactions with objects), must walk a tightrope between the opposite properties of light: particles and waves. Others – theologians, poets, philosophers – often imagine light in paradoxes.
In art, two painters rarely approach it from similar angles, even though what they paint mostly is light. Renaissance master Vincenzo Catena (“Saint Jerome in his study”) painted it coming directly from its source, the sun, illuminating the world as it did the saint in his study. For both the saint and the painter, the direct trajectory of light, increasing in brightness until it attained the perfect brilliance and clarity, emanated from God, its true origin. For George Seurat, on the other hand, the interplay of tiny contrasting strokes of colours (or particles) nearly invisible to the naked eye, made up the lustrous domain of light that enwrapped objects and things. The source of light for him was in the environs.
So, what is light?
The illumination we encounter as visible light is the effect on our environment of the sun’s radiation, or electromagnetic spectrum, as science calls it. This spectrum is made up of waves of energy the star dissipates over the universe continuously. On one end of the spectrum pulsate immensely destructive gamma rays with less than an atom of space between waves; on the other undulate radio waves that have thousands of miles of distance between crests.
All this radiation is hostile to life. Yet somewhere near the middle of its length is a tiny portion (less than 1%) of the spectrum that becomes supremely benign.
It is bizarre why this minuscule segment of deadly radiation should soften itself, but it does. As it enters the earth’s atmosphere the electromagnetic spectrum attains the wavelength of the extremely narrow range of 0.3 to 14 microns (a micron is a millionth of a meter). This range, writes author and scientist James Le Fanu in “Here comes the all-powerful sun,” is so narrow within the entire spectrum that, by analogy, it takes up just “a few seconds” in a timespan 100 million times longer than the 4.6 billion years since the Big Bang, or the beginning of our solar system.
As our planet wakes up to greet the sun in the morning, an incredibly small amount of radiation is extracted, as if by some invisible hands, from the massive body of deadly destruction and turned gently into life-generating munificence.
Michelangelo’s “Separation of Light from Darkness” in the Sistine Chapel celebrates this drama as narrated in Genesis 1:2-3. We see a colossal God separating swirling white gases from surrounding darkness with his enormous, sinewy hands, thus initiating creation. It brings to memory Isaiah’s words: it is God who “forms the light and creates darkness” (45:7).
From this moment on, a new story more breathtaking than an Arabian tale begins to take shape.
During those few seconds that it touches the sleepy earth, the radiation turns itself into visible light and its companion heat, setting off the cycle of life. Working in tandem with the earth’s orbit, its daily turning on the axis, and the planet’s tilt towards the sun, light creates a unique orchestra by arranging time’s endless permutations of varying lengths of night and day.
Fecundity follows. Light translates time into seasons of tilling, growing, and harvesting. Into seasons of courtship, nesting, and raising fledglings. Light makes life possible and ensures that the mystery continues. For the sake of the princess Scheherazade and the king inside the palace as well as for the ladybug in the garden.
The farmer casts the seed in the ground, the gospel tells us, but “knows not how the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” (Mark 4:28). It is the benevolent hand of light that waves the magic wand.
The spectacle carries on. The beam that descends on treetops, mountain peaks, oceans and rivers also lights up fireworks in our brains. Electrical nerve impulses generated by the reflected light tell our brains how to detect objects, colours, shapes, dimensions, and textures. We acknowledge, differentiate, classify, and interpret images by comparing them with old images stored in our memories.
As the light creates sparkles and ripples on a stream or paints the wings of a butterfly it is only the human eye that can capture this panorama. Through the lenses of our eyes, only we can witness the rainbow of the seven hues.
There is more.
Light keeps time and measures distance in the universe. Whether fathoming the vastness of space or reading the faces of our digital devices, we return to light to get our bearing. Scientists measure the distance of galaxies, from us and among themselves, by the speed of light. And when an object acquires the speed of light, they say, it becomes infinite.
A courtier in the Anglo-Saxon king Edwin’s castle compares the life of a man to the swift flight of a sparrow through the king’s banquet hall on a winter night. The king sits at supper with friends and family while the fire blazes and the storms rage abroad. The sparrow flies in at one door and immediately out at another. While the bird is within the warm hall, he is safe from the wintry tempest, but then he vanishes out of everybody’s sight, passing from winter to winter again.
“Such is the life of man,” says the courtier to the king, “appearing for a little while in the well-lit and warm banquet hall, but what follows or what went before we know nothing at all.”
Like Bede’s sparrow flitting through the warm hall on a wintry night, light, traveling at a speed of 300,000 km a second takes a little over eight minutes to traverse ninety-two million miles before reaching the earth, the banquet hall of life.
Unlike the sparrow, however, this radiant visitor quickens life, clothes nature, replenishes granaries and then leaves everything behind. Back into the vast endlessness. Whence it comes we know but where it goes in the end, we do not.
The first act of God narrated in the Bible was the creation of light. “Let there be light’ said God, ‘and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).
This light, created “when the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while the Spirit of God swept over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2), became the icon of divinity in human imagination. This surreal picture of the beginning has been the enduring anchor for our physical and moral understanding of the world as well as of our relationships with it.
Following the gospels, apostolic narratives and patristic traditions, Christian theology has from its inception understood the transfiguration of Jesus to be the revelation of the glory of God. The accounts appearing in Matthew, Mark and Luke are remarkable: “There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” “There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them,” and “As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.” Later, Peter spoke of having been an eyewitness of Christ’s “magnificence” (2 Peter 1: 16-18). In his gospel as well as in the first epistle, John described God as light.
The significance of these accounts lies primarily in the transcendental impact of light. The apostles do not merely refer to their visual susceptibility; they allude to the event’s transformative impact. St Paul articulates this transformation most eloquently in his letter to the Ephesians: “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light” (5:13).
Light perceived in this way can lead to a sea-change in the heart of a man. It may rekindle a novel awareness of God; it may even lead to an experience comparable to Saul’s on the road to Damascus. After all, he was blinded by intense light.
Life transcendent. Is that not what transfiguration is? What else can turn an inert possibility into a living luminescence, if not light?
Pius Manutius is a husband, father, and traveler.
Featured image , “The Penitent Magdalen,” by Georges de La Tour, painted ca. 1640.
Without being pessimistic, we all feel that we are living in a new and difficult period, with serious threats on the horizon that create a climate of uncertainty and anxiety. And if the health crisis contributes to this climate, it is neither the origin nor the main reason. Rather, it seems to me, this reason is rather to be sought in the worrying fact that everywhere divisions increase, fractures grow; to the point that what constitutes the nation, a community welded by a history, a religion, a culture and values—fruit of a long civilization—is bursting apart under the blows of an individualism which managed to erase the very notion of the good (so that each one must be free to determine “his” good) and thus necessarily of the common good.
Four Major Fractures
Without being exhaustive, I would cite four major fractures to illustrate my point, all of which contribute in one way or another to the atmosphere of existential insecurity that is developing.
1. The social fractures that draw two very unequal France: The one that benefits from globalization—the “France of the top” or the Anywhere which shamelessly sells off the sovereignty of the nation; and the one that suffers from it—the “peripheral France” or the Somewhere, which has formed the large battalions of the Yellow Vests, and bolsters one part of the “anti-vaccine passport” movement.
2. The anthropological fractures that have proliferated ever since the modern philosophies of deconstruction ousted the classical vision of man as a created being endowed with a nature of his own that cannot be denied or violated without serious damage, with a clear limit set by natural law. The first step was the separation between fertility and sexuality, brought about by the pill, which contributed to putting all forms of sexuality on the same level and allowed, afterwards, to think of fertility outside sexuality. In this deadly logic, after having trivialized abortion, we have come to legitimize “marriage” between people of the same sex, then to deny sexual difference and to allow the manufacture of children as simple products, and this is far from over.
3. The demographic divide, resulting from a drop in the birth rate, in France as in all Western countries, compensated in the early 1970s by labor immigration, which quickly turned into a massive immigration that was never controlled, bringing in large Muslim minorities and a number of insurmountable problems of assimilation, education, social distress, delinquency, etc. Islam has thus formed expanding communitarian zones—the “lost territories of the Republic”—where French law no longer penetrates.
4. The ecological divide: Not a week goes by without the announcement of “climate chaos,” as if the coming “catastrophe” were real. That there is an ecological emergency is obvious. But is it by infantilizing the population, by playing on fear with binary and guilt-inducing speeches that we are really going to move things forward?
Oppositions and divisions have always existed and are even consubstantial to the functioning of a democracy. In the past, during the “Cold War,” these were not small when they concerned the “choice of society” between a Marxist left-leaning towards the Soviet Union and a liberal right close to the United States. However, the differences remained mainly confined to political aspects. Today, they have invaded all areas. There is nothing that cannot be contested and questioned: Everything has become a reason for quarrelling; almost nothing is stable and acquired anymore. There is no longer a common basis for a peaceful life in society. History, religion, culture, the principles that forged our Christian civilization and more particularly the nation of France with its vision of man, all this is questioned, rejected or dismissed (by “wokism,” for example), remnants of an obscurantist past that must be quickly forgotten.
From such a basis, divisions and fractures are inevitable and are bound to multiply. The logical outcome of such an evolution is either civil war or the establishment of a directive regime determined to impose its views by marginalizing or silencing the recalcitrant.
Is this not the path we are already on? Denouncing abortion or “marriage for all,” crucial “societal” subjects that should be at the heart of the debate of ideas, is more and more akin to the crime of opinion, as we saw in August with the showing of the film Unplanned. It is the same for all the “advances” that methodically deconstruct man. Thus, the field of freedom of expression is gradually being restricted as society disintegrates, a harbinger of a disturbing evolution.
In this serious context, Christians have a primordial role to play, certainly made difficult by the deep dechristianization and their own divisions, but facilitated by the supernatural hope that they carry within them.
Christophe Geffroy publishes the journal La Nef, through whose kind assistance we are publishing this article.
The featured image shows an oil on panel portrait by Nadine Callebaut.
The dead, like old coins, are the currency that are out of circulation. Cemeteries, the places where graves enshrine their bones, are the sack of Hades. By the rules of nature inscribed in biology, the dead are replaced by new generations which, one day, will themselves be replaced by a new series, minted by future generations.
This biological rule was applied to the life of human societies by Edmund Burke who, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, defined society as a contract between the dead, the living and the unborn – “a clause in the great primaeval contract of eternal society, linking the lower with the higher natures, connecting the visible and the invisible world, according to a fixed compact sanctioned by the inviolable oath which holds all physical and all moral natures.” By saying that the goal of historical writing is to preserve great human deeds from falling into oblivion, the Greek historian Thucydides gave us another insight – memory is the glue with which the past and future are held together. T.S. Eliot was not far from Burke when he wrote:
Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable. What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility Only in a world of speculation. What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. My words echo Thus, in your mind. But to what purpose Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves I do not know. Other echoes Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
To conservatives, the dead are very much alive. Conservatives carry the memory of the dead and their achievements. It is a memory filled with words and ideas of writers, poets, thinkers; with images created by sculptors and painters; and with sounds from composers of music. The words and ideas of the dead are never rendered obsolete or superseded. To the conservative, they resound in the present with the same vitality they had when they were first uttered decades or centuries ago. Homer, Sappho, Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Virgil, Dante, and others are as much our contemporaries as they were the contemporaries of those who knew them personally.
Burial sites are a great proof of this; and what they look like is also a reflection of who we were and are. The Pere Lachaise and Montmartre cemeteries in Paris are probably the most famous necropoleis of the Western world. But first and foremost, they are monuments of France’s national history and French greatness. You find there many famous French cultural figures you’ve heard of, or have studied in school. Alfred de Musset, Balzac, Molière, Racine, Abelard and Héloise, several of Napoleon’s marshals, or foreigners, such as Oscar Wilde and Chopin. (On November 1st, lovers of Chopin’s music place a boombox on his grave which plays his compositions.) And, of course, Jim Morrison!
It may sound strange that Italians, who outnumber all Western nations in artistic genius, do not have a cemetery like Pere Lachaise. The reason is of historical – the lack of a central government (which came about only in 19th century with the unification by Garibaldi), and the fact that no single Italian city came to fully dominate others, like Paris did in France – which explains why the bones of famous Italians are scattered all over the country, with several in the Church of Santa Croce and in the cloister in Florence. Dante is in Ravenna. Rafael and the late 17th-century music composer Corelli are in Rome, in the Pantheon with the kings of Italy. Boccaccio is buried in the small Tuscan town of Certaldo. Petrarch lies in the town of Arquà, not far from Padua. Verdi is in Milan; and Garibaldi on the island of Caprera. The dictator Mussolini is in the small town of Predappio, where he was born. Finally, even though the tomb of Julius Caesar does not exist, contemporary Romans lay flowers by his statue in Rome.
Germany, too, consisted of principalities, and the fate of the German dead is like that of the Italians. One would look in vain for a cemetery in Berlin for famous Germans. However, if you are a student of philosophy, you can place a lit candle on the grave of Hegel and his wife, which is right next to Fichte and his wife. Literature students can do the same on Bertolt Brecht’s grave.
There are also special cemeteries for kings, such as, the St. Denis Abbey near Paris, or Wawel cathedral in Krakow. Other nations have similar places. And, of course, the Vatican, where the Popes rest. Yet politics (the existence or non-existence of central government and the dominance of one city over the rest) is not the only factor that has had influence on what, where, and how the dead rest. Walking through cemeteries, we realize how different they are.
The characteristic thing about most American cemeteries is that they look like grass fields with vertical tombstones, between which the maintenance man drives a lawnmower, making it look “good.” Such design goes beyond what we might suspect is a matter of American efficiency that makes maintenance of cemeteries easier. Just like in all aspects of visual arts, there is a significant difference between the Catholic and Protestant mentalities and their respective sense of aesthetics. While simple tombstones reflect Protestant austerity, Neo-Gothic or Classical Greco-Roman styled temples are characteristic of Catholic cemeteries – though Lafayette Cemetery in New Orleans (a former French colony), Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, and a few others, mainly in LA and San Francisco, speak the language of Catholic aesthetics in Protestant America.
Here is another detail which one should not bypass. Walking through the cities and towns of Protestant countries, especially in the US, we notice small cemeteries near churches, close to the main streets, something you hardly ever see in Europe, unless you happen to be in the UK. The reason is simple – these churches are or used to be denominational – Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Anglican, Lutheran, Adventist, etc. – and no single cemetery was supposed to belonged to the whole population united by the same confession. The exception to this rule in Catholic countries was the split between the Christian and the Jews who had their own burial places, which since the beginning of the 19th century were situated outside the city limits. As the cities grew and expanded, today they are within the city proper, but still form separate enclaves.
Over a decade ago, my daughter and I flew from Baltimore to Krakow where I was born. We stayed with my friends who happened to live near a cemetery. Each day we would walk through it. What was unusual for us — visitors from the New World — was that there were lots of flowers. It was May and I could not think of any holiday. “Daddy,” my daughter, who was in seventh grade at the time, said, “your people love the dead.”
“My people” sounded strange, but she was right. We visited several cemeteries in Baltimore as part of her art history education, looking at designs on tombstones, but we did not see any flowers or candles. “My people” love the dead, but it is not just a Polish predilection; and visiting loved ones who passed away is very much alive in other Catholic countries as well. All Saints’ Day is exceptional and most festive. According to historians, the first celebrations of All Saints’ Day took place in the fourth century, around the Feast of the Lemures on May 13th. November 1st, the day we celebrate now, goes back to the seventh century, when Pope Gregory III founded a repository for the relics of all the apostles, martyrs, and saints.
All Saints’ Day is not merely a celebration of the memory of great men and saints. First and foremost, it is a day when we face the dead members of our own families. As we stand by the grave, we experience their painful absence in our lives. The quiet that fills our minds, as we stand there, is their voice that reminds us that we are mortal; that we too, one day, will rest there. We can only hope that we will not be entirely forgotten by our own family; and that at least once a year, someone will visit us to light a candle and lay a chrysanthemum (the flower associated with this day) in memory of us.
Those of us who happen to live in the New World, optimistic and future-oriented, are often oblivious to what cemeteries remind us of – death and the connection to the past. Most cemeteries in big American cities and towns look like they have been deserted for decades. The tombstones stand higgledy-piggledy like scarecrows; the epitaphs badly eroded. It is real-estate, whose inhabitants have no identify. Not many people have visited them for a long time; and over time they have deteriorated. The reason for this is, partly, the mobility of American society; probably unprecedented in world history. In Europe, it is still the case that you die in the same place where you were born; and if you happen to live in a different city, you are close enough to travel to see the family graves.
There is another reason, however. All Saints’ Day, November 1st, like a name day, is part of the Catholic calendar, and because 365 days could not include all the names of the saints, one needed to establish one day to honor them. The practice originated in the Middle Ages, to commemorate the martyrs; and each saint falls on one day of the year. If your name happens to be Patrick, your name day is March 17th. The lavishly celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the US is one of those Catholic imports to Protestant America. However, as the Reformation did away with the cult of the saints, the name day and All Saints’ Day ceased to be celebrated in most Protestant countries as well.
Now that religious differences between Protestant denominations on the one hand and Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox on the other are, at best, a matter of the past, and being Jewish or Christian matters less than ever before, it is not religious zeal that makes cemeteries look different. It is our perception of life and death. In his essay “Modernity on Endless Trial,” Leszek Kolakowski put his finger on the problem in a way characteristic of his style of thinking:
“The taboo regarding respect for the bodies of the dead seems to be a candidate for extinction, and although the technique of transplanting organs has saved many lives and will doubtlessly save many more, I find it difficult not to feel sympathy for people who anticipate with horror a world in which dead bodies will be no more than a store of parts for the living or raw material for various industrial purposes; perhaps respect for the dead and for the living –and for life itself – are inseparable. Various traditional human bonds which make communal life possible, and without which our existence would be regarded only by greed and fear, are not likely to survive without a taboo system, and it is perhaps better to believe in the validity of even apparently silly taboos than to let them vanish.”
An organized mafia of medical oligarchs trading human organs is not difficult to imagine; and we should not exclude the possibility that as the world becomes more and more rational, some will get sacrificed for others. Two films, Coma (1979) with Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas, and Extreme Measures (1997), with Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman, explore this issue. The desire to prolong life, even at the expense of the living who have parts necessary for the survival of others, is a way of abolishing life. In such a world, I no longer see you as you, but as a walking store of parts necessary for my own survival.
But there is another scenario, perhaps even more morbid. Why not to give the poor the opportunity to improve their living conditions for a certain number of years, provided they sell their parts in advance. Such a scenario does not involve coercion or the abduction of people, as the two above-mentioned movies suggest, let alone the existence of a medical mafia. All that is needed is a voluntary act on the part of the seller. The argument that says that it is better to live a shorter life than a longer one in poverty is perfectly rational, and thus would have to be considered perfectly legal. Pacta sunt servanda – it would be difficult to question the validity of such a decision. It could even be called “the Faustus clause,” or “the Faustus New Deal,” with a modern-day Mephistopheles. In such a world, cemeteries will no longer be what they were – a place where we venerate the dead or ponder our place in society and the world – but a vast area filled with incomplete human remains.
All scenarios are possible; but something else should worry us too. The dead can become an object of attacks by those who are alive. Recent cases of desecration of Jewish graves in the US, France and Germany show the irrationality of hatred. The “woke” ideology’s onslaught on the Dead White European Males which led wild crowds to tear down monuments of famous people can make them to go after the graves of the famous dead. History knows many cases of grave desecration, and we should not exclude that something like that can happen. It most likely will.