Liberals Lack a “Collective Consciousness”

According to Émile Durkheim, one of the founding fathers of sociology, every society in the world has a collective consciousness, a set of shared beliefs, attitudes, and ideas, which every member of that society takes for granted and “finds already formed” when they are born: “collective ways of acting or thinking [that] have a reality outside the individuals who, at any moment of time, conform to it” [Selected Writings, p. 71]. This collective consciousness is what provides humans with a sense of belonging and identity, what’s right and wrong, acceptable and deviant. Durkheim, who came from a long lineage of devout French Jews, developed this concept to explain how societies are bound together, how individuals with conflicting personal and family interests reach consensual values and avoid the Hobbesian “war of all against all.”

Western Individualism

Durkheim criticized Marx for believing that societies were held together through the coercive powers of the ruling class in control of the means of production. But he also criticized “utilitarian liberals” for believing that in the modern West the individual had been emancipated from the collective consciousness of society with the growth of individual liberties, freedom of speech, and the separation of church and state. According to Durkheim, the emergence of individualism, and the spread of capitalist economic ties based on personal interests, did not bring about a “weakening but a transformation of the social bonds.” The “progressive emancipation” of the individual did not mean that the individual had “separated himself from society.” It meant that individuals were now joined to society “in a new manner” [Selected Writings, p. 115].

Durkheim drew a distinction between the “mechanical solidarity” of traditional societies and the “organic solidarity” of modern European societies. He did not call it “mechanical” because the solidarity that exists in traditional cultures is “produced by mechanical and artificial means,” but because the individuals in such a society are linked similarly to the way homogeneous molecules of inorganic bodies are linked, in contrast to the unity of organic bodies where each part has “greater individualization” and autonomy of functions. In traditional cultures, the collective consciousness “completely envelops” the consciousness of its members. The individual “does not belong to himself” but is “literally a thing at the disposal of society.” The collective conscience consists of a rigid set of beliefs with very little opportunity for each member to develop particular personality characteristics [Division of Labor, pp. 84-5].

The beliefs and values inherent in the collective conscience of organic societies stress the dignity and worth of the human individual. Modern European societies encourage individuals to develop their own talents, happiness and inclinations. But this does not mean that the individual has been extricated from society. Rather, the individual becomes the supreme principle of the collective consciousness. This modern European collective consciousness affords the individual with “a sphere of action that is peculiarly his own, and consequently a personality.” “The human person…is considered as sacred.”

Whoever makes an attempt on a man’s life, on a man’s liberty…inspires us with a feeling of revulsion, in everyway comparable to that which the believer experiences when he sees his idol profaned…Nowhere are the rights of man affirmed more energetically, since the individuals is here placed on the level of sacrosanct objects [Selected Writings, p. 149].

The collective consciousness of modern Western peoples is thus very peculiar in that it “leaves uncovered a part of the individual consciousness” [Division of Labor, p. 85]. It does not demand the subordination of the individual to any religion, custom, or tradition, but encourages each person to affirm his right to freedom of association and expression and to “form ideas about the world that seem to him most fitting and to freely develop his own nature” [Selected Writings, p. 195]. Humans in this type of society become more aware of themselves as distinct personalities.

Durkheim observes that the “more primitive societies are, the more resemblances there are between the individuals from which they have been formed.” He cites these words from an anthropologist: “He who has seen one native of America has seen them all” [Division of Labor, p. 87]. And these words from another observer:

this physical resemblance among natives arises essentially from the absence of any strong psychological individuality and from the inferior state of intellectual culture in general…The homogeneity of characters within a Negro tribe is indisputable…Differences between individuals of the same tribe are insignificant [Division of Labor, p. 89].

While it is true that the spread of modernization in Europe broke down distinctive dialects, reduced local characteristics and coalesced separate ethnic groupings within one nation, this “does not prevent Frenchmen today from being much more different from one another than they were once.” “There are no longer as many differences as there are large regions, but there are almost as many differences as there are individuals” [Division of Labor, p. 91].


For all these observations, however, Durkheim believed that modern Europeans were facing a problem never seen before in history: Anomie. The discrediting of traditionally mandated values, the erosion of the authority of patriarchal relations, the loosening of individuals from communal economic ties, along with the liberation of markets and the pursuit of unlimited wealth—were creating individuals who were no longer morally constrained but were instead encouraged to give free reign to the satisfaction of their unlimited desires and appetites.

Humans need to be guided and restrained by society. “Men’s passions are only stayed by a moral presence they respect” [Division of Labor, p. xxxii]. They cannot decide on their own what is the meaning of life without direction, without a sense of responsibility and connectedness to others. Durkheim observed that the reason suicide rates were higher among Protestants than Catholics was their lack of communal ties, smaller families, and their emphasis on individuals developing a personal relationship with God without relying on common religious authorities. Catholic individuals were more connected to society through their greater reliance on ritualistic practices, stronger family ties, and a collective credo interpreted through the authority of priests [Selected Writings, p. 242].

Durkheim thus came to the conclusion that in order to overcome the anomic tendencies of modern societies, individuals should be encouraged to create “secondary groupings” or “occupational corporations” for the purpose of representing their interests as members of distinct classes and for the purpose of nurturing a sense of belonging and meaning beyond the sphere of their private existences. In writing about these “occupational corporations,” Durkheim was thinking about the capitalist societies of his day, the hostility and conflicts between labor and capital, the commercial crises and the associated bankruptcies. He believed that the state was too distant from the lives of individuals; only corporations that were intermediate between the mass of the population and the government could provide a direct collegial life, mutual obligations and responsibilities, to ameliorate anomic feelings. These corporations would be organized on the basis of values and norms decided upon by individuals, not on the basis of pre-established kinship ties, divine authority, noble birth, or Christian values.

Liberalism is Inherently Devoid of a Collective Consciousness

We may thus be tempted to conclude that with the spread of socialism in the twentieth century, the creation of trade unions, public schools with a common curriculum, patriotic anthems and multiple symbols reinforcing the civic identity of the peoples of liberal nations, the West managed to create a reasonably healthy collective consciousness, within the framework of the sacrosanct principles of individual rights, private property and enterprise. The way I see it, a society based on liberal principles is inherently incapable of generating a collective consciousness. This judgement may strike some as absurd. Haven’t Western liberals assumed immense collective powers through the expansion of government bureaucracies, massive spending in public goods, regulation of businesses, and surveillance for hate speech? And how about the institutional and normative enforcement of feminism, equality of the races, the sacralization of the black civil rights movement, the holocaust, the rainbow flag, multiculturalism, human rights, and immigrant diversity? Don’t these mandates speak of a rather intolerant collective conscience? These salient realities have indeed prompted dissidents to argue that Western nations are now controlled by “cultural Marxists” who “marched through all the institutions,” replacing the liberals of old who believed in freedom of expression.

I used to argue along these lines—until recently. The way I see it now, individualism remains the defining, all encompassing ideology permeating every aspect of Western culture, a liberalism that is inherently about the right of individuals to choose their own way of life, but which, by the same token, demands the subordination of the individual to this ideology. Western governments are neutral in competitions between different lifestyles or different definitions of the “good life.” In the West, one is socialized to be tolerant, inclusive, and respectful of a wide variety of lifestyles. Religious peoples are allowed, and so are people who believe in “traditional” values, with a small “t,” as long as they don’t “demonstrably limit the liberties of others.” A liberal society cannot be tolerant to the point of tolerating individuals who promote collective consciences that threatens to destroy liberal tolerance. Classical liberalism became postmodern liberalism without any march through the institutions through its in-built progressive logic “to free the individual from the traditional restraints of society” or from any institution, norm, kinship group, gender bias or racial prejudice, that constricts the right of the individuals to choose their own way of life without restricting the right of others. Therefore, what liberalism does not tolerate is Traditionalism, with a capital “T,” the preservation of heritages that constrict individual choice, the affirmation of national identities that preclude the human right of other nationalities to be included as equal citizens.

The essence of classical liberalism was expressed succinctly in the American Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” All individuals have these “unalienable rights” regardless of race, nationality, sex, or religious beliefs. The progressive liberalism, which came to fruition in the 20C, aimed at enlarging the scope of “free action” of those who lacked the economic means to exercise their freedom of choice. Progressive liberals thus added, in the course of time, the right to a good education, right to work, paid parental leave, adequate standard of living, and medical care. Freedom was no longer defined as “negative liberty” from an intrusive and regulating government, but as the right to democratically push the government to provide these “positive” freedoms as well. Today, this positive liberalism has managed to persuade millions, particularly the new generation now in our universities, that the old negative freedom of speech should be limited if such freedom has a “harmful” impact on the “self-development” of individuals and their right to feel safe, and equal in “dignity.” The civil rights movement that abolished legalized institutional racial segregation, job discrimination, and disenfranchisement throughout the United States, was consistent with liberalism. So was the abolition of white only immigration policies. A policy that treats immigrants differently based on their race violates the right and dignity of all humans to be treated as individuals.

Postmodernists are also consistent with liberal principles in their effort to afford individuals the right to decide which sexual identities they prefer to be identified with, rather than being boxed into a male-female “collectivist binary.” The same logic applies to the way critical race theorists use racial categories. They don’t believe in races. They believe that in our current society minorities are “racialized” by dominant whites, and that overcoming this racial hierarchy necessitates race identity politics. Their aim is to transcend altogether any form of racial identity for the sake of a society in which everyone is judged as an individual. Both multiculturalism and the replacement of whites are consistent with liberalism. The aim of multiculturalism is to afford immigrant minorities with resources to enhance their opportunities for individual integration while encouraging members of the “dominant” Western culture to respect their private ethnic identity and customs as long as the principle of individual rights is not trampled upon. The replacement of whites simply means that individuals with equal rights and dignity who have a different skin color will replace individuals of another skin color.

Of course, there have been heated debates among liberals about all these issues and progressions, particularly between those who emphasize “negative” rights and those who emphasize “positive” rights. Yet, today, libertarians or conservatives agree that no private business has a right to discriminate on the basis of color or sex. Classical liberals long ago accepted the positive liberalism of Keynesian government intervention. Not a single academic, politician, lawyer…including the leaders of populist parties, questions diversity, even if privately they hold prejudicial attitudes towards immigrants, because liberalism precludes any collective beliefs about the inherent significance of the West’s “European” or “Christian” heritage. Liberalism makes no decisions about what are the “best” values, the best ways of life, the supra-individual significance of past heritages or traditions. The best way of life is the right of the individual to decide what is the best way of life. The main role of the government is to ensure the security of “tolerance” and the institutions of liberty, in the name of which it has a right to curtail, demonize, and suppress, beliefs and acts of “intolerance” that would limit the liberty of others to pursue their own happiness.

In other words, liberalism, an ideology that is unique to the West, does not believe that the heritage of the West, Christianity, its uniquely creative architectural, literary, and artistic traditions, are of any higher worthiness to the cultural identity of Westerners than the individually preferred choices of any newly arrived immigrant citizen. Therefore, as long as Westerners remain liberals, there is nothing they can do to counter the eradication of Western civilization, its collective traditions, all the national anthems of Europe that sound too Eurocentric, as well as the biased notion that only a man and woman with children constitute a family. At the root of contemporary liberalism is not a collective conscience but the belief that a state cannot determine what is worthwhile, meaningful, and sacred in life other than to allow individuals to find their own subjective meaning and lifestyle in a world devoid of any collective meanings.

Ricardo Duchesne has written a number of articles on Western uniqueness. He the author of The Uniqueness of Western CivilizationFaustian Man in a Multicultural AgeCanada in Decay: Mass Immigration, Diversity, and the Ethnocide of Euro-Canadians.

Featured: Decalcomania, by René Magritte; painted in 1966.

The Visual Solar Miracle at Fatima

This article provides a new and very different validation of the famous “miracle of the sun” at Fatima.

We are happy to provide this excerpt from Dennis Bonnette’s latest book, Rational Responses to Skepticism: A Catholic Philosopher Defends Intellectual Foundations for Traditional Belief, in which he answers the various charges made against Catholic belief. The strength of Dr. Bonnette’s book is that he counters the spirited attacks made by skeptics, agnostics and atheists—by giving a reasoned response which uniquely defends the Catholic faith.

We have published versions of this defense previously, which you may also wish to read.

Please support Dr. Bonnette’s important work by purchasing a copy and spreading the word.

The number of people–skeptics as well as believers–who gathered at the Cova da Iria at Fatima, Portugal, on 13 October 1917 is estimated to range from 30,000 to as high as 100,000. While many books and articles have been published about Fatima, of special interest is a small work by John M. Haffert, Meet the Witnesses of the Miracle of the Sun (1961). He took depositions from some 200 persons, thereby offering us eyewitness testimony some four decades after the miracle, but still within the lifetime of many witnesses. This book contains detailed eyewitness recounting of events by over thirty persons.

The book summarizes seven significant facts widely documented. They include that (1) the time, date, and place of the miracle was predicted in advance, (2) an extraordinary light that could be seen for many miles sending out “shafts of colored light” that tinted ground objects, (3) what looked like a great ball of fire fell toward earth, causing tens of thousands to think it was the end of the world, (4) the prodigy stopped just before reaching earth and returned to the sky, (5) it left and returned to the place of the sun, so that viewers thought it was the sun, (6) the mountain top where this happened had been drenched with rain for hours, but was completely dried in minutes, and (7) tens of thousands witnessed these events over an area of six hundred square miles (Haffert, 15).
Some online sources also give detailed eyewitness accounts.

It was quickly pointed out by skeptics that no such solar behavior could have actually occurred, since no observatory detected it and, following the rules of physics, such actual solar movements would have caused mass destruction on planet Earth!
Although the vast majority of witnesses reported seeing something they took to be the sun performing roughly similar amazing movements—even though some observers were miles away from the Cova da Iria, it should be noted that multiple sources report that some people at the Cova said that they saw nothing unusual at all.

The fact that the people saw amazing solar displays and even frightening movements of a silver-pearl disc that began its movements from the actual location of the sun—while the real sun could not have actually been so moved in space—demonstrates that massive visions were being experienced by tens of thousands of people simultaneously. This is reinforced by the reports that “…others, including some believers, saw nothing at all.” Certainly, any real extramental visual phenomena—even if they were not from the real sun itself — would have been seen, not just by some, but by all present.

While it is possible that some visual phenomena that day may have followed the normal laws of nature, what is clear is that the most extraordinary Fatima visual phenomena appear to have been in the nature of visions –- possibly even “individually adjusted” to fit the sometimes diverse experiences of different observers.

Since the “solar” phenomena were not all reported to be the same and since not all present even appear to have seen it at all, it must be that whatever took place was not extramentally real as visually apprehended. Rather, it is evident that the phenomena was seen as extramental, but must have been caused by some agent able to produce internal changes in the observers, such that they believed they were witnessing actual external events. This is essentially what marks the experience of a vision. One writer calls it a “miracle of perception.”

Also, purely physical explanations based on some sort of optical phenomena fail to account for the overwhelming fear induced by seeing the “sun” appear to be about to crash into the earth, causing many to fall to their knees in the mud and some to actually call out their grievous sins for all to hear, since there were no priests available!

What critics badly miss is that variances in accounts actually strengthen the case for a miracle, not weaken it. Such a rich diversity of reports supports the case for all the visual aspects being visions that differ in each person. Consider the fact that some were said to see nothing at all. This would support the claim that no external physical changes actually took place in the “dance of the sun.” Rather, this must be a case of massive individual visions –- making the case for an extra-natural explanation only greater.

The plain fact is that tens of thousands of people do not make up a “collective lie,” especially when they cannot even get their story quite straight. Moreover, the plain fact is that the vast majority of those tens of thousands of people experienced analogously similar extraordinary behavior by the sun or by a silvery disc that emanated from the sun. Tens of thousands of people do not have collective hallucinations or anxiety attacks — especially, when the sea of humanity present included believers and non-believers, Catholics and atheists, secular government officials and skeptics alike.

However one explains one of most massively eye-witnessed events in recorded history, it must be accepted that the vast majority of those present experienced what surely looked like the greatest public miracle in history –- even as reported in the atheistic secular newspapers in Lisbon, including O Seculo, whose 15 October 1917 edition published a front page headline, reading, “Como O Sol Bailou Ao Meio Dia Em Fatima,” that is, “How the sun danced at noon in Fatima.”

Could such massive phenomena have been caused by natural agents, space aliens, or even demons? Physicist and theologian, Stanley Jaki, S.J., offers an explanation based on the natural formation of an “air lens” at the site of the solar phenomena. But his explanation immediately confronts multiple difficulties. Even looking directly at the sun through an air lens would damage the eye, and no reports of ocular damage were recorded after the event. Moreover, I have already pointed out that the existence of somewhat conflicting descriptions of the phenomena, as well as the fact that some saw nothing unusual at all, prove that the solar experiences must have been internal visions of externally experienced events — not the result of Jaki’s air lens hypothesis.

Finally, Jaki claims that the heating effect of the lens could have dried the people’s clothes and the wet ground. Unfortunately, while this may work in theory, the amount of energy needed to produce such rapid drying in a natural manner would have simply incinerated everyone involved! Instead, the people only felt comfortably dry. Jaki’s hypothesis appears to be simply false.

This “drying” miracle alone so contravenes the laws of nature that neither space aliens nor even demons could have produced it.

Natural agency of the visual “sun miracle” is ruled out because the phenomena were not external — as I have just shown, but rather, these were visions caused by internal changes in the witnesses. While space aliens might have mastered the technology of holograms, so as to produce some external physical display, that does not explain the number of witnesses who clearly saw nothing abnormal at all. The effects had to be internal and individualized in order to explain variances in what was seen, and especially, what was totally not seen by a number of people. Thus, the effects were not produced by visiting space aliens. Indeed, they were at least preternatural, if not, supernatural in nature.

On the dubious hypothesis that these effects were preternatural, and not supernatural, could they have been produced by angels or demons? Here, a moral analysis suffices.

If somehow done by angels, then they were at the direction of God anyway. But, if done by demons, one is confronted with a message to humans to stop sinning, repent, and pray. I don’t think any further proof is needed to show that demons did not do this.

Finally, while preternatural effects are accomplished by producing a natural effect in an unnatural way, such as a body levitating with nothing seen to be lifting it, these optical phenomena entailed changing the internal vision experiences of tens of thousands of persons simultaneously. Whether merely preternatural powers could produce such an effect is highly debatable. In any event, the previously-given demonstrations show clearly that the “dance of the sun” at Fatima could have been produced solely through the infinite power of the God of classical theism, since it clearly exceeds the power of either man or space aliens to produce such individualized internal visions and moral analysis excludes the agency of spiritual agents other than, possibly, those following God’s command.

Dr. Dennis Bonnette retired as a Full Professor of Philosophy in 2003 from Niagara University in Lewiston, New York, where he also served as Chairman of the Philosophy Department from 1992 to 2002. He received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1970. He is the author of three books, Aquinas’ Proofs for God’s ExistenceOrigin of the Human Species, and Rational Responses to Skepticism: A Catholic Philosopher Defends Intellectual Foundations for Traditional Belief, as well as many scholarly articles.

War, Euthanasia, Abortion: A Trinary Nexus

I. Deterrence, Moral Disarmament, Total War and Euthanasia

Total war, therefore nuclear war, is once again in the realm of the thinkable, the possible. And on the other hand, in the West, we are discussing the legalization of euthanasia. One does not see a priori a connection between these two facts. However, the conjunction of the two phenomena is extremely worrying. Why is it so? Because the possible legalization of euthanasic suicide would lead to the dynamic tendency of replacing the balance of terror by what Thérèse Delpech calls the “imbalance of terror.”

To wage atomic war is to commit suicide by killing one’s opponent. This is why the more suicide is contrary to the logic of a culture, the more credible is the classical deterrence (renunciation of killing for fear of dying) on the part of a state structured by this culture. It is thus understandable that, if suicide enters in a quasi-normal way into the logic of a culture, the economy of deterrence is profoundly disturbed.

If, in a nuclear power state, suicide becomes the normal way for the individual to leave life, its opponents have reason to be alarmed. Indeed, the reasoning that “no one wants to commit suicide” loses much of its force. Such a state becomes much more unpredictable because of an inevitable contamination of its political culture by the logic of the ethics that now govern private life. A heavily armed state that then turns suicidal is even more frightening than before, although it is not the same kind of fear at all. The relative security one feels when faced with an opponent who is not afraid to die, but who one is certain also prefers life, is replaced by a painful uncertainty when faced with an opponent for whom the idea of committing suicide seems to be a normal prospect.

But that is not all, because this preference for life, which makes deterrence not only credible but also stably pacifying, is itself suspended on the conviction that life has meaning. Now, euthanasic suicide participates in the idea that life has no other meaning than that of preserving it as long as it is interesting, or not too unpleasant. Overall, this normalized suicide is part of a system, where the absence of a somewhat transcendent meaning logically implies an irredeemable existential despair. Such despair is self-destructive. Having become habitual and culturally shared, it will gradually make collective as well as individual suicide thinkable, acceptable, desirable. For if suicide is the normal death for any individual, it will be the same, sooner or later, for a society where such individuals are aggregated.

Let me explain precisely the most dangerous consequences:

  1. Loss of credibility for a suicidal person but fortuitous deterrent when facing non-suicidal and more robust adversaries—the latter no longer respect him, because they know, or think they know, that the suicidal person only seeks to survive in a pleasant way and has no more reason why he would prefer to die rather than capitulate, provided that his victor assures him a small comfortable life;
  2. Loss of security of nuclear partners facing a suicidal deterrent, whose emotional stability, psychic balance and capacity for rational objectivity they begin to suspect, as with any suicidal person;
  3. The temptation, for these adversaries, to resort preventively, before it is too late in their eyes, to any adequate means to neutralize a dangerous suicidal person, a madman who could well end up seeing in war, one day, the most honorable way to commit suicide.

Deterrence is not a matter of a simple formal theory of games, because if it is a game, and a very dangerous one, it only functions by certain principles in culture. The legalization of euthanasia is a powerful marker for a state. It signs with certainty the tipping of this state into a non-functional culture, especially if this state is a nuclear power. It deprives this state of its character as a reassuring, credible, rational and predictable actor. Under these conditions, total war becomes not only possible in the medium term, but practically certain.

II. Euthanasia: From the Right to Die to Obliged to Die

We are debating the right to die. Many people seem to agree with establishing this right, out of respect for freedom or out of compassion for suffering. They would no longer be in agreement if they realized the price of the obligations it entails. To acquire a certain right to die is indeed to renounce a certain right to live.

If the law establishes a right, whatever it may be, it also establishes three obligations, without which this right would be empty and non-existent:

  1. Not to oppose the exercise of this right;
  2. To provide the means without which the right would remain completely theoretical;
  3. To accept to suffer the effects resulting from its exercise.

Application: The right of X to kill himself implies three obligations for others, taken collectively: the first is not to prevent X from killing himself. The second is to help him to do so, if he does not have the means to do so alone. These first two are obvious. But what is the third? The obligation to kill oneself, in certain circumstances. Nothing less. And this can be demonstrated.

For the law to grant a right, and impose corresponding obligations, it is necessary that the state, or the elites, or the people as a whole, judge that the object of the right, the subject of the authorized action (in this case, killing oneself), is not immoral. One does not imagine that the state could ever establish a right to evade taxes, to set fires, or to collect inheritances. One can conclude, at worst, that the object of the right is not good, but excusable and tolerable, at best, that there is nothing wrong with it and it must be held to be perfectly moral. Some people will undoubtedly be granted the right to think the contrary, and to say so, but not to disturb the enjoyment of the right. In other words: by establishing a right, the state does not simply give an order—it validates in the name of all, despite the dissent of many, a value judgment of a moral nature. As Blaise Pascal says, the people are not mistaken. If they share the judgment that affirms, or concedes, the morality of euthanasia, then they will support the legislator’s action. And in general, the legalization of a practice contributes to the progressive generalization of the belief in its relative or complete morality.

This is where the difficulty arises. For if a type of act is judged to be moral, at least in certain circumstances, not only may we be entitled to it, but there is nothing to prevent it from becoming our duty in other circumstances. If there is a single counter-example, I will renounce this last statement. It will be asked: would this not be the case for the right to die? Well, no.

Experience clearly says the opposite. Among the Inuit, in the past, the elder, when he considered his mouth too useless, went out of the igloo to die slowly in the cold. He probably thought that such was his duty. In the Polynesian tropics, other elders, or even young supernumeraries, would voluntarily leave in a pirogue and never return. They did so because they believed that killing themselves was not immoral and therefore could be a duty. Otherwise, they would have acted differently.

Now, when a person has (by hypothesis) the duty to kill himself, what will the group do, what will society do, if this person refuses to do his duty, when “public necessity, legally established, obviously requires it?” The answer is sadly obvious. He will be forced to do so. If, therefore, we establish a right to commit suicide, we admit the possibility of an obligation to commit suicide, under certain other conditions. The assistance required to fulfill this obligation by the recalcitrant citizen may take the form of those constraints by which, as Rousseau said, “one will force him to be free.” Let’s not mince words. We can only acquire the right to give ourselves death by recognizing the right of the state to give it to us.

III. Two Logical Implications of a Constitutionalization of Abortion

Legislators have an obligation not to legislate in a hurry, but to consider carefully the logical consequences of their decisions. The constitutionalization of abortion would have two rigorous implications in this respect, undoubtedly unnoticed by its short-sighted promoters, but each of which would amount to nothing less than the breaking of the social pact.

First, it aims to reinforce, legally and symbolically, a woman’s right to freely perform an abortion.

Unfortunately, this decision goes much further. It also gives the state the right to implement a demographic policy, which would include, if necessary, the obligation for mothers to have an abortion, as was the case in China.

Indeed, what is the object of a fundamental right can also become, in certain circumstances, the object of an essential duty and, consequently, of a legal obligation. By constitutionalizing a right, the state does not simply give the most imperative order, it solemnly validates, in the name of all, and despite the dissent of many, a moral and very absolute value judgment.

The state proclaims and declares that abortion causes no real harm to anyone, is neither an evil nor a lesser evil. It becomes a pure and unmistakable good. I do not argue with this moral judgment. I am only drawing attention to the fact that, if our state affirms in this way, as strongly as possible, the unqualified morality of this type of act (this would be true for any other), not only do the citizens have the right to it, but absolutely nothing prevents this act from becoming for them (in this case, for women), in certain circumstances, a categorically imposed duty.

If, therefore, one recognizes a fundamental right of the individual to abortion, then one automatically gives the state the right to do an abortion, insofar as public necessity would require it. The short-sighted do not see what a nightmare they are preparing. For the fight against the more than predictable fraud of compulsory abortion, and the securing of the state’s right to do so, could go so far as to prohibit in utero gestation and to make artificial gestation compulsory. And because of the constitutionalization of abortion, it would be legally impossible to escape all these consequences. The constitutionalization of abortion would legally open the way to a totalitarian biocracy with all power over bodies.

Secondly, this constitutionalization would legally open the way to totalitarianism over minds.

No conscientious objection could hold under these conditions. But beyond the problems of the medical profession, as important as it is, what is at stake, universally, is nothing less than the future of enlightenment.

The theoretical and practical debate on abortion centers on the notion of the person. From the theoretical point of view, the question is—is the embryo a person or not, legally, anthropologically, metaphysically? That is the whole question. From a practical point of view, assuming that we cannot get out of doubt, should we apply the adage “when in doubt, we are free” or the adage “when in doubt, we abstain?” That is the question. The current decriminalization remains consistent with doubt and chooses to apply the first adage, “when in doubt, freedom.” Now, in good faith, is this not a theoretical question on which there is legitimate discussion, uncertainty and doubt? And a practical question that does not have an immediately obvious answer either?

If we therefore constitutionalize abortion, we outlaw in the Republic, by an untimely dogmatization, the free discussion of a question, about which any rational and thoughtful person knows with what obscurities it is surrounded. If such an abuse is allowed on such an important and difficult question, where are the limits? A person respectful of the Constitution will feel obliged, before thinking, to ask the authorization of the Republic, which will thus have become despotic. On the grounds of defending this fundamental right (and soon, which others?), one thing leading to another, the list of unconstitutional opinions will be extended ad infinitum, rightly or wrongly, and no doubt in spite of common sense, until there is nothing left, not only of freedom of conscience and expression, but also of the audacity to reason and to communicate the fruit of one’s reasoning—and finally nothing left of reason at all. The Senate will have to say whether, in its opinion, the audacity to think is legally inferior or superior to the Constitution, and whether, without the audacity to think, there can still be a Republican Constitution.

Conclusion? For these two reasons, and some others, it is to be hoped that the Senate, acting with reason and gravity, will conclude to reject an uncultured and inconsiderate proposal, by which the social pact would be broken and despotism substituted for the Republic.

Henri Hude is the former director of the Ethics and Law Department at the Research Center of the Saint-Cyr Military Academy. He is the author of several important works of philosophy, among them, most recently, Philosophie de la guerre (Philosophy of War). These three articles appear through the kind courtesy of Pierre-Yves Rougeyron and Le cercle Aristote.

Featured: Brennende Stadt (Burning city with Lot and the Angel and his Daughters), attributed to Daniel van Heil; painted ca. 17th century.

Clara Campoamor and Mercedes Formica: Two Exceptional Feminists, Victims of Political Correctness

The progressive doxa and ideology make the women’s rights movement in Spain, in the 20th century, a sort of preserve of radical and Marxist feminism. The leading figures, invariably cited by the mainstream media, are the socialists Victoria Kent, Margarita Nelken and Carmen de Burgos y Segui, the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinists Dolores Ibarruri and Matilde Landa, and, to a lesser extent, the anarchist Federica Montseny. Apart from these? Nothing or almost nothing. Even the famous and talented writer, Emilia Pardo Bazán, has been met with embarrassment or hostility on the grounds that she was an aristocrat with conservative or even traditionalist-Carlist convictions. Other examples? Feminists as important as María Espinosa de los Monteros or Consuelo Gómez Ramos, to name but a few, share a similar fate and are even ignored or blacklisted for having been supporters of a conservative Catholic feminism or for having held public office under the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera.

Another significant case is the Republican-Liberal Clara Campoamor. Honored and admired, often referred to as the most prestigious feminist of the 1930s, her biography is nonetheless watered down, if not glossed over, to avoid mentioning her harsh criticism of the Popular Front. But the archetypal example of ideological amnesia is without question that of the lawyer Mercedes Formica. A major architect of women’s emancipation under Franco’s regime, her Jose Antonian and Falangist convictions, affirmed throughout her life, led to her being placed squarely under the radar.

Clara Campoamor Rodriguez and Mercedes Formica-Corsi, are undoubtedly two almost perfect victims of the “historically correct.” One is instrumentalized and manipulated by the politico-cultural power, the other is caricatured, ignored or passed over in silence. They deserve to be rethought, reevaluated and revisited.

Clara Campoamor: A Scandalous Political and Cultural Recovery

Clara Campoamor was born in Madrid on February 12, 1888. While still a child, she lost her father and had to help her mother survive. She was successively a milliner, a commercial employee, a post office employee and a mechanics teacher. She then resumed her studies, entered the University, obtained a law degree and enrolled in the College of Lawyers in Madrid in 1925. A well-known lecturer, she helped found the International Federation of Women Lawyers and the Spanish Women’s League for Peace.

Clara Campoamor. Credit: Historia.

In 1930, at the age of forty-two, on the eve of the proclamation of the Second Republic, Clara Campoamor entered politics. She was a member of the national council of Manuel Azaña’s Acción Republicana, the embryo of the party that he would officially create in 1931. However, she soon left this party to join the Radical Party of Alejandro Lerroux, a centrist party that was then more to the right. On June 28 of the same year, in the general elections, she was elected deputy in a Madrid constituency. A month later, she was appointed by her party as a member of the Commission in charge of drafting the Constitution. She succeeded in having the draft of the fundamental law proclaim the full suffrage rights of women. During the debates in the Cortes, when she defended the wording of the law, she came up against another woman, the radical-socialist deputy Victoria Kent. Like many members of her party, Kent was against the right to vote for women and asked for its postponement, fearing that it would favor the right because of the Catholic convictions of too many Spanish women. A few days earlier, a famous PSOE politician, Margarita Nelken, later affiliated to the PCE, expressed the same opinion in the press. A surprising point of view, but in agreement with that of a good number of socialist-Marxist leaders who, through “elitism”, shared with the reactionary right the same distrust and contempt for the people, who were considered uneducated and had to accept, willingly or not, to be guided by the enlightened elite.

As a result of the successive speeches, including those of Kent and Campoamor, the Parliament was divided into two blocks. Socialist leader Prieto, who also opposed women’s suffrage, left the room before the vote. The final result was clear: 161 votes in favor, 121 against and 188 abstentions. Taking into account that the PSOE had 116 deputies and the Radical Socialist Republican Party had 61, out of a total of 177 socialist deputies, 83 voted in favor and 94 against. 40 percent of those elected to the chamber abstained or were absent.

It was therefore against the will of a majority of left-wing deputies—socialists and socialist radicals (the right-wing deputies were almost absent from this chamber)—that the principle of women’s right to vote was acquired. But, let us emphasize, it was in Spain before France, since French women had to wait for the provisional government of General de Gaulle, in 1944, to become finally electors and eligible as men.

On the occasion of this vote, Clara Campoamor’s intervention was decisive. She has the honor of having been the deputy who contributed most to obtaining the right to vote for women. But it is necessary to remember here an important point; she belonged to the radical party of Lerroux, a republican and liberal party, nourished by anti-Catholic Freemasons, of which she was deputy from 1931 to 1933. She was not a socialist militant or sympathizer, as many leaders and historians of the PSOE say or imply today, trying to appropriate her figure. She expressly rejected Marxist socialism and communism.

Clara Campoamor was also, under the same government, Director General of Beneficiencia y Asistencia Social and delegate to the SDN of the Spanish Republic. She was also one of the main drafters of the law establishing divorce in Spain. And her little known or misunderstood history does not end there. In the aftermath of the socialist uprising of October 1934, against the government of the radical Lerroux, Clara Campoamor, who, it seems, disagreed on the way to repress those responsible for the insurrection, decided to leave the Radical Party. She immediately tried to join the Izquierda Republicana (Manuel Azaña’s party), but was refused admission. The “cardinal sin” that she was accused of, she said, was the women’s vote, which would have led to a victory for the right in the general elections of November 1933. This is at least the interpretation of most of the left-wing leaders of the time, which today is not unanimously accepted by historians. The defeat of the leftists can be explained more by the disappointment of a part of the electorate and the wear and tear of power than by the importance of the female vote.

But the ordeal of Campoamor had only just begun. Too often, it is said and written in an imprecise way that she voluntarily went into exile to escape the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. The unvarnished truth is much less glowing for her opponents. In reality, in September 1936, fearing to be arrested and summarily executed in one or another of the Chekas of Madrid, she fled, with her family, the Popular Front zone, not wanting, as she would later write, “to be one of those details sacrificed unnecessarily.” Having managed to reach Switzerland, via Italy, she published less than a year later in Paris, La Revolución española vista por una republicana (Plon, 1937), an edifying work that curiously was not published in Spain until the early 2000s.

In this book, Clara Campoamor analyzed the origins of the Spanish Civil War and severely denounced the violations of Republican legality by the Popular Front government that emerged from the February 1936 elections. She explained how the situation deteriorated very quickly; how the government, indecisive and inactive, proved incapable of maintaining public order and preventing physical violence and assassinations. She emphasized the extent to which the left, the socialists and the communists, had prepared for war, carefully hiding substantial arsenals of arms and ammunition, and forming and organizing militarily trained militias. She told how from the first days of this fratricidal conflict, leftist terror spread to more and more victims; and how the political persecution spread throughout the Popular Front area.

Clara Campoamor summarized her testimony in “The Causes of the Government’s Weakness, as Seen by a Republican,” an instructive article published after her death in a special issue of the journal Histoire pour tous/History for All (La guerre d’Espagne/The Spanish Civil War, no. 16, February-March 1980, Paris). Here are some brief excerpts to enlighten the reader:

“From the first days of the struggle a bitter terror reigned in Madrid. Public opinion was tempted at first to blame the violence in the cities, and especially in Madrid, on the anarchists. History will one day tell whether they were justly blamed for these events. In any case, it is up to the governments, without distinction, to take responsibility for them.”

“As the exhortations of the government newspapers eloquently show, terror reigned in the rear from the beginning of the struggle. Patrols of militiamen began to make arrests in homes or in the street; wherever they thought they would find enemy elements. The militiamen, outside of all legality, set themselves up as popular judges and followed their arrests with shootings…. The guardians of the law were either indifferent or powerless before the number of executors who carried out this odious task.”

“At the beginning, they targeted the fascist elements. Then the distinction became blurred. People belonging to the right wing were arrested and shot; then their sympathizers; then members of the radical party of Mr. Lerroux, sometimes even—tragic mistake or class vengeance—members of the Republican Left party… When these mistakes were noticed, the murders were blamed on the fascists and continued… The government found every morning sixty, eighty or a hundred dead lying around the city.”

“And yet the government could have stopped the looting and the anarchy, because it had at its disposal the Civil Guard, which, being very numerous in Madrid, did not side with the insurgents. This force, by its numbers and training, would have been sufficient to maintain order in the capital if it had been wanted to be used… The government therefore did not want to use this force which, in order to re-establish order, would have had to repress the violent acts of the militiamen”.

“During the night, Madrid did not sleep, it trembled. Everyone listened attentively to the sounds of the street, strained one’s ears for footsteps on the stairs… always expecting a search by the militia…. Madrid had fallen to the lowest degree of disorganization and bad taste…. But only by hiding under ground could one escape the ferocity of the carnivores of the rear.”

“Of the thousands of prisoners in the central prison in Madrid, only two young men managed to escape. All the others were massacred. Among them were well-known personalities, such as Mr. Melquíades Alvarez, a member of Parliament, a former Republican and leader of the Liberal Democratic Republican Party, and Mr. Rico Avelló, former Minister of the Interior in the government presided over by Mr. Martinez Barrio in 1933, and High Commissioner to Morocco in February 1936. The shooting echoed all night long inside the prison, spreading terror in the neighboring houses.”

“These last facts finally convinced the government to take the leadership of the repression by forming a tribunal, composed of members of the magistracy and a popular jury recruited from all the parties registered in the Popular Front. This tribunal, given the publicity that its verdicts would receive, would be required to measure their scope and justify them. However, it was not afraid to pronounce sentences such as those of Salazar Alonso, Abad Conde and Rafael Guerra del Rio, former ministers of the Radical Party in the Lerroux cabinet, who were accused—without any proof—of having promoted the uprising. Their crime was quite different: it was to belong to the old radical party, under whose government they had been several times ministers.”

“It is all very well to say that in the exasperation provoked by a civil war all these excesses can be explained; but they remain unjustifiable. The peaceful citizens, the humble merchant, the civil servant, the petty bourgeois; in short all those who do not look at life on the historical level but as it is presented day by day, suddenly understood the danger this terror constituted for them, which was exercised by a resentful rabble and envenomed by a hateful class propaganda.”

“Yes, the pay of ten pesetas per day, paid to the militiamen and militia women, the parade in the city, and for some the looting and the revenge, were sufficient baits to attract in the militias many people who should have been in prison…. Debauchery reigned at the front. and many combatants had to be hospitalized.”

“The terrorists worked on behalf of the insurgents more successfully than their own supporters. These elements always forced the government to continue the struggle, and for good reason…. They had the perfect life: provided with money, looting, massacring and satisfying their thirst for revenge and their baser instincts.”

It is understandable that the admirers of the Popular Front boycotted or ignored the honest and severe testimony of this notorious anti-Francoist. Ignored or marginalized by both sides, Campoamor went into exile, first in Switzerland, then, from 1938, in Argentina, before returning to Lausanne in 1955. She lived on her writing and her profession as a lawyer, publishing articles and lecturing at conferences. Her three requests for permission to return permanently to Spain, which were made by visiting her country three times between 1948 and 1955, were all rejected. In 1964, the Tribunal for the Repression of Freemasonry and Communism was abolished, but by that time she had long since given up her plan to return. She died of cancer in Lausanne on April 30, 1972. Her body was cremated and the ashes were deposited in the Polloe cemetery in San Sebastian, in accordance with her last wishes.

Mercedes Formica: An Admired Feminist Turned Pariah

The biography of the lawyer Mercedes Formica is much less known, but it is no less admirable. Mercedes Formica Corsi-Hezode was born on October 8, 1916, in Cadiz, into a relatively wealthy family. Her father, an engineer, was the director of the Gas and Electricity Company of Seville. She was the second daughter of six children who lived their early youth peacefully, without any major problems, between Seville, Cadiz and Cordoba. Her mother, Amalia Hezode, wanted Mercedes to be able to work one day, to be free, independent and to marry for love. She encouraged her daughter to pass the baccalaureate and to study. Mercedes was the only young woman in Seville to enroll in law school in 1932. Unfortunately, that year was a very dark one for her because the family home was destroyed. Her father decided to start a new life with a young German woman. The separation was all the more painful for her mother, who refused the amicable divorce and lost parental authority. Worse still, at the request of her husband and his lawyer, the courts ordered her to move to Madrid with her daughters, one of whom was barely three years old. Amalia would not see her only son again except on rare vacations, barely a few weeks, until her death. The extremely modest alimony she was granted condemned her to live with her daughters in complete destitution. Only scholarships allowed Mercedes to continue her university studies. Divorce law of that time (1932) was favorable to the man; it enshrined the triumph of the stronger, the only one really protected by the law. The marital home was conceived by it as the “husband’s house,” and it gave him the right, humiliating for the woman, to get rid of her by “depositing” her with her parents, in a monastery or in any other place he wished. Mercedes, still a teenager, would never forget the terrible injury and grief inflicted on her mother.

Doña Mercedes Formica de Llosent y Marañón, Madrid, 1954. Credit: SBMA.

Intelligent, hard-working, charismatic and extremely beautiful, Mercedes Formica became a lawyer, historian, novelist and feminist (although she never liked this last label). Her literary work includes the novels, Monte de Sancha (1950), La ciudad perdida (1951), El secreto (1953), A instancia de parte (1955), La hija de Don Juan de Austria (1972), María Mendoza (1979), La infancia (1987), Collar de ámbar (1989) and the trilogy of her memoirs: Visto y vivido (1982), Escucho el silencio (1984) and Espejo roto y espejuelos (1998). However, despite her undeniable literary talent, it was her political and social commitment that made her famous.

Married in 1937 to Eduardo Llosent Marañon, poet and man of letters, Mercedes Formica rubbed shoulders with all the intellectuals of post-Civil War Madrid. Her husband, Llosent, former director of the magazine Mediodia in Seville, was a friend of poets, such as García Lorca, Gerardo Diego, Rafael Alberti and Dámaso Alonso before the Civil War. He was also known for having contributed to the tribute book, Coronas de sonetos en honor a José Antonio, with the poem “Eternity of José Antonio.” Close to the philosopher Eugenio d’Ors, he was soon appointed director of the National Museum of Modern Art (now Museo Reina Sofia). But the couple’s marriage would only last for a while. After separating, Mercedes Formica obtained an annulment and in 1962 she married José María de Careaga y Urquijo, Mayor of Bilbao and Technical Secretary General of the Ministry of Industry.

Mercedes Formica’s social-political commitment went back to the very beginning of her life as a student. In her memoirs, she recounts that on a visit to a friend’s house one Sunday in October 1933, when she entered the living room, she heard a man’s voice on the radio saying: “We are not a party of the left, which in order to destroy everything, destroys even what is good, nor of the right, which in order to preserve everything, preserves even what is unjust.” This chance “radio” encounter with José Antonio Primo de Rivera, during the broadcast of the founding speech of the Falange, would condition her entire life. Years later, she wrote in Visto y vivido (1982), this “young, intelligent, courageous man was feared, rejected and ridiculed by his own social class, which never forgave him for his constant references to injustice, illiteracy, lack of culture, miserable housing, endemic hunger in rural areas, with no other resources than temporary work, the urgent need for land reform. To confuse José Antonio’s thought with the interests of the extreme right is something that ends up rotting the blood. It was the extreme right that condemned him to civil death, waiting for the physical death that they thought he deserved.”

In Mercedes Formica’s life, the meeting with José Antonio marks a before and after. She would be faithful to his memory and his ideas until her last breath. From 1934, she was resolutely involved in the life of the phalangist movement, not hesitating to put her life in danger. Affiliated with the SEU (Sindicato Español Universitario), she was the only female Phalangist in the Faculty of Law in Madrid. The sympathizers preferred not to join so as not to risk paying with their lives.

That same year, Mercedes Formica was appointed by José Antonio as the female delegate of the SEU in Madrid. When the first SEU National Council met on April 11, 1935, she gave a report in which she insisted on the urgency of creating a Book and Textbook Exchange and on the need to increase the number of scholarships, grants, restaurants and student residences. At the suggestion of Carmen Primo de Rivera, one of José Antonio’s sisters, she agreed to contribute to the activities of the Women’s Section. In February 1936, she became the national delegate of the SEU, and as such a member of the National Committee of the Falange.

After the execution of José Antonio on November 20, 1936, and even more so after the adoption by Franco of the decree-law of April 19, 1937, which imposed the fusion of all movements—Carlists, Phalangists, monarchists and other affiliations—fighting in the national camp, Mercedes Formica felt cheated and disappointed. She was reluctant to remain involved with the new political structure created by Franco, the Traditionalist Falange of the JONS. In 1997, she confided to Rosario Ruiz “Franco was not a Phalangist, and I understood then that all this was going to be a kind of gigantic mess, in which there were many converts who, in order to save themselves, had very cruel ‘merits.’ Before the conflict, José Antonio’s followers were very few, perhaps two thousand in all of Spain, and perhaps even less; and in the Franco zone, only a minority remained, perhaps one hundred or two hundred. Those who were in Madrid and Barcelona were shot.”

She did not hesitate to ridicule last-minute converts, and mockingly asked the question: “But where did so many blue shirts come from?” She reproached the newcomers for having set themselves up “as representatives of something they did not believe in; intolerance being their distinctive sign.”

At the beginning of 1944, the National Delegate of the Women’s Section, Pilar Primo de Rivera, offered her the editorship of the weekly Medina. She also worked for the Institute of Political Studies. In August 1944, she accompanied her husband on a diplomatic and cultural tour of Argentina and met Juan Domingo and Evita Perón. Mercedes Formica lost many years of study due to the Civil War and her involvement in the social activities of the Women’s Section, especially in favor of the children of the defeated. But she finally obtained her terminal degree in 1948. Her first wish was to join the Diplomatic Corps; however, she had to give it up so as not to have to live far from her husband. At the same time, the only woman diplomat in Spain was Margarita Salaverria, who was the first to pass the entrance exam during the Republic, in 1933. Faithful to the national camp, she continued her career under Franco. In the 1970s, her husband was appointed Spanish ambassador to the United States and she lived with her family in Washington.

At the end of the 1940s, Mercedes Formica decided to apply for the public prosecutor’s and notary’s examinations, but again she had to give up quickly because one of the requirements was to be a man. For lack of anything better to do, she joined the Madrid Bar Association. But it was extremely difficult for a woman to join a well-known law firm. Therefore, she opened her own law firm, and also became a journalist, novelist and essayist. In 1951, Pilar Primo de Rivera asked her to participate in the Hispanic-American-Philippine Congress. She was given full freedom to write a report proposing reforms on the status of women. But her paper on the situation of university-educated women in the workplace was eventually deemed too committed and buried. A year later, however, the First National Congress of Justice and Law of the FET de las JONS joined her voice to those of the Phalangists of the Women’s Section who demanded more rights for women.

In 1953, Mercedes Formica was alerted to a news item in the press. It was about the assault of a woman by her husband, who stabbed her several times. When the journalist asked the distressing victim why she had accepted her husband’s abuse for so long, she gave a chilling answer: “I tried to separate from him, but a lawyer I consulted told me that I would lose everything, children, house and my few possessions.” Outraged, Mercedes Formica decided to publicly denounce the absurd law that left separated women without any protection.

On November 7, 1953, she published a famous article in ABC, a liberal-conservative monarchist newspaper, entitled “The Marital Home.” The repercussion was enormous; it was taken up, commented upon, or quoted not only in the national press, but also abroad. In the United States, the New York Times, Time Magazine and Holiday magazine echoed it. The same was true of the European press in Great Britain (The Daily Telegraph and the Morning Herald), Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and of course in the Iberian-American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Cuba). In Spain, this article was praised in the anarchist weekly CNT by the communist activist of the PSUC, Lidia Falcón, future founder of the Feminist Party in 1979 (This famous figure of Spanish radical feminism, would be accused of transphobia and incitement to hatred in 2020 and excluded from the communist party Izquierda Unida (IU), allied to Podemos).

In Madrid, on November 18, 1953, the director of ABC, decided to publish a new article. Its title was unambiguous: “The marital home is not the husband’s house.” At the end of November and the beginning of December, the Madrid daily launched a wide-ranging survey to which the most important Spanish jurists and lawyers were invited. At the 1954 National Congress of Lawyers, lawyer-priests were among those who spoke out in favor of the reform. Some of them did not hesitate to point out that in his 1931 book, La familia según el Derecho natural y cristiano (The Family According to Natural and Christian Law), Cardinal Isidro Goma, the strongest supporter of the “Crusade” in 1936, wrote: “It is time to underline the offensive inequality to which the civil code has relegated the Spanish woman and mother.”

For her part, Mercedes Formica did not stop there. On March 3, 1954, she published an interview in the magazine Teresa, in the Women’s Section, in which she summarized her point of view. Again, on July 10, 1954, she gave a lecture on “The legal situation of Spanish women” at the Medina Circle of the Women’s Section. She did not fight, as one might think, against the retrograde laws of Francoism, but against legal principles dating back to the nineteenth century. The Constitution of the Republic of 1931 stated the general principle that “all Spaniards are equal before the law,” a principle that was taken up by the Fuero de los Espanoles of Franco’s Spain in 1945; but in both cases there were no concrete laws or regulations to implement it. The Civil Code of 1889 had remained unchanged under the Republic, despite the law on marriage and divorce, and then, just as unalterable under Franco’s regime, which had deviated from the law on divorce and introduced penalties and sanctions against abortion, infanticide, adultery and child abandonment. Women needed their husband’s permission for any act with legal consequences. Spain was not an exceptional case; in France, for example, it was only with the law of July 13, 1965 that married women were allowed to work without their husband’s prior authorization and to open a bank account in their own name. On both sides of the Pyrenees, the same prejudice existed in the middle classes—the work of married women was perceived as proof of the man’s inability to provide for his family.

For almost five years, the debates and polemics, initiated by Mercedes Formica, followed one another at a good pace. The lawyer and journalist did not give up. She visited the president of the Supreme Court, José Castán Tobeñas, and obtained his support; she convinced parliamentarians of the Cortes; finally, she had a meeting with the head of state. In order to obtain this meeting, on March 10, 1954, the mediation of Pilar Primo de Rivera was essential. When before the “Generalissimo,” Mercedes Formica mentioned the need for the wife’s consent to dispose of her property during the separation, he corrected her: “No. Consent must be required at all times, with or without separation.” Franco knew from experience the difficulties of children of separated or divorced parents. He remembered that when he was an army cadet and his mother’s alimony payments were late in coming, he was forced to ask for credit at grocery stores. At the end of the hearing, the Caudillo invited Mercedes Formica to go and speak on his behalf to the Minister of Justice, the traditionalist Antonio Iturmendi.

Her efforts were successful, but only four years later. The law of April 24, 1958, would modify sixty-six articles of the Civil Code. The concept of “husband’s house” was replaced by that of “marital home;” the discriminatory concept of “wife’s deposit” was abolished; the man’s absolute power over household goods disappeared; and widowed or remarried women no longer lost parental authority over their children. Mercedes Formica was undoubtedly responsible for this reform of the Civil Code; but it was not until 1978 that the Penal Code was reformed and the discriminatory treatment of women in matters of adultery was repealed. Other legislative reforms aimed at establishing equality between women and men were initiated by Mercedes Formica and her friends in the Women’s Section, such as Monica Plaza and Asunción Olivé. These included the Law of July 22, 1961, on women’s professional and labor rights, and the Law of July 4, 1970, on the consent of mothers for adoption.

In 1970, Mercedes Formica’s signature was among those of 300 writers, some of whom had been volunteers in the Blue Division, artists and intellectuals who protested against clerical censorship to the Minister of Information Manuel Fraga Iribarne. Mercedes Formica intervened again to demand an improvement in the situation of destitute pensioners (1966), to demand an increase in the number of childcare centers (1967), to defend the law decriminalizing adultery (1977), and to denounce the non-application of sentences against rapists (1998). From the 1970s onwards, her work was taken up and extended by the lawyer María Telo (who had a letter-writing relationship with Clara Campoamor) and by Concepción Sierra Ordoñez. Both of them were founders of the Spanish Association of Women Jurists (1971), an association in which the Phalangists of the Women’s Section Belén Landáburu and Carmen Salinas Alonso were also active. These four women were behind the 1975 law on the legal situation of married women and the rights and duties of spouses.

Mercedes Formica’s fight was not only in favor of women, but was part of a larger struggle against injustice and in defense of the weak. It was not, she said in the twilight of her life, an extravagant or senseless struggle, as the opposition (Immobilists) maintained for a while; nor was it a paradoxical, contradictory or even superficial struggle to change nothing in depth, as the extreme feminists claimed. Mercedes Formica wanted to be consistent, in accordance with her youthful convictions, which were against the stereotypical image of the submissive woman, of the angelic housewife, confined to the private space to take care of her husband. She was aware of the reproaches made to the founder of the Phalange for having made comments about women that were described as ambiguous and stereotypical by his opponents. Hadn’t José Antonio said that the Phalange was feminine because it had to have two major virtues, self-abnegation and a sense of sacrifice, which are much more common in women than in men? Didn’t he keep saying that he wanted “a joyful Spain in short skirts?” Didn’t he refuse to plead divorce cases during his life as a lawyer, judging them to be a source of suffering for the children? But to the inevitable scorners and critics, Mercedes Formica answered stoically, as in her Memoirs: “On the anti-feminism of José Antonio and the thesis so widespread, according to which he wanted a woman at home, with almost a broken leg, I must say that it is false. It is part of the process of interpretation to which his thought was subjected. As a good Spaniard he did not like the pedantic, aggressive, extravagant woman, full of hatred for the man. From the beginning he could count on women academics, and he gave them responsibilities. In my particular case, he didn’t see in me the angry suffragette, but the young woman concerned about Spain’s problems, who loved her culture and was trying to make her way in the world of work.”

Mercedes Formica continued her activism into old age. She wrote her last article in 1998, before the first serious symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease affected her. She died in Malaga on April 22, 2002, victim of a heart attack. Very few people attended her funeral and few media reported on her death, even though she was undoubtedly one of the most important women of 20th century Spain. Recognition is not a virtue of the vulgar, it is the prerogative of great hearts, they say. These were not legion at the time of her death. In 2015, at the instigation of the Marxist and far-left party Podemos, the municipality of Cadiz removed the bust of Mercedes Formica that had been installed in the center of the city, in the Plaza del Palillero. But two street names perpetuate her memory to this day, in Malaga and Madrid.

Arnaud Imatz, a Basque-French political scientist and historian, holds a State Doctorate (DrE) in political science and is a correspondent-member of the Royal Academy of History (Spain), and a former international civil servant at OECDHe is a specialist in the Spanish Civil War, European populism, and the political struggles of the Right and the Left – all subjects on which he has written several books. He has also published numerous articles on the political thought of the founder and theoretician of the Falange, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, as well as the Liberal philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset, and the Catholic traditionalist, Juan Donoso Cortés.

Beyond the Right and the Left: Against the Financial Oligarchy

As Nietzsche had the courage to undertake Jenseits von Gut und Böse, (Beyond Good and Evil), so the theoretical-practical challenge of our time coincides with the will and the capacity to propel ourselves “beyond right and left.” Beyond intellectual and political agoraphobia, and overcoming nostalgic fidelity to conceptual maps and identity symbols incapable of shedding light on the present, theoretical courage and creative passion must prevail, capable of recategorizing reality on new cognitive bases and theorizing new scenarios from political philosophy. In specie, it will be necessary to count on a “hermeneutic surplus labor” that alternatively conjugates the dichotomy of Freund und Feind (“friend and foe”), coessential to the political sphere, and which does so in such a way that it can once again take hold of the magmatic reality of the politics of market globalization.

The latter, which is the humus of the new absolute-totalitarian capitalism (turbo-capitalism), cannot be questioned, understood and, even less, practically “solved” by means of the traditional categories of right and left. On the contrary, it requires the mise en forme of new conceptual figures which are currently lacking; and which, in practice, as has been underlined, neoliberal power, with its centrist extremism, diligently strives to prevent from maturing, mobilizing for this purpose the intellectual power and the proscriptive semantic archipelago of the Neo-language. Recalling Gramsci, the old world is dying, the new one is slow to appear, and it is in this chiaroscuro that the most insidious monsters come to life. De facto, the absolute-totalitarian capitalism of globalization is accompanied by a symbolic organization of political space, which is unilaterally managed from the top down, by the global-elitist Lord against the national-populist Servant.

The image, used by us, of the neoliberal eagle with both wings open, appears, at this point, heuristically fruitful—in fact it alludes, on the one hand, to the organicity of the right and the left within the dominant power; and on the other, to the vertical movement of the unidirectional class struggle waged by those at the top against those at the bottom. The class war in the epoch of turbo-capitalism, as it is set forth, is presented as a univocal massacre. And it is iconically represented by the rapacious gliding of the eagle over the middle and working classes, over peoples and nations. In short, over the dominated pole which, from below, passively suffers the aggressions of the dominant pole.

In particular, the symbolic organization of the political space is managed today in a monopolistic and pro domo sua manner from above, on the basis of a symbolic rent accumulated in the social imaginary of previous generations. And the antithesis between right and left is an integral part of this symbolic inheritance, capillary managed in such a way that the really existing opposition between above and below is never manifested. And since—Gramsci docet—the class struggle is always also a cultural struggle, this concealment of the really existing dichotomy between high and low, by diverting the gaze to the now fictitious struggle between right and left, is itself part of the cultural class conflict, directed in a unique sense by the high against the low.

On the stage of the falsely pluralist “great theater” of the system, the blue right and the fuchsia left, totally subsumed under capital, stage a representation that produces, at the same time, distraction and dissociation with respect to the vertical conflict univocally managed by the dominant pole. Right and left, as has been evidenced, represent indistinctly top versus bottom. Thus, the dichotomy, on the one hand, is emptied by the subsumption under capital of the two poles, now redefined as prostheses of the neoliberal single party and as wings of the capitalist eagle; and, on the other hand, it is artificially reimposed from above to innocuously organize the symbolic space of politics, so that the latter ratifies flatly and without inopportune interference, the sovereign decisions of the market and of the borderless neoliberal oligarchic bloc. This inoffensive organization of the political space is obtained by creating the sense of the possible alternative (which, of course, is always resolved in an alternation without alternative), and preventing those from below to structure themselves in a potentially revolutionary way against capitalist globalization, that is, by giving a compact outlet, in a vertical movement, to their own anger, teeming with good reasons against the sky of neoliberal plutocracy.

From another perspective, the neoliberal high triumphs, to the extent that it imposes its own conceptual maps and its own political symbology on the low, ensuring that the latter always orients itself towards the interior of the steel cage of capitalism, without ever becoming aware of the necessary exodus. In this respect, the dyad of right and left coincides with an artificial political prosthesis of consensual adhesion of the low to the project of the high, of the dominated to the hegemony of the dominant, of the Servant to the tableau de bord of the Lord. This prosthesis is forcibly imposed, thanks to the symbolic violence organized by intellectual groups. The objective is, on the one hand, the capillary control of consensus and dissent within the steel cage of the capitalist mode of production; and, on the other hand, the vigilant and supervised maintenance of identity ideologies of belonging for electoral periods, so that the latter, under a false pluralism, allow the neoliberal order to reproduce itself imperturbably without any electoral possibility of really questioning its integrity.

In this way it is guaranteed that the electoral periods are controlled and domesticated, so that what is already decided from above, in closed rooms and in a manner that is anything but democratic, appears to be consensual and democratically elected from below. Specifically, in elections, reduced in the age of turbo-capitalism to the rank of mere choreographic performances, designed to cover up the undemocratic character of the management of public affairs, time after time they turn out to be “freely” and “democratically” chosen by those from below, oligarchic variants of the same management of reproduction of the neoliberal order that guarantee the univocal domination of those from above. To paraphrase the title of Arnaud Imatz’s study (Droite/Gauche, 2016), that of the antithesis between droite et gauche (right and left) is now only an equivoque from which it is necessary to escape as soon as possible; ultimately, it would be—in the words of Costanzo Preve—an “incapacitating myth aimed at breaking the popular resistance to oligarchic crystallization.”

As Alain de Benoist and Costanzo Preve have corroborated, democracy in the age of neoliberalism is thus reduced to an intrinsically undemocratic game, to the self-government of the possessing classes. The latter, from above, generously allow those at the bottom to choose among political forces, candidates and programs that, in a falsely plural form, express equally the same interests, objectives and class views of those at the top. The plural options that can be chosen from time to time in elections are preemptively passed through the sieve of the neoliberal order. This demonizes, ostracizes and delegitimizes any possible formation that is not organic to the liberal order itself and its fictitious division according to the right-left dyad.

Also—but not only—for that reason, the neoliberal order of turbo-capitalism legitimizes itself ideally as democratic, but in essence turns out to be a plebiscitary oligarchy of financial brand. It uses the procedures of democratic legitimization to impose contents that are not democratic, and that only reflect the same interests and sovereign decisions of those at the top. It autocratically decides, in the “closed rooms” of the neoliberal plutocracy and in its very private summits (Bilderberg Group, World Economic Forum, etc.), the paths to follow, the “reforms” to carry out and the priorities to be implemented; and causes them to be implemented by the alternation, without alternative, of the blue right and the fuchsia left, legitimized through elections in which the peoples are questioned and called to choose “freely and democratically,” which of the two wings of the neoliberal eagle should carry out the decisions taken upstream from the neoliberal apex. Thus, Mark Twain’s saying that power would not allow us to vote if, sic stantibus rebus, the vote really served to change the order of power relations becomes true.

Thus, in the time of absolute capitalism, universal suffrage itself is emptied of all efficacy. And it mutates into a simple acclamation of dramatis personae which, both on the right and on the left, must preventively prove to be “credible,” that is to say, coherent waiters of the order of market globalization. These dramatis personae of politics, increasingly indistinguishable from influencers and advertising actors, must attract behind them the necessary consensus, so that the undemocratic class project of the plutocratic elite, from above, appears to be democratically shared and, moreover, sovereignly elected from below.

For this reason, consensus is of fundamental importance, so that the power of the dominant groups is exercised through hegemony, which is precisely a class domination not imposed by violence, but consensually accepted also by those who, because of interests and positioning in the scheme of balances of power, should oppose it. The intellectual power and the superstructural force administered by the heralds of the single thought must, in any case, prevent the dominated classes from acquiring true consciousness of themselves and of the effective conflict between the high and the low. And it is mainly in this direction in which they are oriented, finding in the cultural and political contraposition assumed by those from below, according to the antithesis between right and left, their own and most relevant weapon of division and, at the same time, of mass distraction.

The distraction of the masses means that the tele-dependent and techno-narcotized people do not realize that decisions are taken punctually and outside them, in private spaces and far from parliaments, which simply ratify these resolutions, giving them a semblance of democracy. Berlusconism, in Italy, has created a school: besides marking the decline of politics, replaced by the figure of the entrepreneur who treats the State as a business (the “Italia business”), it introduced the model of television and the “society of the spectacle” into the sphere of politics. According to what Stiegler has defined as la télecratie contre la démocratie (telecracy against democracy), the citizen-voter, from that moment on, has come to be understood and treated as a spectator-consumer (homo videns), guided without solution of continuity, from the television in the living room to the electoral booth, choosing, both on the screen and on the ballot, the figures and faces he finds most agreeable.

The electoral choice is at all points fictitious, in the same way as the choice between the various commodities that, highly differentiated in expressing the same order of things, populate the reified spaces of the civilization of consumption. Whether one chooses commodity X or commodity Y, the horizon of market civilization is always reconfirmed from zero. Similarly, the choice of the blue neoliberal right or the fuchsia neoliberal left equally validates the dominant order. Politics itself, therefore, ends up being marketized, as is evident from the way in which candidates and parties advertise themselves like any other commodity. And it is also for this reason that politicians, as waiters of the dominant global class, are systematically blackmailed by special unelected staff; a “staff” that, using judicial or intellectual power, must always be ready to intervene when necessary, even in the remote case—Costanzo Preve insisted at length—in which the aforementioned politicians in fuchsia or blue livery would dare to try to escape the control of the sovereign plutocratic oligarchies. The “politics of the parties,” antagonistic to each other, typical of the dialectic phase, is replaced in the post-1989 scenario by the “politics of the markets.”

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

Featured: The Munitions Girls, by Alexander Stanhope Forbes; painted in 1918.

Wokism: The Engine of War in Ukraine and Poland

LGBTIQ+ propaganda is developing in Poland under the influence of American show business, but also because of Ukraine and the internal tensions that the war there is causing in Poland.

On December 31, 2022, like every year since 2016, Poland organized a big New Year’s concert in the city of Zakopane with international stars. On this occasion, the public television channel TVP, which was broadcasting the event, betrayed its conservative editorial line and caused a scandal by allowing the invited American rap group Black Eyed Peas to wear LGBTIQ+ armbands on stage. LGBTIQ+ propaganda is developing in Poland under the influence of American show business, but also because of Ukraine and the internal tensions that the war in Ukraine is causing in Poland, as Polish President Andrzej Duda mentioned, in justifying the veto of the Czarnek Law.

Between 2004 and 2014, Ukraine was the scene of two color revolutions that boosted what used to be known as leftism and is now called Wokism, i.e., the defense of ethno-cultural and LGBTIQ+ mixing. The main actors in this morality revolution are George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, but also NATO, the armed wing of globalism, which also advocates “inclusive diversity” and “open society.” Thus, shortly after the Orange Revolution in the winter of 2004-2005, the Ukrainian government began to take steps to encourage massive non-European immigration to Ukraine and to re-educate Ukrainians to accept it more readily.

Among other initiatives, in 2007, the Ukrainian authorities launched an “anti-racist” social engineering program, under the name of the Diversity Initiative, with the support of the UN and its International Office for Migration (IOM). This population replacement policy, also implemented by the European Union, was supported by many Ukrainians who hoped to integrate into it and join the modern West, and its ethnomasochism.

This Ukrainian identity suicide was only stopped by the Russian military intervention, launched on February 24, 2022. However, cosmopolitanism in Ukraine continues to affect the paramilitary units, comprising Islamists waging their “holy war” against Russia, since the beginning of hostilities in 2014, with the endorsement of Kiev and NATO. The latest of these combat groups to come to the aid of Ukrainian nationalists is called the Turan Battalion, a reference to the Turkic-speaking world, and is composed mostly of Asian Muslims.

The second strand of Wokism took hold in Ukraine right after EuroMaidan, the coup d’état in the winter of 2013-2014, which allowed the new power to enshrine the whole LGBTIQ+ legal arsenal in Ukrainian law. This led to the legalization of Gay Pride in several cities, but also to the strange phenomenon of the “LGBTIQ+ soldiers,” who recruit homosexuals and transgender people willing to fight against Russia, and are organized in the Union of LGBTIQ+ Military of Ukraine sponsored by the US embassy, as can be seen on their website. More anecdotal, but nevertheless typical of the mix of genres that characterizes the era—no longer a Marilyn Monroe whom the US empire sends on tour as part of its soft power to support troop morale and the war effort—but a Ukrainian transvestite, Verka Serdutchka, whose real name is Andriy Danylko, to sing “Goodbye Russia!” with his glitzy band that evokes the world of Drag Queens.

Across the border, Poles are beginning to understand what is happening in the neighboring Ukrainian pandemonium, and the hell the Brussels regime is dragging them into—the EU and NATO together. Of course, not without some caution, lest they be accused of being “Russian spies,” but something is happening in Polish public opinion beyond the rather narrow circles of anti-globalist organizations like Rodacy Kamraci, Falanga, Zmiana or Konfederacja. A strong current of opposition to the war is emerging—equally opposed to Wokism—of which Leszek Sykulski’s Stop Amerykanizacji Polski movement and the January 21, 2023 demonstration in Warsaw are only the first steps.

Symptomatic of this evolution of mentalities in Poland is that on October 13, 2022, the Catholic media outlet Polonia Christiana commented on an article in the digital newspaper Do Rzeczy [The Essential] about the progression of the LGBTIQ+ collective in Ukraine, including in nationalist (Banderite) circles, which we translate below.

“Kiev prefers to sign a pact with the Western left rather than fall victim to Moscow’s imperialism. That is why Ukrainian patriotism increasingly adopts rainbow colors. And so do the Neo-Banderites,” writes Maciej Pieczyński in the weekly Do Rzeczy.”

The journalist points out that a part of the Polish right wing fears that Ukraine, under Western influence, will become an “outpost of globalism,” a “bastion of leftism” in these latitudes.

In the opinion of the circles cited by the editor, the main cause of the war in Ukraine was EuroMaidan, a revolution to defend the pro-Western course of the country. “Ukrainians are perhaps the only nation in the world where people have died for the European Union with the slogan ‘Ukraine in Europe!” (Україна—це Європа!) on their lips. Russia attacked to make this course impossible.

“Does this mean that in Ukraine there is a war between, on the one hand, the alliance of globalism and left-liberalism and, on the other hand, conservatism? Moscow would very much like Ukrainian and Western conservatives (including Poles) to believe in this simplistic view,” Pieczyński remarks.

Pieczyński recalls that homosexual relations were forbidden in the USSR and that Ukraine was the first of the former Soviet republics to repeal this ban. Despite the adoption by the country’s authorities in 1996 of a law in which marriage was defined as “the union of a man and a woman,” since EuroMaïdan there has been in Ukraine a clear “left turn” on this issue, a turn for which the former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko is particularly responsible, who “publicly declared,” Pieczyński continues, “that he had nothing against a Gay Pride in Kiev…. In response to a request from opponents of the parade, he stated that he shared their concern, but that his intention was to build a tolerant, democratic and European society in Ukraine.”

Maciej Pieczyński then notes that, at the beginning of his term, President Zelensky did not take a clear stance on LGBTIQ+ ideology. But this changed with the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“While in Russia,” Pieczyński continues, “propaganda of homosexuality is not allowed, in Ukraine the rainbow ideology is seeping even into the ranks of the army. Already in 2018, an NGO called LGBTIQ+ Soldiers was established on the Dnieper River to provide support for non-heterosexual soldiers.”

In foreign policy, nothing is free, and Ukraine, which absolutely needs the support of the West and longs to be welcomed into Western living rooms, must prove that it adheres to the same values of Wokism that prevail in the West.

Lucien Cerise, PhD in philosophy, writes from France, where he lives high up in a maid’s room and works in the basement of the BNF. This article appears courtesy of El Manifesto.

Featured: The insignia of the Union of LGBTIQ+ Military of Ukraine (a mythical creature for more make-belief?)

Ukraine: Part Two of the Great Reset

We indeed live in perilous times, when our politicians exuberantly want war, as if it were a grand adventure, as if it were a breath of excitement in the glut of their moneyed lives. None of them will ever march off and shoot a gun, nor will their children. They’ll tell us to do that. To them belongs the rhetoric of war. To us belongs the blood and misery, as we shoulder arms and go off to kill or be killed.

Given the war-hysteria, to speak of peace is now akin to treason. Peace is Russian propaganda.

Suddenly, the phrase “World War Three” is all the hoopla, repeated by both the doomsayers who await the “collapse of civilization” and those who can’t wait to see the destruction of arch-enemies like Russia. It is as if everyone imagines that, God-forbid, such a war actually does come about that they will be happily ensconced in front of their computers shooting out snappy comments below “important” articles, or on threads on social media.

One of the direst mental illusions that now pervades modern life is to forever live in world of make-belief, while those who refuse to go along are made to submit by force of law. Just try openly denying the transgendered their chosen sexual identity/preference, and you’ll see how “free” you are. Such has been the savage legacy of technology. It was supposed to be that everyone staring at a screen was liberated, democratized. Instead, the screen has turned into a cruel manacle, wherein humanity can only be understood through “virtual interaction,” where life must mirror online narratives.

Therefore, war is a video game, in which we can all participate. Thus, there is no end to “expertise,” as keyboard Clausewitzes declaim this strategy or that—just Google it

But why do our politicians want war? Is it about money, about feeding the Military Industrial Complex (MIC)? Is it about ego, or fulfilling some agenda that the rest of us can only guess at (aka, “conspiracy theories”)? The answers are legion and myriad.

But we are also seeing that massive change is afoot—and none of it is for the better. That which once constituted ordinary life has been relegated to the “crime” department, from the way we move about (the war on petroleum and personal ownership of cars), to where and how we live (the 15-Minute City) to what we eat (more bugs to reduce carbon emissions), and even what our money even now means (guaranteed income).

And the lie behind it all is a cruel joke—all this “change” is to make our lives better. “You’ll own nothing and be happy,” because ownership of any kind is a source of misery, and our politicians do not want us miserable. They want to free us up so we can truly pursue “life,” “liberty” and “happiness” to wherever it may lead us.

And this brings us back to the make-belief—that delusional habit that we’ve all developed by spending most of our waking hours staring at one screen or another, while the world is managed by others who know better. It’s no joke running a country, people like to say—yes, but why are more and more clowns running countries? So much for rhetorical questions.

It’s bread (guaranteed income) and circuses (more and more screen time). No one will complain. The purpose of life is to be pampered by the likes of Soros, Gates and Schwab.

We can all easily recall with what fervor politicians pushed the Covid scam that made the vaccines mandatory. “Sure,” they said, “you are free to refuse our vaccine, but we’ll make sure you’ll never board a plane or a train, and we’ll see that you get fired from your job for being unvaxed.” We all heard rants to this effect from those that ruled over us during the height of the scamdemic.

Then, Herr Schwab, told us that Covid was a great opportunity to bring about the Great Reset (as explained in his boring and really badly written book—who has the time or the inclination to give it a thorough scything).

Sadly, billions complied and got the vax, plus the various boosters—and now live in perpetual fear of “died suddenly.”

History shows us that after each war (no matter how small), there are always far-reaching social and economic changes.

Then, after Covid, along came February 24, 2022, when Ukraine, the most corrupt country on the continent of Europe, was suddenly given “hero” status. Western populations, battered by Covid hysteria, now were given something to be “proud” of, something to rally around. After the cudgel, the lollipop. And true to form, the screen-staring hordes dutifully waved the duo-colored Ukrainian flag.

To complete the theatrical effect, the president of Ukraine (a place that many still would be hard-pressed to locate on a map, were it not for Goggle on their phones) donned a “unform” of sorts to appear like a “real” freedom-fighter, because he’s the next Yassar Arafat or Fidel Castro. No doubt, Zelensky will keep wearing the costume until he “frees” his country from the Orcs (aka, the Russians). He’s the perfect meme of what we have become—followers (to borrow a phrase from “social” media).

Only make-belief is reality—only that which will get the most likes, the most clicks, the most retweets truly matters. Only make-belief can now be truth. Yes, men can have babies. The science is settled on that. Zelensky is hero. He’s wearing a hero-outfit. He’s good guy because he dresses like one.

Meanwhile, those whom we have let manage our lives are using the war in Ukraine (for “freedom” and “democracy”) as Part Two of the Great Reset (Part One, for those still not paying attention, was the politics of the Covid response).

Because all wars bring massive change, this one in Ukraine will touch each and everyone of us. In wars, there is the one constant—the “democracy” of suffering. And the suffering is piled in front of us: strange food shortages, unimaginable national debt, the constant demand on us to give up more and more of what we deem normal, the weaponization of minority groups against the majority Western populations, rigged elections, endless coercion to accept all kinds of perversions, the rapacity of criminals set free among us because their crimes are no longer crimes but expressions of their historical “oppression,” and this list can go on and on.

So, again, what is this war in Ukraine all about? The Great Reset. This is why politicians are in it, tooth and nail, and will fork over any amount of money, and will eventually send in troops (i.e., us, not them), and let’s not forget the nukes. Because the entire point of the West now is that it exists to tear everything down, in order to “build back better.” The important part of this sinister phrase is “build back.” You can only build back from destruction. There can be no building back from what already exists and is working fine. Why fix it if it ain’t broke, But breaking first everything is precisely the point—because afterwards comes the great salvation, the building back into a bright Utopia, the Great Reset, where people can be “farmed” for better management of natural resources.

Russia alone has said “No!” to the Great Reset. And that makes it the Great Villain, and this why the demons that now rule over are frothing in rage against it.

The war in Ukraine is Step Two towards our Great Enslavement.

This is why no Western politician currently holding office dare mention the word “peace”—because to say “peace” means that the Great Reset is useless and nothing needs building back. All of this is being done for you. Once Russia is destroyed, you will live a “better” life.

Are you ready to give it your all? Or, it is time to abandon our prodigality and come home to reality? It truly is all in our hands.

Thane Angus writes from a small northern Canadian town.

Featured: The Return of the Prodigal Son (Powrót syna marnotrawnego), by Jacek Malczewski; painted in 1923.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg Revolution: The Call of Logos to a Great Cultural Dialogue

At the Telos Conference (New York University, January 13, 2007), to address Pope Benedict’s XVI’s now-famous Regensburg address, Georgetown Jesuit Professor of Government, James V. Schall, maintained that he thought the Pope’s talk in Regensburg constituted a major historical event. I concur. I write this paper to do two things as best I can: (a) analyze the Pope’s address and identify precisely why I think it is of major historical import; and (b) positively critique the Pope’s interpretation of modern reason and the process that he describes leading up to its development. I do these two things in the hope that they might enhance what I consider to be the Pope’s largely superb analysis of the contemporary Western cultural predicament related to an impoverished notion of human reason and the ramifications that this notion has for Western relations with other cultures.

Summary of the Papal Address and Identification of its Historical Import

Pope Benedict XVI begins his Regensburg address with recollections and reflections on the start of his teaching at the University of Bonn, 1959. He describes how, at the time, despite distinctive academic specializations, including two theology faculties, that made communicating with each other difficult, the faculty members constituted part of the whole universitas scientiarum. The reality of each specialization “working in everything on the basis of a single rationality with its various aspects and sharing responsibility for the right use of reason… became a lived experience.” The university took pride in all its faculty members, including its two theology faculties, who sought “to correlate faith to reason as a whole,” and displayed a “profound sense of coherence within the universe of reason” that even radical skepticism could not shake, including unquestioning acceptance of the necessity and reasonableness of raising “the question of God through use of reason” and “in the context of the tradition of Christian faith.”

Benedict then explains how his recent reading of Münster Professor Theodore Khoury’s edition of part of a late fourteenth-century dialogue that took place near Ankara between “the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both,” had prompted his present recollections and reflections. The dialogue, presumably written by the Emperor, discusses many topics related to faith in Christian and Islamic scriptures. Benedict says that he found interesting one point from Sura 2,356, “rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole,” touching on the theme of holy war, that, “in the context of the issue of ‘faith and reason’” could serve as his starting point for his address: “There is no compulsion in religion.”

Benedict reports that, “on the central question of the relationship between religion and violence,” the Emperor addressed his Persian “interlocutor with a startling brusqueness” that Benedict found “unacceptable.” The Emperor claimed that the only new things that Muhammed had brought were “evil and inhuman, such as the command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” The Emperor explained that spreading faith through violence is unreasonable because violence is incompatible with the natures of God and the human soul. Shedding blood does not please God, and acting unreasonably is contrary to God’s nature. The soul, not the body, gives birth to faith, through the ability to speak well and reason properly, not through threats and violence. We do not need to strong-arm people, or use violence or threat of death “to convince a reasonable soul.”

Benedict finds decisive this claim in the Emperor’s argument against violent of conversion: “not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature.” So much so that Benedict maintains the only reason he quoted the dialogue between the Emperor and the Persian interlocutor “was purely for the sake of this statement” and that the theme of his subsequent reflections in his address emerge from this statement.

Then he cites the dialogue’s editor’s (Theordore Khoury’s) (a) observation that the Emperor was “a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy” (as such, he accepted this statement about God as self-evident); (b) subsequent claim that Muslim teaching holds God to be “absolutely transcendent”; and (c) quotation of Islamicist R. Arnaldez’s claim that Ibn Hazm went so far as to maintain, “God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practice idolatry.”

Benedict finds Khoury’s analysis to confront us with “an unavoidable dilemma” related to understanding God and the concrete practice of religion: Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature limited to a Greek philosophical truth, or is it a universal and eternal truth, true “always and intrinsically?”

In this conviction, Benedict states he believes “we can see the profound harmony between what is best in the Greek sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God.” While Benedict does not precisely explain what he means by the phrase “best in the Greek sense of the word,” his meaning is evident from his initial identification of Greek philosophy as the origin of the ancient Greek conviction about God’s being essentially incapable of irrational behavior. A crucial point to note if we want to follow with precision the rest of what Benedict says in his address and adequately critique it later on: A profound harmony exists between the understanding of God in the best of Greek philosophy and “the biblical understanding of faith.”

Something radical happened in ancient Greek philosophy and early Christian revelation to which Benedict calls our attention: the best of the ancient Greek philosophical idea of God became part of Christian revelation. In my opinion, in this address, Benedict is making a revolutionary theological claim with dramatic metaphysical, social, and political implications for the future. This claim constitutes part of its historical importance.

Early in medieval theology, several Church Fathers favorable to philosophy, philosophical apologists, had made reference to the way in which Greek philosophers had prepared the way for the Western acceptance of Christian teaching through “a revelation of reason” analogous to the revelation of faith paved by the Apostles, Church teaching, and the Scriptures. During the Reformation and Enlightenment, Protestant intellectuals (Sir Isaac Newton is an example) who sought to undermine Catholic theology would periodically make reference to its corruption by Greek philosophy, and would take an especially hostile attitude toward St. Athanasius and the Council of Nicaea, which they considered to have played a chief role in this corruption and to be chief obstacles to us being able to return to the original Christian faith revealed in the New Testament, uncorrupted by Greek philosophical reason.

To my knowledge, however, none of the Church Fathers had ever claimed that this revelation of philosophical reason had become part of the deposit of Christian revelation, and no major Church theologian has ever argued, as Benedict proceeds to do in his talk, that this revelation of reason is an essential part of the Septuagint, the Greek Christian translation of the Old Testament, or that, instead of simply continuing the Jewish Scripture, the Christian Old Testament (the Septuagint) is “a less than satisfactory… translation of the Hebrew text”: “an independent textual witness and a distinct and important step in the history of revelation” generated by early Christianity’s encounter with Greek philosophy “that was decisive for the birth and spread of Christianity.”

Clearly, Benedict is doing something historically revolutionary in Western theology and cultural thought that is likely to have dramatic ramifications for religious and political dialogue and relations in the future. He is maintaining, as some Jewish scholars sometimes have done, that, strictly speaking, the Christian Old Testament and the Jewish Scripture are not identical; or the Pope is claiming that, if they are identical, later Jewish Scripture cannot be identical with earlier Jewish Scripture.

Benedict argues his case by claiming that St. John had begun his Gospel by modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis to read: “In the beginning was the logos,” the exact word the Emperor uses when he says “God acts συν λόγω, with logos.” Benedict says, “Logos means both reason and word—a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason.”’’ He claims that “the encounter between the Greek Biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance.”

Apparently, Benedict means the encounter was providentially guided. For he sees John speaking “the final word on the biblical concept of God” in which “all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis”: “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was God.” And he interprets St. Paul’s dream (Acts 16:6-10) in which, seeing the roads to Asia barred, Paul envisioned a Macedonian man pleading with him to come to Macedonia and help them, “as a ‘distillation’ of the intrinsic necessity of a rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek inquiry.” In short, Benedict sees this rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophy as the necessary condition, and an underlying principle, of Christian revelation.

Benedict argues that this reconciliation had been going on at least since the Jewish prophet Moses and the Greek philosopher Socrates had, in their respective ways, attempted to affect a kind of intellectual “enlightenment” in the ancient world. Benedict thinks that Moses’ reference to God’s name in Exodus as “I am,” and Socrates’ philosophical behavior stand in close analogy as attempts “to vanquish and transcend myth.”

Benedict maintains that, despite attempts by some Hellenistic rulers to accommodate Biblical faith to pagan Greek idolatry and its practices, later wisdom literature of the Hellenistic period displays an evident mutual enrichment of Biblical faith and “the best of Greek thought at a deep level” (that is, Greek philosophy). Hence, strictly speaking, the Christian Old Testament was not the Hebrew-language Scriptures. It was a Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures made by 72 Jewish scholars, influenced by Greek philosophical thought and language, in 72 days in Alexandria, Egypt between the fourth and third century B. C. (reportedly at the request of Egyptian King Ptolemy II): The Septuagint.

The Christian New Testament was written in Greek and depended on the Septuagint. And both reflect the ancient Greek philosophical notion of rationality as being part of reality. Hence, Benedict maintains: “A profound encounter of faith and reason is taking place here, an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion. From the very heart of Christian faith and, at the same time, the heart of Greek thought now joined in faith, Manual II was able to say: Not to act ‘with logos’ is contrary to God’s nature.”

Benedict calls “this inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry… an event of decisive importance from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world history”: A world-historical event, as Georg Hegel might say. Hence, reminiscent of Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc, Benedict finds no surprise that, “despite its origins and some significant developments in the East,” Christianity “finally took on its historically decisive character in Europe.” Put another way, Benedict claims that this convergence between Biblical faith and philosophical reason, “with its subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe.”

Baldly stated, Benedict’s thesis is that “the critically purified Greek heritage (that is, the ancient Greek notion of philosophical reason) forms an integral part of Christian faith” and that Christianity so formed created Europe. While not every element that the early Church incorporated into itself needs to be part of the faith, Benedict maintains the imprint of the Greek philosophical spirit exists as part of the New Testament. Hence, “the fundamental decisions about the relationship between faith and the use of human reason are part of faith itself; they are a developments consonant with the nature of faith itself.”

This is not to say that no attempts were made in the pre-modern West to sunder this “synthesis between the Greek spirit and the Christian spirit.” For example, Benedict makes specific reference to John Duns Scotus’s notion of divine freedom, in virtue of which God “could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done,” giving rise to positions that “clearly approach those of Ibn Hazm and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness.”

Nonetheless, Benedict claims that the Church has always opposed the notion that God’s nature is capricious, that divine transcendence and otherness are so beyond human reason that our sense of truth and goodness no longer authentically mirror God. Instead, the Church’s faith has always insisted that a real analogy exists between the divine Logos and human Logos. God does not become more divine by becoming more capricious and irrational. “The truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as Logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf.” Even God’s behavior must conform to the necessary conditions of created reality when God acts in relation to creation.

Hence, while, in a way, love transcends knowledge and with love we can perceive more than we can with reason alone, Christian religion, Christian worship, which includes love, is, to quote St. Paul, “λογικὴ λατρεία,” worship “of the God who is Logos” and “worship in harmony with the Eternal Word and our reason.”

Despite the fact that Benedict traces the roots of attempts at what he calls “dehellenization” of Christianity at least as far back as the high Middle Ages, the Pope maintains that: (a) a call for Christianity’s dehellenizaton has increasingly “dominated theological discussions since the beginning of the modern age”; (b) “viewed more closely,” we can observe three stages in this program of dehellenization; (c), while interconnected, these stages are “clearly distinct from one another in their motivations and objectives”; and (d) “Dehellenization first emerges in connection with the postulates of the Reformation in the sixteenth century.”

Benedict maintains that, “looking at the tradition of scholastic theology, the Reformers thought they were confronted by a faith system totally conditioned by philosophy, that is to say an articulation of faith based on an alien system of thought.””* Consequently, they tended to view the faith of scholastic theology as “one element in an overarching philosophical system,” an alien metaphysics, or belief system, not as “a living historical Word.”

Given this situation, Benedict thinks the Reformers turned to the principle of sola scriptura to “dehellenize” Christianity so as to liberate faith from philosophical metaphysics and be able to return to “faith in its pure primordial form, as originally found in the biblical Word.” He claims, further, that, when Immanuel Kant said “that he needed to set thinking aside in order to make room for faith, he carried this programme forward with a radicalism that the Reformers never could have foreseen.”’ In so doing, Kant (1) “anchored faith exclusively in practical reason” and (2) denied “it access to reality as a whole.”

Benedict locates the second stage of dehellenization in nineteenth- and twentieth-century liberal Catholic and Protestant theology. In Catholic theology, when he was a student and young teacher, Blaise Pascal’s distinction between the God of the philosophers and that of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, became its point of departure. He refers to Adolf von Harnack as “the outstanding representative” of this stage of dehellenization. Specifically, Benedict says Harnack’s “central idea” was “to return simply to the man Jesus and to his message, underneath the accretions of theology and indeed of hellenization.”

Harnack saw Jesus’ message as the culmination of humanity’s religious development. He thought that Jesus had “put an end to religion in favour of morality” and “presented Jesus as the father of a moral message.”*” Simultaneously, Harnack considered modern reason, science, as essentially historical. Hence, Benedict says, Harnack thought that “historical-critical exegesis of the New Testament” (that is, reading it historically as a humanitarian moral message, not as a message of worship) “restored theology to its place within the university” because “theology, for Harnack, is something essentially historical and therefore strictly scientific.” So, Harnack’s goal was twofold, to: (a) “bring Christianity back into conformity with modern reason” and (b) liberate “it from seemingly philosophical and theological elements, such as faith in Christ’s divinity and the triune God.”

In short, Benedict sees Harnack attempting to restore theology to the status of a science by making it conform to the modern and Kantian reduction of human reason to practical reason. For Harnack what theology can say critically about Jesus amounts to “an expression of practical reason.” By becoming reduced to an expression of practical reason through the Kantian critique, theology can then become strictly scientific, and “take its rightful place within the university.”

Benedict thinks that the modern concept of reason finds it roots in a synthesis of “Platonism (Cartesianism) and empiricism.” He claims that a Platonic understanding of nature underlies modern reason’s presupposition that a mathematical structure is matter’s essence and that this mathematical structure makes possible matter’s theoretical and practical intelligibility. And he finds empiricism in modern reason’s reduction of verification and falsification principles to experimentation. Part of modern reason is “nature’s capacity to be exploited for our purposes, and here only the possibility of verification or falsification through experimentation can yield decisive certainty.”

Benedict maintains that, depending on the circumstances, the weight of modern reason can shift from the pole of mathematics to that of experimentation. In this way, he explains how a modern “positivist” like Jean-Claude Monod can declare himself to be “a convinced Platonist/Cartesian.”

Benedict thinks this second stage of dehellenization has resulted in two principles that he calls “crucial to the issues we have raised”: (a) “only the kind of certainty resulting from the interplay of mathematical and empirical elements can be considered scientific”; and (b) “by its very nature this method excludes the question of God, making it appear an unscientific or pre-scientific question.”

The first principle requires that we must measure anything that would claim to be science against the criterion of possibility of experimental verification and falsification. In so doing, to become scientific, Benedict maintains that “the human sciences” (by which he means sciences like “history, psychology, sociology, and philosophy”) “attempt to conform themselves to this canon of scientificity.” The first and second principles confront us “with a reduction of the radius of science and reason,” which, Benedict claims, we need to question.”

One reason for this need to question is that, given the narrow understanding of modern science and reason, any attempt to accept theology’s claim to be “scientific” would reduce Christianity and “man himself” to fragments of their former selves. This is so because, under this narrow definition of science, the specific questions that religion and ethics raise about “our origin and destiny” become “relegated to the realm of the subjective.” Such questions have no place within the purview of a realist scientific reason. “Subjective ‘conscience’ becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical.” And, in this way, ethics and religion (a) become a completely subjective matter and (b) lose their power to create a community.”

Benedict finds the situation that the modern reduction of reason has caused to be “dangerous for humanity.” When questions of religion and ethics are no longer the concern of reason, Benedict thinks “disturbing pathologies of religion and reason. . . necessarily erupt,” as evinced in our present time. And he claims that attempts to use rules of evolution, psychology, or sociology to construct an ethic “end up being simply inadequate.”

No surprise, then, that the third stage of dehellenization finds us embroiled in sophistic claims that “cultural pluralism” precludes that the synthesis made in the early Church between Hellenism and Christian faith ought not to be binding on other cultures. “The latter,” as the argument goes, “are said to have the right to return to the simple message of the New Testament prior to that inculturation, in order to inculturate it anew in their own particular milieux.” Impossible, says Benedict, because the spirit of Greek philosophical reason is an essential part of the Christian Old Testament, which lies at the foundation of the Christian New Testament, and precedes the advent of Christianity by several centuries. We cannot get back to an original New Testament that reflects no imprint of the Greek philosophical spirit of reason for the simple reason that no such New Testament exists. The Greek spirit of philosophical reason is part of the faith and an essential element of the nature of Europe.”

Having finished his analysis of the three stages of dehellenization of modern reason, Benedict describes what he did to be, “a critique of modern reason from within” that he “painted with broad strokes.” He says his criticism is no attempt to turn back the clock to a pre-Enlightenment time and reject insights of the modern age. He unreservedly acknowledges modernity’s positive aspects, is grateful for the marvelous possibilities “it has opened up for mankind and the progress in humanity that has been granted to us.” With the scientific ethos, Benedict says, Christianity shares “the will to be obedient to the truth.” His intention is no “retrenchment or negative criticism;” it is to broaden “our concept of reason and its application” to overcome dangers that the narrow modern understanding of reason has also opened as part of its possibilities.”

Benedict offers his address as a positive critique to help modernity expand the horizons of reason to avoid real dangers that arise from the “self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically falsifiable. . . . In this sense theology rightly belongs in the university and within the wide-ranging dialogue of sciences, not merely as a historical discipline and one of the human sciences, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith.”

Devoid such a broadening of the notion of reason, Benedict addresses a second point of major historical significance: the Western world is incapable of entering into “that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today.” He claims that the West widely holds “that positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid.” This puts the West in diametric opposition to “the world’s profoundly religious cultures” who “see the exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures.”

Put slightly differently, the Pope is saying that we cannot enter into genuine dialogue with people unless we enter into rational dialogue with them. Such dialogue must have at least two characteristics: (1) it must be in touch with reality and (2) it must assume the rationality of the interlocutors. Unhappily, the modern Western notion of reason arbitrarily limits rational discussion to talk about mathematical being and sense experimentation. It views all other talk as essentially non-rational. Hence, strictly speaking, people who hold this narrow notion of reason cannot enter into rational debate with other people about moral and religious issues because their narrow understanding of reason cuts them off from rational debate about such issues.

More or less, what the Pope is saying is that, in relation to religious and moral issues, the modern West’s narrow understanding of human reason places it in the same situation as Ibn Hazm. It cannot rationally dialogue with people about these issues because it has relegated religious and the moral being and talk to the sphere of the essentially nonrational, capricious, arbitrary.

The Pope well recognizes that this places the West in an extremely precarious position relative to religious cultures, especially to elements of Islamic culture that think like Ibn Hazm. How are Enlightened Western intellectuals supposed to dialogue with Muslims, who think that God is an arbitrary Will, not subject to behaving according to mind-independent standards of rationality, like non-contradiction, when the Western intellectuals have a view of moral and religious reason as essentially irrational as their Muslim counterparts? The West’s view of moral and religious reason is just as narrowly fundamentalistic as that of Muslim extremists. Hence, strictly speaking, modern Western intellectuals cannot enter the debate because, by their own admission, they are totally incapable of conducting rational dialogue in the areas of religion and morality. Clearly, if such dialogue is to take place, it will have to occur between those in the West and East who do not share such narrow understandings of rationality.

While modern scientific reason has to accept and base its methodology on matter’s rational structure “and the correspondence between our spirit and the prevailing rational structures of nature as given,” Benedict claims (a) the real question remains why it has to do so? Moreover, (b) the natural sciences have to remand this question to philosophy and theology to answer because the natural sciences are incapable of addressing the question. Benedict maintains that philosophy and theology are sources of knowledge derived from human experience, much of which come from religious traditions and Christian faith.”

He makes special reference to Socrates’ observation in the Phaedo that extended philosophical argumentation involving “talk about being” might incline a person to mock all such talk, and, in so doing, “be deprived of the truth of existence” and “suffer a great loss.” In a similar fashion, Benedict claims that “the West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality, and can only suffer harm thereby.” He thinks that to ignore theological and philosophical sources of knowledge is “an unacceptable restriction or our listening and responding” to reason and is something we do at our peril. Hence, he concludes by asserting that “a theology grounded in biblical faith enters into the debates of our time” with a program that involves “the courage to embrace the whole breadth of reason,” not to deny its greatness. “It is to this great Logos, to this breadth of reason,” he says, “that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures. To rediscover it constantly is the great task of the university.”

Critique of Pope Benedict’s Account of the Rise of the Modern Notions of Reason and Science

Despite the thoroughness of Pope Benedict’s analysis of the current Western cultural predicament, as he admits, he painted his critique of modern reason with broad strokes. In so doing, in some respects, I think his account of the rise of the modern, or, more precisely, the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment, notions of reason and science suffers from an imprecision that, at times, makes some of his claims appear incoherent.

The main problem I find with the Pope’s interpretation of the nature of modern reason and the process that he describes leading up to its development is that, while, on the one hand, he credits ancient philosophical reason with shaping the notion of reason that early Christianity incorporated, he subsequently labels the attempt to excise philosophical reason from Christianity as a process of “dehellenization.” Precisely speaking, I think this label is incorrect. Likewise incorrect, precisely speaking, is locating the start of this process of deconstruction with the Reformation. As Benedict well knows, the early stages of the process start in the movement to neutralize the influence of Aristotle and, especially, his Commentator, Averroes, after Bishop of Paris Stephen Tempier’s famous condemnation of 1277. And they begin to flower long before the Reformation, during the Italian humanism of the Renaissance, chiefly with the work of Francesco Petrarcha (Petrarch) and his followers.

I make these claims because, as Benedict readily recognizes, philosophical deconstruction, not dehellenization, is the essential element that spurred the development of modern, Reformation, Enlightenment, and postmodern reason. The chief fabricators of modern reason were not essentially opposed to Greek thought. As the Pope admits in several places, those who sought to purify Christianity of Greek heritage were chiefly concerned about purging Christian faith of philosophical reason. The Reformers rebelled chiefly against Greek theoretical and philosophical reason, not against Greek rhetoric, or practical reason (which they tended to reduce to the human imagination). Such being the case, why refer to the process as “dehellenization” when essentially it is philosophical deconstruction?

To some extent, the Italian Renaissance did attempt to challenge the Greek claim to be the origin of philosophy. But it initially did so chiefly as part of an ongoing battle of the arts that had started in antiquity and had continued throughout the Middle Ages, not as an attempt to dehellenize Christian faith. Petrarch and his followers used the popular theological depiction of physical nature as a “book” to elevate the status of poetry and rhetoric over philosophy with the hope of reviving the studies of both, and, through them, restore the greatness of Rome. They did this by popularizing the notion that philosophy was an esoteric metaphysical and moral teaching about creation that God had initially given to Moses, which, to protect from vulgar cultural elements, had been transmitted to the security of ancient poets to hide from the culturally backward. These poets included Greeks and Romans.”

In this Renaissance view, the skill of the poet, not the abstraction of the philosopher, spiritualizes hidden philosophical teaching and, thereby, generates universal ideas and makes science possible. Only the poet has the skill to read the book of nature and generate true universal ideas. Hence, during the Renaissance, poetry, which was a division of rhetoric, became the measure of human reason, the canon of scientificity. And from that time to the present, strictly speaking, language arts, linguistic skills (of the poet, mathematician, historian, logician, language analyst), and so on, not mathematics or empiricism, have continued to be the measure of rationality.”

For a period of time the influence of Galileo Galilei and René Descartes overthrew the primacy of the poetic claim to possess the magic ability to read the book of nature and of the human spirit. The mathematician, thereby, became the new shaman of modern reason. But this was only because of the mathematician’s reading ability, not because of mathematical being can transcend language. While the book of nature might be written in the language of mathematics, if nature is book, then mathematics is essentially a language.

This monopoly of the mathematician did not last long because, chiefly through the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Cartesian thinkers started to realize that Descartes’s project to ground science as a system of clear and distinct ideas was a failure. Hence, following Rousseau, and under the influence of prestigious thinkers like Sir Isaac Newton Enlightenment intellectuals like Kant and Hegel started to view the attempt to establish science as a system of clear and distinct ideas to be part of the human project, an essential part of the human spirit’s call of conscience.”

As part of this call, from the period of the Enlightenment onward, the notion of the reality of mystery becomes anathema and so, too, does the claim that any statement can be evidently true. What in the past had been called mystery, Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment thinkers must forever onward view as pre-scientific, or religious, backward, consciousness. To guarantee their monopoly over rationality, Enlightenment fundamentalists will arbitrarily dictate that we can admit no statement as part of rational speech unless it can pass the intelligibility test of conforming to the language of “the critique,” that is, unless it is the sort of talk that Enlightenment intellectuals consider rational in terms of their political projects. Hence, strictly speaking, not dehellenization, but philosophical deconstruction, total demystification of reality and elimination all evident truths (apart from the supposedly evident truth of the need to submit all thinking to “the critique”), total subordination of reason to socialist political ideology, becomes the essential mark of the modern mind.

Enlightenment thinkers promoted this political ideology posing as Enlightened reason by adopting Rousseau’s epistemological claims that all knowledge, including science, emerges from a moral urge, the call of conscience (pure reason in its infant stage) to come into conflict with its own emotions on different levels and eventually grow into the human system of science. Rousseau, in short, reduced all knowledge to moral self-projection, and all moral self-projection to the historical consciousness of the human species as it attempts to grow itself into the system of science. Following Rousseau, Kant made duty the principle of practical reason. And, in various ways, subsequent German thinkers like Georg Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche reduced reason to the emergence of free poetic spirit.

By overlooking his own central thesis, and stressing dehellenization, not philosophical deconstruction, as the call that gave rise to the narrow notion of modern reason, Pope Benedict fails to identify modern reason and science chiefly as what they are: forms of socialist political ideology, rhetoric, sophistry, essentially hostile to all claims that mystery is part of reality, equally hostile to all legitimate philosophy, essentially anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic, and totally incapable of accepting the notion of evident truths, truths needing no proof to make them rational.

Benedict evinces the weakness of his approach in his treatment of Harnack’s theology, where, among other things, he fails to note the evident influence of Rousseau and Renaissance humanism, and of the desire to eliminate mystery from theology, on Harnack’s reduction of religion to morality.

Benedict rightly maintains that Harnack’s goal was to use historical-critical exegesis of the New Testament to bring Christianity into conformity with modern reason by “liberating it… from seemingly philosophical and theological elements faith in Christ’s divinity and the triune God.” Such behavior makes sense, if as Benedict says, modern reason is essentially positivistic and/or mathematical. Yet, if that is the case, why does Benedict explain Harncack’s goal to reside in Harnack’s view that theology is “essentially historical and therefore strictly scientific.” Clearly, Harnack’s attempt to justify theology’s scientific character by appealing to its essentially historical nature makes no sense if Harnack thought modern reason to be essentially positivistic and/or mathematical. It makes perfect sense, however, under the presumption that Harnack saw reality to be totally devoid of mystery and viewed what people call “mystery” as simply primitive, pre-scientific, consciousness.

Moreover, if history makes theology scientific, how can Benedict reasonably maintain, “This modern concept of reason is based… on a synthesis between Platonism (Cartesianism) and empiricism. Whose modern reason, whose rationality is Benedict describing when he claims that, as its Platonic element, modern reason presupposes the mathematical structure of matter, its intrinsic rationality, which makes it possible to understand how matter works and use it efficiently and when he adds that its empiricism comes in with experimentation that enables us to exploit nature for our purposes? Apparently, this is not Harnack’s conception of modern reason. Nor is it Nietzsche’s or a host of other modern, Enlightenment, or post-Enlightenment thinkers.

All these thinkers tend to share in common the reduction of reason to belief systems and separation of reason from reality. Strictly speaking, the Platonism that Benedict sees in modern thought is not Platonism. Plato’s view of reality is richer than the Pope here describes it. Plato was no subjective idealist. But modern Cartesianism and empiricism are both forms of subjective idealism. Both separate reason from reality and reduce knowing to forms of solipsism, sophistry, self-revelation. While Cartesian thinkers might claim that matter is essentially mathematical, matter for them, as it is for all modernity, is simply an idea or a subjective feeling, part of the constitution of human consciousness, not a mind-independent reality.

Strictly speaking, modern reason is reason totally eviscerated. Its canon of scientificity is sophistry, the prevailing opinion of a magisterium of intellectual elites who tend to control the political machinery in Ivy League universities in the West. Its canon of scientificity is not mathematics or experimentation. Modernity tends to reduce theoretical reason to practical reason and practical reason to projections of the human imagination, which it calls by different names. Whatever the name, modern reason is simply a name for a collection of feelings or ideas that supposedly somehow incline to unite together to form a belief system seeking to grow into a logically coherent system of science. Strictly speaking, modern reason (pure reason) is a meaningless notion, a myth, an ens imaginationis, a projection of the human imagination, poetic imagination totally unmoored from reality, which modernity calls upon as a socialist ideological tool to justify its fundamentalist self-understanding as the spirit of humanity that, through the principle of tolerant speech, uses different forms of language (like history, mathematics, poetry) to emerge historically and give intelligibility to an otherwise meaningless reality.

By stressing dehellenization over philosophical deconstruction, I think that Pope Benedict is largely forced to ignore the essentially fundamentalistic, spiritualistic, mythological, anti-Catholic, and anti-Semitic, poetic nature of the whole of modern scientific reason. By so doing, he robs himself of an enabling means for more completely addressing the current cultural problems facing the West and Christianity and of restoring sanity to Western universities, including Catholic ones.

For this work involves more than simply recovering the Greek respect for essential rationality in a logical sense of respecting the principle of non-contradiction, and avoiding behavioral contradictions. The fact that the Pope’s colleagues at the University of Bonn shared a “profound sense of coherence within the universe of reason” or a will to accept the truth, is no indication that many, perhaps most, of them, were not working under an impoverished notion of philosophical reason. If different academic disciplines are simply so many “belief systems” that become rational by thinking according to the logic of the Enlightenment critique, then the Pope’s universe of reason at the University of Bonn appears to be little more than one of acting with Enlightenment logical consistency. Moreover, as the Pope readily recognizes, saying that God must act in a way that conforms to his nature must mean more than to say that God acts in a way that displays a profound sense of logical consistency. Even Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin tended to do that.

As the Pope well knows and readily admits, it must mean that, once created with its own intrinsic order of being and good, in some respect, mind-independent reality must be a measure of rational divine behavior just as it is the measure of rational human behavior. And attempting to overcome the modern cultural predicament involves more than the need to maintain philosophical reason within the West. It involves recovering philosophical reason in the first place. Doing this, however, entails recognizing that (a) philosophical reason has been lost in the West for centuries, and (b) philosophical reason and logic are not identical; and in recovering the Greek philosophical conviction that (a) mystery constitutes part of the physical universe’s essential rationality, and (b) philosophical reason finds its essential starting point, its first principle, in sense wonder, not in principles of doubt, dreams of pure reason, political projects of spiritual emergence, or logically coherent belief systems.

By focusing attention in his address on call to dehellenize Western culture, not on the call to dephilosophize it, as the main source of the West’s contemporary cultural problems, I think that, in an otherwise excellent analysis, the Pope unnecessarily obscures the precise cause of the contemporary Western predicament, which he, nonetheless, appears to see. By so doing, he is unable to maximize the precise solution to this predicament: the recovery of philosophy within the culture.

Peter Redpath was Professor of Philosophy at St. John’s University. He is the author/editor of 17 philosophical books and dozens of articles and book reviews. He has given over 200 invited guest lectures nationally and internationally, and headed many prestigious organizations. He is the only non-Polish scholar to hold the Laudatio Achievement Award for attainment of intellectual and organizational wisdom, from the Department of Philosophy, Culture, and Art at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, in Poland. More information is found at his website. A version of this appeared in Telos.

Featured: The Virgin and the Christ Child, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome, fresco painted ca. 230-240 AD. (This is the first known image of the Virgin Mary, with a star and roses).

George Soros’ Last Speech: Wars of the “Open Society,” and Climate as a Combatant

Soros’ Testament

On February 16, 2023, George Soros, one of the chief ideologists and practitioners of globalism, unipolarity and the preservation of Western hegemony at all costs, gave a speech in Germany, at the Munich Security Conference, which can be called a landmark.

The 93-year-old Soros summarized the situation in which he found himself at the end of his life, entirely devoted to the struggle of the “open society” against its enemies, the “closed societies,” according to the precepts of his teacher Karl Popper. If Hayek and Popper are the Marx and Engels of liberal globalism, Popper is his Lenin. Soros may look extravagant at times, but on the whole, he openly articulates what have become the main trends in world politics. His opinion is much more important than Biden’s inarticulate babbling, or Obama’s demagoguery. All liberals and globalists end up doing exactly what Soros says. He is the EU, MI6, the CIA, the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, Macron, Scholz, Baerbock, Saakashvili, Zelensky, Sandu, Pashinyan, and just about everyone who stands for the West, liberal values, the Postmodern and so-called “progress” in one way or another. Soros is important. And this speech is his message to the “Federal Assembly” of the world—that is an admonition to all the endless agents of the globalists, both sleeping and awakened.

Soros begins by saying that the situation in the world is critical. In it he immediately identifies two main factors:

  • The clash of two types of government (“open society” vs. “closed society”), and
  • climate change

The climate we will talk about later; the climate is the end of his speech. But the clash of two types of government, in fact the two “camps,” the supporters of a unipolar world (Schwab, Biden, the Euro-bureaucracy and their regional satellites, like the Zelensky terrorist regime) and the supporters of a multi-polar world hold prime place in his speech. Let us examine Soros’ theses in order.

Open and Closed: Fundamental Definitions

Soros provides definitions of “open” and “closed” societies. In the first, the State protects the freedom of the individual. In the second, the individual serves the interests of the State. In theory, this corresponds to the opposition of Western liberal democracy and traditional society (whatever that may be). Moreover, in international relations (IR), it corresponds exactly to the polemic between liberals in IR and realists in IR. At the level of geopolitics, it corresponds to the opposition between the “civilization of the Sea” and the “civilization of the Land.” The civilization of the Sea is a commercial society—oligarchy, capitalism, materialism, technical development, with the ideal of selfish, carnal pleasure. It is liberal democracy, the construction of politics from below, and the destruction of all traditional values—religion, state, estates, family, morality. The symbol of such a civilization is the ancient Phoenician Carthage, the pole of a huge, colonial, robber-slave empire, with the worship of the Golden Calf, the bloody cults of Moloch, the sacrifice of babies. Carthage was an “open society.”

It was opposed by Rome, the civilization of the land, a society based on honor, loyalty, sacred traditions, heroism of service and hierarchy, valor and continuity of the ancient generations. The Romans worshipped the luminous paternal gods of Heaven and squeamishly rejected the bloody, chthonic cults of sea pirates and merchants. We can think of this as a prototype of “closed societies,” true to their roots and origins.

Soros is (so far) the living embodiment of liberalism, Atlantism, globalism and Thalassocracy (“power through the Sea”). He is unequivocally for Carthage versus Rome. His formula, symmetrical to the saying of the Roman senator Cato the Elder, “Carthage must be destroyed,” is: “No, it is Rome that must be destroyed.” In our historical circumstances, we are talking about the “Third Rome. That is about Moscow. That is said and done. And Soros is creating an artificial opposition in Russia itself, organizing and supporting Russophobe regimes, parties, movements, non-governmental organizations, hostile to the authorities in all the CIS countries.

“Rome must be destroyed.” After all, “Rome” is a “closed society;” and “closed society” is the enemy of the”open society.” And enemies are to be destroyed. Otherwise, they will destroy you. A simple but clear logic, which the liberal globalist elites of the West, and their “proxies”-branches over all mankind, are guided by. And those in the West itself who disagree with Soros, such as Donald Trump and his voters, are immediately declared “Nazis,” discriminated against, “canceled.” Moreover, “Nazis” according to Soros are only those who oppose him. If a Ukrainian terrorist with a swastika and arms up to his elbows in blood stands against Rome, he is no longer a “Nazi,” but simply: “they are children.” And whoever is for Rome is definitely a Nazi. Whether Trump, whether Putin, whether Xin Jiang Ping. Dual Manichean logic; but that is what the modern global elites are guided by.

Those Who Hesitate

Having divided the two camps, Soros then addressed those regimes which are in the middle, between Carthage (the USA and its satellites), close to his heart, and Rome (Moscow and its satellites), which he loathes. Such is Modi’s India, which, on the one hand, joined the Atlanticist QUAD alliance (Carthage) and, on the other hand, is actively buying Russian oil (in cooperation with Rome).

Such is the case with Erdogan’s Turkey. Turkey is both a NATO member and, at the same time, a hardliner against the Kurdish terrorists that Soros actively supports. Erdogan should, in Soros’ mind, be destroying his own state with his own hands—then he would be a complete “good guy;” that is, on the side of the “open society.” In the meantime, Erdogan and Modi are “Nazis by half.” Unobtrusively, Soros suggests overthrowing Modi and Erdogan and causing bloody chaos in India and Turkey. So “half-closed-half-open” societies will become fully “open.” No wonder Erdogan does not listen to such advice; and if he hears it, he does just the opposite. Modi is beginning to understand this as well. But not so clearly.

The same choice between slavish obedience to the global liberal oligarchy, i.e., “open society,” and the preservation of sovereignty or participation in multipolar blocs (such as BRICS), under the threat of bloody chaos in case of disobedience of the globalists, Soros gives to the recently re-elected leftist president of Brazil, Inacio Lula. He draws a parallel between the January 6, 2021 Trumpist uprising in Washington and the January 8th riots by supporters of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Soros warns Lula: “Do like Biden, and Carthage will support you. Otherwise…” Since Soros is known for his active support of “color revolutions” (in favor of “open society”) and his direct help to terrorists of all stripes, only to have them attack Rome, that is “closed societies,” his threats are not empty words. He is capable of overthrowing governments and presidents, collapsing national currencies, starting wars and carrying out coups d’etat.

Ukraine: The Main Outpost of Liberal Hegemony in the Fight Against Multipolarity

Soros then med on to the war in Ukraine. Here he claims that by the fall of 2022 Ukraine had almost won the war against Russia, which, at the first stage, Soros’s deep-encrypted agents in Russia itself were apparently holding back against the long overdue decisive action on the part of the Kremlin. But after October, something went wrong for Carthage. Rome carried out a partial mobilization; proceeded to destroy Ukraine’s industrial and energy infrastructure; that is, began to go to war for real.

Soros especially lingers at the figure of Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner Group. According to Soros, Prigozhin was the decisive factor that turned the situation around. It is worth wondering, if a relatively small PMC, which undertook to fight “properly,” could change the balance in the great war of “closed societies” “against open ones” (and this assumes a global scale of combat operations in diplomacy, politics, economics, etc.), then who leads the actual Russian army as such? I would like to believe that Soros is wrong in his pursuit of flashy symbols. But, alas, he is too often right. Moreover, he knows what a small but cohesive group of passionaries is capable of doing. Supported by such groups, Soros has repeatedly carried out coups, won wars and overthrown unwanted political leaders. And when such passionaries are on the side of Rome, it is time to worry Carthage itself.

Soros went on to analyze the amount of military support for Kiev from the West and calls for it to be increased as much as necessary in order to defeat Russia for good. This would be the decisive victory of the “open society”—the crowning achievement of Soros’ life’s work and the achievement of the main goal of the globalists. Soros says bluntly—that the goal of the war in Ukraine is “the dissolution of the Russian empire.” For this purpose, it is necessary to gather all the forces and coerce all the CIS countries, especially Soros-dependent Maia Sandu, to join the war with Russia. Prigozhin should be eliminated, and his opponents, both internal and external, should be supported.

China, and the Balloon that Blew Everything Up

Soros then moved on to his second worst enemy, China, another “closed society. Soros believes that Xi Jinping has made strategic mistakes in the fight against covid (probably manufactured and injected into humanity on the direct orders of Soros himself and his like-minded “open society” to make it even more open to Big Pharma). Soros assesses Xi Jinping’s position as weakened and believes that, despite some improvement in relations with Washington, the story of the downed Chinese balloon will lead to a new cooling in relations. The Taiwan crisis is frozen, but not solved. If Russia is dealt with, then China will cease to be an impassable obstacle to an “open society,” and color revolutions can start there: ethnic uprisings, coups and terrorist acts—Soros knows how to do this, and has probably taught those who will remain after he himself is gone.

Trump as a Spokesman for a “Closed Society”

In the U.S. itself, Soros lashes out with curses at Trump, whom he considers a representative of a “closed society” that has adopted the role model of Vladimir Putin.

Soros dreams that neither Trump nor DeSantis will be nominated for president in 2024—but he will, as always, back up his dreams with action. This is another black mark from the World Government sent to the Republicans.

Soros as a Global Activist

Such is the map of the world, according to the outgoing George Soros. He has spent nearly 100 years of his life making it so. He played a role in the destruction of the socialist camp, in the anti-Soviet revolution of 1991, in destroying the Soviet Union and flooding the governments of the new post-Soviet countries with his agents. And in the 1990s, he completely controlled the Russian reformers and Yeltsin’s government, who loudly swore an oath to an “open society” at the time. Yes, Putin’s arrival snatched the final victory from him. And when this became obvious, Soros helped turn Ukraine into an aggressive Russophobic Nazi menagerie. It’s a bit at odds with the liberal dogma of an “open society;” but against such a dangerous “closed society” as the Russian Empire, it will do.

Everything is decided in Ukraine, says Soros. If Russia wins, it will push “open society” and global liberal hegemony far back. If it falls, woe to the losers. The Soros cause will then win for good. This is the geopolitical summary.

General “Warming”

But at the very beginning of the speech and at the very end of it, Soros turned to another factor that poses a threat to the “open society.” It is climate change.

How they came to be put on the same board with the great geopolitical and civilizational transformations, conflicts and confrontations is wittily explained in one Telegram channel, “Eksplikatsiya” (“Explanation”). Here is the whole explanation from there:

On February 16, 2023, a global speculator, a fanatical follower of the extremist ideology of “open society,” George Soros, gave a keynote speech in Germany at a forum on security issues. Much of it was devoted to geopolitics and the tough confrontation of the unipolar globalist liberal world order with what Soros and the world’s elites call “closed societies….”

I was interested, however, in how these geopolitical constructs relate in meaning to the problem of global warming, with which Soros began and how he ended his speech. Putting it all together, I came to the following conclusion. The melting ice of the Antarctic and the Arctic, along with Putin, Xin Jiang Ping, Erdogan, and Modi, are real threats to an open society; and the climate agenda is integrated directly into the geopolitical discourse and becomes a participant in the great confrontation.

At first glance, this seems a bit absurd. How a hypothetical global warming (even if we accept it as real) can be counted among the enemies of the globalists, and even get the status of “threat number 1,” since Soros declared the melting of the ice first and only second, Putin in the Kremlin and the Russian troops in Ukraine.

Here, we may be talking about the following. Recall that geopolitics teaches about the confrontation of “civilizations of the sea” and “civilizations of the land.” Accordingly, all the main centers of Atlantism are located in port cities, on the coast. This was the case with Carthage, Athens, Venice, Amsterdam, London, and today with New York. This law even extends to the electoral geopolitics of the United States, where the blue states that traditionally support the Democrats, including ultra-liberal New York, are located along both coasts, and the more traditional red Republican states, whose support brought Trump, George Soros’ chief enemy, to power, make up the American Heartland.

Roughly the same is true on other continents. It was the “civilization of the sea” that built that “open society,” which George Soros fervently defends, while the “closed societies,” opposed to it, are the civilizations of the Land, including the Russian-Eurasian, Chinese, Indian, Latin American, and even the North American (red states). So, if the ice melts, the level of the world’s oceans rises rapidly. And that means that the first to be submerged will be precisely the poles of world thalassocracy—the Rimland zone, the coastal spaces which are the strongholds of the global liberal oligarchy. In such a case, the open liberal society, also called “liquid society” (Sigmund Bauman) will simply be washed away; only “closed societies” will remain, located on the Hinterland—in the interior of the continents

The warming of the earth will make many cold areas, especially in northeastern Eurasia, fertile oases. In America, the only states left will be those that support Republicans. The Democrats will drown. And before that happens, the dying Soros announced his testament to the globalists: “it’s now or never”: either ‘open society’ wins today in Russia, China, India, Turkey, etc., which will allow the globalist elite to save themselves on the continents by moving into the interior regions, or the settled “open society” areas will end.

This is the only way to explain the obsession with climate change in the minds of globalists. No, they are not crazy! Not Soros, not Schwab, not Biden! Global warming, like “General Winter” once did, is becoming a factor in world politics, and it is now on the side of a multipolar world.

A very interesting explanation. It didn’t even cross my mind.

Soros as the Neural Network, and the Operating System of Rome

In conclusion, we should pay attention to the following. The words of George Soros, given who he is, what he is capable of and what he has already done, should not be taken lightly, that “the old financial speculator is out of his mind.” Soros is not just an individual but a kind of “Artificial Intelligence” of the Western liberal civilization. It is this code, this algorithm, upon which the whole structure of the global Western domination in the 20th century is built. Ideology is intertwined with economy, geopolitics with education, diplomacy with culture, secret services with journalism, medicine with terrorism, biological weapons with the ecological agenda, gender preferences with heavy industry and world trade. In Soros, we are dealing with an “open society” operating system where all answers, moves, steps and strategies are deliberately planned. New inputs are fed into a fine-tuned system that runs like clockwork, or rather like a supercomputer, a globalist neural network.

“A closed society,” that is, “we,” must build our own operating system, create our own codes and algorithms. It is not enough to say no to Soros and the globalists. It is necessary to proclaim something in return—and just as coherent, systemic, grounded, backed by resources and capabilities. In essence, such an Anti-Soros is Eurasianism and the Fourth Political Theory, a philosophy of a multipolar world and a full-fledged defense of sacred tradition and traditional values.

In the face of Soros, it is necessary not to justify, but to attack. And at all levels and in all spheres. Right down to the environment. If Soros thinks global warming is a threat, then global warming is our ally, just as “General Winter” once was. We should enlist global warming—this unidentified hyper-object—in the Wagner PMC, and give it a medal.

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

The Myth of the Tabula Rasa

Perplexingly, one of the most notorious social tendencies in the Western sphere is the eagerness to empty Christian structures of their content, only to recreate them as self-founded secular simulacra, based on democratic monism. Beyond the fact that this drive reveals in essence that Western culture is objectified and secularized Christianity, and that, therefore, postmodern society, far from being post-Christian, is radically Christian. We can clearly see a reflection of this in the secularization of the doctrines of the Logos and the “powers” of Philo of Alexandria—as well as of the Cappadocian patristic concept of the perichoresis of the persons of the Trinity—in the ontological families, defined both in the three substrata of reality of Karl Popper (World 1, World 2 and World 3) and in the genera of materiality of Gustavo Bueno (Matter 1, Matter 2, Matter 3).

[The phrase, lógos apophantikós denotes “to say something of, or according to, something” (légein tì katà tínos), the primary signification of légein being “to gather,” “to collect,” “to religate.”]

It is, on the other hand, quite evident that the attempts to base a secular morality on the normative principle that it should be rational, consistent and objective, face the difficulty of achieving universal validity, in spite of having endowed itself with a modern clergy, unquestionable and infallible by definition, in which the moralizing role of the ancient prophets is played by the opinion makers who proliferate in an ecosystem of media, educational institutions, public agencies, and activist organizations that are not averse to canceling dissent in order to impose their own dogmas, with the expectation that the dissident will remain silent, often using the name of reason in vain.

Perhaps the greatest weakness of this empty invocation of rationality lies in the fact that the value of moral values is neither verifiable nor falsifiable à la Popper, and consequently unfounded (i.e., ethics cannot emanate from the scientific method), so that, if tradition is set aside, it is inevitable that, à la Kelsen, since the validity of a legal norm cannot be empirical, it springs from arbitrary value judgments, established by subjective acts of will that do not concern the field of what is, but that of what ought to be. Consequently, the validity of positive law, à la Kant, depends for its foundation not on ethical, religious or national pre-juridical convictions, but on obtaining its legitimacy from the legality of the democratic procedure, which is equivalent to saying that it suffers from circularity, inasmuch as it reduces moral guidelines to the democratic process, to which the category of monistic order is attributed.

This opens the door to the arbitrariness of the law, by making it contingent on the will of a circumstantial majority (the relative importance of moral issues is the aggregation of the preferences of each voter), an inconsistency of which the ancient Greeks were already aware, when they sought in Natural Law a deeper foundation for positive law, in order to level out its tendency to be subject to the conjunctures of political power. Reflections of the same nature took place within the School of Salamanca, giving rise to the elaboration of the precursor norms of Human Rights, derived from the belief that man, as such, with no other qualification than his human condition, is the subject of rights, so that his existence is the bearer in, and by itself, of values and norms that we can find, but not create ex nihilo.

The opposite view—that law legitimizes itself by becoming law—presumes that values must be created, and consequently imposed, without the need for any justification other than the general will. In other words, morality is determined by the highest common denominator of the set of desires, aspirations and intentions of the electoral body; that is, the will derived from the mental states of the voters, rather than the normative expression of the authority of a moral ideal unconditioned by circumstances.

Consequently, this postulate represents moral development as an advance towards conditions in which a collective will, without historical or religious ballast, creates its values and determines its norms as if it existed in a sort of anthropological vacuum. Moral facts, however, are not something inchoate by means of a volitional act, exercised as part of a given legislative procedure. On the contrary, every actor participating in the electoral body is embedded in a specific moral tradition, from the moment he begins his conscious relationship with the social environment in which he has grown up.

The moral tradition is, therefore, a fact inherent to the civic reality, no matter how secular it may be. This consubstantiality leads to the fact that when political power turns secularism into laicism, society is plunged into a conflict of legitimacy, the most notorious consequence of which is to cause a split in the principle of authority, which ultimately calls into question authority itself. This is so because when someone is faced with a norm that clashes with his own moral tradition, he is forced to choose in conscience between two forms of authority, the moral and the legal, and consequently, he ends up abiding by the authority dictated by his own conscience, which, in the last analysis, means that he is no longer subject to any other authority.

Although there is no lack of concrete examples of this in many fields in our times, we will focus here on the field of education, since for decades it has become a battleground for culture wars and a laboratory for identity politics, even though the nature of what is at stake concerns fundamental questions that give us the opportunity to review an issue that has more to do with moral values than with pedagogical technique, since it really concerns concepts such as parental “power” and “responsibility”. It should come as no surprise that the school-world is the chosen arena in the struggle against moral tradition, since it is easy to see that behind the sophistry erected by the educational guilds and the clienteles of Utopia, there lie pedagogical tendencies based on the theory of the tabula rasa, which date back to 1762, the date of publication of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile, or On Education.

The central premise of Rousseau’s treatise is that children come into the world in a state of grace, endowed with an inherent goodness, which society degrades to make them adults. Consequently, the way to have a better society is to preserve the benign innocence of children, and what better way to achieve this than to free them from traditional education.

Following in the wake of Rousseau, and contradicting Aristotle’s premise that only an educated mind can understand a thought different from its own, even without the need to accept it, those responsible for formulating contemporary public education have for decades persisted in interpreting the Stagirite’s aphorism backwards, to the point where academic censorship has been normalized to protect students from ideas that are considered dangerous, wrapping them in bubbles of sentimentality, like someone wrapping a fragile clay figurine fresh from the oven, while successive educational laws have been loosening the burden of knowledge of philosophy, history, classical languages, literature or geography, in favor of practical and fragmentary skills that close more doors than they open, but that allow us to prolong the childhood of students by avoiding subjects and learning methods that disrupt the playfulness, spontaneity, and immediate gratification of the pupils.

But in order to seriously investigate this matter, it is necessary to go beyond the educational subjects, to situate ourselves in the very guts, which is the sphere of the fundamental principles from which the rights and duties of parents and children emanate. The interesting thing about descending to the level of natural law is that it allows us to isolate the question from political conjunctures, and defines it in timeless terms; without an expiration date, beyond ideology, and protected from cultural relativism.

Therefore, we will only mention in passing what is established in article 27 of the Spanish Constitution regarding the obligation of the State to guarantee that public education is consistent with the parents’ own moral convictions, since this is not a Spanish debate, but a universal one. It is in this sense that it is useful to start with the basics, and add layers of complexity as we advance in the understanding of the problem, and not the other way around. In this sense, since we are talking about persons, it is worth noting that, as human beings, we are endowed with a distinctive and determined nature, from which stem a series of faculties such as will, desire, conscience, reason and speech, which are subject to “normal” functional characteristics that are part of the natural law of the human being. An example of natural law is the determination to communicate our thoughts through speech. But unlike other living beings—also subject to their own natural laws—only human beings are free to make “abnormal” use of their functions.

We can, for example, use the faculty of speech to lie, and use our intellect to develop rationalizations to justify such behavior. But even this agency is determined by the natural law that makes us human, and so we develop a posteriori social constructs, such as morality and justice, to normatively constrain selfish impulses. Well, it is in this dichotomy where the essence of the two major political positions lies; the old discussion between those who defend the immutability of the human character, and those who maintain its malleability. And the fruit of this dialectical tension is positive law, a part of which concerns public education, and which affects three differentiable typologies: firstly, the learning of skills such as reading and writing; secondly, intellectual training; learning to learn; and finally, civic instruction; forming oneself as a full member of the community.

While the first two facets of the educational process are quantitative and objective, the third has a strong subjective and qualitative weight, based on a set of moral, ethical, religious, emotional, aesthetic, philosophical and cultural premises, in whose transmission the family occupies a preeminent place, which is disputed with the believers in the myth of the tabula rasa, present throughout the political spectrum. Unlike the latter, parents are not an abstract entity, but a biological reality, a natural law from which legal responsibilities derive, whose counterpart is the exercise of moral rights. These rights, as set forth in our constitution, as previously mentioned, include parental agency in the civic formation of children. This point is fundamental; it is the parents who delegate, conditionally, part of this formation to the school, without renouncing the authority that emanates from the aforementioned natural law.

Children are a subject of law; but the State is subsidiary to the parents, and its action should only prevail when objectively the integral wellbeing of the minor is at risk. Likewise, and as part of this implicit contract between family and school, parents should refrain from interfering in the work of teaching professionals regarding the intellectual development of their children, just as teachers should not indoctrinate their pupils or transmit value judgments. This virtuous balance is only attainable if the public authorities limit their intervention to complementing the authority that, according to natural law, parents have over the education of their children, which legitimizes them to allow the State to assume, not usurp, educational obligations towards their children.

That is to say, parents have natural obligations and rights towards their children, which precede the very existence of the political frameworks from which the State emanates, which never enjoys legitimacy to supplant the parental figure without reasons of force majeure, such as incapacity, orphanhood, negligence or abuse. However, parents and families do not live in a social vacuum, but are part of a public community; a State that exists to guarantee coexistence, facilitate conflict resolution and preserve the survival over time of a certain social model.

From this perspective, according to John Rawls, there is a public reason, from which emerges the moral imperative to promote the common good, guarantee public order and combat injustice, promulgating positive law that legitimizes the State to regulate aspects of education that foster the civic development of students in the sense of Rawls’ duty of civility, without undermining their individual rights or infringing on those of their parents, as we argued above. Among these rights, it is worth highlighting those of freedom of expression and conscience, inasmuch as they are consubstantial to what it really means to be human, and at the same time, they are the foundations on which social diversity is built, constructed with plural blocks, the basic unit of which is the family. Therefore, the public authorities must limit to the maximum the coercive capacity that allows them to contravene the right of conscience of parents by making decisions on behalf of their children, without the existence of a very broad social consensus, especially if the educational contents are based on sociological theories, ideologies or creeds that are not part of the common heritage, of that moral tradition to which we referred at the beginning of this paper.

Santiago Mondejar Flores is a consultant, lecturer and columnist on geopolitics and international political economy. This article appears courtesy of Posmodernia.

Featured: Sibyl, by Diego Velázquez; painted ca. 1631.