A Thumb to the Wind; awaiting a coming storm

6 11 2010

Is the government watching you?  Is there a camera installed in your television?  Are people monitoring your every move with GPS tracking?  Perhaps the government has built concentration camps for dissidents?  Are you worried that rail cars are being equipped with guillotines and shackles for the event of social unrest and martial law?  Are the elections rigged?  Are we on the verge of totalitarian tyranny?  Periodically, someone starts a story to scare the country, a conspiracy theory that the government is making plans to overthrow our basic liberties and kill its opponents.  The prophecy watchers usually manage to link it to apocalyptic scripture.  Other tremulous individuals chalk it up as the beginning of some Orwellian dystopia.  Still others, sitting in the sidelines, make a great deal of fun out of the matter, mocking the conspiracy theorists while patting themselves on the back for their own reasonableness and raw intelligence.  While the last group might be right that the conspiracy theorists are frightened of their own shadows, the one thing that they seem to overlook is that this sort of thing happened before, and, likely, all of this will sooner or later happen again.  We hold our thumbs to the wind and judge for ourselves of the coming storm.  It will come.  It always comes.

Our classic example is usually the Nazi regime, which can be described by the dual horrors of the Holocaust and the Second World War.  To adequately gauge our proximity to its repeat, we would, then, need to understand the underlying cause of these atrocities.  As is usually the case, the popular ideas, the ones they fed us in school, are only superficially true.  In this case, the cause is said to be the Versailles Treaty, which is assumed to have oppressed the Germans into economic ruin.  However, Hitler overthrew this burden prior to the war, and no war was evidently necessary to prevent its return.  Anti-Semitism could have explained the Holocaust, but if this sentiment had been the cause, then it was manifest for many centuries without incident.  Something else would be necessary to initiate the act.  Additionally, the death camps consumed quite a number of individuals other than Jews.  The act of purging society of unwanted people through mass murder is a problem in itself, regardless of who happens to be its target.  The real travesty was not that the Jews were targeted for slaughter, but that any civilization would target any group for slaughter.  The real problem lay in the fact that a society perceived that the world ought to be conquered by the Germans and that the world ought to be purged of inferior people.  Politicians may go to war for petty causes, but nations die for noble ones.  The people of Germany threw themselves into the meat grinder for what they thought to be a worthy purpose.

Technology and genetics were the litmus test for the Nazi regime.  If a person showed Arian (Germanic) characteristics, then that person was of a superior race.  Why would that race be superior?  It was deemed superior because the Germans had proven their superiority through superior technology.  The most advanced civilization was supposed to have been that way as the result of superior genetics.  Translation: they were more highly evolved.  Racism against Africans and native Americans has been often justified by these peoples’ inferior technological development.  Because a farmer in the Congo, who plows his field with a sharp stick and an ass, doesn’t know how to rapidly propel balls of lead at an enemy, he is assumed to be mentally inferior.  The arrogance of Nazism rested in the belief that all Nazi technology came from Nazi ingenuity, as though acquired understanding were passed from parents to their children through their genes.  In truth, no single civilization has had a monopoly on innovation.  The real story is that the nations that best communicate with, trade with and share ideas with other nations around the globe are the nations that collect the greatest store of technology.  Europe had this cutting edge through its imperialism.  They imported resources from around the world and assimilated it for themselves.  In our time, it is the United States that has mastered multinational relations.  Whatever we needed, we imported from without, whether it be chai tea or the atomic bomb.  If anyone is at risk for falling for the same delusion, it is we.

But, what is this delusion?  Digging beneath the superficial element of mere economics, we find the dogma of Darwinism, though that isn’t really even the ultimate underlying cause, either.  The Nazis dared to conquer the world in order to displace all other people to the point of extinction.  What is not often known is that the First World War was fought for the very same reason.  The textbooks give credence to the idea that Europe killed itself because a very angry Serb shot in the head some fat Austrian in a funny outfit.  The chain of alliances and mutual defense pacts then caused a chain reaction of entanglements that drew all of Europe into war.  This, of course, is only superficially true.  People don’t mass for a common cause to fight and die over a contractual technicality.  Germany, formerly known as Prussia, had for a long time been seizing its surrounding Germanic neighbors in a quest for power.  The Teutonic mission was to unite all Germans under a single banner, and then to overcome the rest of the world.  The assassination that started it all was merely the excuse to let it all begin.  That war was not fought because an Austrian was killed.  It was fought because the people of Germany believed that it ought to be fought, that France ought to be conquered, that the world ought to be overcome.  Professors in Germany, even then, were teaching that the Germans were a more highly evolved people, and that they would eventually drive the lesser peoples to extinction.  Britain could, possibly, have prevented the second war by bombing more German universities and shooting more German professors while they were at it.  The underlying dogma did not die between the two wars, and so the horror was repeated.  Therefore, we must ask ourselves how close we are to repeating it, ourselves.

If the Second World War was a better-organized and more enthusiastic version of the first, then we can set it aside and look more closely the first one to understand them both.  In the couple of decades leading up to the First World War, Europe saw the emergence of new trends that it had not seen in several centuries by any other name.  Eugenics, Futurism, Socialism, Social Darwinism, institutionalized Darwinism, and the abortion epidemic all took root in this tumultuous period.  Eugenics was the belief that inferior people, poorer and less fit, should be discouraged from breeding, that this most sacred act of reproduction should be controlled by an authority to produce a better society.  We see it today in China’s one-child rule.  Futurism was a belief that humanity was evolving toward greater and greater heights, technologically, genetically and socially.  Socialism was the belief that society should act as a single unit to promote its over-all betterment, rather than be left to individuals.  Social Darwinism was a practical application of Darwinism in the social realm, a matter of taking evolution seriously, making it really just another form of eugenics.  Darwinism, itself, was the promotion of the best race against and to the utter deletion of all others.  Abortion was promoted, happily, as a useful means for enacting eugenic theory, because a child was better-off murdered than allowed to live as an inferior and impoverished being.  Over all, the first two decades of the twentieth century were a time of hope, change and unabashed unrestrained arrogance.  In all of this, Darwinism was the underlying theme, the religion of the new age.  But the underlying cause of Darwinism was modernism, the complete reliance on technology and the exclusive faith in nothing beyond or behind the physical universe.  We were gods.  We were evolving.  Change was good.  We put our faith in mortal men, sacrificing our culture, our liberties and even our children to the all-consuming juggernaut.

Modernism, but especially atheistic modernism, has been the terror of our time.  Christian modernism is represented in the Northern Baptists and  Christian evolutionists, those who flatly reject the miraculous simply because it is miraculous.  Whether they are correct in their theology or not, they do lend a morsel to the monster.  The real threat has always been secular, modernist and Darwinist.  A physical universe indicates no moral code, and if the physical universe is all we accept, then we are free to do anything.  Additionally, if we are Darwinist, then the nearest we can come to something we might call “good” is through competition, subversion and the complete elimination of all peoples not resembling us.  It might be the duty of the strongest race to kill all others, if this were the case.  Moreover, if there were no God, then the primary arbiter and engineer of human destiny would be humanity, itself, which cannot achieve a unified purpose without clear leadership and rigid organization.

So, how close are we to seeing another horror?  Our schools are still teaching Darwinism.  We still control the most advanced civilizations.  Society is still overwhelmingly dominated by the modernist mindset.  To top this off, our government has been growing steadily since its inception, centralizing power and taking on more of the socialist responsibilities formerly assigned to the individual.  Atheism and secularism have a stronger hold than ever before.  The travesty of abortion goes without saying.  A man can earn a jail sentence for causing the death of an ocotillo, but he can also receive a jail sentence for preventing the death of an unborn child.  We have all of the necessary elements that we had then, and we have it in spades.  So, what, then, is keeping the next evil from rearing its ugly head?  Our unlikely allies in this case include a vocal and militant conservative, and mostly Christian, bloc in the United States, paired with a growing postmodern movement in Europe.  The very same religious fanatics that see conspiracies and persecution under every rock are the very roadblocks to those horrors.  Enough of them exist within the United States to cause a political overthrow of the presiding power at first scent of tyranny.  The government knows this.  Consequently, while these conspiracy theories continue to be only theories, they act to prevent their own fulfillment.  Such people were not a force in Germany prior to the wars.  The self-proclaimed intellectuals may continue to ridicule the paranoid conservatives for every false fear, but this is only possible because the paranoid actively keep the fears false.  So long as enough people worry and chatter about their conspiracy theories, there will never actually be any conspiracies.  At least, there will not be any successful ones.

On the European side of the equation we have postmodernism holding down the fort, where Christianity and real conservatism have almost breathed their last.  Ironically, postmodernism is also a mortal enemy to the faith.  It just conveniently happens to be a considerable enemy to a more dangerous enemy.  At least, modernism is a more physically dangerous enemy.  As for the destiny of the soul, they are both a threat.  Postmodernism did exist prior to the First World War, though it was not strong enough to prevent it.  In fact, one might figure that it came about as a reaction against the meaninglessness and meanness of modernism and Darwinism.  When faith in evolution reached its prime, that’s when postmodernism gave its natal cry.  Not strong enough to deny modernism, yet not willing to accept it, postmodernists lulled themselves into an agnostic slumber.  They can accept evolution, but they cannot accept its implications.  They can swallow the bait of adaptation, but they cannot stomach the mechanism of change.  They want to be the top of the food chain, but they won’t eat meat.  They want to evolve to a higher level, but they won’t suffer natural, or in this case artificial, selection.  Consequently, today’s Europe still wants to dominate and change the world, but they’ve pulled out all of the necessary teeth and claws for performing this task.  They are the rabbit that would devour the wolf.  Problem is, the wolf is Muslim, and it has teeth.

So we wet our thumbs and hold them to the air to determine which way the wind blows.  Does a chill wind blow from the east, or does it hearken from the west?  The west would riddle us, but it is checked, for now.  The east would devastate us, but it is weak, for now.

At the moment, we are safe.

At the moment, so far, we are so good.

God bless this moment.

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