How Hard it is, To be Slaves of a Demented Master! -- Aristophanes, Plutus
Government Increasingly Set as Only Source of “True Knowledge”
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An astounding transformation in the concept of truth has occurred the last few decades in America. No longer are statements or ideas accepted simply on their soundness or logical consistency. In fact, logic often has no impact upon an idea’s popularity. Increasingly, an idea needs official government backing before it is deemed “true.” This change bodes extreme danger for the future of our democracy.
The migration of the theory of acceptable belief within society from publicly accessible debate into an increasingly exclusive domain of government ownership is not merely dangerous, but also logically perverse. It would make irrelevant the First Amendment, since if only government-blessed statements are defensible, the general public need not bother trying to add any others.
How exactly this change is occurring is a fascinating question. Without doubt, it’s happened while government has grown towards supreme authority while the church’s traditional role of defender of truth has withered away. Also, the demise of the liberal arts teaching model has played a prominent role. This metamorphosis was achieved not by accident but by systematic attack upon the West’s institutions. Further, wholesale prostitution of the journalistic profession made these facts easy to obscure. We are left with an echo-chamber repeating the worst of progressive ideas while a complicit media beds down like the Octomom in procreative mode with leftist politicos.
This article is a continuation of a series on US state propaganda, the last examining Ritual Defamation, used to eliminate unacceptable opinion from media. Ultimately, to put the problem into its most trenchant form, we’re observing two world-views at war against one another. This is paganism versus the biblical; or as an updated description—humanism versus the traditional Western model.
I. Problem: Shifting Authority
A. The Problem of Authority
The general shortcoming today in processing information in the West, is what Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones has described as the problem of authority. What source or expert does the average American appeal to when “facts” are in dispute? In the past the de-facto American authority was the Bible, for convictions and principles. This was not just true of personal, moral, and religious choices, but also our Anglo-American legal tradition, i.e. Common Law.
B. Traditional Western Authority: Bible
For example, the Western Natural Law tradition was based upon an elastic combination of ancient pagan authorities, seminal philosophers, biblical norms and common sense. This theory of law proved to be the most influential in world history, giving rise to various innovations such as constitutionalism and the Bill of Rights. But clearly, without a biblical core, represented by the Decalogue, aka Ten Commandments, the Common Law could not have existed.
Yet, today—despite the presuppositions behind the Natural Law never being disproved, let alone the standards of Classical Liberalism’s, we surrendered these exceedingly effective exemplars. In its place stand various elements of the progressive, aka socialist theory.
C. Humanism v. Revelation: The Perennial Conflict
There are essentially two core theories of human reality. The first is the historic Western view, which we call the biblical world-view. The second is ancient paganism, or its updated version—secular humanism. The first is based upon timeless precepts, the second is set in the shifting sands of current human opinion. This secular theory, so well-represented by both the ancient city and modern statist government, is a superfluity of humanistic opinions, ideas and standards.
But the fact remains that the traditional Western model presented mankind with a timeless core of rules, laws and propositions about the nature of the universe. The second, the humanistic model which was at the center of the Greek and Roman world-view, makes man himself the standard, whereas every other detail may change, moment to moment. This, therefore, is at the core of the new “government defines truth” model—which is not new, but older than Rome’s Julius Caesar.
II. Government as Authority: Modern Humanism via Spinoza, Hegel, Marx
A. Ancient Deified State
In the ancient world, city-state government was deified as a matter of practice. There was no monotheistic cult available to offer another model. Further, given the unstable assembly of the state-directed pantheon, no single pagan religion was even remotely suited to provide a schema.
B. Roman Religion Controlled by Senate
Instead, the state itself dictated the elements of the religious cults. For example, the Roman Senate decided when to call in the various member of the collegia, such as the Arval Brethren (ancient Roman fertility cult) when attempting to address a national crisis. Then, after any member of the priesthood gave its answer, the senate itself decided on how to answer the crisis, not the priests. And no member of any Roman religious body had a right to independently act, as one finds typically in the Old Testament priesthood—which operated as a distinct separate authority, with its own decision making powers.
C. Three Philosophers Changing Biblical for Pagan Authority
Ancient classical society consists mainly of the Greek and Roman world. This world-view was revived during the Renaissance and given the name Humanism. It was this model which attracted the attention of the great Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677). After he rejected the biblical God he chose classical pagan theory to takes its place. Spinoza believed that there was no personal God, as traditionally understood in the Bible. Instead, he stated all of the universe was itself “god.” Then, to the extent this deity had a voice, government was his mouthpiece.
George Hegel(1770-1831), systematizing German philosopher, was struck by a dilemma. His views of God were becoming less traditionally Christian, the further he ventured into philosophy. This caused him great despair, and even to doubt his own sanity, spending painful days peering into the abyss of mental collapse, according to Ronald Hayman’s Nietzsche: A Critical Life. Finally, he discovered the answer while perusing Baruch Spinoza’s work. Hegel accepted Spinoza’s implication that God was in all religions and worked positively through all events of history, even the most apparently ignoble. While Christianity was indeed the highest evolution of humanity, up to that point, the Dialectic of History was always pressing to drive mankind higher in development. Therefore, Hegel’s Dialectic told the history of man better than the Bible, as Christianity was merely a phase in his system along thee way to human enlightenment.
Author of the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx (1818‚Äì1883) was a communist fomenter and a keen student of Hegel. But his interpretation of Hegel did not accept a positive role for religion. Instead, he saw all religion as a cruel hoax upon credulous humans, including Christianity. He did, however, accept government was the only body on earth with inherent authority. And Marx, being the most influential thinker from the socialist school, has been massively influential in this idea. Therefore, when one taps down into genuine socialist theory, the only real god is government, in one guise or another. Therefore, the god of Marxism, and by extension all socialism, is the classical Roman and Greek state, modernized.
III. Patron Saints of Progress: Charles Darwin & John Dewey
A. Charles Darwin: Patron Saint of Materialistic Biology
The transition from the classic Western world-view to modern humanism needed a catalyst. Various intellectuals provided the bridge. One cannot overlook the massive impact of Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882), who in one cataclysmic stroke, almost singlehandedly overturned the entire Western biblical system. Taken seriously, Darwin’s work at the very least suggested the Bible was, at best, an allegory. Moreover, it painted man’s arrival as the result of random forces which saw him rise without any rhyme or reason, via sheer luck. And finally, Darwin’s vision worked to drive Believers out of the sciences, and privatized most religious discussion, as well.
B. John Dewey: Patron Saint of Progressive Education
John Dewey (1859-1952) was a prodigious author. He was the person to challenge the old academic order built upon the classics and a serious commitment to logic, composition and debate. Instead, Dewey insisted that rote memorization of facts could not compete with experiential knowledge. And his Pragmatism further mitigated against in depth moral study regarding teaching.
In spite of not being a clear writer, John Dewey’s 100 books authored made a massive impact upon Western teaching philosophy. Henry T. Edmonson III claims in John Dewey & Decline Of American Education: How Patron Saint Of Schools Has Corrupted Teaching & Learning, he began as a Hegelian idealist before supposedly moving into experience-based theory. Dewey is considered the great exemplar of American education, becoming one of the State’s most enduring exports.
1. Socialism & Education
There is little doubt John Dewey was at minimum a socialist, with some even claiming him Marxist. In fact, Edmondson reveals Dewey’s real identity, writing:
The more one reads Dewey, the more one is forced to conclude that his self-styled pragmatism is not so much a “practical” choice as it is a convenient cover for his politics.
Dewey’s participation as a signer, and probable drafter of the First Humanist Manifesto should forever settle his secular orientation and commitment to a religion-free world. Dewey rejects the claims of any transcendent religion, according to The Cambridge Companion to Dewey, in the chapter Dewey’s Philosophy of Education. There, Nel Noddings writes of Dewey, “He rejected claims to eternal, absolute, or fixed truths.” Therefore, to suggest Dewey had no agenda except the education of youth is, as a serious claim, absurd.
2. Dewey & Rousseau
An outsize influence upon John Dewey and his philosophy was writer Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778), especially his work Emile, which he acknowledges in Schools of Tomorrow. Here, in agreement with Rousseau, Dewey makes some powerful assumptions. Writes Edmondson,
Dewey shares Rousseau’s optimistic view that human beings are basically benevolent and human nature is easily molded, and he believes with Rousseau that moral education designed to subdue human nature by overcoming vice is harmful to students.
Overall, Dewey adopts Rousseau’s “child-centered” curriculum, and both men disdained educational goals, and both even depreciate the use of books by students. But from a traditional Western view, the classics were a foundation of education. Further, from a Christian standpoint, to be anti-book of course means anti-Bible, the Book of books. Further, this leads in actual practice to an anti-traditional-knowledge bias, and also to being antinomian, that is—anti-law. It is worth noting a number of modern experts believe Rousseau struggled with insanity.
IV. Modern Journalism: Secular Humanist Priests
Modern journalists are much like ancient pagan priests for a number of reasons. But in what ways? First, these journalists make no decision independently, being wholly subsumed into a higher authority. Second, their beliefs are decidedly humanistic and utterly unmoved by any religious mores. Third, the government itself readies their marching orders, creating a mirror of the function of the ancient Roman priest-hoods. Fourth, the government itself is deified since there is no higher authority in existence. Fifth, it is the solemn duty of these modern pagan priests to solemnly communicate the position of the state without embellishment.
Is it any wonder that modern journalists, heirs to all the above standards, cannot abide being mere deliverers of facts in the name of truth? Instead they feel driven to act as helpers to bring in the new ultra-secular age of man. First the philosophers denied a biblical God, offering the state as replacement. Then any purpose behind man’s creation is denied. Finally, an education which cannot offer training in logic, debate, or composition is delivered across America.
After education is trashed, taking away the option for independent thought, journalists are inculcated into the religion of Marxism and given their marching orders. Then, like a vast pod of pre-programmed robots, they mass ready for action. The deploy when the common folk, or Conservative leaders use anything other than the “one right answer”—pre-approved by the state. Here, the robots move into attack mode to disable or destroy offenders.
While government pompously pontificates all truth, which is then enforced by a wild-eyed media corps—we are left to ask, Why?!! How did this all happen? In a nutshell, the reason that “truth” is increasingly defined by crooked politicians is America has turned from biblical to humanist explanations for why mankind is on earth. The net effect is lies, contradiction, illogic, confusion, disorientation and propaganda proliferating on a level never before seen in America, all leading inexorably towards Marxist answers to all of life’s problems. And if this is not remedied soon, great will be our fall.