Friday, March 23, 2007

The Totalitarian Pseudo-Religions (I)

I'm firmly resisting the urge to list a number of particularly noteworthy headlines, but this little gem I cannot possibly pass up:

Glowball warming hysterics reaching new heights - the end of the universe as we know it:
"We are facing a planetary emergency".
Having got that out of my system we can get down to the business of analysing a few other pseudo-religions.

Last night I happened to enjoy an instalment of one of my favourite British police series. Set in the south in England in World War II this particular piece centered on a nest of Fifth Columnists, grouping together in a rural hotel for a private function: instructions how to demoralise the local population, primarily by cutting telephone wires and psi-opsing the natives with defeatist messages, like "why bother, next week when the German army will be here it'll be all over any way".

These fiends were portrayed in the usual manner in which the Nazi spirit is conveyed: women faintly hysterical over-painted trollops, jackbooted men in leathery coats, looking sly and muttering words like "bloody Jids" while brandishing a copy of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. This may be doing well on stage, it is in fact far from capturing the Nazi essence.

A further, but far more nasty misrepresentation was recently provided by a hapless commentator - with a pseudonym that was in itself telling - on the Townhall version of my article "Post postmodernism: what are the options?. Her achievement is nothing short of the miraculous, committing one fallacy, one mistake in grammar, plus two outright lies in the short declaration: "since the original Nazis were self declared Christians, perhaps we should refer to them as Christos-Nazis".

This remark is exemplary of the invective, the toxic, and under and mis-informed character of the discourse today. In the first place there's the excruciating irrationality of the postmoderns: maintaining every opinion to be equally valid, equating with a strait face totally incommensurable entities with one another. Feast your eyes on this example which is taking place on professorial level: X writes polemics, Y throws bombs, X is equal toY, they are both 'warriors'. Correspondingly above hapless commentator - presumably writing from the American context - makes following cerebral acrobatics:

Evangelicals are right-wing Christian fundamentalists;
Nazis were right-wing and fundamentalist (by the same token: fundamentalist = fanatical);
Nazis are Christians = Christos-Nazis.

The first lie is the self-serving repetition of what is now well-known to be Soviet disinformation about the war time Pope being in cahoots with the Germans - the so-called "black legend". It has continued all the way down to the present day and originated at Radio Moscow, accusing Pope Pius XII of coming forward too late with his opposition to Nazism "because he had been silent when the German death machines were running, when the chimneys of the cremating ovens were smoking". But it went unnoticed that five months after that broadcast on 29 November 1945, he had the opportunity to feel the full horror of the Nazi atrocities when he received a delegation of Jewish refugees, thanking him for the work the Catholic Church had done for them. It is also all but forgotten by outsiders that (Polish) priests were an easy and early target of Nazi suppression.

The Nazis, far from adhering to the Christian beatitudes - as in "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land" - were rather persuaded by Nietzsche's pagan lust for power. John Allen's recent article "Papal preacher exalts non-violence, connect Nietzsche to Holocaust" describes how it has been fashionable in the last half century to divorce Nietzsche from anti-theist ideas. "Wrong", says the Pope Benedict's Preacher to the Household. Nietzsche "scorned the vision of humility and non-violence" ... styling Christianity "a morality of slavery". He juxtapositioned Christ against Dionysus, his pagan deity of choice, associated with the Bacchanalia that at some point in time became so extreme, that the celebrations were prohibited by the Roman Senate in 186 B.C. It involved the pleasantry of ripping to threads smallish animals whilst under deep intoxication.

To be continued with part II ... Enlightenment inspired, first Communism and after it Nazism, sought to release man from the grip of Christianity that had kept the human spirit captive ...


james higham said...

You have almost all of it right here, with the exception of the climate change, which is, of course happening whether we philosophically agree or not. You can be excused this because the blogosphere has been largely hoodwinked by the vocal sceptic lobby [which benefits Exxon and the like].

Cassandra said...

Hi High, thanks for the comment. Are you the guy with the priceless baby???

james higham said...

Er ... baby? Don't think so. Let me just check. No, nothing here. Anyway, we ahve a little problem. This blogLinker thing says you've linked to me and I've linked to you but nothing is showing. Any ideas? I've blogrolled you separately anyway.

Cassandra said...

Sorry High, I got the impression somehow you were involved with that brilliant baby ad who's holding back the rage: Mr Euripides or so. Great stuff. Don't know about the BlogLinkStuff. I see I did you twice, never you mind, is OK as is.