Unhumanity: Part I The Ideal of Death

This essay is in several columns. The first defines the nature of the ideals of civilizational suicide haunting the modern age, and names the date of their onset. Further columns will explore the tactics and nature of these ideals, their continuity and singleness of purpose.as well as the ancient origins of the esoteric tradition from which such deathly ideals spring.

1. Bookshelf of Western Civilization

Once I had a bookshelf next to my desk where I kept the works of my school days.

My school, hence my bookshelf, was consecrated to the Great Books of the Western World, as compiled by Mortimer Adler of Encyclopedia Britannica fame. The top shelf held freshman readings, including Homer, Aristotle, Euripides, Euclid, Thucydides. The second shelf held sophomore readings, including Virgil, Aquinas, the Bible and the Testaments, Ptolemy, Livy. Junior readings on the third shelf included Milton, Kant, Jonathon Swift, Newton, Adam Smith, the Federalist Papers. Senior year readings filled the bottom shelf, and included Tolstoy, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Darwin, Einstein, Marx, De Tocqueville.

Because this bookshelf abutted my desk, I could put out a hand and pluck up any work of poetry, philosophy, mathematics, science, theology, politics, or history as might need to be reread. A chronological summary of all Western learning could be gleaned at a glance from the titles shining on the book spines.

A time came when I realized that my hand nevermore reached to the bottom shelf.

With the exception of Tolstoy and De Tocqueville, none of these senior year text were worth rereading. Some were piffling, not influential to any degree, whereas others, as Hegel and Nietzsche, Freud and Marx, while influential, were positively malign, being antithetical to the whole body of the Great Books, and, indeed, to all Western Civilization.

The glance of the eye also displayed what might otherwise easy to overlook, namely, that the bookshelf of the West follows the pattern of Hesiod lamenting the fall of man: the top shelf is the Golden Age of classical Greek learning; followed by the Roman and Medieval Silver Age; leading to a Bronze Age of writers from the Reformation to the Enlightenment, who, while less original than their forebears, were nonetheless great organizers of systems and schemes, and had not yet lost all virtue.

Then an Age of Iron arises, whose philosophers pen cacophonies of words, mere jarring jargon, offering aphorisms rather than syllogisms, whose poets are dismal and disjointed, whose scientists uproot the roots of science, whose politics promote despotism, whose economists preach utopia, whose ethics are strings of lunatic excuses to justify enormities and abominations.

After the Iron Age, an Age of Darkness. Modernism cannot even name itself correctly, but invents the paradox term postmodernism. Works fall into nihilism, by proposing as sole truth that there is no truth, reason is unreasonable, reality is unreal, and God is dead. The leitmotif of the modern era is an insolent paradox, a vulgar lust for nonsense. Modernity is aptly pictured as an idiot woodcutter up a tree, busily sawing off the branch on which he sits.

From my youth, I knew there was something wrong with the modernity. But I had no account for it. Some symptoms, perhaps, had causes I could see, but an overall explanation eluded me.

The wrongness was deep, and in all areas. In the most prosperous, decent, just, and enlightened era of history, the great mainstream of modern thought rejected glory, justice, and decency, and lusted for ugliness, squalor, and desolation.

When I looked at my bookshelf, I could see at a glance the decay. I could see the darkness. What I could not fathom was why it was so eagerly sought.

What I could not fathom was why decay was called progress.

I have now found an answer to the enigma which satisfies me, and I offer in the hope that any reader likewise confounded might also find it satisfactory.

2. Civilization and its Discontent

Modern Man in the West enjoys prosperity beyond the imagination of the wealthiest pharaoh of the ancient world, or, indeed, the wealthiest plutocrat of the Victorian Age. Not just the accomplishments but their speed is breathtaking: man went from sailing ships to spaceships in one generation.

Further, he enjoys political liberty never seen nor imagined in ages when helotry and serfdom were ubiquitous, when caste was by birth, and emperors were called gods. Thanks to the free market, famine is save when deliberate; thanks to modern medicine, pestilence is unknown, save when deliberate. Two of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are halted in their tracks, riding only when Stalin in Moscow or Xi in Peking applies the spur.

The Modern Man is obsessed with ingratitude for all these blessings. He does not merely neglect these blessings, nor merely takes them for granted. He hates them, and seeks without rest to undermine and overthrow all support for them.

All current political conflict, tumult, war and genocide, has been created by ceaseless attacks on the ideals and institutions fostering the blessings of the modern day bestows.

In this day, the press promotes censorship of the press, the entertainment industry condemns whatever entertains, capitalist corporations support socialism, politicians promote anarchy, academics abolish academic freedom, the freethinkers condemn free thought. The church whores after pagan idols of fornication and abortion, blessing sodomy and scorning Christ. In sum, every major institution in the West joins in undermining of its own foundation.

Liberty is called slavery, and slavery called safety. Justice is replaced by social justice. Virtue is replaced by virtue-signaling. Truth is narrative. Reason is dismissed as doubletalk, while doubletalk is upheld as unquestionable; doubts are hatespeech. Thought is thoughtcrime. Faith is spat upon.

Mental illnesses, especially neurotic and suicidal sexual deviance, is lauded as brave and beautiful, whereas failure to praise these perversions is literally called phobia, that is, mental illness.

Each of these various social pathologies, philosophical absurdities, satanic theologies, and mental illnesses has it own name: subjectivism, antinomianism, relativism, totalitarianism, socialism, pervertarianism, nihilism. Each has a false name used to hide its meaning, such as Progressivism, Multiculturalism, Liberation Theology, Critical Race Theory, or Gender Ideology. Each hides its meaning because each promotes the downfall of civilization by a different means.

No one clear name exists for the one ideal which fathers and governs all these subsidiary ideas promoting the suicide of civilization, so let us coin the term the Ideal of Death.

3. What is Not the Reason

Let us not assume a man seeks suicide save he sees himself as unworthy of continued life, or afflicted by pain beyond hope. Likewise for civilizations of men.

Hence we must ask whence and how our civilization concluded itself to be unworthy to continue. We ask the reason why this lust for death arose.

Let us first say what is not the reason.

Let us not entertain the notion that the degeneration of civilization is due merely to vice and folly, as when men by their ordinary selfish or sinful natures, for sake of greed or powerlust or through mere indifference, fail to upkeep their laws and customs, squander their legacy, neglect their defense, lifting no hand against their destroyers.

If a prodigal son trifles away his patrimony with riotous living, this is negligent and wrong, surely; but if he plans, proclaims and performs acts of arson and ruination, felling his own walls, shattering windows and scattering stones, burning the roof above and uprooting the foundations below, salting his fields, afterward slaying his children and castrating himself, this is no mere negligence. To call it wrong is overwhelming understatement.

When the downfall is an announced and explicit goal of policies meant to effect that end, such a thing is not oversight nor accident.

Finally, let us not entertain the notion that this is a commonplace phenomena, afflicting all aging empires or weary cultures, nor pretend that current complaints of the ills besetting society are merely the perennial maunderings of crabby old men, no different from the bellyaching each generation hears from prior.

Aztecs embraced mass-murder, and bowed to gods of nightmarish ugliness, but they spilled blood allegedly to keep the sun lit, not to snuff it out. Sultans, Pharaohs, and Mikado have seen their empires crumble beneath history’s heel, but never did an ancient kingdom die cursing its own deities, Allah, or Osiris, or Amaterasu.

When Christianity replaced paganism as the Roman religion and culture, temples were converted, not thrown down; idols were moved into museums, not smashed; nor were the writings of Homer and Aristotle burned. In no sense was the past forgotten. Indeed, the ancient learning was held in such respect that the Church, not any secular institution, organized vast and sustained efforts to copy and preserve manuscripts.

There are records of civilizations falling into ruin, or succumbing to internal corruption, or external invasion. There is no record of a civilization deliberately dismantling itself, step by step and stone by stone, forsaking its own future, cursing its own legacy, toppling its own monuments, burning its own history books, castrating its own children, decimating its own people and salting its own fields. And yet that is what we see now.

So, if this decay is not by produced by ordinary vice and folly, nor produced by some perennial cycle of history, but is in fact extraordinary and unique, we must seek for our explanation within what is unique to the modern age, which prior ages never knew.

For many a year, I entertained the notion that the trauma of the Great War, which we now call World War One, was what shattered the confidence and killed the soul of European civilization, allowing hitherto minor social pathologies to metastasize, or creating new ones. I took the Great War to be tantamount to a civilizational suicide attempt, as if one were to throw oneself from the Brooklyn Bridge, break his spine, but survive as a cripple.

But this merely puts the question off by one remove: if the Great War were the suicide of Europe, what drove such a large mass of men, acting in concert, to attempt suicide?

Explanations looking to specific historical events, changes in laws or customs produced by industrialization or scientific progress merely puts the question off to a second remove. If some historical event, such as the rise of the factory system, inspired the spirit of suicide, what drove such a large mass of men, acting in concert, to heed and follow that spirit?

We are looking for the answer to what crippled the Western will to exist. Such a will is not caused by changes in present circumstances or historical events, which a man can see, but in his hopes for the future, which no man sees. The will to live springs from an ideal that says struggles are worth overcoming, problems worth solving, children worth protecting. The will to live is not changed by changes in fortune. Setbacks do not quench it. The will to live springs from the ideals of life.

The will is changed by ideals.

The Ideal of Death rules modernity. When did it arise?

4. Antiphilosophy

The Bookshelf of the West provides at a glance the answer to the age of the Ideal of Death: The hour of darkness struck between the dusk of the Georgian Era and the dawn of the Victorian, during years Deism waned and Romanticism waxed. The Age of Reason fathered the Terror: Let us select Modernity to date from 1789 A.D. of the Gregorian Calendar, also known as Year One of the Revolutionary Calendar and the onset of the Age of Reason.

(Ironically, the Revolutionary calendar lasted until abolished by Napoleon in 1806 A.D., or Year Seventeen. It was not, however, utterly abolished. The attempt by Revolutionaries to dechristianize society slept for over a century, woke again, and demanded the Gregorian Calendar be replaced by some unnamed calendar which reckons the dates from “C.E.” or “Common Era” — albeit what event occurred at the onset of the Common Era, or what it was all Christian nations have in common to make them adopt this reckoning, is never asked nor answered, not even in whispers.)

The Terror was merely the first incarnation of the Ideal of Death, the first attempt to put the theory of Death into practice. The Ideal since has retreated and advanced as history unfolded, taking a new shape each generation.

The Ideal of Death fathered World War, Cold War, Revolution, Jihad, Sexual Revolution, Race Riot, Genocide, Gulag and Great Reset. But the Ideal itself was fathered by something older than any of these great convulsions and conflagrations.

For many a year, I could concoct no hypothesis to account for the formation of the Ideal of Death. I was hindered by my background and outlook: First, I was a student of philosophy, and second, I was an atheist.

As a student of philosophy, I could see where and how modern philosophy went mad, but I could account for the madness. I could read and grasp the arguments, but could not grasp why anyone would believe them, much less respect and revere them.

Philosophy went mad when Kant announced it to be doubtless that all knowledge comes from experience — a categorical statement hence one no experience can confirm — and that therefore the three ideas of immortality, volition, and divinity are incapable of proof. Kant avers that to pursue these three ideas to their ultimate logical implications leads to insoluble paradox, which he called Antinomies of Reason.

Such philosophy is madness because to reason that “volition is unproven” is itself volitional, for all reasoning is and must be volitional: neither robots nor beasts can persuade nor be persuaded to change their minds.

There can be no morality, that is, no decree of what one ought do regardless of one’s own will, if there is no volition, that is, no freedom to do or not to do what one ought. It follows from this that morality cannot be reduced to one’s own will, nor to any human will. Morality applies its decrees to all men, hence is not manmade, and to all time, hence is timeless. Ergo morality issues from eternal and superhuman will: and this all men know to be God. The three ideas Kant dismisses as unproveable are themselves the root of the human condition, and self-evident.

As far as philosophy goes, it is a remarkably trivial task to refute Kant, despite this writer’s inexplicable prestige and immense effect on history. He is rightly regarded as the father of modern philosophy, that is, the father of all the paradoxes from Hegel’s self-refuting Mysticism to Bertrand Russell’s self-refuting Logical Positivism. All modern philosophy arises from the Hume’s self-refuting axiom that all knowledge is experiential, which is why all modern philosophy is paradox.

Modern philosophy is illogical, hence insane, hence useless. It is anti-philosophy. Philosophy can trace where and how the Modernist schools of thought arose, and what issues each attempted to address, but philosophy cannot answer the psychological or spiritual question of why intellectuals believed this nonsense, and persuaded whole races and nations to follow them over the brink.

As stated, my first blind spot was because I was a philosopher: but philosophy is helpless to answer the question of why antiphilosophy replaced philosophy.

My second blind spot was that, at that time, I was an atheist, and so did not look toward mad theology as the source of mad philosophy, even though I was wise enough to know philosophical assumptions are based on metaphysical and theological foundations.

Had I been wiser, I would have looked for the mad theology underpinning this mad philosophy.

And I — like nearly all men in the West — was simply unaware of the mad theology of the esoteric cults running from ancient Pythagoreanism to Medieval Catharism to Renaissance Hermeticism to Jacobean Rosicrucianism to Restoration-Era Freemasonry, to Modern philosophies and political theories and activist movements currently devoted to the Ideal of Death.

Here, perhaps, I can be excused for being deceived, because the whole art and practice of the esoteric tradition is based on deception. Each incarnation in each generation disguises itself. In older times, esoterism seemed a cult, a craft, or a heresy. In modern times, esoterism is hidden behind political, economic or scientific theories prompting social activism: Marxism, Cultural Marxism, Fabianism, Fascism, Feminism, Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory, Gender Ideology, Climate Ideology, Globalism, Diversity, Wokeness.

And I — like a growing number of men in the West — am dumbfounded to realize these so-called political theories are a death cult, and the so-called social activism is their jihad.

5. Age of Unreason

Ideals blooming after the Terror grant modernity its distinctive cant and character:

Darwin proposed Man to be an animal not distinct from any other, produced by blind natural forces operating too slowly to be seen, aiming at nothing, acting without purpose; Freud proposed Man to be an irrational puppet controlled by blind natural forces operating unseen in his unconsciousness; Hegel proposed human history to evolve by an unseen forces of the zeitgeist or the Spirit of the Age evolving through all ages toward the Absolute; Marx proposed these unseen forces were materialistic rather than spiritual evolving toward Utopia; Nietzsche proposed Man to be evolving to Superman, and God to be dead. Einstein’s proposal that light is the one absolute in the universe, seen as moving the same speed to all observers, so that measurements of length, mass, and duration were relative to it, devolved into the popular notion that Man, and all things Man knows, likewise were relative, especially social roles and norms. (It is not Einstein’s fault that popularizers abused terms ripped from his theory of Absolute Light to promote moral relativism and nihilism.)

Hence modernity holds man to be an animal, a puppet, a helpless by-blow of blind historical forces evolving him to extinction, in a cosmic abyss where nothing is absolute, hence nothing is true, nothing is rational, nothing is permanent, nothing is real. There is only the Void.

Even a cursory summary of modern philosophy and natural philosophy shows the disturbing trend toward the irrational.

Darwin’s Theory holds Man to be produced by irrational natural forces. This necessitates all human faculties, including the faculty of reason, are likewise. But if human reason, including Darwin’s own reason, are blind by-products of irrational forces, there is no reason to trust the results of any human reasoning, such as Darwin’s Theory. The theory impeaches itself.

Likewise for Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche. Each proposes an evolutionary character to human thought leading to the Absolute, or to Utopia, or to the Superman. Man’s ideas, theories, character, and thought are shaped by these evolutionary forces, the zeitgeist, or the means of production, or by the Will to Power. The forces are irrational, hence human ideas and theories are irrational, including those of Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche. Again, each theory impeaches itself.

Likewise for Freud. If the contents of the conscious mind are determined by unseen and irrational forces working in the unconscious, this includes his own theories. His theory of the Oedipal Complex, for example, if it is not based on sound reasoning from factual reality, but instead is mere the neurotic outgrowth of a buried sexual trauma Freud repressed in youth, then the theory is not credible. If any reasoning could be driven by irrational unconscious forces, no reasoning is credible. The unconscious is by definition that of which one is not conscious. Hence, a witness saying truthfully that his is not conscious of bias in his reasoning marring his results hence has no persuasive weight. The axiom that all men are biased, all reasoning unreasonable, is a non-disprovable impeachment of any thinking, any theory, including itself.

One would expect men of letters to see and correct these obvious paradoxes. But no correction happened. None of these theories were laughed out of court. Instead they assumed the throne, and received the adoration of the modern age, and ruled.

No correction occurred because these men of letters, and those who followed them, all accepted the philosophy of Hume and Kant allegedly proving that all knowledge is experiential, hence no philosophy was provable.

Theologically, this philosophy is insupportable. Men know the divine exists, since the matter is self-evident, but this philosophy says divinity does not exist, nor knowledge thereof.

Indeed, in modern thought, neither divine knowledge nor experiential knowledge can exist. Consider: Experiential knowledge is by definition conditional, not universal hence not categorical, therefore no categorical statements can be known. Hence the categorical statement proclaiming all knowledge to spring solely from experience cannot be known. It is not knowledge, or, at least, not known by reason.

No correction occurred because these men of letters, and those who followed them, tacitly accepted the theological proposition of the Esoteric that Man is a sleeping or undeveloped divinity who waits to be awakened into his true glory, and, second, that these things are known not by reason, but by private revelation or inner certainty called gnosis.

Because this inner and esoteric certainty is esoteric, that is, it cannot be communicated to anyone not initiated into the secret inner circle, each of these allegedly philosophical or scientific theories is actually mystical.

Despite reckless claims to the contrary, neither Darwin, nor anyone else, has observed a new species formed, nor seen natural selection to be the only possible cause of the formation. The theory is non-falsifiable. Likewise for Hegel’s theory of the spiritual dialectic of man, state and time-spirit, or Marx’s theory of material dialectic. Nietzsche wrote aphorisms, not arguments, so nothing from his pen is coherent enough to be open to refutation.

No one is conscious of the unconscious mind Freud claims haunts every man. It has no more weight, shape, location or size than a ghost. Who has seen the roots of dreams, and knows from where they come? The fog of sleep and madness mask the hidden wellsprings of the human soul. None can pass through the mist to see the fountainhead: Freud’s claim to have done so hardly merits the term speculation. He assumes biological malfunctions or forgotten traumas forms dreams and neurosis and psychosis, leaving no room for the spiritual. Our Father in Heaven becomes a type and shadow produced by mistake by buried childhood-memories of each earthly father, rather than the other was around.

No one has ever seen the Absolute, the Utopia, or the Superman. They hover in the convenient fog of Things To Come, where only the Ghost of Christmas Future can go, not mortal man. If however, like the visions visiting Scrooge in the night, what Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche pen is prophecy, then it is taken on faith, as all prophetic writings must be.

What is taken on faith cannot be condemned on philosophical or scientific grounds. Science uses observation to reject falsifiable theories, but falls silent before unfalsifiable statements, such as articles of faith, or conclusions of metaphysics. Philosophy uses reason to reject the unreasonable. But faith accepts the mysteries of faith above where human reason reaches.

What is taken on faith can only be rejected by a faith more pure and sound, which the Christian world, when confronted by modernity, simply did not do. These theories were not condemned as heresies hence anathema, because they claimed to be philosophical or scientific, not religious, ergo outside the purview of the Church.

The heretics claimed to be philosophers and scientists, but their theories were not philosophy, for they were not based on reason, and were not science, since not based on observation. The Church by and large abided by this claim, leaving philosophical and scientific matters for scientists and philosophers to sort out. But it was all a lie.

So the Church left Modernism alone, but Modernism attacked the Church. The Church drew a distinction between secular and spiritual matters, and voluntarily restricted herself to the spiritual. Modernism was a spiritual matter, a religious heresy, in fact a literal a death-cult preaching aborticide and euthanasia, eugenics and genocide, but it disguised itself as political or scientific speculations, and so was free to attach the Church at all points, with no fear of serious counterattack.

Because of this, the one religion that could have corrected the Modernist heresies was declared by the heretics to herself be a heresy. Each branch of the heresy offered a different reason to discard God.

Darwin leaves no role for the Creator; Freud leaves no role for spirit or soul; Hegel has no place for God, save as a promised culmination of remote tomorrow. Tomorrowland likewise holds the paradise of Marx, for he knows no Fall of Man, thus no need for Christ, but instead seeks salvation in a social evolution progressing upward to perfection. The Socialist Man is for Marx what Superman is for Nietzsche, namely, the glorified Elect dwelling in a future Eden.

As for Nietzsche, he is Narcissus, whose universe is a puddle whose reflections hold no place for any sight save that of his own face, overswollen to fill his self-adoring eye.

Such is the reason why Nietzsche is the most well regarded and widely read of philosophers among modern intellectuals. They are sons of the same father, that brightest spirit placing his seat above the throne of heaven.

There is no God in Nietzsche but Man, who rendered God dead, and Superman, who will render Man extinct.

There is no God in any of these dogmas; but neither is there any proof or evidence given in favor of godlessness. The absence of God is an article of faith.

Rejecting Creator and Holy Spirit, Christ and the Kingdom Come, these men of letters were left with nothing but Man, who now, as crown and culmination of creation, become megalomaniacal.

In a godless world, Man has none above him. He can do all things, abolish chastity and marriage, make abominations sacred, legalize infanticide and euthanasia, bless genocide and eugenics, decree women to be men and men to be gods.

No correction to the self-evident paradoxes of modernity occurred because these men of letters, and those who followed them, in the name of the Age of Reason, renounced Reason and all its worldly works and false pomps and vain worship.

Gnosis was better than Reason, for it needed no argument, no words, no reasoning to defend it. Either you agreed, or you were accursed.

This strategy is unchanged from that day to this. To question is to court ostracization. You will not be answered with an argument, but with mob-howls calling out unclean, unclean!

6. Religion

So why should we insist that the Ideal of Death is a religion, particularly since the Darwin and Freud, Hegel and Marx, and Nietzsche range from mildly to vehemently unreligious in their theories?

There should no a quibble here: there are other faiths which have no god, or no supreme god, or no distinction between god and man, such as Taoism, Buddhism, Pantheism. Theosophy, neopaganism, or witchcraft supposes there to be a spiritual world, but it is inhabited by natural forces that can be cajoled or coerced by humans. Esotericism embraces all these notions.

It may seem odd to call Anarchy a theory of government, since anarchy would abolish government, nonetheless, the theory of anarchy makes suppositions and conclusions about the origins, form, ethics and purpose of government, in order to reach its advocacy of the abolition of government. Obviously one can break the law without adopting any theory proposing its abolition, and obviously tumult, invasion, and civil war can create anarchy without advocating anarchy. But anarchy itself is a theory, for it is not anything other than a theory of the nature and state of government, namely, that it were better abolished, and replaced by Utopia.

Likewise for atheistic and pantheistic religions. One can be an atheist merely by ignoring God; but atheism itself is a theory, and not other than a theory of the nature and state of God, namely, that God were better abolished, and replaced by Man.

The esoteric tradition forms one overarching principle, but each incarnation in each age has a different manifestation, a different mechanism of explanation, a different excuse for its enormities. The Ideal of Death is the modern form of the esoteric tradition, and it is an atheistic form.

As said above, the Ideal of Death is masked under several distinct, but related, social, economic, political, and scientific movements: Marxism, Cultural Marxism, Fabianism, Fascism, Feminism, Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory, Gender Ideology, Climate Ideology, Globalism, Diversity, Wokeness.

They are masked as these things, but, upon inspection, none is truthfully an social, economic, political or scientific theory. Each is a negation or abrogation of these things. It is true that each is something that prompts action in the realms of science, socio-economics or politics. The action is always subversive then coercive action, always in the four stages of infiltration, indoctrination, disintegration, insurrection. It is not true that any is itself a theory or policy of science, socio-economics or politics.

Marxism, Cultural Marxism, Fabianism, Fascism, Feminism, Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory, Gender Ideology, Climate Ideology, Globalism, Diversity, Wokeness are each of them mystical doctrines of the esoteric tradition.

Like anarchy negating law, or atheism negating faith, these each negate the subject matter of their concern: Socialism proposes the negation of economics; fascism and globalism negate all political processes; feminism negates the female sex; gender ideology negates both sexes. Wokeness negates truth, virtue and beauty altogether, so that eunuch crossdressers are declared to be women, sexual abominations declared to be prideful rather than shameful, obesity is declared to be beauty.

Wokeness is benighted enlightenment. It is folly pretending to be wiser than wisdom, ignorance pretending to be more learned than learning. It is gaslighting, that is, voicing lies too large for belief, asserted without belief, against the witness of one’s own five sense, against the testimony of common sense. It is mere insolence, arrogance, and blasphemy.

Examples are countless: Racism against the Caucasian race is called diversity; whereas meritocracy is called systemic racism. Border security is called racism. Everything is called racism, except racism. Parenting is called terrorism. Traditionalism is called terrorism. Everything is called terrorism except terrorism. Honest voting is called a threat to democracy. Public speech is called hate speech, which is called violence, but violence is called mostly peaceful. Everything is a lie, and no lie is ever retracted.

Such rampant nonsense cannot be called political, social, economic or scientific theory. Such nonsense is accepted by its adherence as a mystery of faith, but not of any wholesome nor sane religion, but of a sick and self-destructive one.

Defining religion may be beyond the scope of this column, or beyond the scope of mortal thought, but surely three elements must be included in any proposed definition:

Religion is a belief system that is (1) comprehensive (2) fundamental and (3) conscientious.

Comprehensive means a belief system with nothing is beyond its purview. A political theory that leave religion aloe is not comprehensive, nor a moral theory that leaves politics alone.

Woke is the most recent and all-embracing of the incarnations of the Ideal of Death, but it shares this characteristic with Marxism and Cultural Marxism: that Wokeness is comprehensive can be seen in the phrase used by its adherents, the personal is political. This means, in essence, that there is nothing whatever is outside the scope of Wokeness.

One’s opinions of art and literature, of what actors should play what roles, what is problematical and what is not; likewise one’s opinion of race relations, of sexual roles within the family, of chastity or sexual liberation; likewise one’s stance on any question of business conduct, private conduct, words exchanged between two people, or thoughts unspoken within one, all and everything falls within the purview of Wokeness. This reaches to such questions as whether a Caucasian lady may open a taco stand, or a young lady may wear a Chinese dress to her prom, braid her hair in cornrows, wear hoop earrings, or recite the words of popular rap-songs on the radio. These are not political or economic questions by any stretch of the imagination, nor can the private matters be called social.

When globalism decrees that you will own nothing, live in a pods, eat bugs, and be happy, this is not merely ordering your possessions, residence, and diet, but also your thought. The vows of poverty and obedience are as strict as anything proposed by Benedictines or Carthusians.

But, even as the Law of Moses extends in great detail not just to feast days and sacrifices, but to nuances of dress and diet, the adornment of doorposts, and even includes certain words required or forbidden, or certain thoughts — as when one is required to honor one’s father and mother, love one’s neighbor, nor covet his wife, servants, possessions — so too does Wokeness have detailed and exacting requirements covering each aspect of thought, word, and deed, diet and ritual, and so on. These requirements are nebulous and chaotic, advocating hatred rather than love, but they are nonetheless comprehensive, which means, no aspect of life is beyond their reach.

Fundamental means a belief system is one that addresses questions of human existence, such as the meaning of life, man’s role in the cosmos, and the nature of good and evil. Marxism pretended to be an economic theory, but it proposes a theory of human nature (that we are defined by the class interests generated by the current means of production) of our role in the cosmos (we are alienated from our work, hence are selfhood, due to the pernicious institution of specialization of labor) and the nature of good and evil (there is none, there is only what hastens the revolution versus what retards it).

Cultural Marxism ignores economics, but makes parallel claims about the innate injustice of hierarchies in the social order; feminism extends this analysis to the two sexes; critical race theory extends this to the several races; and so on. Once Climate Change activists or advocates of Lockdown policy declare racism to be the root cause of ecological injustice, or social inequities to cause epidemics of disease, the conversation is not about any fact or theory or meteorology or virology: it is discussion of human nature, our role in the cosmos, good and evil.

Conscientious means the belief system is one that binds the conscience to duties above earthly law and custom. Religious duties particularly are those binding on the conscience, even to the point of defying any earthly authority in conflict with them, even to the point of martyrdom. Compromise on religious questions is impossible, and civilized men grant exceptions to conscientious objectors, excusing them from duties otherwise compulsory, such as a military draft in wartime.

Discarding the faith of one’s fathers, and the loyalty to one’s fatherland, breaking all bonds of honor, honesty, and love with friend and family is the source and summit of everything in Woke life, and has been since Marx. Sexual liberation exists to excuse adultery, contraception, divorce; Feminism exists to abolish family life; Gender Ideology exists to excuse unnatural and ugly sexual perversion and to normalize it; Critical Race Theory exists to create race riots, and encourage crime and despair among young male Negroes; Marxism exists to excuse mass expropriation, mass deception, and mass murder; Globalism exists to loot the world and kill the free.

Since the sole point and sole product of any of these ideologies, from Marxism to Feminism to Race-baiting, has been to promote lawbreaking in the name of Utopia, that these ideologies are conscientious, or, rather, anti-conscientious, is too clear to bear repeating.

So then: the Ideal of Death is a comprehensive, fundamental, and conscientious worldview, with many local and recent manifestations, rightly called a religion, if not an anti-religion. It dates from the wrongly called Age of Reason, which rightly is called the Age of Unreason, since paradox and jabberwocky undermined philosophy, and brought it to disgrace and neglect.

This mad philosophy spreads by mad means. This point is to be examined in the next column.