Presentism (noun), uncritical adherence to present-day attitudes, especially the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts. 🏛
Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote one of the best-loved stories in the English language: Anne of Green Gables. It is the story of a red-headed orphan girl adopted in the 1890s by an elderly man and his sister — in rural Canada. Anne is depicted by Montgomery as a strong, intelligent, creative person; and now she has been transformed by Moria Walley-Beckett into a social justice warrior, in a television retelling of the story, titled Anne with an E.
He who does not have demonic seeds within him will never give birth to a new world.Dr. Ernst Schertel
Such was an annotation found in Adolf Hitler’s copy of Schertel’s book, Magic: History-Theory-Practice. It seems that Hitler had no problem with “demonic seeds.” And he wanted to “give birth to a new world” — as did Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.
In previous essays I have referred to “the scissors strategy,” which is also known by other names. Many readers do not have a clear idea of how this strategy works, or why it is effective. It is therefore useful to present two or more hypothetical/historical examples to illustrate.
“What are the symptoms of … the derailment of man?” asked Eric Voegelin in his book, Hitler and the Germans. Man has a particular nature. He is a spiritual being and a rational being. The West drew its reason from the ancient Greeks, its spiritual grounding from the ancient Israelites. This was our twofold heritage. Only now we have abandoned it for positivism and materialism. Consequently, Western Civilization is rapidly unraveling.
Severe revenge awaits the criminals….Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
After the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami promised “crushing revenge.” While visiting the bereaved daughter of Gen. Soleimani, President Hassan Rouhani was asked, “Who is going to avenge my father’s blood?” Rouhani replied, “all of us will avenge his blood.”
There are many approaches to the subject of ethics. Aristotle said that we do not naturally possess goodness of character. Only by obedience to rules of valid conduct do we acquire such goodness. Does our national security establishment even know what goodness is? And was it right to assassinated General Soleimani?
Gnosticism, thus, has produced something like the counter-principles to the principles of existence; and, in so far as these principles determine an image of reality for the masses of the faithful, it has created a dream world which itself is a social force of the first importance in motivating attitudes and actions of Gnostic masses and their representatives.Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics
The dreamworld of Voegelin’s Gnostics may be glimpsed while watching the Democratic presidential debates. Listen to their absurd fantasies — of global warming and coastal flooding, of erasing national borders and spending trillions on programs to impoverish us all. Where indeed will the money come from? Indebted to the hilt, this can only accelerate the erosion of prosperity and bring about an unprecedented economic dislocation; but, hey, it’s all good, because, from thereon and after we can blame capitalism and sexism and racism — and move forward in agreement to build real socialism, or communism, or the Green New New Deal, without airplanes or cows or cars or free speech. God help the poor fool who objects.