Totalitarian Incantations: Late Modernity’s Radical Manifestations

(November Issue 2020)

By E. Kyle Richey

Once pegged as special, a citizen, even if accepting sterilization, dropped out of history. He ceased, in effect, to be part of mankind. And yet persons here and there declined to migrate; that, even to those involved, constituted a perplexing irrationality. Logically, every regular should have emigrated already. Perhaps, deformed as it was, Earth remained familiar, to be clung to. Or possibly the nonemigrant imagined that the tent of dust would deplete itself finally. In any case thousands of individuals remained, most of them constellated in urban areas where they could physically see one another, take heart at their mutual presence. Those appeared to be the relatively sane ones. And, in dubious addition to them, occasional peculiar entities remained in the virtually abandoned suburbs. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

History is rift with zealous idealist demented by their cause, their purpose, their reason for existence however unrealistic or distorted or false. Now once again they have successfully seized power, but this time on a global scale at a point when society has become interdependent to a fault. Science and technology, religion and philosophy, higher education and the workforce are all being highjacked to obscure even the transience of life into barriers of opposition and final judgement. Today it is the far-left: Radical feminists, LGBTQ activists, Queer theorists, Postmodernist, and Critical Race Theorists who adumbrate context, meaning, and purpose for their Identity driven nomenclature under a quasi-socialism; a merging of corporate and state, the real deep state, in the name of their religion, social justice, in order to recreate what humanity thinks, says, and does. 

It comes at an exasperating cost on humanity and it all comes from a well of desire to break free—the psyche. Late Modernity has spawned a permanent spirt of emancipation of postmodernism that deconstructs and liberates to the point that it is now inconceivable for the radicalized to not equate between the demands of liberation with that of an ensuing conflict between “good and evil” “us versus them” “they or them” attitude. They no longer recognize that their causes now enslave everyone including themselves. Blinded by identity Politics, a bubble within the brew of totalitarian reality, humanity is now caught within a perpetual state that modernity birthed and late modernity is only beginning to see its awakening after generations experienced it rather vicariously. 

Benito Mussolini argued that Fascism was foremost a spiritual exercise of the will of man to rise up and overcome: 

“Fascism sees in the world not only those superficial, material aspects in which man appears as an individual, standing by himself, self-centered, subject to natural law which instinctively urges him toward a life of selfish momentary pleasure; it see not only the individual but that nation and the country; individuals and generations bound together by a moral law, with common traditions and a mission which suppressing the instinct for life closed in a brief circle of pleasure, builds up a higher line, founded on duty, a life free from the limitations of time and space, in which the individual, by self-sacrifice, the renunciation of self-interest, by death itself, can achieve that purely spiritual existence in which his value as a man consists.” (Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions, 1932)

Third-way politics, most notably Fascism, was perturbed by a leftist communalism from communist and capitalistic individualism. For Mussolini the concept of the State could override both by making it—the State—the sole proprietor of Adoration and Judgement; King and God; Lord and Master. Heaven and Earth were now the sanctuary of the mighty State to preserve the corrupted foundation of the Homo-Sapien. 

Leftist politics also looks to the State through means of socialism and communism in order to free the masses, as Karl Marx remarked “to develop in greater spiritual freedom, a people must break their bondage to their bodily needs – they must cease to be the slaves of the body. They must, above all, have time at their disposal for spiritual creative activity and spiritual enjoyment” (Wages of Labour). Redistribute wealth, turn the privately owned into public hands, erase race and class warfare through a great equalization, and provide material good and services from free healthcare to free housing.  

Radicals all march to their own heavenly drum of a utopia never too far off away.

Conflict creates the enigma necessary to achieve this spiritual hunger within the inner belly of male and female. Vanquish thy enemy, achieve victory. Myth has an essential role regardless of ideological sway. Rene Girard argued that the innerness of mankind, the myths that bind us, are a making of the violent for which the sacred is conjured. Roger Scruton in his book, The Soul of the World, explains that for Girard “scapegoating is society’s way of re-creating “difference” and so restoring itself. By uniting against the scapegoat, people are released from their rivalries and reconciled” (p.19). Radical ideologies mimic religions through similar ritualization, creeds, works, and demands on society. Myth and fact are dizzyingly intertwined to contextualize an oppressed and the oppressor. David W. Shenk, author of Global Gods, argues that sometimes ideologies become the new gods including Marxism and Capitalism:

[M]arxism provided a program for the unification of the entire global community within one universal philosophy and political system. Its competitor has been capitalism, which also claims to be the ideal good capable of saving the global community from poverty. These dual ideologies and systems tended toward absolutism which gave them an aura of godlikeness as powerful as the ancient and unchallengeable Marduk of Babylon or the god-king, Pharaoh, of Egypt (p.34). 

That duality of conflict is essential to understand. What I am arguing is that Modernity produced this perpetual state of conflict that has now morphed into a monster all together its own totalitarianism—a crony woke capitalism; neoliberalism; corporatism. The latest of spiritual awakenings intertwined to that of secularism and secularity; a projection of religion but the kind found within Fascism as described in an 1925 anonymous article published in a magazine for Italian fascist outside of Italy:

Reasoning does not communicate, emotion does. Reasoning convinces, it does not attract. Blood is stronger than syllogisms. Science claims to explain away miracles, but in the eyes of the crowd the miracle remains: it seduces and creates converts (Fascist Mysticism, Italian Fasci Abroad, Roger Griffin pp 54-55). 

What socialism offers is a materialistic promise for a very material world. Conversely,  capitalism offers materialistic hope. Hope is ethereal in nature, it requires great dedication. Promises though are tangible, they are material through in through. In an age that disavows Scripture, the material becomes ethereal. Ironically, socialism is more materialistic than capitalism because of its promises provide means and resources through goods and services. Nothing other than hope can be offered by capitalism. One must earn their land and fortunes. Crony capitalism however has distorted this hope as corporations and banks and private institutions run amok with government institutions. Corporations now utilize the State to their benefit on a globalist scale like never before in human history. What was once considered communal or sacred are blurred by the privatized and the secularized. Nothing is as it once was. Not even nature is safe. Nor is Capitalism. All that was once capitalist is increasingly untrustworthy due to an array of factors outside of its original intended design. Boundaries are continually being broken by technology, multinationals, global elites, and the beast we know as the Leviathan. Out of fear and misfortune the promises of socialism have never appeared better to billions of people starving for a promise of recognition and social justice. 

After World War 1, the economist Ludwig von Mises sought to explain a deeply rooted problem within modernity, “the socialist idea dominates the modern spirit. The masses approve of it. It expresses the thoughts and feelings of all; it has set its seal upon our time” (Mises 1922, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, p. 15). Part of the modern spirit is the belief that the mighty individual deserves whatever it is they desire. This is Nietzsche “last man.” Modernity’s incantation of liberalism, capitalism, secularism, and socialism ultimately produced a society that sought the easy rather than the good life, the mundane instead of the truly spiritual and virtuous life; all the while demanding treasures once only belonging to kings, queens, and heroes. Nietzsche and C.S. Lewis share similar tones in their description over this last, much weaker human. “Men without chests” according to Lewis or “Hallowed chests” according to Nietzsche are descriptives of a culture lacking in virtue and honor, imagination and enterprise. It is the same side of the coin of greediness. Greed is not simply a capitalistic vice, but part of the DNA of mankind including the Marxist offshoot of Neo-marxism.

Admittedly much has occurred since Ludwig wrote those words, but wisdom has a way of redeeming itself through the actions of mankind. Take further Mises conception of Socialism: 

According to the Marxist conception, one’s social condition determines one’s way of thought. His membership of a social class decides what views a writer will express. He is not able to grow out of his class or to free his thoughts from the prescriptions of his class interests. Thus the possibility of a general science which is valid for all men, whatever their class, is contested… Thus Marxism protects itself against all unwelcome criticism… Marx and Engels never tried to refute their opponents with argument. They insulted, ridiculed, derided, slandered, and traduced them, and in the use of these methods their followers are not less expert. Their polemic is directed never against the argument of the opponent, but always against his person. Few have been able to withstand such tactics (pp. 18-19).

This is equally true today of identity politics and postmodernism found in far-left minded groups and political organizations. Any form of opposition is pitted against being called sexist, racist, or diagnosed a Munchausen syndrome by proxy all of which seek to demean rather than provide substantive debate. Free speech has become hate speech by proxy of the groups feeling an inkling of disagreement. Words are being made meaningless; a girl is a boy as a boy is a girl and disagreeing means hate. Scales of privilege were formulated to weigh this new public morality. Higher education perfected these privilege scales of justice that now doctors must obey, students must profess, and corporations will enforce. Disobedience currently results in losing jobs and public humiliation. Yet if history is correct much worse will come. For now society will begin to be put under the restrictions of what I have titled as Progressive Pseudo Dominari of Terms, Ideas, and Practices: A Lexicon of Postmodern Irreality and Oppression. That long-winded title is partly to jest, yet sadly intentional concerning the dominari aspect. Ruling over mankind is a corporate culture mindset found in institutions of higher education, hospitals, governments, and businesses who have adopted these new set of rules. For now with little detail provided some of the terminology in which I am speaking of are cultural appropriation, microaggressions, gender pronouns, white fragility, inclusion, and diversity.

Out of this ill toward different viewpoints, the malaise of modernity created polarization. Unchecked polarization brewed the extremism now found in late modernity. Globalism under late modernity converged and diverged hundreds of belief systems creating a calamity of ideas. Unbeknownst or not, atheists and christians, liberals and conservatives, rich and poor are all finding themselves under a new umbrella concerning the ideas and practices of this age.

Take a look at the Cultural Marxist Movement of Black Lives Matter (now deleted) manifesto: 

The Black Lives Matter Global Network is as powerful as it is because of our membership, our partners, our supporters, our staff, and you. Our continued commitment to liberation for all Black people means we are continuing the work of our ancestors and fighting for our collective freedom because it is our duty. Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family a culture where each person feels seen, heard, and supported. We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities. We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people. We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting. We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others. We see ourselves as part of the global Black family, and we are aware of the different ways we are impacted or privileged as Black people who exist in different parts of the world. We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location. We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.

We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence. We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered. We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts. We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work. We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable. We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise). We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn (Black Lives Matter, What We Believe)

BLM, Mussolini, Karl Marx—they are not all the same by any means but they do all have this innate drive to exterminate the “enemy” at large that systemically oppresses their ability to engage fully all that life has in-store for their résistance à la révolution.  

Late modernity symbolize’s the archetype of a tyrant. Disturbingly tyranny comes in many forms concerning the new coming age. Hence statism, corporatism, and globalism as actors to this effect. Each of these institutions push a similar agenda onto the masses. Employees, citizens, or subjects must use gender pronouns, check their microaggressions, and obey the golden rule of Inclusiveness, Diversity, and Equity! It is no wonder that Jordan Peterson, Stephen Hicks, and James Lindsey see links between Marxism and Postmodernism because the lines have all blurred. And soon we will all become nothing more than blank citizens awaiting an opportunity to be free, for the tent of dust to disappear once more.

Published by

E. Kyle Richey

A Christian, a Philosopher, and a Writer.

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