War Propaganda and Youth
(Mut zur Ethik, 2003)
No effective opposition to modern globalism, warfare undertaken on its behalf and propaganda designed to promote globalist militarism is possible without a fully accurate appreciation of what it is that one is combating. Unfortunately, this work of clarification is a difficult and painful enterprise which can also engender a despair deadly to the goal of resistance. Care must therefore be taken to avoid spoiling the blessings coming from a deeper knowledge through the poison administered by fatalism.
Why should the task of obtaining accurate understanding be so difficult? Because the reality of the globalist enterprise is a convoluted one. It would be considerably easier to oppose the globalists if they outrightly and consistently proclaimed an intention to dominate the world through violence for the satisfaction of their own personal desires. Alas, such frankness is not the way of the proponents of our Global Fatherland. Yes, it is true that crude appeals to the use of force emerge in the language of some of its supporters, but even these men and women will insist that their ultimate purpose really is the attainment of a fraternal world order friendly to national and individual dignity and freedom. Indeed, the majority of the activists in the globalist camp may actually believe these goals to be the overriding motivation for their own militancy.
Nevertheless, whether it be cynically adopted or the product of self-deception, this rhetoric of justice and peace is a masquerade, behind which lies the triumph of willfulness and strength. That masquerade is rendered more formidable by the fact that it is the product of developments in western civilization stretching back hundreds of years, in which the promoters of the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries played an especially significant role.
Let us examine the convoluted reality of the modern globalist enterprise with reference to the writings of a nineteenth century Italian Jesuit, Luigi Taparelli d’Azeglio. Two of his works, his Saggio teoretico di diritto naturale (Theoretical Essay on Natural Law) and his Esame critico degli ordini rappresentativi alla moderna (Critical Examination of Modern Representative Government) deal directly with the issues of international order and the masquerading of truth which concern us today. An appeal to these works is useful not only due to their basic insightfulness, but also because of their illustration of the deep historical roots of the problem: Taparelli’s analysis of developments in the 1840’s and 1850’s appears as though it could have been based upon events reported in this morning’s newspaper.
One of Taparelli’s strengths was sociology, and he was keenly aware of technological and economic changes which were creating a European wide and even globally-linked society whose proper guidance could require the creation of some supernatural authority. Such an authority, he argued, was obviously rationally conceivable. After all, ancient philosophers had discussed its theoretical character, and institutions like the Roman Empire had given it a certain substance.
Still, Taparelli was convinced, only Christianity was capable of building and sustaining a European or global society on a just and human basis, and this for four reasons. To begin with, Christian teaching insisted upon the ultimate solidarity of all men and women, subject as they were to the same universal moral code and the same choice regarding their eternal destiny. Next, it glorified the magnificent diversity of nature, arguing that all things natural were loved by God in their very distinctiveness, their submission to His law, in union with Christ, perfecting rather than dulling their differences, by supplying all that was lacking to their varied expressions of the divine creative powers. Thirdly, Christian emphasis on the reality of individual human freedom effectively warned men against the illusion that the maintenance of a just world order was a simple matter. Finally, its sense of mission took Greek and Roman discussion of international society out of the parlor room and into practical daily life, compelling Christian activists to work to transform the earth and make it a place both of universal brotherhood and respect for diversity. In sum, Christianity was the sole force capable of constructing a proper international society because it most saw the need for one, most emphasized the just laws which had to underlie it, most grasped the reverence owed to each of its distinct national parts, most realized how a bad use of human freedom could easily destroy it, and most influenced people to employ their energies to bringing it into being and sustaining it.
All of the themes noted above worked themselves too deeply into the spirit of western life to be dismissed offhandedly when Catholic theology came under massive attack from the sixteenth century onwards. In fact, Enlightenment thinkers of the eighteenth century began by enthusiastically accepting and promoting the concepts of a universal fraternal order, the dignity of all earthly things and individual human freedom as well. Pointing to the divisions, warfare, and atrocities staining the honor of Christendom in the past, however, they contended that such goods could only be protected by the abandonment of traditional Christian beliefs and their replacement by a faith in natural wisdom alone. This they sought to accomplish either through a frontal assault upon the Church or her transformation into a radically different kind of institution which would actually work for the cause of secularization.
Here, Taparelli continued, lay a great error with enormous and disastrous consequences for international society, as well as for every other aspect of life. Yes, the same themes of solidarity, dignity, and freedom might still be stressed, but they were stripped of the intellectual substructure and fuel that gave them substance and driving force. The natural wisdom of Greek and Roman philosophers alone had never effectively brought them to life, and everything that the Christians had found valuable in their work was quickly dismissed as useless by the new proponents of secularism anyway. Reason, as they applied it, was more and more said to demonstrate the dominance everywhere in life of a basic materialism, manifested, according to some, through the operation of predictable physical laws, and, according to others, through the irresistible play of human passions. Hence, turning back to our present concern, any international order that ought to exist had to be viewed either as a relentless universal mechanism whose national parts had no more particular distinction and freedom than any other machine components, or a lawless libertarianism in which the strongest and most forceful national or individual wills ruled the roost, to the detriment of all others. Taparelli, observing the interplay of leftist ideologies, nationalist revolutions, great power politics and capitalist industrial activity in his day, felt that any modern international “order” would eventually come down to this: a hypocritical disorder, publicly committed to formerly Christian goals, but practically dominated by willful national or individual passions rendered ever more similar, crude, and boring due to a mechanistic leveling of all human desires and aspirations.
By this point, we have reached the painful part of our process of clarification, the admission of the strength of the masquerade, whose rhetoric has by now so penetrated into the minds of western men as to make its first principles seem indisputable. Indeed, people do generally take for granted the necessity of building a fraternal world order protecting national and individual freedom and dignity upon those modern materialist concepts which actually render such goals illusory. Moreover, the various forces which have taken advantage of the modern system seek to prohibit any examination of its flawed substructure, not by overwhelming opponents with the brilliance of their reasoning, but by dismissing philosophical and theological criticism as absurd, and by stressing the terrifyingly divisive consequences which would flow from any such questioning. The strongmen since the Second World War—Soviet mechanists and American pluralist libertarians—have tightened that censorship by denouncing anyone foolish enough to discuss the problems of their underlying materialism as, if not literally insane, most certainly fascist in spirit, and therefore evil personified. Fear of the fascist label has proven to be an immensely successful stimulus to acceptance of the status quo.
Today, pluralism has triumphed as the strongest force interpreting globalism, national dignity, and individual freedom almost everywhere, its interpretation allowing for the manipulation of everything for the benefit of a consortium of multinationals and outright criminals who have never shown themselves unwilling to unleash warfare to achieve their goals. While using all the tools noted above to silence analysis of its masquerade, Pluralism also relies on another potent means of obtaining acquiescence: seduction. It represents that approach to destroying Christianity which allows its outward form to remain alive, while transforming it inwardly into a cheering squad for secularization. Unlike Marxism, it actually gives to many people the material success it promises. It satisfies many passions. Thus, it can very effectively blind men to the price that they are paying in terms of true solidarity, national dignity and spiritual freedom until it is too late to recover any elevation of mind and soul again.
What is it that can be done to thwart the designs of an enemy this convoluted, this masqueraded, and, very often, this self-deceived regarding its own real nature? Seemingly very little, on the practical level, since it appears to have all the cards in its hands. It dictates the battlefields, the arms which can be employed, and the conditions of battle, and all to its advantage.
This does not mean that I would argue for the neglect of opportunities that might present themselves politically to oppose the globalists and their propaganda. It is necessary for us to keep fighting, even if we are not very effective at it, if only to force the world to remember that we are still alive. I would, however, urge that we not be surprised by our repeated defeats, and that we keep our attention fixed much more on the long-term effects of solid education.
For our opponents’ weaknesses lie in areas reached by various forms of education, in the realms of the intellect and the spirit. Here, they are seriously ill, incapable of satisfying basic human needs which their materialism seeks to deny. When their intellectual and spiritual illness overwhelms them, which it eventually will, their seemingly imposing strength will quickly melt away, as it did in the Soviet bloc, though this time with infinitely more damaging economic results. And when it does, individuals and nations will have to look for direction to those who really can offer the key to a fully human life.
Will that be us? Only if we have made certain, by self-education, by pursuing the process of clarification noted above, that we are completely aware of the nature of the problem that we are facing. Here, I think, we have more work to do, for I fear that we are still much too tied to the idea that the eighteenth century Enlightenment substructure is sound, intellectually, and that difficulties leading to modern globalism and its potential for violence have little or nothing to do with it. Insofar as this tie remains, we will fight the globalists with arguments that will only bring us something equally unacceptable in their place, in the same way that a soul-killing pluralist universalism has been adopted by enemies of a soul-killing Marxist universalism. Either we educate ourselves—and through our example, youth—to understand philosophically and theologically what gives life and what brings death, or our opposition to the globalist war machine is a waste of time.
Return to main page.