The Enlightenment as a Pack of Incompetent Liars

There are two wings to the Enlightenment rebels against Christ’s rule. One of them is the liberal Enlightenment, “the real deal”. This is the group that is most aggressive in maximizing the rule of the State – the only true master and saviour of men – and issue the most ringing endorsements of the Power of Reason. The conservative Enlightenment is more decentralized, and more focused on the rule of individual free men than a Might Leader (or a Mighty Clique) who will masterfully lead mankind to its final destiny in the gulags Utopia.

However, what actually happens in real life is that the conservative Enlightenment ends up being a half-wit, 20-years-late version of the liberal Enlightenment. Both lust after Empire, both are fundamentally tyrannical (even as both bleat on and on and on about ‘our love of freedom and liberty’), both are essentially sterile and incoherent… and neither has a future.

North expands on the apostate Christian roots of both pack of lies:

Both systems are financed by a monopolistic central bank, but the right-wing Enlightenment invented the original model: the Bank of England (1694).

Both systems invoked the sovereignty of autonomous man as a species. Neither turned to biblical religion as the definitive standard.

Ever since 1700, Christian social thought has relied on one of the two Enlightenment versions for support. Christianity has been subsumed under the Enlightenment. This carried down to the 1980’s, when Roman Catholic radicals proclaimed Marxist revolution: “liberation theology.” In response, Christian conservatives proclaimed democratic capitalism. In both cases, Christians have been riding in the back of the Enlightenment’s bus. They prefer one driver to the other, but they have paid for the bus and the gasoline. They do not get to select the map or take the steering wheel.

Possible Solutions

There needs to be a history of the Enlightenment which traces its origins back to its religious roots. We can identify these roots: John Calvin and Ignatius Loyola. They were both students at the tiny College of Montagu at the University of Paris in the 1520’s. Loyola entered a year after Calvin departed. Another famous figure, Erasmus, had studied there three decades earlier.

Calvin developed an ecclesiology that was bottom-up. The local congregation possesses initiating authority. It provides a local court. Unresolved decisions are passed on to a higher court. This is Presbyterianism. Loyola created the Jesuit order. It was top-down. The Pope had absolute authority over the order, but it answered only to the Pope: no intervening institutional authorities (bishops or cardinals).

The Scottish Enlightenment was pioneered by liberal and apostate (e.g., Hume) Presbyterians. The French Enlightenment was pioneered by apostates who were reacting against their Catholic educations. The Enlightenment was a secularized version of a pair of rival Western Christian movements.

One of the basic facts of life is that evil is self-defeating – even when God doesn’t obviously pushes it over the cliff…
•    A sterile culture isn’t going to shape the future for long;
•    A people who won’t save and plan for the future won’t have the wealth to direct it;
•    A people who rely on force and fraud to fund their lifestyle won’t be able to sustain compound growth rates, but instead hit a point of diminishing returns;
•    A people with only self-centred goals will simply refuse to build the kind if society that best nourishes children, ensures justice for both the strong and the weak, and instead grows ever-more fragile, relying on expensive government force and power instead of self-governance and a shared ethic.

Now, Our Masters care nothing about any of this, as “in the long run we’re all dead”.
But Christians may not follow in the footsteps of the powerful and the idiotic.

The dreams of the Men of Reason, of a glorious and masterful State which will direct the world’s economy from the Commanding Heights, are an increasingly laughable failure. And the contempt will only soar when the Welfare State comes a’cropper.

(Let’s ignore the disintegration of the very concept of ‘objective reason’ for now.)

Now, since the current civilization is going to dry up and blow away, Christians need to start laying the foundation of a better civilization. And to do that, we need to do the hard thinkwork of figuring out what went wrong with this dying parody of Christendom.

Yet again, from North:

The greatest single failure of the conservative movement is the fact that no one has written the history of Western civilization in terms of the principles of the conservative movement.

Conservatives say that Western Civilization is superior to all others. I say: “Prove it.” Show why. Then show how this came to be.

You cannot do this if you are an ethical relativist. Conservatives say they aren’t. I say: “Prove it.” Prove it with a comprehensive history of Western Civilization: a shelf of books, a college-level textbook, a high school textbook, and a website full of documentation.

I’m still waiting. Let me know.

If your principles do not enable you to understand the past, then your principles will not enable you to shape the future in terms of your principles. You are fighting to lose. You are in a lost cause.

If your principles of historical causation are vague, you will not understand how it is possible to get from the world in which we presently live, which we understand has been corrupted by false principles, to a better world in which positive principles have overcome negative principles in the operation of our institutions.

If you cannot do this, you will become the victim of Leo Durocher’s summary of historical causation: “Nice guys finish last.”

Now, our Masters are indeed evil and incompetent… but they are only incompetent in reaching their supposed goals, of “liberty and equality”.

(For one thing, these goals are fundamentally incompatible. Men simply are not equal: they vary greatly, and in a free society their different lives and attitudes will result in different outcomes.)

But, if you ditch the blather and focus on what they actually do – centralize more and more power in the hands of the Right Sort – then they are very competent, indeed!

So, how to break the chains of those who hate and despise us, always and everywhere?

I would return to the first half of the essence of their existence, liars. (And its brothers, the murderer and the thief – but the liar part is the foundation of the other two arms of the Humanist Trinity.)

The State is grounded in the democratic theft of property and liberty from the Wrong Sort – that is, Christians – and giving it to the friends of the State, here defined as “anything and anyone who opposed Christianity.” The State is the official Source of the Law, and thus the God of the West… but since World War I and the end of the gold standard, there has been a greater Lord than the State, the Central Banks. “He who makes the money, makes the rules.”

This Lord has made lots and lots of promises of lifelong pleasure and ease, in return for power over the money. The masses have been increasingly impoverished by this cant, but the elites have prospered mightily – and it’s only their opinion that matters… in anything at all, be it morality or law, family or business.

The thing is, both the senior banks and the ruling masters are still incompetent fools. So both are slated for an increasingly harsh set of setbacks. (This, despite the fact that they have dedicated their entire careers, even their lives, to self-serving maneuvers!) But so long as there is no alternative, they will continue to rule, and continue to drive both the society and the economy into the ground.

Codevilla has spelt out the need for an alternative, but to actually create this alternative, you need to turn to libertarian principles – and the principles of local rule, as well.

And there must be an end to the Enlightenment.

(Unless you like ever-more oppressive. morality-free tyrannies, of course.)


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