Friday, January 24, 2014

Edward Bernays on the invisible government

From Propaganda, 1928.

Chapter 1.

THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organised.

Chapter 2.

Whatever of social importance is done today, whether in politics, finance, manufacture, agriculture, charity, education, or other fields, must be done with the help of propaganda. Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.

Friday, January 10, 2014

From the final chapter of Knut Hamsun’s majestic novel, Growth of the Soil.

Knut Hamsun

In the final chapter, Geissler’s words bring out the contrast between tradition and the barrenness of modernity.

"Tis you that maintain life. Generation to generation, breeding ever anew; and when you die, the new stock goes on. That's the meaning of eternal life. What do you get out of it? An existence innocently and properly set towards all. What you get out of it? Nothing can put you under orders and lord it over you Sellanraa folk, you've peace and authority and this great kindliness all round. That's what you get for it. You lie at a mother's breast and suck, and play with a mother's warm hand. There's your father now, he's one of the two-and-thirty thousand. What's to be said of many another? I'm something, I'm the fog, as it were, here and there, floating around, sometimes coming like rain on dry ground. But the others? There's my son, the lightning that's nothing in itself, a flash of barrenness; he can act.

"My son, ay, he's the modern type, a man of our time; he believes honestly enough all the age has taught him, all the Jew and the Yankee have taught him; I shake my head at it all. But there's nothing mythical about me; 'tis only in the family, so to speak, that I'm like a fog. Sit there shaking my head. Tell the truth - I've not the power of doing things and not regretting it. If I had, I could be lightning myself. Now I'm a fog."

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Simone Weil and T. S. Eliot.

The Christianity of apostate Jew Simone Weil fascinates me.

It infused her political outlook and this is what most interested T. S. Eliot.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, T. S. Eliot expressed concern that ‘centuries of barbarism’ lay ahead, ushered by the supremacy of technology.  In Simone Weil he discovered a kindred spirit in the countering of barbarism with a vision of a cohesive social structure, firmly rooted in tradition.  Writing the preface to Weil’s The Need for Roots, Eliot described Weil ‘as a stern critic of both Right and Left; at the same time more truly a lover of order and hierarchy than most of those who call themselves Conservative, and more truly a lover of the people than most of those who call themselves socialist’.

Weil, like Eliot, believed that an effective social organism can only be founded on the principle of unity in multiplicity, with all contributors considered as equally important to its progress.  Everyone, everything, must be considered to be in a relationship with someone or something else in conformity with their respective natures, and thus in conformity with the right to fulfil those natures.  This right is not expressed as an absolute, as it is under liberalism, but as a relation. 

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth

Pontius Pilate asked of Jesus, ‘What is truth?'

Subjectivism and moral relativism are betrayed in the very question.  They were prominent in the self-righteousness of the Jews who, together with Pilate, spurned the truth in condemning Christ.  They remain prominent also to the liberalism of the present, which has rejected the truth of the cross.  The truth in all its grandeur and purity was not apparent before the raising of Christ on the cross.  From that point, the world could only be true to the extent that it reflected God, the creative logic and the eternal reason that brought it into being.  For with Christ’s passion a new hierarchy came into being that united man to other men in their union with God, through Christ. If the truth is objective, then ‘bearing witness to the truth’ means giving priority to God and his will - the truth of the cosmic hierarchy - over against the interests of this world and its powers. The antithesis stated in these terms could not be more stark - choose God or the devil.

The spurning of the truth continues to this day.  The following lines from II Timothy are as relevant as ever.

II Timothy 3:1-5,7 "But realise this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

(Crucifixion from the Maletic Gallery, Serbian fresco)

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The nauseous cultural Marxism of Justin Welby’s New Year’s Day message

The nauseous cultural Marxism of Justin Welby’s New Year’s Day message exposes the humanist liberal ideology that has replaced Christianity in the Church of England, as well as the Catholic Church.

But what of Christianity?—and I mean full uncompromising Christianity, not the humanist idealism that calls itself Christian. Is not Christianity supremely hostile to all forms of idealism? Ideals such as the eradication of poverty have enlisted the enthusiasm of some modern idealist or other, but it is quite clear to the Christian that they are secularisations and so perversions of genuine Christian hopes.

Humanitarianism has taken the place of religious authority in the Church. The lying declaration of the rights of man without corresponding duties and obligations has been accepted in place of God, despite Christ's warnings that all man made inventions are falsehoods...