Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Let Us Make Man - When the history of the 20th Century is fully compiled, it may well be described as a succession of movements intended to tinker with the essential nature of mankind. Fascism and Nazism, along with socialism and communism saw man as infinitely malleable, and sought to "remake" man by way of imbuing him with new motivations and imperatives. Nazism and fascism desired to create demigods who would be empowered to establish a new order based on individual pride in one's race and culture. Nazism in particular fashioned for itself a mythical Aryan "superman" who would redeem Germany from its humiliation after WWI.

Those movements can be seen in contradistinction to socialism and communism, which by various turns sought to create an "new man" who would be a useful implement for the establishment and maintenance of an all-powerful central government. This is especially true of communism, which served best to take previously self-sovereign individuals and recreate them as automatonic and interchangeable man-bots in the image and ideology of the state. (Of course we know that those whom communism was unable to remake, it sought to destroy by way of prison, the gulag or mass murder in various "killing fields.") Where fascism and Nazism attempted to create active and empowered men, socialism and communism meant to engineer passive and dependent proles.

And while socialism and communism are distinct from Nazism and fascism, they seem parallel in purpose to another great "movement" of the 1900s: the maintenance of white supremacy throughout the U.S. and particularly in the American South. Like socialism and communism, "Jim Crowism" also intended to maintain a social order undergirded by state governments that were powerful enough to disenfranchise some their citizens. And the men whose natures white racism sought to remake ended up in many ways as servile as their counterparts enslaved behind the Iron Curtain and elsewhere within communism's evil empire.

All of the foregoing serves to place man's latest attempt to remake man in perspective. In as much as modern liberalism has hoped to rejigger human perspective and activity, it too has served to create new men and women. In so doing, it has become a hybrid of sorts, producing both empowered supermen who can "save the planet" from global warming and supplicant man-children who are barely able to regularly repair to a place of employment. As each of these programs intended to reconstruct that which it did not create, they did so for their own purposes, and are in stark contrast to conservatism; at worst, conservatism merely accepts human nature and at best it constrains and employs it for constructive pursuits. (This informs much as to why conservatism has become so intertwined with religion, as both share a similar premise vis-a-vis the fallen nature of mankind.)

Indeed, it is hardly coincidental that, with the arguable exception of white supremacy, all of the aforementioned movements were agnostic or hostile to matters of faith. Neither of the other great thrusts of history, which wreaked havoc on the European continent and threatened life as it was known throughout the world, had any use for belief in anything other than a man-made ideology. Indeed, to assume that one man could mold the nature of another is antithetical to most orthodox religious practice, and it stands to reason that before any of these movements could gain momentum, they had to supersede any influence that religion would have on society. And so it does not surprise that liberalism is also hostile to religion in public life, as religion - the Christian Left notwithstanding - is the last bulwark against a progressive tsunami.

So the table is set for an examination of an attempt on the part of progressives to "make man" as it were. While liberalism has proselytized on behalf of, among other things, global warming, universal health care and an increased minimum wage with a mostly negligible effect, the efforts of the counterculturalists of the 1960s to revise the behavioral incentives of the black underclass has been disastrous for all concerned. These efforts and their effects will be the focus of upcoming posts.

More to come...

No comments: