Allow me to take you on a whirlwind tour of Modern Philosophy and politics.
First, there was Medieval philosophy, which was a good and wondrous thing. Taking as its axiom a rational God, it assumed that His adopted children could, by reason, understand the world.
Structure and order were the calling cards of the medieval philosophers. Everything in reality was a link in the great chain of being, with animals as links below men, and angels as links above. Each link depended on the link above, and was subject to it. Each link was required to hold up the link below, lest it fall. All terminated in the chainwright, the one link that needed no support: God.
Medieval philosophers took authority as their axiom, and the unquestionable authority of God gave birth to the useful authority of reason.
From the medieval philosophy came the Enlightenment. Enlightenment philosophers took reason as their axiom. But reason, unlike an eternal and unquestionable God, cannot hold itself up. Reason is contingent. That is to say, it does not come from nowhere, but something preceeds it: us. Human reason is conceived with human life, and matures along with the human body.
The Enlightenment philosophers find their end in Kant. Longing to cling to his religion while taking reason, and not God, as his axiom, Kant followed the axiom of contingent reason to its logical end: reality is filtered through our fallible senses. We cannot be certain we see reality at all. We must assume that what we call reality is really a construct of our reason, and has nothing to do with reality.
From this poisoned principle came the pernicious religious myth that we must accept everything on faith — never mind the fact that the first-century concept of faith assumed the preexistence of evidence. And this was Kant’s goal. He wanted to believe in God, but he would not take God as his axiom. The only possible technique, for a fully reasoned philosopher, was to discredit reason itself.
But let us remain in the Enlightenment a while longer.
Two political came from the Enlightenment: Liberalism, and Socialism. Both claimed to be scientific. Both claimed to be rigorous. But each took as its axiom something different.
Socialism took as its axiom the Spock Principle: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
Liberalism took as its axiom the fairy tale proposition “The ends do not justify the needs.”
Thus, with Liberalism, the primary unit of society is the individual. The individual is to be given justice. The individual is to be given freedom. You must not execute an innocent man even if his deceitful death will save the lives of twenty innocent men. You must allow a man to do with his property whatever he likes, provided he does not damage or impinge upon the property of another.
Socialism held that Liberalism would ultimately result in oppression. The strong would gain advantage over the weak. Liberalism appealed to self-interest, and would ultimately bear the fruits of greed and envy.
Instead, the needs of the collective must come first. The lives of twenty innocent men is worth the false incrimination and execution of one innocent man. The scientific planning and rational weighing of the ends would determine the means. The result would be a kind society, where men worked for the good of one another, rather for themselves, and there would be plenty for all.
Marx felt that Liberalism would inevitably evolve into Socialism. There was no need to incite revolution. But Liberalism knew, when it set its harness on the dragons of greed and envy, what it was harnessing. It went in open-eyed, knowing that virtue and happiness must come from outside politics, for its basis, once again, came from fairy tales. From the greatest legend of them all: God, coming down to Sinai, and etching into stone laws that even kings must heed. Liberalism tried to chain vice and use it.
Socialism promised heaven. Liberalism merely promised freedom — along with responsibility. Thus, Liberalism won patriotism, but Socialism won religious ferver. Lenin and Mao grew impatient, waiting for heaven on earth. They decided they would impose utopia by force.
There existed disciples of Kant, who felt that the Enlightenment destroyed humanity, replacing it with mechanism. These created the Counter-Enlightenment. Marx and Locke both, they thought, had created political systems that alienated the human spirit. To be truly human; truly alive, men needed to abandon reason, embrace contradiction, and embrace not the intellect, but the heart and the will. Reason, they reasoned (oh the paradox!) led ultimately to contradiction. Therefore, reason was flawed by its own metric.
But sheer will as a philosophy can lead only to anarchy. So they adopted not the philosophy, but the politics of the socialists. The collective would be placed before the individual. The organism would be the nation, not the person. And, that the will of the collective be focused and not confused, they believed that the collective required a nerve center: an individual to serve as the heart and brain of the nation.
Some of them called their anti-intellectual breed of socialism “Fascism.” Others called it “National Socialism.”
Now, of the two, Counter-Enlightenment socialism has the worst rap because the Nazis were rather spectacular in their transgressions against good taste, and because modern polemicists use the word “Fascist” as a content-free insult; but the Enlightenment socialism has the higher body count if I’m not mistaken.
We all know what became of the Nazis. But let us consider what became of the Enlightenment socialists. The political system that promised heaven became a hell. The liberals abolished slavery both in their country and others, won peace where other countries would create war, and built robust economies that survived even the disastrous tinkerings of socialist politicians. Meanwhile, far from proving more benign, the socialists proved more murderous. Far from proving more scientifically effective, their economics proved destructive.
But socialism is utopian. It is a religion, not a mere political system. It promises heavenly peace, not earthly freedom and responsibility. The socialists, therefore, had a religious devotion to their failed philosophy.
Just as Christians, in the Enlightenment, turned to anti-rationalism to maintain their faith in the face of the apparent facts, so the socialists have turned to the same philosophy.
We already know what happens when this evil politic is wedded to an evil philosophy, for it has happened before. Any person who we now call ‘liberal’ (even though they are socialist rather than liberal) has embraced the exact mixture of ideas that are called by some adherents “Fascism” and others “National Socialism”.
The only difference is this: The Nazis and the Fascists divided themselves by race and nation. The new Fascists divide everyone else by race, sex, ideology, anything. And then they separate themselves from the unwashed masses by sympathy. They say, “We love blacks, women, and gays. Therefore we are better than other whites.”
Understand, they do not separate themselves by race, sex, or sexual deviancy, as you might think. It is not the black people who brought this disease to the Enlightenment countries, but white. It is not women, but men. They are not bucking for the revolution of black against white, as the Nazis sought the revolution of Nordic against Jew.
They are attempting to enlist the black man, the woman, the gay man, as willing slaves for their revolution of socialist against liberal. For, being descendants of Marx rather than Hitler, they see the shift into socialism as an international effort rather than a national effort.
No. They are seeking their religious utopia, which does not have its basis in sex or race or country, but in the rule of the knowledgeable over the ignorant. The rule of those who think rightly over those who think wrongly. The tyranny of the self-appointed experts.
Still, this philosophy, which has been called postmodernism by some and cultural Marxism by others has more to do with Fascism than Marxism, as it is the wedding of collectivism and anti-rationalism, and is certainly not postmodern, for it was born in Germany in the eighteen-hundreds, scant decades after America was founded.
Rather than calling it Cultural Marxism or Postmodernism, then, let us call it what it is: International Fascism.
I will have much more to say on this topic, but this is enough for now.