Know Your Enemy Pt.2
Last post I set a mental exercise of putting ourselves in the shoes of a malevolent spirit trying to destroy all that is good in the West.
I found it quite a daunting exercise, but here is what I concluded:
There are two levels, the microscopic and the macroscopic. The first is the level of individuals or small groups. Here the (usually petty) selfishness, meanness, greed, lust and even cruelty of the individual would be fertile ground for any malevolent spirit to incite thoughts words and deeds to destroy joy and multiply misery. But that situation is universal (except when and where it is better restrained by social mores, laws, or other means), so I thought it more helpful to concentrate on the macroscopic – trends effecting whole societies.
Here I found myself floundering a bit until I added in the idea that this posited spirit would be interested in causing misery over the entire world, not just in destroying the West. Then I saw a place to start looking:
So here are some of the things I thought up:
1. The road to hell is paved with god intentions they say. What if well intentioned human efforts could be cunningly or subtly pushed doff course so that they caused rather than alleviated human suffering. Here are some cases that occurred to me:
a) The Silent Spring. This film and the activism that surrounded it had the worthy aim of preserving the environment. It achieved a 10 year ban on the pesticide DDT. After 10 years research had shown that DDT was not as “bad” as activist had believed. But the damage had been done and could not be undone. When DDT was banned it was the key weapon against the malaria spreading Anopheles mosquito. The mosquito was, after a huge worldwide campaign, on the brink of extinction. This would have been the end, forever, of the killer disease Malaria. The ban on DDT meant the Anopheles rapidly increased and re-infested it former habitat. Tens of millions of people have died because of that one activist campaign.
b) Dams in India and other needy countries. Another activist campaign – doubtless with good motives – has been waged against building the dams needed in places like India to provide safe drinking water and irrigation for agriculture. The Western first world activists persuaded lenders such as the World Bank to refuse loans to these projects. Result: human misery plus a reservoir of hatred in these countries against “the rich West”.
c) Feminism. Good early achievements: the vote for women, equal opportunity for education, independence of property from husband – and so forth. By the early 1970's women no longer had to give up their job when they got married. Women had careers open to them – my sister was hired as a lawyer by a very conservative law firm in '68 and went on to become a partner. When my wife graduated from medical school in '74 about half the class were women. About that time banks began giving house loans to women. In so many ways important things had been achieved.
Then the cracks started to appear. The 1950's middle class dream had been of the garden suburb. Men ventured into the grime of the city to work, but their wives could stay out in their pleasant homes in pleasant suburbs enjoying some measure of leisure and raising a family. The early gain of women now having the choice to follow a career soured. Soon one income was no longer enough to support a family. To maintain their niche in society both had to work. We had poured scorn on the Soviets with children in daycare and both parents working – now we had created a same situation. Women faced a multiplication rather than a redefinition of roles, producing a crushing burden. Family sizes reduced to below that needed to maintain the population. Family stress and dislocation increased: net result: better for some, but worse for many, long term problem for country.
2. Church is a major sociological institution. I won't try to detail all the roles it plays in society, I'll just detail some ways it could be crippled to produce social harm.
By the 70's many protestant denominations were so debilitated by liberal theology that they lacked any spiritual vitality, and looking for a reason to exist turned their attention to social issues or became virtual museums. “Relevance” became an excuse to ape whatever was popular in the secular world, and even dress it up in Bible verses and call it “Christianity” - really just a sophisticated version of Aaron giving in to the people, making the Golden Calf and saying “here are your gods O Israel!
Protestant churches in particular were thus crippled so that even to their own members, let alone to the nation they failed to teach traditional morals. A clever twist was exploiting both the perverted lusts of some clergy and the typical reaction of a human institution to go on the offensive against criticism served to create the child sex abuse disaster for most denominations. As well as the actual harm to children, Christianity was besmirched and institutional churches lost all moral authority I the eyes of the public.
Traditional Christian morals, far from being wowserish, were in fact a prescription for individual, family and societal happiness. So the destruction of these roles of a church have led to less not more happiness in our nations.
Also the demise of genuine Christian influence allowed the rise of all sorts of ideologies based on a false view of human nature. Christianity says we are all sinners: human nature has a bias to evil. This bias has to be continually fought against and necessitates safeguards in all political schemes. The false view that generally replaces this assumes human nature is good: proper education is all that is needed. One can readily see this false assumption in most “progressive” ideologies, and can see then why their schemes are always doomed to failure!
There are many more examples but the above should serve the purpose of illustration.
3. The Long term goal: collapse of the West or it being overrun by some new equivalent of the Barbarians is well under way.
The 70's breakdown of sexual morals has recently extended to sexually perverted teachings to school children and the popularisation by film, television, internet and social media (aided by human nature) of gross immorality and addiction to pornography. Apart from the short term effects of destroying happiness in those seduced by it, there is a long term effect. Previous great cultures and empires have frequently become similarly dissolute just before they collapsed.
Again all over the West children from pre-school up have been saturated in progressive and collectivist propaganda. Just look at today's college students. As Hayek said so many decades ago: collectivism whether under the banner of Socialism or Fascism is the road to serfdom. This is the road we are dancing down to our doom, like mice after the Pied Piper.
We still have brave and patriotic people (especially in the US) enough to repel any immediate attack. But the rise of the “snowflake” generation who have been so coddled and brainwashed that they have no coping mechanisms for adversity means a future generation completely unable to fight and where some ruthless “barbarians” will find they can easily sweep us away. And there is no lack of peoples who would like to do just that!
I fear there is indeed a malevolent plan and a fall back position and it is already in progress! It aims to bring about: Socialism wit its inevitable economic collapse followed by descent into tyranny; or internal collapse and being overrun by some more warlike and ruthless peoples. Looking at the score so far, I fear the malevolent spirit is winning!