The Cultural Inversion of 1984 The real-life Big Brothers think they’re fighting Big Brother. By…
When you believe in nothing, all you have is hate.
By Daniel Greenfield
Since 2001, suicide rates increased by around 40% and religious identity fell by 25%. These seemingly random statistics are data points in a web defining America’s postmodern malaise.
Within a generation a nation that had been a global model of a modern society has imploded. Old demons like racism have come roaring back in a country that is more divided than ever. Another civil war, once a farfetched science fiction tale, now seems almost inevitable. In nearly every statistic that touches on our social bonds, America has become a disaster area.
From individuals to our families to our cities to our nation, we are coming apart. Suicide rates, drug overdoses, urban collapse, crime waves, hate, violence, fear and economic decline are everywhere. The majority of Americans don’t believe that the future holds anything better.
There are many explanations for what is happening, but a basic one is that we are the plane plummeting from the sky after all the rivets holding it together had come out. The rivets were those things which politicians blather about, the ones that hold us together, and without them we are defined only by those things which divide us. We’re separate parts falling down to earth.
Religion was a fundamental unity. Commonalities of faith allowed America to weather crises like the civil war or the civil rights struggles because underlying the anger were shared values. We no longer have shared values and while religion is not the only issue, it is a major indicator.
The deconstruction of country and faith left us with little more than accidents of geography, social class, race, tastes, politics, and the other things which divide us as our defining identities.
The moral motive force of a deconstructionist society in which nothing is sacred is to be defined by what we are against. Negative outrage, rather than any drive for the good, came to be the highest value. After the fall of Communism, the leftist ideology that transformed the country lacks any credible vision of a better world. The feeble gesturing toward Europe’s health care or China’s rapid trains quickly give way to a movement that is defined by its hatred of what is.
The class warfare conspiracy theories, tales of oppressed workers, strikers battling with the bosses, bomb throwers sabotaging capitalism, revolutionary vanguards overthrowing kings is where the moral passion of leftists always lay, but in the past this had been dismissed as a temporary stage. Now the violence and hate have become not the journey, but the destination.
Anti-racism contends that racism will exist as long as whiteness does. Wokeness holds out no hope of a better world, only a resistance that destroys the old but, even if it eliminates all the white people or heterosexual males, will likely never be freed of the intellectual residue of whiteness, patriarchy, heteronormativity, cisness and other thought crimes yet to be revealed.
Wokeness is an admission inherent in the long failed drives toward ‘True Communism’ in Russia, China and other totalitarian red states that utopia will never arrive. All leftists can do is sign up for an Orwellian perpetual cycle of purges against the enemies of their ideals.
That sort of ‘Oppositionism’ was the inevitable consequence of trying to actively realize an impossible ideal and then, out of the throes of its failure, defining the movement around a perpetual hostility to conservatives and traditionalists with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Oppositionism is what remains in a society where nothing is sacred and all that’s left is hatred of the other. If nothing is truly sacred and there is nothing higher to aspire to, then what defines us is what divides us, and we no longer need to know who we are, only what it is we hate.
The madness of oppositionism leads Democrat moms to take their toddlers to drag shows and buy them copies of Ibram X. Kendi’s ‘Anti-Racist Baby’ board book because these are the things that the people they hate now hate and so it’s incumbent on ‘progressives’ to embrace them.
At the rate we are going, if conservatives came out against child sacrifice, there would be a line all through wealthy woke suburbs to deliver their children to Moloch. In a society where things like human life and the innocence of children are sacred, such things would be inconceivable, but in a ‘nothing sacred’ society, what appears sacred must give way to what we hate.
Nothing sacred, certainly not religion, but not even that which even the most primitive barbaric tribes value, like the protection of women and children, can stand up to the power of hate.
And the need to destroy what we are to differentiate ourselves from that which we hate.
A generation ago, few college women would have been willing to throw away the hardwon feminist privilege of female sports to cater to a handful of mentally ill men. But the combined forces of woke identity politics and, almost as importantly, conservative opposition made it a tenet of faith that men who say they’re women have transcended biology and questioning that is a hate crime.
The postmodern moloch of wokeness asks of its followers that they sacrifice what is most precious to them, children, born and unborn, masculinity, femininity, athletic opportunity, honor and morality, in order to not only signal their virtue, but to differentiate themselves from the hated other tribe that they have been cursed to temporarily share parts of the country with.
The ancient pagans castrated themselves to worship the ‘goddess’ while the new pagans castrate themselves to reject toxic masculinity, traditional gender roles and everything that they have been taught is evil. The end result of people who define themselves by the rejection of what they hate is that they lose themselves and destroy their bodies and their souls.
That is what is happening to America.
The idea that some positive unifying vision would emerge in the twilight of religion was always a delusional fantasy. Religion was replaced by cults of personality, like that of Hitler and Stalin, and more contemporary examples, by a cannibalistic consumerism, and by a politics that pervaded everything.
Leftists promised that their politics could realize what religion only promised in exchange for total commitment and submission. Their failures cost a hundred million lives as a down payment. With the theoretical underpinnings in ruins, the politics is still everywhere, its promise is the destruction of everything else. Only when everything is gone, something better might emerge in some undefined fashion. But no one holds out any real expectation that it will.
This is oppositionism at its starkest, with no hope and no future, only the ruins of victory.
A sacred society is working toward something while an oppositionist society is nihilistic, existing for the destruction of its enemies, hoping and dreaming for nothing except death. Oppositionism cannot win because it has no concept of what victory even looks like. It barely bothers to dwell on the subject because deep down it has despaired of man and doesn’t believe that it can win.
The decline of religion, of the conviction that there is a ‘sacred’ worth building and protecting, has left behind passing emotions, mob movements, and outbursts, but nothing that endures. The sacred conviction of one moment, as in the aftermath of 9/11, is discarded when a new outrage comes along. And in oppositionism, there are always new outrages and convictions.
A sacred society is not a call for a theocracy, the coming together of the church and state is unhealthy for both, but for the importance of what we believe in. Movements, like wokeness, that cannot even summon up a plausible conception of the positive tend to form in societies that have lost the knowledge that life matters and that there is a higher purpose to our existence.
The sacred imagination looks in awe beyond the horizon in search of what moves us to be more than we are, while the oppositionist imagination is bent on dividing us to justify its cynical view of human nature. To the sacred, we are children of a higher power, while to the oppositionist we are biological meat machines driven by genetic predestination and crude impulses that are easily manipulable to those with the cleverness and the daring to impose their will on us.
That is the unexpected but fundamental breach between the sacred and the radical: is man free or a slave, was he made for better things or to be part of a mob, can we rise above ourselves?
Answer the question and you understand the movement, its nature and its misery.
Why shouldn’t biological slaves denied the hope of sacredness or transcendence destroy themselves? Why should they believe that tomorrow holds anything better than today? The icebergs are melting, capitalism is collapsing, extinction is coming and mankind will vanish. What’s there to really stay around except spite and violence against the other tribe?
Religion, true ideals, redeem us from this barbaric despair. Oppositionism, when its grandiose promises have failed, plunges societies back into that despair, and offers nothing more than the opportunity to burn it all down in a final funeral pyre in the ultimate act of social suicide.
This is the final end, individual and communal, of a society in which nothing is sacred.
The outcomes of civil wars are measured not only by what is destroyed, but by what is built. Out of a civil war between loyalists and rebels, came the United States of America. As we approach the precipice of a civil war, we may wish to consider what construction would arise from it.