The View From 1776
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
A Preacher for the Gnostic Religion of Socialism
Naomi Klein, a Canadian and the new rock-star evangelist of secular socialism, is representative of the New Left activists who populate the Democrat/Socialist Party.
Radical-left activist doctrine ignores the historical fact that every cohesive and enduring political society must be ordered by a commonly held understanding of human nature and human morality.
The profile in the current issue of the New Yorker magazine is a long and revealing one. Outside Agitator: Naomi Klein and the new new left gives the reader a sympathetic view of the anti-everything orientation of the present-day progeny of early 20th century families who were thoroughly imbued with gnostic expectations of a socialist heaven on earth. Families who passionately believed in remaking human society and human nature to achieve blissful, benevolent social conditions by purely materialistic means.
The common theme of these radical activists throughout the 20th century and in today’s New Left is dissatisfaction with existing conditions. See Gnostic Education for a more detailed description.
As the New Yorker profile tells us in lengthy detail, there is hardly any aspect of present Western culture that Naomi Klein and her followers do not regard with antagonistic disgust. What sent her into rhapsodies of pleasure was witnessing anarchic turmoil amid the disintegration of governmental authority in Argentina, a time when housewives gathered on street corners anxiously seeking some way to provide for their families’ daily needs.
The unexpressed subtext is radical activism’s complete divorce from the spiritual aspirations, the moral strivings that are a more real, fundamental part of human nature than the material externalities that get all of the activists’ attention.
Gnostic activists like Klein, whether under the rubric of progressivism, positivism, or scientism, focus their energies upon tearing down the moral and social structure of society. The goal is to destroy what created the United States and to open the gates to the socialist welfare state, expecting tranquility, happiness, and social order magically to follow.
The ineluctable problem is that human nature does not change, Darwinian evolution not withstanding. Earliest histories, as well as archaeological research into prehistorical times, make this abundantly clear.
As Eric Voegelin wrote in The New Science of Politics:
The closure of the soul in modern gnosticism can repress the truth of the soul, as well as the experiences which manifest themselves in philosophy and Christianity, but it cannot remove the soul and its transcendence from the structure of reality.
New leftists like Naomi Klein speak in the vocabulary of hard-boiled practicality. But what they advocate is recognizable as arrant nonsense by anyone who ever has had to deal with the real wold in an executive capacity. Another of Professor Voegelin’s observations is apt:
...the obsession of replacing the world of reality by the transfigured dream world has become the obsession of the one world in which the dreamers adopt the vocabulary of reality, while changing its meaning, as if the dream were reality.
When critics are unkind enough to point out that transfiguration of society in the socialist model always results in government deficits, inflation, economic repression, shortages, and lower incomes for everyone, Naomi Klein and her followers blame their failures on someone or something other than themselves and their gnostic fantasy of a materialistic heaven on earth.