The View From 1776

Narcissism And Gnosticism

Radical left-wing Democrat/Socialists not only are blinded to reality by their narcissism, but also are led into disastrous social and political policies by their gnosticism.

With respect to narcissism, columnist Michael Barone echoes my recent posting.

Read Obama Mistakenly Believes Others See World As He Does

With respect to gnosticism, the other radical left deformation of reality, I outlined the problem in The Liberal Jihad - The Hundred-Year War Against the Constitution:

Eric Voegelin addressed the persistence of gnosticism in Science, Politics & Gnosticism, based on his 1958 University of Heidelberg lecture. He wrote:

“The more we come to know about the gnosis of antiquity, the more it becomes certain that modern movements of thought, such as progressivism, positivism, Hegelianism, and Marxism, are variants of gnosticism… The death of God is the cardinal issue of gnosis, both ancient and modern. From Hegel to Nietzsche it is the great theme of gnostic speculation, and Protestant theology has been plagued by it ever since Hegel’s time. In recent years, it has been taken up by American theologians who are faced with the pressing phenomena of urbanization and alienation.”

Conditions became even worse after 1958. In the 1970s, President Johnson’s socialistic Great Society of welfare entitlements led to student anarchism, anti-Vietnam War hysteria, riots, burning, and looting in cities. Many Christian churches effectively abandoned Christianity. Many urban ministers became supporters of paganism within the walls of their churches, opting for the flower-child spirituality of drugs and sexual promiscuity. Christianity was degraded into a feel-good association in which moral standards were rejected as offensive to people’s sensitivities.

Professor Voegelin continued:

“[In the gnostic world view], The world is no longer the well-ordered, the cosmos in which Hellenic man felt at home; nor is it the Judeo-Christian world that God created and found good. Gnostic man no longer wishes to perceive in admiration the intrinsic order of the cosmos. For him the world has become a prison from which he wants to escape… the aim always is destruction of the old world and passage to the new. The instrument of salvation is gnosis itself— knowledge.”

Foreseeing the effect of American liberalism’s gnosis, Voegelin concluded:

“Self-salvation through knowledge has its own magic, and this magic is not harmless. The structure of the order of being will not change because one finds it defective and runs away from it. The attempt at world destruction will not destroy the world, but will only increase the disorder in society.”