You can listen to an audio recording of this talk at https://www.spreaker.com/user/youngfaithradio/58-ep-orthsurv-edit
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Our talk on the Corona delusion attracted some attention – we had more listeners than is usual, and we also attracted some negative attention as well.
When I say the “Corona delusion,” I’m not referring to the existence of this disease, whatever it is, but to the response to the disease, a centrally planned and controlled, inconceivably gigantic, top-down social re-engineering project throughout the whole world, overturning every normal activity of earthly life, with no precedent in history, and which, we are being told by those in authority, will have no end. It is the “new normal.” Yet many persons previously thought rational, including Orthodox Christians, now fanatically insist that this radical, coercively imposed, and permanent change in man’s condition be subject to no serious criticism. This is eerie, very strange, surreal; it is some kind of unnatural mental and moral blindness. And yet this is what we see. “Covid denial” is joining the list of heinous thought crimes for which there is no punishment bad enough, like “Holocaust denial” and “climate change denial.” People like me may indeed, in the near future, simply be locked up or liquidated. We are intolerable heretics, enemies of the Brave New World that “science” is bringing into being, the man-made millennium in which there will be no death or disease, only the unending gratification of material desires free from all risk of interruption by unpleasantness. But how have supposedly rational men, much less Orthodox Christians, come to believe in this? They had to be prepared; they must have been pre-disposed to believe the current delusion by having already accepted and interiorized previous delusions.
In today’s talk, I’d like to discuss some of these previous delusions, which in fact we talked about two years ago, well before “Covid” came on to the scene. By so doing, I am returning to the purpose of our Survival Course, which is intended not to be just one more Internet current events show, where we get all worked up by reacting to every new bit of bad news, but rather is intended to be an ongoing, serious study to help us understand how the entire scope of history, and the important events and ideas of history, fit into an Orthodox framework. Recent history, that is from the Renaissance period through the twentieth century, can enlighten us about why so many people are now going so crazy and believing so fanatically in the Brave New World being created by our rulers with the excuse that they are fighting this Corona virus. And the timeless teaching of the Church on man’s condition and man’s ultimate purpose can enlighten us as to why this fanatical belief is so wrong and so bad.
The title of today’s talk, then, is “The Preparation for the Corona Delusion – the Technocracy and Its False Religion.”
I. Francis Bacon and the New Atlantis
“Technocracy” means government by technocrats, a managerial class that serves a hidden, elite group who control the development and use of technology, and who therefore also necessarily control the direction of the science that underlies the technology. It is like Plato’s vision in The Republic of a society ruled by an elite of philosophers, except that here we don’t have men who are concerned with acquiring wisdom and controlling their passions, as in the Socratic dialogues; rather, they are concerned with acquiring and using ever more powerful technology in order to gratify their passions, to dominate creation, and to control human populations. You may recall our earlier discussion of the 16th-17th century English writer Francis Bacon, and his vision for a future society, which he calls the “New Atlantis.” You can find the discussion in Orthodox Survival Course, Class 17. Here is the section on Bacon:
Notes from Class 17 on Science and Technology in the Renaissance –
Science and Technology – Just as Pico de Mirandola’s Oration on the Dignity of Man can be said to be the manifesto of the Renaissance in general, and Machiavelli’s The Prince is the classic statement of Renaissance politics, one could say that Francis Bacon’s utopian novel, New Atlantis, and his works on the role of science and technology in society, such as the New Organon, form the charter of modern scientism, the idea that man can perfect life on earth by scientific and philosophic advancement. The article on Bacon in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy sums up his influence thus: “He died in 1626, leaving behind a cultural legacy that, for better or worse, includes most of the foundation for the triumph of technology and for the modern world as we currently know it.”
Bacon, a classic “Renaissance Man” – statesman, philosopher, jurist, scientist, author – lived during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I of England. There are various theories about his involvement with occult sects such as the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians, but one need not prove his formal connection to these groups to understand his fundamental idea, stated in his Meditationes Sacrae, that “knowledge itself is power.” The real power in a “Baconian” society is held by those who know the secrets of science. In New Atlantis, the real power in Bensalem, the utopian island realm, is not in the hands of the government, but in the hands of a secret society of scholars who form the college of “Salomon’s House,” and who deliberately withhold knowledge from the purported rulers of the society. The “Father” of “Salomon House” states, “And this we do also: we have consultations, which of the inventions and experiences which we have discovered shall be published, and which not; and take all an oath of secrecy for the concealing of those which we think fit to keep secret; though some of those we do reveal sometime to the State, and some not.”
This idea is completely consonant with an idea we saw earlier in our study of the Renaissance, that science is linked to occult knowledge, and that it is employed in order to have power over the society. What is being proposed in New Atlantis – or, rather, depicted – is that a secret oligarchy with the keys to scientific knowledge and technology should hold also the keys to political power, which they dole out, as they will, to the State, which is no longer the true governing power, but rather an “interface,” as we might say today, for the real governing power, which is occult and irresponsible, that is, hidden and without accountability. It is rather obvious how this applies to our situation today, in which only the extremely fatuous still believe that our political institutions are not puppets manipulated by an irresponsible oligarchy through technocratic methods of control.
The Orthodox Christian concept of the roles of science and technology is this, in sum: The primary role of science is to adorn man’s mind with knowledge, in order to inspire the contemplation of God and His creation. The role of technology is to help man find the moderate amount of earthly happiness he needs in order to practice virtue – to avoid excessive earthly sorrows on the one hand while avoiding excessive earthly joys on the other hand, both of which conduce to vice. There is no room in this concept for “unlimited technological progress,” a quintessentially Luciferian idea linked to heretical, utopian ideas of human perfectibility. The “Baconian” or “New Atlantis” ideal is quite different: A “high priesthood” of scientists and scholars, operating in secret, will discover “truths” that will perfect human society on earth.
End of notes from Class 17.
It’s easy to see how all of this applies to our situation today – and, remember, I wrote these notes two years ago, when we had no idea that the Technocracy was going to pull this particular stunt, this “COVID” thing. The problem is that, to some extent, everyone, including us Orthodox Christians, have imbibed these incredibly false and evil ideas: We unconsciously assume that “science” is this monolithic thing out there, with an identity and a life of its own, some kind of secular pope of Rome, that is infallible and benign, and its powers are always being wielded with ever-increasing effectiveness by equally infallible and benign authorities in business, media, and the government, for the constant progress of the human race towards a utopia where there will be no death or disease, only the unlimited and untrammeled enjoyment of material goods. And anyone who opposes this “science” and these authorities is a Bad Guy who must be silenced. (He must be a “conspiracy theorist” !) The people who believe this believe it with religious intensity, because it is a religion, the pseudo-religion of “scientism.”
II. Putting New Atlantis into Practice: How We Got to Where We Are Today
But how did we get from Francis Bacon to the U.N., the W.H.O., and the 21st century, totalitarian reality of the COVID-19 “New Normal”? As they say, “follow the money.” Here is the section of Class 17 that follows immediately upon the section we just read:
Notes from Class 17 on Economics in the Renaissance
Economics – One of the bedrock, foundational ideas of Christian economics is that usury – lending money while charging interest – is a grave sin. Christian ecclesiastical and civil codes, East and West, always forbade Christians to practice usury, which is why most usurers in Christian societies prior to the period we are studying were Jews. But because Jews were always excluded from positions of influence in pre-modern Christian societies – from the government, the military, education, medicine, and so forth – because the laws against usury practiced by Christians were strictly enforced, and because the need for having large amounts of money ready to hand is limited in primarily agrarian societies, moneylending and debt never dominated economics prior to the modern period. It existed but was kept under tight control by Christian rulers and by the Church.
Even prior to civil liberties being granted to the Jews living in Christian polities, however, which did not take place until much later, usury entered Western Christian society directly through the rise of Christian-owned banks, first in Italy and later in Austria and the other European nations. The popes, using various casuistic arguments, such as Leo X (reigned 1513-1521) began allowing for usury in various circumstances. It is quite significant that the trigger for the Lutheran revolt, the sale of indulgences, was authorized by Leo X in order to pay the interest on loans taken out from Catholic bankers who were financing the building of the new St. Peter’s. (A Roman Catholic writer, Michael Hoffman, documents this quite convincingly in his book Usury in Christendom, the Mortal Sin that Was and Now is Not).
The new Machiavellian, technocratic rulers of Europe began financing their ever-larger military and technological enterprises through borrowing money, and thus the Money Power – bankers and financiers, whether Jewish or Gentile – over the centuries gained more and more power over the modern European nation-states and their vast overseas empires. Usury fits in perfectly with the alchemical view of science and technology – it is a “magic” way to increase one’s wealth, not by work, but by a trick. Ultimately, like Machiavellian politics and “knowledge as power” scientism, it is all about gaining power over others. At the beginning of the period we are studying, Dante puts usurers and sodomites in the same circle of Hell, because sodomites take what is naturally fertile and make it sterile, while usurers take what is naturally sterile and make it breed. By the end of this period, this was mere theory – “Christian” European economies were increasingly dependent on usury sanctioned by the popes and the Catholic and Protestant princes.
In Orthodox economics, means of production exist to serve man, whose eternal salvation is the highest concern of the rulers. Means of finance, in turn, exist to serve production. In Luciferian economics, man serves production, production serves finance, and the bankers rule over all. The alchemical, perverted economics of usury finances the Promethean quest for unlimited technological progress in the service of the occult oligarchy of the Money Power, who use their army of technocrats – the “managerial class” – and their monopolistic control of education, medicine, the communications media, and violent means of coercion to enslave the human race.
Thus is born the New Atlantis.
End of notes from Class 17.
All right, folks, again: I wrote these words two years ago. This was not a knee-jerk, “conspiracy theory” reaction to a crisis. In the relative calm of that time two years ago, we were simply discussing the birth and development of the modern world that we live in.
The point is this: The process I describe above – of private moneyed interests gaining control over formerly legitimate governments and ruling masses of people through the exploitation of technology – obviously did not stop at the end of the Renaissance, but rather grew exponentially in speed and power throughout the modern era. Through the takeover of government by private interest groups, a small group of people over time have corralled all of the wealth. This is not some secret knowledge gleaned from “conspiracy websites.” It is well known that now, in the 21st century, a tiny group of people control 90% of the wealth in the world. As their wealth increased, so did their power over every aspect of society, which in a post-Christian world is totally dedicated to material ends, and therefore is easily dominated by the Money Power, those who have the money. The theoretical sciences that undergird technology are not a magical, monolithic Truth Machine that is always right. The academics involved in the sciences rely on money, and if they want money, they come up with the results that the Money Power says they must. If, being honest and dedicated scientists, they come up with different results, they become Non-Persons – professors lose their jobs, doctors lose their licenses, their talks on the Internet get de-platformed, and so forth. They might even be assassinated.
If you have read the biography of Fr. Seraphim Rose, you may remember that he was writing, back in the 1950’s, about how academics were totally corrupt. Does anyone really think it is better now? Everyone knows now that the universities and research institutions are completely controlled and completely corrupt. Even where their faculties include honest men here and there, their administrations are dominated by technocrats controlled by the global financial oligarchy, and it is they – not the scholars – who decide which ideas are acceptable and are promoted to society at large. These ideas are then relentlessly shoved down our throats by the Great Stereopticon, the ubiquitous and relentless propaganda machine.
Why, then, should Orthodox Christians bow down to “science” as some kind of a god? Why should we accept the delusion of scientism?
It’s later than we think.