The Belief in Political Progress Substitutes for Genuine Religious Belonging
Reminding people of death strengthens their belief in social and moral progress, especially when those people are not very religious. Hence, in our deconfessionalized time, a growing number of people has substituted genuine religion for a belief in progressive politics.
But history warns us. Decades after Karl Marx called religion “the opiate of the people”, Soviet Premier Vladimir Lenin declared war. Although the majority of twentieth century Russians were believers, Lenin and his successor Stalin waged two decades of anti-religious campaigns against their own people.
According to historians, anti-religious regimes such as communist Russia “turned mass crime into a full-blown system of government”, leading to the death of over 94 million people worldwide. But neither Stalin, Lenin nor Marx had invented this political disdain for religion. Anti-religious sentiment had been aroused by profound social changes during the Industrial Revolution.
The industrialization of the world uprooted millions of people from their traditional country lifestyles and brought them into dense cities to work in factories. Industrialists enslaved them with the false promise of a “better life”—the same lie we tell immigrants coming to the West today. But life never got better. Except for the bourgeoisie, mass poverty made life a lot worse.
The industrial age reduced human beings to mechanical gears fueling a giant soulless machine. By replacing a rural faith in God with an urban belief in the State, state bureaucrats now crowned themselves the high priests of progress. Herein lay the birth of communism, the anti-human ideology that would quickly spread its disgusting tentacles all over the world.
Today, communist indoctrination has been so successful that after graduating from high school most young people now say they would rather be “gears in a big machine” than free individuals. Such convictions are taught. Technology has disconnected people from what it once meant to be a human being, namely to be in charge of one’s reality by thinking for oneself.
German philosopher Martin Heidegger recognized this danger, warning of its consequences in a speech given in 1955. Heidegger foresaw the power of nuclear technology, even warned of Third World War. But man, he believed, would overcome war. The real danger lay not in potential nuclear holocaust, but in what would come after:
“Modern man’s down-to-earthness is deeply threatened. […] This is because a change of all leading ideas has been taking place for several centuries. […] Nature will become a single gigantic gas station, an energy source for modern technology and industry. […] And then what? Then, mankind would have denied and discarded his own self, namely that he is a thinking being.”
Modern technology, Heidegger believed, is in the process of transforming human beings into calculators who spend little thought on meaningful activity. Radio, television and internet have since standardized the human experience. We all watch the same shows, see the same movies, listen to the same commercialized music and share the same news.
This standardization has made it a lot easier for globalists to shepherd mankind. By effacing religious, ethnic, national and racial differences, progressive politics has molded people into a dull gray mass primed for consumption. When Facebook’s Zuckerberg promotes a future where people upload themselves to the internet after their bodies die, we know that our progressive dehumanization is nearing completion.
Globalists believe all nation states should one day be replaced by a single global open society. But how can a global society be ‘open’ if all people are born into it and no one can ever escape from it? What about the freedom to be different? The open society is a totalitarian state no different from the Soviet Union, the Islamic Ummah, or Star Trek’s The Borg.
That’s not progress. That’s collective slavery. If we want to break free, we will have to fight the machine and hold its engineers accountable.
Bastiaan T. Rutjens et al., “A March to a Better World? Religiosity and the Existential Function of Belief in Social-Moral Progress,” The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 26, no. 1 (January 2, 2016): 1, doi:10.1080/10508619.2014.990345.
Karl Marx, “Zur Kritik Der Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie,” in Karl Marx/ Friedrich Engels – Werke, Band 1 (Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1976), 378.
Stéphane Courtois, The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Harvard University Press, 1999), 2.
Martin Heidegger, “Gelassenheit,” in Reden Und Andere Zeugnisse Eines Lebenswegens, vol. 16, Gesamtausgabe (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2000), 517–29.