What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Rousseau Was Wrong. Is Anyone Surprised?

I wanted to blog this, despite not having much to add by way of commentary:

Most of us know, now, that Rousseau was wrong: that man, when you knock his chains off, sets up the death camps. Soon we will know everything the eighteenth century didn’t know, and nothing it did, and it will be hard to live with us.

—Randall Jarrell (HT: Nicholas Desai, at The American Scene.)

Emancipation from the moral and religious heritage of Christendom + Technological emancipation from natural limitations (and from nature understood as intrinsically, as opposed to instrumentally, teleological) = The abattoir (inclusive of everything from the Holocaust to the Gulag to the privatized holocausts of the American superman (and superwoman). Fine; I've expanded upon the original, but I'd proffer this as the elementary equation of political modernism.

Comments (3)

I reject this idea for two reasons.

First, it is a faulty nostalgia. As if there was ever a peaceful Christendom? As if there was a time in which nature was not instrumentalized (at least post-Greeks), or in which man did not seek ever more deadly technology? I'm not even sure what kind of empirical data could lead you to believe things have changed at this level. I really don't think it is even possible to prove this thesis in a serious way - even if it is correct - for the same reason it is impossible to empirically prove any other grand historical narrative. So I feel perfectly free to dismiss this as ideology.

Secondly, it depends on a basically arbitrary view of substantial human nature. It seems like you are saying that when you subtract these two external factors, than man's internal nature asserts itself and chaos ensues. I doubt you can show that once these two external factors are gone, other external factors don't take over - in which case, your equation breaks down and it all becomes historically contingent. And I know you can't show that man has a nature that asserts itself under those conditions.

To be more clear, I know you can't show that man has a substantial essence that asserts itself at all.

Man thinks 'cause he rules the earth he can do with it as he please
And if things don't change soon, he will.
Oh, man has invented his doom,
First step was touching the moon.

Now, there's a woman on my block,
She just sit there as the night grows still.
She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

Now, they take him and they teach him and they groom him for life
And they set him on a path where he's bound to get ill,
Then they bury him with stars,
Sell his body like they do used cars.

Now, there's a woman on my block,
She just sit there facin' the hill.
She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

Now, he's hell-bent for destruction, he's afraid and confused,
And his brain has been mismanaged with great skill.
All he believes are his eyes
And his eyes, they just tell him lies.

But there's a woman on my block,
Sitting there in a cold chill.
She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

Ya may be a noisemaker, spirit maker,
Heartbreaker, backbreaker,
Leave no stone unturned.
May be an actor in a plot,
That might be all that you got
'Til your error you clearly learn.

Now he worships at an altar of a stagnant pool
And when he sees his reflection, he's fulfilled.
Oh, man is opposed to fair play,
He wants it all and he wants it his way.

Now, there's a woman on my block,
She just sit there as the night grows still.
She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

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