Voegelin characterizes Marx as a "speculative gnostic" who grounded his politico-economic framework in an evolutionary vision of nature. In this scheme, all of nature is "in the state of becoming, and in the course of its development it has brought forth man: 'Man is directly a being of nature.'"
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the idea that nature is developing, except that this can have nothing to do with Darwinian evolution, which describes only change, not progress. More to the point, Marx re-buries man in nature, so that what is actually distinct in man, and belongs to his trans-nature, is annihilated.
Thus, "When 'socialist man' speaks, man has to be silent," which is a rather polite way of putting it. In any event, it is why the left would like for us to shut up, why they impose speech codes, why political correctness abounds, and why they hate God and religion. This is described in the last paragraph of yesterday's post, in reference to those special assouls who know exactly why
"their opinions cannot stand up under critical analysis and who therefore make the prohibition of the examination of their premises part of their dogma. This position of a conscious, deliberate, and painstakingly elaborated obstruction of ratio constitutes the new phenomenon" (Voegelin).
So if you want to talk about progress, this systematic assault on truth is indeed something new under the sun.
But it's not just the children of Marx who have progressed in this deviant manner, for truth is also forbidden by the specter of "positivist man." This humanoid beastling can also be called scientistic man, atheist man, or Darwinist man, for each of these, in his own way, pretends that materialism exhausts the meaning of human existence.
Now, minimal acquaintance with philosophy establishes the truth of a Marx, a Darwin, a Dawkins. Thus, one needs a little more than the minimum to debunk them, which I suppose is why philosophy is not taught in public schools, in favor of multicultural bunk.
Or, to be perfectly accurate, philosophy is taught, except that its assumptions are buried elsewhere, and never spoken of explicitly. This has provoked a backlash of "creationists" in certain quarters, but the real problem is metaphysical, not theological.
Wherever there is leftism, there is the suppression of certain questions and avenues of thought. As we have discussed in the past, just as a neurosis may be thought of as a "private culture," a culture may be thought of as a public neurosis. Now, a neurosis always involves the suppression of an unwanted truth.
Just so, the neurotic culture of the left has many defense mechanisms in place, so that alarms go off as soon as anyone approaches a dangerous truth. Examples are too numerous to chronicle, but just last week we saw what happened to someone who exposed the truth of black studies and its "left-wing victimization claptrap." Off with her head! (More on this undisciplined pseudo-discipline.)
Voegelin describes the deeper structure of this process. It begins with "a thinker who knows that his construct will collapse as soon as the basic philosophical question is asked." The intellectually and spiritually normal person recognizes this, and abandons the construct. Not so the leftist, who merely prohibits the question.
But why? What has happened to the person who is no longer interested in truth, and yet -- without irony -- imposes one version of it: There is No Truth, and Only I Possess It.
Voegelin called it an "intellectual swindle," which is an excellent way of putting it. For to exchange truth for ideology isn't just a bad deal, it's suicidal. Which wouldn't necessarily be so bad if it weren't also homicidal.
But again, why? Man has an innate epistemophilia, so what has happened to this transnatural instinct in the ideologue?
As we have discussed before, man is composed of intellect, of will, and of sentiment. To deny truth is to maim the intellect. But that doesn't kill the body. Rather, it seems that the will to power comes in to fill the vacuum. This perverse will
"has a violence and cruelty that go beyond the delight in masquerade and in the deception of others." It also "turns on the thinker himself and unmasks his thought as a cunning will to power."
Let's take another example from just last week, when President Obama decided to express his support for the redefinition of marriage. It is a matter of public record that this was merely a power play, in that wealthy donors were threatening to withhold funds if he didn't openly embrace their agenda.
For Newsweek to then proclaim Obama the "first gay president" is completely absurd, in light of the fact that he is just another statist with a transparently cunning will to power.
To believe otherwise one must want to believe otherwise, which is itself another instance of the will-to-power genre, except that it doesn't accrue to the power of the rank-and-foul self-deluder, only to the powerful. In reality it is but a "graceless disorder of the soul" rooted in a "demonic mendacity" (ibid).
(All quoted material from Science, Politics, And Gnosticism.)