This 1350 word post constitutes the second section of seven for the Pamphlet 21st Century Tract
Materialism marks our Age. It is the dominant characteristic of the times we live in. It has displaced traditional “religion” as the ethical and cultural influence which informs every other domain of life. Indeed, it behaves just like religion: it appeals to and feeds on the religious instinct present in every human heart.
It is creating a new ‘theocracy’ based on the human being instead of on God – an “anthropocracy” to contrive a term from classical Greek words. In this “anthropocracy” all spheres of activity are to be brought into conformity to the central focus of worship. Indeed in today’s world, we are witnessing the destruction of the traditional demarcations between politics, economics/business, and religion.
The mega businesses dominating the critical communications technology of our times are now actively trying to implement policies associated with the Social Justice agenda of Progressive Politics. We have bred a generation of professionals in every field who have been inculcated with the perspective, principles and paradigm of this new man centred religion based on a purely Material conception of our existence.
This rational and enlightened generation actively assists in promoting the paradigm of the new religion. They promote radically new and politically inspired calendar events like International Women’s day, or a special month for Black History etc etc. This is a deliberate campaign to replace traditional theistic conventions with a new world order.
The old world order was characterised by European colonialism, perceived as aided and justified by the Christian Church. Any one who favours any aspect of that old order is seen as a Right Wing reactionary – a dinosaur defending the outdated and the morally indefensible. Therefore the political term “Right Wing” has become a term of derision and contempt; a term of dismissal and condemnation.
It is no longer permissible in this new world order to take any other perspective of life. The new order is moral and true; the old order is hypocritical, false and fundamentally unjust. So, the old must be eradicated from our consciousness and systematically replaced with the philosophy and values of the new religion.
Allow me to ask you a question. Your response will indicate how much you have absorbed the new order and its monothematic world view.
Was there any good done by the European colonial powers during the time of their domination of the non industrialised, non European world [circa 1500 – 1960s] ?
“Good” of course assumes a moral view and that moral view will be affected by cultural and social assumptions.
Yet, as human beings we can surely agree that moral good entails having concern for the welfare of others, and not placing our interests above theirs to the point of exploiting them.
Concrete examples are saving people from death, not killing them; having regard to another persons feelings and desires, not raping them; respecting others need of their possessions, not depriving them by guile or force, having no regard to their needs or their rights.
In short, we can say that it all comes down to respect and trust, one to another. Interestingly we may note here the Decalogue of the Jews – generally called “The Ten Commandments”. Those Ten Commandments show God to be morally concerned and morally demanding of human beings in all their relationships. A quick reminder of their content:
- no other gods in place of the God self declared as “I AM”
- not making any human contrived image to worship
- not denigrating the reputation of God by using God’s name in vain
- observing a day of rest in which God the Creator is remembered and thanked
- having respect for parents [implicitly thereby for all legitimate authority]
- not murdering others
- not breaking faith with an intimate partner by being physically intimate with another
- not stealing property from others
- not telling lies about anyone or any situation
- not lusting after whatever someone else possesses but which we don’t
Jesus Christ summarised this list of apparent denials as “Love God and Love others“. Personally I regard Christ’s summary as the primordial principle to achieve a truly just and fair world. If everyone thought and behaved in this way, it would transform the world for good.
As you can see from the list above, however, the assumptions and values of today’s world are quite different, even contrary.
But returning to my question about the European colonial era, we now have a primordial principle by which to assess good and bad. Examining colonial history, we find there many instances where the Ten Commandments were often broken, and seriously so !
But do serious moral shortcomings mean that European colonialism was inherently, and at all times evil ? Can we not identify any good during or arising from the European colonial era ? Or does the existence of some wrong mean that to ask any such question is in itself immoral ?
A rational and comprehensive assessment must surely be able to pose the question, then consider all the evidence, before coming to a representative conclusion. Can it be right to pre-empt such enquiry by jumping to conclusions based on prior assumptions and political convictions ?
The thinking of our present Materialist age emphasises rational enquiry. Yet in practice it manifests total intolerance. The paradox is explained by its psychology. That psychology is rooted in “me first” – my ideas, my wants. It refuses to consider alternatives. It lacks the constraint to be patient – the fundamental psychological requirement which enables us to take time to think things through, and be willing to change what we want according to the outcome of our reflections.
Adapting the Decalogue paradigm to the Materialist equivalent, we find that :-
- An objective God is replaced by the subjective god of Self where our own needs, ideas and desires become all important
- we thereby create another image to worship – i.e. the supreme reference point for what we value most, and therefore how we think and consequently what we do
- we now refuse to see and value any authority figure beyond ourselves; we are now self obsessed and self promoting
- there is now no routine opportunity to stop and to reflect; to consider what we are and where we are going; to lay aside the cares of this life and to recuperate – instead the obsession with stimulation and consumption is incessant and debilitating
- we are no longer required to respect others beyond what suits our own agenda
- we all agree that killing people is wicked – indeed Jesus went further, defining hatred as the root of murder. But in today’s new religion anyone disagreeing becomes a legitimate target for hatred
- marriage is now denigrated as part of the illiberal old order; having a sexual relationship from the first day of meeting has been promoted by western media now for decades; sexual fidelity as the basis of a relationship of true trust is despised and displaced by base, selfish lust
- stealing remains ostensibly evil; but global commercial business systematically exploits the developing world’s resources, both human and natural, manifestly careless of the impact on indigenous populations
- telling lies is now normalised – politicians lead the way, while the media generally hypes every situation to get sales, failing to present a fair and representative picture of a person or event; distortion and misrepresentation are the basis of ubiquitous commercial advertising; in social issues, to tell the truth about induced abortion provokes violent condemnation from the affronted priesthood of anthropocratic Materialism
- today’s world thrives on greed; western economies unashamedly pursue “growth”; government indebtedness is predicated on economic growth; greed is constantly promoted in the media, be it via commercial advertising or the values assumed as normal; the entire social justice movement is predicated on wanting what others have and on feeding a sense of deprivation; greed is at the heart of a multitude of psychological ills as people fill their lives with goods, but starve the needs of their souls; greed lies behind the constant pursuit for everything ever better, ever faster … Greed feeds off legitimate need and demands everything happens faster and faster. No-one realises speed equals GREED