The End of Men or the End of Humanity?

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By Wayne Allensworth

To be wise is to suffer—Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow—Ecclesiastes 1:18

Readers sometimes tell me that my articles are depressing. So be it. Nobody likes to hear bad news. There are lots of things that, under certain circumstances, one is perhaps better off not knowing. But maybe there is an opening for us as well in acquiring knowledge that is painful to us. As long as, in our heart of hearts, we believe that present reality is not all there is, we can justly hope.

Our Left Hemisphere centric world, which fosters reductionism, mechanistic thinking, and materialism, and underwrites the will to power, has things backwards. Christ told us that the Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath, but on the surface of the swirling vortex of the abyss we are peering into glimmers the idea that utility is the only “metric” that counts. That only things that can be measured and pigeonholed in a precise category are “real.” Whatever “works” to meet immediate needs and desires is best. And that leaves out many of the things that can make life rewarding and lend it meaning. Friendship, love, patriotism, sublime art, beautiful music—none of them can be reduced to a metric. There is no number that can express the love of a mother for her child. In a LH driven world, efficiency is more important than the accommodation of quite a number of “inefficient,” but essential, human needs.

As “transhumanism” looms on the horizon, it is not simply a matter of our machines and the massive bureaucratic structures they are attached to superseding messy, inefficient, non-rational humanity that threatens us, as if removing the troublesome “human factor” was the whole point of metric-measured mechanization. We are finding that our technologies, instead of serving us, can become our masters, like the HAL supercomputer in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Our technologies, as well as the ideologies that accompany them, have an agenda of their own, as noted in Part II of this series. The cycle of the rise and fall of civilizations may be approaching a terrible reckoning.

The Luciferian agenda behind the view of humans as “meat computers” is an anti-human, anti-life howl of rage, a rage of despair and unforgiving thirst for payback. And the ultimate target is Being itself, and the God who is the basis of that Being. The anti-human dream is that we will remake ourselves as we wish. We will stick a thumb in God’s eye. And if that doesn’t satisfy our hubris and thirst for vengeance, then we will seek solace in annihilation. That’s what is at the center of the vortex, beyond its surface swirls, in the metaphysical abyss. It’s the murderous rage of the mass shooter, the antihuman diagnosis of radical environmentalism that identifies humanity as a cancer on the planet. One that must be eradicated. It’s the nihilism at the heart of anti-natalism. It is Faust tortured and oppressed by the trials of existence, craving death. Mephistopheles as the spirit of perpetual negation.

Life is hard, tragic, and often unfair. Of that there is no doubt. But the view that life — with its moments of joy, its possibilities, at least, for fulfillment — is nothing more than that, that it is not worth the candle, is the voice of Thanatos, the death drive  made manifest in the anti-human Zeitgeist of our age. The anti-natalist vision of the Davos politburo is apparently a diminished humanity, for smaller numbers of people are more readily controlled by a managerial regime. In the past, as well-paying jobs were “outsourced,” I wondered just who the oligarchs expected to buy the cornucopia of consumer goods produced by our ever more “efficient” corporate economy. We now have an answer—the vast pool of unemployed or under-employed human drones in the new world will be placated by “Universal Basic Income” and an internet connection, “last men” losing themselves in a virtual reality they can conjure from the cyber sphere. The rest will be absorbed, classified, and herded by an upper layer of managers. This vast machine will oversee a diminished humanity and distribute the world’s resources as it sees fit, likely under a cashless “social credit” system. That would be more efficient. And the luminaries of the new order can seek absolute self-creating control drawing from a deep menu of identity “choices.” The masses will have a drug for every affliction, and drugs so they don’t feel anything at all.

The “end of men” is simply a way station on the path to the end of humanity as we know it. The managers will ultimately fail, I think. How devastating the catastrophe will be when they do is hard to say. And what would come after, especially if the serpent’s knowledge that produced the machinery in the first place is not somehow lost in the cataclysm, as much of the classical world’s knowledge was buried for centuries?

Lots of people would probably deny that things are that bad. Denial is a common psychological defense against acknowledging a harsh reality. Many of those folks likely had parents who never worried about, or saw any reason to worry about, their children roaming the neighborhood alone, either. Could those same parents have imagined a world where women use anonymous sperm donors to yield a child born to a “surrogate mother,” sans husband or even “significant other?” Or a world in which school shootings are part and parcel of our new reality?

Others would agree that there are problems but might say the price is worth it. I have met such people myself. They believe that, in regard to relations between the sexes and childbearing, for instance, the “freedom” they now enjoy is worth the cost in social disruption, since things were worse in terms of “oppression” in the past. I often wonder: do those who denigrate and downplay the feminine roles of wife and mother really hold their mothers and grandmothers and what they did in this world in such low regard? What about their fathers? I might point out that no one on our side is saying that our society was without fault in the past, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say. The America of the past was far from perfect. Indeed, it had a lot wrong with it. But society sustained itself, and carried on the blessed routine of marriage, procreation, family formation, and transmission of the wisdom about men and women and family and church and neighborhood and country that kept humanity’s wheels turning. If, that is, you think humanity is worth the trouble. With birth rates in the developed world now far below replacement levels in many countries, abortions occurring at a staggering rate, and the once great nations of the West flirting with self-dissolution, I can say with confidence that whatever faults we had, whatever sins we committed, life and the blessed routine went on. A society that embraces nihilism will commit suicide. It is committing suicide.

Finally, still others would greet a prognosis of civilization’s suicide with indifference, or even celebration. To those people I have nothing further to say. They are our enemies, and we must recognize them as such. We should pray for them, that their consciences are revived.

What do we do? We first have to recognize the scope of the crisis and what lies beneath the surface—the ideological, social, political, and technological aspects of the crisis discussed in Parts I and II. Only in seeing those things that lie beneath can we begin to clarify what we must try to do, starting with taking whatever action we can to ameliorate those aspects of the crisis that impact us in our daily lives. And I will repeat my call for the sane part of the country to separate as much as possible from the rest.

The next step is taking Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s spiritual call to arms to heart: “Live not by lies!” Solzhenitsyn was the last in a line of Russian writers who played the role of conscience of the nation, like an Old Testament prophet calling his people to repent. The Gulag Archipelago chronicled the crimes of the Soviet regime and shook communism to its very foundations. And Solzhenitsyn, like many other dissidents of that era, began by refusing to acknowledge the lies told by the regime. Solzhenitsyn was blessed, as he himself told it, by persecution. Thrown into the deadly maw of the Soviet prison camp system, he converted to Christianity and found his strength. He used the gifts he had been blessed with, vision and insight and an ability to put that down in words, to counter the regime’s lies. And he faced the rejection of friends and family, as well as the persecution of the state, recalling Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:34-39.

Fathers and husbands, remember that in the context of our times, what you are doing in fulfilling your duties is nothing short of heroic, for what was once expected is no longer expected or honored. We have long exalted the physical courage of soldiers, explorers, and record-breaking athletes, men who have surmounted seemingly impossible barriers, and that is right and should be so. But what is needed today is a celebration of the everyday, humble courage that undergirds the unheralded, but absolutely essential, task of preserving, protecting, defending, and supporting the foundation of any society, the family, the most precious basis for Burke’s socially stabilizing “little platoon.” The “end of men” is a prelude to the end of humanity.

Chronicles contributor Wayne Allensworth is the author of  The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood

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Wayne Allensworth

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