By Fay Voshell
It was Albert Einstein who defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” On
some levels, he was correct, but insanity is actually the substitution of fantasy for reality. The guy who believes he’s Napoleon Bonaparte reincarnated and who is obsessively planning to re-conquer Europe is certifiably insane. The woman who believes she is Gaia and therefore divinized as a goddess is a nut case. Both are completely out of touch with reality and everyone surrounding them knows it.
But wholesale denial of reality is not limited to just the occasional individual. Insanity can and does afflict whole groups of people. As Charles Mackay stated in his work Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841),
“We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”
Here in America, the madness of crowds is upon us. The Left has so suppressed the knowledge of reality and has so affixed itself to delusion that the crowds who comprise it and who follow it would have been straitjacketed a decade or two ago.
What are a few of the insane ideas being promulgated as truth by progressives?
One current insanity on the home front is the concept of “gender fluidity.” Translated from newspeak into everyday language, “gender fluidity” means that any man can declare himself by fiat to be a woman -- or vice versa.
Another is that the unborn child within the womb is not really human but is “potential human life.” It is insane to say that a fetus is a potential human being. It either is human or it is not.
Yet another sign the Left is completely detached from reality is the idea is that money may, like gender, be declared to be money strictly by fiat without any particular regard to underlying worth. Still another illusory concept is the idea that no system of morality; no governmental structure, and no religion can be acknowledged as having a position of superiority in comparison with another. Yet another is that the entire world order, material and societal, can be completely retrofitted in accordance with progressive thinking with only good results.
There’s more -- much more -- of course. Any reader could probably give at least a dozen more examples. How and why did the Left (and sometimes members of the Right who join them) go mad?
We can look to Eric Voegelin’s Science, Politics and Gnosticism for some answers. Voegelin states that advocacy of most twentieth century nostrums such as the quackery of communism require that “the thinker suppresses an essential element of reality in order to be able to construct an image of man, or society, or history to suit his desires.”
He writes that in order for the Left to maintain their dogma, certain realities must be excluded from thinking. “We shall not find the answer on the level of theoretic argument; for we have obviously gone beyond reason, if the relation to reality is so greatly disturbed that essential elements are on principle excluded from consideration.”
In other words, in order to believe in the current dogmas of the Left, including the spurious quasi religion of “manmade climate change,” one must suspend huge chunks of reality, effectually denying elements and evidence of the created order (science) as well as refusing to see the nature of humanity and society as they really are (philosophy and theology).
There is collateral damage that must be accepted if the Left is to succeed. One is the certainty that there are things human beings cannot change just because humans want them to change and/or plan detailed programs to change them. Among those realities are the basic material and spiritual constitution of human beings and the powerlessness of humans in the face of an unremittingly unchanging natural order. There are certain limitations built into the universe; certain fundamentals none of us can change. The attempt to change or destroy fundamental realities results not in transformation of the fixed order of being, but in mere phantasmagorical fantasies that ultimately result in madness. The attempt also results in the unmitigated suffering of humans as a neo-Gnostic elite, who believe they have infallible insight into how things should be, tries to destroy reality (things as they are) and to mold humanity and history according to its capricious image.
As Voegelin puts it:
“...the will to power of the Gnostic who wants to rule the world has triumphed over the humility of subordination of being. The result of victory is not really the acquisition of power. The constitution of being remains what it is - - beyond the thinker’s lust for power. [Reality] is not changed by the fact that a thinker drafts a program to change it and fancies that he can implement that program. The result, therefore, is not dominion over being, but a fantasy satisfaction.... The temptation [is]to fall from uncertain truth into certain untruth...the thread on which hangs our knowledge of the order of being, its origin and meaning, is very thin.”
The fall in to “certain untruth” is almost complete within the ranks of the increasingly mentally disturbed Left.
Further, because so much of what the Left is promulgating is in fact certain untruth, it must continually seek to cut off rational debates. It abhors questions about the veracity of its dogma and praxis.
Leftists believe it is vitally important to prohibit questions that might undermine them or their system’s credibility. Nothing, absolutely nothing, about the dogma of the Left is to be questioned. It is only to be believed. That is one reason why the Left’s current chief flag bearer, Hillary Clinton, so assiduously avoids questions. One must have absolute faith in her.
Believing Christians and devout Jews have ideas about the created order that are the polar opposite of the Left. They believe that created reality is a God given thing to which humans gratefully accommodate themselves. They do not believe that the created order was or is made by human beings.
For progressives, such beliefs are to be silenced and quashed. Progressive dogma is as sacred as Holy writ, but unlike the scriptures, it is completely safe from exegesis or criticism. As Voegelin points out, Leftists are types for “whom a human inquiry has become a practical impossibility.”
In order to silence questions from the masses which it seeks to indoctrinate, progressives seek to erase opposition by shutting down free speech while pursuing the total destruction of any resistance. Meanwhile, it continuously indulges in what Voegelin describes as “stubborn, demonic persistence in actions that passion incites.”
In sum, the Left’s neo-Gnosticism and its accompanying lust for power and authority mean the creation of multifarious governmental, bureaucratic and administrative initiatives designed to destroy the current societal order and to “fundamentally transform” the nation and the world according to the fantastical dreams of an elite.
To accomplish such a transformation requires the ascendance of atheism and the deification of Man as Superman. The human being becomes the ruler of history and God is dead. In the place of the destruction of the Christian concepts of salvation and redemption, the Left substitutes its own salvific doctrines created entirely from the brains of elite humans who have godlike clairvoyance concerning the future order of being. God is permitted no input. Heaven will be a new world order springing like the phoenix from the ashes of the civilization we presently know and live in. No cost, human or material, is too great in order to achieve the leftist dream. Gotterdammerung is a necessary and even beautiful thing.
Ultimately, as Voegelin points out, neo-gnostism requires the murder of God and the total elevation of man’s power. “The aim of parousiastic Gnosticism [as in Marx, Nietzsche, and Heidigger] is to destroy the order of being, which is experienced as defective and unjust, and through man’s creative power to replace it with a perfect and just order.”
The Left, in all its permutations, has fallen for the oldest lie in history. “Ye shall be as gods.”
As we observe the destruction being wreaked on our beloved country by leftist progressives, it is obvious that their obsession with destroying the old order and fundamentally transforming the world is ultimately an exercise in futility. Meanwhile, the
The core created order, no matter how it is tinkered with, and no matter how much destruction the Left attempts to achieve, remains unperturbed. It is simply not within man’s purview to change the fundamental world order established by the Creator. It is man’s glorious task to submit to, cooperate with and to be part of the divine redemptive plan for humanity and creation.
There is hope.
It may be that great thinkers of the Judeo-Christian tradition may rise up to destroy the insane leftist mental construct that will be,
if not confronted and destroyed, the Moloch that burns the magnificent edifice of Western Judeo-Christian thought to ashes.
Fay Voshell is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. Her articles, which she has discussed on radio talk shows, have appeared many online publications. She holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her its prize for excellence in systematic theology. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org