A Few Notes On The Anti-Natalism Of Our 21st Century Gnostic Death Cults
Gender Gospel Digest No. 4
But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now.
George Orwell, 1984
In his landmark 2019 study, Losing Reality: On Cults, Cultism, and the Mindset of Political and Religious Zealotry, genocide scholar Robert Jay Lifton replaces the much-abused term “extremism” with “cultism” to write about regimes of slaughter in the 20th century. Rather than sectarian fervor, in totalitarian regimes “much of the fuel for the cultist engine is provided by a strong emotional committment to apocalyptic world purification,” Lifton writes. World-purity, or world-creation, requires blood magic: palingenesis. Violence is always an explicit selling point. Scientism, a faith in science as salvation, also appears throughout the history of Adolf Hitler’s movement. One Nazi camp doctor told Lifton that he joined the party after hearing that “National Socialism is nothing but applied biology,” a pseudoscientific mysticism that appealed to him. “Genocide itself can be understood as the purification of the world by means of eliminating a racial ethnic, or political contaminant,” Lifton observes. Nazis called this “hygiene,” and it is the coherent ethic of Hitler’s anti-materialist epistemology.
To put it another way: Hitler hated the world as it was. He wanted to transform the world through the “spirit” of the German “race.” In this sense, Hitler was anti-materialist. Modern gnostic ideologies are consistently anti-materialist. In the last edition of this digest I attempted to demystify and disambiguate historical Gnostic and Hermeticist patterns of magical thinking on general lines. More complex forms of magical thinking generally belong to the sunny optimists of society, which is to say the wealthy, whereas anti-materialist, and pessimistic, views of the world, and worldliness, as inherently evil — that is the say, radical views — are characterized by gnostic thinking (see also psychological ‘splitting’) of the world into good and evil. Lifton uses the word doubling. “Doubling is an active psychological process, a means of adaptation to extremity.” The more extreme the perceived injustice of the world, the greater the crimes it ennobles.
Gnostic theology varies in specific iterations, but broadly, the gnostic believer is dissatisfied with the world because it is poorly organized by wicked people — greedy villains who can only be stopped by disrupting history through action and education. Although “modern gnostic mass movements derive their ideas of perfection from Christianity,” promising constant progress with phrases such as ‘the long arc of the universe,’ the alternatives they offer are but “depictions of a desirable final state that are designed as negatives of some specific evil in the world.” Vogelin calls this “activist mysticism.” James Lindsay calls it wokeness. Defenders of wokeness often challenge interlocutors to define ‘wokeness.’ Here is a simple definition: wokeness is 21st century gnosticism, or if you prefer, activist mysticism. Faith fills the gaps where evidence ought to be.
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