Being not obliged to swear in words allegiance to any Master; Wherever the Storm drags me, I am turned in as a guest. (Horace’s Epistle to Maecenas)
Originally published 8th October 2019. Now with some slightly re-editing.
“All the beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitudes that characterize our time are really designed to sustain the mystique of the Party and prevent the true nature of present-day society from being perceived”George Orwell, 1984, Part 2 Chapter 9.
I was was a formal member of a Russian Orthodox Christian Monastery for over three years. I reached the rank of Ryassaphore-Monk and was tonsured to the minor clerical rank of “Psalm-Reader.” I continued as a monk in the world for a year after leaving the monastery (as at October 2019)
I am no longer a monk, nor a christian of any sort. I follow no religion. I am not an a theist, nor an atheist. I am not even agnostic. I assign no metaphysical nouns to my ideas, thoughts and beliefs about the nature of the realm I find myself in, and about the nature of any transcendental realm, whether, if it exists or not. I have left such things behind me altogether.
My time in the monastery was intense but one of the most profitable experiences of my life. In a far-flung forest, I was able to observe the dynamics of human interactions in a controlled and contained environment. Monkzillas in the mist.
Having returned to the world, I see these same interactions at play in the secular realm. The same behaviour that people associate with cults is played out daily in the world that surrounds me. Very few people are aware of it.
Moldbug & Comparative Religion
It is popular these days to study comparative religion. To try to observe the similarities between different religions. Some students of this field propose that these similarities could lead us to a prisca theologia – the core theological understanding of the human race. Some propose that this could be the religion of the ancients.
The godfather of the Neoreactionaries, Mencius Moldbug, wrote an essay titled “The Ultracalvinist Hypothesis: In Perspective”. If you wish to read the entire article follow the link. However, this is not necessary as I will be quoting from it extensively.
I view Moldbug’s essay as a piece of comparative religion. He proposes the ‘Ultracalvinist Hypothesis.’ This states that: “the present-day belief system commonly called “progressive,” “multiculturalist,” “universalist,” “liberal,” “politically correct,” etc., is actually best considered as a sect of Christianity.”
Despite terming the hypothesis, “calvinist”, he states that it “is an ecumenical syncretism of the mainline, not traceable to any one sectarian label.” Moldbug uses the prefix, “Ultra”, because he has observed that “the beliefs of this faith are relatively aggressive and unusual.”
In Moldbug’s work of comparative religion, he elucidates four main points of the Ultracalvinist creed:
“First, ultracalvinists believe in the universal brotherhood of man. As an Ideal (an undefined universal) this might be called Equality. (“All men and women are born equal.”) If we wanted to attach an “ism” to this, we could call it fraternalism.
Second, ultracalvinists believe in the futility of violence. The corresponding ideal is of course Peace. (“Violence only causes more violence.”) This is well-known as pacifism.
Third, ultracalvinists believe in the fair distribution of goods. The ideal is Social Justice, which is a fine name as long as we remember that it has nothing to do with justice in the dictionary sense of the word, that is, the accurate application of the law. (“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”) To avoid hot-button words, we will ride on a name and call this belief Rawlsianism.
Fourth, ultracalvinists believe in the managed society. The ideal is Community, and a community by definition is led by benevolent experts, or public servants. (“Public servants should be professional and socially responsible.”) After their counterparts east of the Himalaya, we can call this belief mandarism.”Ibid
Furthermore, Moldbug notes that the High Priest of scientific atheism, Richard Dawkins, has referred to his beliefs as Einsteinian religion. This religion includes these four points. Moldbug states that Einstein is said to have directly believed in these four points, evidenced by a now broken hyperlink.
The “Ultracalvanism” that Moldbug has detected in liberal progressivism, seems to be a decent interpretive framework for the current Western belief system. One that is, perhaps, steadily replacing the old belief systems of the rest of the world.
I have spent some time on the r/exchristians and r/atheists subreddits. It seems to me that, most of the ex-Christians and atheists that gather there, see belief in God/gods as the main control factor in the world. The truth of disbelief in the gods shall set us free.
However, if one accepts Moldbug’s insights, then it is not belief nor disbelief in the gods that is the common factor at the core of the Western belief system. This is a red herring that creates two false dichotomies of atheism and theism. These serve to mask the most important aspects of the belief systems of the cult that seeks to control man.
There is also a third position of agnosticism. This might seem to be a way out of the dichotomy, but I would suggest that taking this position implicitly assumes the importance of the red-herring. The agnostic is thus just as blind as the theist and atheist to the system that he lives under.
Or in crude terms: Fuck theism, fuck atheism, fuck agnosticism.
Who Wields Power is not Important
What is the purpose of these beliefs that characterise our time?
Firstly I wish to state that it is not only these beliefs that maintain this purpose. There are also the “habits, tastes, emotions, [and] mental attitudes.” Orwell suggests us that these are “ really designed to sustain the mystique of the Party and prevent the true nature of present-day society from being perceived”
What is the purpose behind sustaining the mystique of the Party? Why is it necessary to prevent the true nature of present-day society from being perceived?
The lines that immediately precede this quote from 1984 states that:
“[t]he essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life, imposed by the dead upon the living. A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors. The Party is not concerned with perpetuating its blood but with perpetuating itself. WHO wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same.”1984 Part 2 Chapter 9.
I should now explain that I view 1984 as a useful allegory for describing some apsects of the world that man finds himself in. Nothing I quote from the book is true becuase Orwell said it. I am using 1984 to help me convey what I want to say. It is a commonly understood cultural artefact and its imagery helps to express certain thing. The allegory either useful or not. When I take a section from 1984 it does not imply that I assent to anything else in the book.
Allegory: “As a literary device, an allegory is a metaphor in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory
As it is an allegory, when Orwell is describing the perpetuation of the Party, I use this as an allegorical allusion to the perpetuation of the SYSTEM, as I am not convinced that there is as easily describable Party. The reader may be inclined to start deciding which part of the system is “THE PARTY”. The Communists, the Jews, the Neo-conservatives, the Papacy etc. This System encompasses all the states, institutions, and received ideologies in this thing we call earth.
And yet it is none of them.
I do not know when this system was set in place, but it now perpetuates itself on the living, through these “habits, tastes, emotions, [and] mental attitudes.”
The Party could be represented in different times and in different regions by: The Papacy; The Monarchy; The French Revolution; Political Correctness; Serfdom; Anarchism; Science; Conservatism; Traditionalism; The Golden Age; Transhumanism; The CFR; The World Bank; Anarchocaptalism; GretaBumbagism
It can be represented by present day institutions or supposedly ancient institutions, such as the Roman Empire, which I do not believe ever existed.
It can be represented by institutions or ideas.
It can be represented by both sides of dichotomies.
Finally, these “beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitudes” could be viewed through the framework of Blake’s mind-forged manacles.
Or in the words of Orwell, the “boot stamping on a human face,” perhaps forever.
A lament of one who has found himself seemingly bound by these mind-forged manacles can be found here: