Harry Potter is being phased out in a Perth bookshop because author JK Rowling has heretical views on sex and gender. This act is not some marginal aberration but is typical of progressive opinion today.
These are the times we live in. A new Spanish Inquisition is upon us, driving with the virulence of a Reformation religious war — proscribing, in this case, the most popular children’s books published. …
Heresy trials and witch-hunts are recurring without any framework of religious belief or supporting theological categories of divine wrath, sin and damnation. …
Highly charged rhetoric is being levelled against people deemed to be climate change deniers, racists, misogynists, homophobes, elitists and other exploiters of disadvantage, accompanied by calls for them to be silenced, sacked, prosecuted, stigmatised and socially ostracised.
And periodic law-and-order tirades of the “lock ’em up and throw away the key” tenor can develop a crusading momentum that takes them way beyond any rational fears of a dangerous criminal living down the street.
Hatred directed towards others because of their beliefs, hatred to the extreme of wanting them removed from the communal domain, shamed and shunned, seems to be a primal emotion, springing up unprompted from the individual unconscious.
We may conclude, extrapolating backwards into the past, that the theology used to justify heresy trials in earlier times was mere rationalisation. That is, it was surface justification and an excuse for common psychopathological drives.
The predominant three — envy, resentment and xenophobic fear of difference — are dark passions, pre-verbal ones. They, in turn, may have been triggered by more general, free-floating fear, sometimes rational — of sickness, poverty, war — or more abstract worry.
In other words, righteous indignation does not need a supporting theory. In practice it may well employ one — as today with diversity, inclusiveness and so forth — to proclaim its singular virtue and justify its crimes. But that theory is no more than decorative icing on the cake of malice.
Bleak implications for human self-esteem derive from the conclusion that any theology of sin is mere rationalisation to allow insiders to persecute those they don’t like with a good conscience, even though that is only one function of a theology of sin. That conclusion implies that a competitive will to power is at the core of human drives. The power impulse is ever near: to triumph over others, to suppress them, even to maim them, and to do so under a banner of virtue. Gossip often is a more modest expression of the same malicious impulse.
Accordingly, the civilising process, and the inhibitions it develops to control individual instincts, becomes necessary to enable tolerably orderly and peaceful social relations and a flourishing society. However, the civilised surface inevitably will be disturbed by eruptions of persecution mania. The warning follows that because a society such as ours is stable, orderly and relatively free from violence — civilised — this does not mean it has eradicated the dark passions.
Visceral envy, resentment and xenophobia may have been more visible in the less inhibited European Middle Ages and more immediately explosive, yet their power and intensity seem hardly diminished in the contemporary West. Perhaps they have become better disguised, more devious in expression, but no less sadistic in intent and no less hypocritical in acting behind a rationalising mask of virtue.
The dark impulses come from the old reptile brain. We all have one, which might explain the notion of original sin. Most of the time we mediate those impulses through higher and more social parts of the brain that followed later — but psychopaths not so much.
The left’s current policies are geared towards the reptilian emotions, particularly envy and resentment. Wokism is degenerating into one of those periodic outbreaks of persecution and general nastiness that punctuate human history.
Jesus can be regarded as the world’s greatest politician, steering people away from listening to the devilish reptilian brain and towards the more God-like neocortex. Marxists hate Christianity more than anything else.
hat-tip Stephen Neil