John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
E. Michael Jones has written a piece: The Coronavirus and the Culture War. It is very long, and very far-reaching, covering a broad sweep of the disease, possible sources, suspicious elite actions, data and facts, narrative manipulation, etc. I will cover one aspect of it: that of the culture war, specifically the role of Christian church leaders during this time.
Pestilence is portrayed in scripture as a punishment for sin.
This is how Jones opens the piece. I opened with this passage from John for a reason: I am not going to get into “is this punishment from God” or any of that talk – I won’t speak for God. Jesus has indicated that calamities befall us for reasons other than punishment; these give opportunities for God’s works to be seen.
Before I get to the interesting perspective offered by Jones, it is worth understanding the foundation he builds regarding the reaction by many Christian church leaders:
…the Church had internalized the Enlightenment’s command that science determined “ultimate reality” and had become as a result irrelevant.
Such a determination makes sense if the Church accepts a solely materialist universe. Now, before anyone accuses me of preferring blood leaching to modern medicine, I offer a quote from N. T. Wright (as I recall it from his Gifford Lectures): I don’t want to return to premodern or advance to postmodern dentistry, thank you very much.
As Christian leaders have given ground at ever-increasing rates to the State and willingly ceded subordination of church to State, Jones offers today’s reality:
Pornography, abortion, and drugs are now available to those in quarantine but not religious services. …Abortion clinics did not close during the lockdown in California, but that state’s Catholic churches did.
Not all Christian leaders have fallen into such decay and decadence:
Catholic reaction to this remarkable state of affairs depended largely on the writer’s relationship to the state in general and the American Empire in particular.
He offers examples to the contrary:
“The ecclesial events of these hours,” [Archbishop Carlo Maria] Vigano tells us, “have manifested clearly — if there was still any need — the tragic subjection of the Church to a State that is striving and doing all it can to destroy the Christian identity of our Italy, by enslaving it to an ideological, immoral, globalist, Malthusian, abortionist, migrant agenda that is the enemy of man and of the family.”
Raymond Cardinal Burke, former ordinary of the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin and former head of the Rota in Rome, stated that because “our first consideration is our relationship with God,” primary consideration in times of crisis must be given to having “access to our churches and chapels to the Sacraments, and to public devotions and prayers.”
What better time to close down churches than during the time leading up to (and likely to include) Palm Sunday and Easter. More than the birth of Jesus, the events of His death and Resurrection are the ultimate foundation for the existence of what we know as Christianity.
Now for his interesting perspective:
…the coronavirus pandemic signals the end of the American Empire and the era of Globalization, as practiced by oligarchs like George Soros. Globalization is both the perpetrator and ultimate victim of the current crisis because it “destroys space and pulverizes distances.” But because God is in charge of history Globalization finds itself subjected to the cunning of reason which has created “social distance, the isolation of the individual and quarantine,” all of which are “diametrically opposed to the ‘open society’ hoped for by George Soros.”
The doors are being slammed shut on globalization, open borders, and the like. Unfortunately, the reaction could be as equally detrimental for liberty as was the globalization and open borders that came before.
According to de Mattei, “the great sin which has brought down God’s wrath on our heads is the apostasy of the men governing the Church, who failed, either culpably or not, to denounce the schemes which the oligarchs have used to ensnare the entire world in sin.”
Again, I will stay out of the idea that God has brought this wrath down – there is no doubt that such episodes are evidenced in the Bible, but I will not promote or deny anything of the sort. I do agree that there has been a failure by church leaders to call out the evils of the state and the elite oligarchs who pull the strings.
As Jesus has shown, this does not preclude God from making His works manifest.
Yet, God remains the master of history and in spite of the machinations of the wicked, God continues to use the coronavirus to bring about His intentions, one of which is using it as the “killer of Globalization.”
I am quite comfortable with this wording, and I pray for this outcome – albeit not the likely over-reaction.
John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
Is this coronavirus from God? Above my pay grade. But could God use it for His purposes? It has happened before. So, what does this have to do with the perspective, what Jones has built up to through his 11,600-word essay?
With each historical cycle, the distinction between Logos and its opposite becomes more apparent. Because the distinction between Logos and anti-Logos in our day has never been more obvious, its victory has never been more certain.
I have seen the discussion of the meaning crisis lead to the same place. Too many people are seeing the shallowness of a solely materialist worldview. Such a worldview offers no meaning, and even no possibility of free will and freedom. If we are nothing but the result of random atoms randomly smashing together, what’s the point; what can we be “free to choose”?
Further, countless millions are losing and will lose their jobs. The St. Louis Fed projects up to 47 million with a 32% unemployment rate. On sports radio, they are talking about the possibility of no baseball and no football – all year!
What happens to people when they find themselves fully dependent on the state for sustenance, for months or even a year or more?
Globalization may have precipitated the current crisis, but its real source is a Church which is either too corrupt or too befuddled to address the forces which are now destroying the entire world.
I agree: many Christian leaders are corrupt (count the war mongers and Christian-Zionist worshippers among these), while others just don’t know what to do. From the latter group, there may be hope that once this episode is behind us, they combine with those who had already see the treachery of many western leaders.
Let’s pray that this current crisis brings just such a backlash from honest Christian leaders. If the crush of the State is to be broken, it will take an institution – specifically this institution – to do it.
In the middle of his essay, Jones offers:
After Foucault made his pact with the devil in 1975, he began teaching Austrian School Economics….
Foucault might be the poster-boy of post-modern deconstructionism. This is too involved a topic to dive into here. I may do so in a future post.
I used the John 9 passage in a blog article for my church about the same subject.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the reminder. Luke 13 is also good.
The Qur'an says that Hell is surrounded by angels and that their count is 19. Here is the relevant verse:ReplyDelete
"Upon it is nineteen." —Qur'an 74:30
The Qur'an further goes on to say that this number is meant to vex the disbelievers and increase the faith of believers. For 1,400 years, no person could explain how this number would do that and what the significance of the number 19 is.
With the invention of the computer, it was discovered that the Qur'an contains an intricate mathematical code based on the number 19. Thousand of letters spread across various chapters of the Qur'an are exact multiples of the number 19. (A Google search for "code 19" "Qur'an" etc. will show this.)
On September 11,2001, the US was attacked by al-Qaeda with jetliners. Originally, the intent was to have 20 hijackers: four teams of five with each team having a pilot and four hijackers acting as "muscle". Try as it might, al-Qaeda could not get that 20th hijacker on board. As such, the phrase "19 hijackers" was burned into our consciousness.
And now, we have Covid-19.
"After Foucault made his pact with the devil in 1975, he began teaching Austrian School Economics…."ReplyDelete
E. Michael Jones is your typical paleoconservative: fantastic on culture, but crap on economics. We've all heard of the great Austrian economist Michel Foucault, right? Anybody??? (crickets...) Jones calls any form of economics which abides the charging of interest "Jewish" economics, and somehow he connects gold and usury together in one comprehensive Jewish system (I mean he's not wrong in the sense that Jews are some of the biggest advocates of either gold or usury). I think he is actually a nationalized paper money advocate or tally sticks or some such state controlled currency. Yeah no usurious potential there. But hey, at least he knows who Murray Rothbard was, even if his opinion of him was not a favorable one.
The particular error Jones makes in the quote above is mistaking 'subjective value theory', which represents an objective truth of human economic relationship, for 'subjectivism', which is the rejection of all objective truth. It's such an rudimentary mistake that it almost makes me question his scholarship in other areas as well. I'm sure Rothbard has written an essay on the confusion of subjectivism and subjective price theory.
Jones has his skill set though and his opinion on cultural matters is valuable. In other areas I regard him as a bit of a crank who is speaking outside his depth, a sin we are all guilty of from time to time.
I think generally Jones puts a little too much blame on the Jews, but who knows, maybe I just haven't looked into it far enough. I wouldn't call him racist or anti-Semitic though, because for one, I generally try to avoid idiotic terms like these, and two, he would embrace as a brother any Jew who converted to Christ.
Also he is very clear that he never wishes or advocates any violence against Jews. He's got a new book coming out called "Logos Rising." Could be one to check out.
I have some sources that I might use to write something on this connection, but in the meantime I offer the following from Rothbard: "On Mises's Ethical Relativism":Delete
"What I have been trying to say is that Mises's utilitarian, relativist approach to ethics is not nearly enough to establish a full case for liberty. It must be supplemented by an absolutist ethic — an ethic of liberty, as well as of other values needed for the health and development of the individual — grounded on natural law, i.e., discovery of the laws of man's nature. Failure to recognize this is the greatest flaw in Mises's philosophical worldview."
I should clarify my point: yes, Rothbard made clear that he saw a difference in subjective value for economics, vs. objective value (anti-subjectivism, if you will) in other realms (e.g. as necessary for liberty).Delete
Per Rothbard, Mises did not make the same distinction. Therefore Jones may not be making the error, as you suggest, when considering Mises's views.
While this perhaps falls outside of a narrow scope of (Austrian) economics, it falls within the broader scope of liberalism or neo-liberalism, of which Mises wrote.
So was Foucault in error in attributing this to Austrian "Economics"? Maybe. Was Foucault in error in attributing such views to Mises? It seems, perhaps, not.
I'm pretty sure Mises believed in objective laws of nature, especially in the realm of economics, but yes he did have a relativist utilitarian approach to ethics. As with all things Jone's discusses, there are elements of truth there.Delete
My Austrian education was primarily steeped in Rothbard's economics, so sometimes I forget that his intellectual forebears, like Mises, differed from him significantly when it came to ethics and politics.
One thing I found about about Foucault a while back, was that he was involved in some sort of movement (with a bunch of other post-modernists, surrealists, and communists in France) to try and decriminalize sex with underage teens. Charming fellow.
ATL, I think I have now stretched my understanding of Mises to its limit. As to Foucault, I never considered him a saint; I merely found this connection of interest.Delete
I didn't mean to fault you for bringing him up. It was certainly an interesting thing that Jones said about Foucault. But I think he was incorrect to align the two camps (post-modernists and Austrians). Superficially they may have had some things in common (the eminent presence of Jews?). But I could draw the same type of superficial similarities between Catholicism and communism.
ATL, please - no worries. Our discussion has convinced me to at least give the handful of sources I have a good read. If there is something of substance, I will write a blog post.Delete
Mises was a 19th century man who likely took for granted a lot of things basic to Western civilization. This may partly account for why he was more interested in "how to get there" than "where should we go".ReplyDelete
I'm sure he wasn't blind to how sick Western men's souls (and Western intellectuals' in particular) had become, and it shows from his increasingly resigned tone over the course of his life, but habits are hard to break.
I'm not inclined to blame his sort of utilitarianism for the West's decay. Even if he and his peers had built their theoretical edifice on a solid natural law foundation, the likes of Foucault would have found the basis for their ethical relativism elsewhere.
I'm pretty convinced that the goal of destroying bourgeois society and morals is based on a lack of wisdom far more than on faulty intellectual foundations.
That doesn't mean that solid theoretical foundations are unnecessary, of course, just that I don't see Mises's system as fundamentally flawed. It was just lacking some perspective which was provided by his successors, who better understood the effective angle of attack of civilization's enemies and undertook to shore up the walls where it was needed.
@bionic, the comment before this one was mistakenly sent before it was finished, if you could please moderate it out...
Mises was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and lived for more than 30 years before the Great War. During this pre-war life, he witnessed what can only be considered as the best period for what we now call classical liberalism: church and state separated, the individual and reason both in a reasonably healthy condition.Delete
It was a time, for about forty years (between the Franco-Prussian War and WWI), when the best features of classical liberalism (trade, passport free travel, etc.) where in full bloom.
It seems to me not unreasonable to surmise that this world in which Mises grew up shaped his overall views. Most of us would have felt the same; few people, at that time, saw the problems it would create.