This week’s broadcast Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson clarifies and expounds on some of the points made in previous broadcasts on theology. week. These are some of the most fundamental issues man can face, so dealing with them is a delicate project. Rarely are these basic issues dealt with properly and rationally.
The American academic world has been hostile to Solzhenitsyn for his anti-communism and Russian nationalism. Most reviews of his political works have been hostile or seek to make a “liberal” out of him, a common tactic. His social and political theory revolves around the dialectic between freedom and the state. The state here isn’t just any coercive power, but a state that derives from the Enlightenment, the mind of science and the belief that man can dominate nature for “his” benefit.
The 1st to 3rd centuries AD were a time of religious resurgence and upheaval in the ancient Near East. In Rome, the cults of Mithras, Isis and Serapis, once considered to be mere exoticisms, were becoming more widely accepted among the Roman middle and upper classes. Second Temple Judaism had suffered a rift with the crucifixion of Christ and the missionary work of Paul and the Apostles had turned Christianity, a once obscure group of Jewish schismatics, into a messianic force that would eventually become the state religion of the Roman Empire. Among the various mystery cults and apocalyptic movements (of which there were many) that had emerged in this climate, a curious religious movement whose adherents called themselves gnostikoi or “Gnostics” began to emerge around the time of the early 1st century and whose ideas would arguably survive up until the end of the 4th century.
While incorrect on the nature of the Confederate secession, he was right on southern virtues and the results of the Civil War. His primary concern was natural law, not specific political agendas. While opposed to slavery with great vehemence, he loathed the notion of immediate slave emancipation without land or education.
Our fight is not fundamentally about the fact that modernity has forced us to live an urban, technological life. It is about the fact modernity is bent on killing us and expunging our record from this earth. It is a death cult that has inverted every positive aspect of the European spirit and turned our nature against us. Where once technology was used in the service of the betterment of our lives, it now constrains us – with surveillance, with oppressive state power, with the speedy importation of our lower paid and more co-operative replacements. It does not need to be this way. It is not bricks, steel and glass that have made our world ugly but the pernicious and warped ideology of the architects that built them. Therefore, we are not engaged in a battle with a point in time, we are locked in a struggle for survival with a set of alien ideas. The particular must be championed against the global. The metaphysical good must be pitted against relativistic nihilism. The nation must triumph against the international. The European spirit must not be subsumed by the Islamic.