Tuesday 23 March 2021



But we do not yet have to do with the ultimate future, with the end of the Revolution; between the Revolution of Destruction and the earthly paradise there lies a stage of transition, known in Marxist doctrine as "the dictatorship of the proletariat." In this stage we may see a second, "constructive" function of violence. The Nihilist Soviet power has been the most ruthless and systematic in developing this stage, but precisely the same work is being accomplished by the Realists of the free world, who have been quite successful in transforming and "simplifying" the Christian tradition into a system for the promotion of worldly "progress." The ideal of Soviet and Western Realists is an identical one, pursued by the former with single-minded fervor, by the latter more spontaneously and sporadically, not always directly by governments but with their encouragement, relying more upon individual initiative and ambition. Realists everywhere envisage a totally "new order," built entirely by men "liberated" from the yoke of God and upon the ruins of an Old Order whose foundation was divine. The Revolution of Nihilism, willed or unwilled, is accepted; and through the labor of workers in all realms, on both sides of the "Iron Curtain," a new, purely human Kingdom is arising, in which its apologists see a "new earth" undreamed of by past ages, an earth totally exploited, controlled, and organized for the sake of man and against the true God.

No place is secure from the encroaching empire of this Nihilism; everywhere men feverishly pursue the work of "progress"--for what reason they do not know, or only very dimly sense. In the free world it is perhaps ahorror vacui that chiefly impels men into feverish activity that promises forgetfulness of the spiritual emptiness that attends all worldliness; in the Communist world a large role is still played by hatred against real and imagined enemies, but primarily against the God their Revolution has dethroned, a hatred that inspires them to remake the world against Him. In either case it is a cold, inhuman world that men without God are fashioning, a world where there are everywhere organization and efficiency, and nowhere love or reverence. The sterile "purity" and "functionalism" of contemporary architecture are a typical expression of such a world; the same spirit is present in the disease of total planning, for example in "birth control," in experiments that look to the control of heredity and of the mind, in the "welfare state." Some of the apologies for such schemes approach perilously near a strange kind of lucid insanity, wherein precision of detail and technique are united to an appalling insensitivity to the inhuman end these schemes serve.

Nihilist "organization"--the total transformation of the earth and society by machines, modern architecture and design, and the inhuman philosophy of "human engineering" that accompanies them--is a consequence of the unqualified acceptance of the industrialism and technology which we saw in the last chapter as bearers of a worldliness that, if unchecked, must end in tyranny. In it we may see a practical translation of the philosophical development we touched upon in Section I above: the transformation of truth into power. What may seem "harmless" in philosophical pragmatism and skepticism becomes something else again in the "planners" of our own day. For if there is no truth, power knows no limit save that imposed by the medium in which it functions, or by a stronger power opposed to it. The power of contemporary "planners" will find its natural limit, if unopposed, only in a regime of total organization.

Such, indeed, was the dream of Lenin; for before the "dictatorship of the proletariat" comes to an end, "the whole of society will have become one office and one factory, with equal work and equal pay." [47] In the Nihilist "new earth" all human energy is to be devoted to worldly concerns; the whole human environment and every object in it are to serve the cause of "production" and to remind men that their only happiness lies in this world; there is to be established, in fact, the absolute despotism of worldliness. The artificial world erected by men who will to remove the last vestige of divine influence in the world, and the last trace of faith in men, promises to be so all-encompassing and so omnipresent that it will be all but impossible for men to see, to imagine, or even to hope for anything beyond it. This world, from the Nihilist point of view, will be one of perfect "realism" and total "liberation"; in actual fact it will be the vastest and most efficient prison men have ever known, for--in the precise words of Lenin-- "there will be no way of getting away from it, there will be 'nowhere to go'." [48]

The power of the world, which Nihilists trust as Christians trust their God, can never liberate, it can only enslave; in Christ alone, Who has "overcome the world", [49] is there deliverance from that power, even when it shall have become all but absolute.

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