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From the Pen of David Horowitz: November 4, 2009

November 4, 2009

david_p

Just as religious gnosticism sees evil as a flaw in the cosmic creation, so secular gnosticism sees evil as a flaw in the social cosmos, as a force external to humanity itself. For the secular gnostics of the socialist Left, this flaw in the cosmos is private property. Private property creates alienation and inequality, irrationality and social conflict, and condemns humanity to perpetual exile from its own freedom. To set mankind on the path back to an earthly paradise, it is only necessary to abolish property. Thus redemption does not lie in the fulfillment of moral covenants and the adherence to law, but in the abolition and “transcendence” of both. Its path is not disclosed by a divine grace but by a human reason which is, in fact, not reason at all, but a mysticism of liberation. This mysticism is at the heart of every movement that seeks a revolutionary transformation of the world we know.

In this revolutionary mysticism, the messianic liberator is imprisoned in capitalist darkness; it is a force without property, that is in society but not of it; a force that is revolutionary because its revolt is not against the particular injustices of man’s social existence, but the injustice of the existence itself. The messianic force is a class of people dispersed among the nations, but not of the nations, who in lifting the yoke of their own oppression will lift the yoke of all.

This class is the proletariat, the Chosen People of the Marxist faith. The proletariat, as defined by Marx, is a class “which has a universal character by reason of the universality of its sufferings, and which does not lay claim to any specific rights because the injustice to which it is subjected is not particular but general….It cannot liberate itself without breaking free from all the other classes of society and thereby liberating them also… It stands for the total ruin of man, and can recover itself only by his total redemption.”

The Politics of Bad Faith

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14 Comments
  1. semus permalink
    November 4, 2009 5:35 am

    The biggest task of the left is to convince the Proletariat class who they are and how much power they have. If they’d only listen and stay on point. A question – one of many – what class is the hard left, surely they don’t consider themselves Proletariat’s?

    Killing the human spirit would be their only accomplishment.

  2. Jack Hampton permalink
    November 4, 2009 5:52 am

    The brilliance of David Horowitz on display.

  3. James permalink
    November 4, 2009 7:38 am

    We religious Gnostics believe in the maximum amount of personal liberty and freedom, coupled with social responsibility on a personal level (Matthew 25:40). I don’t know any secular “Gnostics”. They sound positively Awful. I don’t suppose they would pick another name for themselves?

  4. jimdouthit permalink
    November 4, 2009 9:50 am

    Marxism/Socialism/collectivism is indeed a religion. It is a dogmatic faith. It operates on faith, not on reason. Like all religions, it demands obedience and is inimical to independent thinking and to freedom (freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom to own property, i.e., to own YOUR OWN LIFE.
    Like religion, Marxism/socialism is utopian. It claims to know of a better world SOMEWHERE SOMETIME, and this world and this life must be sacrificed in order for us to be worthy of that other world and in order to arrive at that world someday.
    Marxism/socialism is egalitarian: everyone must be the same economically, socially, emotionally–remember under Mao everyone wearing pajama-ish outfits riding bicycles…
    any individual outbursts of any kind are suspect…
    –and on and on. As usual, we have lots of food for thought from David’s comments. jd

  5. John Davidson permalink
    November 4, 2009 11:02 am

    If a few have no convictions, then it might be best that they choose be led to an ark floating aimless on the sea to nowhere, but don’t ask us to follow, please!

  6. November 4, 2009 2:04 pm

    Jefferson saw freedom of religion as equal to freedom of thought, reasoning that a man’s relationship with the God of his choosing was as personal and individual as one could get. Contrary to Marxism’s uniformity, both Christianity and Judaism have long traditions of God’s relationships with individual men and women. Individual Church doctrines often differ greatly from the Bible’s teachings. It is there that one finds the stifling of the individual, not in the faith itself but in faith misdirected to follow the teachings of fallible men (Church leaders) and their interpretations of Christ, rather than Christ himself.

  7. froth4444 permalink
    November 4, 2009 7:17 pm

    For an excellent discussion(in my judgement)on the relation of property and liberty see “Property and Freedom” by Richard Pipes

  8. Hexalpa permalink
    November 4, 2009 7:29 pm

    I have never heard of secular gnosticism, and am guessing that the author is referring to New Age, which seems to “borrow” from lots of traditions. I sure wish, whoever these “secular gnostics” are, that they would be identified “otherwise”, as they appear to have nothing at all in common with we (Christian) Gnostics, who trace our traditions back to the 3rd or 4th century A.D., and who typically refer to ourselves simply as “Gnostics”.

    • November 4, 2009 7:32 pm

      Here’s the essay this quote comes from if you want more context:
      http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/articles/THE%20RELIGIOUS%20ROOTS%20of%20Radicalism.htm

  9. November 4, 2009 10:42 pm

    At present we are in India, a country where equality is unknown. Were the rest of the world to engineer equality in all of its nations amongst those citizens who are not in the top echelon, India would never do so. Its religion ordains a Caste system, whereby those at the top, its priests, have the majority of the wealth and the power. In the bottom layer are about 800,000,000 living in abject poverty. The infrastructure of the county is so lacking that one stumbles in mud, dirt and holes, with little provision for health. The open drains that are prevalent provide an odor. Vehicular control is lacking to such an extent that ancient trucks snort and belch black smoke along the over-crowded roads. These roads carry all kinds of traffic, from motorized, four and two wheelers, trucks and buses, to pedestrians and even bullock carts. Sometimes there are donkeys. Yes, powerful figures in the west may indeed have this disillusioned belief that all men should be equal and they obviously are pushing for it but India will remain the same for millennia – if there is such a number God has left for this earth.

  10. November 5, 2009 2:56 am

    I don’t think Horowitz is referring to any real group when he writes about “secular Gnostics”. It’s just intended as a slur on Marxism but was picked up by modern Gnostics as a slur on Gnosticism instead. Of course, it’s entirely spurious. You could just as easily say that capitalists are the new Gnostics.

    For the secular gnostics of the Right, this flaw in the cosmos is socialism. Social welfare creates alienation and irrationality and social conflict, and condemns humanity to perpetual exile from its own freedom. To set mankind on the path back to an earthly paradise, it is only necessary to abolish socialism. Thus redemption does not lie in the fulfillment of moral covenants and the adherence to law, but in the abolition and “transcendence” of both. Its path is not disclosed by a divine grace but by a human reason which is, in fact, not reason at all, but a mysticism of acquisition. This mysticism is at the heart of every movement that seeks to deny common social responsibility.

    Like the ancient Manichaeans who sought to free light from its prison of materiality, the Right seeks to liberate capital from the hands of socialists.

    etc etc

    It’s just as silly and no more spurious than Horowitz’s comparison.

    Equating socialism with Marxism is also silly. Things like universal public healthcare, social welfare and minimum labor conditions are basic qualities of civilized countries and nothing to do with the authoritarian doctrines of Marx.

    • November 5, 2009 6:41 am

      Read the entire essay this quote comes from: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/articles/THE%20RELIGIOUS%20ROOTS%20of%20Radicalism.htm

  11. Spark permalink
    November 5, 2009 10:47 am

    Is it ironic that conservative commentators posit that Gnosticism/Socialism is the belief in an imperfect world and the intention to rectify that through knowledge, while at the same time they posit Gnosticism/Socialism is a flaw in an imperfect world which needs to be rectified? If “Gnosticism” is the attempt to diagnose and rectify a flaw in existence, and these commentators are diagnosing this as the flaw in existence, aren’t these commentators “Gnostics?”

    This piece is clearly a strong denunciation of socialism rather than Gnosticism. The author does not know what Gnosticism was, or else he wouldn’t suggest that Gnostics aimed to make a Heaven on earth – to an actual historical Gnostic, it is impossible to make a Heaven out of a Hell.

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