Archive for the ‘Political Philosophies’ Category

Totalitarianism From Church to State

Triumph_des_Willens_poster

by Doughlas Remy

Gil Bailie (The Cornerstone Forum Facebook page) quotes from political philosopher Hannah Arendt’s “The Origins of Totalitarianism:”

The first disastrous result of man’s coming of age is that modern man has come to resent everything given, even his own existence — to resent the very fact that he is not the creator of the universe and himself. In this fundamental resentment, he refuses to see rhyme or reason in the given world. In his resentment of all laws merely given to him, he proclaims openly that everything is permitted and believes secretly that everything is possible.

The triumph of the will—to borrow the title of the Leni Riefenstahl’s wretched documentary hymn to Adolph Hitler—the triumph of the will doesn’t mean that the will actually triumphs; reality is too recalcitrant. It means that the will lays waste the world in the effort to force reality to conform to whatever ideological make-believe has caught the fancy of the utopian planners.

Timothy Brock responds: (Note: Mr. Brock was “defriended” shortly after posting this comment, and the comment was removed.)

Totalitarianism is always a project of absolute control of every single aspect of a person’s existence, from cradle to grave and beyond. It is antithetical to privacy, because even a person’s most intimate actions, thoughts and desires must become totally transparent to those in control. If one does not voluntarily submit to these intrusions, then one is shamed and, if necessary, coerced. If one does not voluntarily confess one’s crimes, then one is threatened and sometimes isolated or tortured. Totalitarian systems assume that everyone has something to hide and therefore to confess, and yet these systems are themselves highly secretive. While requiring total transparency from those they control, they demand total opacity for their own conduct.

The individual’s sexual behavior—and even his or her innermost desires—are of particular use to the totalitarian mindset, because shame is one of the most powerful forces in the human psyche and can be leveraged for total control. Once an individual is made to feel ashamed of any sexual desire that lies outside a very narrow spectrum of social utility, he or she can be manipulated to an astonishing degree.

Once the Church lost the power to exert this level of control, is it any surprise that the state stepped into the breach?