Wednesday, May 25, 2011

World peace and hair bands

Bruce G. Charlton, a votary of the late Father Seraphim Rose (who I imagined looked something like this, but who actually looks like this), notes his commentary dating back to the early eighties that appears prescient today:
Never has there been more talk of “peace and security” than today. One of the chief organs of the U.N. is the Security Council, and organizations for “world peace” are everywhere. If men do achieve finally a semblance of “peace and security,” it would seem to contemporary man to be a state like heaven on earth – a millennium. The practical way to do this is to unite all governments under one. For the first time in history such a ideal becomes a possible goal of practical politics – a world ruler is conceivable now. For the first time, the Antichrist becomes an historical possibility.
Those are phrases I recall hearing more in my childhood than I do today. Maybe it's just that today I actively avoid the intellectual spots where they're common currency, whereas in the past my volition was still in its adolescence. Google's Ngrams viewer is the place to go to find out:

Without being aware of the larger context in which Rose was writing, the phraseology appears to have been old hat at the time, already on the way out. These grand ideas took form following WWI and as WWII reached its apex, they reached theirs.

That is not to insinuate, however, that Father Rose's concern about a rising one-world system as the "religion of the future" is easily dismissed. In a forthcoming publication, BGC argues that political correctness resides at the heart of this secular religion. Fortunately, he is not alone in having identified this destructive force, which has been part of the Western lexicon for the last couple of decades now:

The first step to combating the beast is to confront it.


TGGP said...

The 20th century is supposed to have been, per capita, the most peaceful in human history. Cato Unbound had an edition on our peaceful world here.

bgc said...

When he became a monk, Eugene Rose took a Saint's name, as is usual - in this case Seraphim of Sarov, one of the great Russian 'Holy Father' monks (or starets) who lived in the 'desert' (i.e. isolated wilderness - in this case a remote forest, as Eugene Rose did).

Votary? I had to look it up (as I did with epigone). Disciple, yes perhaps, in general aspiration; but votary, not really - since I haven't taken any vows.

Audacious Epigone said...


Thanks. Predictions for the 21st?


Thanks for expounding. I didn't mean it critically or sarcastically--probably not the best word choice on my part.

bgc said...

No offense taken (I am English, therefore much thicker-skinned than you Americans!) - I was just puzzled by the word votary.

I think the analysis just shows the limitations of this kind of analysis in a world of rapidly changing fashions in terminology. The thing itself remains popular - indeed usually expanding, but the name keeps changing.

This name changing increases 'deniability' - such as "Oh no, we don't do affirmative action. Haven't done it in years! No we are trying to enhance diversity - a quite different thing..."

In the UK 'equal opportunity' was replaced by 'inclusion' about 15 years ago for a while, then by 'representation' and so on...