Thursday, June 22, 2023

Homo Utopianus

 From The Catholic Thing:

When the French Revolution peaked and then went into decline without producing the hoped-for utopia, homo utopianus didn’t fade away.  Far from it.  This type of human being grew in numbers.  It flourished among numerous 19th-century revolutionaries, especially socialists and anarchists.  The homo utopianus in full flower was the 20th-century Bolshevik.  The type achieved a kind of perfection in Vladimir Lenin, the single most important historical figure of the 20th century.  Lenin didn’t live long enough to murder as many people as his principles would have warranted, but his two greatest disciples –Stalin and Mao Zedong – took care of that.

How strange it is that the most famous champions of that lovely dream, heaven-on-earth, should turn out to be mass murderers.  But it so happened that the dream was attractive, not just to the new type of human, homo utopianus, but to two perennial human types, the sadist and the tyrant.

If you loved cruelty and power, some instinct would draw you to utopianism.  As you tortured and murdered, you could rebut your critics by pointing to the glorious finale that lay somewhere down the road, and you could say to yourself, like Jack Horner, “What a good boy am I!”

From the point of view of a man of the tyrant/sadist type, one of the great beauties of the utopian dream is that it has a very strong appeal to another perennial human type, the soft-hearted fool.  And so homo utopianus comes in two main varieties, the tyrant and the fool. (Read more.)


 Are blasphemy laws coming, and which ones? From Intellectual Takeout:

A widely accepted definition of blasphemy laws is any law that prohibits insulting, expressing contempt, or showing a lack of reverence toward a deity, a sacred object, or something considered sacred or inviolable. It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that blasphemy laws are back in fashion in the Anglosphere and are, in increasing degrees, being used to persecute dissidents of LGBT ideology and our culture’s new secular religion.

As cultural commentator Josh Daws recently quipped, “It’s not whether we’ll have blasphemy laws but which ones.”

Blasphemy laws were effectively phased out in the United States thanks to the First Amendment. Most of the English-speaking world underwent a similar transformation in the post-Reformation era with blasphemy laws eventually being viewed as medieval and subsequently shelved. But as legal experts are wont to point out, blasphemy has more recently been secularized. What once operated purely in the sacred realm is now regularly applied to the social.

A Pew Research analysis found that 40 percent of the world’s countries and territories had laws or policies banning blasphemy in 2019. But there was a blind spot in Pew’s research. Western nations were essentially ignored even though Westerners are losing their jobs and even facing jail time for failing to capitulate to LGBT ideology.

How was this overlooked in the study? When we look at one of the sources Pew used, the problem becomes clear. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) shares the same blind spot. Though its 2020 Blasphemy Legislation Factsheet did list several Western European nations among the 84 countries it identified as having blasphemy provisions, USCIRF failed to apply their definition of blasphemy to state-sanctioned LGBT radicalism.

The factsheet rightly pointed out that blasphemy laws “violate freedom of religion or belief” and “freedom of expression” and that these laws “promote intolerance and discrimination against minorities,” adding, “USCIRF accordingly urges all countries to repeal their blasphemy laws and free those detained or convicted for blasphemy.”

But the secular lens through which the USCIRF views blasphemy seems to mean only identifying it as dissent against organized religion. Alas, the times have changed. Barbarians have stormed the gates, climbed the city tower, and now fly their flags over an occupied civilization, punishing all who scorn their sacred beliefs.

Any of us who refuse to bend the knee to our new overlords are potential heretics and blasphemers. The freedom to believe what we wish—and criticize those whom we disagree with—is rapidly disappearing. But it is only by bending the knee that we let these secular blasphemy laws tear through the fabric of our culture and civilization. (Read more.)


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