6. The progression over the last 200 years when upset became completely overwhelming
To now describe the progression that has taken place over the last 200 years when upset has become overwhelmingly extreme and, as a result, such extreme states of dishonesty, denial and delusion have developed that the human race is facing terminal alienation and extinction.
Since any form of Prophet-Focused Religion was becoming unbearable, a much more dishonest, guilt-free form of pseudo idealism had to be found. The first solution was atheistic COMMUNISM or SOCIALISM which did not contain any recognition of the sound, relatively upset-free, innocent, soulful world of prophets, nor acknowledgement of the condemning truth of Integrative Meaning in the form of ‘God’. Instead, communism dogmatically demanded an idealistic social or communal world and denied the depressing notion of God and associated guilt.
The dishonesty and delusion of communism/socialism was made very clear when its creator Karl Marx asserted that ‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is [not to understand the world but] to change it [just make it cooperative/social/communal]’ (Theses on Feuerbach, 1845). No, the whole ‘point’ and responsibility of being a conscious being is to understand our world and our place in it—ultimately, to find understanding of our seemingly horribly flawed, angry, egocentric and alienated human condition. While more will be said about Marxism shortly, the fundamental problem with communistic and socialistic Marxism was that its dogmatic, ‘just change it’ imposition of cooperative and selfless ‘politically correct’ idealism denied humans the freedom to be competitive, aggressive and selfish while they carried out their all-important upsetting search for knowledge, ultimately for self-knowledge, understanding of our corrupted condition. Dogma wasn’t the cure for our corrupted condition, it was the oppressive poison.
While this oppression of freedom was why socialism/communism was initially largely decried as a political system for managing society, at the personal level, the limitation of socialism/communism was that while there was no confronting innocent prophet present, there was an obvious acknowledgment of the condemning cooperative ideals. So in time, as levels of insecurity rose so too did the need for an even more evasive and dishonest guilt-free form of pseudo idealism to live through. This was supplied by the NEW AGE MOVEMENT (the forerunners of which were the Age of Aquarius and Peace Movements) in which all the negatives of humans’ massively corrupted condition were transcended in favour of taking up a completely escapist, think-positive, human-potential-stressing, self-affirming, motivational, feel-good-about-yourself approach.
In talking about how he became ‘a personal growth junkie’, the comedian Anthony Ackroyd summed up the extremely deluded artificiality of the New Age Movement when he said: ‘What are millions of us around the globe searching for in books, tapes, seminars, workshops and speaking events? Information to enhance our lifestyles and enrich our experience on this planet? Certainly…But I smell something else in the ether. Something more desperate and deluded. A worrying snake-oil factor that is spinning out of control. It’s the promise of salvation. Salvation from the basic rules of human life. This is the neurotic aspect of the human potential movement. This hunger for a get-out-of-the-human-condition-free card’ (Good Weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Sep. 1997). Yes, to ‘get out of the human condition’ we had to confront and solve it, not deny and escape it; our ‘desperate and deluded’ attempts to escape it only made it worse. As the philosopher Thomas Nagel recognised, ‘The capacity for transcendence brings with it a liability to alienation, and the wish to escape this condition…can lead to even greater absurdity’ (The View From Nowhere, 1986, p.214 of 256).
The limitation of the New Age Movement was that while it didn’t remind humans of the cooperative ideals, the focus still remained on the issue of humans’ variously troubled, alienated, upset, innocence-destroyed state. So the next level of delusion dispensed with the problem of alienation by simply denying its existence. The FEMINIST MOVEMENT maintains that there is no difference between people, especially not between men and women. In particular it denied the legitimacy of the egocentric male dimension to life. As is explained in paragraphs 770-777 of FREEDOM, far from being destructive villains, men turn out to be nothing less than the heroes of the story of life on Earth!
Being based on extreme dogma, the feminist movement could not and has not produced any real reconciliation between men and women, rather, as this quote points out, ‘What happened was that the so-called Battle of the Sexes became a contest in which only one side turned up. Men listened, in many cases sympathetically but, by the millions, were turned off’ (Don Peterson, review of The Myth of Male Power by Dr Warren Farrell, The Courier Mail, Jun. 1994). (Read about how the explanation of the human condition brings an end to the so-called ‘war of the sexes’ in .)
The limitation of feminism was that while it sought to dispense with the problem of humans’ divisive reality, humans were still the focus of attention and that was confronting. So again, as upset increased and an even more evasive and dishonest form of pseudo idealism to support was needed, the ENVIRONMENT or GREEN MOVEMENT emerged in which there was no need to confront and think about the human state since its focus was away from self and onto the environment.
In response to a question about people’s attachment to climatism (focus on climate change), the psychologist Jordan Peterson spoke the truth when he said, ‘People have things within their personal purview [range of experience] that are difficult to deal with and that they’re avoiding and generally the way they avoid them is by adopting pseudo-moralistic stances on large-scale social issues, so they look good to their friends and neighbours’ (Australia’s ABC program Q&A, 25 Feb. 2019). The inherent dishonesty and irresponsibility of this movement was summed up by these quotes: ‘The trees aren’t the problem. The problem is us’ (Simply Living mag. Sep. 1989), and ‘We need to do something about the environmental damage in our heads’ (Time, 24 May 1993). The bumper sticker ‘Save the Humans’ that parodies the green movement’s ‘Save the Planet’ slogan also makes the point about how evasive of the real issue the environmental movement is—as does this statement: ‘Environmentalism has largely superseded Christianity as the religion of the upper classes in Europe and to a lesser extent in the United States. It is a form of religious belief which fosters a sense of moral superiority in the believer, but which places no importance on telling the truth [about the real issue of our corrupted condition]’ (Ray Evans, Nine Facts About Climate Change, 2006).
So while it has been said that ‘The environment became the last best cause, the ultimate guilt-free issue’ (Time, 31 Dec. 1990), the Environment Movement has an undermining limitation in that it still contained a condemning moral component. If we were not responsible with the environment, ‘good’, we were behaving immorally, ‘bad’. In addition, the purity or innocence of nature contrasted with humans’ lack of it. Clearly, as upset further increased, an even more evasive, human-condition-avoiding, ‘guilt-free’ form of idealism was going to be needed, but before presenting that development, a description needs to be given of how rapidly upset was growing.