Paganism, Christianity, Modernism, Postmodernism…and then what?
AN ANCIENT SUN BEGINS TO SET
Rome, in its day, was a highly successful and advanced empire that lasted for almost 1,000 years. Part of the success of the Roman Empire is that they were largely tolerant of the different beliefs, Gods and systems of those they conquered (not to say that slavery, war, rape, oppression and torture didn’t happen), but that the Roman Empire survived because they didn’t completely annihilate the cultures, beliefs and diversity of their subjects (with Carthage as the exception to the rule of course).
For example, even though the Romans were a polytheistic culture, when they conquered the Hebrews, they allowed the Hebrews to run their own courts and set up their own laws – as long as the Romans were paid a tribute at the end of the day.
The Romans also appropriated the Gods of the people they conquered. Epona is a Gallic Horse Goddess that Roman Calvary Members began to worship after Gallic men joined Roman Ranks.
The Romans did force their more patriarchal world view on the more egalitarian cultures they conquered – such as the Celts. But even this conversion occurred gradually rather than over night.
This was the Pagan World: A world of different ideologies that more or less coexisted with one another.
The stories of Romans throwing Christians to the lions is a highly exaggerated affair and religious persecutions were a rare event.
Yet when the Christians came to power, they tried to enforce a monotheistic ideology on a diverse empire that stretched from the British Isles to Turkey. They burned Pagan temples, they tortured and killed those who did not subscribe to their ideology – even other Christians. They unleashed a religious reign of terror unseen in the Ancient World.
Eighty years after converting to Christianity, the Roman Empire began to fall apart. The forced conversion to Christianity in 395 AD marked the fate of the Western World for the next 1,000 years. (And arguably still very much effects the Western World today).
Western Europe descended into a Dark Age. During this period, much of the grandeur in terms of technology and culture that marked Rome went down the tubes. Several bloody conflicts over religion marked the age: crusades, the inquisition and witch hunts. Eventually between the 1200′s and the 1300′s the Black Death happened. It was a massive plague epidemic that killed up to a third of Europe’s population. The survivors of this devastation began to lose faith in Christianity as an authority.
Christianity split into different sects: the Roman Catholic Church and Protestantism. A Thirty Years war was fought (1618-1648). So great was the destruction in this war, that anywhere from 25% to 40% of the population in the German States was killed off.
You can imagine that after a millenia of religious conflict, the Europeans began to grow sick of Religion. It was shortly after the period of Catholic and Protestant fighting that the Enlightenment began in the 17th and 18th century. Rationality, science and objectivity were grasped as the antithesis of a world dominated by faith. The basilica of Science was hailed as the golden refuge against the tyranny of religion and thus the Modern World in the West began. Much of America’s founding fathers were Deists (and many were even atheists).
It is in this period that Democracy as a Political ideology emerged. Capitalism and the Industrial Revolution were born. Objective science and rationalism helped create machines that forever revolutionized human existence – ushering many humans from the country side into factories and cities.
However, Religion did not die as a force of power in the Western World. Far from it.
From the beginning of modernity to the present, it was thought that Science, Industrialization and Progress via Machines was the inevitable course for the whole planet and the entirety of humanity. Liberal Democracy has been the main vehicle of Modernism (although Communism and Fascism made their push for progress as well). It was thought that the ideas of Rationality would be a beacon of light in a world dominated by the dark savagery of nature – that if the ideas of Modernism could take over, we’d live in a harmonious world order that clicked like clock work.
It was believed that it was OKAY for machines and humans to destroy all other forms of life on the planet – as long as the ends justified the means.
Much like it was okay for Christians to destroy all other Non-Christians.
However, we will get to the point where we will no longer be able to sustain ourselves and our insatiable hunger for consumer goods, when we finish destroying all nature on the planet. Eventually, like an all-consuming snake, we’ll be forced to destroy each other. We’ll fight bloody wars over simple resources.
ENTER POST MODERNITY
With two world wars, an environmental crisis, the worst inequality between rich and poor the world has ever seen and the emptiness of consumer culture – many in our generation are beginning to question the Modern World Order. Post Modernism accepts the break down of narratives. It is skeptical of “absolutes.” It is arguable when Post Modernism began, it either started after the 19th century, after world war II or even in the 1960′s. It’s not important to know how it began – it’s important to know that it is a counter-reaction to Modernism.
Post Modernism is also used in a derogatory way to describe a culture that no longer has any overriding values – a culture that is overly ironic, sardonic, hyper-critical and ultimately meaningless, because nothing really matters anymore. It is within this context that we see the rise of the Hipster and Reality Shows as iconic: parodies of the meaninglessness we mock. There is a craving for authenticity, which no longer exists.
We live in a world crafted by carcasses. Living things are converted into dead things, so the dead things can make more dead things. It is a black hole that is ever consuming.
Any wonder why zombie movies are so popular in this age? Art is a mimicry of internal reality. Zombie Land is where we’re headed.
The monotheism of Modernity has failed and now we are living in a transition period – a period in which people are spiritually starving and grasping for new meaning. Some are returning to religion. The 20th and 21st century has seen a rise in religious extremism via Protestant Christianity, Orthodox Judaism and Radical Islam.
Some are also returning to Paganism. There has been a rapid return to Earth Based Ideology around the globe. Yet the number who call themselves “pagans” in name is still pretty small. Larger is the number who say that they are “spiritual, but not religious.” Growing also are the numbers who recognize nature as an authority over modernity.
And then there are those who lose themselves to consumer culture as the solution. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from. The struggle for identity resolves itself in what you buy – not who you are. One falls into the deepest abatement and despair when that identity is destroyed – when their product becomes obsolete after a month – out of fashion. But do not worry consumer. Rejoice! With only a modest fee you can find yourself again. Baptized anew in the latest garb that Urban Outfitters has to offer. The sins of being unfashionable will be washed away by the Gods Armani, Gucci and Couture.
But this synthetic consumer world is about to be washed away in the bloody tidal wave of what is to come.
ENTER THE BLOOD ECONOMY
So what does the future hold?
Let us look at a trend:
- The number of humans is rapidly expanding.
- The number of resources is rapidly dwindling.
- As the value of human life declines, humans will become an expendable resource in the blood economy.
The hardcore fact is that the wealthiest members of society no longer need a majority of the people on the planet. This is a completely new development in history. Even a wealthy noble in the Middle Ages depended upon the poorest of Serfs to farm food. Yet now this relation of inter-dependence between rich and poor is becoming laughably obsolete. Machines will eventually do the labor of society’s poorest – and even middle class – members. As technology progresses, a majority of human beings on the planet will be useless for the planet’s rich elite – a liability even! In fact, many humans will be little more than a cockroach infestation, a pest that needs to be exterminated.
The wealthy will turn groups against one another, and incite massive wars over resources in order to deal with the “human” problem. I suppose you could call this World War III, the Dark Ages or the Apocalypse.
Yet all will not be cherries and ice-cream for the wealthy either. Extreme climate change and resource depletion will cause the wealthy to increasingly horde the dwindling resources that they do have, and eventually the frustrated masses will rise against them. Much like Robespierre’s Bloody Revolution in France.
Massive numbers of people will die because of dramatic climate change, due to hunger, plague and pestilence.
Many will believe that this will be the “apocalypse” foreseen by the bible. Those who benefit from the apocalyptic havoc will push this idea as an inevitable reality – so few try to rise against it.
Already in the American Government, we see influential Christian Extremists having wet dreams of war with Iran or even Russia. This biblical fulfillment of the tribes of Israel fighting the tribes of Moab (replaced presently by Iran) will result in a sea of blood and supposed redemption for “true believers.” According to biblical prophesy, Christians are supposed to be whisked away into paradise while the rest of us are left to endure the tribulations of the apocalypse. They think they will get to sit in the golden beaches of splendor sipping martinis with Jesus while the majority of humanity endures an agony and torment worse than death (or something like that).
When paradise fails to materialize, as a fall out, the lingering hopes in Christian redemption will collapse in the blood bath it created. Much like the Dark Ages in Europe, there will be a swift departure from the Status Quo and a development of a new society.
There will be two choices for humanity.
CHOICE ONE: RESTORATION OF AN ANCIENT ORDER
Liberalism and the Modern world order will be hated for the mess it created.
Yet an ancient sun will shine over the blood spattered landscape. This will not be the end, but the start of a new beginning. This will not be the Christian Apocalypse, but it will be the Norse Ragnarok: a bloody war of the Gods that results in a new beginning for the Earth.
The Blood Economy will only stop when the survivors rise up to destroy those damaging the planet: much like a vengeful son who kills the man abusing his mother. The Blood Economy will only stop when a righteous authority figure rises to power in order to piece a broken world back together. This authority figure is represented by the authority of nature marrying the human throne of power. Only when the eternal truths connect to the highest level of authority will we pass through the apocalypse.
Those who survive this Blood Fest will create a cult of reverence for the Earth. This will not be a peaceful, New Age, hippy religion. This will be a militant regime that will punish the perceived culprits of “World War III”, much like the Germans were brutally punished for World War I.
Who will be the scapegoats of the new world order? Americans, Capitalists and Modernists are my guess.
A Traditional and Spartan ideology will take hold. Those who are useful will survive. The frivolous will be destroyed. That which holds meaning will be celebrated. That which is irrelevant will be a waste of time. And waste of time will be eradicated since it will be perceived as a deadly threat to survival.
Technology will survive, but its development will be slow. It will be used to organize the masses for the purpose of restoring the planet to a place where life can thrive.
Totalitarian dictatorships will eventually take over the globe and rule over a multi-polar world. The various indigenous religions of the world will be allowed to thrive much as they did in Ancient Rome – as long as they solute the dictator and respect his or her marriage to the planet – mandated by the highest orders in heaven.
CHOICE TWO. A TRANS-HUMAN FUTURE
If we cannot move beyond the Blood Economy, human beings will be reduced to the fate that our cows hold today. Filled with drugs and made fat, dumb and lazy. Too complacent to fight the powers that be. Much like these fat, dumb creatures are hauled into slaughter houses – the rich will lead us to the slaughter with promises of peace and prosperity. After all, you are what you eat.
An elite of wealthy survivors will enjoy a trans-human future in which they have the genetic and technological ability to make themselves more than human, powerful cybernetic creatures that can resist the effects of climate change. These new creatures will see the destruction of human life as an object of sport and entertainment. Drones will be used to kill much more than “terrorists.” A small group of plutocrats will be able to wield legions of death machines to do their bidding. Drones are only a primitive beginning for what these death machines will be able to do. Much more deadly will be nano-bots that can wage an invisible war on the masses.
Much like the Cro-Magnon killed off the Neanderthal, the Cybernetic Being will kill off the human. Cybernetic beings will eventually populate the planet with a new race of creatures and history will continue from there.
AM I CRUEL? AM I CRAZY? IS THIS OUTCOME MORBIDLY PESSIMISTIC?
This prediction may seem like something out of a bad Sci-Fi movie. Maybe I’m too Pessimistic. Maybe I’m insane.
But there is a simple fact of nature and reality to make this long story short:
The ones who survive are the ones who fight.
Don’t forget it.