I’ve written a good bit lately about the spiritual hole in the lives of many Westerners (see “The Desperate Search for Meaning,” as well as Parts II and III). A big part of Marianne Williamson’s appeal, for example, is that she casts political battles in spiritual and moral terms—a point on which she and I agree. I think President Trump, too, intuits that politics is about more than officious wonkery.
Progressivism offers a kind of fleshly faith for its sycophantic, virtue-signalling followers. But it is not a monotheistic religion; rather, it is a polytheistic cult with its own pantheon of gods and (often) goddesses of greater and lesser importance. Progressivism is a means to an end—power and dominion—so it can’t claim one central deity, as it seeks to cobble together multiple believers in a paradoxical pick-and-choose theology—so long as you pick from the approved list.
With all the scuttlebutt about teenage imp Greta Thunberg, the angry Apostle of Mother Gaia, I thought it might be interesting to delve deeper into the Left’s pantheon.
A great deal of the coverage of Thunberg, who melodramatically scolded the United Nations for stealing her childhood (I wish we all could afford to take a racing yacht on our transatlantic voyages to the UN—remember that rite of passage when you were sixteen?) compares the Scandinavian troll-child to a religious figure: an apostle, a saint, a Savonarola, etc. Those comparisons are apt, because this screeching child is a true believer in and major evangelist of one of the Left’s favorite goddesses, Environmentalism (or, more trendily, “Climate Change”).
A big thanks to my blogger buddy photog at Orion’s Cold Fire for this post, which links to a Dominic Green piece, “The Apotheosis of St. Greta.” Like many links photog shares, it’s well worth the read. Green explains the theological nature of this scolding strumpet:
The acclamation of Greta Thunberg is as profoundly irrational as the millenarian cult of purgation and redemption that she advocates — puritan in its authoritarian demands, lascivious in its sensitivity to pain. The intrusion of this kind of sub-religious foolishness into politics is always a bad sign. It shows that we are in an environmental crisis, and that the world is coming to an end. But which environment, and which world?
The environment that is dying is the liberal democratic order in which we live. The world that is coming to an end is political: the post-1945 order, led by the United States. The form of Great Thunberg’s protest is familiar to any student of medieval Europe, the civilization that produced the Children’s Crusade and Joan of Arc. The content of her protest is a deliquescence of Protestantism into narcissistic terror.
Environmentalism is for rich white people, and so is life without religion. ‘The eyes of all future generations are upon you,’ Greta threatens. ‘And if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.’ This is prophetic, and pathetic too, in its faithless Lutheranism and reverse predestination.
The visionary child speaks on behalf of every unborn generation. She knows what the future will say, and who will be saved and who will be damned in memory.
That angry irrationality—“puritan in its authoritarian demands, lascivious in its sensitivity to pain”—is the crux of modern brainwashing of children. It’s all passionate intensity, with no openness to new ideas. Thunberg grew up awash in Sweden’s “faithless Lutheranism,” learning that her once-pristine country was a vile, imperialistic polluter that needed to invite in thronging, dusky hordes to ensure her countrymen’s meaningless materialistic lives can be supported comfortably with a generous welfare state.
Sure, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve become more close-minded as the world grows crazier; I’m also 34. At 16, I was eager to analyze new ideas and to whittle away at them. Environmentalism has become Leftist orthodoxy, however, and genuflecting towards it—recycle! Don’t use plastic straws! Hug a sea turtle!—is its orthopraxy.
Indeed, according to a recent Rasmussen Number of the Day, 51% of voters under 35 believe humanity could be wiped out in the next ten-to-fifteen years. I imagine there’s a good bit of youthful melodrama in those poll responses, but that would still mean a substantial portion of young Americans believe the world is ending. If they really believe that (I suspect many of them say they believe it, and believe it intensely enough to spend your money to avert climate change, but not to do much else), that’s terrifying.
With talk of a Green New Deal to avert some mythical ecological disaster, these young, brainwashed, navel-gazing voters could easily vote in a Congress stupid, evil, and Leftist enough (but I repeat myself) that might actually pass part of it. Then humanity may very well die out in wave after wave of mass starvations and critical energy shortages.
We need to topple this false goddess. Eat a dolphin, drink from plastic straws, and raise the voting age to 25. Then maybe we can save the world from these deranged cultists.