For the 3rd part of this series. I thought the best way to clarify a few items and to head off a few objections is to criticize the ideas in the first two parts and present it all in a question-and-answer format. (Some of these criticism are things I actually hear from people.)
1. You identify as a Christian; how can you justify “fervently hoping” for the catastrophic end of the industrial system? Don’t you realize how much suffering this would cause?
Yes, I do. Without a doubt, a Carrington II scenario — or similarly catastrophic scenario — would cause a lot of suffering. Truly, I don’t enjoy suffering any more than the next person. I don’t wish to see innocent people suffering any more than the next person. In fact, for whatever it’s worth, I suspect I have somewhat more empathy than the average person. The difference is that I am looking through a wider lens. The weeks and months immediately following a Carrington II scenario are going to be filled with anarchy, ruthlessness, and death — particularly in our large “multi-ethnic” urban centers, where urbanites will relive the IQ-80 savagery of post-Katrina New Orleans. However, once the dust settles, I’m confident that many of these undesirables will have fallen from the very bestiality that they have lived by. That in itself is a huge benefit — well worth the cost of going without electricity.
Looking at this from a still wider lens, once the dust settles, people will find that they are free from the shackles and abuses of modernity. Humanity will be able to reconstruct a normal life — normal, if for no other reason, because it resembles the first 99% of human history. No more feminism, no more alienation and loneliness, no more atheism, no more globalism, no more anxiety-inducing idleness, no more depression (which is almost entirely confined to the “1st world), no more bugmen and sissies, no more traffic jams and cubicles, no more Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder.
In some ways, life will not be nearly as easy and comfortable, but it will be incomparably more human. Frankly, I can’t think of any good reason why full-spirited humans should surrender their hopes because pet-humans would be sad if their zoo closed down.
2. But what about all the people in hospitals?
A good friend of mine once quipped, that besides children, most people are in hospitals because of their own folly. Obviously, there is no way to determine what the actual percentage is, but conceptually, this is an unassailable fact. A significant number of people — indeed, probably most — are in hospitals because of an almost criminal disregard for their own health and safety. They have wholly volunteered to wreck themselves in one way or another; poor diet, disdain for physical exercise, narcotics, transsexualism, and all around foolery. This is confirmed by numerous relatives and friends of mine who work in the medical professions. A second large portion of hospitalized people consists of victims of circumstances that are uniquely rooted in industrialism. Almost all of our most pressing ailments today, from heart disease to diabetes to cancer, were essentially non-issues before the horrible pollutions and dietary ravages of the modern age.
Considering, therefore, those who are hospitalized because of willful self-destruction and those hospitalized as a result of industrial-related problems, we see that the destruction of the industrial system should mostly be a net-gain for the prudent and innocent. Will there still be innocent people who would suffer without modern methods of hospitalization? Sure, but it should be remembered that regardless of whether we live in an industrial or pre-industrial world, there are always risks, injuries, diseases, and deaths. It’s simply part of life. By no means do I mean to belittle somebody’s suffering, particularly if they’ve done nothing to deserve it, but aging and eventually dying is also part of being a human being and we need to accept it with a certain measure of grace. Again, refer to the wide-angle lens.
3. An end of the techno-industrial system would probably result in significant problems which even you do not foresee. Don’t you think it’s too reckless?
First of all, yes, I do anticipate that some problems would come up which I did not expect. This is, of course, what every person of at least average wisdom should admit. Here’s the thing, though: it’s very difficult for me to not suspect that my level of foresight and care for the big picture is not far superior to that of the technophiles. Simply ask yourself, do the technophiles and industrialists ever question what their machinery and pollutions will do to us? Has anybody ever gotten them to provide satisfactory answers to all reasonable questions before they went and reshaped the world? No. Never. They never had to provide a detailed contingency plan for all the possible malignancies of all their innovations. Even as our air and water and food supply is contaminated with pollution — including pseudo-estrogens and a host of other endocrine disruptors — nobody forces them to bear the reasonable blame for their actions. And this is just scratching the surface. Goodyear, Ford, Dow, Edison, Gates, Jobs, etc., none of these people had to offer guarantees of the long-term soundness of what they were creating. It was a matter of living in the moment. We are now suffering the consequences of such short time-horizons. All I long for is the nullification of these hasty and harmful decisions and a return to life as it was for the vast majority of human history.
One of the buzzwords of our time is “sustainability”. Although I loathe the way this term is commonly applied, I nonetheless understand its great appeal to so many people (even if they don’t use it in a coherent way half the time). On a gut-level, people understand the jig is up. Sure, they might feel indestructible attachment to their smartphones and Panera Bread and Instragram and casual relationships and career over family, but people know intuitively that this whole thing is a plane crash. So they keep uttering the word “sustainable, sustainable”. A Carrington II is the path to real sustainability.
4. You identify as a Christian. Don’t you think then that the world is on the course which God had fore-ordained for it? You believe we are approaching the End — doesn’t that mean there is nothing we can do about it besides being faithful Christians?
First of all, even with major events wherein God is clearly doing the lion’s share of the work, there is always a place for man’s activity — it is of paramount importance for us to know what to do and to do it faithfully.
The mysterious description that the Holy Scriptures give us of the end times is indeed very grim. Moreover, it does seem that advanced technology would necessarily play a key role in the tribulations described therein, what with the mark of the beast and the air-tight control of the system over all people and all commerce as well as the production of counterfeit miracles, just to name a few. Nonetheless, it should be remembered that, according to both Christian and pre-Christian Tradition, no prophecy of harm and tribulation is absolute no matter how grimly expressed. God always offers the nullification of His decrees of impending chastisement should there be sufficient repentance and re-consecration on the peoples’ initiative.
Also, we cannot say for sure whether we are coming face to face with The End or An End. Many times people were faced with catastrophes so great that they assumed it was The End, only to find out it was merely An End. Similarly, although the Christian faith is that Christ will return to reign over the earth in glory once and for all, we see that there have also been small returns throughout history, such as in France after the blood lust of the Revolution had run its awful course and in Russia after the fall of communism, just to name two.
It seems to me that the current catastrophe has the potential to be either kind of End. If we deal with it rightly, perhaps it is just An End. Well go back to a pre-industrial way of life and things will keep ticking for a few more centuries or a few more millennia. God has His reasons for prolonging or cutting short the time allotted to the world. However, if we deal with it wrongly, I can quite easily reason why this may be The End: because the current catastrophe is one which threatens the very survival of meaningful human agency. (See here and here.) I don’t perceive God as permitting us to destroy ourselves just for kicks. In fact, I see plenty of evidence to the contrary. If there is no realistic possibility for redemption out of our folly and wickedness, God pulls the plug, again and again. God is anything but sadistic. Technology has been transforming, and will continue to transform, the human milieu into a psychological environment that provides an ever narrower opportunity for meaningful moral agency. People are so warped and damaged, thanks to tech and it’s unavoidable effects, that they can hardly be expected to ever aspire to a spiritual life. As in the days of Noah, we’re just about at that time when the only 8 people left left in the world who are still okay need to get into the boat.
So, for the sake of discussion, let’s say this is The End. I’m still convinced that this is anything but a passive and fatalistic situation. Noahesque preparations need to be taken up by all Christians. Indeed, Christ Himself likened The End to the days of Noah:
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24)
There is nothing passive about real Christianity. You have to actively live out your faith. You have to make full use of the means that have been entrusted to you. The servant who buried his talent in the ground, he is the one who received the condemnation. In Luke 17, Christ said that “The Kingdom of God is within you.” When this is fulfilled in us, we will naturally reclaim the physical world for Christ, our Lord. It matters not whether we are at the eleventh hour or still in the middle of the day. You put your hand on the plow and you keep going.
5. Is a Carrington II the only scenario we can hope for?
No. It’s just that, as far as I can tell, this is the simplest shut-down of the global industrial system. But God has many means by which to do things.
It’s also possible that growing nationalist sentiment across the world — especially among peoples of European stock — may provide an opportunity, provided that (hopefully) future nationalist governments will be comprised of sufficient amounts of people who understand the essential incompatibility of Traditionalism with Industrialism and will act decisively for the renaissance of a traditional world. I think this scenario would entail international treaties of de-industrialization followed up by EMP-ing everything just to make sure.
My read of serious nationalists at the moment is that they are somewhat more pro-tech than anti. Nonetheless, there is a significant segment that is solidly aware of the impossibility of embracing tech and at the same time holding fast to many of the nationalist agenda items that are dearest to them. You can observe this, for example, when The Daily Stormer publishes an article that has to do with emerging technologies. There is a good deal of push back against this stuff and it’s rather encouraging.