Gnostic Education

By Thomas E. Brewton

Why are today’s students often taught to hate the United States?
Phyllis Schlafly sketches the aims of too many teachers’ colleges who
train our teachers (Teaching “Social Justice” in Schools).

Those aims are the ones notoriously espoused by Bill Ayers and
Bernadine Dohrn,

Senator Obama’s friends and co-workers in the Chicago schools project
funded by the Annenberg Foundation.

Social justice is a doctrine of the secular religion of socialism.
And as Eric Voegelin demonstrated, socialism is a variety of modern-
day gnosticism.

Voegelin in his 1959 “Science, Politics & Gnosticism” describes the
salient characteristics of gnosticism, all of which apply to the
doctrines of American liberalism and the concept of social justice as
attainment of atheistic social perfection.  These gnostic
characteristics correspond closely to the attitudes described in
Phyllis Schlafly’s article.

They also are the underlying foundation of Senator Obama’s appeal to
dissatisfaction with American society and his message that he is the
one possessed of special knowledge that can bring us together and
create a near perfect world.

First, the gnostic liberal is dissatisfied with the world as he finds
it.  He rejects the evidence of history that there always will be
strife, wars, inequalities in ability and station, and some degree of
poverty.  And he is confident that he has the knowledge (gnosis) to
make things perfect, which he defines as equality in all things.

Second, the gnostic-liberal attributes the problems of human life to
poor organization of the economic and political realms.  Evil and
hardship must therefore arise from some identifiable source
(capitalism? ownership of private property?) that deforms the proper
structure of society.

Third, the gnostic-liberal has a deep faith that earthly salvation
from the world’s tribulations is attainable, a trait markedly evident
in the theoretical models of Soviet Russia and Franklin Roosevelt’s
New Deal, as well as in the campaign rhetoric of Senator Obama.

Fourth, the gnostic-liberal believes that this salvation is
attainable through the process of history (which , of course, he
uniquely understands).  Auguste Comte’s 1820s gnosis was his
discovery of the “immutable law of history,” according to which there
are three ages of human social development, the third stage in the
19th century being the new scientific, socialistic age into which
only knowledgeable intellectuals could lead the masses.

The same three-phase philosophy of history reappears in Hegel and
Marx.  Note that Hitler’s National Socialism was consciously called
the Third Reich to identify it with the gnostic millennium of earthly
harmony and peace.

Note also that the nature of gnosis is that its secret knowledge is
available and comprehensible only to a select few.  This has always
implied in socialism a vulnerability to dictatorial concentration of
power in the collectivized state.  In Italy and Germany of the 1920s
and 1930s it was expressed as the Leader Principle – Il Duce and Der
Fuhrer.  Senator Obama is notoriously self-identified as The One in
whom human hopes and aspirations are to be realized.

Fifth, the gnostic-liberal believes that, having discovered the
secret meaning of history, he can implement and control the process
of history by political and economic means, i. e., via socialism.

And, finally, the gnostic-liberal’s core belief is that salvation,
the perfection of social relations and human conduct, is attainable
via human action, here on earth.  This is the source of Lenin’s
mystical concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat that would
bring peace and harmony to the people and would lead to a gradual
withering away of formal government, leaving the Soviet people living
in a modern Garden of Eden – from each according to ability, to each
according to need.

We see the manifestation of this mystical, gnostic vision every day
in liberal politicians’ belief that individuals are incapable of
fending for themselves, that only the national political state can do
the job.  There is always something wrong with society and always a
politician confident that one more set of regulations or one more
welfare-state program will make everything OK.

People want to believe that a body of secret knowledge will free them
from Christianity’s stern admonitions to work hard, save for a rainy
day, abjure hedonism, and recognize that perfection of human life is
impossible in the earthly realm.  It’s so much easier to eat, drink,
be merry, and let the government take care of us.

Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc.
The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of
writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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