Will Darwin Be Canceled From Our ‘Woke’ Culture?

British biographer A.N. Wilson mocked hypocritical atheists on the Left “who would like us to believe that if you do not worship Darwin, you are some kind of nutter” in his op-ed for the British newspaper The Evening Standard on August 17, 2017, where he correctly assessed that Darwin “has become an object of veneration comparable to the old heroes of the Soviet Union, such as Lenin and Stalin, whose statues came tumbling down all over Eastern Europe 20 and more years ago.” The pseudo-science known by both ‘natural selection’ and ‘theory of evolution’ ― which Darwin shamelessly ripped from the pages of legitimate Christian scientists he loathed such as Gregor Mendel; or Goethe, Cuvier and Lamarck before him ― borrowed the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ from ‘the now forgotten and much discredited philosopher’, Herbert Spencer, for ‘inventing’ a ‘consolation myth for the selfish class to which he belonged’ to persuade them that their neglect of the poor, and the colossal gulf between them and the poor, was the way Nature intended things’. 

Darwin did, however, bring two new ideas to the evolutionary debate, both of which are false: one, was that evolution only proceeds little by little, that nature never makes leaps. The two most distinguished American palaeontologists of modern times, Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge, both demonstrated some 30 years ago that this is not at all true. But the area which should get Darwin into trouble, under normal circumstances, is how he invoked his belief “that Nature is always ruthless: that the strong push out the weak,” according to Wilson, and “that compassion and compromise are for cissies whom Nature throws to the wall.” Yes, Darwin’s ideas were so compelling that they convinced many among the Victorian Age gentry that ‘his class’ would outbreed the ‘savages’ he defined to be the black and brown peoples of the globe, Jews, and of course, ‘the feckless, drunken Irish’. But as luck would have it for the Darwinian cosmopolitan elite, the unfittest survived: they in fact had more babies than the Darwin class. The Darwinians, led by his cousin Francis Galton, then devised the hateful pseudo-science of eugenics ―a scheme to prevent the poor from breeding. Its ideas were put to ‘good use’ — at least for their purposes — by Hitler’s National Socialists, through a great assist thrown to them by raging racist feminist Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood Federation through board members Ernst Rudin, Hitler’s director of genetic sterilization and cofounder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene; and Lothrop Stoddard, the author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White Supremacy who also propagandized Nazi Germany’s eugenics program for Sanger’s publication, Birth Control Review.

‘Natural selection’ and ‘eugenics’, let it be known, were the mother and father behind Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ to ‘the Jewish question’, as well as the atrocities that would kill millions under communism. In fact, not even the democratic West gets a free pass here, considering this science is back in the mainstream through ‘green politics’. And this is where we see emerge in the mainstream the philosophy behind Postmodernism, which at the very ‘core’ of political correctness’ foundation, is the defining intellectual cult of ‘the modern world’. I say ‘cult’ because, in reflecting upon ‘today’ being ‘modern’, Postmodernism must necessarily negate ‘Modernity’. 

For precisely these reasons, Postmodernism is difficult to define because to do so would violate ‘the postmodernist’s premise’ that no definite terms, boundaries, or absolute truths exist. Being necessary that by its nature, the definition of ‘Postmodernism’ must remain vague given its proponents themselves hold varyng beliefs and opinions on issues, I will do my very best to trace how from the times of Hobbes and his Leviathan and Nietszche and God Is Dead to the 21st century, the ‘ancient’ left-wing foundation accredited to Darwin ― given his entire perspective with respect to human species development begins and ends with “Savages are intermediate states between people and apes” ―  may soon become as enfeebled as what political correctness has similarly done to the church… or perhaps, will not. 


POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: FROM ‘THE LEVIATHAN’ TO POSTMODERNISM, AND SOME THINGS IN BETWEEN

Critical to the Postmodern imperative are its supplementary talking points, which are, in the immediate past, expansions on Friedrich Nietzsche’s introduction to nihilism (‘the abandonment of values and knowledge’), which he defined in his book Will to Power, “Every belief, every considering something true, is necessarily false because there is simply no true world.”

For Nietzsche, who spoke of “the death of God” and foresaw the dissolution of traditional religion and metaphysics, there was no objective order or structure in the world except what we give it. That objective of nihilism manifests itself through several perspectives:

  • Epistemological nihilism denies the possibility of knowledge and truth, and is linked to extreme skepticism.
  • Political nihilism advocates the prior destruction of all existing political, social, and religious orders as a prerequisite for any future improvement.
  • Ethical nihilism (moral nihilism) rejects the possibility of absolute moral or ethical values. Good and evil are vague, and related values are simply the result of social and emotional pressures.
  • Existential nihilism, the most well-known view, affirms that life has no intrinsic meaning or value.

Nietzsche claimed the exemplary human being must craft his/her own identity through self-realization and do so without relying on anything transcending that life—such as God or a soul.  To some commentators, Nietzsche advanced a cosmological theory of ‘will to power’ ― and that will must emerge from the individual’s appetites and passions for self-preservation ― while others interpret him as not overly concerned with working out a general cosmology. 



Nietzsche’s thoughts, which drove the rise of German nationalism and the Russian Revolution under the Bolsheviks following World War I, have dominated, even evolved, to consume the whole of the themes driving consumerism in the realm of advertising and marketing our popular culture during the postwar era (after 1945). In effect, the present malaise destroying our society is not so much a consequence of democracy or even politics in general, but of an ‘-ism’ that simply sells itself, that exists everywhere (and no where) simultaneously. With the end of the Cold War after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the incremental push for an international global government by the United Nations and the European Union set forth agendas which, while wholly Western in context, nevertheless requires that under the Postmodern objective, we question their relevance in reality without relying on conventional wisdom or rational theories.

  1. “Are nationalism, politics, religion, and war the result of a primitive human mentality?”; 
  2. “Is truth an illusion?”; and, finally,
  3. “How can Christianity claim primacy or dictate morals?”

Within the Postmodern narrative, much like the Soviet model with which many postmodernist philosophers were once aligned, the questions stem from lost confidence in what they have determined to be a corrupt Western world. For others, freedom from traditional authority is the issue; for example, Postmodernist scholar Stanley Fish articulated in his book Is There a Text in This Class? how “Deconstruction” ― the means by which Fish and other postmodernists believe that ancient Western historical and cultural truths must be broken down based on ‘metanarratives’ ― relieves him  of “the obligation to be right… and demands only that I be interesting.” Through ‘metanarratives’ may the postmodernist Left illustrate the need for deconstructing ancient and traditional religious morals, nationalism, capitalism, and inept political systems. Preceding the theatrics of the 16-year old autistic ‘green’ political prop Greta Thunberg by several decades, one should understand how her condemnation of capitalism’s role in the degradation of the planet at the United Nations echoes Postmodernism’s end: to deconstruct what they see as the unwise use and adverse impact of promoting ‘trade offs’ between energy resources and environment for economic gain. These metanarratives constitute the majority of Jean-François Lyotard’s work ―whose book, The Postmodern Condition, gave the namesake to the philosophical movement he’d long already been a part ―are, however, unified by a consistent view that ‘reality’ consists of singular events which cannot be represented accurately by rational theory; and that, similar to Rousseau nearly 200 years prior, our objective reality can only be driven by two predominant forces, ‘self-love’ and ‘compassion’ ― and in the writings of the occultist Aleister Crowley, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” so long as it is understood that “Love is the Law; Love under Will.” So, whether ‘climate change’ is a lie, or whether the West has run its course with the end of Modernity, is not a matter of ‘truth’: we cannot, according to Postmodernism, be certain ‘truth’ exists.

But this was not the conventional thinking 300 years before Lyotard. During the day of one Sir Thomas Hobbes, he invited his readers in Leviathan how to consider what life would be like in a state of nature, that is, a social condition without government ― in the state of anarchy ― where we might imagine that people might be free to openly act, to be each his own judge, jury and executioner over all we survey uniquely in his or her own case, whenever disputes arise — and that, at any rate, this state is the appropriate baseline against which to judge the justifiability of political arrangements in this condition of ‘mere nature’ of perfectly private judgment. In such ‘a brutish’, pessimistic state of existence, what if there is no agency with recognized authority to arbitrate disputes and effective power to enforce its decisions? What manner of social entropy, saturated in ennui, is this if mired in chaos, such a “dissolute condition of masterlesse men, without subjection to Lawes, and a coercive Power to tye their hands from rapine, and revenge” would make impossible all of the basic security upon which comfortable, sociable, civilized life could continue if there is “no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death”?  What of “the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short,” if by boredom in this state of ‘mere nature’, people have strong reasons to avoid it, to again, simply ‘Do what thou wilt’ as the whole of ‘The Law’? In which ‘Love is The Law, Love under will’, for “so long a man is in the condition of mere nature, (which is a condition of war,) as private appetite is the measure of good and evill”?

As people are not by their nature ‘good’, Hobbes (a royalist, writing during the English Civil War of the mid-17th century) believed that subjects should not dispute the sovereign power, nor under any circumstances should they rebel. It is here where the foundation of modern Western political thought experienced its genesis: the attempt to demonstrate the reciprocal relationship between political obedience and peace ―and hence, the Leviathan, ‘the vain-glorious’ victors in civil war, we come to understand, may emerge from the rubble of embracing ‘the devil we didn’t know over the devil that we did’.



By contrast, French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau repeatedly claimed that a single idea hits at the heart of his world view ― namely, that human beings are good by nature, but in fact are rendered corrupt by society. Did he mean that since society, the alleged agent of corruption, is composed entirely of naturally good human beings, that somewhere, somehow, evil got a foothold in some perversion of the Adam and Eve narrative in the Book of Genesis? And what of this ‘natural goodness’ he implies given Rousseau frequently stated that ‘morality’ ― the eternal internal dialogue between ‘sin’ and ‘obedience to God’, ‘good’ and ‘evil’, ‘justice’ and ‘injustice’ ― is not a natural feature of human life? If, in whatever sense it must mean, human beings are good by nature, is it not in the moral sense that the casual reader would ordinarily assume, but rather like reading a mystery novel from the very start, we understand that God sees the humanity from perspective of the author himself, who likely started from the end and wrote to conform to its designed beginning? If we compare Rousseau’s secular dialogue with that of the Bible, and we understand that God is ‘The Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End’ (Revelation 22:13), Rousseau’s point of humanity’s innate ‘goodness’ implies a sense of perfection which neither upholds to the principles of perfectability nor a sense of his own destiny. Only God lays judgment according to the Bible: He is, after all, ‘the beginning and end’ to all that is. But for Rousseau the apostate, it is people, and not God, who simply drift through life: living in the moment, still good by their nature, but alas are corrupted by ‘the society’ and others only good in their truth (‘morally-correct’, per Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; or ‘Truth, not facts’ for Joe Biden) as determined by each individual. The individual person, by exerting their ‘force’ on the orbit of other individual(s) who may not find them agreeable in the small microcosm of ones own ‘mere nature’, finds as his problem that our ‘mere nature’ for Rousseau is uniquely built on his instinctual drive towards self-preservation by our most basic biological needs (for things like food, shelter and warmth). Given humans, like other creatures who live strictly off instinct, are part of the design of a benevolent creator, they are individually well-equipped with the means to satisfy their natural needs. But who is this ‘creator’ to Rousseau? 

In the Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, Rousseau imagines a multi-stage evolution of humanity: from the most primitive condition, to something like a modern complex society, which in his day emerged at the dawn of what Postmodernism seeks, in ‘Modernity’, to deconstruct, based on Rousseau’s device for separating the natural and the artificial elements of our psychology at each stage, where human beings change their material and psychological relations to one another and, correspondingly, the ‘sentiment of their existence’ in living basically solitary lives in the original state of the human race, since they do not need one another to provide for their material needs. Chance meetings between proto-humans are the occasions for copulation and reproduction; while child-care is minimal and brief in duration. Henceforth if humans are naturally good at this stage of human evolution, their goodness is merely a negative and amounts to the absence of evil, distinguishing themselves from the other creatures with which they share the primeval world only by two characteristics: freedom, and perfectibility. For Rousseau, freedom in this context is simply the ability not to be governed solely by appetite; perfectibility, meanwhile, is the capacity to learn and thereby to find new and better means to satisfy needs. Together, these characteristics give humans the potential to achieve self-consciousness, rationality, and morality, but ultimately, ‘the good’ that humans were born as their whole innate trade in living basically solitary lives will devolve into a life less savory once such characteristics are more likely to condemn them to a social world of deception, dissimulation, dependence, oppression, and domination. If humility, according to the Bible, means that our innate sinful nature requires that in God we trust, we must through faith alone find our way back to salvation in atoning for the fall of Adam and Eve, then for the individual believing himself to exist as both naturally ‘good’ and at the same time ‘born free’, a life bound in ‘chains’ paints a pretty grim reality, given how in life, we are all naturally slaves, bound to our destiny. 

Most notably, Rousseau posits that our ability to empathize are drawn from two other passions, pitié (compassion) along with amour de soi (self-love; or, literally, ‘love of self’), which direct all of humanity to attend to, and relieve, the suffering of others (including animals) wherever possible, without endangering our own self-preservation. Rousseau’s words have taught over 250 years of left-wing thinkers how “may the restraints on man become legitimate”: through a ‘social contract’, implemented and enforced by a few masters selected to rule as a guardian class over the whole of ‘the state’, who are to be legitimized as ‘The Sovereign’ by the support of ‘the general will’.  Things, beginning from birth, can therefore only go down hill in such a pitiless state of ‘mere nature’ ―for “Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains…, “ and yet he sincerely “believes that he is the master of others, and still he is more of a slave than they are.” Therefore, ‘The Sovereign’, whether a benevolent dictator or the ‘guardian class’ ruling over his ‘slaves’ (defined here as ‘the general will’, which includes ‘The Sovereign’ himself), should love humanity so much that, in the name of ‘the general will’, he must murder the very people standing in its way. 


CONCLUSION

As Phil Moore wrote for The Gospel Coalition, “Charles Darwin is a great British hero… I happened to live opposite Darwin’s former lodgings when I was a student at Cambridge University, so I looked out each morning on a blue plaque hailing him as one of the greatest Britons who ever lived.” View it objectively, he never said that Darwin “didn’t deserve that commemorative plaque.” But he did say “that (Darwin) wasn’t a British hero but a British villain.” Furthermore, Darwin, Moore pointed out, “didn’t hide his view that his evolutionary thinking applied to human races as well as to animal species” ― after all, the full title of his seminal 1859 book was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, and which he would follow with his more explicit psychobabble in The Descent of Man, where he spelled out his racial theory:

“The Western nations of Europe . . . now so immeasurably surpass their former savage progenitors [that they] stand at the summit of civilization. . . . The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races through the world.”

Several thousand miles away from Darwin, Cecil Rhodes ‘gleefully’ embraced Darwin’s thinking as justification for white expansion across southern Africa. He was so inspired by Darwinian evolutionist Winwood Reade’s The Martyrdom of Man that as Moore noted, Rhodes later confessed, “That book has made me what I am” — the architect of one of the most brutal and immoral acts of European expansion and genocide in history; while furthermore writing in 1877 that: 

“I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. . . . It is our duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before our eyes that more territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race, more of the best, the most human, most honorable race the world possesses.”

Carol Swain

Dr. Carol M. Swain, a former associate professor of politics at Princeton University and former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University.

Thankfully, most British people and, indeed, the whole of Western civilization, are today embarrassed by the racist rhetoric Moore cites ‘undergirded the late-Victorian British Empire’. Yet in today’s ‘cancel culture’ where anything from the past one says can and will be used to destroy him some day down the line, we seem to be taking the motives driving racism away from what actually makes a person a ‘racist’. For instance, Dr. Carol Swain, a black conservative scholar from Nashville, bemoaned that Ronald Reagan’s legacy as a great president is facing a new and unexpected challenge after a tape released in July where Reagan can be heard venting with then-President Richard Nixon about the July 1971 United Nations vote to recognize the People’s Republic of China that also cast out the fledgling democracy of Taiwan from the organization. Frustrated and irate with the Tanzanian delegation for dancing after the country was seated, Reagan remarked that “Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did… To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!”

As Dr. Swain notes, 

“Reagan’s remarks were indeed racist, but they are not the whole of the man… it is notable that he and the Republicans made no real effort to eliminate race-based affirmative action. He signed legislation making Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday, even though he certainly had access to the negative information about King in the FBI files. When Reagan signed legislation imposing stricter penalties for crack cocaine than powdered, it was at the urging of the Congressional Black Caucus.”

She is also correct to assess that we, as rational actors, “should be wary of a selective moral perfectionism,” citing as examples that “the standards now being applied to Reagan (should) also be applied to John F. Kennedy (sexual assault), Lyndon B. Johnson (blatant racism), or Martin Luther King Jr. (plagiarism, infidelity, and possibly sexual assault),” and that, furthermore, King’s College, which proposes removing Reagan’s name from a building on its campus, “should not rename the Reagan House, just as we should not rename every MLK boulevard.” After all, Canada’s Justin Trudeau just won reelection as prime minister only months after photographs from parties where he dressed in ‘black face’ more than 20 years ago, surfaced.

Barack Obama, perhaps as well as I’ve ever heard, condemned today’s “idea of purity and never compromise and you’re always politically woke, and all that stuff … The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting might love their kids.” He boldly went where no Democrat has gone before in this era, explaining to his audience at the Obama Foundation Summit last week that being ‘woke’ is “not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get things done.” Furthermore, he advised them to “get over that quickly,” and to reject the new ‘cancel culture’. To his everlasting credit, although he did more than anyone (perhaps inadvertently) to contribute to the sad state that our civic discourse resides today, the former president had previously slammed college students who wish to be ‘coddled’ from ideas they disagree with during a speech in 2015.

Yet what’s so astonishing in the wake of this rising ‘moral perfectionism’ is how little the Left seem to understand that Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution provided the doctrine behind white supremacy, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust; as well as a key component, alongside Nietzsche and Ivan Pavlov’s study of classical conditioning for dogs, for Stalin’s rule by terror and conquest in the Soviet Union.


Che and Castro

Che Guevara (to the left), and late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro (to the right).


For that matter, it may simply be that few care to acknowledge how rational theory might dictate for the postmodernist Left that Darwin, like so many others, must fall prey to the current ‘cancel culture’. In a time where the post-truth world bears witness to the rehabilitation of Karl Marx and Che Guevera from the condemnation of prior history; when Joe Biden’s remark that he chooses ‘Truth over facts’ equally matches the lack of rational thought behind the pearl of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s wisdom (it is more important to be ‘morally-correct’ than ‘factually-accurate’); or how Bernie Sanders (a pervert who has written about women’s ‘rape fantasies’) can bring the house down during a CNN Q&A forum by pledging to a feminist that he would have ‘the courage’ to provide billions of dollars to achieve ‘population control’ for the poor ‘black and brown’ peoples in Africa and Asia — the likelihood that Darwin will survive is hardly surprising at all.

 

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