We are watching our planet spinning on a path that seems to be towards some kind of destruction. There have been plots and schemes that have been lurking beneath the surface and building up for decades; unseen by the majority, who have been too busy with their lives. It took a virus – whatever its origins – to make people aware that something sinister is afoot.
Is the current turmoil in the world, the struggle for moolah? Could it be that technology has become a superior entity and taken over our lives? Or as Christians well know, is it as foretold in the Bible about the end times and the presence of Anti-Christs?
Sitting by the fireside, Paul Kingsnorth, novelist and essayist, ponders on the state of the world.
Throughout history it has always been the poets, the prophets and the mystics who intuit what undergirds the tenor of the times. Generally the reward for their perspicacity is to be ignored or laughed at, but they are usually far enough from the centre not to notice or care….
Presenting disorder as order and truth as lies – this, wrote Guénon, was the way that Satan rolled.
He asks us to imagine that there is a force in the world that is active and beyond us.
Let’s give this force a name: a less provocative name, for now, than Moloch or Anti-Christ. Let’s keep it simple. Let’s just call this force Progress. Then, a la Kevin Kelly, let’s ask ourselves a simple question:
What does Progress want?
He reflects on this question. It seems that Progress wants a great deal. The author’s final reflection is:
What Progress wants is to replace us.
Perhaps the last remaining question is whether we will let it.
Will we let Progress have its way and replace us, or will we fight back and refuse to surrender to the Moloch or Anti-Christs trying to destroy the earth? Has the progress achieved in the modern world limited the focus of everything to just materialism and machinery?
This is Paul Kingsnorth’s essay, What Progress Wants.
It is a lengthy analysis followed by some engrossing comments and discussions. Thought-provoking opinions and information on the West, the ancient world, the Church and the problems faced by modern society. A few of the comments:
On the price for freedom
I don’t know what “the real world” is. Not knowing what the “real world” is has tremendous advantages : it gives YOU a tremendous amount of liberty in your daily actions …
But since Jesus’s ministry was so centered around freedom, it is important to remember that all freedom comes with a price, and with the ultimate question : are you willing to pay the price for that freedom ?
People were shocked by the Ukraine war but did not seem to be equally shocked by the West’s wars on Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, or the ongoing proxy wars fought by the US all over the world, or the ongoing war on nature which Progress fights daily in order to supply some of us with its tainted goods. We see what we are told to see, or what we choose to, now as ever.
On the presence of “it”
Whatever ‘it’ is, or whatever we may call it (Moloch, AI, Anti-Christ etc etc), the evidence of its active presence in the world has never been clearer, for those that have eyes to see. This can result in sadness, anxiety, and even despair. I never feel more human and ‘at home’ in the world than when I light the icon lamps and kneel and say my regular Orthodox Christian prayers, sometimes on autopilot, often fuly engaged .. Why is this? I feel it is the time in each day when I know I am doing precisely what ‘it’, I call it ‘the enemy’ does NOT want me to do.
The comments section of the essay is here.