Consciousness does not … shed … bonds; on the contrary it forges them.  Never before has there been such enslavement through consciousness as in the twentieth century.

… a battle is being waged for mastery over the human spirit.  (Emphasis added).

Czeslaw Mislosz, in The Captive Mind, p. 191

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Nobel laureate Mislosz writes from his experience in Nazi, and then Communist, controlled Poland.  We would all be wise to read The Captive Mind and think about its parallels to the U.S. and West today, to see in it how the Left openly follows the format of the Russian Communists.

We would be far the better if we understood what he says and its application to the exclusionary secular culture we find ourselves living in now.

How so?

I have long maintained that our culture, not our politics, is the problem.

Politics follows culture, it does not lead it. The values of a people, their past, their heritage, their achievement, their traditions reside in their culture.  Change a culture and a nation changes.  To change a culture is to change language – that which embraces and sustains what a people have been.

Need examples?  Killing the unborn is “choice.”  Marriage is redefined.  Men are the “oppressive” patriarchy.  A murderous adversary cannot be fully named. Success from hard work is “hitting the lottery.”  As to creating a business, “you didn’t build it.”  Wealth is a crime; redistribution is “social justice.” Dependence is freedom.  A trans-gendered man whose reckless driving killed an innocent woman is a “hero.” Protecting religious belief is “intolerance.”

What Mislosz observes from his experience is this: to usher in Left totalitarianism one must change the consciousness of a nation’s people and that is a process, not of violent revolution but one of changing the way people think, the public dialogue.  Doing so requires only a small percentage of lemmings in the right institutions – media, literature, law, politics, public education, entertainment, academia, religion.

Published in 1951, what Mislosz says then is only so much more the case now with mass communication and the concentration of power in the centralized nation-state.

Make no mistake, there is a daily battle for mastery of the human spirit, your system of belief; your faith is a primary target likewise your religious practices and the role of your faith, your church and your actions in the public square.

The Spirit is the target.

The most significant voice you must hope to hear in our present political arena is the voice that understands what we face is a cultural problem – not merely a matter of changing policy A for policy B, but rather a process of restoring language, fundamental beliefs, values and attitudes.

Living faith in secular culture today puts us in a very fundamental historic place, not unlike the first century Christians.

Shalom.

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