A further exchange on Molech the god of liberalism
Your Moloch entry is still resonating deeply, deeply in me, as you shall soon see with my next post over at Orthosphere. This whole synchronous incidence of infanticide in the news, Thomas Bertonneau’s tremendous work in naming the foe, and your momentous tying together of all the various threads in that Moloch entry: I’m shaking, by God, it’s terrifying. And sanctifying.
As for the progress of the foe, just tonight someone crystallized the point that equal sexual freedom is going to displace religious freedom. Since equal sexual freedom is our society’s highest priority, and since equal sexual freedom requires that women be no more at risk of becoming pregnant than men are, the universal subsidization of birth control pills, everyone, including Catholic institutions, must be forced to subsidize women’s birth control pills and abortions.
Just so. The logic of it is inexorable.
My post is up. The main thing that it adds to the discussion is: Moloch is not just a metaphor.
In the last lines of the essay, I say:
So I humbly propose that we call our adversary by his true name: Moloch.
Give it a try for a few days. Whenever you would otherwise have written “liberalism” or “the left,” write “Moloch.” I think you will find that it rings true with a dreadful solidity.
I put that in because this was my actual experience. Lydia McGrew and I were corresponding, and given the events of the last few weeks, and the mention of Moloch both in your magnificent, harrowing entry and by the commenters in a thread at Orthosphere, I naturally fell into following my suggestion. Lawrence, I tell you, it’s spooky. I’m not kidding. Try it and you’ll see.
But is Moloch the correct name or metaphor for what we are talking about? Moloch was the Phoenician, Canaanite, and Carthaginian god of child sacrifice. My entry, “Liberals’ new/old god: Moloch,” began with the idea of liberalism as child sacrifice, as seen in the argument of feminist ethicist Francesca Minerva that babies, who have no conscious desires and plans and thus are not truly human, can be morally killed if their existence interferes in the desires and plans of adults. But then I moved beyond the idea of liberalism as child sacrifice to the idea of liberalism as all-encompassing human sacrifice, the sacrifice of all “oppressors” (or of all people who in any manner obstruct the path to equal freedom), whether the oppression is seen in sexual, racial, cultural, or economic terms, leading up to my closing statement that liberalism is a “human sacrifice cult.” So it seems to me that the name Moloch may fail to convey this more comprehensive type of human sacrifice that is our subject.
Well, he wasn’t so much the god of child sacrifice, as the god who was best propitiated by child sacrifice. If there had been no children around, his worshippers would have found other human victims. Sacrifice of adults was not at all uncommon in the ancient Near East, or Crete, as the binding of Isaac shows. Theseus was an intended victim of such a cult, even though the god of that cult was a bull. The pagans all understood each other’s gods as real, and recognized that they were worshipping the same gods under different names—that, e.g.., Bacchus was Dionysos.
Our Enemy is a demon who wants us all dead. He goes by many names. Calling him by the name used for him in Tyre seems to work because it is well known today, because the Phoenicians were so totally into child sacrifice, and because most of the victims of the liberal cult today are infants.
That doesn’t mean we are not all in the cross hairs. Something I said to Lydia the other day seems relevant (I have edited it a bit to make it clearer):
Moloch is a hydra. He has a head everywhere; lop one off, two grow back. Lawrence’s great service, in his entry the other day about Moloch, was to show how all the different heads are rooted in one body. That was scary; hair-raising. And not in a good way, as with Aslan.
The moral views of modernism may be summarized under two heads: (1) “Whatever” with regard to Nazism, abortion, and so on—which is moral nominalism; and (2) “Discrimination is evil,” which follows from the notion that, there being no such thing as moral knowledge, there is no way to justify discrimination. Now, the only way to put these two views together in a quasi-coherent policy that can be really put into practice is, “Everybody dies.” This is why “the revolution devours its young.” It is why the purges can logically end with no one living but the tyrant himself, who must then in logic commit suicide.
That’s why they call this a holocaust: the entire victim is consumed in the flames. Man is the victim.
On Saturday a friend was telling me about old two episodes of Law and Order she had just watched on video. One of them involved a female FBI agent, married to an FBI agent and with a teenaged daughter, who had left her husband for a lesbian relationship which led to a murder and ruined her daughter’s life. On the witness stand, she insisted that she had been suppressing her real feelings for years and had to express them, regardless of the cost (though at the end of the episode she does have second thoughts about what she’s done).
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 12, 2012 01:26 PM | Send
In the other episode, a man whose wife is going to Iraq has his wife’s eggs frozen so that in the event of her death, he can still have her with him in the form of a child conceived from one of the frozen eggs. As my friend pointed out, any thought of what it would be like to be a child conceived in such fashion, of what it would be like to have been born from the frozen egg of a dead woman, was not even a consideration. It was all about the desires of the parents, not about the effect on the children.
After listening to these two stories, I said, “You know, this is not just sin or an excess of freedom in the old sense of doing whatever you please. This is the pursuit of a counter metaphysic. In the old order, there was a sense of right and wrong and people felt obligated to conform themselves to it to a certain degree. But now the self has become God, and in doing whatever this self wants, people are not just being free, they are consciously practicing this anti-religion which overthrows all objective right and makes the self the center of the universe.”