Tagged: Utopianism

Crane Brinton quote on utopianism and the elite

The means [toward utopia] - dictatorship of the proletariat, hidden or open rule of the technocrat, the cultural engineer, the planner, Robert Owen, H. G. Wells, Etienne Cabet, B. F. Skinner - is often, indeed usually, quite definitely the work of an elite.

— Crane Brinton, "Utopia and Democracy," Daedalus, Vol. 94, No. 2, Utopia (Spring, 1965), p. 349

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Immanentizing the Eschaton: The Gnostic Myth of Darwinism and Socio-political Utopianism

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- by Phillip D. Collins ©, Mar. 28th, 2005

With the publication of The Da Vinci Code and the release of the Matrix films, Gnosticism has experienced a cultural revival in the West. Is the rise of Gnostic thinking simply a fleeting trend, like the outrageous clothing that Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera wear one day and never don again? Perhaps. Yet, it is interesting to note that the popularization of Darwinian evolution preceded Gnosticism’s ascendancy in the West. The significance of this fact becomes evident when one reads the words of Dr. Wolfgang Smith:

“As a scientific theory, Darwinism would have been jettisoned long ago. The point, however, is that the doctrine of evolution has swept the world, not on the strength of its scientific merits, but precisely in its capacity as a Gnostic myth. It affirms, in effect, that living beings created themselves, which is in essence a metaphysical claim… Thus, in the final analysis, evolutionism is in truth a metaphysical doctrine decked out in scientific garb. In other words, it is a scientistic myth. And the myth is Gnostic, because it implicitly denies the transcendent origin of being; for indeed, only after the living creature has been speculatively reduced to an aggregate of particles does Darwinist transformism become conceivable. Darwinism, therefore, continues the ancient Gnostic practice of depreciating ‘God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.’ It perpetuates, if you will, the venerable Gnostic tradition of ‘Jehovah bashing.’ And while this in itself may gladden Gnostic hearts, one should not fail to observe that the doctrine plays a vital role in the economy of Neo-Gnostic thought, for only under the auspices of Darwinist ‘self-creation’ does the Good News of ‘self-salvation’ acquire a semblance of sense.” (242-43)

In light of this intriguing observation, one could view the current rise of Gnosticism as the natural corollary of Darwinism’s unquestionable epistemological primacy in the West. The current Gnostic revival could represent the next stage of Darwinism’s metastasis.

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