Archive for March 19th, 2014

Progressive Religion

This argument seems strangely familiar. Still, if the central thesis of Neoreaction is becoming common wisdom on a path that bypasses Moldbug, it remains something to be celebrated. Cultural convergence could simply be an index of truth.

Jaded as I am by NRx, Goldman’s review doesn’t quite make me rush out to buy the book (since we’ve been treating this argument as a basic reference for years). It’s still good:

The desire to be redeemed from sin (redefined as a social fact) identifies the post-Protestants as children of the Puritans. That insight is what makes his new book a new and invaluable contribution to our understanding of America’s frame of mind. Just what is a secular religion, and how does it shape the spiritual lives of its adherents? Bottum deftly peels the layers off the onion of liberal thinking to reveal its Protestant provenance and inherited religious sensibility. The Mainline Protestantism that once bestrode American public life never died, but metamorphosed into a secular doctrine of redemption. And that was made possible by the conversion of sin from a personal to a social fact in Walter Rauschenberg’s version of the social gospel. Bottum writes, “The new elite class of America is the old one: America’s Mainline Protestant Christians, in both the glory and the annoyingness of their moral confidence and spiritual certainty. They just stripped out the Christianity along the way.” By redefining sin as social sin, Rauschenberg raised up a new Satan and a new vocabulary of redemption from his snares. According to Bottum, his “central demand is to see social evil as really existing evil — a supernatural force of dark magic.”

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March 19, 2014admin 34 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction