My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? …Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too—for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies.
— C. S. Lewis,
On a trip to Russia just after the collapse of communism in 1991, I had a conversation with a Marxist scholar who was devastated by revelations about the horrors just then coming to light in his country. “I had no idea things like this were taking place,” he said. “I became a communist with the best of ideals, to fight racism and poverty, to bring about a just society. Now I learn that we created a monster. We saw evil in others—the capitalists, the rich, the exploisters—but not in ourselves. I have learned to distrust any utopian philosophy, especially one that sets ‘us’ against ‘them.’ The danger of evil is inside of all of us, rich or poor, socialist or capitalist.”
Rumors of Another World
That is what makes life at once so splendid and so strange. We are in the wrong world. When I thought that was the right town, it bored me; when I knew it was wrong, I was happy. So the false optimism, the modern happiness, tires us because it tells us we fit into this world. The true happiness is that we don’t fit. We come from somewhere else. We have lost our way.
–G. K. Chesterton,
Leftism always identifies some group as the source of all problems in society, some class that makes all mankind choke… For, you see, leftism is nothing but one unending witch hunt.
The Hunt for the Oppressor
Now having made such a claim, it is necessary that I reference facts. Once upon a time there was a certain thinker . . . Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and he famously quipped that “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” Many found this idea appealing . . . So a 200-year chase commenced to find the witch who had brought such maleficence to mankind.
First the Jacobins came, and found the clandestine oppressor to be nothing other than the church and the nobles. So they quickly proceeded to murder the entire clergy and nobility of the French nation. However, this seemed not to bring the desired result; their people still seemed enslaved, the freedom and utter equality they craved had not been acquired. They must have found the wrong witch!
Karl Marx soon followed, and identified the true enemy of mankind as the capitalists. So his followers proceeded to kill all the capitalists, and a quarter of the population of their nations in the process; however, this too failed to break the spell.
The Progressives in America and England soon followed, and ironically saw the oppressors to be the “inferior” genetics of southern Europeans and blacks, who so rapidly reproduced that they were destroying the otherwise paradisical society of white people with their uncivilized blood.
Nazis learned from the Progressives, but, being of a more moderate demeanor, determined that Jews were the worst of the bad lot. They were a sort of combination of what all the previous leftist movements had identified as malefactors: they were brownish, capitalist, and religious—the trifecta!
So the Nazis killed all the Jews, and then God, being partial to his chosen people, killed all the Nazis. Again, man was in chains, and the invisible slave-master was on the loose.
Now Witches Are Everywhere
Now with the birth of pluralism, the Left no longer feels the need to identify a single oppressor, but rather has embraced a slew of them, each oppressing within a single domain: men oppressing women, whites oppressing blacks, straights oppressing gays, industry oppressing the unindustrious, religion oppressing the irreligious, etc. The net effect of these oppressors explains the fact that “all mankind is in chains.” Now it is no longer necessary to do away with only the church, or the rich, or the Jews; rather, it is necessary to do away with all the “ties that bind,” and human civilization with them . . .
This is the fundamental madness of the Left, that, in assuming man could ever be free and equal, must blame something for the fact that no one is free or equal; that thing, whatever it is, must be destroyed, so egalitarian freedom may reign.
They fail to understand what every saint and every suicide knows intuitively, that the cause of life’s misery has nothing to do with some tyrannical spirit in the ether, or dark conspiracy clothed in obscuring shadow. Rather, it has everything to do with the corruption within every man’s mind. “The kingdom of hell is within you.”
Why The Left Is On A Never-Ending Witch Hunt
We have spent centuries of philosophy trying to solve “the problem of evil,” yet I believe the much more confounding and astounding issue is the “problem of good.” How do we account for so much gratuitous and sheer goodness in this world?
Christians, indeed, have a special obligation not to forget how great and how inextinguishable the human proclivity for violence is, or how many victims it has claimed, for they worship a God who does not merely take the part of those victims, but who was himself one of them, murdered by the combined authority and moral prudence of the political, religious, and legal powers of human society.
― David Bentley Hart,
Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution
and Its Fashionable Enemies