Editorial from Irish Church and State magazine, April 2020:
“This Virus is God’s warning”
The Daily Telegraph of March 26th carried a large photo of a man bearing a placard with this message. It was a picture of an extreme eccentric. God is dead for all practical purpose. He has been abolished by Economics.
The God of these parts warned against Globalism. He did not want the world to be united against Him. That was the message of the incident of the Tower of Babel, through which an upwardly mobile humanity sought to climb to Heaven and be omniscient.
He prevented this turn of events by conferring on humanity a great multitude of languages, disuniting it, fragmenting it, but giving each fragment the possibility of living in its own paradise in this world, from which there is no escape—no matter how far one travels among the rocks and gasses of Outer Space.
But Globalism has come back with a vengeance. It exists in the medium of a universal market with a universal language. That language is English in its American development. It is cosmopolitan English.
America was energised by the English who were the Chosen People of modern times. Their language was God’s own language—the language of the inspired King James Bible , along with the Pilgrim’s Progress , and Foxe’s Book Of Martyrs . It was the language of the purified Christianity—Christianity purified of contact with human institutions. It removed the individual from the retarding influence of merely human institutions and gave him the absolute freedom which comes from direct relationship of the isolated individual with the God who made the world, and this somehow produced an apotheosis of the market-place, and the conviction that it was the destiny of the entire world to become a single market, in which each infinitely precious soul saved itself—or was saved by divine choice—at the expense of others.
The universal market needs a universal language which is free of the subjectivist distortions of particular languages, which are obstacles to the rationalist accountancy. About a century ago, the great liberal philosopher, Bertrand Russell, proposed the ideal of a language consisting of noises in which the noise would stand for some clearly defined particular thing. The ground of metaphysics, romance, philosophy and religion would thereby be removed. The capacity for thoughts that gave rise to these things would be removed. And it would be the perfect language for commodity exchanges.
English, the language of sheer Individualism in the Biblicalist development in opposition to the subjectivist fantasies of Renaissance Christiantiy, is serving that purpose. It is what it calls “pragmatic” , and it deplores what it calls“ideology”. And, in the matter of trade and accountancy, it has had a great advantage over languages which seduce people into unprofitable ways by the satisfaction provided by their inferiority.
As to the Virus: we would not be having it, if China had not been force-marched into world trade by the Opium Wars launched against it by Liberal Britain at its high point, at which its moving spirit was Biblicalist Puritanism, and destructive action carried on against the Chinese state and culture for a couple of generation. And if it had nonetheless sprouted in Wuhan, it would have difficulties getting beyond it.
If Globalising is persisted in, it is clear that much great uniformity must be imposed on the world that has yet been done, and local traditions must be more firmly stamped out.
The alternative is to heed God’s Warning?