Culture Without God
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
As the above video indicates, a bad culture does not lead to brutal regimes. The sick culture, like the brutal regime, are merely symptoms of a vast illness that was diagnosed by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn three decades ago:
More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.
One can have a healthy culture only when there is an atmosphere of hope. In the absence of a belief in God despair grows in the human heart like fat on a pig. To escape from that despair the usual culprits are called upon: alcohol, drugs, sex, violence, all in an ultimately futile attempt to fill the God sized hole in one’s soul.
Nihilism becomes the default philosophy of elites and seeps downward. Relief is sought in political ideologies, the more violent the better, as meaning is sought in upheaval, a building of Heaven on Earth by the use of the methods of Hell. All of this is merely an elaborate death wish for a society as the last century graphically demonstrated.
The World, the Flesh and the Devil I have always found to be an interesting phrase. We are finding out in our time that with this unholy trinity there is no joy but only ennui. Unless God is firmly in the picture there is no enjoyment of either the World or the Flesh, merely a weary repetition of sins that lose their shock value and become boring matters of habit. Weimar Germany was merely a precursor of the spiritual emptiness that is the hallmark of our age, and what a sad hallmark it is. Until we return to our religious roots as a people, the culture will remain a tiresome cesspool, and a sign of darker days to come.