Sep 25, 2022Liked by Douglas Farrow

Beautifully written, throughout Parts 1 and 2. Thank you. I was reminded in Part 1 of Robinson Jeffers's poem "The Purse Seine," published in 1938. (The line breaks below are the result of tech boundaries, not the poet's intent.)

Our sardine fishermen work at night in the dark of the moon; daylight or moonlight

They could not tell where to spread the net, unable to see the phosphorescence of the shoals of fish.

They work northward from Monterey, coasting Santa Cruz; off New Year's Point or off Pigeon Point

The look-out man will see some lakes of milk-color light on the sea's night-purple; he points, and the helmsman

Turns the dark prow, the motor-boat circles the gleaming shoal and drifts out her seine-net. They close the circle

And purse the bottom of the net, then with great labor haul it in.

I cannot tell you

How beautiful the scene is, and a little terrible, then, when the crowded fish

Know they are caught, and wildly beat from one wall to the other of their closing destiny the phosphorescent

Water to a pool of flame, each beautiful slender body sheeted with flame, like a live rocket

A comet's tail wake of clear yellow flame; while outside the narrowing

Floats and cordage of the net great sea-lions come up to watch, sighing in the dark; the vast walls of night

Stand erect to the stars.

Lately I was looking from a night mountain-top

On a wide city, the colored splendor, galaxies of light: how could I help but recall the seine-net

Gathering the luminous fish? I cannot tell you how beautiful the city appeared, and a little terrible.

I thought, We have geared the machines and locked all together into interdependence; we have built the great cities; now

There is no escape. We have gathered vast populations incapable of free survival, insulated

From the strong earth, each person in himself helpless, on all dependent. The circle is closed, and the net

Is being hauled in. They hardly feel the cords drawing, yet they shine already. The inevitable mass-disasters

Will not come in our time nor in our children's, but we and our children

Must watch the net draw narrower, government take all powers,—or revolution, and the new government

Take more than all, add to kept bodies kept souls,—or anarchy, the mass-disasters.

These things are Progress;

Do you marvel our verse is troubled or frowning, while it keeps its reason? Or it lets go, lets the mood flow

In the manner of the recent young men into mere hysteria, splintered gleams, crackled laughter. But they are quite wrong.

There is no reason for amazement: surely one always knew that cultures decay, and life's end is death.

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Dr. Farrow, you might not have seen this article by John G. West: "The Rise of Totalitarian Science" [ https://evolutionnews.org/2022/01/the-rise-of-totalitarian-science-2022-edition/] which is a send-up of the extremes of Social Darwinism. I think it dove-tails very well with your insights here.

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Thank you Dr. Farrow for both parts one and two. I'm a phd candidate in moral theology just wrapping up a dissertation on the meaning of suffering and death in the techno-culture (our culture) and have drawn similar conclusions, though I use Nietzsche more than Chesterton. They are: 1. That technology and its rationality is manifest will to power as eternal recurrence. Ironically, the nihil becomes our ideal. 2. Then the overman becomes idol Overman-god of Death to which we all bow. He will conquer suffering and death to turn it into no-thing. 3. That this is driven by both selfishness and care. Eve, in her confrontation with death, seeks to avoid it for selfish reasons, but she gives the fruit to Adam to birth his fear and consciousness precisely because of her disordered care. This fruit will save him. They will become as gods to conquer death on their own.

Many of my parishioners (I'm a full time pastor in the United Methodist Church in the States) go along with this idolatry and its tyranny under this disordered care saying "Shouldn't we do everything we can so that others don't suffer and die? Isn't that what Christ calls us to do?" I have come to believe that this is the wrong question. Instead of asking ourselves what we should suffer, we ask: what should we fear? The answer, of course, is God. Fearing God, wises us up to the way things run in this broken world. The culture tells us that we should suffer no-thing, not even love. The fear of God tells us that we must suffer love which entails taking up a cross. A blasphemy in the techno-culture.

Unfortunately, we don't hear much about the fear of God anymore. Maybe that's why we are manifesting hell right beneath our feet.

Anyway, I very much appreciate your voice in all of this. I'm going to steal the J.S. Mill quotes for the introduction to the dissertation (I'm sending it off to my committee this week). So, thank you. May the peace of Christ be with you up north. I'm from Chester Montana, just 50 miles away from Coutts, and I know that old ranch and farmer friends are up there to support you all. May Christ grant us a victory.

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Thank you for your faithful contribution. Given the silence or complicity of the clergy, a Catholic perspective has been scarce during this assault on truth and goodness. Your voice in this drama is very encouraging.

I have been particularly drawn to the doctrine of subsidiarity as an interpretive principle. The "anarchy" you so aptly describe is the disordering of social relations and rights. Pius XI warned of the gathering assault of totalitarianism on human freedom in the 1930's. Where is papal leadership today?

May God grant victory to the Canadians of good will and courage in their confrontation with the forces of anarchy.

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Well written article but I do wonder what the apostle of common sense would say about the Jones being so strikingly susceptible to mass formation as imposed by Hudge and Grudge. No doubt it wasn't lost on him when Christ said to feed my sheep but the gate is despairingly more narrow than I had imaged.

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Dear Douglas, it is an inspiring text and it meets my own thoughts about this "biblical" event. I hope we will defeat the anarchy from the top you described with our fearless souls. Let us be free from death because we will not be afraid to meet it to regain our blessed humanity.

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