“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
I heard a story told about a child who was raised in a coffin. I haven’t been able to verify this story. Likely an urban myth but chilling nevertheless. What I did find was an academic paper written by David Naugle. Naugle shares the shocking story of a boy who was raised by his grandparents because his parents abandoned him. The grandparents assume the task of raising the child yet they do so very grudgingly. The child is allowed to leave the coffin only in order to eat or to go the bathroom. The boy is confined to this box for some bizarre reason and believes that all children are raised in coffins. When the authorities come to rescue him they find that the child had no idea there was any other way to live. THIS was the child’s reality. It seems his world was turned upside-down.
Naugle goes on to title his paper, ‘the Abolition of Man’. This title is from one of my favorite books by the writer, C.S.Lewis and it was first published in 1943. In Lewis’ book he writes about those sets of objective values that all traditional cultures have shared throughout time although there were some minor distinctions whether they be Christian, Jewish, Pagan or something other. Lewis took to task those critics who tried to deny objective values and in turn replaced the determination of reality by people who used their subjective feelings. Today this is something we see most frequently done by our presidency, the “objective” news media and by propagandists virtually everywhere no matter what side of the isle they are on.
Politicians and the news media use numerous rhetorical fallacies in argumentation to dismiss reasonable arguments: attack the man if your argument is proven false, assume that your belief is true just because it hasn’t been proven false, repeat the arguments until no one wants to discuss it anymore, shift the burden by putting the onus on others to disprove the argument, equivocating words and changing the meaning to confuse others, or offering so many arguments (shotgun effect) that the opponent cannot possibly answer them all. There are far too many fallacies to list here.
Double-speak or gobbledygook is the tool most frequently used by them but perceptive persons won’t be fooled. We witnessed this when Minority Leader of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi uttered the words, “we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.” or former President Bill Clinton stating, “It depends on what the meaning of the words ‘is’ is.” House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan is now taking point on making ridiculous statements too. Perhaps they believe the public is feeble-minded. This is tame compared to what is occurring more frequently in our world in places like North Korea or Iran. With enough practice we should be able to catch up.
Eric Blair, writing under the name George Orwell, knew well enough the power that is achieved by manipulating words. He viewed it clearly in the press when he was a writer covering the Spanish Civil War. His dystopian novel, titled 1984 and published in 1949, described a world at perpetual war and created by an intrusive government that subjugates its people. Individualism and independent thinking is outlawed and labelled a thoughtcrime. Words from the dictionary are methodically culled out and any concept that poses a threat to the totalitarian state of Oceania in the book 1984 is erased; words such as freedom, regime, peace or individuality are no longer allowed. New words are create such as the word “ownlife” to label those who have a tendency to be solitary or individualistic as subversive persons. This tool to manipulate thinking is called Newspeak and the goal is for everyone to be speaking this language by the year 2050. Up is down and down is up, right is left and left is right, truth is false and false is true.
An arm of Oceania is the Ministry of Truth. This is the place where photographs are doctored, “unpersons” are excised from the public archives and lies are consistently told such as the economy is growing when the reality is the opposite. Sooner or later the public is worn down and accepting of what is transpiring. There was no solution for Blair. He was depressed because he knew that Communism would be the only logical progression for socialism and it was a failed concept no matter how many people touted it as necessary and viable. The philosopher and socialist Jean Paul-Sartre knew this as well. The loss of individual identity in a fast-paced world of the future plagued writers and thinkers like Blair, Sartre and even Aldous Huxley, writer of a Brave New World, seemed to have the prescience of mind to see the bizarre future unfold before it arrived. Group think, the removal of individual thinking and the control of many by the few had them worried.
In his book, the Abolition of Man, Lewis observed that the last of stage of conquest of man over nature would be men taking control of other men. Their goal is to starve everyone of value judgments until sometime in the future the world is controlled by these modernists. By ridding the world of objective morality, this small group starves children first (the easiest target) of their sensibilities and make them easier prey, “when the propagandist comes.” They tear down traditional values determined by objectivity and replace it with ‘feelings’ until the world becomes run by a small group of men who are not really human at all. They in turn control the robot-like people who haven’t learned how to think for themselves. Men today willingly give up their liberties and joyfully subscribe to a twisted groupthink. Reality shifts because the garbage they’re feeding us becomes the garbage we want and we will digest it in any form of trash. Larger government doesn’t equate to having greater liberty; the word liberty can have multiple meanings.
“The very power of [textbook writers] depends on the fact that they are dealing with a boy: a boy who thinks he is ‘doing’ his ‘English prep’ and has no notion that ethics, theology, and politics are all at stake. It is not a theory they put into his mind, but an assumption, which ten years hence, its origin forgotten and its presence unconscious, will condition him to take one side in a controversy which he has never recognized as a controversy at all.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
Writer Peter S. Williams of the Lewis society writes a very profound article here describing a chapter of Lewis’ book called “Men without chests”. Lewis notes an English schoolbook he calls The Green Book; he names the authors “Gaius” and “Titus”. They discuss a story about a waterfall by the poet Coleridge.
“Two tourists were present besides Coleridge, one called the waterfall “sublime”, the other said it was “pretty.” Coleridge “mentally endorsed the first judgement and rejected the second with disgust.” Gaius and Titus comment: When the man said This is sublime, he appeared to be making a remark about the waterfall… Actually… he was not making a remark about the waterfall, but a remark about his own feelings. What he was saying was really I have feelings associated in my mind with the word “Sublime”, or shortly, I have sublime feelings. This confusion, say Gaius and Titus, is common: “We appear to be saying something very important about something: and actually we are only saying something about our own feelings.” Hence, Lewis observes, beauty is reduced to nothing but subjective feelings: “No schoolboy will be able to resist the suggestion brought to bear upon him by that word only.”
The Law of Retaliation is one of the guiding principles in our world whether it be a simple act of pettiness demonstrated by a narcissistic politician run amok or an ISIS follower cutting a man’s head off. For the more extreme persons or groups obtaining power they inflict a punishment upon others that is greater in degree and kind than the offense done by the perceived wrongdoer. It is no longer an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and retributive justice. Daily on television and YouTube we see the dehumanization of society. ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria) comes in and rapes children and women, kills homosexuals, sells people into slavery and enforces a strange rule of law that is supposed to be liberating. But who is it liberating? Is it for the ones who are in power or those who are being enslaved? A new dogma arrives to remove good sense and replace it with bad sensibility. Where is the Hollywood elite or anyone else for that matter speaking up and saying something is rotten in Denmark?
Shouldn’t Matt Damon or George Clooney stand up at this point and say, “stop pissing on our backs and telling us that it’s raining!”
We see a new world cut from old ideas to push this agenda of subjective thinking by using feelings or instinct until the modernist rules over others. Puppet-masters use their position of power, manipulation or violence to rule over those who challenge them (this is just a few of their tools) all while insisting what’s good for the geese is not good for the gander. Pol Pot, Mao, Hitler, Stalin you name it, they’ve come and gone. They excited the public by telling them something wonderful was coming! We saw how those stories played out. Madmen who interpreted the world in their own fashion and pushed it upon the unsuspecting world. Thank God for champions like Churchill who saw it coming. Manipulation is back in vogue and with ISIS at the helm this style of mayhem is more daring than ever!
But fashion doesn’t have to be distinctive and bold. Masquerading is another form of fashion. What is becoming more fashionable today? What is becoming more acceptable today?
Between the two forms of social control which one is more evil? Controlling groups by operating or proceeding in a very deliberate, blatant manner and telling everyone your agenda, like ISIS does as it acquires everything it touches? Or is it operating or proceeding in a very deliberate manner in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect? The second way is insidious and subversive; the attempt to “transform the established social order and its structures of power, authority, and hierarchy.” Evil is really just evil, right? (a tautology).
ISIS is doing all that it can to brainwash the youth. This was done many times before in history such as when the Nazis tried to raise the Hitler Youth. The Nazis were cruel and twisted and ISIS is no different; it is evil veiled in a different form. Certainly ISIS believes they are the greatest thing in town but their blatant form of evil is foreseeable and therefore controllable and can be eradicated. What is far worse is a government body that should be cherished and yet its leadership tries to impart another way of thinking upon a citizenry that has long held this form of evil at bay. By allowing a Newspeak to enter our schools, the churches, the government, the think-tanks, the military, the large businesses and far far more it will obtain its goal of making men without chests. Getting to the children is the beginning step needed to end the old reality and displacing it to make room for the new reality. We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.
Every child will lay inside a coffin and believe this is reality because they were told so. I won’t accept this as a legacy for them and neither should you.