Wednesday, 25 February 2015

40 years before Mencius Moldbug - Mormon Apostle Ezra Taft Benson describes 'The Cathedral'

I was listening to a speech given in 1968 at Brigham Young University entitled "The Book of Mormon warns America" by Ezra Taft Benson - who was at the time an Apostle of the Mormon church, and later became the President.

This was at the height of the explicit culture wars, when the confrontation between the atheist New Left and traditional Christianity was at its most obvious - and before the Left had taken over all the large and powerful institutions.

From a perspective of 2015, this is a very remarkable speech - especially in terms of its tough, uncompromising, style. This was before political correctness made us accustomed the Right only being allowed to use euphemism and indirectness in prestigious public media and in open discourse - we are now easily shocked and scared by the upfront expression of common sense. Leftism was simply, and accurately, called Communism. Socially destructive Leftists were simply called 'traitors'.

(Sophisticated modern people have no concept of loyalty, so 'traitor' is a snigger-word.)

In terms of his analysis of how Leftism operates in America, Benson's analysis is essentially identical with that of the influential blogger Mencius Moldbug - the focus on communists and communist promoters in government agencies, the legal system, academia and the media (i.e. what Moldbug calls 'The Cathedral).

Here is a selection of quotations:


The Book of Mormon points out how these ancient conspirators were able to fill the judgment seats, usurp power, destroy justice, condemn the righteous, and let the guilty and the wicked go unpunished. Do you see any parallel between this and the present-day decisions of our Supreme Court?

President McKay has stated that the Supreme Court is leading this Christian nation down the road to atheism. I believe the court is also leading us down the road to anarchy and atheistic communism. Here is the net effect of a few of their decisions:

Communists can work in our defense plants... Communists can teach in our schools...Communists can hold offices in labor unions... Communists can run for public offices...Communists can serve in the merchant marines...
The Supreme Court justices would probably have been accused of treason if they had dealt in this manner with the Nazis during World War II. 

How does one explain the court’s attitude towards the communist conspiracy which is a much greater threat than the Nazis ever were?...

I have not even covered the areas of how the court is hamstringing the police, destroying property rights, encouraging civil disobedience, undermining state sovereignty, and so forth.


We have mentioned briefly the help which the communists have received from our Supreme Court. Suffice it to say that they have penetrated every major segment of our society... the news media, the schools, the churches, the unions, etc. 

But their greatest desire and most successful drive has come from their effective penetration of government.


We extend the advantage of diplomatic recognition to their puppets when they come to power. We send them billions in foreign aid. We’ve trained their pilots. We ship them wheat. Through cultural and other exchanges, their spies come to America. We supply them know-how. We extend them credit. We buy their goods. Their propaganda goes through our mails at our expense. We’ve helped them in their conquests through secret agreements.

Our government does all it can to keep the anti-communists from coming to power in any country. 

And once we’ve helped the communists to take over a nation such as China and Cuba, we do all in our power to keep the anti-communists from freeing their land. We even negotiate with these butchers and sign treaties with these criminals who have no respect for treaties. 


The vast majority of American citizens and federal employees are loyal to our Republic. But there are a few traitors whose numbers are growing and who are in key positions to influence and help shape government policy.

In fact it is becoming increasingly apparent that appointment to high government office today is not hampered by one’s past affiliations with communist fronts or one’s ability to follow the communist line. You don’t need to look further than the President’s Cabinet and recent appointments to the Supreme Court to find ample evidence of this fact... 

Parrot the communist line and you can expect to be glamorized by the liberal news media and pushed to the front. But take a strong anti­communist position and you can expect to be passed over, smeared, and silenced. And this has happened and is happening to too many great and distinguished Americans to be accidental.


The communists could not do this all by themselves. They knew that communism would also have to be built by non-communist hands. And so, as in the past, they use, to suit their purpose, the misguided idealist, the political opportunists, the dupes and fellow travelers, and the ignorant and apathetic Americans...

He knows that some of his greatest successes have come with programs which have been sold to the American public as ways to fight the communists but which in reality had the net effect of promoting communism.

This has been true of our foreign aid program. Designed, supposedly, to help nations, its overall effect has been to keep socialist governments in business, enhance the communists, discourage free enterprise and demoralize the anti-communists.


And so on...I quote above Benson's own words, but even harder things are said in citing approvingly quotations from others.

What do I infer from this? That what would have been, and would still be, depicted by The Cathedral as hysterical paranoia about 'Reds under the Bed'; was not just accurate, but an underestimate of the reality and trends.

That the stakes were clear by 1968, and the broad outlines of what has come to pass in the political system were clearly apparent - since Benson gives every appearance of speaking from a generally-understood perspective.

In particular, there was clarity that communism/ Leftism/ The Cathedral was absolutely hostile to Christianity - which was why Benson was giving this speech - and a recognition that the rise of communism causes the decline of Christianity.


(In this respect Benson gets it right where Moldbug gets it wrong - communism was and is anti-Christian and atheist in nature, and it does not make analytic sense to regard it as a Christian heresy. To point at the post-communist corrupted pseudo-Christian churches and accuse them of causing Leftism is an example of victim-blaming. The Leftism of most modern church leaders is more akin to Stockholm Syndrome, the pitiful parrotings of the chronically abused, than it is to the masterminds of Leftist strategy.)


What was not apparent in 1968 was the extent to which communism/ Leftism would achieve its goals primarily by the sexual revolution - by 'rights talk' applied to anyone who advocated sexual practices out-with faithful marriage.

The potential for the initially merely-libidinous sexual revolution to be deployed politically, to add-to the 'civil rights' based race alliance by pandering to women, the sexually promiscuous, those with psychopathologies and so on - This process was insidious, cumulative and surprising in its scope, effectiveness and destructiveness of tradition, Christianity and pretty much everything that was good about The West.

But in terms of where communism/Leftism was located in the USA, and how it operated; the politically-mainstream Benson was using the same analytic frame as was rediscovered forty years later by Mencius Moldbug - the main difference being that Moldbug was coming from an atheist Leftist then Libertarian background, while Benson was speaking from a rooted Christian perspective.


1 comment:

Tucker said...

What was not apparent in 1968 was the extent to which communism/ Leftism would achieve its goals primarily by the sexual revolution - by 'rights talk' applied to anyone who advocated sexual practices out-with faithful marriage.

Indeed what's striking is that if you read (or search) through the text of the speech, the word "sex" is utterly absent, which would be unfathomable today.