Which is why the mass media is by far the most evil entity which has ever existed.
It is generally not understood, even by Christians, that it is standard Christian doctrine
that advocating sin is far worse than actually sinning. The reason is that sinning (to some significant extent) is unavoidable and a part of the human condition, while advocating sin is
So the primary virtue is to advocate virtue; the worst sin is to advocate sin.
Actually being virtuous is certainly a good thing, the best thing - but is not always possible to everybody - for reasons of character and circumstance, weakness and ignorance.
Intellectuals preen themselves on their virtuousness because they refrain from violence and theft - yet theologically speaking modern intellectuals are - as a class - practitioners of deliberate evil on an vast scale in their systematic destruction of truth, beauty and virtue.
And, of course, the biggest and worst evil of the class of intellectuals is to advocate evil by inversion of the good: to claim ugliness is beauty (eg. mainstream modern art, design and architecture), to enforce wickedness as a higher virtue (eg. the sexual revolution as positively-depicted in a million novels, movies and TV shows and a billion news items), and to enforce distortion and suppression as the essential truth (e.g. the narrowing and ever-more-aggressively false doctrines of political correctness).
The corruption runs deep, yet not so deep that intellectuals have utterly lost subliminal awareness of what they are doing. This combination accounts for the prevalent misery, angst and anger of the dominant classes having a different quality from that of the past - a undertow of self-hatred and suicidal despair.
Despair is the key concept: the absence of real hope: hope of good that is real, objective, permanent.
(The creed of the modern intellectual is that no good thing is real, objective and permanent.)
The creed of the modern intellectual is implied-despair. Not the direct preaching of despair as a principle - but rather preaching of a set of non-beliefs that must lead to despair - because there is nowhere else for them to lead...
There is then - understandably - a craving for escape... but an escape merely into distractions that are pre-acknowledged to be unsatisfactory and unsatisfying because they are regarded as untrue.
(We are allowed to escape, sometimes, but only if we regard the escaped-to word as untrue. An imagined world must be acknowledged as fundamentally imaginary.)
Having demolished (to their own satisfaction) the objective validity of God; the intellectual elites have recently demolished (to their own satisfaction) the objective good of marriage and family - and they are left only with a life based-on 'work and leisure'...
Work and leisure are all that remains. There is nothing else.
Yet work has long since been exposed as a fraud and demolished (to the satisfaction of elites) by Marxism/ Socialism/ Liberalism/ Leftism...
So leisure is now the whole thing - a life aspiring to leisure, and yet leisure pre-acknowledged merely as a pastime - something to pass-the-time... a search for distracting novelties.
Sexual novelty, travel to new places, buying new stuff, doing new things... that is IT: the whole thing. That is the highest conceivable aspiration of the modern intellectual elites and the world they propagate 24/7 via the mass media, the world to which we are addicted, the world to which we are electronically plugged-in: a world which is, in its primary operations, built-upon the deliberate advocacy of sin: that is, the deliberate destruction of good.
"So leisure is now the whole thing"
Hence Charles Péguy could write
"As the Christian prepares himself for death, the modern man prepares himself for retirement."
And the worst sin because convincing someone that a sin is not a sin blocks salvation. The only sin G-d cannot forgive is the one you don't repent of. But you will never repent something which you now take to be good through inversion.
@Leo - Indeed. At my medical school 25 year reunion when we were mostly aged about 48, most people were talking longingly of retirement. Within a couple of years, two actually had retired. (In contrast, the generation who taught me carried on working after retirement age.) Yet when we went to medical school it was by far the most in-demand, most selective university degree (except vet school) - we were certainly an 'elite'.
I've just finished your book. I loved it. Thank you for making things clear to me. I've long since avoided most forms of mass media, although I had a few shows, mostly SciFi that I would watch over and over. After reading your book I've decided to take an extended TV fast, and cut down on my blog reading. I noticed that even the shows I like, and most of those would be considered well written, were pushing ideas that would never work in the real world. Ideas that when you really though about it are evil.
I also think there is a difference in the way people engage with information. The mass media, like drinking from a fire hose, feeds you information in a way that makes you passive. You don't have to work at understanding the entire narrative is given to you to passively accept. It's like drinking zombie juice. You are right the evil of the mass media is that it wants to think for you. Your brain is hijacked and turned to mush. The proper way to engage with information is the active way. There is effort and work done to understand the material. It's harder to be bambozed because you are in control of the information and how it is organized. If I wanted to know about what was happening in Iraq I would watch a news presentation via mass media, or I could conduct my own research. One way allows me to put on airs that I know something about Iraq without any work. The other way allows me to genuinely know something about Iraq, but I have to put in the time an effort.
"leisure is now the whole thing"
I know a number of people who died shortly after they retired. One could conclude from this that leisure is insufficient to motivate people to continue living...
"work has long since been exposed as a fraud and demolished (to the satisfaction of elites) by Marxism/ Socialism/ Liberalism/ Leftism..."
It is no accident, comrades, that in the USSR the workers sarcastically said, "they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work!"
@James - Thanks for the enthusiastic comment on the book; it's good to know the argument can make a strong connection with your experience.
The longer I go without watching various kinds of pop. mass media (such as television news), the more I see how steeped articles are in a point-of-view (and how often that POV is hostile to mine or things I've decided are important or valuable).
Yet, before, I for some reason bought the idea that these outlets were attempting to be objective.
I particularly find insidious the attempts of news outlets to try to convince people that it's important to read or watch them (if not, then you aren't 'well informed' or a 'responsible citizen', or some such nonsense - the truth is largely the opposite, to become truly well-informed part of a good strategy is to stop watching most mass media news).
I thought the worst sin was blaspheming the Holy Ghost. Is it the same thing as what you describe?
@BB - Not really - I am making a different point. So far as I can tell, it is not very clear what sinning against he Holy Ghost means. I suspect it is a way of saying 'not repenting' - which would fit with the general teaching of the Bible as a whole.
View From the Right had a discussion of this once. I think the commenter consensus seemed to be that it consisted of attributing things that are from God to evil/the Enemy and the argument was made from the scriptural context.
"Sex is the mysticism of materialism and the only possible religion in a materialistic society." - Malcolm Muggeridge
Always liked that quote. Seemed to fit.
Advocacy of sin IS actually sinning, the sin of giving scandal. From Jesus' comment about scandalizing, it is probably the second worst sin after the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
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