The great British biologist J.B.S Haldane said that fanaticism was one of mankind’s greatest inventions. By “fanaticism” he meant the burning desire to save mankind from some imagined evil. The fanatic is not just trying to help his fellow man. He feels as if it is his purpose, his reason to exists. Therefore, he will die in his effort to reach his goal, as to give up on his quest or accept defeat would be no different than denying the reason for his existence. To die trying fulfills his purpose.
Haldane credited this to monotheism. If there is one god, then no people could be favored by one god over another. All men were the creation of one god and therefore of equal importance. This leads to the great battle to decide who has the correct understanding of God’s desire for mankind. The only way to know this is to do whatever is necessary in order to bring your understanding of god’s will into being. Fanaticism therefore was the great molder of human history for the last 5,000 years.
Of course, Haldane was a fanatic himself. He was a foaming at the mouth atheist, as they tend to be, so blaming the belief in God, especially Christianity, was a natural instinct for him. A central tenet of atheism is that if man drops the superstition about invisible men in the sky, they will stop trying to impose their beliefs on one another and thus a new post-God era can begin. Mankind will be driven by reason and the underlying facts of natural reality. Logic will be the religion of man.
This is nonsense, of course, but Haldane was not wrong about fanaticism. It is a great mover of history. Where he got things wrong was in thinking monotheism was the root of human desire to save mankind. Instead it was egalitarianism, the idea that all men are naturally equal and therefore naturally worthy. This did not require the belief in one god, as we see today with our humanistic fanatics. The modern intellectual is as indifferent to God as he is committed to belief that all men are equal.
An example of this comes from the legacy site National Review. This piece argues that the coronavirus is the great leveler. Mother nature is reminding the world that all men are equal in her eyes. Because, in theory, rich people can get the virus and die, it proves the fundamental equality of mankind. Time will tell on that score, but most likely the smart and rich will do better in this than the poor and stupid. That’s because Mother Nature does not distribute her gifts equally.
Of course, if this virus turns out to be the scourge of the poor or the great killer of the stupid, the egalitarians will have an answer for that as well. As the author of the piece says, it will be due to the rich and smart taking precautions to insulate themselves from the virus. For the egalitarian fanatic, there is always some behavioral reason to explain why one group does better than another. The equality of man is the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega, of their thinking.
A great driver of history is the belief that if only everyone would do things the way they should do them, then the human condition can be overcome. It is not the only driver, for sure, as not everyone has bought into egalitarianism. In fact, egalitarianism was, for the longest time, an exclusive belief. The tribe, nation or people knew they were equal before god, but those other people, well, not so much. Conquering them and taking their stuff was fine, as it was good for your people.
In recent years, this thirst for universal equality has turned into a weird cargo cult, where simply making people appear equal will cause universal equality to spring forth. You see a bit of that in the National Review post. The author seems to be hoping the virus is a great plague that hits the elites as hard as everyone. In the midst of the suffering, so the thinking goes, everyone will suddenly embrace the equality of man. Only a fanatic can believe that he not so subtly hopes for a plague.
In fact, disaster, man-made or natural, is proof that egalitarianism is rooted in our biology, or at least in the biology of some. The great destruction of man’s creation, the bodies stacked upon one another, a scene seen in every age by every generation, has not purged this instinct from our being. There’s no reasoning with a fanatic and there is not reasoning with an egalitarian. They are immune to reality. They see only that which confirms their belief that all men are created equal.
It is why, by the way, Africa is getting a good leaving alone in the pandemic chatter. They were all revved up a month ago to display their sorrow for the poor Africans, who would surely suffer the worst from this virus. This has not happened, so the egalitarians are busy editing on-line maps to remove the whole continent from our vision. Any discussion of why some groups have done better or worse is prohibited, even by the human bio-diversity crowd. Egalitarianism is powerful magic.
It is a good reminder that whatever comes out of the other side of this pandemic, the egalitarian will still be with us. No amount of reality can dissuade him. If he can see a man in a sundress as just another one of the gals, not even the complete failure of the system built on the dream of equality will dissuade him. He will be right back at it, picking through the rubble for signs that all men are equal. Egalitarianism is man’s greatest invention, a doomsday device we cannot disarm.
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