How is it that so few will be able to discern the evil intentions of the Antichrist? The loss of the Orthodox Faith is the foremost reason. With the loss of Truth, man’s proper relationship to God (Who is Reality) is lost, and everything becomes distorted and confused. The hierarchy amongst created things here on earth (amongst angels, men, and things) is lost, and confusion and relativism become the new measuring rods of what is good and right - multiculturalism, eclecticism, ecumenism, syncretism, and all the rest.
Max Picard spoke in more detail of this current state of the world when asked a similar question - how could Hitler have come to power in Germany. Fr Seraphim Rose gives us the quotes:
And this brings us to the spiritual state of our modern people, not necessarily under the direct influence of occultism or modern art, but still that very state which occultism and modern art expressed.
This we can see by a few pages from a book by another German, who is actually a Jew, became converted to Catholicism, became totally disillusioned with modern Europe and left the cities and went, found himself a place on a lake in Switzerland where last I heard he was still living. His name is Max Picard. He wrote a book called The Flight from God which describes how the life of modern man, especially life in the cities, is one of a complete running away from reality, running away from God. After the Second World War he wrote a second book called Hitler in Ourselves. Here he very nicely expresses what is the background for all these movements.
“During a trip to Germany in 1932, the head of an influential political party called upon me to ask how it was possible that Hitler had become so much of a figure and had gained so many followers. I pointed to a magazine which was lying on the table and told him to look at it. Page one was filled by a half-naked dancer; on page two, soldiers were drilling with a machine gun, and farther down a scientist was shown in his laboratory; page three featured the evolution of the bicycle from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present day, and a Chinese poem was printed next to that; the following page was divided between the calisthenics of factory workers during a rest period and the writing technique of a South American Indian tribe by means of knotted strings; on the opposite page, Senator So-and-so was depicted in his summer retreat.
“„This,’ I said, „is how modern man grasps the things of the world outside himself. Modern man drags all things toward himself chaotically and without cohesion; this proves that his own inner life is a chaos lacking cohesion. Modern man no longer confronts the things of the world as solidly existing, nor do things register in his mind individually; neither does he approach a particular thing by a particular act: modern man with his chaotic inner life has a correspondingly chaotic outer world whirling toward him. What is coming is no longer scrutinized; it suffices that anything at all should be coming along. To this disjointed tumult anything or anybody could admix -- Adolf Hitler, too: he gets inside a man without his noticing how he got there; from that point on, it no longer depends upon the victim but upon the skill of Adolf Hitler, whether he will merely pass through that man’s mind or take hold of it.’
“The disjointedness of a magazine, however, seems old-fashioned, almost handmade, compared to the radio. In the radio the business of disjointedness has become mechanized: 6 A.M. calisthenics; 6:10 A.M. recorded music; 7 A.M. news; 8 A.M. Morse-alphabet course; 9 A.M. morning sermon; 9:30 A.M. „In the Lake Dwellers' Village’; 10 A.M. Beethoven sonata for flute and piano; 10:30 A.M. farming lecture; 10:45 A.M. world news; 11 A.M. Overture to [Wagner’s] „Rienzi’—and so on till the Spanish course at 10:10 P.M. and the Jazz hour at 10:30 P.M.
“This world of the radio not only is disjointed;” That’s classical radio;
that’s good radio. “it produces disjointedness: it presents all things in such a way that they will not hang together from the very start and thus are forgotten one by one even before they have disappeared; from the start they are shrouded in a haze of oblivion. This outer world presupposes that man’s mind is no longer capable of perceiving the things of this world in any context -- as they are, that is, as they endure, and as they are correlated to one another in their nature --” rather “it operates primarily toward the inner discontinuity, toward the disjointedness of man, and with that it works.
“There no longer is an outer world which can be perceived, because it is a jumble -- likewise, there is no longer in man a mind able to perceive with clarity, because his inner world, too, is a jumble. Therefore, man no longer approaches objects by an act of will; he no longer selects the objects of the external world and no longer examines them: the world is fluid; disjointed objects move past disjointed man. It no longer matters what passes by; what counts is only that something should pass by. Into this line-up anything could sneak, including Adolf Hitler; and one prefers that at least he, Adolf Hitler, should turn up than to have nothing turn up at all. „Heil’ to him; for not only does he march along as part of the jumble, but he also sees to it that the march of the jumble does not stop -- he mechanizes the flow of events and things assembly-line fashion and does it better than anyone else.
“The Big City is the expression of the disjointed as such. In it the disjointed has become stone, nay, concrete. Constantly the lines of the houses are interrupted by the movings of automobiles, of streetcars and trains which cut through everything like machines. Human figures appear as dissolved into indistinct blots, hurtling back and forth between the walls of houses and of streets like pawns of evil powers. The sky itself seems removed farther from earth than elsewhere, and even the sky has lost continuity with itself, for it is constantly cut through by sharp-silhouetted planes.
“From this outer jumble, then, Adolf Hitler could easily sneak into the inner jumble; in this disjointedness he could show himself beside anything because he fitted anything: such as he was, he fitted into anything disjointed.
“And as again and again he showed himself in this jumble, he became more distinct than the other parts of the chaos; one got used to him and accepted him as one accepts a toothpaste which turns up again and again in the chaos of advertising pages. Soon he appeared as the only reality in a world wherein everything else manifested itself only to vanish again immediately.
“Sorel believes that in a modern democracy it is possible for a handful of men to usurp the tools of power and to establish a dictatorship. That is true. But it is possible only because today everybody is slithering toward anything – and thus one might slide toward the means of power without noticing it, while others notice it even less. One need not make any special effort; one need not fight for the instruments of power -- one just grabs them as one grabs at anything else in the chaos wherein one slips. It is merely an accident that this should happen in the realm of politics; in this world of the momentary and the disjointed anything else might be grabbed as well, in [lieu]” place “of politics and dictatorship. Here, there exists no history of power-assumption; no history, no theory, no doctrine counts except the theory and the doctrine of chaos.
“Hitler had no need to conquer; everything was preconquered for him through the structure of discontinuity, through the general disjointedness. As a result, such a dictator tries to make up for that sham of Mein Kampf,” which he wrote, “which really was not necessary for the assumption of power: now that he possesses power, he strives with all the gestures, with all the big noise of power, and by violence and murder to prove that he is the dictator by his own act and not by an accident of chaos.
“Only in a world of total discontinuity could a nullity such as Hitler become Fuehrer, because only where everything is disjointed has comparison fallen into disuse. There was only Hitler, the nullity, before everybody’s eyes, and in this instable world wherein everything was changing at every moment one was glad that at least the one nullity, Hitler, remained stable before one’s eyes. An orderly world, a hierarchy, would automatically have placed the nullity, Hitler, into nothingness; he could not have been noticed. Hitler was the excrement of a demoniacal world; a world of truth in its order would have pushed him aside.”cccxxxvii
Again we see the same thing that it is the world, it is we the ordinary people who are living this very kind of life of disjointedness and used to the very phenomena which we see around us -- the newspapers, the radio, the television, the movies -- everything which is oriented toward pieces which do not fit together. There’s no God; there’s no overwhelming, underlying pattern to things, no God, no order. And the order which we see in our life is only left over from the previous time when people still believed in God. And that’s why Solzhenitsyn can look at America and say, “It’s coming here.”cccxxxviii You are sort of cutoff off; you don't see it. But it’s coming here because that’s the way, that’s what’s happening in the world. And of course, Americans are blinded because we’re used to having our food...
Fr. H: We’re protected.
Fr. S: ...and very much cut off from the reality. . . .
Source: Orthodox Survival Course, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6SBg9Qgz94oMHpLMVF4SGZ4eG8/view, downloaded 12 Feb. 2017, pgs. 284-7
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð!