Ever since the West made Augustinianism its theological foundation, with its roots in Plotinus’s conception of God as an absolutely simple, impersonal Monad from which all of reality emanates, there has been an ongoing destruction of the human person, his dissolving into a formless, faceless, nameless mass. While there are times when individualism rises up strongly, this is only a temporary stage in the dialectic that ends once again in the reemergence of the impersonal essence from which everything is supposed to have begun.
Two events illustrate these truths about the West. The first is very recent, from Las Vegas, Nevada, where a proposal allowing business corporations to form and govern towns is being discussed. Dr Joseph Farrell explains the significance of this vis-à-vis the West and its conception of man:
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Planned legislation to establish new business areas in Nevada would allow technology companies to effectively form separate local governments.
The zones would permit companies with large areas of land to form governments(Boldface emphasis added)
Needless to say, this prompts all sorts of ideas to swirl around in my head, none of them too good. Note firstly that there is a certain ineluctable logic here, one that, surprisingly, has taken a rather long time to arrive at, but which - if examined from the standpoint of elucidating the basic steps along the development of that logic - should come as no surprise. It would go something like this. Step one: in our system of government, individual persons are sovereign, and possess by nature certain rights that are not granted and therefore cannot be circumscribed by governments. Step two: as such, persons have the right to ban together and form, reform, or dissolve, governments, as laid out in this country's Declaration of Independence. Step three: somewhere along the way, corporations became persons in law. This step was actually first undertaken in the middle ages for reasons we needn't get into here. So step four - elaborated in Nevada's recent attempt to woo corporations to that state - should come as no surprise, for if corporations are persons in law, then they have the same rights to form, reform, or dissolve governments as any other group of persons.
. . . Whether or not the measure succeeds in Nevada is, at this stage, a moot point. The important point is that at long last we have arrived at the fourth step in that logic that has been under way for centuries in the West. It is the ultimate fruit of a step taken long long ago, i.e., to view an individual person as part of a great collective called the corporate person, in this case, the corporate, "federal" person called Adam, and his inheritance as being one of moral culpability by dint the inheritance of a fallen, "sinful nature" or "sin nature." (And for those inclined to throw bible verses at me, don't waste your time. There's a great deal of difference between "eph ho pantes hemarton" and Jerome's mistranslation "en quo omnes peccaverunt." And if you don't know what I'm talking about, go do some homework.)
And that recalls a statement of St. Photios the Great, famous Patriarch of Constantinople in the 9th century, whom I paraphrase: to say that there is a sin of nature is a heresy. . . .
This is the stage of man losing his unique individual characteristics - i.e., a number of men being merged into a single faceless bureaucratic corporate ‘person’ - and being collapsed back into the formless essence from whence he sprang.
Another instance of the same process may be seen in the Roman Catholic devotion to what they call the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a novel form of worship that developed in the 17th century. The Orthodox Church rejects this devotion. Fr Michael Pomazansky writes,
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Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!