Last and First Men brings the issues of communism, revolution, and religion into conjunction, and this in the context of the idea of evolution. The model in WHEE and LFM is speaking to a new post-religious (‘religion’) culture that must nonetheless graduate from religion, so to speak.
You can cashier Xtianity but you have to explain just how it worked to claim that you think it failed. And that is hard. In a way it is too hard, we can’t normally understand the clever trickiness of gnostic mephistopheles issuing magical ‘cash’ for the juice of religions in expansion. That’s the catch, and what gives us the sense too often of being in the phases of a complicated magical illusion.
The left will have to succeed without that or else be entangled in the old-fashioned way. I think that man is graduating from religion, and the first final exam came with the emergence of buddhism. But the issues of religion are invariant and in modern culture the issue recurs under the rubric of ‘will’, and man’s inability to really understand himself. Xtianity helped him for long to operate under the mystery of will using the grace of churches and their blessings. But the test of graduation is coming and the spell of Nietzsche is an ample symptom of the sharks beginning to move in on the waning of religion.
I think the left will default to many of the functions of religion in its way of helping the poor, but also the ‘poor in spirit’. The way must be reborn in a new form for an era of materialists, without sentimental religiosity. But the issues are the same, one way or the other, and here the challenge posed in the previous post is that of man, and certainly proletarian man, coming to understand the ‘exploitation of will’ beyond the exploitation of his ‘work’. The ‘will’ in man is the key to his liberation, so the left must graduate from positivism to understand man as a body, a soul, and a will. The three are one yet distinct. This is, of course, the course that comes after he has graduated via, say, buddhism. So modern man is really advanced in a new age by a peter’s principle that gives graduation, but no exam. The status of the will is the advanced course. But man in moderrn guise can barely do the make up on two thousand years of meditation. He simply fall behind, and begin to disappear into the dark zones. Sinners stripped of their will, unite you have nothing to lose…