Guenon and Voegelin on “the Bactrian Episode”

I have an essay just up (21 July) at The Brussels Journal under the title “René Guénon and Eric Voegelin on the Degeneration of Right Order.”  The topic involves an excursion through the history of the Greeks in India and the essay entails a discussion of Voegelin’s term “the ecumene.”  On another matter, I spent the weekend at “Doxacon,” a conference organized under the auspices of a Greek Orthodox parish in Northern Virginia and intended to explore the intersections of religion and theology with the fantastic genres of literature, especially science fiction.  I hope to report on the event in a day or two here at The Orthosphere.

Here is a sample from the Brussels Journal essay:

It will undoubtedly have impressed those who have followed the argument so far that, simply at the level of descriptive phraseology, many of Guénon’s constructions and Voegelin’s suggest their own application to the contemporary state of affairs in the incipient Twenty-First Century. Guénon in Spiritual Authority mentions the origins of étatisme, with its relentless centralization of political power, in Fourteenth Century France. Voegelin in The Ecumenic Age refers to the ecumenic empires as ‘organizational shells that will expand indefinitely to engulf former concrete societies.’ The centripetal and centrifugal movements might seem opposite to one another and therefore non-compossible, but they are in fact simultaneous and complementary. They describe in structural terms the libidinous process by which the bearers of ‘moral apocalypse’ – that is, the Gnostic reformers of society – progressively obliterate the concrete societies that come under their imperial-entrepreneurial sway. Whether it is the arrogantly self-aggrandizing Federal Government in the United States of America or the inhumanly bureaucratic Brussels Parliament of the European Union in Western Europe, the attitude of the reigning elites towards the world is none other than the attitude of the auto-apotheotic conquistador toward the ecumene.

2 thoughts on “Guenon and Voegelin on “the Bactrian Episode”

  1. The Fascist slogan, which could be that of our liberal ideologues, captures this libidinous — and envious — drive: Everything in the State, and nothing outside the State.

  2. And the inevitable outcome, however long it is in arriving, is desertification and windblown graveyards.


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