Read Gene Edward Veith’s piece ‘Modern Fascism Revisited’ in this month’s issue of Tabletalk Magazine for reflections on Veith’s 1993 book, ‘Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview.’
Of particular interest, Veith admits he underestimated the pace at which American society would return to ideas and modes of being which were thoroughly tried by Nazis and Fascists in the 20th century with disastrous results. He quotes from his 1993 book.
“A set of ideas is emerging from today’s academic world that is startlingly reminiscent of what the fascist theorists were saying in the 1930s: individual identity is a myth, insofar as identity is really determined by culture and ethnicity; laws and social conventions are only masks for power; human-centered values are part of a corrupt Western civilization; the transcendent meaning of reason, objectivity, and language is an illusion. Is it possible that those who hold these views do not realize that these are also the doctrines of fascism?“
Deconstructing the Deconstruction
Here is the question: how can we understand better Herbert’s story in light of what Veith is telling us about where America is at right now intellectually?
Spoiler alert: fear is the mind killer.
But nearly 30 years on from Veith’s book being published, and that book having been published nearly 30 years on from when Herbert published his work, it would be worth our time to consider the ways in which popular vehicles for ideas – psychological, philosophical, political, and theological – are received and embraced, both shaping our sensibilities and being chosen by them.
Does Dune champion individual liberty and human flourishing along conservative lines, or is it just another more sophisticated effort at deconstructing Western civilization?
Any way you slice it, variety is the spice of life, and there is a lot to unpack here.
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