There is no democracy without ethics

There is no democracy without ethics

The Judeo-Christian Source of Western Civilization

juliaan van acker, emeritus professor

January 2023

reflections on my review of 'La Chine et ses démons' (link)

Main thesis

Europe is indispensable for making the world more humane, provided that the Judeo-Christian foundation of European civilization is restored and preserved.

The European Union is breaking down this foundation by going along with globalization, by not curbing mass immigration, by the omnipotence of economic interests and by a lack of meaning. Even the originally Christian political parties and media participate in this betrayal.

Religion is freedom

Humanity in the 21st century faces a choice between totalitarianism and free democracy. That choice is determined by Reason versus Wisdom, by rational thinking versus openness to Revelation, by belief in Reason versus belief in the Transcendental, by docility versus the search for truth, by uniformity versus individuality, by conformity versus personal sense, by natural laws versus free will. Given the challenges of this century, it will ultimately come down to a choice between the systematic and planned murder of millions of people versus universal brotherhood. In the first case, the 21st century becomes a repetition of what happened in the 20th century; this risk is therefore not that imaginary. The need for a revival of Judeo-Christian ethics is an absolute necessity for the survival of humanity.

My tweet on 5 Jan. 2023:  After secularisation, the white race now has to suffer. So the whole world becomes a hell like the Middle East and Africa or a dictatorship like China"

In other words, our freedom depends on our religion. Without a religious dimension in our personal lives and in society, we live like ants in an ant colony. China is the perfect example of the latter.

Religion is accepting that there is more

Contrary to popular belief, religion is not a matter of naively believing in fairy tales. Nor is it about believing in a god whom we can invoke to protect us like a good father. The religious man knows that there is more than the visible and tangible reality. In this way he rises above being determined by his biology.

Many will now stop reading because of aversion to religion. This is a fateful mistake; so you better read on.

Why accept that there is more? Religion is being open to what transcends the material world. Words and thoughts do not exist in the material world. Words and thoughts are neither visible nor tangible. Yet words and thoughts are reality. “In the beginning was the Word” and “In the Word was life, and the life was the light of men.” “All things were made by the Word.”

Religion here does not mean naively believing in what cannot be proven. Religion is accepting that there are words and thoughts and that there are words and thoughts that do not come from men themselves. Those are words and thoughts that are at the origin of all that is; words and thoughts that were there before anything was; words and thoughts that come from a realm beyond-of-Being.

If we accept this - the Transcendental or what lies beyond-Being and the Revelation of the Transcendental to man as described in the Bible - then we free ourselves from the laws of Being. A concrete example is goodness. In the material world, goodness is barter or a kind of social contract, conditional and limited in time. In the religious world, goodness is selfless, unconditional and endless (we can never be good enough). In the reality of Being our life is finite. In the reality of Revelation, we reach the Infinite through our goodness. If we live according to Revelation, our spirit is immortal.

European civilization is inherently religious

For Europe, an explicit mention of Judeo-Christian ethics in the constitution is a condition for preserving the civilization. Only those who embrace this ethic have the right to live in Europe, otherwise Europe cannot fulfill its indispensable role for peace in the world. Christianity has an irreplaceable role in making the world humane, in freeing us from primitive drives. That role is not seen or no longer seen.

Christianity means a liberation from gods and demons. The God of the Bible has withdrawn to give man complete freedom. In Jewish Kabbalah, this withdrawal from God is called Tsimtsum. As a result, man himself is responsible for creation and for fellow human beings, because all human beings are brothers. In Christianity there is no search for scapegoats and there can be no subjection of one human being to another. For that reason, women's emancipation is a typical Christian aspiration.

Man's freedom in the face of a withdrawn God makes critical thinking possible. As a result, there is a sense of sin among Jews and Christians. The woke and cancel culture that is a typical Western phenomenon is in fact a Christian sense of guilt, but without the forgiveness.

The secularization affects the foundations of our civilization

Europe can maintain its identity only if individuals are open to an ethics that comes from outside the people; then Europe will become a society with a transcendent dimension . Then the cathedrals again become the symbols of the Higher that is in our midst, rather than mere tourist attractions.

Indeed, Judeo-Christian ethics are the source of the freedom and dignity of the individual. Without this ethic, no democracy is possible.

China versus Europe or lack of freedom versus freedom

Europe is very weak in the face of the self-confidence and steadfastness of the Chinese rulers. This is mainly due to the secularisation. In the West, religion is seen as oppressive. To the extent that Europe and the West in general are materialistic and agnostic, this civilization also remains the prisoner of Being.

China is a totalitarian state; there is no doubt about that. However, it is not visible to many that the European Union, through its nihilism, is also becoming a totalitarian state like a wolf in sheep's clothing. For example, during the pandemic we have seen that the European Union does not want to offend China; scientific research into the cause of covid-19 was therefore halted. This is a self-imposed form of censorship that is very serious because it concerns academic freedom.

China is very successful economically and militarily. Poverty is also effectively combated. A great deal of attention is paid to good academic education and scientific research. In uncertain times it is tempting to embrace the Chinese model. China's geopolitical success in the face of the sinking quagmire of Western civilization may then mean to many that 'Western' religions are inferior to Chinese ideology. We made it ourselves.

The analysis of the differences between Chinese and European civilizations illustrates the choice facing humanity. Those who opt for individual freedom, freedom of expression, respect for the individual and democracy can place their hopes in a civilization founded on Judeo-Christian ethics. Those who opt for a stable and safe society find their ideal in a civilization where the leader or the party decides what is right and uses all means to keep people on the right track.

The danger of globalization is that Western civilization is increasingly under the grip of influences that prevent openness to the Transcendental. The current state of the world shows the value of Judeo-Christian ethics. The lack of freedom of the Chinese citizens, the misery in the Islamic countries and in black Africa and the chaos in the Western world are proof that humanity is not on the right track. For example, if the African countries were still European colonies, the Africans would feel safe, live in peace and prosper. Colonialism, in accordance with the Judeo-Christian ethic, would have evolved into a brotherly bond with European countries.

Instinctive life versus religious life

The deepest powers in man are the instincts. The most important are the survival instinct and the reproduction instinct. Aggression and lust or passion are the life energies (now translated into the urge for power, hedonism, materialism,…). To make coexistence possible and to prevent a war of all against all, the myths have arisen. The myth of the scapegoat and the myths of the gods. The scapegoat is to blame in calamity and must be killed. The gods and their emissaries on earth, the emperor or the king, we must obey to avert disaster. Sacrifices must be made for this, whereby the scapegoat is sought as an offering. The instincts and myths lead to an eternal cycle of war, murder and aggression.

Judaism and especially Christianity have broken this cycle. The instincts are governed by a calling that comes from elsewhere, from above nature, from beyond Being. The vocation is to love one's neighbor unconditionally and selflessly; even the enemy. In love man becomes supernatural. He becomes freed from the biological forces within him (obviously that is not completely possible, but liberation means that he has control over it). Those forces can always resurface, if his life is at stake or if man cannot control his urges.

Most other civilizations have not yet broken the cycle of war and aggression. Western civilization, too, has had periods in which its vocation was denied and is now once again at a low point. The Jews, for example, are often the scapegoat. Now the whites in general seem to be becoming the scapegoat for all the mischief that befalls humanity. The West has too often denied its vocation. The high number of divorces, for example, is proof that the unconditional and selfless nature of love is an appeal that is no longer heard. Yet this is one of the core commandments revealed to humanity on Mount Sinai from beyond Being. The same goes for the one day a week where we are called to reflect on the spiritual that transcends the material world.

Nevertheless, the West has the task of bringing Judeo-Christian ethics into the world.

How does a breakthrough come about? How does the vocation of man come to awareness, first and foremost among Western people? What else do the Jews and Christians have to say? How can white civilization once again fulfill its exemplary function? As expressed in culture, science, universal Human Rights, many social services and solidarity with Third World countries.

In order for the West, and Europe in particular, to assume its role again, it is necessary that the current Tower of Babel, the chaos of the multicultural society, be phased out. Only then will Europe once again become a civilization based on Judeo-Christian ethics and other peoples will be able to take their own responsibility and decide for themselves what they want to adopt from our ethics.

What is the point of all this criticism of white civilization? What leads to the guilt of part of the white race? What must be done to pay off the debt of the past (slavery, colonialism, ecosystem destruction,..)? As if other civilizations have done better and are doing better. See China: Is Totalitarianism what we want? See Islam: which Islamic country is an example for the world?

Where is more equality, fraternity, freedom, respect for the individual, a sense of responsibility for the world? And to what do we owe this. The answer is clear: where whites are in the majority, there is the most equality, the most solidarity, the most respect, … and we owe that to Christianity. The same goes for Israel, which has built a prosperous country in the hell of the Middle East; even the barren desert soil has become fertile. Israel is a top scientific and cultural performer. Israel could be the light for all neighboring countries. If those countries would cooperate with Israel, the entire Middle East would become a paradise on earth. What evil spirit prevents solidary cooperation?

The most important task for this century, given the enormous challenges, is to restore Judeo-Christian ethics. It is not about conversion, but about replacing contemporary myths and hypes with what is the vocation of every human being: it is not self-interest that counts, but the interest of the other. Living in the service of the Other. Love your neighbor above all, unconditionally and selflessly.

Climate change is one of the many challenges of this century. Its consequences are becoming so serious that a battle of all against all is in prospect. We will also continue unabated with the enormous pollution of the atmosphere, despite all the fine agreements and treaties. Only Judeo-Christian ethics can save us from the apocalypse. Just as the monks lived in their abbeys, in austerity, self-sufficiency and with respect for the environment, we will have to learn to distance ourselves from materialism and hedonism. There is no other way.

How did that turnaround come about?

- China is becoming weak due to covid-19 and aging.

- Without the Judeo-Christian ethic, violence will prevail until the entire planet becomes unlivable (violence through wars and through the destruction of the ecosystem).

- It will become clear to all humanity that only a Judeo-Christian West can keep the world humane.

- The West must therefore make ethics as the core of the Constitution. What does this mean concretely? All citizens must take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution, this is to Judeo-Christian ethics. This does not mean that they should convert, but that they fully accept the values upon which our civilization rests.

- All immigrants must take responsibility for the land of their ancestors.

Decadence, materialism, extreme individualism must come to an end in order to make the West resilient to the myths that provoke violence. Not to look for the guilty or the scapegoats there, because then we would also end up in the eternal cycle of war, violence and persecution, but by basing our behavior and thus also the economy and politics on Judeo-Christian ethics. Giving the example to others is enough.

How does the breakthrough come? While after 2000 years the Message of beyond-Being is persecuted or at least rejected and suppressed as it was 2000 years ago (the first martyr Etienne died in AD 34):

  • the breakthrough should not come from fear
  • an awareness that we can't go on like this, that wars are becoming more and more dangerous as the weapons become more and more destructive
  • insight that the meaning of our lives lies in a different path than materialism, hedonism, the concern for self-interest
  • accept the task of carrying on the legacy of our ancestors and respecting the many good achievements
  • orientation towards 'The Kingdom of God' as creation is intended (The bible begins with the phrase “In the beginning”, meaning there is a goal; creation is the beginning of something). This is a society where there is connectedness and a common goal, namely to make the world perfect
  • the experience of the Infinite through the love and goodness of most people. We are deeply moved by the goodness and love of another. That being hit is a trace of the Infinite.

God is closer to us than we think, namely in the love and goodness between people.

Literature:  China and Western Civilization

Additional considerations:

(January 5, 2023) We must not allow ourselves to be blinded by the fantastic achievements of science and technology. They irrevocably lead to the destruction of life on Earth: the weapons of mass destruction and the gigantic environmental pollution are beyond our control. Only God can save us.

Montaigne said that all knowledge is vain, that it will lead to the ruin of the human race and to eternal damnation (Les Essais, livre II, chp. 12; 1580).

Other texts:




   © Juliaan Van Acker 2024