Adapted from an article published in the Summer, 1991, issue of Communio, a journal of theology and culture.
As power extends its grasp into wider and wider rings of human life it becomes more hostile to everything outside of itself. As it becomes near absolute it grows increasingly negative, because by its very nature it must oppose what cannot be extinguished in men’s beings. Totalitarian power does not rest content with obedience and a passive populace. It must seek at some point to destroy the inner impulse to creativity which depends for its well-being on freedom from manipulation. It must find and erase all resistance, all spiritual autonomy, all dignity in its subjects.
Those who undertake the building of an ideal planetary society will find that it is a great deal less easy to accomplish than they anticipated. That will be their moment of testing. In the best-case scenario, they might come to admit that genuine diversity and a broad spectrum of independent sovereignties is, after all, a healthier system of governing the people of the world—imperfect as always, but the best means of maintaining freedom. Or, driven by a pride that approaches the level of satanic, they may push onward, imposing the new order regardless of the opposition, dismissing whatever valid arguments the resistance may put forward. And if the resistance is strong, a very big stick will be needed. There will be imprisonment for those who resist (or even dissent from) the perceived “common good.” The new rulers will justify the loss of freedoms by promoting everywhere the illusion that the successful realization of the dream is the highest good, worth any sacrifice. (“It is better that one man should die than the entire nation be destroyed,” said Caiaphas) Translated into modern terms: “It is better that nations should die, and some of their peoples die, than our window of opportunity for global control be lost.” Formed by and living by the deformed ethic of “the end justifies the means”, they will consider themselves to be the true visionaries, the saviours of the world. In a phrase, this is secular messianism. (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 676)
Plague Journal is set in the near future. The novel is composed of both written and mental notes made by Nathaniel Delaney, Ann and Stephen’s grandson, who is the editor of a small town newspaper. The story takes place over … Continue reading