Note : I originally wrote this article in French. I hope I didn’t loose too much “in translation”.
Ideas spread like viruses. There is no history, there is no reality, there are no facts, that can resist the epidemic functioning of the new ways of thinking. With each new popular trend, our entire history is rewritten in terms of the interests, causes and struggles of the day. The memory itself is an illusion; individual memory is rebuilt at each stages of life, according to our experiences, our needs, our desires. Social memory works in the same way.
At various times, changes in transportation means or modes of housing have favored and accelerated the spread of epidemics. The Internet is a hotbed of extraordinary psychic epidemics.
A huge part of the Western population today ridicules the naivety of believers of other times, who sacrificed their critical sense to religious fables. We constantly criticize the behavior of a church that distorted history to achieve its ends. We consider the active members of this church as manipulators or half-wits, thinking that they were either stupid enough to swallow all these lies, or vile enough to want to disseminate them to the population.
But we are unable to realize how much the phenomenon is the same today, amplified billions of times by the circulation of data on the web. We sacrifice to the God Freedom, to the God Equality, to the point of distorting all the facts that fall before our eyes, in order to align reality to a preconceived worldview.
It is not a question of judging any particular cause, it is a question of becoming aware of a mechanism inherent to the human mind: we tend to read reality from the filter of our own beliefs, whatever they are. Why is it so difficult to see that the preachers of the new social struggles, in their proselytizing, often perfectly assumed, use the same mode of operation as the Jesuit missionaries of another era, or the evangelizing colonists of South America? the difference is that their platform is no longer a church but a popular web page *.
The very idea of having to lead a struggle, a fight, or even a war, is perfectly explicit in the communication of these new battles, and their standard-bearers! All this is crystal clear.
The story must be renewed. There is something perfectly healthy about it. It is normal for new generations to be built by “emptying the cache” of those that preceded them. But there is a limit to that, it’s the nuance. It is our duty to preserve a part of our cultural heritage, while making our own contribution to the history of humanity. However, it is sad to see that on some points already popular thought seems to have destroyed whole areas of our own culture, closer in this to the operating mode of IS on the ruins of Palmyra than a heir eager to separate wheat from chaff in the heritage he has received.
I have our Christian heritage in mind, to use the parallel sketched above, and a sad impression emerges from contemporary debates, that this civilization so complex, having produced so much artistic, cultural, intellectual wealth, having its zones of shadows as any human enterprise, is treated nowadays as an awful stain, that we should clean as soon as possible. At this point, a vulgar, poorly written and misunderstood blog post weighs more in the eyes of the supposedly literate crowd than Hildegarde of Bingen’s entire work. That’s where we got.
And the same phenomenon repeats itself tirelessly with respect to other aspects of our history. Stay vigilant…
* Note in passing that the comparison does not suffer even the test of detail, since a Dominican like Las Casas, in the sixteenth century, was a pure supporter of non-violence, defender of human rights, that he protected the integrity indigenous populations with one hand while converting them with the other.
Edited 27.06.19 : This is a case in the ad industry that illustrates this article. No judgement, just facts. https://www.lessonsinherstory.com/