Society

The Descending Night of Augusto Del Noce

While largely unknown in the West, the works of the Italian cultural critic and philosopher Augusto Del Noce (above) should be compulsory reading for anyone concerned about the plight of Western civilisation, especially Australia. Del Noce (1910-1989) argues the rise of neo-Marxist inspired radical secularism, eroticism and scientism are all conspiring to weaken and undermine long-held convictions about the significance and benefits of Western civilisation, Judeo-Christianity, liberalism and heterosexuality.

Rationality and reason are denounced as binary and Eurocentric, our political and legal systems condemned as oppressive, Christianity vilified and banished from the public square and sexuality and gender defined as fluid and limitless.

Much like Orwell’s 1984, language control and group think are all pervasive and anyone who fails to conform is guilty of thoughtcrime and publicly attacked and silenced.  The ideal of a liberal education committed to impartiality, wisdom and truth no longer applies as universities have long since been infected with cultural-left critical theory and postmodernism.   

In a series of essays in The Crisis Of Modernity Del Noce details the origins of what is infecting Western nations and explains, unless checked, why the future will increasingly be one of intellectual conformity, moral relativism and spiritual and transcendent emptiness.

Fascism, communism and dictatorships are commonly referred to when describing totalitarianism.  Since the end of the Second World War Del Noce argues the West has been transformed by an even more dangerous form of totalitarianism involving scientism, eroticism and Marxist inspired secularism.

What all have in common is a radical ideology that “absolutely denies traditional morality and religion without preserving or sublimating any aspect”.  The new totalitarianism promises an earthly utopia where all will be provided if only people deny their individuality and conform.

Del Noce, while not denying the benefits of science, warns against what he describes as a totalitarian form of science, one where it is “the only true form of knowledge” and any sense of the “metaphysical or religious” is considered subjective and without foundation.

Scientism tells us God is dead and mankind has the power to control human nature, to unravel the origins of the universe, to transform the world and to structure a utopian society where humans flourish.  Radical transgender theory argues it’s acceptable to turn men into women and women into men. Using science to weaponise viruses, including those spread by bats and the product of what is known as gain-of-function research, also illustrates the dangers of unrestricted science freed from any moral or ethical constraints.

Beginning with Wilhelm Reich’s Sexual Revolution and supercharged by the Sixties cultural revolution Del Noce argues eroticism is all pervasive.  Such has been the radical transformation that behaviour and actions once considered unacceptable are now deemed normal without “any moral reaction”.

Reich, who was associated with the Frankfurt School established in Germany in the 1920s, argues traditional morality is repressive and individuals have the right to express their sexuality in any way they like, free from moral or societal restrictions. Summed up by the 60s slogan ‘make love, not war’ and the emergence of a narcissistic, pleasure-driven youth culture, sexual self-expression is the new religion.  Internet pornography is endemic and eroticism permeates the West’s way of life. De Noce defines radical secularism as involving “a process during which all the worlds beyond have disappeared, leaving only the historical, social, human and finite world”, a world where secularism “presents itself as a process of liberation from authority, theological or human, transcendent or empirical”.

The consequences of the West succumbing to the new forms of totalitarianism are widespread and manifest.  Such is the dominance of scientism that millions around the world have suffered draconian restrictions as a result of the China-virus leading to lockdowns, invasion of privacy, bankruptcy and ill health.

Pornography of every depraved description is now available 24/7 leading to the sexualisation and exploitation of women and the belief any kind of sexual act is permitted.  Sexting is common among primary and secondary age students; gone are the days when movies relied on inuendo and wit to convey allure and sensuality.

While promising the workers’ paradise and a society free of exploitation Marxism has led to the death of over 90 million involving executions, imprisonment, starvation, famine and disease. As to the reason why so many died Del Noce refers to Lenin’s statement “Morality is whatever serves the success of the proletarian revolution”.  Under Marxism “every kind of violence, every ruse, every illegal action, every dissimulation, and every deception become licit if they are deemed to be necessary to reach the goal”.

As a result of cultural-left ideology and cancel culture, Western nations like Australia are undergoing radical change that strikes at the very heart of our institutions and way of life.  As to why, look no further than The Crisis Of Modernity.

Dr Kevin Donnelly is a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic Uuniversity.

6 comments
  • Elizabeth Beare

    Well, I am fighting a little rear-guard action. In our hallway I have set up our nativity scene, purchased in Alaska, where Mary wears a parka, Joseph too, and the three wise well-rugged up Ekimo men carry gifts across the snowy wastes. A little pappose’d angel cupid swings from the cut-away igloo over the Christ-child’s wooden rocker cradle holding a sign saying Gloria, and the wolf and polar bear all lie down with the ungulate to offer their own homage. My three favorite cards received over the years on display there, one a glamorous one from an Italian Catholic friend showing a beautiful adored Virgin and Child, one Elizabeth Durack’s ‘Eddie Burrup’ card “Christmas time! A’right! Baby Jesus’e comin’ out now for learn’m me an you true Law” where a litte aboriginal Wandjina Jesus features a raised hand, swaddling bands and a tiny penis, from the Burrup series “Sister Philomena’s Bible stories”, and one received this year from my five year old grand-daughter, who is quite an artist. Above these attached to a picture frame I have hung small Australian and American flags – a nod to my American grandson and his family and well as the well-represented other five Australian grandchildren.
    I call it my Hallway of Western Civilisation and will explain to each grandchild the true meaning of Christmas, as their parents, kind but rather secular people, are liable to forget.
    Thank you Kevin Donnelly for this sad reminder of the way the world currently is, but I do not give up hope that good people can still work towards a move back to a time where Christmas was gloried rather than abandonned to hedonism. That it still means family and love to most people is a good start.

  • call it out

    That’s wonderful, Elizabeth. You have inspired me to do something like that next Christmas.

  • Macbeth

    Yes, Lizzie. What should b e a good time is not so good. Best wishes to you and yours for a happy Christmas time.

  • Elizabeth Beare

    Great to see you here too, Macbeth. There is a New Catallaxy too, in case you didn’t know.
    Check it out on Google.

  • Perpetua DC

    Thank you, Kevin Donnelly, for drawing attention to the thought and writings of Augusto Del Noce. It’s a hopeful sign – on this Christmas Eve – that Del Noce’s piercing insights about the trajectory and plight of Western Civilisation are becoming more widely known.
    And Elizabeth, you’ve described your “little rear–guard action” set up in your hallway so vividly an image of it is hardly necessary – yet, before it’s dismantled, (at Epiphany?) hope you’ll get a photo of it. Glad to hear you like that 1996 Christmas card from Eddie Burrup’s series: Sr Philomena’s Bible Stories. It’s one of my favourites too.

  • Claude James

    Perhaps start with a question.
    What would it take to introduce to public discussion, to the education systems, and to the mainstream media the topic of:
    “Citizens’ responsibilities to the community in which they reside and from which they benefit”?

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.