Modern man’s faith in technology and scientific innovation is virtually uncontested these days, whether by those who call themselves who call themselves “conservatives” or “liberals.” It is not uncommon for modern man to wonder about how a certain new piece of equipment will “improve” their lives. Take the iPad for instance. Over 600,000 devices were sold in the first day of sales, but the machine itself has no unique purpose, except perhaps as an “e-reader,” a device that allows you to read books on its screen.
New cellphone, car, television, and music player models are released annually, and some among them always become a “must-have” for people. While some do have useful capabilities, the devices are often valued as mere status symbols but also connect man to the electronic world to an ever increasing extent. “Blackberries” put man on call for work at all times, the iPhone allows him to access Facebook and Youtube wherever and whenever he wants. Man is able to access the latest news from his area or from across the world at the click of a button; all of this comes at an expense though.
Our technology has reduced us to mere functions of its replication in the most radical ways. Rene Guenon of course had warned us of this in Reign of Quantity. While medieval man felt such a deep spiritual interconnection with his work that he left it unsigned, modern man had become anonymous for the opposite reason:
“his product expresses nothing of himself and is not really work, the part he plays in its production being purely ‘mechanical.’ Indeed the worker as such really has no ‘name’, because in his work he is but a mere numerical ‘unit’ with no qualities of his own, and he could be replaced by any other equivalent ‘unit.’
Today, Western man has literally brought working to the radical extreme that Guenon described at the end of that passage, as he has “outsourced” the industry jobs he filled to the massive countries of India and China, “improving” his life in the process by consuming the technology they mass produce. Western man’s work, then, is brought to a new and even more radically extreme meaninglessness, as he is not even responsible for the soulless objects created, rather he is only responsible for financing, transporting, or inventing these things now.
The result is Western man literally creates nothing while also being reduced to non-existence by mass immigration and a life of consumption as opposed to creation and procreation. He is vanishing without a trace, as his “work,” being put into the global technology network, literally enters the abyss of cyberspace the minute he is done with it. And this is what he heralds as “progress.”
In an age where conservatives are even considered borderline “extremist” for suggesting keeping industry in their country, there is clearly no other option for Western man than Revolt. While modern man waits for the new technology or medicine that will revolutionize the world and make life better, traditional men once produced teachings that taught people spiritual mastery and allowed them to overcome the lustful instincts that have consumed modern man today. This is not a matter of mere moral reassertion, which could do nothing better than “dam” the forces of decay in an individual, but rather man must come to recognize again that “spirituality is reality” (Revolt Against the Modern World) and find in it a path towards total rejection of the modern suppositions.