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The rise of secularism in both Europe and the US has contributed the decline of religious influence in western society- at least in terms of Christianity. As high as religious identification might seem from polling, the moment the public are asked about their church attendance, those seemingly high numbers suffer a huge fall.

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Isn’t it surprising to find that even in a country as nominally religious as Poland only 30 percent people aged 16 to 29 attend church at least once per week? This gives us a very good idea that Christianity and spirituality in general has become less important. However, human beings have an innate desire for God -a statement with which I am sure most atheists, if not all, would agree- and with the displacement of Christianity in the west, something will have to replace that hole Christianity used to fill. While a few people decide to fill it with another religion from another culture, most western people have chosen to materialize a recently established pagan “religion” into their lives and live inside a “cathedral” every single day. This new faith is in service to eight gods that without which people today cannot exist.

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Social Status, the god of Vanity

Social Status is king of the modern gods. He is a god that gives insight on how much you are worth; according to others that is. People at the top echelons of notability have essentially achieved godhood when mankind spends time debating with each other about what some celebrity did or the latest celebrity controversy. The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about, after all. Hierarchy is a natural order of life, and while it is natural to emulate successful people the methods to which that status is attained is no longer by achievement or genuine virtue. The easiest way to achieve a better social status is by virtue signaling; showing others how much of a good and nice person you are to the public, while in reality serving only yourself. Rather than aiming high to achieve genuine status through personal growth and public service, we pay homage to Narcissus and Phthonos.

Wealth, the god of Greed

The worth of a human being used to be a mystery, calculating it would be impossible, and thus we find in our history the practice of buying ones way into heaven through indulgences. Through wealth, salvation is achieved. Much the same story is told today. Money is how we measure how much someone is worth, as St. Paul states in 1 Timothy 6:10, the love of money is the root of all evil (the love of money, not money itself). Love of money is a gateway towards materialism which causes people to be more selfish and degenerate. Some might say; why is it a problem that people love money? It is what drives the economy strong. My response is: “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? What will a man give in exchange for his soul?”. No wonder we call our modern vices indulgences. We live in a Keynesian “spend money to get rich” economic model, which means that not only is there no incentive to save money since the interest rates are being artificially lowered in western economies, the rapid fire overexposure of new products and the intense commercialization of said products makes it incredibly difficult for many to not spend money. The result is a wage-slave society living paycheck to paycheck. Far easier in such a world to blame others for our woe instead of paying attention to our irresponsible worship of money and wealth.

Democracy, the god of Deception

What do the Spanish Inquisition of Spain and America, invasion of Iraq, the Syrian conflict and the Muslim conquests have in common? They were all religious wars. The Spanish inquisition was for Catholicism, the Muslims conquests were for Islam. The American invasion of Iraq was for Democracy (along with other reasons). Why is it so important for the US to fight for Democracy all around the world? It is obvious why the so-called “electorate” would worship Democracy, after all it is our way of having a sense of power in the government. But it is a very dubious claim that we, as sheep, have any more power over government just because we can elect what sort of carnivore will be feeding from us in the House of Predators.

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Nowadays, there are numerous media debates whether we are truly pleasing the god of democracy or not, since democracy turns politics into a team game with spectators fighting each other much more than the actual teams do themselves. It is almost as if this god deliberately causes chaos at just right moment to keep the flow of public attention in a direction that the high priests want. Some say a new system where everyone is a high priest would be better, but those people are communists. Even the fake god of false democracy is better than a hundred million dead.

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Television, the god of Hypnosis

Imagine we were to travel back in time before the invention of Television, and we told them that there will be people sitting in front of a magical machine, watching fictional stories take place for hours upon hours, every single day of their lives, they would stare at us in disbelief.

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A lot of those venerable ancestors would be surprised that such a machine (televison-not the time machine) could exist, but there is no doubt that many would also be more surprised that people would actually accept sitting in front of a such a machine for hours and doing little else. This is where the worship of Social Status -in reality our projection of wish-fulfillment fantasy onto our celebrities- truly comes into fruition. Who are the High Priests of Television, the god of Deception? The answer is in the image below.

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Social Media, the god of Vanity

Another member of the Holy Trinity of Modern Culture, Social Media is he who makes simultaneously social and anti-social human beings. Why go outside and talk with your friends when you can just talk to a multitude of “friends” on your phone? Why bother to be an actual good person? It isn’t as rewarding, or more so, to adopt the pretence of goodness online via virtue signalling? Double that sweet serotinin release by carefully creating how you wish to be seen through carefully crafting your online appearance to me more like those celebrities we aspire to emulate. Social Media, the god of Vanity is therefore merely another way of measuring a person’s worth, replacing money with the number of followers and approval token likes you recieve. Social media is, in many ways, a kind of drug.

Drugs, the god of Escapism

The world is not a place filled with rainbows and butterflies. It is a harsh reality which forces us to be strong in order to survive. The weak nature of modern man does not want to experience stife and conflict because conflict produces bad emotions- and with good reason, from an evolutionary point of view. We want an escape from those bad emotions. Drugs are the most effective form of escapism; again, we evolved this response. Some such substances are even entheogenic. This meta-concept god is not a merciful one, and can crush the man who is searching for an escape from this world. Addiction to this temporary heaven is mandated by government explicitly and implicitly in order to produce a docile flock.

Tolerance, the god of Apathy

As Aristotle once said, “tolerance and Apathy are the last virtues of a dying society”. Tolerance seems like a mature position to hold, an enlightened state of being. Upon further inspection of the effects of the deification of tolerance on people and society, it is revealed as poison; for it weakens and disables a person’s resolve and passion for truth, replacing it with a compromise with untruth. The groups that perpetrate said untruths should be respected along with their untruths. It is quite interesting that the laymen of the priesthood of tolerance are quite “intolerant” themselves, especially if you transgress upon their beliefs. Are they the proof that the devil of intolerance is stronger?

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Welfare, the god of Second Chances

Have you ever made bad decisions? Of course you have! Would you like to bear the responsibility of those decisions? Of course not! This easy transaction with the god of welfare is always there for you, providing you with security, sweet entitlements, and tremendous moral hazard. but who cares about piffle like moral hazard so long as the Eight Gods can provide us succour and suck the life from us?

Safety nets have been an integral part of western society. Let us imagine an average college student, who spends four years in his college partying, drinking, having casual sex and committing vain acts, invoking the god of social media in the process for his climbing social status points. After this four-year period, this student -now graduate- will be very surprised that he cannot find a sufficinently satisfying job for him to be both wage slave and appease his slavery to his imagined status. Instead of reflecting upon his mistakes in his past four years in college, he invokes the god of welfare -sometimes this safety net is his parents rather than the state- all the while blaming the “system” for his own failures. Ironically, these people complain that the system is putting them down whilst the system is feeding them just enough so they can survive.

Does the solution to this problem lie in demanding socialism or radical individualism, or is there some deeper, more rewarding path for human existence?

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Theódoros Trapezountos

by Theódoros Trapezountos

Ted Trebizond is an Orthodox Christian Reactionary with a deep distaste for the modern world.