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Age of Virtualism: A new name won't save a sinking ship

Titanic
A photo of the Titanic, thought to be the last known image of the ship, as she sets sail from Queenstown for New York. The White Star liner, touted as "unsinkable," sank in 1912 with the loss of 1,523 lives. |

The Titanic by any other name is still the Titanic.

Consider this mythological scenario: It is April 15, 1912, and HMS Titanic speeds across the Atlantic. Then the impossible happens: Because of a glacial gouge in its hull, the unsinkable is sinking.

Even in panic, no one cries out, “Repaint the broken hull! Repaint the broken hull!”  There are several who urges, “Repent!”, but no one calls for a new paint job to save the ship. They know fresh paint won’t close the great gap through which the sea is pouring.

But someone else has another idea. Perhaps virtual salvation is possible, even if the literal is not.

Thomas Andrews, the designer of the great vessel, is aboard and watches the cold fingers of the sea wrap themselves around his creation, pulling her down into its frigid depths.

Suddenly, Andrews can bear it no more. His handiwork cannot sink! Something else can hit bottom, but not his ship. He gets an idea. In the last hour of the ship’s life (and his own), Andrews grabs a bucket full of red paint. He dashes to every sign bearing the Titanic label and swabs out the name. On blank spaces above, below, or beside the signs now blotted out, he scrawls a new name: HMS Goliath.

As water seeps around his feet, Andrews shouts, “See! I told you, world, it is not the Titanic that is sinking, but the Goliath!... The Titanic can never sink!” he says as the icy water chokes his last words.

Of course, that’s not the way it happened, regarding the literal Titanic at least. However, a similar charade is occurring now in the United States and other parts of Western Civilization. Just as the fictitious Andrews sought to deny reality by hoping for virtual salvation and creating a virtual ship from his imagination, so many people now create virtual worlds to inhabit where their great dreams are never lost, and their myths never die.[1]

We have entered into a new age in which we can go into the quietness of our rooms and slip into any reality we want to create, a world where our ships don’t sink, and even if they did, we are saved, no matter what. What do we call this new age? In my new book, Who Will Rule the Coming ‘gods’, I suggest: “The Age of Virtualism”.[2]

Some experts are even warning us that the “Metaverse could make reality disappear.”[3]

Already, we have virtual identities in the form of avatars, virtual churches, virtual friends in virtual neighborhoods in virtual communities, and even virtual history by which we re-form the facts of the past in light of our experience of the present, producing a new (false) narrative more suited to our existential tastes.

In the Age of Virtualism we change the essence of things by giving them new names and titles. Recently, for example, an academic proposed changing “pedophile” to “MAPS”—“Minor Attracted Persons”.

A new “paint job” cannot blot out the true identity of a ship or a social movement or a preferred behavior. However, we are living in a moment when a determined effort is underway to change the name of a philosophy that has brought shipwreck to every society that hopped on its decks, naively believing it would never fail.

Tragically, according to Dr. Lee Edwards, a professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America, “Socialism is no longer a parlor game for academics, but a political alternative taken seriously by millennials.”[4]

The raw reality is that socialism is “a pseudo-religion” grounded in “pseudo-science and enforced by political tyranny.”[5]  Socialism has never worked, says Dr. Edwards. Socialism in all its forms — Marxism-Leninism in the Soviet Union, Maoism in China, “state socialism” in India, “democratic socialism” in Sweden, National Socialism in Nazi Germany — has never come close to realizing the classless ideal of its founding father, Karl Marx.[6]

So, paint out “socialism” and rename it progressivism, leftism, National Socialism, Fascism, collectivism, communism, communalism, welfarism, whatever — but a new label and paint job cannot save the sinking ship of socialism. The sea bottom of history is littered with the ships of state pulled down by the hefty tug of socialist philosophy and methodology,

America’s political class can paint over the signs and call it something else, but that does not change historical facts any more than new labels could have kept Titanic from sinking.

Yet tragically, young people caught up in virtual politics are showing “rising support for socialism and an increasingly negative view of capitalism,” noted Richard Rahn in TheWashington Times. (July 12, 2021)

Yet, as Rahn pointed out, those supporting socialism “are probably unaware that it has failed every place and time it has been tried” and that “socialist countries of many stripes managed to kill upwards of a hundred million of their own citizens over the last hundred years.”

Despite that, in our times, socialism “still beguiled leading intellectuals and politicians of the West,” continued Rahn.

Thus, they continue to try to repaint the signs to make socialism something it is not. Sadly, A new name won’t save a sinking ship.


[1] Andrews was real and really did sink with his ship.
[2] Material from this section is from Wallace B. Henley’s newest book, Who Will Rule the Coming ‘gods’? The Looming Spiritual Crisis of Artificial Intelligence. (Vide, 2021)
[3] AR Pioneer Warns That Metaverse Could Make “Reality Disappear” (futurism.com)
[4] What Americans Must Know About Socialism, The Heritage Foundation
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.

Wallace B. Henley, a former White House and Congressional aide, is the author or co-author of more than 20 books. His latest is Who Will Rule the Coming ‘Gods’: The Looming Spiritual Crisis of Artificial Intelligence, just released by Vide Press.

For media inquiries, contact:  ChristianPost@pinkston.co

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