Michael Crichton and the Height of Postmodern Scientism

by Pedro Blas González (July 2021)
 
Trapped in Amber, Josh Dorman, 2019

 

How does one make a desert? By mobilizing all the forces of destruction; we should be ungracious not to agree to that, we children born grey-haired in the epoch called by Lenin the epoch of ‘wars and revolutions.’[1]

 

Demoralization of Man

Morally and spiritually gutted, the specter of postmodern man roams the Earth searching for direction, and the stamp of approval from autocratic bureaucrats who can assuage the aimless wayfaring that defines this sleep-walking entity.

        The tragedy of hollow postmodern people is their arrogance in assuming that man has always been a willful victim of nihilism. Never has slavery been garnished with masochism as is the case with postmodern man.

        Happy to receive crumbs of liberty dispensed by the lords of the nanny state, state-media and Big Tech, the tortured psyche of postmodern man welcomes the whip as timely liberation from the burden of free will—the nihilistic avenger that pushes back the tide of longing and aspiration.

        Alleged progress, we are promised, mollifies the pangs of meaninglessness of the woeful postmodern demon.

        Whatever became of anguished cries lamenting the satanic mills of industrialization, the weight of capitalism crushing the back of the working man, the fear of Big Brother’s ever-expanding surveillance and corruption of innocence?

        Whatever happened to the fear of biological weapons, the weaponization of viruses and microbes that, we feared, maleficent terrorist organizations would use to contaminated our water; viruses that are transmitted as airborne aerosols?

The Collapse of Morality and Ethics

        Weaponization of biological and chemical agents is the stuff of literature, cinema and the concern of thoughtful people in the medical world dating back to WWI.

        In the 1990s, Anthrax was all the rage. Where are the professional “ethicists” now? Where are the people who clamored against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan under the banner of “peace?”

        One answer is that postmodern Marxism has turned free will into a burden, making the idea of life as strife and resistance to objectification a scandal. This is the start of a domino effect that delivers man to self-induced serfdom.

        Mutability of the past is an effective Marxist strategy that points postmodern man in the direction of serfdom. The past must be obliterated through relentless disinformation and re-education campaigns, if Marxism is to gain a foothold in Western institutions, including churches, schools and universities.

         The attack on Western civilization aims to scatter and isolate persons in faceless society. One way to achieve this is through the breakup of the natural family structure. This is part of the psychological warfare that the Internationalist (Globalist) Great Re-Set has ushered since its inception in the 1960s, the modification of Marxism in the ‘70s, and Marxism’s re-structuring after the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

        Like termites, Marxism’s incessant quest for power never sleeps.

        Another answer is that a totalitarian state that makes fear its strongest asset can rule over its hapless and frightened subjects with ease, like a rancher driving cattle to market.

The Mask Comes Off

        Politically savvy Western thinkers know that biological and chemical warfare was a central component of the Soviet Union and China—then and now—that pose a colossal threat to Western democracies. Though, the timing has to be right for this form of warfare to be effective as a social/political weapon.

        The communist threat of nuclear obliteration of the West was a blackmail strategy that paralyzed the will of Western leaders throughout the twentieth-century. The alleged diplomacy employed by communist nations and their Western fifth columnists is still rooted in disinformation on a massive, all-pervasive scale.

        Dating to the birth of Bolshevism, Lenin’s strategy was to create pockets of communist destruction of Western values, through a vast array of cultural, social-political, academic and religious fronts that never reveal their true identity and motivation.

        Lenin understood that disinformation campaigns demoralize the enemy from within. The best way to know this is to live in a communist country. Another is to read Lenin’s writing.

        In the twentieth-century, Western nations became dominated and/or influenced by Marxism at all levels: social-political, economic, cultural, moral and spiritual. While nuclear proliferation received most of the attention during the Cold War, biological and chemical warfare made-up part of communism’s arsenal to fight the culture war against Western civilization.

        Besides the effective stealth disinformation campaigns that communism has employed against Western nations, censorship has played a central role in silencing Western writers, thinkers and intellectuals in the culture war. Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s exile in America in the mid -1970s was an embarrassment to communist everywhere, including American fellow travelers. For that, his character was viciously attacked by Western Marxists.

        Not only is censorship a powerful weapon in Western institutions that silence free speech—the Church, schools and universities—proponents of censorship cherish the power that censorship of their opponents offers them: unadulterated power they could never yield otherwise. Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, who served as chief of Romania’s espionage service and advisor to Nicolae Ceausescu, writes: “During the years I was at the top of the Soviet bloc intelligence community, I knew that symbolism constituted a very important secret message for the “initiated.” [2]

        While communist China employs the same strategies as the former Soviet Union, its form of Marxism is Maoist in emphasis. Communist China has adapted Marxism to reflect the real-world opportunities that new technologies offer in order to censor opponents: the Internet, social media and Big Tech. These are timely disinformation platforms that aid China’s goal of economic and military expansion, circa 2021.

        Some of the most poignant examples of communist China’s rise to world power have come from the mind of visionary writers. Two examples of this are Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewiczs 1930 novel Insatiability and Chapman Pincher’s 1965 dazzling work, Not With a Bang.

        In Western nations, democracy and free speech are in an unprecedented predicament. The vast part of Western media has embraced the idea of serving as state-media; social-media and Big Tech companies are platforms that censor individuals. Moreover, Western institutions have lost their will to defend democracy and free will. Many of these have been bought off by Internationalist Global Re-Set elites.

        Is there any hope left for intelligent people to understand the world that Global Marxism has created?

Reality and Literature

        Not surprisingly, one practical answer can be found in literature and fiction. While creating works of fiction, the best writers raise the level of discourse of thoughtful readers. They explore forms of imagination that enable reflective persons a fighting chance to fend off indoctrination, disinformation campaigns, and that most demonic of postmodern achievements, the dumbing down of the human person.

        The weaponization of biological agents and insidious color revolutions in 2020 solidified the knowledge of acute thinkers that Marxism’s quest for power has obliterated the line between appearance and reality, through its war on human reality.

Michael Crichton, The Andromeda Strain and State of Fear

        In 1969 Michael Crichton published The Andromeda Strain. This was his sixth novel, but the first published under his own name.

        The Andromeda Strain is a case in point of our well-founded concern about biological warfare. Up to the present, responsible thinkers have repeatedly warned us that the predicament the world finds itself in with Covid 19 was only a matter of time.

        The culprit in The Andromeda Strain is a virus that has been retrieved from the Earth’s upper-atmosphere by a military satellite. The virus is considered an extraterrestrial contaminant.

        This follows the line of thinking that in the Earth’s past, asteroids and comets were likely carriers of viruses and bacteria that originated in outer space. There is little that can be done about that.

        However, if we are seemingly concerned with infectious diseases that originate in outer space, why are Western nations lackadaisical about a gain of function virus that originated in a laboratory in communist China in 2019? The evidence for the latter is astounding, yet suppressed for political reasons. This is unconscionable. Is there something sinister about the origin of Covid 19 cover-up?

        The satellite in The Andromeda Strain is designed to collect upper-atmosphere microorganisms that are to be converted into bio-weapons. The virus in the novel kills through blood-clotting.

        Michael Crichton is a writer for our time. What do I mean by this?  It is no coincidence that what the Spanish philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset, refers to as the “height of the times,” ushers a set of values, moral dispositions and assumptions that reflect a milieu.

        I will suggest that Michael Crichton, who obtained his MD degree from Harvard University, and turned writer and director, was an important writer and public intellectual who puts his readers in touch with the height of the times, especially regarding the power that scientism has over the popular imagination. How is this so?

        Crichton was a discerning writer who understood that fiction and literature were against the wall in our age of electronic media. This is the case for several reasons, including self-imposed cultural illiteracy in Western nations.

        The systematic dumbing down of education in the West, in addition to control of the media by Marxist ideologues, has made it impossible for genuine thought and sensibility to prosper. This means that fiction, literature and philosophy must exercise a Herculean effort in order to remain authentic—and relevant.

        Crichton was a gifted public intellectual. In a brilliant talk he gave at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September 15, 2003, entitled “Environmentalism is a Religion,” he made the case that radical environmentalism has the same hierarchical structure of a religion. This talk is a masterful synthesis of psychology, anthropology and radicalized social-political philosophy.

        In many ways, Crichton’s novels fill the vacuum left by professional “ethicists” and many philosophers who have turned their back on any form of discourse that does not advance radical ideology. Intelligent readers must do the rest.

        Naturally, non-radicalized writers and authors assume that prudent readers must appropriate the themes of their work, responsibly. That is, readers must make it their task to separate the wheat from the chaff, culturally and intellectually speaking.

        Crichton moves his stories along at a pace that reflects the values and banality of postmodern life. His approach to writing understands the psyche of people today. It is not so much the pace of his novels that is noticeable, for this is a staple of current popular fiction, but their timely themes.

        The Andromeda Strain makes the case that bacteria and naturally-occurring viruses—not the man-made kind—are assimilated by the human body over time, otherwise man would have perished long ago. It is scientific (or scientism’s) modification of nature that pose the greatest threat to man. Gain of function experimentation of viruses is an example of this. 

        Crichton’s 2005 work, State of Fear, is a novel about environmental fanaticism. Yet to fully grasp the point and impact of State of Fear, we must first read “Environmentalism is a Religion.”

         “Environmentalism is a Religion” argues that, from an anthropological point of view, environmentalism is a religion like no other that the world has known. Religions have a set of beliefs that are dispensed by priests or higher authorities, which believers must accept in order to make the religion credible and sustainable.

        Crichton’s literary treatment of scientism as the height of the times is indicative of the alleged ethical preoccupations of elites who asphyxiate postmodern life with affected social-political ideology.

        Crichton is a master of de-bunking affectation and hypocrisy in our time. Many of the characters in State of Fear are superficial entities who believe themselves to be important public personas. Apparently, this is what the height of the times demands of celebrities and media personalities.

        To become worthy of attention by postmodern man’s meager moral standards, Marxism demands that personalities, media types, politicians, etc., embrace the slipshod platitudes of mass man.

        Crichton’s characters are self-absorbed, postmodern hipsters who have taken it upon themselves to save the world. The orthodoxy of their religion is upheld through drowning themselves in affected platitudes.

Micro

        In Micro, a book that was published after Crichton died in 2008, the author explores nano technology in the form of robotic bots. Micro is as much a book about nanotechnology as it is about the psyche of people who promote technological innovation for its own sake—and profit.

        Much to the chagrin of people who aspire to make vast amounts of money developing and producing nanotechnology, Crichton’s book asks readers to consider why such technologies are necessary in the first place. Are such technologies the result of make-work technological caprice?

        Given its outlandish plot, we can liken Micro to the fantastic early science fiction of Jules Verne. This comparison serves to bridge the imaginative prowess of two authors, who were born in 1828 and 1942, respectively. Verne and Crichton are separated by one-hundred and fourteen years, and figuratively speaking, two different worlds.

        What happens when science turns into scientism, and scientism becomes glorified as the self-serving vehicle that, through Marxist ideology, promises to deliver postmodern man to a better world? This is a dual assault on free will and liberty.

        Crichton’s writing brings to mind German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s Question concerning Technology—a book that pins reflective thought against a desensitized technological world, where humans have abandoned free agency to the feel-good altar of scientism and technology.

 
[1] André Glucksmann, The Master Thinkers. (New York: Harper 7 Row, Publishers,1977), 184.
[2] Ion Mihai Pacepa and Ronald J. Rychlak, Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, attacking religion, and Promoting terrorism. (Washington DC: WND Books. Inc., 2013), 281.
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

________________________
Pedro Blas González is Professor of Philosophy at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida. He earned his doctoral degree in Philosophy at DePaul University in 1995. Dr. González has published extensively on leading Spanish philosophers, such as Ortega y Gasset and Unamuno. His books have included Unamuno: A Lyrical Essay, Ortega's 'Revolt of the Masses' and the Triumph of the New Man, Fragments: Essays in Subjectivity, Individuality and Autonomy and Human Existence as Radical Reality: Ortega's Philosophy of Subjectivity. He also published a translation and introduction of José Ortega y Gasset's last work to appear in English, "Medio siglo de Filosofia" (1951) in Philosophy Today Vol. 42 Issue 2 (Summer 1998).

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