“Who will rule, God or Man? This is the great constitutional question of human existence”
Excerpt from Demokratin är en myt (Democracy is a Myth); or The Myth of Democracy
Swedish historian, thinker and leading representative for the Perennial school of thought, Tage Lindbom (1909-2001) wrote his critique on Western democracy in 1990. Formerly a dedicated member of the Social Democratic Party of Sweden, he grew disillusioned with the economic progress, yet spiritually and culturally empty void of Swedish society. He denounced Social Democracy in favor of a Traditionalist worldview, embraced Sufism and became a disciple of the Swiss Sufi metaphysician Frithjof Schuon. He spent the remainder of his life with writing critiques of Modernity. In his work “Democracy is a Myth“, he puts democracy under the microscope and lay forth that once Democracy raised to the status of Myth, Mythos, became the Order of Western Civilization or as he terms it: the Kingdom of Man; “Människoriket”.
The first thing is to give some context. What is Traditionalism and Modernism? First, Traditionalism is being aware of a higher, divine reality that determine the worldly, sensual reality. The other is the idea that rejects the Traditional in favor of evermore change, progress and the abolishment of hierarchies and authorities in order to create new fields of human exploitation. Simply put, Traditionalism is the idea of a cosmic equilibrium in which man lives in connection with both a vertical and horisontal existence, whereas Modernity is the idea of unrestrained human freedom and a purely horisontal worldview.
In spite of this long lasting enmity, Lindbom finds a common thread that unites both the Traditionalist and Modern worldview. While ideological, cultural and spiritual enemies, they share a common heritage of a common memory of a primordial state of Order. Both Traditionalism and Modernity acknowledges a primordial order, yet differ on the basis of whether Man or God will rule supreme. It is from this search for the primordial source that the French thinker Jean Jacques Rousseau constructs his ideas of the General will, the Social Contract and Nature being the primordial source, i.e. the Garden of Eden or Paradise Lost.
With the Fall of man, we have the rise of Liberty and Equality, the two cornerstones in human existence and the ideological frameworks for the French and Russian Revolution or Devolution. By using the Myth instead of the Ideology, Democracy is raised above time and space, beyond human wills and strivings, becoming absolute, total and ahistorically primordial. Man is made the Sovereign, indivisible and the center of everything.
The prevailing order can be summarized as the holy trinity of Modernism.
In the name of Man, Modernity and the mythical Democracy.