Powerful means of communication for some, destruction of any social life for others, the Internet does not leave anybody indifferent. Some praise it as being the only remaining force that allows men who are still free to fight against the despotism of a globalism that controls all the official sources of information. Others, on the contrary, disparage it as being a skillful machine of disinformation. The latter claim that, by exploiting the emotions caused by an excess of information, it prevents man from thinking and judging, thus reducing him to a disjointed puppet in the hands of hidden powers.
What is it, really?
In order to be able to answer this question, we would like to leave aside the habitual arguments about the Internet and consider instead the astonishing connections that exist between modern democracy and the Internet.
First of all, let us study the principles upon which modern democracy rests, while taking a stroll down the paths of the Garden of Eden.
At the time of the original temptation, the serpent whispered to man that he would become the equal of God by following his evil advice and tasting the forbidden fruit. According to the devil, by stealing and enjoying this fruit man would steal the authority of God – the authority that God jealously preserves so that He alone might hold the prerogative of the knowledge of good and evil. Thus, God would cease to be the unique source of authority. From then on, He would share it on equal terms with man, who would become his alter ego.
We know how fallacious this invitation was, and how man, eager for divinization, was reduced to a pitiful state of enslavement to his passions. We certainly know it, but we do not draw from it the essential lessons. Our many personal sins prove it. It is also proven by the establishment of modern democracy, which again whispers to man that he is the holder of authority when he delegates his supreme power to the elected official of his choice. The slogan “neither God, nor masters,” which covers the walls of cities in times of revolution, has the merit of saying clearly what the Revolution is. It is not, indeed, the shedding of blood; it is the old, original temptation, suggested again to man, but this time in the temporal order. The Revolution offers man the option of becoming the equal of God by placing him as the ultimate source of any authority, the original foundation of society which finds its full blooming in democracy!
“Very well – you may say –, but what has the Internet to do with this philosophico-political demonstration of the satanic nature of modern democracy as it resulted from the French Revolution? Is it because the Internet has revolutionized the morals and habits of men during these last ten years that you think you can trace a parallel between the French Revolution and the data-processing revolution?”
No, it is not our intention to trace a parallel. It is to show that this old satanic temptation that has agitated the world since its beginning is at work in the Internet; or, in other words, that this old deception constitutes the very essence of the Internet and its true danger.
The Internet is, indeed, an artificial world, parallel to the real world, expecting soon to replace it and isolate man in a bubble. Man, losing the sense of what is real, has the intoxicating temptation of being suddenly the demiurge of this fascinating world that rests in his hand and that he can use as he pleases.
The Internet is this invitation to reproduce, in front of a screen, the founding schema of modern democracy: “I am the power and I use it in my own way”.
We confront a new power, a new satanic proposal for deification. Like the first temptation with Adam and Eve and like the democratic temptation, it is only a deception. But also like the other two, it is a fatal deception, at least for souls.
It is not for us so much a question of stigmatizing the immoral outpourings on the Internet. We could indeed be scandalized by the flagrant violations of justice that abound, for example, the evident contempt of the notion of intellectual property. Our criticism of the Internet is not meant to be a catalog of errors or the umpteenth condemnation of its contents.
Our intent is more serious. The Internet, by the power that it promises and actually grants to man, introducing him to this imaginary and illusory world and crowning him god and master, flatters his ego in a Nietzschean temptation of power. The Internet or Thus spoke Zarathustra!
Thus man, god of his screen and his imaginary universe, allows himself – while remaining anonymous – to demolish reputations, to wound honor, to give his opinion on everything, to infringe the laws of decency… Nothing can retain him anymore; he is finally the god that the devil has promised he would be since the Garden of Eden. The Internet enables him to carry out his desire of power and domination, of living in illusion by no longer respecting the limits of dependence and the virtues that actually enable him to develop in accordance with his true vocation of man.
Freed from his human condition thanks to the Internet, the little man whose fat fingers waddle over his keyboard is from now on independent, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is god, a fitting god for our era of lies.
Fortunately, only God can incarnate Himself and the devil cannot push forward his power by becoming incarnate. He can only simulate it in isolation. But this simulation is lethal, because when the little man, puffed up with his pseudo-divine power, comes back to reality, he runs up against it and then has only one desire: to find again his “true life”, which he builds according to the disproportion of his evil illusions before his computer screen. Poor fellow, he believes himself to be god, whereas he is only a slave. He wanted to touch the stars, but he is so dependent on his screen, which returns to him the illusion of his omnipotence, that only the vile dependence of the drug addict can be compared to his.
Blaise Pascal was right: “Whoever wants to be like an angel becomes an animal.” And what a beast, when man wanted to be like God!
The democratic god cannot incarnate himself, but he has found, in the Internet, a powerful means of holding man in slavery by blinding him, just when history shows us clearly what democracy is: a failure, evil and death.
In Christo sacerdote et Maria,
Fr. Yves le Roux