Manifest Disney

As we mark another Independence Day in America, it’s worth reflecting on the meaning of our country’s much-trumpeted exceptional status. Our land is indeed beautiful and blessed in many ways, home to millions of kind and generous souls. But to pretend that all is well would be whistling past the graveyard. The United States, we must remember, wasn’t ever conceived as an organic nation, but as a revolutionary construct, the herald of a dawning Novus Ordo Seclorum. And so its progress is always unfulfilled, its nature not being, but becoming, its vastness a continental-scale laboratory for social alchemy. Yet out of all attempts to identify the meaning of the American Dream, no one depicted its essence more aptly than a humble Orthodox monk, Blessed Fr. Seraphim Rose:

One might take, as a symbol of our carefree, fun-loving, self-worshipping times, our American ‘Disneyland’; if so, we should not neglect to see behind it the more sinister symbol that shows where the ‘me generation’ is really heading: the Soviet Gulag.

Fr. Seraphim wrote these words in 1982, the year of his repose at age 48, and their import today can only be deemed prophetic. A native of Southern California, Fr. Seraphim saw nearby Disneyland as the most fitting analogy for the modern West and its leading state, America. No place better encapsulates a society of fakery, “fun,” and narcissism than the Magic Kingdom, itself the center of a media empire whose tentacles relentlessly manage market segments from infancy to adulthood, bombarding populations worldwide with weaponized “entertainment,” i.e. psychological warfare, subversion with a smile. And as America strives toward its destiny, realizing ever more perfectly the revolutionary principles of liberty and equality, so we witness Disneyland Civilization’s evolution into its fullest expression, the digital Gulag.

Never before, we feverishly tell ourselves, have we been more free, as the NSA and transnational technology giants erect a surveillance grid granting our overlords unprecedented control over every aspect of life. Never have we been so liberated and “empowered” as now, we declare in orgiastic frenzy, as every traditional interface between man and the state is systematically destroyed to a canned media laugh track. Nations, tribes, and cultures must all disappear to meld a new, improved class of consumer drones to better serve the designs of our oligarchic masters. Every human distinction, even between man and woman, must be eliminated as power over heredity will be the preserve of the ruling technocratic elite, the incipient machine-gods.

Dystopia is not in a far-off dark future; dystopia is now. Welcome to Tomorrowland. We descend further into fantasy rather than walk the hard path of repentance, enslaved to glimmering screens that play to our basest desires. Disney America, the End of History, signifies the triumph of Jean Baudrillard’s simulacrum apocalypse. A copy without an original, the simulacrum arrives as harbinger of our dissolution, with the cartoonishly absurd and unreal upheld as noble and upright. A counterfeit religion in the spirit of Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor takes shape before our eyes – the postmodern miracle mystery tour. Sacraments are inverted to public celebration, and mankind himself disintegrates into the reign of quantity. I am become Goofy, the destroyer of worlds.

“Live not by lies,” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn counseled us. The time fast approaches when challenging the falsehoods of the established order will bring not just administrative and legal sanctions, but organized violence. Lies unmasked reveal the face of their father, who wills only spiritual death. Faustian Man traded away his soul for Mammon’s Magical Kingdom, a global high-tech amusement park-cum-concentration camp. Disneyland Civilization and its illusions will last but a short period, as the world and all its glory, though in the meantime it will assuredly grow more bestial in its dehumanization and persecution of truth. May God grant us – both men and whole peoples, especially Americans this day – the iron strength of repentance, that we may endure to the end.


27 thoughts on “Manifest Disney

  1. Pingback: Manifest Disney | Neoreactive


  3. Beautifully stated Mark. Just awesome. I am reminded of an article that I read recently from Psychology Today (online) published July 2014. The article was titled “Anti-Intellectualism and the “Dumbing Down” of America.” I quote from the article’s first paragraph:

    “There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It’s the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.”


  4. The consise, and true discernment in your essay saddens me and inspires me. I am reminded of 3 passages from the Bible that highlights some the issues of our time.

    Ecclesiastes 9:3; Isaiah ch. 59; Isaiah 32:1-8. In that order.

    I also recall that Jacques Ellul’s ” Obstacles to communication arising from propaganda habits” a free pdf, addresses the deeper conflicts of how human beings can be conditioned to lose their way and give their will to others.

    Thank you speaking out. It is very important that we all do so.

    An important and very disturbing imagery that was repeated in the film Tomorrowland is the field of wheat. It reminds me of when Jesus talked about the harvest. The evil forces of our time have their own harvest and we should heed that and draw close to Jesus for discernment, wisdom, and His power and authority, to meet these efforts that seek to destroy the harvest of persons all around us.

  5. Pingback: AMERIKA: Manifest Disney – By Mark Hackard | RIELPOLITIK

  6. “After us, the Savage God,” W.B. Yeats prophecied a century ago. Dostoyevsky and Solovyev, in the East, foresaw the same moral, spiritual and intellectual dissolution. Berdyaev and Solzhenitsyn have sounded similar warnings in more recent times. As with the Old Testament prophets, however, their audience have so far failed to take note and amend their conduct. What will it take, I often wonder, to wake us up reality? The conqueror’s sword? The disintegration and loss of everything we value and hold dear?

    Well, this blog is certainty a good starting point. It’s a focal point too. I’m delighted I’ve discovered it. And this is an exceptionally telling piece. Good work, Mark. Keep it up.

    Thanks and best wishes,

    John (Manchester UK)

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  11. What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared we would become a captive audience. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared that we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.
    As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate would ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.—Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985)
    I fear both Orwell (A boot in your face, forever) and Huxley (Soma = Proza’coma) were right.

  12. “Faustian Man traded away his soul for Mammon’s Magical Kingdom…”

    “Faustian Man” is regarded as a maker of his own world? Or a maker of his self? I find this metaphor a bit confusing, especially when metaphysics “is” and not made or a construct.

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