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Katechontic Metapolitics in Orthodox Christian Political Theology

Conspirological principles

I would like to start by saying that in my normal line of work as an academic researcher in political philosophy and, more specifically, in political theology, I follow a set of rules regarding the indication of sources, bibliographical references, the justification of theses and arguments on the basis of documentation and the reference to other recognized academic authors and debates. I believe that this can be useful at a certain level, in particular so that the reader can check the sources, reconstruct the argument, and pursue the investigation himself along other lines.

But here, among friends, I will not strictly follow these rules. Above all, though, because, in the realm of what I think can be justly called CONSPIROLOGY, deep statecraft shrouded in secrecy is the norm ― classified information is obviously not documented or accessible for those without security clearances. When this information is released, it is also many times weaponized through limited hangouts and psychological operations, gatekeeping and controlled narratives. From what we are able to know, it is difficult to reach a unified perception of the whole, not least due to the deliberate compartmentalization and plausible deniability which is characteristic of deep statecraft. Because of this, for the most part, we end up with a plurality of piecemeal hypotheses. This is particularly evident in the case of the COVID deception. Psychological warfare can even reach the point of what someone like Michael Hoffman called “revelation of the method”, when the revelation and exhibition of the truth is itself used as a way to conceal the truth, as a means of deterrence of any resistance and of making those who participate in this revelation complicit in the very operation they seek to reveal. To some extent, I think we should take as granted that the infosphere is the closest thing we'll ever get to the world of Descartes' evil demon, where even the truth is a lie.

Because of all of these factors, intuition as a method is inescapable. As an Orthodox Christian, for me, this is a testimony to the superiority of what we call the noetic over the rational. In this sense, I will try to state as clearly and directly as I can my own position regarding the issues that bring us all together here today, while trying to remain at the level of principles. As Jean Parvulesco put it:

For us [pour les nôtres], the real power, true powers, too, come only from above. Geopolitical power is a doctrinal power, a visionary power: the geopolitical power is the power of the geopolitical doctrine in action and it is granted by this doctrine as a de facto power.

True power resides in principium. But I would supplement this with Saint Paul's saying “for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Anti-globalism between libertarianism and multipolarism

Before the pars construens of my argument, I would like to address an issue which has troubled me for a while now. In my opinion, the best research, the best critique and the best systematic diagnoses of our current predicament come, nowadays, not from political philosophers or scientists, nor from political analysts of a multipolarist bent, but, precisely, from so-called conspiracy theorists and, even, I would say, for the most part, from North American authors and researchers in this field. But the one thing I find problematic in many of these authors is their loosely defined libertarian presuppositions in politics, economy and law. In general, I find that, while their historical research and their investigative journalism is absolutely brilliant and on target, there is a lack of a rigorous and careful reflection on political and juridical presuppositions and principles. I believe that this is important in the context of the discussion on resistance, on the feasibility of multipolarity and on the role of the state or of large power blocs nowadays.

Both the anti-globalist and the multipolarist camp agree on the ills of globalism, but do we share the same definition of globalism? I don't think, for instance, that globalism can be reduced to “unipolarity”. In this debate, I consider myself an anti-globalist, but not a strict multipolarist ― especially not in the way this position is now framed in conjunction with the BRICS alliance. On this point, I entirely share Iurie Roșca's position in his recent series of articles critical of multipolarism. Nonetheless, while considering myself an anti-globalist, I do not share the libertarian or even anarchist presuppositions that are common to many in the anti-globalist camp. I believe that in this matter, essential aspects of our resistance against the hegemonic dark powers ― against the conspiracy of non-being, as Jean Parvulesco used to call it ― are at stake.

Liberalism, security and sovereignty

Let's just think for a moment about the common appeal to the idea of “God-given natural rights enshrined in the constitution”. First, this blurs the distinction between natural law and constitutional law, which is always historical. But, above all, the question of who decides ― who interprets, who executes and applies this law, is completely absent. This was Carl Schmitt's central question: who decides? Quis iudicabit? That is, who or what possesses the power of decision in last resort. Who possesses sovereign power? The law by itself is powerless, it is only the power of decision which executes the law which gives it reality and efficacy.

What is normally alluded to in this conflation of natural and constitutional rights is of course the idea of individual rights. This idea is liberal and empiricist in origin. In one of his first books, The Value of the State and the Significance of the Individual, Carl Schmitt contrasted his own conception of law and right (Recht) with the liberal empiricist notion of law. In liberal thought, the law is defined as the means of guaranteeing the pursuit of individual freedom, interests and happiness. There is no other foundation for law except individual interest. But the law also presents the answer to the problem of the conflict of individual interests. Any harm or damage to individual interests needs to be regulated by law, and ultimately by penal law. Since the conflict between different individual interests requires a neutral instance, the decision is delegated to the community which arbitrates between the parts and decides on who is right or wrong. According to Schmitt, law, according to these presuppositions, is subordinated to security, it becomes a means towards securing individual pursuits, protected from harm. Security is, then, the goal, and law the means toward its realization. The state, from the liberal perspective, embodies all the executive means of guaranteeing this security through the application of law. For Schmitt, this amounts to a reduction of law to mere legality, deprived of legitimacy.

In this regard, he also distinguishes between order and security. Order is one element of what he would later call Nomos, which he considered to be an untranslatable Greek term, usually wrongly translated as “law”. Whereas order is nomic, security is anomic ― not in practice, but in principle. Securitarian thinking, because it reduces law to mere legality, deprives law of its own legitimacy, of its own autonomous value and validity, independent of any empirical motives. And it deprives the state of a lawful foundation, leaving it open to unlawful manipulation. A security state is a state of disorder.

Law must be just in itself, not because it guarantees individual security. For Schmitt, to derive a juridical norm from an interest which appeals to this norm when it is harmed would be like Baron Munchausen pulling himself out of a swamp by his own hair. Besides, whenever a third party which represents the common interest is posited, a hierarchy of values ― which cannot be explained by mere empirical factors ―, whereby the common is higher than the particular, is also presupposed.

Given all of these elements, according to Schmitt, the correct order of thinking is not that both the law and the state are means toward the realization of security, but that the state, by the power that it wields, is itself the means toward the realization of law and order in empirical reality. Security, in the sense of the government and management of individual interests, not only is inherently deprived of justice and legitimacy, but it also conceals the sovereign power which decides, interprets and directs this government, which judges what is best for the individuals and what is in fact their common interest. If the state serves only securitarian purposes it is already on its way to inevitably become a police state and a totalitarian state, directed by an occult sovereign power ― which Schmitt also calls potestas indirecta, indirect power ―, that employs statecraft as arcana imperii, state secrets, aimed at the government and control of the population, and as arcana dominationis, secrets of domination, aimed at the protection and preservation of those already in power, potentially threatened by seditions and uprisings.

Libertarians share this same liberal conception of the state, the difference being that whereas liberals nominally want a minimal state, reduced to its bare security functions, libertarians see the state as inherently unjust and iniquitous. Ideally, there would be no state, and every kind of relationship between individuals would be voluntary, consensual and transactional. But in both cases, the conception of the state is the same. From an economic point of view, libertarians also consider that the state is the main impediment to the existence of a truly free market. The state is employed by corporate monopolies as a tool to preserve their own position of power and to curtail the possibility of a free market. Curiously, this idea is similar to Marxism, with the difference that, in Marxism there is never a purely free market and the state apparatus can potentially be taken over by the proletariat through revolutionary means and employed toward the utopian goal of socialism, where the state would wither away.

The fact is that these multinational and global corporate interests are one of the main means, in conjunction with psychological warfare and with overt and clandestine counter-insurgency tactics, among other methods, that the global deep state uses in order to control the state and to employ it for its own purposes. But in this sense, the state is not really sovereign, on the contrary, it is occupied by the indirect powers which today put it to use. Arguably, this applies nowadays not only to the Atlanticist states, but also to the BRICS and to the multipolar alternative. Global government does not necessarily require one global state, a world-state, but when states progressively become tools of global technocracy, under the guise of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, then real state sovereignty no longer exists in any substantial sense.

Katechontic Metapolitics

For Schmitt, all real political theories possess an affinity with the theological dogma of original sin and share a pessimist anthropology, whereas unpolitical theories, such as libertarianism, anarchism and socialism, presuppose that man is good by nature and that political authority and order is superfluous. As an Orthodox Christian, I believe that man, even though created good by nature, is in a fallen state. This fallen state is primarily the state of mortality and corruptibility. From the sin of the first man came death and from the fear of death and corruption, wielded by the devil and organically ingrained in us, from the avoidance of pain and the desire of pleasure, come all sins and passions, which are the source of iniquity in the world.

The security state wields the power of death and the fear of death for the purposes of population control. In this sense, too, it is deeply anomic. One of the first things that we need to assume, in my view, is martyrdom as the zero point of politics today. It would be pointless and, frankly, devoid of dignity to complain about the violation of “my natural rights” while being dragged to some Gulag.

Those who are more familiar with Carl Schmitt perhaps know that the Christian notion of the katechon was one of his favorite and recurrent themes. The katechon is the word used by Saint Paul, in his 2nd letter to the Thessalonians, to designate the power which restrains what he also calls the mystery of lawlessness (to mystērion tēs anomias) and the man of lawlessness, that is to say, the Antichrist. What many are unaware of is that his notion of Nomos is precisely the opposite of this iniquity or lawlessness ― anomia. For Schmitt, the katechon is not identical to the sovereign state, but the sovereign state embodied a katechontic function. After the 1st World War, this katechontic function has ceased, globalism and the new world order have gradually advanced and we now live in a state of lawlessness and apostasy. In this chain of events, the COVID psyop was a deep event which accelerated the advent of global technocracy, that is to say, the very system of the Antichrist prophesized in the Holy Scriptures and in Christian tradition.

For Schmitt ― and this is the key to understand his Theory of the Partisan ―, every sovereigntist is now in the position of a partisan or of an insurgent under occupied forces. But whereas, for Schmitt, one of the conditions for guerrilla warfare was the support of a third interested power, this no longer applies to our predicament, precisely because there are no more sovereign states, all are occupied.

Metastrategic counter-conspiracy of being

From the perspective of Jean Parvulesco, to whom I have already alluded to, we live in a total war between the conspiracy of non-being and the counter-conspiracy of being. In some points of his work, he also calls the second the metastrategic counter-conspiracy of being. What do these terms mean? I believe they are accurate.

The initiative comes from the powers and agents of non-being, these are the powers of anomie, of an active negation of life and being. This is the conspiracy we are up against. Being, on the other hand, simply is, but when faced with this massive conspiracy of non-being it is forced to act. During COVID mandates this was especially evident, when the simple human act of breathing became an act of resistance. In general, this total war corresponds to the state of inversion of all things in which we currently live, in which the abnormal is considered normal and the lawless legal.

What about the metastrategic aspect? I think it may be helpful to go back to the time before the Edict of Milan and the conversion of Constantine. This was a time when the Empire was governed by anomic powers. Spirituality was flourishing but there was no Christian temporal power. Martyrdom was the rule. But if we think, for instance, of the many military saints that existed during this period, we can see that they were able to distinguish what was lawful and orderly in their lives and what was unlawful and disorderly. Since God himself was their ruler, they could make use of God's creation in obedience to God, not to the emperor. Their red line was idolatry and everything which abases man, made in the image of God. Everything else they could separate.

Some degree of use of current institutions is still possible, in all the things where it is possible to consider them still as normal, orderly and lawful as such, even if embedded in anomic structures. Besides this, every other strategic form of resistance is necessary, like the development of parallel ways of subsistence, of political and economic networks, local, national and international, information warfare, local word of mouth, humanitarian actions, through charity, the provision of social goods and even infrastructure, not to speak of every form of protest, legal or otherwise.

But the real metastrategic principle in all these strategies addresses the following issue: how can this counter-conspiratorial action remain free, natural and simple? How to act without attachment, without the impassionate bonds which invisibly submit us to the strategy of darkness? This is where the decisive battle is waged: in the spiritual arena. The weapons are asceticism, watchfulness and prayer. In the Christian traditional ascetic practice, we are called to fight the dark powers in our own heart. This is not metaphorical. As Saint Paul famously put it:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

Through watchfulness and prayer, we divest ourselves and deactivate all created powers which operate in us, in order to reach that state which Saint Gregory Palamas called hyperactive inactivity, where it is God himself who then operates in us through his uncreated energy. This is the mystery of the Cross, of that life-giving death by which death is defeated. And it was exactly this same cross that was the object of Saint Constantine's vision, when he saw it in heaven during his march to Rome, before the decisive battle, accompanied by the Greek words en toutō nika ― in this, conquer. This is the decisive battle, and if this is won, the war is already won.

Poza de profil

Justino Carneiro

Political Theology, Portugal Justino Carneiro is an academic researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Porto, Portugal. He was formerly an assistant professor of Biopolitics in the Master's degree of History, International Relations and Cooperation at the University of Porto and is currently finishing his PhD on Political Theology as a Metaphysical System