Remarks on Eric Voeglin’s Notion of Gnosticism: Yugoslavia as an example of Gnostic Neverland
In this podcast we comment upon some remarkable passages from Eric Voegelin’s New Science of Politics explaining his understanding of what he calls Gnostic “dreamworld”, carried over from the Ancient world to modernity. In the first half, after providing some preliminary explanations of Voegelin’s terminology, we discuss the theoretical, or rather anti-theoretical, assumption that is a calling card of a Gnostic: a prohibition of questions; we talk about this strange attempt to constrain the intellect while simultaneously advocating for unbridled progress, especially in the paradigmatic example of Karl Marx and communist movement. Also, we point out the genuine anti-theist character of Gnostic intellectuals and the way how modern philosophy for the most part assimilated it. In the second part we talk about the very instructive, yet not so very well known, example of the one specific Gnostic neverland: Yugoslavia. We provide the main features of Yugoslav ideology, the mentality of its adherents, both past and present, and put the phenomenon in the context of our day and age. In conclusion we discuss the hypothesis of the prevalence of Gnostic ideologies in the global politics of today.
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