John Stuart Mill and the Religion of Humanity

In perhaps his most important interview to date, Tom Woods discusses with Linda Raeder, author of John Stuart Mill and the Religion of Humanity, the iconic John Stuart Mill’s little-known religious project regarding the Comtean Religion of Humanity. This penetrating discussion casts undeniable doubts upon the classical liberal bona fides of Mill as a true disciple of libertarianism.  The study of the construction of pseudo-secular gnostic religions has been one of the principal obsessions of my life since I heard Gerhart Niemeyer of Notre Dame lecture of it in 1975 at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s Western Summer School at Thomas Aquinas College. Niemeyer was a keen student of Eric Voegelin on these matters, as was Murray Rothbard. I believe understanding this 2000 year battle between orthodox Roman Catholic Christianity and Gnosticism is the ultimate key to unlocking the history of the previous two millennia. Christianity and the West have been at war for hundreds of years with a succession of gnostic political religions and mass movements seeking to impose brutal elite rule and mastery of their subject peoples. These sinister efforts have been responsible for untold death, destruction, and misery. Over one hundred million persons alone perished in the 20th Century as a result of these murderous totalitarian regimes. For decades distinguished scholars such as Michael Burleigh, Eric Voegelin, Murray N. Rothbard, James H. Billington, Rudolf Rocker, Hannah Arendt, Norman Cohn, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Raymond Aron, and Gerhart Niemeyer have intensely discussed and debated the concepts of totalitarianism and political religions to describe such destructive phenomena as National Socialism and Communism, as well as their heretical predecessors.


9:12 pm on September 14, 2014