The Babylon Confusion of Malignant Materialism

The ancient nefarious city of physical Babylon had fallen long before his vision. So the Babylon that John saw in AD 95 was a symbol In AD 95 it stood for Rome. Today Babylon stands for the Confusion of Malignant Materialism that was spawned by a whole slew of Empires:
The original Median Empire whose capital the city of Babylon was
The full gamut of the main seven Empires of the Middle East: Egypt, Assyria, Media, Persia, Greece, Rome, and Byzantium
The Roman Empire as mentioned for AD 95
The Roman and Byzantine Empires that injected Malignant Materialism into Europe
Europe’s serial seafaring Empires of Portugal, Spain, Holland, and Britain that plied and played colonial materialism across the globe
The USSR’s murderous Communism that entwined the tentacles of Malignant Materialism deep around the globe’s remotest communities
The USA’s unbridled Capitalism that spread even stronger tentacles of Malignant Materialism around the globe to launch its spiritual confusion worldwide.
The symbol of Babylon fits the global confusion of Malignant Materialism well. Four thousand years ago, the citizens of Shinar (today’s Iraq) built a tower to top the sky. They arrogantly called it Bab-El, the Accadian word for Gate to God (Gen. 11.1–9). But hearing them confuse spiritual aspiration with material power, God simply zapped their plan by confusing their language. To memorialize the event, He kept the name as Babel, nowthe Hebrew word for Confusion.[1]
The main feature of the spiritual cancer of Malignant Materialism is confusion. In suicidally infiltrating, choking, and killing the very mother-tissues that keep them alive, cancers are definitely confused. Likewise, in suicidally infiltrating, choking, and killing the very matrix of social systems that sustain humans, the cancer of Malignant Materialism is confused too in destroying the basic social contract that nurtures the three basic ‘c’s of coupling, childrearing, and community.[2]
Human brotherhood and dependence exist because mutual helpfulness and cooperation are the two necessary principles underlying human welfare.…A human is in need of continuous cooperation and mutual help.…He can never, singly and alone, provide himself with all the necessities of existence.[3]
Malignant Materialism confuses things like price with value, money with wealth, waste with consumption, detail with clarity, convention with direction, servicing debt with serving people, and more. In particular, it short changes you when you are old or chronically ill. Its logic is simple: the sooner that liabilities as useless as you slip off the material table, the more is left for you who are running its system. As you slip between the cracks, you protests fall silent and so does your opposition.
The Systems of Malignant Materialism are
an evil which the nation [the USA], and indeed all those within the capitalist system, though to a lesser degree, share with that state [the USSR] and its satellites regarded as the sworn enemies of that system.[4]
Now that the communist way has failed, the East has joined the West on its path of unbridled capitalism in whose
cities like New York the people are submerged in the sea of materialism. Their sensibilities are attuned to material forces, their perceptions purely physical. The animal energies predominate in their activities; all their thoughts are directed to material things; day and night they are devoted to the attractions of this world, without aspiration beyond the life that is vanishing and mortal. In schools and temples of learning knowledge of the sciences acquired is based upon material observations only; there is no realization of Divinity in their methods and conclusions—all have reference to the world of matter.…Spirituality…has been overcome by materialism.…Spiritual susceptibility seems to have vanished.…Guidance and knowledge of God no longer remain.[5]
The slew of Malignant Materialism’s systems has turned the American Dream into a nightmare full of unhappiness, insecurity, debt, joblessness, poverty, disease, crime, violence, and the pain of the weak. The nightmare has cast its long shadow over individuals, families, and societies. I wrote this first five years ago, and how much truer it is today. The America that proclaims itself God’s own Country and the Greatest Nation on Earth has topped global statistics for homicides, weapon sales, guns in private hands, hard drug usage, the wealth gap, and citizens without health care coverage for decades. In addition,
The steady and alarming deterioration in the standard of morality as exemplified by the appalling increase of crime, by political corruption in ever widening and ever higher circles, by the loosening of the sacred ties of marriage, by the inordinate craving for pleasure and diversion, and by the marked and progressive slackening of parental control, is no doubt the most arresting and distressing aspect of the decline that has set in, and can be clearly perceived.[6]
Long ago likewise, Hinduism prophesied such times when
piety will decrease day by day, until the world will be wholly depraved. Then property alone will confer rank. Wealth will be the only source of devotion. Passion will be the sole bond of union between the sexes. Falsehood will be the only means of success in litigation. And women will be objects merely of sensual gratification. Earth will be venerated but for its mineral treasures.…Dishonesty will be the means of subsistence. Weakness will be the cause of dependence. Menace and presumption will be substituted for learning. Liberality will be devotion. Simple ablution will be purification. Mutual assent will be marriage. Fine clothes will be dignity. And water afar off will be esteemed a holy spring.[7]
Does this sound familiar?
Under the systems of Malignant Materialism, you strive simply to survive and care for your family. In the process, you succumb to them en masse, and their bread and circuses of styles, cults, and sports keep you under their spell. Malignant Materialism now enslaves the bodies, minds, souls, and spirits of most people on the planet. You sacrifice your spirits to its systems, rarely finding freedom to smell the roses. Its systems disrupt family ties, ration parenting, demean pregnancy, sabotage breastfeeding, devalue education, and cut back on care for the ill and the old. Its systems distort our human spirit. Its systems put money before people. Instead of making money serve people as an end, they work people to serve money as an end. Instead of making money a good servant, they make it a bad master. Instead of pursuing pure profit, they pursue purely profiteering (as in profiting abusively). And they plan short-term. No wonder that the commercial company “.com” is the main domain name tag! Bluntly, Malignant Materialism is screwing the planet.[8] Things should be the other way round. First society should serve human-beings, and then human-beings can serve society.[9]
Regardless, we in the West were cozily enjoying the material benefits of Malignant Materialism until the recent financial crisis. Until now, we were amazingly blind to the Malignant Materialism elephant standing right in our living-rooms. Yet

it is this same cancerous materialism [my emphasis], born originally in Europe, carried to excess in the North American continent, contaminating the Asiatic peoples and nations, spreading its ominous tentacles to the borders of Africa, and now invading its very heart, which Baha’u’llah in unequivocal and emphatic language denounced in His Writings, comparing it to a devouring flame and regarding it as the chief factor in precipitating the dire ordeals and world-shaking crises that must necessarily involve…terror and consternation in the hearts of men. Indeed a foretaste of the devastation…has been afforded by the last [Second] World War.…It is this same all-pervasive, pernicious materialism against which the voice of [‘Abdu’l-Baha] the Center of Baha’u’llah’s Covenant was raised, with pathetic persistence, from platform and pulpit…on the morrow of His fateful visit to both Europe and America as they were swept into the vortex of a tempest [the First World War].…Collateral with…progressive stress laid on man’s material pursuits and well-being, is the darkening of the political horizon, as witnessed by the widening of the gulf separating the protagonists of two antagonistic schools of thought [Communism and Capitalism], which, however divergent in their ideologies are to be commonly condemned…for their materialistic philosophies and their neglect of those spiritual values and eternal verities on which alone a stable and flourishing civilization can be ultimately established.…which, if not remedied, is bound to involve the American nation in a catastrophe of undreamed-of dimensions.[10]




[1] Babel has babble as a sister-word
[2] Lunn, Basic Instincts.
[3] Human brotherhood and, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP 150; Foundations of World Unity14; is in need of continuous,‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP 150; Foundations of World Unity 38
[4] Shoghi Effendi (1954), Citadel 124–127
[5] Cities like New York, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1912),PUP 261–62; spiritualityhas been overcome, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1912), Scriptures 553.268; PUP 221
[6] Shoghi Effendi (1954), Citadel 124
[7] Vishnu-Purana4.24 (translated from Sanskrit by H. H. Wilson). http://www.theosociety.org‌/pasadena/sunrise/29–79–80/rel-prof.htm
[8] James Cromwell cited by http://pkblogs.com/iaindale/2007/01/quotes-of-day_16.html
[9] Campbell 8
[10] Shoghi Effendi (1954), Citadel 124–127