‘All key concepts of the modern doctrine of the state are secularized theological concepts‘.
Were we to take seriously this time-tested formula, should we not confess that secularization is its most profound mystery ? Secularization is the true miracle, of which a new world was born. Some will say it was an actual Event, with a set date where History turned on itself, while others will claim the shift must have been the result of a long, painful gestation, alluding to a unseen Alteration within the Highest, or to some ancient and obscure Forgetting. Whatever the claim, we are invited to be witnesses to the appearance of a strange age, where the eternal truths of Theology took the corporeal form of Political categories — divine dominion into sovereignty, redemption into revolution, mystery into economy ; one dominating and guiding Hand taking hold of the realm of Men. This incarnation should be understood in the slightest as a transformation ; its reality, its power, requires both terms to be one and the same ; the same Substance, not merely changing shape, but becoming an other self thant itself, whilst remaining what it is in eternity. A Father, Theological Thought, begot a Son, secularized politics, to prolong the flow of history : Faith contracting itself to leave room for Power.
Yet this relationship remains obscure and incomplete if we simply see it as the unfolding of some unconscious plan of survival by different means, as if Theology had somehow voided itself to maintain its hold on us, eventually becoming exhausted in the Last man, bereft of any Kingdom to come. If a common nature does flow between Father and Son, then our gaze is pointed to their antecedent unity within Thought, under the name of Metaphysics. For it is through the working of systems, through the power of pure abstracta, that both Theology and Politics were able to assert themselves, Power and Faith sharing their reign with Wisdom. Just as secularization enables the embodiments of theological notion, so too the spirit of the a given political organisation always crystallizes itself within metaphysical framings.
But these are not Three, they must also be One, their ultimate unity residing, not in « being », but in Order. There must be an order to thought, as there is an order to the world ; it cannot be left to its own devices, to some unspeakable primordial Chaos ; hence the irruption of thought to grant it necessary stability. The Three, each with its own language, sing the hymn to a single order , each of the Three mirrors the two others, translates itself into them, flows into them, nourishes them, and yet affirms itself autonomous, even solitary. However we might try to affirm the priority of one, another lurks behind us, unseen yet present, forever depriving us of a single, univocal ground. They are then, all to be eqhally affirmed, always eroding our ability to rest in certainty, inducing doubt and rebellion in any attempt at making sense of the world. Thought cannot but give form to becoming, or it disappears ; it craves order, and tries to impose this order by any means. But complete order is always out of reach, always slipping away, revolt always stirs between the Three, so that the One, at war with itself, remains both fractured and immobile, forever locked in stasis.