Why tradition is better than (post…?) modernity

I apologize for the graphic nature of this post (the critical bits in the second pic are blurred, thankfully), but this juxtaposition illustrates better than any words of mine why I love tradition – and traditionalism – and am becoming increasingly dismayed and disgusted by what some see as “progressive” or “liberal.”

The posts containing these two pics came across my Facebook news-feed this evening in direct succession – literally one right after the other. The lovely picture of the two young German girls in their dirndls was followed by what were described as “naked feminists” staging a “screaming protest” outside the presidential palace in Buenos Aires.

There is much more that I could say, but I think I am just going to leave it at that…

Reflections on grounding oneself in the tradition

Those of us who respect, even revere the past, who value tradition, who both yearn for and promote the ways of the past as a helpful and healthful antidote to the psychological and cultural poisons of the present, are nonetheless living in a swirling vortex of those present poisons every day – nearly, every hour of every day. And for those of us who get a lot of our news and commentary online, the ceaseless 24-hour news cycle of factoids, “alternative facts,” pseudo-facts, and a plethora of competing perspectives can be overwhelming.

Even when the information is solid and accurate – which is not so often as one might wish – it is still coming at one at such a frenzied pace, and frequently with such a tinge of hysteria, that this commentator, at least, often feels like he’s on the bridge of a beleaguered starship Enterprise, bouncing Klingon disruptors off his forward shields, and praying those shields don’t collapse! Or to switch metaphors, to be struggling to find solid ground amidst the shifting sand of popular opinion, and even competing claims about the nature of truth and reality.

This is why it is so important to ground oneself in the tradition itself. Historical, intellectual, and philosophical, of course; but also cultural, artistic, and musical, among other components. Continue reading “Reflections on grounding oneself in the tradition”

Reflections on the Southern Agrarians and their lessons for us today

Eastman Johnson (American painter, 1824-1906): Man With a Scythe – 1868.

I finally had the opportunity to acquire a book I have long wanted to read: “I’ll Take My Stand: the South and the Agrarian Tradition” by “Twelve Southerners,” a collection of essays written specifically for that publication (called by its authors a “symposium”) and published in 1930. Continue reading “Reflections on the Southern Agrarians and their lessons for us today”

Merrie Olde England… and the Puritans who killed her

While we’re on the subject of things as they used to be: this brief account of the “Old Ways” in “Merrie Olde England” until the Puritans ruined it appears in Kevin Phillips’ book, The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare, and the Triumph of Anglo-America. Ah, if only I had a time machine…!

Guns in school – the way it used to be!

How Americans used to deal with school violence, or threats thereof! Compare the effectiveness of this to signs proudly proclaiming “Gun Free School Zone.” May as well stamp “TARGET” on the building and everyone in it, and be done with it!

50 facts about The Queen’s Coronation | The Royal Family

Today marks the 64th Anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. Long may she reign! God save The Queen! Long live The Queen!

Have you ever wondered how Coronation Chicken gets its name? And did you know a future First Lady was a newspaper correspondent at The Coronation service? Here’s 50 little known facts about the Coronation Day of Queen Elizabeth II.

Source: 50 facts about The Queen’s Coronation | The Royal Family

Blog: Why is Classical Military History important? | Society for Classical Studies

What did battle look like at the chest to chest range on the ancient battlefields of Europe and the Near East? The sheer brutality, shock, and visceral nature of Classical Warfare has intrigued classicists, historians, and military officers alike for centuries.

Source: Blog: Why is Classical Military History important? | Society for Classical Studies

On the importance of Classical military history / history of warfare to the formation of the military officers of today – specifically, the US Army Corps of Cadets at West Point:

Classical warfare encapsulates some of the most important lessons a cadet will study at West Point. My students study the strategic, operational, and tactical facets of this time period. Throughout our studies, we march alongside our ancient officer counterparts through the pages of works such as Xenophon’s Anabasis, Arrian’s Campaigns of Alexander, and Julius Caesar’s Gallic War. We stand with them in their phalanxes or maniples and wait. We gaze across the plains at our enemy—an enemy that we cannot dispatch with a projectile fueled by gunpowder; rather, we must end our enemy with our spears and swords, or crush their bones with shield upon shield during the othismos.

The question which many may ask is “Why is it important for cadets aspiring to be military officers to study Classical Warfare?” “What can cadets possibly learn from dead Greeks, Macedonians, and Italians?” I have developed the following answer:

When cadets graduate they will become managers of violence. They will practice their craft in a sea of chaos, where mistakes are not measured in bad grades, but rather in lives. In training, armies will never be able to fully replicate the concert of violence and pulls of self-preservation that one may feel in battle. Since we cannot fully replicate battlefield conditions in training, it can be difficult to know how a leader may act. The study of Classical military history helps to fill the void where training cannot. Past battles and campaigns are the best examples to us as to how leaders will behave and make decisions while within the maelstrom. Historic battles are the cadavers for future military officers. We dissect battles and campaigns, so that we may better practice our own craft.

— Captain Antonio Salinas. CPT Salinas teaches military history at West Point.