Refuting the Anti-Christian Animus On The Alt-Right | Council of European Canadians

 

European Identitarians should recognize that Christianity has always recognized the importance of European identity and its own contribution to this identity.

Source: Refuting the Anti-Christian Animus On The Alt-Right

As I have noted previously, I am coming increasingly (if somewhat reluctantly) to view myself as an Identitarian:

not as a political statement, but as a simple and incontrovertible fact, an expression of biological (and in the case of my European identity, cultural and historical) reality. It is the actions and reactions of people on the Left that are gradually forcing me to view this [European] identity in more socio-political terms: my heritage, both genetic and cultural, is under attack, and that unfortunate fact forces me to defend it… Like a lot of folks, I mainly want to be left alone. But I also want my people to be left alone, and not to be subsumed, oppressed, overrun, interbred, or replaced. So I suppose that makes me an Identitarian… and if so, so be it. I did not choose the label, or the fight; both were forced upon me.

But what has been very frustrating to me – both as a Christian, and as a Christian clergyman – is the extent to which many of those who share this approach are sneeringly dismissive of Christianity. Some of these are the sort of militant atheists who dismiss any religion as “fairy stories” – ignoring both the fact that fairy stories often contain encoded within them deeper and more vital truths, and also the wisdom of no less a figure of contemporary atheism than Richard Dawkins, who famously tweeted,

Before we rejoice at the death throes of the relatively benign Christian religion, let’s not forget Hilaire Belloc’s menacing rhyme: “Always keep a-hold of nurse, For fear of finding something worse.”

In other words, even if you don’t believe a word of it, mere enlightened self-interest dictates supporting Christianity as a bulwark against more menacing alternatives – such as, for example, militant Islam.

But the even more central truth that European Identitarians – particularly those who consider themselves some species of European Pagan – tend, sadly, to forget is that much of what has made Europe recognizably Europe over the last two centuries results precisely from the fusion of the Classical (Greco-Roman) and Germano-Celtic branches of pre-Christian (Pagan) Europe with the (then-) new faith of Christianity.

It was a particularly advantageous fusion, and one which led to considerable mutual enrichment, and a great fluorescence of culture on the European continent. I am generally quite sympathetic to European Paganism, having particular respect and appreciation for the Celtic and Norse/Germanic branches. But if we would revert Europe to its pre-Christian state, the simple truth is that we would revert it (at least, as regards Northern Europe, whose proponents are generally the most vocal in attacking Christianity) to an age of mud huts and blood-feuds.

I do not forget the impressive accomplishments of the pre-Christian world of Hellenistic (Greco-Roman) antiquity. But it was nonetheless the Age of Faith that raised the great cathedrals and uncounted other architectural marvels; that inspired great art and magnificent music, from Gregorian chant to Baroque; that gave even the oft-warring kingdoms of Europe a larger identity as part of Christendom; and which defended that European Christendom against Muslim invasions, from the 8th through the 17th centuries.

For Europeans to reject Christianity is, as my late mother would have put it, “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” So I am very glad to see someone from the European Identity camp mount a spirited defense of the faith, as Richard Storey has done in this essay.

He addresses three allegedly (according to its critics) unique and damaging traits of Christianity, which those opponents claim to be “the great mutations” of the allegedly pure Europeanism that predated Christianity – mutations “that gave birth to the secular ideologies of [modernism]”: individualism, egalitarianism and progressivism.

That these ideas – at least in the extreme and unbalanced form in which they are found today – are indeed “mutant” ideologies, and as such are dangerous and ultimately destructive of human life and flourishing, is a viewpoint with which I cannot disagree. But that that they are unique to Christianity, or that the Christian faith is responsible for promoting them to an inappropriate degree, is the idea that needs challenging, and challenge it Storey does.

He also points out that

“Other claims in need of addressing are the revival of the defunct Nietzschean idea that Christianity is a slave ethic, produced by Jews to weaken the Roman Empire through the promotion of meekness as goodness etc., and the beliefs that Europe was and would be more peaceful without Christianity or that Christianity is somehow anti-white/European identity.”

These false claims are also addressed in his essay. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!


Notable quote:

“It is quite legitimate for nations to treat those differences [e.g., distinctions between ethnic nationalities] as a sacred inheritance and guard them at all costs. The Church aims at unity, a unity determined and kept alive by that supernatural love which should be actuating everybody; she does not aim at a uniformity which would only be external in its effects and would cramp the natural tendencies of the nations concerned. Every nation has its own genius, its own qualities, springing from the hidden roots of its being. The wise development, the encouragement within limits, of that genius, those qualities, does no harm; and if a nation cares to take precautions, to lay down rules, for that end, it has the Church’s approval.”

— Pope John XXIII (1961) “Mater et Magistra” (http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jo23mm.htm)

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G.K. Chesterton on Capitalism

Chesterton on Capitalism

In which the wise G.K. Chesterton – called by some, and not without reason, “the apostle of common sense” – reminds us of a fact too-often overlooked, or intentionally ignored, by those on the conservative side of the political aisle: that while Capitalism may have been a useful counterweight to Communism when our battle was against large and aggressive Marxist / Leninist / Stalinist states, it is not therefore benign.

Let’s look at Chesterton’s observation again:

“It cannot be too often repeated that what destroyed the Family in the modern world was Capitalism. No doubt it might have been Communism, if Communism had ever had a chance, outside that semi-Mongolian wilderness where it actually flourishes. But so far as we are concerned, what has broken up households and encouraged divorces, and treated the old domestic virtues with more and more open contempt, is the epoch and power of Capitalism.

“It is Capitalism that has forced a moral feud and a commercial competition between the sexes; that has destroyed the influence of the parent in favor of the influence of the employer; that has driven men from their homes to look for jobs; that has forced them to live near their factories or their firms instead of near their families; and, above all, that has encouraged for commercial reasons, a parade of publicity and garish novelty, which is in its nature the death of all that was called dignity and modesty by our mothers and fathers.”

— G.K. Chesterton (1935)

Capital, of course, has always existed; and so has business, trade, and industry – were it only the forming of river-clay into pinch-pots, or the knapping of flint into stone knives and projectile points, or the tanning of animal hides: each of which some individuals could doubtless perform better than others, and consequently concentrated on, trading for necessities with others who could perform other tasks with greater felicity.

And it is doubtless the case that Capitalism may – kept within proper bounds – have a beneficial impact on freedom, by encouraging industry, frugality, initiative, enterprise, and like traits. These are advantages which should not be ignored, or minimized.

But the operative phrase is, “when kept within proper bounds”!

Our current situation vis-á-vis entities like Google and Facebook – which exercise a practical monopoly over our information-gathering and -sharing, strip us of our privacy (the idea that it is “with our consent” is meaningless if, as is too-often the case, it is impossible to use the service without giving our information, and there are no realistic alternatives available), and make it nigh to impossible for rivals to get off the ground, or to continue functioning if they do – should serve as a cautionary tale in that regard.

The truth is, Capitalism is just as much a modernist project as is Communism: it barely existed, for most of the population, prior to the Industrial Revolution, although its origins date back at least to the later Middle Ages.

In some ways the true rivalries in the later medieval period were not so much between feudal lords, or even those lordships-writ-large known as kingdoms, but between the feudal society itself – grounded in land, primarily agricultural land, and other forms of what was literally real estate, and the mercantile class of the growing towns, whose wealth and power was grounded in (you guessed it) liquid capital.

Nonetheless, Capitalism per se was a late development, being predicated on the concentration of wealth (e.g., capital) in the hands of a relatively few, who owned the means of production and hired workers to operate them:

“Although industry had existed prior to the [War Between the States, a.k.a. the U.S. “Civil War”], agriculture had represented the most significant portion of the American economy. After the war, beginning with the railroads, small businesses grew larger and larger. By the century’s end, the nation’s economy was dominated by a few, very powerful individuals. In 1850, most Americans worked for themselves. By 1900, most Americans worked for an employer” (U.S. History 36: The Gilded Age).

In 1850, prior to the War, about 64% of the U.S. population farmed – down from 72% in 1820. The majority of the rest would have been what we would nowadays would call “self-employed,” working in “cottage industries” or as small-scale tradesmen or merchants. Factories were few, and by modern standards, very small.

By 1920, under the impetus of increasing industrialization, the percentage of Americans who farmed had dropped to 30.2% (and by 1935, when Chesterton wrote the above observation, it had probably dropped further), although the overall population had exploded during that same time period, according to the New York Times. By 1987 only 2% (!) of the U.S. population lived on farms, meaning that an even smaller percentage actually worked them.

This is problematic for a number of reasons.

When a majority of the population farmed or worked in home-based businesses, both capital and the means of production were disbursed – distributed (cf. “Distributism“) among a much larger body of the population. Our present, highly imbalanced situation, in which (as of 2017) the wealthiest 1% of American households own 40% of the country’s wealth – and indeed the top 1% of households own more wealth than the bottom 90% combined! – did not exist.

But the effects were more than economic. In an economy in which the majority – and for the first century-plus of our nation’s existence, a vast majority – of the population farmed their own lands, or otherwise worked at home, there were a myriad of social implications, as well.

Both parents worked at home, and (as I used to teach the 6th-graders at the Outdoor School) it was more clearly a partnership, in which it was obvious that the efforts of everyone were of vital importance to the effective maintenance – indeed, survival – of the household. With the rise of the Industrial Revolution, “wage work” outside of the home gradually took on more (apparent) importance and cultural status than “women’s work,” or homemaking, back home. Inequality within the family grew, as the “wage-earner” was increasingly viewed as the one whose work “really mattered.”

In the earlier and more traditional model – the roots of which go back centuries, indeed millennia – children grew up as part of a family unit that was (barring catastrophe) intact, integrated, and holistic. They had both parents around, most of the time. And they learned what they would do when they took over the family farm (or cottage-industry business) by doing it: work was something everyone did together (granted that different people had different specialties), not just “something daddy does at the office, dear.”

Often several generations lived in the same house, or at least in close proximity to one another. The younger generations learned from the older, and in return, cared for them as they aged. You knew who you were descended from, and related to. Communities were smaller and more tightly-knit, as everyone helped everyone else with the harvest, barn-raisings, and similar events. Holidays were celebrated with gatherings and mutual visiting. There was a sense of continuity, cohesion, tradition.

Capitalism and industrialization proceeded hand-in-glove, and drove deep wedges between these traditional bonds: between men and women, between the generations, between families in a community, and between people and the land that supported them. It still does, of course, however distant and compartmentalized the relationship may be. But there is no longer the immediacy, the sense of relationship, of connection.

When Chesterton writes that Capitalism (and its handmaiden and enabler, industrialization – and nowadays, “high” technology)

“has broken up households and encouraged divorces, and treated the old domestic virtues with more and more open contempt… [It has] forced a moral feud and a commercial competition between the sexes… destroyed the influence of the parent in favor of the influence of the employer… driven men from their homes to look for jobs… forced them to live near their factories or their firms instead of near their families; and, above all, has encouraged for commercial reasons, a parade of publicity and garish novelty, which is in its nature the death of all that was called dignity and modesty by our mothers and fathers,”

he is speaking no more than the simple truth. Those of us who fall to the conservative side of the political spectrum, and especially those of us who consider ourselves to be in any sense traditionalists, should in my opinion (shared, I think I can confidently assert, by Chesterton) look with skepticism on Capitalism, holding it at arms length and partaking of its fruits only advisedly and with great caution.

It is, as I say, a modernist project, just as much as is Communism; it is, in its way, just as globalist and internationalist – and it is also just as centralizing in its tendencies, although its locus is the corporate élite, not the socialist state. Instead of a State monopoly on power, it leads to a Corporate monopoly on wealth; instead of apparatchiks, it breeds oligarchs. The choice between the two is, it seems to me, not unlike that between “the Devil and the deep blue sea!”


Nota Bene:  It may seem like all hope is lost, if Capitalism and Communism are the only two options, and they’re both toxic! Fortunately, there are other options, although they are under-appreciated, under-explored, and under-utilized. But they exist! For starters, check out

G.K. Chesterton’s Distributism

and

What is Southern Agrarianism?

Hopefully, once we begin to understand that there are alternatives to the Capitalism / Communism duality, we can begin to work towards enacting them…

Jesse Kelly: “It’s Time For The United States To Divorce Before Things Get Dangerous”

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This idea of breaking up the United States may seem a bit outlandish now, but you won’t think so once real domestic unrest comes to your town.

Source: It’s Time For The United States To Divorce Before Things Get Dangerous

Let me preface my comments by being clear: I do not wish to see this. Despite my Monarchist and Confederate leanings, I deeply love and respect the American Republic that our Founders bequeathed to us (as Benjamin Franklin perhaps presciently put it, “if you can keep it”), and which my ancestors (including my father and paternal grandfather) fought to defend.

The United States has been far from perfect, but I truly believe that (if you set aside the late unpleasantness of the mid-1860s, and a few other incidents) it has done more good in the world than otherwise. But everything has its life-cycle, and that includes nations – and the ideologies behind them. And like human relationships, though “breaking up is hard to do,” there may come a time when it is the lesser of two evils.

What Jesse Kelly calls “the peaceful solution”: “We can and will draw the map and argue over it a million different ways for a million different reasons, but draw it we must. I’ve got my own map, and I suspect the final draft would look similar.”

It is said that no one (at least, no decent person) breaks up a committed relationship unless or until the pain of remaining becomes greater than the pain of departing. I am not sure we are quite there, yet, but we seem to be heading in that direction. As this essay puts it,

“The history of the world is nations breaking up and redrawing their borders. If we want to avoid this political divide turning into a deadly one, we should do likewise.

“Stop clinging to the past and acknowledge where we are as a country, not where you want us to be, not where things were when your grandpa was storming the beaches of Normandy. Where we truly are…

“Borders move. Countries split and change hands. They do this for a myriad of reasons. Ours would be a major cultural shift toward the left and half the country refusing to go along with tyranny…”

“The GOP has many problems, but the Democratic Party has turned into something completely un-American. The United States was founded on two things: Judeo-Christian values and a limited federal government. The entire platform of modern Democrats stands completely opposite both of those.”

Sobering – even depressing! – to think about, this nonetheless carries the ring of truth, in my opinion. I am also depressed to see my home state of Maryland well above the line (and even the “Old Dominion” of Virginia!) but I also, sadly, fear that Mr. Kelly is correct. There has been such an influx of Left-leaning urbanites, over the last several decades, that neither – and certainly not Maryland – is what it used to be. That I may ultimately find myself forced to migrate South or West is a sad likelihood that I have been pondering for a long time before reading this essay.

Mr. Kelly concludes,

“This idea of breaking up the country may seem a bit outlandish now, but you won’t think so once real domestic unrest comes to your town. Our political disagreements have become a powder keg, one that already would have blown if conservatives had liberals’ emotional instability.

“Nobody is expected to cheer for this split. Cheering is not a normal reaction when couples get a divorce. We cheer for old married people on their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

“But life is imperfect. Life is hard. We both now agree that living under the other side’s value system is wholly unacceptable. The most peaceful solution we Americans can hope for now is to go our separate ways. So let us come together one last time and agree on one thing: Irreconcilable differences.”

To my great sadness, I fear that he is right. I just wish I had confidence that we could do so, peacefully, before we get to the point beyond which a peaceful settlement may prove not merely difficult, but impossible to achieve.

Why Millennials Long for Liturgy | The American Conservative

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From the New Liturgical Movement website.

Is the High Church the Christianity of the future?

Source: Why Millennials Long for Liturgy | The American Conservative

America’s youth are leaving churches in droves. One in four young adults choose “unaffiliated” when asked about their religion, according to a 2012 Public Religion Research Institute poll, and 55 percent of those unaffiliated youth once had a religious identification when they were younger. Yet amidst this exodus, some church leaders have identified another movement as cause for hope: rather than abandoning Christianity, some young people are joining more traditional, liturgical denominations—notably the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox branches of the faith. This trend is deeper than denominational waffling: it’s a search for meaning that goes to the heart of our postmodern age.

What this essay calls “the High Church” – churches, particularly those mentioned in the excerpt above, whose theology and the worship that expresses it are sacramental, liturgical, and steeped in tradition – are drawing more and more attention from a younger generation: which (if I may be so bold) sees through the often rather superficial, “feel-good,” “happy-clappy” style of worship that is known (perhaps with some irony, now) as “contemporary.”

Rather than seeking to “marry the spirit of the age” (which as Dean Inge warned, decades ago, would lead churches to become widowers), “High” churches immerse themselves in the timeless tradition of the Church Catholic, the Great Tradition of Christianity, focusing more on reverence than on “relevance.”

This does not mean that present-day considerations are irrelevant to such churches, of course; rather, it’s a matter of priorities: “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you,” as our Lord counseled (Matthew 6:33).

And this is finding resonance with many young people, who see from experience the failures and limitations of the secular, therapeutic model that has been largely dominant in mainstream churches since the late 1960s, 70s, and beyond (which is why calling this “contemporary” is more than a bit ironic). As the name of a Facebook group (founded and largely populated by millennials) of which I am a member puts, “Yes, young people do like traditional liturgy!”

From the linked article:

“If you ask me why kids are going high church, I’d say it’s because the single greatest threat to our generation and to young people nowadays is the deprivation of meaning in our lives,” Cone says. “In the liturgical space, everything becomes meaningful. In the offering up of the bread and wine, we see the offering up of the wheat and grain and fruits of the earth, and God gives them back in a sanctified form. … We’re so thirsty for meaning that goes deeper, that can speak to our entire lives, hearts, and wallets, that we’re really thirsty to be attached to the earth and to each other and to God. The liturgy is a historical way in which that happens.”

The millennial generation is seeking a holistic, honest, yet mysterious truth that their current churches cannot provide. Where they search will have large implications for the future of Christianity. Protestant churches that want to preserve their youth membership may have to develop a greater openness toward the treasures of the past. One thing seems certain: this “sacramental yearning” will not go away.

Europe’s Civilizational Exhaustion – Gatestone Institute

Pictured: French police eject some of the 80 migrants and pro-illegal-immigration activists who occupied the Basilica of Saint Denis, on March 18, 2018. (Image source: Video screenshot, YouTube/Kenyan News & Politics)

“In Sweden, by 2050, almost one in three people will be Muslim. The civilizational exhaustion is seen in Europeans’ falling birth rates, mushrooming public debt, chaos in the streets, and a refusal to invest in security. Islam is filling the cultural vacuum of a society with no children and which believes – wrongly – it has no enemies.”

Source: Europe’s Civilizational Exhaustion | Gatestone Institute

  • Islam is filling the cultural vacuum of a society with no children and which believes — wrongly — it has no enemies.
  • In Sweden, by 2050, almost one in three people will be Muslim.
  • The European mainstream mindset now seems to believe that “evil” comes only from our own sins: racism, sexism, elitism, xenophobia, homophobia, the guilt of the heterosexual white Western male — and never from non-European cultures. Europe now postulates an infinite idealization of the “other”, above all the migrant.
  • A tiredness seems to be why these countries do not take meaningful measures to defeat jihadism, such as closing Salafist mosques or expelling radical imams.
  • Muslim extremists understand this advantage: so long as they avoid another enormous massacre like 9/11, they will be able to continue taking away human lives and undermining the West without awakening it from its inertia.

Is this really what we want? Because it’s what we’re going to get, if we don’t – collectively – wake up, and start defending what is valuable: our history, our culture, our heritage.

This essay – which makes for sobering reading, but for that very reason should be read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested by defenders of the West – continues,

Stephen Bullivant, a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St Mary’s University in London, recently published a report, “Europe’s Young Adults and Religion”:

“Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good – or at least for the next 100 years,” Bullivant said.

According to Bullivant, many young Europeans “will have been baptised and then never darken the door of a church again. Cultural religious identities just aren’t being passed on from parents to children. It just washes straight off them… “And we know the Muslim birthrate is higher than the general population, and they have much higher [religious] retention rates.”

That is a very dangerous and worrying combination – to put it mildly. The situation has gotten so bad that no less a figure than Richard Dawkins, who is as this essay notes is

an atheist and the author of The God Delusion, responded to the study’s release by tweeting to his millions of Twitter followers:

Before we rejoice at the death throes of the relatively benign Christian religion, let’s not forget Hilaire Belloc’s menacing rhyme:

“Always keep a-hold of nurse
For fear of finding something worse.”

Dawkins is apparently concerned that after the demise of Christianity in Europe, there will not be an atheistic utopia, but a rising Islam.

Dawkins’ concern is well-founded. Secularists and atheists of Dawkins’ ilk – not, clearly, Dawkins himself, who though misguided is vastly more intelligent than many of his followers – have been happy enough to use Islam (*) as a foil for Christianity (and I would not be surprised if many have not rejoiced, secretly, in the deaths of Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere), believing that it is doing much of their work for them, and that they can then control and enervate it, too.

This makes about as much sense as trying to chain a dragon to boil a pot of tea. What they fail to realize is that those who passionately believe in something – whether that “something” is truth or falsehood, witness the passionate belief in Communism many still possess, despite its theoretical “defeat” in the 1980s and ’90s – will always have an edge over those who believe in nothing. And unlike the heirs of Western Christendom, Islam is not tired, not exhausted: it has had a rest of some centuries, and has awoken.

It is time, and past time, for us to awaken, too – to awaken to our peril, and to defend ourselves against it. We have a moral responsibility to do so (and as Christians, a religious duty, since Islam is a false religion, and a dangerous ideology): not only for ourselves, but for our ancestors, and for our descendants. So far, we are abjectly failing both. We are betraying our patrimony, by failing to defend it, and pass it on.

What is at stake, here? Let’s look to history: when the Iberian Peninsula fell to the Muslims, it took 700 years to reconquer it – and that was with most of the rest of Europe free. How long will the Reconquista take, if the whole West should fall? None of us will live to see it! But if we fail to wake up, we may live to see that fall.

Again I ask: is this really what we want?

 


• And more generally, multiculturalism and mass immigration, which – far from being a source of strength – weakens and breaks down cultural cohesiveness and integrity, and damages the host culture’s ability to defend itself against attacks both from within and from without. But Islam is the most significant unifying force among many of these immigrants, especially in Europe, and increasingly in the U.S., too.

Life Without Prejudice | The Imaginative Conservative

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“Life without prejudice, were it ever to be tried, would soon reveal itself to be a life without principle. For prejudices are often built-in principles. They are the extract which the mind has made of experience…” (essay by Richard Weaver)

Source: Life Without Prejudice – The Imaginative Conservative

Indeed. Prejudice, and its close cousin stereotype, does not exist in a vacuum. Prejudice, which simply means “prejudgement,” is most often the fruit of individual or collective experience – a recollection of and response to either one’s own experience, or that of those whom one has reason to trust, or both. It is a process of first learning, and then predicting based upon what one has learned.

Prejudices, like stereotypes, aren’t coming out of nowhere – they do not exist in a vacuum, and even basically false or incorrect ones have at least a grain of truth in them somewhere, else they would not exist. If one has no prejudices, one has either failed to learn from past experience, or one has consciously chosen to set those experiences aside. One may reasonably question whether either is a wise course of action!

This is not a radical (or reactionary) concept, nor is it anything remotely new in the human experience: as this article accurately points out,

“in the controversial literature of a hundred years ago—or even of a couple of generations ago—you do not encounter the sort of waving of the bloody shirt of prejudice that greets you on all sides now. Men did not profess such indignation that other men had differing convictions and viewpoints. They rather expected to encounter these, and to argue with them as best they could.”

In other words, the underlying assumption of socio-political argument – however vehement it may have been in practice – was along the lines of, “I understand that you have these beliefs, these prejudices, but I want to offer evidence to convince you that you’re wrong, or at least to offer additional points to be considered.” People were not, by and large, thought to be horrible human beings simply because they had – quelle horreur! – analyzed and learned from experience, and used that experience to make predictions about other people and events, which might or might not be in error.

Richard Weaver, author of this insightful article, argues that the shift in perception of prejudice as an innate human characteristic – and by and large a helpful one, although one must be open to having one’s presuppositions challenged by facts on the ground – to something unacceptable and anathema stems in large measure from the influence of communism, in its cultural manifestation: that is to say, cultural Marxism.

Weaver points out that this ideology (which, much as Islam is much more than a religion, is much more than an economic system) insinuates itself into a culture, a society, by inducing “a general social skepticism.” Not, he notes,

“that the communists are skeptics themselves. They are the world’s leading dogmatists and authoritarians. But in order to bring about their dogmatic reconstruction of the world they need to produce this skepticism among the traditional believers. They need to make people question the supports of whatever social order they enjoy, to encourage a growing dissatisfaction and a feeling that they have inherited a bad article…

“To this end, what it knows that it must overcome is the binding element, or the cohesive force that holds a society together. For as long as this integrative power remains strong, the radical attack stands refuted and hopeless. This will explain the peculiar virulence with which communists attack those transcendental unifiers like religion, patriotism, familial relationship, and the like.

“It will also explain, if one penetrates the matter shrewdly, why they are so insistent upon their own programs of conformity, leveling, and de-individualization.”

However paradoxical it may appear at first sight, he goes on,

“we find when we examine actual cases that communities create a shared sentiment, a oneness, and a loyalty through selective differentiation of the persons who make them up. A society is a structure with many levels, offices, and roles, and the reason we feel grateful to the idea of society is that one man’s filling his role makes it possible for another to fill his role, and so on…

“[T]oo little attention is given to the fact that society exists in and through its variegation and multiplicity, and when we speak of a society’s ‘breaking down,’ we mean exactly a confusing of these roles, a loss of differentiation, and a consequent waning of the feeling of loyalty [to one another, and to society itself]…

“The point is that their hostility to distinctions of all kinds as we know them in our society conceals a desire to dissolve that society altogether. And we see that practically all traditional distinctions, whether economic, moral, social, or aesthetic, are today under assault as founded on a prejudice.”

Go ahead and read the rest of the essay. It’s worth it!

 

Banning Civil War Re-Enactments Will Only Increase Ignorance, Prejudice | The Federalist

Civil War Reenactors – Confederate

It’s a mistake to ignore the complexities of history in the name of social justice. Obscuring the past will not make our country better or more just.

Source: Banning Civil War Re-Enactments Will Only Increase Ignorance, Prejudice

“The rush to obscure the past will not make our country better and more just. It is a tremendous mistake to refuse to examine the complexities of history in the name of social justice. It is culturally suicidal to reduce life into the binary categories of ‘correct’ and ‘unmentionable.’ Furthermore, it is a mistake to fail to recognize the benefits that historical reenacting can and does bring to America.”

It is truly disgusting, depressing, heart-breaking, and yes, anger-inducing to see the depths to which we have plunged as a society in only a couple of years, to the point that the idea of banning reenactments – living history – is even thinkable.

The ignorance, arrogance, and authoritarian attitudes demonstrated by (some of) those who call themselves “liberal” or “progressive” are a disgrace to the terms. Such people, and such a worldview, have more in common with Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, or today’s ISIS than they do with classical liberalism or progressivism.

And it is appallingly ironic that some of those who claim that it’s possible, even admirable, to be “non-binary” where “gender” is concerned, have no trouble insisting on, as Ms Mussman accurately phrases it, reducing life into the binary categories of “correct” and “unmentionable.” If we continue down this path, we are doomed as a society. Doomed.

In such an environment, this essay by Anna Mussman is a ray of light and hope. Her list of the benefits of reenacting / living history to society are perfectly on-point. Kudos to her for writing this excellent essay! I just wish I didn’t have the sinking feeling that she’s preaching to the choir…