Nation-states, happiness, identity, and rootlessness

“The nation state has taken the place of God. Responsibilities for education, healing and public welfare which had formerly rested with the Church devolved more and more upon the nation state … National governments are widely assumed to be responsible for and capable of providing those things which former generations thought only God could provide – freedom from fear, hunger, disease and want – in a word: “happiness”.”

― Lesslie Newbigin, The Other Side of 1984

There is, I think, a great deal of truth to this!

The problem is magnified still further now, though, by the fact that nation-states are under attack by stateless globalism which seeks to supersede them, and that claims to be driven by “progressive values” – but in fact is driven largely by economics (the progressives who have allied themselves with globalism are among the “useful idiots” of whom Stalin spoke, back in Soviet days).

Nation-states at least are / were somewhat organic, in most cases relatively local, with their own identity and cohesion. They share(d) ties of language, culture, ethnicity, and often, religion. Globalism promotes – ostensibly in the name of “equality,” but actually because it makes people easier to manipulate – a stateless, rootless, amorphous mass of humanity, entirely lacking in cohesion, identity, and therefore the ability to successfully resist the strings of the puppeteers.

Now, the globalists may one day learn that a tool sometimes turns in the hand of its wielder; that amorphous mob may one day turn on them! But the result seems unlikely to be a return to “normalcy” as it used to be understood – depending, of course, on how far things have degenerated by then – but rather a further descent into a newer and truer Dark Age. I fear for the future of humanity…

HRH The Prince of Wales – “Recovery of the soul”

HRH Prince Charles - Recovery of the soul

I do not agree with everything Prince Charles has to say, but in this I believe His Royal Highness is 100% correct. When I do agree with him, it usually has to do with architecture, agriculture, or tradition!

Traditional vs modern society

Traditional vs modern society

One of the reasons that I am a traditionalist.

Please note: this does not mean that traditional societies were, or healthy societies ought to be, static or stagnant. There was, is, and ought to be a dynamic equilibrium, incorporating ebb and flow, travel and interchange, etc.

But what is rejected – and what I reject – is the absurd notion that “change is good,” that change for its own sake should be the norm, and the preferred option.

Change is not good! Not intrinsically. Good change can be good, but the burden of proof is on those who desire the change, to demonstrate how and why it will be good, and that the difficulties and challenges that accompany it – for there will always be those – do not outweigh the benefits.

Stability, balance, equilibrium: these are the things that make for stable, peaceful, and long-lasting societies. Without a great deal of caution and care, change can result in chaos, and chaos is more likely to be destructive than otherwise.

“Wisdom of the Ages” – Anthony Esolen

Esolen-Anthony-at-Hillsdale-College-2012-1280x450

Here is a quick and generally reliable rule to follow. If people have always said it, it is probably true; it is the distilled wisdom of the ages. If people have not always said it, but everybody is saying it now, it is probably a lie; it is the concentrated madness of the moment.

~ Anthony Esolen, noted Dante scholar, professor of literature and Western civilization (currently at Thomas More College), and author of many books, including Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization.

 

Wisdom from Livy – the study of history

Titus Livius – Livy

” The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind, for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see, and in that record you can find for yourself and your country both examples and warnings: fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through, to avoid.”

~ Titus Livius, better known as Livy: Roman historian, 59 BC-17 AD