“Tradition is the living river…”

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No, I am not of the Roman observance. But I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Benedict XVI, and I love this statement and agree with it 100%!

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Blighty Boys!

What is a “Blighty Boy”…?

Blighty Boy!

This is a Blighty Boy!

In notable contradistinction to his chief adversary, the distressingly numerous, if decidedly unimpressive, Nu-“Male” (note the quotes), the Blighty Boy is the John Bull of the 21st century. Rule Britannia!

I wish I could claim credit for creating this meme, and the concept it embodies! But alas, I did not. I found it on the internet, and adapted it slightly (the original was “Blighty Boi,” which is way too metrosexual for me) to suit the purposes of The Anglophilic Anglican.

With that change of spelling, The Anglophilic Anglican proudly declares himself a Blighty Boy – at least in principle and philosophy, despite not living in Blighty, and lacking (currently, but hopefully not permanently) “a wholesome, steady relationship.” And I further declare that “Blighty Boys” will be a new category and tag for this blog, referring to traditional English / British culture, viewed from a masculine perspective!

Some (potentially) helpful links and images:

Parliamentary sovereignty: actually, I believe in the sovereignty of the Sovereign: the Monarch, currently Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II – health and long life to her! But I can get onboard with the Sovereignty of Queen-in-Parliament… formally, in the UK, “Queen [or King] in Parliament under God.”

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Roast Dinner with seasonal, local produce – the latter recipes are a bit fancy, but hey! I’m a bit of a “foodie”…

Book of Common Prayer Service, plus an explanation of why “The Book of Common Prayer Is Still A Big Deal.”

The Book of Common Prayer Is Still a Big Deal

“Rugged, strong hands… Works on the land, in industry, or serving society in a useful way.”

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“Applauds Army parades and stands to attention for the National Anthem.”

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The “obligations [the class system] places on the privileged“:

“Paternalism is a much-discredited word these days, but it ought to be remembered that the old, aristocratic ideal of society, however much it involved one side knowing its place and another exercising an arbitrary authority, relied on re-distributing a small part of your largesse to those less fortunately situated… Noblesse continues to oblige, and in a world full of new, tax-avoiding, prole-hating, obligation-avoiding money, old, duty-conscious, stately-home money can sometimes seem a very desirable friend to cultivate.”

Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, was a scion of old-school aristocracy which is still bound by the concept of ‘noblesse oblige’Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, was a scion of old-school aristocracy which is still bound by the concept of ‘noblesse oblige’ (Christopher Thomond/The Guardian)

“Drinks loose-leaf tea with whole milk.”

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Impressive collection of Airfix models:

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“Loves a cheeky pint…”

How Did America Become a Nation of Slobs? | Intellectual Takeout

How Did America Become a Nation of Slobs?

Are we rebelling against the idea of beauty and culture? Or are we just too lazy to pull on a pair of slacks instead of wearing the sweats we slept in?

Source: How Did America Become a Nation of Slobs? | Intellectual Takeout

“What does our own sloppy dress tell us about ourselves? Are we too pressed for time to dress a little up rather than way down? Are we rebelling against the idea of beauty and culture? Or are we just too lazy to pull on a pair of slacks instead of wearing the sweats we slept in?”

I confess, I am sometimes guilty of prioritizing comfort over appearance, myself, but even so, I do have standards. In recent years, I have largely ditched the jeans – comfy as they undoubtedly are – for all except informal occasions (such as County Fairs!), weekends or an evening spent lounging around the house, or projects. Ditto t-shirts.

When it comes to employment, as a driver education instructor, Oxford shirt, tie, and blazer is a bit too dressy (and impractical) for 8-to-10 hours in the car, but khakis – albeit often a more refined version of “cargo”-style ones (those pockets come in handy!) – and polo or button-down shirts are my more typical attire.

I also confess, I have long wondered why we – by which I mean, the larger culture, not every individual in it – seem to have lost the ability to dress, look, and act “respectable.” Clothing is only part of the issue, of course, but it is a part, and an important one. Like it or not, first impressions count; people do make snap judgements based on what someone looks like, and that includes how they dress.

Beyond that, it’s also a matter of self-respect, as well as respect for others, and for the community / public square itself. For myself, I find that I often hear my mother’s voice, whispering in my ear, reminding me to, as she put it, “put your best foot forward.” That is still good advice, in my opinion!

Unmoored Freedom is No Freedom – A Reflection on the 4th of July | Community in Mission

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To most modern minds, freedom is a very detached concept; it is an abstraction of sorts, a free-floating power unmoored from any limits or defining standards.

“Freedom today is often viewed as personal and self-referential, with little consideration as to how one’s ‘freedom’ might affect that of someone else. A healthy sense of the common good suffers mightily in a world of deeply conflicting personal freedoms.”

Source: Unmoored Freedom is No Freedom – A Reflection on the 4th of July | Community in Mission

Cogent thoughts on freedom, limitation, and the folly of trying to create (or maintain) culture without cultus.

“Obviously, the word cultus is at the heart of the word culture. In Latin, a cultus is something for which we care or about which we are concerned; it is something of worth, something considered valuable. It describes the most central, fundamental values of a group. In later Latin, cultus came to describe the worth or value we attribute to God, who is our truest goal.

“Remove the cultus from culture and you get the breakdown we are seeing today. While pluralism and diversity have value, they must exist within a framework that is shared and agreed upon. Otherwise pluralism and diversity are unmoored and become like ships crashing about in a stormy bay.

“In order for a culture to exist, there must be a shared cultus, a shared focus on what is good, true, beautiful, and sacred. Our modern experiment shows the failure of trying to have a culture without this.”

There are just a few excerpts; the entire article is well worth reading. Here is a bit more, a quote from (Roman Catholic) Bishop Robert Barron:

“The setting aside of God can take place both explicitly (as in the musings of the atheists) or implicitly (as in so much of the secular world where “practical” atheism holds sway). In either case the result is a shutting down of the natural human drive toward the transcendent and, even more dangerously, the elevation of self-determining freedom to a position of unchallenged primacy…

“On the typically modern reading, truth is construed as an enemy to freedom—which explains precisely why we find such a hostility to truth in the contemporary culture. Indeed, anyone who claims to have the truth—especially in regard to moral matters—is automatically accused of arrogance and intolerance.

“Society will be restored to balance and sanity, (Pope) Benedict (XVI) argued, only when the natural link between freedom and truth — especially the Truth which is God — is reestablished. … Behind all our arguments about particular moral and political issues is a fundamental argument about the centrality of God” [Vibrant Paradoxes, pp. 217-218].

Indeed. At root, much of the trouble we are facing today, as a society, can be traced to the Enlightenment project of topping God as the center and pinnacle of our musings, striving, and contemplation, and the Good, the True, and the Beautiful – the pursuit of which lead us to God, as their Source and culmination – as the desirable goals of a human life well-lived – and replacing both Him and them with the deification of unaided human reason (*), and later, emotion and self-gratification.

Lacking that solid anchor and reference point, is it any wonder that we have become “like ships crashing about in a stormy bay”?

 


 

* Human reason is indeed one of the most precious gifts of our benevolent Creator, an extremely valuable human faculty. But because we are finite, limited, mortal human beings, our human reason is also finite, limited, and mortal. It is not intended, nor is it possible, to function alone, unaided by what the Anglican tradition names as Scripture and Tradition.

That is to say, the revelation of God as revealed in Scripture, Nature, and Antiquity: the latter referring to the theological and philosophical insights of those who have come before, especially those which are clearly part of the Great Tradition of Christianity, into which certain of the great Classical philosophers – such as Plato and Aristotle – have been incorporated, because they have foreshadowed it, because their thought illuminates, explicates, or complements parts of it, or all of the above).

To function and flourish properly, human reason also requires the water and fertilizer of not only Divine revelation (as shown through the Scriptures), but prayer – both personal and extemporaneous, and liturgical, through what the Anglican tradition calls “Common Prayer” – and the sacraments. As this essay points out,

“Freedom can only exist in a healthy and productive way when it is in reference to the truth — and truth is rooted in God and what He has revealed in creation, Sacred Scripture, and Tradition. This is the cultus necessary for every culture. True and healthy freedom is the capacity to obey God. Anything that departs from this necessary framework is a deformed freedom, on its way to chaos and slavery.”

To be effective, therefore, and to be whole persons, in a right relationship to God and to one another – to be truly free, in other words, both personally and in the context of our social organization – we need not just reason, but sanctified reason. Even at that, we sometimes (often) fall short! Without it, we are indeed “ships crashing about in a stormy bay,” with little or no hope of reaching a safe harbor.

 


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There’s a Nationalist Baby Boom Going On in Europe!!! | YouTube

Source: There’s a Nationalist Baby Boom Going On in Europe!!! | Dr. Steve Turley

In which Steve Turley completely and convincingly debunks the absurd claim that migrants are needed to bolster Europe’s sagging population. Not so! What is needed is a “re-traditionalism,” the kind of nationalist-populist revival that is increasingly being seen in places like Hungary, Poland, and Russia.

This is not rocket science: when people believe in themselves and their people, when they have respect for their past and hope, energy, and ambition for the future, they will naturally want to have more children! When they are being led to believe (by the so-called “elites” of the media, politics, and academia) that they are worthless if not actually blameworthy, and destined to be replaced, why would they want to?

Ah, but when they honour their people, their ancestors, their cultural and genetic heritage, that’s another story! What you honour, you wish to pass on, as Turley comments:

“This is why scholars believe Europe is not lost! The nationalist movements throughout the continent are re-awakening the traditional family, which is effectively reversing its [Europe’s] population decline, and it’s reversing the population decline with good, conservative families that love their nation, their culture, and their tradition. That’s why they’re having children in the first place!”

Demographic deficits can be reversed, and – as Eastern European countries are demonstrating – they can be reversed effectively and relatively quickly if people are simply given hope for the future, and a reason to want to pass their heritage, genetic as well as cultural, on to their descendants.

And as Turley points out, it is the traditionalists, populists, and nationalists who have that fire, not the secular globalists: jaded, pessimistic, hedonistic, narcissistic, and frequently nihilistic and degenerate as they are.

May the fire grow and spread!

 


Do you appreciate and/or enjoy these posts, and want to support The Anglophilic Anglican in my defense of Western Christendom, and enjoyment of Western culture and civilization?

Then please consider supporting me on Patreon!

Many thanks in advance.

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…

Architectural Revival – Return to Tradition

Architectural Revival – places of the past

Architectural Revival shares this and comments,

We live in an age where the most beautiful places are those which show the least evidence of our time.

The buildings of the present cannot rival the beauty of our ancestors. We must revive those traditions which have proved to serve us so well down the centuries.

I concur. Sadly, with the critique, and enthusiastically, with the prescription!