Bitter irony

I am proud of the level of discourse my colleagues maintain at the Orthosphere.  The focus is on the highest things and the biggest questions, and the tone is serene and charitable.  I hate to spoil this, but being a blogger, sometimes temptation gets the better of me.  Below are some rants about the world underneath Heaven, and the tone is cynical to despairing because nothing I see prompts any better feeling.  Now you can’t say you haven’t been warned.
  • The dilemma of being a culture warrior:  all the battles that really matter were lost before I was born.
  • When I was a kid, all of the idealists (activists, “crusading” journalists, “courageous” intellectuals) were on the side of the commies, but capitalism had one thing going for it:  it was better at generating lots of cheap consumer goods.  They could beat us on any appeal to principle (because no respectable person would espouse a principle that doesn’t logically lead to communism), but we beat them on sheer economic success.  Now, we’re the economic failure, and everything we buy is made by godless Chinese communists.  On the other hand, the idealists have switched sides–losing interest in Chinese communism when it turned from a bloodbath into a success–to promoting Western immorality.  Now that we’re more evil, we seem to be more respectable in the eyes of the professionally righteous.
  • Liberalism’s biggest danger today is that white people will stop being sufficiently racist.  After all, whites must first identify with their coethnics, their pale-skinned ancestors, before they can feel properly ashamed of them.  If a white man stops thinking of himself as white, his sense of indebtedness to the Negro disappears.  For the system to work, the white man had better not be allowed to fashion his own identity, as liberalism encourages everyone else to do.  Our enemies are in danger of forgetting that race is a social construct.
  • Past history was a struggle between principle and debauchery.  Corruption was followed by reform and so on.  Man being inclined to sin but called to fellowship with God, neither could totally vanquish the other.  Then liberalism made debauchery itself into a principle and became therefore unstoppable.  If you publicly criticize promiscuity, you will be confronted not just or even primarily by those motivated to defend the current laxity by personal lust.  You will face the moral outrage of the populace, who will accuse you of violating a sacred principle (tolerance/women can do no wrong).
  • I don’t see this confrontation between the United States and Iran ending well.  On the one side, there is a belligerent and unpredictable state in the grips of a chiliastic ideology that thinks it can bring about the eschaton through military force.  On the other side, there is Iran, which has to somehow deal with us lunatics.
  • Barack Obama is the most ideologically evil president America has ever had.  He’s an abortion extremist, a sodomy advocate, and so zealous a proponent of immorality that he would force Christian organizations to subsidize college students’ fornications.  And yet, Republicans will only attack him for his critique of individualism (“you didn’t build that!”) and for insufficient belligerence toward foreign powers.  In other words, the only things they will point to are Obama’s comparative virtues.
  • Romney is probably right that sticking it to the 47% and bombing Iran, although stupid and reprehensible, is a more electable message than opposing the baby-killing, Christian-persecuting, slut-walking feminists, but what does that say about the people he wants to lead?  Few appreciate how much mainstream conservatives do to delegitimate conservatism.  By officially taking a righteous policy, e.g. opposing abortion, and then refusing to defend or even acknowledge it in campaigning and debates, but acting ashamed of that policy, one communicates to voters that the policy in question is rationally, morally indefensible.  Yes, we now live in a country where not only do most people think that Catholics should be coerced into subsidizing fornication and conjugal desecration, but one where it is impossible for most to imagine that there could be any argument against this policy.
  • About Paul Ryan, I actually kind of sympathize with the Catholic Left.  Isn’t being a devotee of the satanic Ayn Rand a hundred times worse than belonging to Jeremiah Wright’s church?  Not that I think that Ryan is secretly a hard-core Randian, but aren’t we entitled to a major speech in which he totally renounces her and all her works and all her empty promises?  Public denunciations of atheist and individualist ideologies are a very beneficial thing, and we’re throwing away a great opportunity for one here.
  • So women are better adapted to our “post-industrial economy” than men?  If I were a woman, I’d be ashamed of my sex.  May God strike me dead if I ever find myself to be well adapted to the modern world.
  • The curse of the Wandering Jew:  becoming immortal doesn’t make you feel more permanent; it just makes everything around you seem transient.  Ahasuerus lived to see his descendants dead and his nation obliterated.  There are things that should be solid, that should envelope a man’s lifespan, stretching beyond it to the venerable past and the assured future.  I see the Christian Church, two millennia old, collapsing before my eyes; the moral code that was still dominant when I was born is now not only displaced but despised, itself regarded as the ultimate evil.  How little will be left when I die?  Will I lose my daughter to this culture?  And how terribly difficult it will be for her if I don’t!  Will there be any orthodox priests left when I need Last Rites?  And how painful Sundays will be in the coming decades as the apostasy continues.  When I’m worm food, will there be anyone left to hate Voltaire, Garibaldi, and the other enemies of Christ?  Will my moral universe die with me?  Hopefully I will die before becoming last reactionary.  I am 36 years old, but like poor Ahasuerus I have lived too long.

39 thoughts on “Bitter irony

  1. I am ashamed of my sex, so much that I sometimes wonder, “Perhaps I am a misogynst!” This post is utterly depressing. Let us not lose hope!

  2. I’m the last one to be inclined toward soothing replies. Also, I agree with some parts of your venting and disagree with other parts. I’ve been reading Augustine’s City of God. There is alot of bitterness in that book too. I’m not sure how to sum up his whole message. But I don’t think he feared that Christianity would die out. But look at the world he faced–the world he in fact describes in a great deal of detail and is frequently absolutely appalled by. Is our time really more decadent than his?

  3. I see the Christian Church…

    As opposed to the Buddhist one? Aw, you too, Bonald? I understand the Orthosphere’s need for delicacy when talking about icky earthly institutions, but couldn’t you rather have just left this one bullet point out?

    Otherwise very much appreciate reading your thoughts here.

    • If I had just said “the Church”, people would have assumed I meant exclusively the Catholic Church. This is my primary concern, but the decline of the Protestant bodies also saddens me. It would be one thing if our children were leaving Catholicism to become Lutherans, but that’s not what’s happening. They’re becoming atheist hedonists.

      • Well, the Protestant bodies also aren’t two thousand years old. I realize this is not nearly the main thrust of what you were posting here, but it seems important. If it’s a subject that’s necessary to avoid for the sake of what’s meant to be accomplished through the Orthosphere, then let’s truly avoid it, but let’s not be mushy. My knowledge of the reactionary forbears is pitiful compared to yours, and so I am ready to stand corrected, but would they not have pitted their lives upon the belief that to say “the Catholic Church” and “the Church” ought to be able to be expressed as one and the same?

        I don’t know, I think I need to enact a comment moratorium upon myself. I am feeling too much like a pesky gnat.

      • For what it’s worth, bonald, if you had said simply “the Church,” I would have taken you to mean the House whose members can all say the Nicene Creed – or even the Apostle’s Creed – without inward cavil or equivocation. I.e., of all those who call themselves Christians, howsoever denominated, about, what, 5%? 20%, on the outside?

    • Well, the Protestant bodies also aren’t two thousand years old. …

      I suppose that’s true in at least two senses:
      1) the Protestant bureaucracies aren’t two thousand years old, as The One True Bureaucracy amusingly claims to be, with the implied odd assertion that that fact would have some moral significance were it true.
      2) Protestantism, as an -ism, being grounded in the Bible as the Word of God, rather than in a wholly circular self-justification, is pushing four thousand years of age.

      • Why is history so hard for Bible-thumpers? Maybe this is why we they’re so gun-hoe about Zionism. They want to ensure the destruction of the historic Churches in the Mideast.

      • Yes because a fusion of bible thumperism and classical liberalism is so much more interesting. Why its never been tried before! Yawn.

  4. Bonald, I have yet to meet an ex-reactionary who has rejected Christ; plenty of mega church evangelicals, and cafeteria Catholics, yes, but no reactionaries.

    All the reactionaries I know are Latin mass Catholics or hardcore Calvinists, and they all seem to have 4+ kids and keep them in the faith. We reactionaries may be < 0.1% of the population, but we seem to be keeping our kids in the faith and that is something to be very thankful for.

    We must also remember that the current regime is unsustainable. We may face great persecution in the next few hundred years, but feminism and secularism cannot survive the weight of their excesses.

    I definitely share your pessimism for the next several generations, but there is reason to be positive in the long term, and reason to be ecstatic about the day when Jesus returns.

  5. Will there be any orthodox priests left when I need Last Rites? And how painful Sundays will be in the coming decades as the apostasy continues.

    I’d say the younger priests tend to be more conservative than their elders. This is now even making itself felt among the ranks of the episcopacy (at least here in England). There’s a saying that liberal priests used to refuse to elevate the Host for ideological reasons, whereas now they just don’t do it because of their arthritis.

    Something similar is happening among the laity, to the discomfort of some clergy. The British conservative Catholic commentator, Damian Thompson, has this to say:

    “Those youngsters who once went to church out of obligation are now spending Sunday mornings in the supermarket or the gym (body worship is a flourishing faith). That means that the only young people in the pews are true believers who really want to be there.

    If you’re a “go-ahead” bishop, [priest] or diocesan bureaucrat, this is a scary development. You’ve spent your career reducing the hard truths of Christ’s teaching – such as the inevitability of the Last Judgment – to carbon-neutral platitudes. Suddenly, the 20-year-olds in your flock are saying: no thanks, we’ll take the hard truths. Eek!”

    • The priests are improving incrementally, but by virtue of attrition (as you hint), not so much any substantive improvement in the environment. Seminaries still teach lunacy (and refuse to teach Latin, as I learned to my horror when a seminarian friend told me it was an elective he probably wouldn’t take).

      Is it much comfort if the quality of priests improves a hundredfold, only because of a hundredfold collapse in the number of priests?

      • The decline in vocations is a sad development (though I’ve rarely regretted not following my youthful vocation to become a Dominican). I was in Holy Mother Ireland last month, and I was shocked to see that there were only about 13 vocations this year in the entire country. The decline of Latin is also desperately sad because it cuts off new priests from an entire literature as well as the whole body of pre-Vatican II doctrine.

        One does hear stories of seminarians searching out the old books in the seminary libraries to find out for themselves the traditional teachings that their liberal professors won’t tell them. I don’t endorse a traditionalist approach to doctrine (obviously), but I do find it rather dishonest to just ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist, as many modern churchmen do.

      • That is also one of the most disturbing developments I have noticed. In High School I took Latin because it meant something more than just credits; Latin seemed to be the embodiment of our faith, people, and culture. For the Church to reject that is to reject their past and thus become Leftists.

  6. Pingback: The Thinking Housewife › Rand and Ryan

  7. Ryan has already said he rejects Objectivism, just that Rand had some influence on his thinking growing up (as it does for certain younger cons in a liberal environment, though i dunno if that describes where he lived.) and honestly it’s beyond laughable that the “Catholic Left” would make an issue of this when they hate their own church as much as Rand hated religion. of course it’s really just about supposed “hypocrisy” for them, AKA the worst sin in the world.

    anyway. i get this desire to constantly be to the right of the GOP, but sometimes y’all grasp for straws.

  8. Then liberalism made debauchery itself into a principle and became therefore unstoppable.

    For me, that one sentence disposed of my long-held (in the background) belief of a system that channels private vice into public virtue. Vice is like the One Ring–using it at all (even for good) eventually corrupts everything,

  9. “Will I lose my daughter to this culture? And how terribly difficult it will be for her if I don’t!”…..I am already losing mine, and it is painful to watch.

  10. “Our enemies are in danger of forgetting that race is a social construct.”

    No, they don’t believe that at all. They just say this to justify sticking it to whites. Race is real and it matters.

    or were you being facetious?

    • Social constructs are real and they matter. Sure, there is a biological, genetic meaning of race, but who cares about that? All that matters is who you identify with and who other people identify you with. If a man thinks of himself as black and everyone else goes along with it, he is black in the only socially important sense.

      • Humans demonstrably have many, many more genetic subgroups than the number of races recognized in English-language discourse. Try to keep track of the shifting referent every time a leftist says “brown people.”

      • If one takes Cavalli-Sforza’s science seriously (as opposed to his ideology), there may be as many as 100 human subspecies (races). The differences among them are physiological, behavioral, intellectual and morphological. Some of these differences affect the actual conduct of medicine and education, among other activities. So, the social construct is important, but it is not the only important aspect of race.

    • Humans demonstrably have many, many more genetic subgroups than the number of races recognized in English-language discourse.

      The word ‘race’ isn’t even primarily about “color” (or, slightly more accuratately put, it isn’t primarily about general continental origins); it isn’t even necessarily about biology. Thus, and not all that long ago, people would speak of “the English race” or “the German race” … and of “the race of fishmongers”.

  11. The fact that we reactionaries are a despised minority, and that we orthodox Catholics are on board as the Church sinks into apostasy and dissolution, fill me with joy. I don’t know about you guys, but I love to fight, and the thought of being the Lone Hero makes the battle even sweeter.

    Look, folks: either God will deliver us from the Revolution or He won’t. If He won’t, then let’s die heroically in battle against the Revolution, like the men and women of the Chouannerie. Likewise: either God will preserve His Church against the gates of Hell, or He won’t. If he won’t, and the gates of Hell prevail, then Jesus Christ was a liar and a fraud and we’re all doomed anyway.

    I prefer to believe Jesus was in fact God, and as such never spoke anything but truth. and bearing that in mind, I believe He will preserve His Church, even if all seems lost.

    It’s going to get bad. We Christians have had it too soft for too long. The bad guys may drive us back on every front. It may come down to one Catholic, one Orthodox, and an evangelical (probably a Baptist) standing back to back with drawn swords as all the armies of Hell close in. If so, good. However God chooses to deliver them, it will be truly spectacular!

    Despair and despondency? Screw that. Such thoughts are unworthy of a Viking, much less a Christian white man. Unsheathe your blade, Men of the West, and charge the Teeth of Mordor!

  12. We sing this one at my little Lutheran church from time to time, and I can never make it all the way through.

    Behold a host, arrayed in white,
    Like thousand snow clad mountains bright,
    With palms they stand. Who is this band
    Before the throne of light?
    Lo, these are they of glorious fame
    Who from the great affliction came
    And in the flood of Jesus’ blood
    Are cleansed from guilt and blame.
    Now gathered in the holy place
    Their voices they in worship raise,
    Their anthems swell where God doth dwell,
    Mid angels’ song of praise.

    Despised and scorned, they sojourned here;
    But now, how glorious they appear!
    Those martyrs stand a priestly band,
    God’s throne forever near.
    So oft, in troubled days gone by,
    In anguish they would weep and sigh.
    At home above the God of Love
    For aye their tears shall dry.
    They now enjoy their Sabbath rest,
    The paschal banquet of the blest;
    The Lamb, their Lord, at festal board
    Himself is Host and Guest.

    Then hail, ye mighty legions, yea,
    All hail! Now safe and blest for aye,
    And praise the Lord, who with His Word
    Sustained you on the way.
    Ye did the joys of earth disdain,
    Ye toiled and sowed in tears and pain.
    Farewell, now bring your sheaves and sing
    Salvation’s glad refrain.
    Swing high your palms, lift up your song,
    Yea, make it myriad voices strong.
    Eternally shall praise to Thee,
    God, and the Lamb belong.

  13. OT: Have I mentioned how much I hate nested comments? I generally follow at least tens of comment threads at a time around the blogosphere, and nested comments make the process far less efficient, for me. I also find that the fact that people don’t have to quote the person they are responding to makes for less edifying discussion overall: not a comment about this blog in particular, but the format in general.

  14. Pingback: Fleming on Rand « The Orthosphere

  15. Ah, brother, I lost your blog when you moved over here.

    Don’t lose faith in the young millenials; we are far from the last Reactionaries – we are the first in generations, and the young men and women I see fill me with hope.

  16. Pingback: How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty | Traditionalist Teenager


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