A word on behalf of the nihilists

Mark Richardson believes that defeatists, whom he accuses of espousing a practical equivalent of nihilism, are dragging down the traditionalist movement; their influence, he thinks, must be curbed.  The reasons for this are not hard to guess:  defeatists dismiss any needful action as futile, and they thus demoralize the movement.  I agree that no group can afford to embrace the view that all its actions are pointless.  However, not all defeatists do this, while some optimists inadvertently do do it.  Let me therefore say a word for the defeatists and ask that some of us be allowed to remain among your ranks.

I admit, you see, that I am pleading on my own behalf.  I am convinced that the ultimate victory of liberalism–together with the destruction of the family as well as all religions and ethnic identities–is inevitable.  What’s more, I am sure that, once achieved, this victory will be lasting.  The endpoint after the Enemy’s victory, roughly the world portrayed by the novel Brave New World, will be vile but stable.  Man’s soul can shrink to fit into such a condition; he can become unconscious of his degradation, his sensibilities so underdeveloped that he cannot comprehend the moral case against it.  I’ve lived in liberal enclaves for much of my life, and I’ve seen it:  liberalism works.  Now, this is not the place to try to convince you that these beliefs are true.  In fact, I don’t want to convince you that they are true.  My realizing them is a curse to me, a spiritual burden that I would not want others to share.  The question is, do such beliefs mean that I regard all action on our part as pointless?

In fact I don’t; I think the actions we take now are crucially important.  Although liberalism will ultimately triumph everywhere, our actions can potentially delay its victory over any particular community.  And this is a very important thing.  After all, no one would say that because all men are mortal that the work of doctors is futile.  If a treatment gives the patient years more of healthy life, the doctor should rightly feel that his work has been meaningful.  The work of a conservative is, like a doctor, one of preservation.  Like men, peoples are mortal, but their preservation for a time is not thereby pointless.  Thus, even in the temporal realm, slowing the victory of liberalism is a worthy goal.  For Christians, the stakes are higher.  During the time that we delay liberalism’s triumph, many men and women will die, and of those we may hope that many who have not been corrupted by the Enemy will be saved.  Liberalism is a factory of damnation.  It teaches people to rebel against God as a matter of principle; it keeps their knowledge of the faith limited enough to make it look contemptible but complete enough to make everyone’s participation in the rebellion real, so that no one can be saved by invincible ignorance.  Delaying the final triumph of liberalism by ten years may mean thousands of souls going to heaven who would not otherwise have been saved, and this would be to achieve a permanent good.

In fact, the bleaker the situation, the stronger one’s personal incentive to join the fight.  The Orthodox can take comfort in the resurgence of piety and moral sanity in Russia, and Protestants know that although most of their denominations have succumbed, a few conservative sects remain healthy.  Even the Anglicans can point to their thriving African Church.  I, however, am a Roman Catholic, and have no such comforts.  My religion is already ruined in most places, and it is collapsing everywhere.  The end is imminent, so the actions of orthodox Catholics are especially crucial now.  They may determine whether orthodox Catholicism ceases to exist (in the sense of living in communities and not just in isolated individuals) in my daughter’s generation, in my grandchildren’s, or in the generation after (and, if God is merciful, after my death).  Whether or not this matter is of any “ultimate” importance, it is certainly very important to me personally.  What’s more, the tactics I would recommend for prolonging the existence of orthodox Catholicism are the same as those Mr. Richardson would recommend to promote traditionalism:  intellectual attacks on liberalism and small community-building.

We defeatists can be more generous in our regard for previous generations of conservatives.  I often read that conservatism to date has been a failure because it never succeeds in conserving anything, that it only slows the advance of Leftism.  I, however, regard slowing the advance of Leftism as no mean feat.  I suspect this is the best anyone could do, and we should all show a little gratitude for not living in a world where conservatism hadn’t slowed the Left’s conquests.

In fact, inaction on the Right is motivated at least as often by unjustified optimism as by justified despair.  I sense that many of my colleagues comfort themselves with the thought that liberalism is somehow intrinsically unstable, that it must destroy the conditions of its own existence, that the truth about sex, race, and the sacred ultimately cannot be denied forever.  If this is true, then we have that much less motivation to jeopardize our own careers and social standings by being visibly too far ahead of the curve.  (Think about it:  nowadays everyone in the West pretty much admits that communism was evil, but the people who were most unequivocal about it early on–e.g. the John Birch Society–are still regarded as kooks, while fellow travelers are still admired for their idealism in promoting atheist tyranny.)  In fact, if liberalism is ultimately doomed on its own, we should rather direct all our energies toward positioning our respective traditions to maximize their power after its fall.  I should, for example, use my blog posts not to attack liberalism but to attack Protestantism, because the latter would be a credible rival to the Catholic Church in a post-liberal world.  I, however, do not believe that this is our situation at all.  If I were to learn that, in a century’s time, Protestant Christianity will inherit the Western world, I would be ecstatically happy.  This would be much better than any scenario that I think plausible.

In yesterday’s gospel, Jesus was asked whether only a few would be saved.  He wisely dodged the question, because any answer would be demoralizing.  If we knew that few are saved, we would be tempted to despair.  If we knew that most are saved, we would be tempted the complacency.  “Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.”  None of us can help having an opinion about the likelihood of an ultimate victory over liberalism, and although some of these opinions will necessarily turn out to be wrong, those who hold them can still be valuable reactionaries if they avoid their temptations to despair or complacency, at least well enough to put their hearts in the fight.

52 thoughts on “A word on behalf of the nihilists

    • Your “left singularity” thesis misses one important factor, and that is the stabilizing influence of the entrenched bureaucracy. Brezhnevism can be a very stable and long-lasting system, no matter how crazy and extreme the ideology that the bureaucracy is theoretically in charge of implementing. I see no reason why the present system couldn’t go on indefinitely this way.

      • Vladimir wrote:

        > Your “left singularity” thesis misses one important factor, and that is the stabilizing influence of the entrenched bureaucracy. Brezhnevism can be a very stable and long-lasting system, no matter how crazy and extreme the ideology that the bureaucracy is

        But it was not a stable and long lasting system.

        When Brezhnevism first appeared, I soon concluded its doom was imminent. And so it came to pass..

      • @James A. Donald
        I think the soviet system was quite robust. The only weakness was the time after death of old leader and before new leader had established his power by replacing old bureaucracy and redirecting the wealth flows for his needs. Gorbatchov for some reasons did not bring this process to succesful end. China, however, is an example that it works.
        Ironically, the process of carrying over the power in former USSR resembles (in distorted way) Catholique Church which certainly is long-lasting institution.

      • > I think the soviet system was quite robust.

        Yet it collapsed.

        > The only weakness was the time after death of old leader and before new leader had established his power by replacing old bureaucracy and redirecting the wealth flows for his needs.

        Yet I correctly predicted the imminent collapse during the Brezhnev years, as did others.

        Official Harvard ideology at the time was that the Soviet Union was great, successful, powerful and winning, but it was obvious to me and others at the time that this official belief was frothing at the mouth moonbat crazy, that Harvard and Washington were in denial. The Soviet Union was dying. No one believed the holy faith any more, and on the periphery, on the outskirts of empire, people were ceasing to fear.

        Because the outer reaches of empire were growing restive, Brezhnev was forced to increase military expenditure from levels that the Soviet Union could not possibly afford or sustain, to even higher levels that were even less sustainable. It was basic economics. The economic knowledge of captured capitalists was being lost and not replaced, their factories were deteriorating. They could no longer afford to hold their subjects down, and their subjects, especially on the outer most fringes of empire, were starting to realize it. This was glaringly obvious to a great many people, though not, however, to Harvard and Washington. No one in academia could say it, but people outside academia and government employment could, and did, say it.

        Gorbatchov for some reasons did not bring this process to succesful end. China, however, is an example that it works.

        Ironically, the process of carrying over the power in former USSR resembles (in distorted way) Catholique Church which certainly is long-lasting institution.

      • @ James A. Donald
        I agree that central planning leads to economic breakdown but I was referring to soviet bureaucracy as pointed out by Vladimir above.
        I don’t think the fall of soviet regime is a matter of basic economy though economic decline played its part. China did not collapse and chinese economy was even worse I guess. N. Korea or Cuba further illustrate this point.
        There were no rebellions against communists in former Ost-block, no strong and organized political opposition (with rare exceptions like Poland). For example, in former Czechoslovakia people were generally satisfied, dissidents under control and there were military bases of Red Army in the country. It’s not at all clear why the regime collapsed so quickly. Using force it could last much longer.

      • RT commented on A word on behalf of the nihilists.

        > I don’t think the fall of soviet regime is a matter of basic economy though economic decline played its part. China did not collapse and chinese economy was even worse I guess. N. Korea or Cuba further illustrate this point.

        The Soviet Union was spending more than it could afford on weapons, and then,under Brezhnev, when the periphery of empire started to get truculent, proceeded to spend even more on weapons.

        That is economics.

        Economics alone will not bring down a regime. Economics plus opponents that are willing to make trouble will bring down a regime.

      • Because the outer reaches of empire were growing restive, Brezhnev was forced to increase military expenditure from levels that the Soviet Union could not possibly afford or sustain, to even higher levels that were even less sustainable. It was basic economics. The economic knowledge of captured capitalists was being lost and not replaced, their factories were deteriorating. They could no longer afford to hold their subjects down, and their subjects, especially on the outer most fringes of empire, were starting to realize it.

        Internal pressure did not cause the great increase in military expenditure. It was external pressure – from Washington.

        The reason they could not afford their military expenditure was, again, Washington, which drove down the price of oil (the primary source of Soviet hard currency earnings) thus crippling the Soviet empire economically.

        The USSR did not commit suicide, it was murdered.

        It’s not at all clear why the regime collapsed so quickly.

        Again, pressure from Washington.

        Needless to say, there is no “Washington” outside the current liberal system that exerts any meaningful pressure on it.

      • Internal pressure did not cause the great increase in military expenditure. It was external pressure – from Washington.

        The unsustainable increase in military spending happened under Brezhnev – when Washington was doing everything possible to prop up the Soviet Empire and discourage resistance.

        Reagan saw weakness and pushed on it, and quite possibly the Soviet Empire would have staggered on a lot longer without Reagan – but it was staggering and visibly doomed before Reagan. If Reagan kicked their legs out from under them, it was because he saw their legs were shaking.

      • The unsustainable increase in military spending happened under Brezhnev – when Washington was doing everything possible to prop up the Soviet Empire and discourage resistance.

        It wasn’t unsustainable in the 1970s because the price of oil was relatively high. Indeed, part of propping up the Soviet empire was elevating world oil prices in the hope that wealth would make the Soviets peaceful — yet of course the Soviets promptly interpreted this as weakness and began building weapons.

        Reagan saw weakness and pushed on it, and quite possibly the Soviet Empire would have staggered on a lot longer without Reagan – but it was staggering and visibly doomed before Reagan. If Reagan kicked their legs out from under them, it was because he saw their legs were shaking.

        Whether or not they were doomed all depended on oil prices. Their doom was not inevitable until Reagan drove down the price of oil.

    • We are on the brink of an economic collapse, it seems—hyperinflation and the instability that accompanies it—and should this happen, then there will be short term (probably in the range of six to thirty-six months) suffering. The unprepared, i.e., almost everyone, will find it impossible to survive without becoming petty rule breakers; this will have a negative effect on overall spiritual health. However, if the shock is severe enough, and long enough, it might be enough to get a critical mass of people to reject liberalism.

      Maybe.

      If we’re lucky.

      I do not see how liberalism can survive economic meltdown. I cannot be confident that what emerges on the other end of that collapse will be better than what we have now.

  1. I have no doubt that Liberalism is doomed, as every decedent culture in history was doomed. And I have no doubt that Islam and Orthodox Judaism will survive. The only question is whether Christianity will survive. I am not a Christian, but I would regret the loss of what once was a great religion. If Christians want Christianity to survive, they should stop fighting Liberals and stop fighting each other, and instead focus on building up their own church and moving it as far away from mainstream liberal culture as possible.

      • Indeed, but when they do fall they do so very quickly. Did the average Frenchmen in 1776 know the collapse was coming? Did he in, I don’t know, May of 1789? IIRC the first real warning sign was the economic deficit in ’76 which is not dissimilar to our current position.

  2. Bonald, there is not such a thing as right opposition, there is just one liberal party with two or more co-opted wings. Everyone in Washington D.C. knows the political play is false, mere manipulation, and increasingly even the masses. You should read and watch through the texts and videos I linked in previous post. And perhaps listen to this one too:

    http://mises.org/media/2814/Washington-Warp-Why-Even-Good-People-in-the-Beltway-Cant-Think-Straight

    You should study the system, first it’s frameworks and then the details. If you see and know only the frameworks, the system might seem too formidable to you. Knowing the frameworks *and* the details allow you to find niches, bypassess, loopholes, strong points for you, weak points of the system, possibilities, etc. When looking closely, the system is not monolithic, huge and solid granite cube, it is a fairly formless cheese that is already full of all kinds of holes, and you can bore your own holes in it. The system is based on it being a loophole cheese, it would not function otherwise. Tax havens, off-shore fake companies, off-shore banking, secret Swiss bank accounts, drug trade, counterfeit products, smuggling, money laundring, etc are only the most vivid examples. You could learn more e.g. about Hutterite Christians, even if you don’t copy everything they do. They are an ethnically endogamous, socially and co-operatively efficient, strong faith and fast growing (high birthrate) traditional Christian community network, with interesting modern technology niches. They are a living example Christians can succeed despite hostile liberal environment. Stop fighting the words of liberals, they are mere illusions (You can lose your whole life fighting false and manipulative liberal words, and that is one of their purpose, to keep people talking and writing endlessly without doing anything significant. This upholds the status quo.) and do something practical. Start from the small things. Meet and talk, form lasting friendships.

  3. Your analogy with the doctor is very good, as is your reminder that we should see this against the backdrop of eternity, but I perceive one or two additional rays of light penetrating the gloom. One is that many conservative attitudes are innate, and are only repressed after years of liberal re-education. This means that, unless there is universal genetic reengineering, little proto-conservatives will keep springing up in society, like weeds in a garden. Of course there will be some steely-eyed commissar waiting with a sharp hoe to cut him down, but they will nevertheless keep sprouting up until the end of time. To the end of time, Atheism will have to police the schools for recrudescent theism; Feminism will have to police the schools for incipient patriarchy. At the very least, it is consoling to imagine the endless vexation this will cause, and in our more hopeful moments, we might imagine a revival.

    • Plus, conservative and religious traits are highly heritable and the people with those traits tend to produce more children than those without them. Eventually, there will be too many of us to suppress.

  4. Bonald,

    First, thank you for contributing to a discussion that I think is important to have. I don’t want to exaggerate differences between us as we are both committed, as you say, to an intellectual attack on liberalism and small community building.

    However, I think it’s interesting that you emphasise the idea that the most that can be done is to slow the progress of liberalism. I remember reading a book on Lord Salisbury’s Prime Ministership in the UK in the late 1800s and the same view was expressed even back then (as I recall by Lord Salisbury himself, something along the lines of “even 30 years in the life of a nation is worth acting for”).

    Why would conservatives have been so pessimistic about what they could realistically achieve even back then? It’s as if they felt that the initiative was so firmly with the liberalising trend in society that it was unlikely to be resisted.

    And then in 1919 Yeats wrote his poem “The Second Coming” with the lines “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” It’s something I recognised when I started teaching and met the soon to retire teachers who had joined up in the very early 1970s. They were so intense in their leftist moral beliefs that they intimidated others from challenging them.

    And what strikes me is that the shift in moral conviction matters. It is not everything (having institutional support is also very important) but if one side acts with a serious moral conviction and the other doesn’t, then the impetus is likely to be with those who stride into society confident about the rightness of their beliefs and their cause and firmly determined to shape society to it.

    And the reason for writing my post was that I had to recognise that the “alternative right” generally has not had the kind of moral conviction I am trying to describe. I have seen it in plenty of leftists, but those on the alternative right seem to have preferred a more passive role of looking down on the ruins from a culturally superior position, or perhaps seeking a personal escape route, or expressing an impotent and angry frustration with the role of conspiratorial outsiders.

    I think there are some on the alternative right who have so settled into such positions that they are unsettled when I discuss at my site the little beginnings at organising on the ground. It seems to unleash a panicky series of objections about why such organising can’t work and shouldn’t be undertaken.

    Yes, it’s important to be realistic. I do recognise that much is going to be lost and that the aim is to salvage what we can. But I do want to cultivate moral conviction in my audience and that requires a faith in what can positively be achieved in the future.

  5. I believe that you should remember that God always preserves a remnant loyal to Him. Out of the several million Hebrews in apostate Israel, the last chapter of Jeremiah the prophet lists three deportations of 4600 exiles who would preserve the faith and the messianic line in Babylon of all places. Prior to that when Ahab was king of Israel, Elijah the prophet despaired and when he fled into the desert God told him to go to Mount Sinai. There it was revealed to him that “I (that is Yahweh) will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” ! Kings 19:18. So shall it always be until Progressives have finally established a world with one government, one race, one economy, one language, etc. ruled by the Antichrist who is the viceroy for Satan. And at the time of their final victory Christ shall return visibly with the angels and establish His kingdom

    By my comments I have exposed myself as a conservative Protestant, specifically Lutheran. I am an amateur wannabe scholar who has been reading “The City of God” by Augustine. Does not his analysis give you Catholics the hope that Christ will not allow the complete victory of a “Brave New World”? I mourn the prospective loss of the Republic in body as well as soul and of Western Civilization most of all but there will always be an active remnant of the Faithful.

    As an addendum it seems to me that you are degrading a convenient but honorable word by calling our current version of Vanity Fair liberal. It is more accurately called progressive since it is progressing toward a mirage which is in fact damnation.

  6. Bonald:
    I am convinced that the ultimate victory of liberalism–together with the destruction of the family as well as all religions and ethnic identities–is inevitable.

    This is, naturally, a question of fact. So whether it warrants belief or not depends on things which are quite independent of what anyone wants, or wants to believe, or how it will affect some putative “movement”.

    So any criticism based on whether or not it is demoralizing is beside the point: worse, it represents running headlong into the embrace of postmodernism.

    • Zippy, there is not only a truth of an external situation but also a truth of what a man should be.

      Perhaps there is an analogy with the issue of marriage. The “men going their own way” activists have correctly identified problems facing men who wish to marry. There seem to be several responses to these facts of divorce rates, divorce laws, female entitlement and so on:

      1. Deny the facts, blame immature men and urge marriage.
      2. Accept the facts, withdraw from marriage and accept not only the personal loss of fatherhood but also the demise of the European peoples.
      3. Accept the facts, but marry with a determination to hold things together despite difficult circumstances and to work over time to change the anti-marriage culture. This is in some ways an act of faith in the future. It is possible that it will fail, but it gives the possibility of success: success in fulfilling one’s own self through marriage and fatherhood and success in raising a new generation of Europeans.

      Isn’t option 3 the preferred traditionalist one? So why not take the same attitude when it comes to taking on the larger liberal culture? Why not accept the facts (be oriented to the truth) of the difficult external situation we are working in and at the same time express a truth about ourselves in what we commit to and work faithfully toward.

      • Isn’t option 3 the preferred traditionalist one?

        Only if we have already snuck in a rejection of Bonald’s conclusion, it seems to me. If he is right[*] then the monastery might be a more appropriate vocational expectation for the average Christian man, not marriage. If he is right, in fact, then in my view this will necessarily be the case for large numbers of men. It could be the case even if he is wrong — a victory for traditionalism of some sort over liberalism (or liberalism’s self-destruction) is unlikely to manifest as a simple matter of demographic numbers in a remnant taking over, just like we planned, in the ruins.

        The apocalypse just isn’t the sort of thing that one can plan for – and a collapse of liberalism would be an apocalypse Survivalists always have a kind of fantasy of surviving the zombie apocalypse in caves (or a massive economic collapse – there is plenty of ‘global economic collapse’ porn in reactionary circles); and survivalist porn has about as much connection to reality as regular porn. Having the right “go bag” packed and the right cottage in the woods stocked with food, weapons, and gold is as likely to be the thing that gets one killed as it is to represent salvation; and in any case the whole thing is fiction. I think we may at least in part be dealing with the same kind of magical/fictional thinking here: the spiritual equivalent of zombie-apocalypse survivalism.

        Men just have to do the right thing in their own lives, whatever that happens to be. Likely many will not have a serious prospect for marriage (other than Marriage 2.0 to a high-N woman, most likely followed by frivorce). I am not going to give them any grief about it.

        [*] For my own part, I haven’t accepted Bonald’s contention. I rather expect that it falls into a category of things that we not only don’t know, but can’t know, and which thus must be, like many things, left to Providence. Individual men should pray for guidance on their vocations; and I certainly won’t begrudge a prayerful MGTOW his vocation. Remnant Christianity has been preserved in the monasteries, as much as in the catacombs, before.

  7. I liked the candid nature of the post.

    But this is strange – when I read “I am convinced that the ultimate victory of liberalism–together with the destruction of the family as well as all religions and ethnic identities–is inevitable. What’s more, I am sure that, once achieved, this victory will be lasting. ”

    – I read it as meaning the opposite! – either defeat of liberalism or victory of tradition; and it was only as I continued to read that I noticed a dissonance and went back and checked.

    Of course, I had been projecting my views onto you, but I had not previously realized that our predictions were opposite!

    This is interesting – and I need not say more; because clearly you have read all my arguments, and do not find them convincing,

    I agree with your estimate of the bleak future of the Roman Catholic church, indeed I often feel that conservative Catholic intellectuals appear to be living in a self-gratifying delusionally optimistic state wrt their church.

    • Bruce,

      You seem to be reflexively anti-Catholic as you never miss a chance to attack the Catholic Church or at least discount it. I should not fault you too much for this since this seems to be a universal trait among modern English thinkers.

      Frankly your fad-chasing religious-consumerist arguments ought to be completely discarded. Why they are accorded such esteem is a great mystery. A Mormon-social order is no “victory” over liberalism. A social order based on “Mere Christianity” is no “victory” over liberalism. Your “victory” is the “victory” of collaboration- which is pretty much the Anglican way is it not?

      Really I think the world can’t stomach any more pompous English thinkers.

      • You seem to be reflexively anti-Catholic as you never miss a chance to attack the Catholic Church or at least discount it.

        Hmm. I have much the same reaction when it comes to Catholics and their reaction to the Reformed Faith (a.k.a. Calvinism). Most of what I’ve seen here can be summarized as, “of course everyone knows Calvinism is wrong! Everything about it is just silly.”

        I often respond to these dismissals, and when I do, I quote Scripture to defend Reformed theology.

        The Catholics’ response has been deafening silence.

        Regardless of that, I don’t think the Orthosphere is the right place to debate sectarian division, as I do not believe that it is an argument that can be won short of conversion (which is rare indeed).

        But now that the shoe is on the other foot, perhaps you can afford non-Catholics on the Orthosphere the same courtesy they generally afford you: something on the spectrum between “not making an issue of it” and “respectful disagreement.” Christians, regardless of the details of their brand of faith, share certain beliefs, such as those in the Nicene Creed.

        Perhaps we can save our vitriol for those who call themselves “Christian” but whose beliefs fall outside of the Nicene parameters.

      • Wm. Lewis,

        I think the record shows that the majority of “Catholic attacks” you perceived here were not actually from Catholics but from other Protestants or the Easterners. Your responses clearly represent your mindset which while I can’t I respect with that mindset, I at least acknowledge it. Lets be honest that the Catholic commentators here like Bonald have bent over backwards for Protestants and Mormons in the form denigrating our faith and in praising yours. He did this in this post and at least his last two. Another post, the post about the origins of the Cathedral was written by a Catholic sympathetic to Conservative Protestants. Traditional Catholics are hardest on the poor state of much of our Church but from the other denominations here all I see is triumphalism. Especially people like Charlton, seem to be always dismissive and derogatory and in such a manner where he actually betrays an extreme post-modern liberal worldview. This wouldn’t be so bad but he does this while going around attacking people he considers anti-traditional in a really preachy grating kind of way.

        As far as the Catholic “response” I will agree that a comment section makes it very difficult to hash out these debates though I will note a certain obtuseness sets in here that sometimes favors the sheer volume of comments over substance. I am not accusing you of this since I have honestly not read over where you quoted scripture. Still I think some basic questions could and should be addressed- what is the nature of our adversary? Is a pan-Christian alliance possible? To the second question I certainly think not nor is it desirable, but there can and should be substantive discussion of these issues at least for coherency’s sake.

      • > I think some basic questions could and should be addressed- what is the nature of our adversary? Is a pan-Christian alliance possible?

        Obviously Christians are going to disagree about the next world, but the most grievous evils of the Cathedral are that they have transliterated Christian doctrine to this world, to which all can agree that it does not apply.

        So not only can you have a pan Christian alliance, you really should also include Heartiste, minion of Satan.

      • Thank you for the reasonable response, ISE.

        Yes, recently there have been some posts that have been respectful towards the Reformed Faith; some have even praised it. I find this appropriate, because the Orthosphere is an explicitly Christian site, without favoring one form over another. We can notice and celebrate other denominations’ strengths without weakening our own faith.

        Having said that, comments from Catholics attacking Calvinism are not only more common here than those from other perspectives, they are also predictable in their content. Yes, non-Catholics also misunderstand and misinterpret the Reformed Faith and denigrate it here, and yes, on at least one occasion, I have misidentified the source of such a comment. I would be less likely to do so if the Catholic attacks were not so numerous.

        I cannot speak for others, but I take no pleasure in seeing the Catholic Church (and even more so the Anglican/Episcopalian Church) embrace liberalism and otherwise self-destruct. Weakened Christendom does no one any good.

        While a pan-Christian alliance may not be workable, if we do not hang together, we shall all hang separately. We only help our enemies with our internecine squabbles.

  8. I have several observations to begin with Franklin wonders whether Christianity will survive The Lord clearly
    stated the Gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church not to mention ona more mundane level in the West
    the Church is shrinking but in Africa, Latin America, and Asia not to mention Russia it is growing in many places rapidly remember
    also that The Lord said we will be taken before rulers and condemned to be scourged and killed among other things what we seeing in the West
    is the Christian cultural veil being swept away and the wheat and tares being separated those who are saved they who have accepted Jesus Christ as
    their Saviour and truly have Him in their hearts and those who play church and are really nothing but going along with the general culture.

    Two there is no reason to despair there is certain doctrine I disagree with and thats the the amillenial
    doctrine the scriptures make it quite clear the millenium is not just a spiritual idea or just the Kingdom of God in your hearts rather it
    begins in your hearts and for that have that the future reign of Christ on earth will have them present there the only way liberalism is ending is when
    Christ himself comes back for ultimately liberalism is the socio-political concretization of sin the worst aspects of human nature cultivated and glorified
    remember the Antichrist is not just a system through the Church Age the Christians of every denomination know that the Man of Sin will be an actual person
    that wrongfully presents himself as Messiah could that happen without liberalism first gutting the present world system and preparing the world for such a belief?

    Thirdly watch as The Lord commanded nation will rise against nation and there will be wars and rumours of wars among other catastrophes these have always happened in various ways but
    in the last century they have magnified to an incredible degree right now we are even approaching a major middle eastern war with Syria which could give rise to even larger wars even WW III
    something many Bible scholars think the scriptures are quite clear on the nation of Israel returning and fulfilling the prophecies.

    • Makaro commented on A word on behalf of the nihilists:

      > the scriptures are quite clear on the nation of Israel returning and fulfilling the prophecies.

      Judaism was a theocratic national religion, state religion, and ethnic religion, a nation state religion.

      Upon the Jews being exiled, the Sadducees lost their power base and Rabbis remade Judaism to be an exile ethnic religion, inherently hostile to, and subversive of, the the host nation and host society, even when the host nation is Israel, and the host society is Jewish, orthodox Jews are still in psychological exile.

      This has become a paradoxical and psychologically unhealthy religion, since the Jews are no longer in exile, but Judaism is still in exile. The Rabbis won and the Sadducees lost, but to come home, to fulfill both Christian and Jewish prophecies, to once again be a religion of nation and state, Judaism has to change once again, has to cease to be a religion of exile and become less Rabbinical and more Sadducee, something that even the most reactionary Rabbis do not much like, preferring to concentrate on ever more extreme conformity to Deuteronomy 14:21

      On the one hand, there seems to be very little taste for reaction in Israel – even the religious right is not very rightist. On the other hand, if they stay the course with the leftist program, they are all going to die.

      So I rather think they face a choice between radically remaking their religion, and being killed by the Arabs, and will probably choose, to the great horror of American progressives, and to the great delight of Christian apocalyptics, to radically, and somewhat coercively, remake their religion.

      I don’t believe in prophecy. I do however believe that Israel faces a choice between annihilation through self inflicted defeat, or adopting a nation state religion that looks suspiciously like making a good start on fulfilling the prophecies.

  9. I have noted before that the low birth rate of liberals combined with the high heritability of religiosity and the inherently conservative nature of religion, makes the ultimate victory of liberalism highly unlikely. It’s also dependent on buying people off with a high material standard of living. We may not be able to keep doing that forever. However, these things will take some time to work themselves out. The collapse of modern societies is certain, but is most certainly not imminent.

    Be patient and trust in God.

      • There is a demographer named Eric Kaufmann who has studied this in Europe. As I recall, he came up with total fertility rates around 2.2 for religious and 1.6 for secular. Holding everything constant and assuming no apostasy, the secular population virtually disappears in a little over two hundred years. Very small differences in the TFR compound over time. But as you say, the demographic prospects of Western Christians are not especially encouraging right now.

  10. Bonald,

    I am still at a loss as to why this whiny self-flagellating tirade of a post was even written. What’s your point? You note that liberalism’s victory is assured and hope to win a fighting withdrawal that at best stems the total victory of liberalism until after your daughter’s time on earth. From this point one must conclude that you are an evil sadistic man for bothering to have children since after all according to you that would only be providing the liberal order with more cannon fodder.
    You then turn to bashing your own Faith. Whether this is some lame attempt to appease the Protestant/Mormon commentators or a sign of despair is unclear but it is really getting tiresome not to mention ironically liberal in its mentality. I look over the posts and here I cannot even find a coherent definition of liberalism. How can there be any fight when you don’t even know what you’re fighting against? Really, most of the people here are just liberals who think they’re anti-liberal.

    I will say there is one redeemable aspect of this post. Those who predict the imminent or the necessary collapse of liberalism are fools. I notice usually these types tend to be enamored with libertarian economics (this fact alone shows how confused many people are here). There is absolutely nothing to say that liberalism could not grind on for centuries more.

  11. I think that if liberalism could so rapidly grow it could also rapidly decline for a variety of reasons the future has little certainty outside of what God has revealed and then only relative to those times as they are happening as He did reveal a calender or date book for these things.

    • Yes. Don’t misunderstand. Discerning the destruction of Christendom in the mundane world and appropriately mourning that is entirely different from despairing of eternity.

    • The good guys do win, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t cause for mourning. The war itself is deeply, deeply destructive. Lots of souls go to Hell, even, very likely, the souls of many people we love. It is good for justice to be done to the wicked, but that doesn’t mean it’s not sad that it must be done.

  12. All we can hope to do is be virtuous as possible and influence those around us to do the same. God will do with history what he will. Also, liberalism is intrinsically unstable because is was made by man. All human things fall to dust and are ultimately forgotten. Only God is eternal except the eternalness he gracefully grants our souls.

  13. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2013/08/28 | Free Northerner

  14. Whether or when the so-called “liberal world view” will cease to be an intellectual orthodoxy that dominates Western civilization cannot be known. There’s a lot of wishful thinking, one way or the other, on this question.

    Reforms in the education of what might loosely be termed “opinion leaders” that could lead to a Christian renaissance seem most unlikely. A self-perpetuating ruling and secular clique doesn’t, as a rule, vote itself out of office – which seems a necessary condition for a religious revival.

    For the time being, pessimists might hope for a social catastrophe of enormous magnitude that would, as it were, wipe the slate clean. Optimists might prefer to put their trust in divine intervention.

  15. Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    A false opposition. By stressing the Trinity, Christians could do in Muslims and Atheists at the same time. By unequally yoking themselves to either Muslims or Atheists, Christians are ensuring their own destruction.

  16. There is no period of history which doesn’t end in catastrophe. The first period of history began with creation and ended in the Flood. And what does the Flood signify? Two things: the natural triumph of evil over good and the supernatural triumph of God over evil, by means of a direct, personal, sovereign act.

    Men were still wringing wet with the waters of the Flood, when the same battle started up again … At our Lord’s coming it was everywhere night, deep, palpable night. The Lord is raised on the cross, and daylight returns to the world. What does that great catastrophe signify? Two things: the natural triumph of evil over good, and the supernatural triumph of God over evil, by means of a direct, personal, sovereign act.

    What does Scripture say of the end of the world? It says that the Antichrist will be lord of the universe, and that the last judgment will take place at that time, along with the last catastrophe. Like the others, it will signify the natural triumph of evil over good, and the supernatural triumph of God over evil, by means of a direct, personal, sovereign act.

    And don’t tell me that if defeat is certain, fighting is useless. In the first place, fighting can lessen, can soften the catastrophe; and in the second place, for us whose glory it is to be Catholic, fighting is the accomplishment of a duty, not the result of calculation. Let’s thank God for having allowed us to do battle. Beyond this favour, let’s not seek the grace to win. For those who fight generously for His cause, His infinite goodness reserves a reward far greater and more precious to man than victory here below.

    – Juan Donoso Cortés, 1846

  17. Pingback: Take heart. | Sunshine Mary

  18. Prudentially and practically, I believe Bonald to be off base. That is a very unusual circumstance, as I have agreed with pretty much all he has had to say ever. So, I am wondering if I am labouring under a failure of understanding. However, in any event, I do not think the attitude evinced here is correct either in its conclusions, or in its assumptions. To the latter, not to wax too Sorelian, or too Crusader-like… but people are motivated by myths and the promise of change. Not the reverse. Despair of the situation is… well, despair.

    One would recommend a small book called Dedication and Leadership, by Douglas Hyde. Hyde was a former English Communist turned Catholic. Though his theological recommendations in the book are iffy, the book itself nails some aspects of the human condition as surely as if the author was Hilaire Belloc. Hyde posits three realization/recognition criteria for crusaders. 1. There is something profoundly wrong in the world. 2. It will be changed. [Not “can be changed”] 3. You can be part of, and are in fact key, to the change.

    Bonald evinces concern with the complacency of those who believe that the other side will collapse inevitably. This concern is misplaced. It is not complacency, but collaboration, that he has stumbled upon. Or at least a form of ignorant toleration. Things simply do not appear that bad to such people, whatever they may say….

    Indeed, for most, who have been inculcated into Enlightenment thinking procedurally as well as substantively, the evil is always at the event horizon. E.g., “America is turning into a police state”… or “we’d better turn back toward God or else.” Or else what? Or else our offspring will be sacrificed on an altar in utero? Else an African is elected American president? Else the Empire falls, and socialist parties sweep elections in Europe?

    As an amusing aside, the problem with dystopia literature is that it doesn’t seem to work. At all. The Orwellian-Huxley-esque Idiocracy proceeds full speed ahead, armoured with silly—and proof against accurate—clichés.

  19. To despair of the triumph of the Good (or, at this point, its survival), is the road down to a strand of neo-paganism, a pessimism writ large (Ludovicki?). In this view, Christianity and anything associable with it, was the gestation of the self-being-hating Liberalism which is set to devour everything. Maybe Constantine is at fault? Maybe the apostles, or the Hebrew prophets? Or maybe when we eschewed human sacrifice, or stopped being hunter-gatherers?

    What is the Good? What is it that Bonald fears will lose out?

    Looking at it this way, one is tempted to wonder whether he is not being a tad too utopian. If he means that Euro-America is going the way of the do-do, or that a new Andalusia shall settle over all the West, or that the planetary consumers’ union will pave over the planet, except for the culture museums and the artificial womb centres; these eventualities are plausible. [I don’t want to speculate too far in the theological realm, in re feminism, authority, etc….] However, this would not be the ultimate triumph of evil over the good.

    To my mind, only when there is a refusal/prohibition against human reproduction altogether, can it be said that Enlightenment Liberalism had triumphed. Foremost, to force another person to come into being, without his volition, only so that he may eventually suffer and die—aka conceiving and having a baby—is the ultimate defiance of Liberal values. It is an unconscious metaphysical assertion that there is objective good—one that justifies shoving a person into a situation which can only end in his own pain and death. Additionally, the Liberal values complained of could only be seen to triumph in the circumstance where progenitors no longer held particular interests in their offspring. This circumstance, admittedly theoretically possible and certainly one aim of the Left, still seems a little far off.

    Utopianism. If evil is not fully extirpated, then we have lost? If Bonald does not intend to go this far, just where are his scales?

  20. Evil will endure. It may be that hereinafter it will be less personal and more systematic, less mystical and more ideological. But to paraphrase Roger Griffin (a Liberal inveighing against the perpetuity of Fascism), history may, in this regard, be “a court of permanent session.” Even perhaps a court where “the good guys” continue to lose every case. Except the final appeal.

    Recently I had recourse to read a little on the Putney Debates. One is reminded that there is certainly no additional evil—not theologically, philosophically, politically, or socially—generally ensconced today, than there was in the 17th Century. It was all there. It is just continually synthesized into new things. Perhaps it is eating its way through the tree.

    Yet, the tree is the disease’s life. The success of Liberalism is its death, its substantial self-demise. So we will see.

    But in sum, be-ing IS the victory of the Good, over Evil. Being is doing. Doing is believing. As C.S. Lewis put it, aiming for Purgatory is the straightest road to Hell. So one hopes that Bonald will continue to teach, write, and influence.

  21. At the moment, one simply must be his own, without support. A self-contained Falange. The Mohammedans seems to be able to do it, so it can be done.

  22. The responses to this post seem to be mostly justifying immediate personal reaction to an impalatable idea expressed by an unlikely source (just the idea alone I am sure would have gone down fine). Whether or not anyone believes in the ultimate triumph of good, this shouldn’t preclude a healthy rationality; one with room for “the bad” lasting for centuries. Even an ultimately flawed system, even one completely inimical to the human spirit and natural law can exist in the right environment and see through generations. Our lifespans and those of our descendants are a unit of rather small denomination to measure the rise and fall of societies and civilizations by. I think liberalism is ultimately unsustainable, I even believe dogmatically in the ultimate triumph of good, yet a thousand-year-reich of an oppressive and evil society would, in terms of temporal (and lets face it, practical) concerns have me agreeing 100% with Bonald.

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