Our Basic Difficulty vis-à-vis Islam: It’s the Death of the Enlightenment

The leadership of the West is desperate to avoid naming or recognizing our obvious, declared enemy: Islam. Why?

The instant that the essentially secular West admits that Islam is its implacable foe – which obviously it is, since Islam is implacably inimical to every other system of thought or action whatever – it admits that there is a religion that it cannot admit without committing cultural suicide.

To admit Islam is to delete the West. It is to reject the Enlightenment, and Christianity, and our Classical heritage, and indeed everything else whatever, other than Islam.

But then, to reject Islam is to reject the Enlightenment notion of religious tolerance, which has for the last three centuries or so seemed – seemed, I emphasize – to characterize the West essentially. It is thus to reject the Enlightenment altogether, and to return again to an established religion, somehow defined. Given the history of the West, that established religion is bound to be Orthodox Catholic Christianity (with, perhaps, other Christian and quasi-Christian sects tolerated and discouraged (and encouraged to just throw in the towel, for Heaven’s sake, and perhaps to be welcomed as a distinct but not separate rite) rather than actively persecuted).

Islam is the death of liberalism, one way or another. Either liberalism dies with the West and the embrace of Islam, or it dies with the rejection of Islam and the embrace of the Christian Tradition of the West.

The logic of this choice is quite digital. There is no escaping it. Either way, the West qua secular is doomed. No wonder it wants to avoid confronting the quandary as long as possible.

21 thoughts on “Our Basic Difficulty vis-à-vis Islam: It’s the Death of the Enlightenment

  1. In the meantime, shouldn’t Orthodox Catholic and like-minded Christians recognise that they have much in common with those Muslims who are not committed to violent jihad, but are being pushed in that direction by the sheer degeneracy of the West?

    It seems to me that such Christians could run more successful anti-radicalisation programs for young Muslims than are currently being proposed.


  2. Pingback: Our Basic Difficulty vis-à-vis Islam: It’s the Death of the Enlightenment | Reaction Times

  3. Au contraire!

    “Given the history of the West, that established religion is bound to be Orthodox Catholic Christianity.”

    And the chicken gets fed every day until it doesn’t.

    “The logic of this choice is quite digital. There is no escaping it. Either way, the West qua secular is doomed. No wonder it wants to avoid confronting the quandary as long as possible.”

    The conclusion does not follow from the premises. It is neither logically necessary or politically probable and plausible.

    You must understand that the Ruling Elites are using Islam to secure their power at home, while slowly but surely destroying Islam abroad.

    It is the actions of an unsecure Ruling Elite centralising the state.

    The goal of the Ruling Elite is to degrade, de-limit and ultimately defeat their Essentials (white males for short) by using Expendables against them and by widening the margins of the Essentials.

    The Rules for Ruling:

    “Rule 1:

    Keep your winning coalition as small as possible. A small coalition allows a leader to rely on very few people to stay in power. Fewer essentials equals more control and contributes to more discretion over expenditures.

    (Strong and Secure High; Small and Weak Middle.)

    “More control.”

    Now for the real KILLER:

    “Rule 2:

    Keep your nominal selectorate as large as possible. Maintain a large selectorate of interchangeables and you can easily replace any troublemakers in your coalition, influentials and essentials alike. After all, a large selectorate permits a big supply of substitute supporters to put the essentials on notice that they should be loyal and well behaved or else face being replaced. (Bold mine.)

    (Did someone mention Muslims? Muslims? Do I hear Muslims? Hello?)”

    There are three more rules, but you can read the rest here:


    Now, how does the chessboard look from the position of Essentials?

    “3: The Rules for the Essentials.

    1: If you are an essential, you want your fellow essentials to be large and united; the expendables to be small and divided and the ruling elite to be weak and benighted.”

    So, this is what is really going on, they are not losing (or rather The “Minotaur” is not losing ) they are centralising control.

    Advice to Christian Reactionaries.

    In our professional opinion, it is very unlikely, though not impossible, that you will have some kind of Orthodox State Religion thing with America or Europe.

    If that is so, then you should-ask yourselves the following question:

    God or Nation?

    Which nation?

    You have more chance of turning Russia into the kind of reactionary state that you want, as opposed to maybe expending energy into advocating for a state religion.

    Consider Russia your “bolt-hole” your strategic retreat, your “failsafe”.

    Now,suppose you were able to prepare a “brief” for the Russians?

    Suppose you got the attention of Putin?

    Suppose you were able to get the Russians Elites and Essentials in the room for a presentation?

    The State Elite; the Energy Elite; the Military Elite and, and here is your Ace in the Hole: The Orthodox Church Elite.

    Russia benefits by becoming secure; in part, Russia will be secure because it will be able to reject all the poisons of the West completely: Atheism; democracy, Human Rights, Equality, Feminism etc. OF course, with an absolute Tzar (perhaps only subject to an High council of Elites, who can replace him if he has “offended against Man and God”) and a hierarchical structure, there is no “state within a state”. Well, except for all the other peoples that Russia rules over.

    Russia needs a Tzar.

    But a Tzar needs court “mind-guards” as much as court body-guards.

    At the very least, by opening diplomatic channels with the Russians and assuming you are genuine and sincere Orthodox Christians (you are), then you might be able to secure a “retreat” or a “homeland” for your people.

    God knows that Russia will need people over the coming decades.

    So, look at things from Russia’s perspective.

    Russia needs men, money and materials. (It also needs a lot of women.)

    An influx of hard working, well-educated, well-behaved, healthy Christian men and women would be a boon.

    Russia could give you your own towns or quarters and later even a city.

    Entry, however, requires a substantial donation and absolute loyalty to the Tzar is required.

    Then, Russia could extend this strategy by reaching out to other disaffected people in the West by inviting them to come to Russia.

    At the very least, you should try to gain the grace and favour of Russia (in return for strategic advice) because you will get paid.

    Money, of course, is very useful and you can use that money to advance what aims and interests you have here.

    And if anyone questions your loyalty, you answer:

    Au contraire!

    I am a loyalist.

    I am loyal to God alone.

    • That way too is an end of the Enlightenment.

      The logic of this choice is quite digital. There is no escaping it. Either way, the West qua secular is doomed. No wonder it wants to avoid confronting the quandary as long as possible.

      The conclusion does not follow from the premises. It is neither logically necessary or politically probable and plausible.

      There will be an established religion in the West, and that will end the Enlightenment. One of two things will happen:

      1. The West will stick to religious tolerance, and keep allowing the practice of Islam; Islam will then eventually become the dominant religion, make Sharia the law, and end religious tolerance, ending the Enlightenment along with almost every other Western distinctive.
      2. The West will find that to preserve itself, it will have to forbid the practice of Islam; this will end religious tolerance, and establish the Christian religion, bringing the Enlightenment project to an end.

      Under the first option, none of the nice things about the Enlightenment could survive; under the second, the important nice things about the Enlightenment – science, free discourse, rule of law – could do just fine.

      Neither of these outcomes would be materially changed by the flight of a few million Traditionalists to Mother Russia.

  4. Listing Anglicanism under the heading of quasi-Christian, and right between two non-trinitarian (non-, not quasi-Christian sects) does not reflect reality. Anglicanism, in its non progressive forms, is essentially eastern orthodox in its polity, and from the perspective of our Eastern brothers, maybe a shade more “orthodox” than the Roman Church. Remember that the first Roman catholics who came to Britain found it had been Christianized hundreds of years before.

    Your point about rejection of Islam requiring rejection of the enlightenment is right on though.

    • That’s a just criticism. I wrote “Anglicanism” when I had in mind liberal Anglicanism, which is Arian when push comes to shove. I’ll amend the post.

  5. there are the Singularitarians on the Pacific Rim (and Confucionists, Taoists, etc). Rejecting Islam could take the very clear path of “tolerated but discouraged”, as well.

    Also, at least in the Anglophone world, the admission of a religion would just be naming the Harvard cult, not really great changes.

    • I suppose that it would work to tolerate but discourage any cult that itself tolerated the established religion, and granted its mundane supremacy.

      An oath of ontological loyalty to the nation – of willing subjection thereto – seems a forecondition of long term pacific residence therein. Such an oath would be a formalization of the basic rule of prudence and politesse that when in Rome, one should do as the Romans do. No nation could long tolerate within its lands a body of aliens who were the least bit inimical, and survive. And ontological loyalty is eo ipso cultic in nature; for, it is an oath of loyalty to the fundamental animating ideas of the nation; i.e., to its cult. No cult then that forbad such an oath – such as Islam – could be tolerated.

      How could heterodox cults be tolerated but discouraged? We might take a leaf from the old English system, in which only members of the Church of England could hold state commissions. Heterodox Englishmen could serve as seamen and warrant officers, but only Anglicans could serve as commissioned officers. The discouragement to heterodox cults could consist then simply of preventing them from supervisory or elective offices of any state institutions.

      The Harvard cult is the cult of the Enlightenment. It tolerates Islam; it is therefore a dead man walking. If the West is to survive as the West, the Harvard cult must be repudiated, root and branch.

      • And the church must somehow disinfect itself from many of the ideas that were the legacies of the enlightenment like feminism which have become so pervasive that even if it were not labelled as such its legacy sfill persists infecting attitude and practices.

      • Abandonment of freedom of religion won’t happen except under the condition that the West as a culture swallows a massive red pill. In that event, I take it as obvious that most if not all the liberal pieties would be swept away, and that this sweep would wipe out much of the liberal infection of most institutions, including the churches.

      • Certainly the visible manifestations may be wiped away. But what I am afraid of is such a thing being able to be entrenched under the name of Christianity whilst dropping the label which identified such a set of ideas. And claiming such is true Christianity all along without a hint of irony. Or claiming to be the true catholicism in faithfulness to the church.

      • This is why openly avowed credence in clear, dogmatic doctrine is so important. Definitions and distinctions matter. If you start losing track of exactly what you preach, you rapidly lose your way, and stray from the high road back down toward the swamps. It’s a perennial hazard for Fallen man.

      • Indeed. Although the egalitarianism would be more easier to repudiate given the right interpretation of Galatians 3:28. The more subtle theology that renders Husband as chauffeur and wife as true head would be harder to deal with as well as with the emotional component of enabling abuse given the structure of the family expounded in true dogma.

        Apologies if I am taking it too offtopic.

  6. Kristor, why did you capitalize the first “O” in “Orthodox” when you wrote “Orthodox Catholic?” People I know of usually are talking about the Eastern Orthodox religions when the capitalize that letter. Some Protestants use the word “catholic” with a lowercase “c” because they don’t mean the Church that the pope rules.

      • Thank you, Kristor. I think there should be an established religion. But in Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church seems to have become an arm of the State. That’s not what a Catholic would want when he believes the doctrine about Christ’s social Kingship. That doctrine says partly that the Catholic Church should have indirect power over the State, not that the State should have power over the Church. The Church thinks that the State should make Catholicism its official religion and and ensure that the society’s laws are compatible with what the Bible and the Catholic Church teach about morality. In a Catholic State, the government tolerates non-Catholic religions because it’s immoral to force anyone to become Catholic, not because there’s some God-given right to practice any religion anyone prefers. The Catholic Church has always taught that Catholicism is the only religion that anyone has a God-given right to practice.

      • Amen. The tricky bit is that unless the Church is itself the supreme temporal power, with a crushing supremacy in loyal divisions of its own, its authority over the state will depend entirely upon its credence among the aristoi, such that they live in horror of excommunication, and urgently desire communion. An atheist or schismatic or infidel oligarchy could respond to the pope’s diktat with a collective wry shrug.

        Thus if the moral authority and political sway of the Church over the state is ever to be restored, a Great Awakening must first occur. And that in turn will prerequire a fervent preaching ministry, that can crush the materialist and liberal challenges to orthodoxy in the minds of men, and recall them to their spiritual lives. And that in turn will require a college of extremely devout and philosophically sophisticated preachers who themselves vigorously practice the life of faith, in liturgy, prayer, and contemplation. And that in turn will require a renascence of the study of metaphysics, of traditional liturgy, music and architecture, and of mystical praxis.

        There is work to do. Mostly it comes down to monastic and presbyterian vocations – and a great expansion of the diaconate.

        I think it would help also if the Church, or some of her orders, could resurrect the ancient Israelite tradition of the Nazorite vow. Essene men could vow to take up monastic discipline for a season – a month, a quarter, three years, a lifetime. During the period of their vow, they would not cut their hair or beards (Samson, e.g., was probably a Nazorite); this was a public indication of their sacred vow. They could continue with their normal work, but would observe strict abstinence of various sorts, and partake of additional daily rounds of prayer and worship. Some might retreat to hermitages or monasteries, while others would continue to live at home with their wives and children. At the end of their period of commitment to their vow, they would return to secular life.

        Nazorites were revered, honored, and given special allowances so as to accommodate their discipline, rather in the way that yogis are revered in India.

        Lent and Advent are remnants of the Nazorite vow. So for that matter are the routine commitments of ordinary Catholics to the observance of their common rites and to abstinence from sins that, to secular men, are unremarkable. Indeed, most congregations are enriched by the presence of a few particularly devout men and women, extraordinary in their faith and praxis, who imbue the whole establishment with palpable sanctity.

        But such laymen are known only to the clergy and the regulars, if even them. Their devotion is beautifully private. That’s appropriate. But it is not an effective witness to the fruits of devotion. An effective witness – an effective advertisement and literal propaganda – must be forward. It must be public, obvious, in just the way that the monastic habit is public and obvious. Serious Christian laymen must become public witnesses to their practical devotional projects, or else there will be no public interest in serious Christianity.

        We need obviously, publicly admirable exemplars of spiritual maturity among laymen. It must be clear to all that an ecclesiastically approved and supervised, fathomlessly deep mystical path is open to laymen, whatever their station in life. Fascination with the spiritual heights and depths is pervasive among humans. Many, many people are desperately searching for spiritual authenticity and the authority it confers. The Church must be able to proclaim, “here it is; just here, and right now; pay for it, and then take it, as these have done.” Many then will take up the offer. And that will elevate the Church in the opinions of men, as a serious enterprise peopled by the serious students of human virtue.

        A renewal and institutional emphasis of Nazorean praxis would endow that praxis with prestige, increasing the allure of commitment to the spiritual life.

        There is now no prevalently compelling cult in the West, that all men admire, and to which they all aspire. Until we get one, there will be no possibility of righteous government. At best, we’ll get expedient government, that is not absolutely insane.


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