The Scandalous Fascination of Latter Day Public Life in the West

Back in April of 2015 I whinged on about the stupefying boredom of latter day public life in the West. Thanks to the extraordinary depredations of the Obama years, things seemed then inexorably locked in. The Overton Window was doomed to move ever leftward, ever more rapidly. There was not even going to be a Hegelian Mambo anymore, but just a long smooth depressing slide into oblivion, as if a morphine drip were gradually dialed upward, and the body politic fell more and more deeply comatose.

Then, in June of that year – just two months later – Donald Trump declared his candidacy, and then a year later Britain voted to leave the EU.

Whoops! Looks like the Mambo is still jinking along! Politics is a lot more interesting than it was before June 2016, and it gets more interesting all the time. Are perp walks in view? Maybe so! Maybe, even, some helicopter rides.

Politics has been overturned. There is a bull in the china shop, and the breakage goes on and on, without let or hindrance. There’s a long way to go, but the devastation seems unlikely to stop. It seems likely to get much … better. The Overton Window is being taken apart, bit by bit. Things are said now that could not safely have been said before. The regulatory state is being disassembled, day by day, for the first time since – well, for the first time in American history. The Deep State is now widely understood to be operative in the United States, and perniciously so. Commentators not too terribly misaligned with the orthosphere and our neoreactionary cousins have gained a shocking degree of notoriety – and, ergo, influence. And, perhaps most shocking to me as a financial guy, and in direct contravention to my dour pronouncements of early 2016, massive, unprecedented tax cuts have been enacted, and America appears to be roaring back economically.

Touch wood! I didn’t say that! Jinx 12345678910 Coke!

On top of all that, Generation Z is rising Reactionary.

OK; say that all that were so. Say that it continued. Would that change any jot or tittle of what I abjured us all to do, and not to do, back in that ancient former age, before the Election, before Brexit – before the Wall began to Fall, and all the Humpties Dumpty with it?

What I said:

Politics could indeed get interesting again, if there were any possibility of anything other than a rerun of last season, amped up a notch. What would it be like if reaction were needed as a dramatis persona? Like the guy who, in the middle of filming, smashes into and through the set on his Harley, kicking the whole production up a level or two in the hierarchy of show business self-reference?

If that opportunity should arise, we must be careful not to take it; must be careful to act from our own conviction of the Right, without partaking of the delectations of the Show, or engaging in its discourse. Nothing could be worse for us than to be co-opted by the Show. No: we must reject it, root and branch. Our tenor, our constant, dreadful threnody, must be this, and only this: Turn back, O Man, forswear thy Foolish Ways – your Whole Show Sucks. Get real, or Go to Hell. Your choice. 

In the meantime, let us all attend to the great work of the birds, of the sky, of the winds and of the earth. Let us attend to our children, and their earnest engagement with Reality, and their search for Truth. Let us do the things that are worth doing, that therefore merit life in the first place, and that are worth dying to preserve. And let us be ready to die, rather than forsake them.

Finally, let’s enjoy the spectacle as the scrim of the Show catches fire and begins to Collapse™. Nothing like a nice cozy fire. Hear the crickets?

Politics has got lots and lots more interesting than it then was. And fun. It feels like 1989 again, when the world last enjoyed a phase change, and a Great Liberation. Almost anything seems now possible. Indeed, even royal monarchy seems now not quite altogether inconceivable. With the revelation and destruction of the Deep State that it now seems apparent has really governed us since about 1960, there is a way that it could happen. God send we should be so fortunate.


Are things now so fundamentally different that we may let up? No. Good Heavens, no. They are not. If anything, it is now that we must more than ever press the fight. The scrim of the Show has begun to catch fire, at last. Let the bonfires burn! More gasoline! Burn it down!

And: let’s sing a Te Deum, all. No glory to any such as we; nay, God forbid it. All glory be to God on High. Therein only lies our safety, and our sure defense.

And, therein lies our sense of historical perspective. Come what may, even a King such as we have longed for, our Jeremiads will ever be needful. Never then let up. Down with modernity per se! Up with perennity! Up with Truth, come what may! Damn the torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead! Deus vult!

God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.

Amen, amen.

Remember: keep track of the birds and their songs, and of the babes and their coos; of the woods in their rustles, of the deserts in their stillnesses, of the oceans in their heaviness, and of the stars as they shining forever sing. That, and never shall you be pushed off your proper course.

See you, all, on the other side.

3 thoughts on “The Scandalous Fascination of Latter Day Public Life in the West

  1. Pingback: The Scandalous Fascination of Latter Day Public Life in the West | @the_arv

  2. This post certainly gets one’s blood pumping!
    Forsooth, Huzzah, and Amen!

    May ‘Deus vult’ be on the minds, hearts, and lips of all men of good will.

  3. Pingback: The Scandalous Fascination of Latter Day Public Life in the West | Reaction Times


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