“But what should we do?”

If you spend much time on weblogs like this one, you’ll run into comments that go like this. “There’s too much talk on the dissident Right, not enough action. When are we going to start resisting? What do you propose to do? How do we fight back?”

One could reply by saying that this reverses means and ends. The impatient assume that the point of theorizing is to motivate and guide action–“not to understand the world but to change it”. We traditionalists think contemplation of God and appreciation of our inheritance are ends in themselves, some of the highest ends. However, there’s a more cogent reply, that the question is itself a retreat into fantasy and a refusal to confront the practical work that is actually before us.

Let us be very clear. There will be no fighting back against the Left. Not today, not next year, not ever. We are absolutely and utterly powerless. We are a tiny, despised minority without institutional support and without financial resources. Every institution, including your place of employment, is officially against us. The Left can do whatever it wants to us, and there is nothing we can do to significantly impede or harass it. The only reason sites like this still exist is because suppressing us has–so far–not been judged worth the bother.

But what might happen if whites and Christians were to wake up and realize they’re under attack? You think they don’t know? They are quite awake. Every white man knows that he can be attacked in speech and writing by any other group but will be ruined if he answers back. He knows perfectly well that his employer discriminates in favor of blacks and women but that he will lose his job and become a social pariah if he questions the presence of “white supremacy”. When a Christian sees one of those “hate has no place here”, he knows perfectly well that it is the traditional beliefs of his people that are being specifically referred to, and he recognizes the threat. Appealing to these people’s self-interest gets nowhere, because talking back will always be much, much worse for them and for their children than quietly taking the abuse.

What about an appeal to self-sacrifice? Upon what principle? If you believe in sexual equality, anti-racism, etc–as everyone but our tiny remnant does–then you must conclude that Christianity, Western civilization, and the white race should be destroyed. Only self-interest could prevent one from accepting the conclusion, but now self-interest also demands submission.

All of this talk about “resistance” is just escapism. It’s more pleasant to play with moving imaginary militia pieces on a game board than to start think about what you personally are going to have to do, how you will respond to the practical matter at hand. If you have an employer, you must be thinking now about what is going to happen when you lose your job. There’s no need to think about doing something reckless like “speaking out”. Soon enough, silence itself will be unacceptable. All organizations endorsing Black Lives Matter made this inevitable. If you can delay it by signing anti-discrimination statements that are insulting but not directly immoral, you should do so, but soon enough they’ll demand something you can’t give. Are you willing to wear a rainbow flag, to bow down and worship the Negro, to make the clenched fist communist salute, with appropriate “mental reservations”? Well then they’ll just keep going and demand that you spit on your grandfather’s grave and pee on a crucifix. All of us in the tiny remnant, no matter how cowardly, have a limit to the impiety that we’ll stomach. Sooner or later–much sooner than you think–it will be reached.

So, assuming you’re not retired or self-employed, you need to be planning now about what’s going to happen when you lose your job. Practicalities first–as heads of households this is our responsibility. Are you able to retire? If you’re offered a chance to quietly resign, do you take it in the hope of being able to find work again, or do you hold out in your current job as long as you can? If necessary, can you sell your house and move someplace cheaper? Will we be able to support ourselves longer in less-woke rural areas? Is it smart to think of moving now, before the crackdown comes? (Maybe not–anybody who left a good job when Massachusetts legalized gay marriage to protect his kids from an environment of legally celebrated immorality probably felt pretty foolish a few years later.) What sort of employment will be available to us for longest? That is what worries me the most. It’s very hard to imagine any business that’s looking to stay out of trouble being willing to hire someone who was fired for insufficient wokeness. That’s practically asking for rebellion of the other employees and hostile environment lawsuits.

You must prepare yourself psychologically. Perhaps you have a picture in your mind of refusing to submit, standing alone against all of your colleagues. Imagining it, it seems frightening but also heroic. When the time comes, you won’t feel like a hero; you’ll feel like dirt, seeing how disgusted everyone else is with you. The effect of others’ opinions of us on our own self-image can hardly be over-stressed. Perhaps you should start preparing now. Remember that your co-workers and neighbors actually hate you already; they just don’t know it yet because they don’t yet know the full truth about you. Get used to it. Learn to accept it and live with it, and maybe it will be less of a shock when the time comes. Apologies won’t appease them. Nor will your dignity under fire impress them, but it may mean something to you.

You must prepare yourself spiritually. Your priest will condemn you, but you shouldn’t be bitter. This is becoming a totalitarian country, and people do what they must to survive. Remember that God is outside of time and change, is completely unaffected by any of this, and learn to take some comfort in this. The future belongs to the Left, but the past still exists; it will always have been. Even the present is not entirely theirs, as long as a few of us withhold the space inside our skulls; this too will always have been even after we cease to exist. If churches reopen in a year, they probably won’t stay open for long. Too few parishioners will remain. The few that remain open will preach the same gospel of hatred for our kind as the rest of the world. Offer up your sufferings, and remember that although we are not the only sinners (as the world believes), we certainly are sinners and deserve nothing better. Christianity will make you miserable, but can you nevertheless be grateful to God for giving it to you?

Suppose you have a young son. He shouldn’t be thinking about it, but we should be wondering how he can make a living someday. Perhaps the self-employed will still be able to give only nominal submission? Perhaps manual laborers will be exempt, at least longer than other employees?

So I suppose I agree. Less talk, more planning. Planning, not fantasizing. Alas, our ability to plan is hampered because we don’t know exactly what the situation will be–in what order and at what times various options will be taken off the table. Any plans we make will have to be continually revised, but at least it gets us thinking about the real world and our actual responsibilities.

50 thoughts on ““But what should we do?”

  1. Here is a soft counterpoint I wrote in anticipation of dire times. And further still, if you don’t mind, I would like to present a harder counterpoint here:

    My thesis is that none of the things you are worried about matter. Not even the Left matters. Evil empires rise and fall, and Christians have always run around the weeds beneath them trying their best not to be trod upon.

    There are four things that everyone should do and be doing right now.
    1- Fast
    2- Pray
    3- Go to Confession
    4- Contemplate the Eschaton.

    That’s it.

    John 12:25: “(…)He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal.” Worrying about our jobs, our homes, whether or not our colleagues hate us, who cares? One day I will die and as JMSmith noted recently, I will be forgotten by the world. I only pray I am not forgotten by God.

    I think saying our colleagues hate us is hyperbolic as well. Most of the leftist atrocities are committed by the big dogs higher up the food chain. At best, they are indifferent to us, at worst, they think our beliefs are evil. But I think we owe a higher duty of love to our neighbors than assuming all of them hate us.

    What we need in these trying times are Faith, Hope, and Charity. There will be no pitched battles. You will live your life more or less the way you have lived it for the last four years. And if they come for your head then there won’t be anything you can do about it, may God have mercy on us all. You can rest easy knowing that God is the author of all things, and if it be his will that you return to him, the appointment will not be delayed.

    I can hear the admonition now that this is all well and good talk, that i’ll sing a different tune when I am scorned by my peers and there’s a gun against my head. May God know the content of my heart and steel my nerves for the occasion.

    I do not feel any anxiety about these times. I repeat: If the mob wants my head, there’s nothing I can do to stop them. If God calls me home, I don’t want to keep him waiting. If God wants me to be Moses, he won’t be misheard.

    God bless you all. I am sorry we are cursed by anxieties. Our Lady of Good Hope, pray for us.

    • Of course they all hate us! We’re “Nazis”, and they’ve been marinated in World War II propaganda their whole lives. How could they not hate us? They would think it a failure to love victims if they didn’t hate us. You can’t blame them for it. They’re very nice and scrupulous people, most of them.

      • My quibble is with the sweeping generalization, at the root. Yes, some do hate us. But name any individual in your life, I could write out a list of my own friends, family, colleagues, or acquaintances. Do they hate me? I can tell you firmly, No. If you can think of specific individuals whom you know personally, and you know for a FACT they hate you and want you dead–you are called to pray for them, and not timidly either.

        The bottom line is that the fact that they hate us doesn’t alter the fact that we can and should Fast, Pray, Go to Confession, and contemplate the last things. The war is already won–Christ won it for us. Everything else is details.

    • Quietism may work for some people, but a man who has vowed to support a family has vowed to do what he can to keep his job. We would not think he was holy if he took tremendous risks on a motorcycle, with nothing but religious observances as a precaution. We would call him an irresponsible fool and accuse him of the sin of presumption.

      Martyrdom may work for some people, but most Christians will be more useful living than dying. And we do not need to indulge in hyperbole and talk about being fed to lions. Most Christians will be more useful employed than unemployed, more useful respected than despised, more useful with than without some modicum of power.

      The discipline you advocate is necessary, but it is not sufficient. And the discipline you advocate will not be available to your children and grandchildren if you don’t do something to conserve it. It doesn’t show a lack of faith to patch a hole in the roof of the church, and it doesn’t show a lack a faith to expect Christians to watch each others’ backs.

  2. This LCMS Lutheran thinks pretty well of Scoot’s suggestions above. Dreher’s Live Not by Lies is a good book for reading now. He’s probably pretty much right about soft totalitarianism.

    But I’d suggest thought about the following:

    (1) Think about what you can do now and what you might be able to do for the sake of someone else who suffers consequences, not for being an imprudent bigmouth, but for humble faithfulness to the Lord. What would you do? What could you do? C. S. Lewis put most or all of his royalties into a fund administered, under his direction, by his friend and lawyer Owen Barfield. Lewis thus helped out various widows, etc., of whom he became aware. For some of us, perhaps it would be appropriate to ask our pastor or priest if he knew of someone who could really use an anonymous financial gift. Is there a church study group that could use a donation to help cover costs of books? Think about serving other Christians more than you think about scenarios involving yourself. I suspect that if you pray that the Lord will make you aware of ways to serve, He will…!

    (2) Have a discipline of Bible study that you stick to, early in the day if possible. In my own case, I am using Concordia commentaries on the Bible, e.g. Steinmann’s on Daniel. These contain some material beyond my expertise but they are also books from which I can learn new things as well as be reminded of important things I already knew, and which I am finding are encouraging. (Daniel, by the way, is a great book to be studying right now. Those interested in patristic learning might look up Jerome’s commentary on Daniel, which is or was available in an inexpensive paperback.)

    (3) Memorize hymns and recite Psalms that lift up your heart, e.g. Charles Wesley’s “Rejoice, the Lord Is King” (the sixth and final verse is perhaps iffy, about us being “taken up to our eternal home” — not necessarily wrong but doesn’t sound quite like the new heavens and the new earth), or Psalm 2 when you need to denounce the foolishness of the governmental, legal, educational establishment.

    (4) Keep the Church Year. Many of us need to reorient our way of marking the passage of time, and no Christian needs to reinvent this.

    (5) Pray for your enemies. The Bible says so.

  3. Pingback: “But what should we do?” | Reaction Times

  4. I think Land and Weapons are good advice for young people. Do your best to make them contiguous with like-minded neighbors.

  5. You are right to stress that no one on the Left will admire a non-leftist for having “the courage of his convictions.” Those were just words they used to sell their leftist dissidents to vaguely conservative Americans. We on the right think of courage as a virtue independent of its application. They don’t. I would add along these same lines that no one on the Left will admire a non-leftist for being clever or deeply intelligent. They are not going to give you a break when you show them that you have read a bunch of books and can talk like a graduate student. Acknowledging the “brilliance” of someone on the other side is something right-wingers do. Nominating leftists for awards is something right-wingers do. I think this is grounded in the fact that we have a true but dysfunctional understanding of justice, whereas their understanding of justice is entirely pragmatic.

    But I also think we can do something other than just coming to terms with our defeat. Wherever possible, people on the dissident Right must effectively organize to cover each others’ backs. If your workplace isn’t entirely woke, connect with other dissidents and form a secret society. I stress the words effective and secret because this would not be a debating society or a missionary society. Its purpose would be practical and defensive, and it would operate by passing information through covert channels and exercising influence for mutual advantage in seemingly disinterested ways.

    I also think we can expand our numbers with smart evangelism. It is often said that Leftism slowly boils the frog, but the truth is that the temperature is increased in a stepwise fashion, so that big changes are followed by widespread discomfort. Smart evangelism acknowledges that discomfort and sets people to wondering how the pot got so damn hot. It administers a pastel pink pill, not an industrial-strength “red pill.” We need to work on “gateway” Reaction.

    Impatience is a grave weaknesses on the Right. That and laziness. After long intervals of torpid inactivity, a right-winger will suddenly get worked up and demand a showdown with Lefty at high noon on Main Street. When we get there, he discovers that patient Lefty has organized a gang, taught them to shoot, and posted them on the roofs of saloons and groceries up and down the street. Don’t ask me why people who boast of taking the long view are such hotheads. I don’t know. But it’s a fact.

    • I like the idea of helping each other by passing information. I had thought about writing something about mutual help in my original post, but dropped the idea because I couldn’t think of anything. I remembered when they came for you. What did the rest of us do? We didn’t send letters to your university; we knew perfectly well that that would only make your situation worse. We expressed our support on this blog, which is nice, I guess, but probably no great comfort, and anyway I doubt WordPress will allow this blog to exist in five years. Basically, we did nothing and hoped you would come through it all right.

      “no one on the Left will admire a non-leftist for being clever or deeply intelligent.”

      Indeed, the non-Leftist’s final performance is only for his own sake. He’s the only one who will appreciate it.

      • The Orthosphere is a debating society with an aspiration to missionary outreach, and it is far too small, public and spatially diffuse to function as the conservative carbonari that I have in mind. I’m not talking about hacking computers or riffling files, just people keeping their ears open and giving each other heads ups. A small network can gather a lot of information. A network can also counteract defamation, particularly when it is a secret society. Social and professional reputations are destroyed gradually, and the damage can be checked by an apparently disinterested “good word.” It would also be useful to know just who the real activists are on the other side. The monster is really a bureaucracy manipulated by a small number of organized activists. You would be safer if you knew their names.

    • I will try again with this comment:
      “Impatience is a grave weaknesses on the Right. That and laziness. After long intervals of torpid inactivity, a right-winger will suddenly get worked up and demand a showdown with Lefty at high noon on Main Street. When we get there, he discovers that patient Lefty has organized a gang, taught them to shoot, and posted them on the roofs of saloons and groceries up and down the street”
      This is because of the same reason why atheists do such a pathetic job in Internet debates about God. When a Christian and an atheist want to have a debate, the Christian has been preparing for years because this is what he loves. The atheist cannot bear studying arguments about the existence of God, about the Bible, etc. It is hell for him. He wants an easy way out of this topic, which is repulsive for him. A cheap trick (“Atheism is the absence of belief”). Mockery (“the Flying Spaghetti Monster”), etc. Anything to get the thing done and quickly go back to the things he loves.
      The same way, the Lefty is so prepared for the showdown because getting prepared is what he loves. Political activism is what the Left loves the most. It is not a means to an end. It is an end for him. While the right-winger has more important things in his life (work, family, religion, etc), the most important thing for Lefty is political activism. It’s his hobby, it’s his passion, he can’t have enough of it. The right-winger hates political activism and only sees it as a means to get left alone and do his thing. So he appears late and wants to get this dirty thing done and quickly go back to his life. This is why he is so impatient. This is why he always loses.
      In short, democracy is a game where the right-winger always loses, because he hates playing the game so he shows unprepared, while the Lefty enjoys getting prepared.

      • This is a good point and a good analogy. And its not just a matter of preparing for arguments. Lefty really enjoys taking over the world. After half an hour of taking over the world, most right-wingers knock off and go fishing.

      • Cincinnatus. He’s our man.

        Noli me tangere. That’s our motto, at bottom, and must be, in respect to *every worldly thing at all, and whatever,* howsoever alluring it be, and indeed in itself truly good.

        It’s an echo of the Gadsden Flag; or rather, vice versa.

        Going fishing; that’s a sort of theoria.

  6. wrt aspirations of Christian solidarity and mutual aid – here we see the usefulness to the authorities of destroying real social mutuality (Christian self-shelp) by permanent (and They have told us explicitly that it is intended to be permanent) lock-down-social-distancing-masking stuff (excused by manufacturing further fake ‘pandemics’) – and thereby making all possible ‘interactions’ online, and open to continuous surveillance/ censorship/ editing/ prosecution.

    A agree with Bonald that if the leftist totalitarian plan continues to succeed – as it has for the past fifty plus years – then the consequences will be much as he describes. And I agree that the Christian socio-political resistance is so feeble as to be ineffectual.

    (Ineffectual on a mortal timescale and at the socio-political level – however it is a vital matter in eternity and for salvation.)

    However, I am beginning to recognise that the plan (Great Reset, Agenda 2030 etc) may well be overwhelmed by those forces of more-extreme, fully-negative and destructive, evil that it has unleashed and encouraged.

    After all, a leftist technological totalitarian ‘utopia’ of the kind being implemented at present requires a great deal of residual ‘good’ in order to function as a System. It requires hard work, conscientiousness, honesty of subordinates to superiors, some degree of loyalty, the capacity to respond to moralistic crusades and so forth. Any System is based on predictable causality and cooperation of elements.

    But as the System becomes almost everything, and as evil begins to become driven by pure resentment and spite on an ever-shorter time horizon; then the elements that constitute the System will begin increasingly to attack each other, and the system will collapse into a chaos of mutual destruction.

    This plausible ‘Hobbesian’ scenario (named from the philosopher – not the stuffed tiger…) would Not be better than the future described by Bonald – quite the contrary – but it would be be different!

  7. Throughout history, the poor and downtrodden have survived by forming social networks for mutual support. If you have a good harvest, you feast your neighbours and lend freely. If you have a poor harvest, you hope they will support you in your hour of need just as you supported them. If you both do poorly, you commiserate, pool your resources as best you can, and help each other through, because when times of opportunity come it’s important to have good neighbours to help you handle things you cannot handle yourself.
    This is the survival strategy for subsistence farmers and other peasantry and smallfolk throughout the ages, and it works.
    One of the primary social functions of the Church until very, very recently was to encourage, coordinate, and mark participants for this kind of living.
    So what can you do? Rebuild these networks. Refurbish this function of your particular local church. Donate your time, energy, and money not to high-flown causes, but to making sure people in your own parish manage to get by. And talk about where, how, and why you are doing this, so other families get the idea.
    This is what the cool kids call ‘becoming anti-fragile’, and what the saints call Christian charity.

  8. All of the above, plus:
    Learn how to run a printing press or even a copier. Hide it. Start getting ready to produce forbidden works. I take this one very seriously, even though I haven’t done it, because I once had a very disturbing series of visions in which paper was banned as being too hard to surveil. parts of those visions are beginning to come true, so … if WordPress shuts y’all down, just go samizdat.
    Start taking the Sabbath seriously. That is, stop going out to eat or to the mall on Sundays. Stop expecting other people to work on the Sabbath. I used to try to get progressive Christians to do this — our weekly boycott of the system. But they wouldn’t do it. First inkling that I’m actually a lifelong conservative, just didn’t quite grasp that the flavor of conservative that I am even existed. First inkling of what kind of nonsense that I’d gotten myself mixed up with.
    Begin forming self-help/support groups. I don’t have a second member to mine yet, but feel free to steal my name, the Union of Christian Workers. The UCW is for shoulders to cry on, practical advice, job leads and networking. If it takes off, people should first get clear what a practical mutual aid society is, how it works, what rules you want your group to use, and then start raising money. (Do NOT start with raising the money.)
    And whatever groups you do have, thank God for them. I thank God for my cousins and for the other old church ladies of the Anglican Church in North America, who have been 3,000 times kinder to me than any Episcopalian ever dreamed of.
    My day job is with a lefty group. I work with organizers. I know the finance & legalities of this stuff. Eventually I hope to share what I know with people who really need it, people like you gentlemen.

  9. Have lots of kids. Samizdat education. Don’t worry; K is coming. Keep being sensible and down to earth; that will help K along.

    Never panic. The Enemy hates it when we are courageous and of good cheer, even riding the tumbrils to our decapitations. Laugh at him, and at all his servants, and at all their foolish stratagems. The Enemy hates that even worse.

    We win. If we are with God, we cannot lose. Enough said.

      • My only qualification for answering this question is that I was once a hopeless bachelor and now am not. Do you mean hopeless in the sense that you have no hope of marrying and begetting, or that others should have no hope of your marrying and begetting? In other words, do you want to stop being a bachelor or go on being a bachelor? I’m guessing the later. I think the answer is to spend some of the time and money you are not spending on wife and children to built local networks, perhaps among other hopeless bachelors. Be prepared for a very slow start and plenty of disappointments, but think about organizing a men’s group, perhaps a “Bachelor’s Breakfast.” If you belong to a church, you might do it in that context. Since you are not looking after a family, make it your mission to look after some lonely men. There are lot’s of them, although they may be rather hard to find.

        If you are an involuntary bachelor hoping to change your marital status, I think everything depends on your age. But I think you are a voluntary bachelor who is asking how to make himself useful.

      • I think much of the advice on the PUA blogs is useful. You will need to make some adjustments for Christian morality, but you may also need to make adjustments to what you have been told about the “perfect gentleman.” If you are under the age of 30, take heart from the fact that the dating market will shift in your favor. If you are older, you may need to brush up your appearance. Older bachelors are sometimes too proud of their cynicism and seediness, and thus render themselves more repulsive than they are by nature. One other thing is develop a high tolerance for rejection. This will embolden you to ask more women, which raises your chances of success, but also gives you the air of insouciance that women find so intriguing. I was never a Casanova and haven’t been in the dating market for twenty-five years, but you might try these things if you’re not trying them already.

  10. “Perhaps manual laborers will be exempt, at least longer than other employees?” Like Bloomberg once said, the world will always need plumbers. The Left is largely concentrated in the white collar classes. Many of them won’t even know how to change a tire. Skilled craftsmen, “manual labors” as you call them, like mechanics, HVAC techs ,plumbers, etc… will be the only free men. So young men, learn a trade.

  11. Partially off-topic. We should move this website outside WordPress or have a secondary backup site outside WordPress. This way, when WordPress closes our website, we will be ready. For example, “cambria will not yield” did that. I can help with that if you need technical help. If you are interested, contact me.
    My last comment was not published but i hope this comment is.

    • That’s an excellent idea, imnobody00. Could you suggest the best way to go about this? Then I’ll think about how much help we need. Thank you!

      • When I set up my own blog 12 years ago, I didn’t want some Silicon Valley lackey deciding whether I was beyond the Pale in the latest fad idiocy. So, I looked around and found NearlyFreeSpeech as a host (https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/). They’re committed to free speech. I don’t know whether their pricing would work for sites with heavy traffic, though. Given the vast right wing conspiracy of fascist billionaire plutocrats as well as those medievalist bishops with overflowing coffers just jonesing to oppress the masses, I doubt that you’ll have much trouble funding the site.

      • Thanks for teaching me the word jonesing. Interesting history. I used to read a lot of beatnik fiction, and am surprised I have no memory of seeing it before. It’s a real go-to word for our consumption-adiction culture, in which some sort of jonesing may be the predominant state of consciousness. It is interesting to consider its similarities, and differences, to the mystical consciousness of sehensucht.

  12. @ Bonald,

    Your key assertions are these:

    “[Calling for resistance] is itself a retreat into fantasy and a refusal to confront the practical work that is actually before us….There will be no fighting back against the Left.”

    “All of this talk about ‘resistance’ is just escapism. It’s more pleasant to play with moving imaginary militia pieces on a game board than to start think about what you personally are going to have to do..”

    There seems to be a contradiction here. On the one hand, you say there is no fighting back, which seems to imply that the entire human future is certain to be a Stalinist-type tyranny in which we play the parts of the Kulaks and the Capitalists. On the other hand, you refer to the practical work that we need to do in response to the tyranny. If the first possibility is the correct state of affairs, what’s the use of working to secure our futures?

    So it would seem that you actually do, in a manner of speaking, think that we should “resist.”

    You may have been (loosely) quoting my comments in a post at your blog when you had your interlocutor calling for “resistance,” which you identified as impossible. But when I refer to resistance, I mean everything that individuals and groups say and do against the status quo to make their lives tolerable. In this sense, of course “resistance” is possible.

    The existing socio-political order has no viable rivals yet, but it is founded on falsehoods and is administered by fools and degenerates. They want to crush us completely, but they lack the virtue to do so. They can punish us for a while, but not forever.

    About whites and Christians waking up and realizing they are under attack: You say that they already know, but many people are only aware of it subconsciously because they have been conditioned to think in leftist concepts. Yes, they know that whites and Christians are said by everybody to be racists and intolerant, but it does not register a conscious alarm with them, because mankind naturally tends to believe that its leaders are wise and good. Or, if it does register an alarm, they dismiss it as false consciousness.

    The masses are always in need of somebody to explain reality to them, even if you and I regard the situation as obvious.

    • Your comment did prompt my post, but it is not directly a response to it. You have an unusually capacious understanding of “resistance”. There’s nothing wrong with that. If trying to avoid or delay ruination by changing jobs or moving counts as resistance, then, yes, this is the grim sort of resistance we are forced to contemplate. Most people calling for resistance mean attempting to check the Left in the political, economic, or cultural sphere, and this is entirely beyond our power.

  13. “You have an unusually capacious understanding of ‘resistance’. ”
    Resistance is a continuum. One type naturally leads to another.
    “…attempting to check the Left…is entirely beyond our power.”
    I thought despair was a sin for you Catholics. Your children need you to keep a stiff upper lip.
    And I disagree with your premise. The Left has cast a spell over society; they have not won fair and square. When the spell is broken, real resistance will succeed.

    • On the one hand, it is absolutely true that the Left’s conquest of the West was complete before any of us were born, and that what we are seeing now is autophagy and the likely final dissolution. On the other hand, it behooves us to resist nevertheless, so far as we can.

  14. @Defender
    “I thought despair was a sin for you Catholics”
    Despair is a sin, and not just for Catholics – but this isn’t despair. This is pessimism – which is an opinion about the nature of the world, esepcially its future.
    The despair that is a sin is to lose faith and trust in God, and in one’s own salvation.
    The opposite of the sin of despair is the virtue of hope – that characteristically Christian virtue, and which is necessary for faith.
    The opposite of pessimism is optimism – these are wordly matters, essentially predictions.
    So a person could be – without contradiction – optimistic and hopful, optimistic and despairing, pessimistic and hopeful, or pessimistic and despairing. So long as he has hope, he can be a Christian. If he despairs And Does Not Repent – then he isn’t.

  15. @ Bruce Charlton:

    So the despair that is a sin is to lose hope in the Goodness of God and in your salvation. Thanks for the clarification.

    Bonald’s approach is then not a sin. But he is too pessimistic and too defeatist. Every man is entitled to his beliefs, but when he speaks in public he has a responsibility to consider how he will influence others. It is not a certainty that the enemy will permanently defeat our people, and the enemy wants us too weak and demoralized to oppose him. By being a public pessimist Bonald is not helping his people – -our people – – to keep up their spirits and defend themselves however they can. You can be a realist without being a defeatist.

    Politics is now war. When an enemy makes war on your people, you have to oppose him however you can. But most people on our side still have not fully acknowledged the war.

    Think of it this way: In peacetime, when someone physically assaults you, it is a serious breach of decorum and a personally shocking and demoralizing episode. In war, you expect to be attacked. In war, you adjust your mindset to expect attack and occasional defeat, and you keep working for victory.

    Our side needs to change its mindset. We have not been fighting effectively. Those who claim to defend us mostly don’t. Most of the conservative campaigns (and all of the high-level ones) have, except for occasional good moves by President Trump, been counterproductive.

    • “By being a public pessimist Bonald is not helping his people – our people.”

      I’ve expressed my displeasure — if that is what it is — about Bonald’s blackpillosity many times before, but this site isn’t dissident propaganda. Rather, it’s a discussion site oriented toward truth, and Bonald calls the spades as he sees them. Maybe he is wrong (we all join him in hoping that he is wrong), but maybe he is right. We engage here because we think that we’ll come to a greater understanding through discussing these matters, even if what we find is not to our liking. It is better to know the actual lay of the land; self-delusion leads to (even worse) disaster. Myself, I think that Bonald is too pessimistic, perhaps suffering from being in a hostile environment (academia) in the most secular area of the country. Yet, even here in God’s country (Midwest), I’m often shocked and appalled when I talk to young people (

      Furthermore, people are pretty stupid, and they change their preferences and opinions with the shifting winds. The filth that the masses have consumed in the trough has made them sick, but the poison, I believe, is temporary and must be regularly ingested for the effects to continue. The proles are simply too robust and hard-headed to absorb ideology deeply. Their women and children may spout cliches, just as they pick up catchy tunes, however lacking in quality, but it doesn’t transform what they are. The poisonous feed simply needs to be stopped or interrupted, and they’ll revert to their natural mode. Our elites, by contrast, are thoroughly deformed, but they’re also the ones best suited to calculate their self-interest in different circumstances (which is why they’re the elite), and most would flip allegiance if they thought that they would gain advantage thereby. They’re not true believers. Bonald says that we’re powerless to bring about such a change (interrupt cultural poison/change the advantages that come in allying oneself with the Beast). Well, of course, without God, we cannot flip a pancake. But it’s not a fantasy to expect the wicked to cause their own ruin, and it’s not prelest to look forward to prayers answered . . . and not simply in matters “eternal” (as opposed to life here and now). The theomachists cannot help but destroy themselves; for they serve lies and behave according to lies. We may not live to see that day, but we might. We remember both the Vendée and the fall of the Soviet Union. We don’t know which our situation will more closely resemble, and we should do our part to contribute to the good, the true, and the beautiful in whichever way most prudent as events unfold. What is the most prudent? Well, that’s why we have this thread.

      Regardless, I understand your point about morale, and it would be ideal to reserve such frank discussions for something like the “nocturnal council” in the Laws, where the city’s wise men — along with the Hellenic equivalent of heretics and thought-criminals — meet to discuss matters of import away from the decent, obedient, conformist citizens and the light of day. Yet, we don’t have that luxury (well, not really and not yet — our dissident organizations have not yet realized their status — as you say, things will change once they do). The blackpilled will say that anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear should certainly come to the same conclusions (as Bonald), anyway. That the spirit of the age hates us isn’t really esoteric knowledge . . . and it’s wise to plan for all contingencies. Bonald lists some very bad possible scenarios, and then someone else less melancholic, such as yourself, makes the excellent point that you made — that we simply do not know the future and cannot foretell what adventure and trials await. Both presentations are useful in keeping us aware of our ignorance and of the possibilities that we might face, sooner or later.

      • My contact with proles is superficial and limited, but salt-of-the-earth types appear to be thin on the ground. Charles Murray’s Coming Apart impressed me profoundly, and I can see the degeneration of the American working class in my own extended family. Hedonistic post-Christian culture is terrible for people with short time-horizons and limited impulse control. It’s not good for anyone in the long run, but it really messes with the proles. One thing that supports your optimism, however, is that most proles aspire to normal sex roles and family formation. They are not resistant to hedonism (who is?), but they are fairly resistant to rest of the cultural revolution.

        Correct dosage is of the essence when administering the “black pill.” If the dosage is too high, the result is despair. If the dosage is too low, inaction. I personally advocate a high dosage to correct the very large normalcy bias on the Right. We are far too addicted to the illusion that a silent majority is going to get fed up real soon now, and this is why we are already a partly silenced minority.

      • Certainly, the “Great Society” has devastated the poor, and the same is perhaps even more true in the U.K. I don’t recall clearly if we’ve ever discussed Theodore Dalrymple . . . I seem to remember someone here had some negative thoughts about him. Myself, I find his writings instructive, and I met him a few times at D.C. events. I thought that he was a fine fellow, but I am also a sucker for British accents and tend to bow in modest submission before emissaries from the Mother Country. Anyway, one of T.D.’s main themes is how wrecked the lower classes are there — and how unhelpful their “advocates” are to them. Yet and still, white trash incontinence in matters of virtue may protect them from becoming pious in contemporary ungodly puritanism. They know the smell of shit too well not to detect it in the bogus wisdom of intellectuals. They also are less able or willing to turn a blind eye to the effects of such applied wisdom. 9/10 of the lower class women, white and black, who I hear complain about the world sum it up in the observation that this is what happens when people forget Jesus. That’s about what Solzhenitsyn thought, too, and they’re right. The men tend to offer more caustic observations about self-serving rich bastards’ doing what self-serving rich bastards do. Again, I cannot find folly in their judgment.

        On a side note, I notice that WordPress cut off one of my paragraphs above . . . right when I tried to write “younger than thirty” by employing the less_than_sign followed by the digits for thirty. I don’t understand how that would have confused the system, but so it did.

      • I really liked Dalrymple’s first book, Life at the Bottom, and used to assign it in a class. Many of the students who read it liked it, but of course many student’s didn’t read anything. I’ve read some of his other books, but find him less original and slightly pompous when he’s writing about high culture or the petty vexations of bourgeois existence.

        The proles at least know they are proles. I’ve come to think that most middle-class people like me are just proles in denial. I nowadays sell my labor under slightly more agreeable conditions than many honest proles, but that mostly aids my denial. Professors like to imagine themselves professionals, on the order of physicians in private practice or partners in a law firm. This is nonsense, since we don’t own the university. We’re just hired hands on the educational ranch.

      • Synchronicity, again. I see that Kristor quotes T.D. on the lies post. Oh, and you’re welcome about the verbal jones. You’ve caused me to look up dozens of words. As for your observation (with Sehnsucht), I guess that jonesing is what happens to a race no longer even aware of transcendence. The Screwtape plan has been a pretty success.

    • Let us be concrete, as that will best illustrate my point. What precise activity would someone be discouraged from doing from reading my post that he might otherwise have done? Was he going to join the right-wing militia? There is no such thing. Was he going to join an anti-anti-racist organization? There are none. Was he going to resolve to patronize businesses who haven’t joined the totalitarian cult? Again, none. Was he going to “organize locally”? Alas, there are on average less than one of us per city, so readers already know they are locally alone, and would feel so even if it weren’t currently illegal for them to pay a visit to their next door neighbors. Was he going to “speak out”? If he thinks it’s his time to embrace martyrdom, nothing I’ve said argues that it isn’t. These aren’t things that I’ve told readers. These are things they already knew.

      • Anyone ornery enough to do those things won’t stop from despair, but there are concrete things. VDARE still exists for now. Consider supporting them. Family-owned companies rather than corporations “converged” by leftist infiltrators still exist and are doing their best to stay afloat and keep true to their convictions. Spend your money there. Consignment/secondhand/antique shops are abundant, at least where I live, and you can shop there for gifts and housewares without enriching people who want us dead. Shop at farmers’ markets and boycott the large, Satan-worshiping chains to the extent that you can. There are many decisions that we can make, and the more of us who make them, the greater impact it will have in the world at large.

      • @Bonald

        By concrete do you mean tangible, measurable by human standards? Because I took The Defender to mean by despair something spiritual, difficult or impossible to measure by human standards, a sin that occurs interiorly, perhaps (or even probably) undetected by anyone from the outside.

        Over the years, it is not concrete action you have kept me from performing, but the temptation to general discouragement that I buck against in reading thoughts such as you’ve expressed in the OP.

        And I wouldn’t say anything if I didn’t have great esteem for you in general, based on most of what you’ve written.

  16. Stop confusing “the Left” and liberalism.

    Many on the left are our natural allies. “Social Justice” is a traditional Christian concept. There remain plenty on the left who are anti-woke and who want workers rights, economic justice from predatory corporations, and an improvement in the kinds of services government pretends to provide. They are motivated and willing to agitate for these causes. Most of them are very far from deracinated. They are anti-religious, but that is because it is very clear that every religious institution has failed to stand for anything resembling social justice. My own Catholic church is particularly reprehensible in this respect.

    These people are just as anti-liberal as we are. When we set ourselves up as opposed to them, when we call ourselves “conservatives” or refuse to be allies when pragmatic but instead demand that they first agree to our every philosophical quibble, they lump us in with the “conservatives” who happily stand athwart history making sure only reforms which increase corporate profits are allowed to pass.

    This is a serious issue, because no serious traditionalist is a “conservative”. Liberal modernism is genetically anti-tradition. No conservation of this system, in any capacity, is compatible with traditional beliefs. Conservatives are, in fact, our real opponents. Left-liberals would have collapsed the system decades ago if the “conservative” right-liberals hadn’t been there to shore up the institutional structures of liberalism.

    We need to start thinking of ourselves as against the system. The system cannot be reformed. The system is the enemy. Anyone who is against the system is my ally. We might disagree about what new system ought to replace it — these disagreements are irrelevant so long as the system continues to tyrannize us all.

    One final thought. Please consider that the end of the system will not be clean and neat and tidy. Exiting the system now, as much as individually possible, is great preparation for when the system collapses. To reference a very good essay on the subject, “collapse now and avoid the rush”.

    • The Leftists you describe are our natural enemies because their vision of the Church is exactly opposite to ours. They aim to make the Church into an instrument of “social justice,” which means a giant soup kitchen with optional prayer chapel attached. We aim to keep the church an instrument of salvation and transcendence, which means a giant cathedral with optional soup kitchen attached. Charity and Mercy are traditional Christian concepts, as can be seen in the fact that Christians used to name their daughters Charity and Mercy (and Hope and Faith). Social justice is not. When Christ said “my kingdom is not of this world,” he meant, among other things, that we should not try to make heaven on earth. The reason, I suppose, is that we are fallen creatures for whom “justice” will always be a mask for swindlers.

      In any case, “social justice” is incompatible with actual justice (which we affirm and try to practice) because it makes moral judgements about classes, and classes are not moral beings. The working class is an abstraction about which nothing whatever can be said other than that its members work. Some work well. Some badly. Some are underpaid. Some are overpaid. Some are good people who deserve more than they get. Some are really nasty skunks who get far more than they deserve. “Justice for the working class” means for more all alike, which is the exact opposite of justice.

      You don’t need to persuade us that the system is against us, but we have no power to be “against the system.” We certainly have no desire to overturn that system and institute a more aggressively Leftist regime that would be even more aggressively against us. As we have often written at this site, Liberalism is not nearly as neutral as it pretends to be, but it does grant traditionalists liberties that we can use to survive. Leftism doesn’t even pretend to be neutral, and always, always, always persecutes dissent.

      • I think I’ve spent more time than most trying to understand the thoughts of people who hate and want to destroy me, and I’ve become convinced that it’s a waste of time. A half century of popes and bishops demonizing middle class whites hasn’t made the Left hate Catholics any less. Distinctions between liberals, Leftists, communists, and progressives are irrelevant for us, because these are all just excuses to persecute us, as one can see by how easily the Left forgot about the working class when it decided that sexual degenerates were better allies to attack us with.

      • Bonald @ This is the classic psychology of the beaten wife who thinks about nothing but her violent husband and what she can do to appease him. Instead of seeing her husband as an odious brute, she looks for correctable flaws in herself. He’s down at the tavern hoisting beers with his buddies, and she’s home worrying that he won’t like her now she has a black eye and missing tooth. In the academic setting that we know so well, it is best not to mention you are a churchgoer. If word gets out that you are, you will find yourself doing little things to show you are not that kindof Catholic, etc. If word gets out that you are a little bit of a right-winger, you will find yourself disavowing every stereotype about right-wingers that you can. I think of this as analogous to someone tossing cargo from a struggling airplane to lighten the load.

        I think the impulse to prove ourselves “not that kind of” explains a lot of the division and treachery on the Right, and in the Faith. I crossed this bridge when I began to defend gun owners, although I’m not a gun owner myself. It would have been easy for me to sidle up to Lefty and say I’m “not that kind of” right winger, but that would only serve to show Lefty I’m a right-winger and a rat. As you say, the Church hierarchy has used “not-that-kind-of” treachery to sidle up to Lefties and throw reactionary Catholics under the bus. I’ve heard many homilies that seem to have been written to persuade Lefties who would never hear those homilies that the priest was “not that kind of” Catholic that was sitting there in the pews.

        I do not suggest that right-wingers should become “flaming” right-wingers, only that we must understand that ingratiating appeasement does not work. The Left is a Church, and you are either in it or out of it. There are no “cafeteria Communists,” so you will win no points by loading a couple of Communist side-dishes on your tray. You can either order the Communist Special and clean your plate, or you can be known as a Fascist Pig. There is no in-between.

    • Although I agree with the professor, I am intrigued by what I call the Vermont factor. There are many, many foot soldiers on the left with significant traditional orientation — just consider environmentalists, localists, and the left’s own I-Thou enthusiasts (who mistrust big, depersonalized, “alientating” institutions). I can easily find dozens of tracts of expansive common ground with such folks . . . and they may not even enjoy Smetana (https://orthosphere.wordpress.com/2020/10/31/smetana-folks/). I agree that we should be able to cooperate with these factions for the greater good. Such experiences tend to melt their unacknowledged bigotries, at any rate, and that in itself may be worth the effort.

      • Kristor and I have often remarked that our aesthetic affinities are with the Left-Trads, or SWPLs. This puts us in the dilemma that Rod Dryer tried to solve with the idea of the “CrunchyCon,” which fused a tasteful bohemian lifestyle and a culturally conservative soul. It is possible to be a CrunchyCon, but other than shopping in the same stores, CrunchyCons and Left-Trads have a hard time getting along. We can help each other repoint the bricks in our old fireplaces, but we will very soon fall to arguing about religion, politics, sex, morality, and the things that really matter. To my mind, there is a “whited-sepulcher” quality to the Left-Trad. Unfortunately the “sepulchers” of many cultural conservatives resemble monster trucks painted dayglow colors. Personally, I find that I’m initially attracted to Left-Trads, but grow disgusted as I get to know them. With the social conservatives, it’s often the other way round.

  17. Pingback: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee! – The Orthosphere

  18. I don’t know if any human has the “right” answer to the important question, “But what should we do?” But, I think reasonable men of faith could agree on some fundamentals…

    I think part of the (justified) lament concerns our abandonment/tactical retreat from the “commanding heights” of the economy and opinion-centers. Are you a doctor who protests the lockdowns as unscientific? Join the unemployment line and de-platforming. Are you a lawyer who challenges woke orthodoxy? Prepare to face disbarment. Are you a professor who cares about Truth? Prepare to be doxxed/harassed and eventually dismissed. Are you the wrong gender/color to be hired/appointed in business (or are unresponsive to “progressive” demands)? Rinse and repeat during Year Zero…

    Perhaps some people will choose to sacrifice their careers by standing for Truth. Each person needs to follow their own guidance from the Holy Spirit as what to do in their circumstances. Others may stay embedded in the System as hidden allies. Others may decamp to less hostile pastures (both here & abroad)….

    If the System is Evil (& getting worse) then System-distancing will be critical for most. Luckily, Christians have withstood persecutions of every imaginable kind. So, that fact should embolden us. Many other comments here are right about scaling back and weaning ourselves from the System in big and small ways (gardens, barter, etc…). Each of our collective actions can–like water leaking through a cracked dam–find ways around the obstruction which can eventually lead to its collapse.

    I choose to pity those who are siding with Evil in an attempt to temporarily improve comfort of their mortal lives. What did Jesus warn about such people? There is no rainbow at the end for those who base their metaphysics on denial of God and perversion of His Laws–only death and destruction. In some ways we have it “easier” than previous generations: the sides of Good and Evil are readily apparent. Remember: we win in the End.

    God has a way of demonstrating His Power when all seems hopeless…


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