“I am not saying that [Father] Coughlin was bad, I am saying that he is an enemy. Of me, of the liberal state, of civilization as I understand it . . . . I am not saying that Coughlin was evil, I am saying that he was on the other side in a struggle to the death, a struggle which is apparently still ongoing. Which side are you on?” a.morphous, “Comment,” orthosphere.com (March 4, 2023)
I have not juxtaposed the video and the comment of a.morphous because I wish to mock the comment. A.morphous has here expressed a grim and tragic truth. Natural man has been in a struggle to the death with supernatural man, since Cain slew Able, since the lascivious “daughters of man” seduced the “sons of God,” since low-minded Ham cracked jokes about naked Noah, since Nimrod, grandson of Ham, attempted to take heaven by storm.
Supernatural man is to natural man a mooncalf, a freeloader, a Puritan, a Torquemada. He is an insufferable scold who, as Christopher Hitchens said, “poisons everything.” He frightens men out of innocent carnal pleasures with paranoid fantasies of eternal perdition. He binds men in toils of ritual, cant and superstition. He therefore invites from all right-thinking natural men, a wedgie, a swirlie, a raspberry—a “struggle to the death.”
I listed above the instruments by which natural man has through the ages killed supernatural man. Like Cain he has slain him. Like the daughters of men he has seduced him. Like Ham he has mocked him. Like Nimrod he has snared him in the hideous strength of a technocratic Tower of Babel. And natural man is today winning like never before.
So the question of a.morphous is really the deepest question. Which side are you on?”
Schmitt reached down to something foundational.
Friend and enemy are the primary moral categories, since no man can be good by himself–at least not for long.
Abraham being called God’s friend was one of the most important moments in all of history.
A very fundamental issue is raised in this discussion, and it’s not just good, but a providential blessing, that it is raised here and in the original post. Although the discussion seems to have been focused on whether Christians are enemies of liberal society it really goes deeper, and so I would simply refer to the Meditation on the Two Standards of Saint Ignatius Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises. In retreats I have heard this being on the existential choice between Christ and the devil. One recent text can be found here somewhat recasting it as between Christ and the world, but really it comes to the same thing.
This is why conservatism – as defined by strong political disagreement combined with assumed loyalty to the state – is doomed, and always has been.
We were fooled. During the centuries in which we were majority, we were told that there was no war, that everybody could think whatever he wanted, worship however he wanted. We were told about free speech, freedom of religion, debate and so on.
We were naive and lazy and we bought this pile of sh*t.
Now that they are majority, they don’t have to pretend anymore. Now they admit it is a fight to death and they want to eliminate us from the face of the Earth. (ADL has labelled “It’s OK to be white” as hate speech, for example)
“for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light” Luke 16, 8
I remember the moment my aspirations for a meaningful academic career came to an end, with the words “But which side are you on?”
I was sitting down with Emeritus Prof Robert Paul Wolff of “Anarchism” fame, in a Paris café. He’d agreed to review my thesis on the conscience which, although purporting to be a defense of quasi-anarchist liberal toleration and a criticism of Rousseauvian personal autonomy, was also an exposé of liberalism’s political Pyrrhic victory since, as I explained, the State (that naughty judgmental thing against which Liberalism was founded to temper and control) remained, ultimately, the (arbitrary) arbiter of which groups and individuals were to be tolerated, and which were no longer to be tolerated because they “threaten the regime of toleration,” ie., whichever ideology held the reins of power. At the time, radical Islam and proto-wokism were the things I had in mind, but I also understood well the implications for conservatives, Christians, for anyone, depending on the changing winds of ideology.
Prof Wolff had written his book “Anarchism” and he had also written extensively on Kant (and prior to that had been a Marx academic, which I thought he’d recovered from) so I thought he would be impressed with my work, as I had gone through similar intellectual phases. I didn’t know that he was retired from his last post as Chair of – wait for it – African Studies at Chapel Hill, so I shouldn’t have been so naive and sycophantic as I was. But I was young then, and didn’t know yet that this fork in the intellectual road led on the one hand to permanent rebellion under any quasi-righteous guise, and on the other, to Christ.
Anyway, this “old wise man”, the clichéd “cultured Jew” – a viola player to boot, playing the grand Christian music in an amateur ensemble – whose affirmation I was craving… Well, he simply dismissed all the philosophical arguments I’d carefully laid out, the deontological claims of right prior to the good, the demonstration of the transcendental basis of moral values, the distinction between these and customs, etc etc., and simply demanded to know, “which side are you on?” What did he mean? Which were the sides??
I made a few vain attempts to persuade him that that was of no importance to me, as I had only desired to attempt defensible truth propositions, and to test these against the popular counter-arguments for fallacies, to simply *uncover* liberalism as it is, rather than to *defend* it… before I relented and fell into silence.
With a sinking heart, the scales began falling from my eyes. “Which side are you on?” I knew which side I was on; it was not his side, or his ilk, whose indefatiguable yet futile war waged against truth, goodness, beauty – using all the fine drapery of scholarship for cover – tires us all.
I naively helped many leftists in my academic career and most of them stabbed me in the back. I’m a very small fish in the academic world, so the help I offered was proportionately small. But liberal tolerance and even friendship went out the window when the discovered I was not on their side. I’ve crossed paths with a few great men of the left and found all of them bigots at the core.
I did in fact continue for a few years in academia after this incident, and can validate your general conclusion. This was certainly true in my continued correspondence with Prof Wolff, which became for me a bracing lesson, one that has stood me in good stead, as I finally embarked on the inevitable through the valley of the shadow of death, without any fear.
That’s the problem with Proposition Nationhood: when there’s no longer agreement on the proposition, then the social contract is just about who has access to the launch codes.
a.morphous, to his credit, recognizes this. While Fr. Coughlin and his followers can “come out from among them and be ye separate,” the classical liberals and other Leftists can allow no such thing. They will demand that their ideological opponents be hunted down to the ends of the earth and put in re-education camps.
Hillary Clinton’s remark about “irredeemables” immediately comes to mind. Her audience cheered when she said it. Arm yourself.
Enlightening story. Thank you for sharing, Leigh.
And yet, the logic of a.morphism is self-annihilation. And so, a “fight to the death” has a radically different meaning for one who believes in a.morphism and one who believes in perfected resurrected eternal life. This a.morphous enemy doesn’t win by killing his foes. He wins by convincing his enemies of the “truth” of self-annihilation.
Remember, “liberalism,” in a nut’s hell, is tolerance and nondiscrimination. These “values” are the surest path to self-annihilation. And with a mass self-annihilation, a “default elite.”
A.morphism serves this end.