Nondum, or, Barbershop Meditations

Yielding to uxorial importuning, I betook myself to the barbershop this morning.  My yielding was not, I insist, uxorious, although it was, perhaps, prudentially.  Readers who do not know the subtle difference between uxorial and uxorious are advised, with their wife’s permission, to consult a dictionary.

As barbershops no longer supply waiting patrons with virile (if outdated) magazines, and as I have myself regressed from flip-phone to no-phone, I nowadays depart for the barbershop with some reading material in my trouser pocket.  That it fit in my trouser pocket is the principal criterion. Continue reading

Filotto Strikes Back

Readers who like to consider both sides of an argument may peruse Giuseppe Filotto’s blistering rejoinder to my apology for Bruce Charlton.  Filotto argues that I am stupid, a liar, and at times even a stupid liar who lies stupidly.   I also once misspelled Filotto’s name, for which I apologize.  Filotto is a vigorous vituperator, although his stock of insults is limited to deprecation of the intelligence and veracity of those who disagree with Filotto.  In my experience, disagreement has less obvious origins.  I will say that I agree with Filotto that despair is self-fulfilling prophesy, and that we should all do what we can to keep our peckers up.

Bruce Charlton is Not a “Gatekeeper.” Nor a “Shill,” Nor a “Glowie,” Nor a “Fed.”

I had not read Giuseppe Filotto until Kristor linked to his denunciation of Bruce Charlton.  I have since read nothing but that denunciation and Filotto’s appended comment that the Orthosphere is a nest of “cretins.”  Filitto accuses Charlton of being a “gatekeeper,” possibly by intention and certainly in effect.  He means what is more properly called a “shill,” since the accusation is that Charlton is aiding the side that he ostensibly opposes.   In culture theory, a “gatekeeper” is a person who can admit or exclude aspirants to some coveted inner ring of the chosen few.  Like St. Peter at the gates of Heaven, a “gatekeeper” can say “welcome to the elect” or “be damned and to Hell with you.” Continue reading

We are Up Against an Iron Triangle

“An aristocracy in one department of society, introduces an aristocracy into all.”

William M. Gouge, A Short History of Paper Money and Banking in the United States (1833)*

“The fact that all political parties and religious creeds tend to exert an influence upon those in power and, whenever they can, to monopolize power itself, is the best proof that . . . they are convinced that to control all the more effective forces in a social organism . . .  is the best way to spread and maintain a doctrine.”

Gaetano Mosca, The Ruling Class (1939)**

Mosca tells us that nineteenth-century liberals were mistaken in their belief that freedom of expression and conscience must lead to the triumph of truth.  Nineteenth-century liberals were, indeed, absurdly mistaken because, “to be quite frank, it is hard to find a notion that involves a greater superficiality of observation and a greater inexperience of historical fact.”  Where there is freedom of conscience and an open marketplace of ideas, by far the largest trade will be in falsehoods that flatter, rationalize and console. Continue reading

Under the Pornocracy

“And I will give children to be their princes, and the effeminate shall rule over them.”

Isaiah 3:4

Most translations repeat the prophesy that God will curse Israel by placing it under the rule of children, but the Douay-Rheims translation specifies that a faithless nation will also be placed under the rule of  “the effeminate.”  The context of the verse makes clear that a government of unmanly men is part of a comprehensive moral revolution in which all natural hierarchies are inverted.  Somewhat later in the imprecatory chapter, Isaiah tells us this government by children and wimps will be equally a government by women. Continue reading

Brazos Country Rambles and Notions 6

Readers who have enjoyed earlier volumes in my series on the Brazos Country are invited to take a look at the latest installment. The quotes in this video are from history and natural history rather than literature, and in most cases refer directly to the scene in the photograph. In the introduction I touch on my idea of the pathos of landscape, quoting the early Christian father Gregory of Nyssa.

We Must Constantly Update Our Demonology

“I feel sure that this prioritizing of Western nations for the chop is a deliberate demonic strategy – happening by intent . . . . And the Western nations (their leaders and especially managerial/ intellectual classes) are not merely willing, but indeed actively keen, thus to fall in line with the demonic agenda” 

Bruce Charlton, “Destruction of Western Nations,” Bruce Charlton’s Notions (May 9. 2023)

“We wrestle not so much with man, as with devils . . . . The enemies we fight with are more than flesh and blood, more envious, malicious, furious, dangerous, numerous, more subtle, powerful, in every way fearful.”

Isaac Ambrose, The Christian Warrior (c. 1630).*

“Culture, which smooth the whole world licks,
Also unto the Devil sticks.” 

Goethe, Faust (1828-1829)

Commenter Naturboi recently demurred at the demonic theories of Orthosphere friend Bruce Charlton, describing these theories as “Manichean” and “unhinged.”  I am myself wary of the pejorative descriptor Manichean, since this word is so often used to throw sand into our eyes.  I am not saying that Naturboi is throwing sand in our eyes, but I do not think we should discard the Manichean baby with the Manichean bathwater. Continue reading

Know Your Limits

“So, turn the other cheek, but you only have two cheeks, and walk the extra mile, but only one extra mile. Peace on earth to all men of good will, but Old Testament solutions are applicable to men of bad will. Christianity is not a suicide pact.”

Jim, “The Logos,” Jim’s Blog (May 6, 2023)

Christianity is not a suicide pact unless we make it a suicide pact, in which case it is a suicide pact and we all die.  We make Christianity a suicide pact when we imagine that a Christian has overcome the world and its tribulations, whereas the truth is that Christ overcame the world and we Christians remains in it. Continue reading

Beyond Repair but not Reparation

“The keynote of the Black Belt is debt; not commercial credit, but debt in the sense of continued inability on the part of the mass of the population to make income cover expense.  This is the direct heritage of the South from the wasteful economies of the slave regime.”

W.E.B Dubois, The Souls of Black Folk (1904)*

“One such estimate laid out in the report determined that to address the harms from redlining by banks, which disqualified people in Black neighborhoods from taking out mortgages and owning homes, eligible Black Californians should receive up to $148,099.”

Kurtis Lee, “California Panel Calls for Billions in Reparations for Black Residents, The New York Times (May 6, 2023)

We are told that whites owe Blacks reparations because, long ago, wily whites loaned money to Blacks. We are told that whites also owe Blacks reparations because, some years later, even wilier whites refused to loan money to Blacks.  A world that nods to this argument is clearly beyond repair.

Continue reading