Sturdy Self-Reliance and a Readiness to Sternly Chastise

“Dar am mighty pore help, when de Injuns am out dar killing the calves.”

E. I. Blair, Early History of Grime’s County  (1930)

I recently told the story of the congregation of Fairview Church standing up to the drunken ruffians, Stevens and Macrae, and suggested that the sturdy self-reliance of the Fairview Christians was a worthy example to us all.  After Stevens and Macrae were sternly chastised by the Fairview Christians, you will recall that they rode away to a place called Roans Prairie to recruit “guns” for a counterattack, that they returned to Fairview some hours later, and that they were, once again, sternly chastised by those sturdy and self-reliant Christians. Continue reading

Love is Not Love

We have been discussing slogans under Kristor’s “Greengrocer “post, and here I propose to pick out (and on) the popular and fatuous falsehood that “Love is Love.”  Everyone with a modicum of intelligence or education knows that English is an impoverished language when it comes to signifiers of the various modalities of human amity, and that “love” therefore signifies at least four different things.  Lewis’s Four Loves (1960) remains the best guide to these modalities of human amity. Continue reading

Acquiescence in Cuckoldry: An Excursus on Kristor’s Latest

This began as a comment to Kristor’s latest post, but then grew into something more.

The most read Orthosphere post of all time is Alan Roebuck’s “Why You are Demoralized and What You Must Do About it,” which he published eight years ago, on June 8, 2012.  More than 25,000 readers have so far profited from Alan’s essay, and site statistics show that number continues to grow. Continue reading

Muscular Christianity

“Only a week ago he made a young man wade up to the neck in a creek because he had his Sunday clothes on.” 

Fort Worth Daily Gazette (April 16, 1890)

It was a man by the name of Stevens who had such an enmity for the Christian religion that he made a lad submit to this second baptism, and thereby ruin his Sunday clothes.  Stevens was a tough who lived on Roans Prairie, some twenty miles east of here, and he seems to have divided his time between harassing Christians and standing trial for murder.  Since the six-shooter was, for Stevens, an indispensable accoutrement of the well-dressed man, we may suppose that the sorry young Christian waded into that creek at gunpoint. Continue reading

Tete de Negre

You may have seen that a large granite boulder on the University of Wisconsin campus will shortly be either buried or destroyed because it insults students of color.  The boulder, a glacial erratic, is officially known as Chamberlain Rock, in honor of the glaciologist and former university president Thomas Chrowder Chamberlain; but it was once (one time, not at one time) referred to by the English equivalent of the words in my title (hereafter NH), and must therefore be abominated and destroyed. Continue reading

On the Reality and Ubiquity of Witches

“For my part, I have ever believed, and do now know, that there are witches.”

Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici (1642)

“You have sold yourself to do evil.”

1 Kings 21: 20

In a recent post, Kristor confessed his belief in daimonic reality, as indeed every logical human must.  Belief in spirits is not an archaic superstition, but is rather a valid inference from the fact that the natural world is not self-explanatory.  As Sir Thomas Browne explained in the middle of the seventeenth century, the “learned heads” that say it is self-explanatory “forget their metaphysics.” Continue reading

The Amorphous Soul

                                           “Another shapeless soul,
Full of revolts and hates and tyrannous force.”

Lewis Moris, Epic of Hades (1876)

There is talk of “reeducation camps” in the lively comment thread ensuant to Kristor’s recent “Never Panic” post.  This talk should really be of “more rigorous reeducation camps,” since every culture is nothing but a reeducation camp in which men and women are, as Machiavelli said, “reminded of those ordinances in conformity with which they ought to live.”*  The only question is whether those men and women participate in this universal reeducation camp as eager or refractory campers. Continue reading

The Morlock Question

“One consequence is the breeding in the slums of our great cities . . . of a hoard of semi-barbarians, whose unskilled labor is neither required in our present complex industrial organization, nor capable of earning a maintenance there.” 

Sidney Webb, The Difficulties of Individualism (1896)

“Proletarianism is a state of feeling rather than a matter of outward circumstance.” 

Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History, vol. 5 (1939)

Webb wrote this line as a Fabian socialist, and therefore argued that the “hoard of semi-barbarians” could be redeemed if the state would only take up their cause and civilize them.  He believed that “the private ownership of land and capital” was the root cause of this hoard of semi-barbarians, because private property had an “evil effect on human character and the multiplication of the race.”  Webb therefore believed that this evil effect would disappear if only land and capital passed into the hands of the state. Continue reading