In my previous post I said our side should hack the political system, not withdraw from politics as some on our side (many of whom are Christians) counsel.
The political system is hostile to us but still capable on occasion of producing outcomes beneficial to us. And the withdrawal of people of good will from politics only makes it easier for our Opponent to torment us. We must wisely apply political force where it is likely to do us good and not be misled by foolish idealism of either the anti- or pro-politics type.
The present counsel refers primarily to voting, although obviously voting does no good unless there is a candidate who is a person of good will, and governing does no good unless done by people of good will. But the vast majority of us will not hold office. We will only vote.
To “hack” the political system, then, is to view voting not as a civic duty, but as one means among many of defending ourselves. Politics as civic duty dates from the old days, when America functioned reasonably well regardless of who occupied governmental office. In those days the election of a bad party or politician was never a catastrophe, and it made sense to vote for a questionable candidate as long as his party was, in the long run, better for America than the other party.
But now all of official America is committed to destruction. To vote with the goal of supporting the existing order is to cooperate with destruction.
Instead, we must vote with the goal of protecting ourselves. And if no candidate is likely to protect us, don’t vote. That’s the way our Opponent votes, and he has been successful so far. Continue reading →
This is my third post on how Christians (and other persons of good will) should view politics. The other posts are here and here.
My theme is that those who call for a boycott of politics are mistaken. The political process can still sometimes do us good but we must have discernment because our Opponent has overall control of the System. Instead of being loyal to the political system (one of the marks of a Good Citizen, according to traditional American thought), we should hack the system. Since the System is generally run so as to do us harm, but our Opponent does not control all details, and since political processes often do us either harm or good, we must wisely use the System to our advantage when possible. Withdrawing entirely from politics, as some advocate, is misguided. It is unilateral surrender.
Our Opponent has overall control, but not total control. Therefore it is still possible on occasion to love your neighbor (in the Christian sense) through politics.
But many people cannot bring themselves to vote unless they believe there is a candidates who is unambiguously a good person or a party which unambiguously does good. (Our opponents, in contrast, define a politician as unambiguously good if he endorses Wokeism, regardless of his character.) Many of our people cannot vote for a candidate who would be a much better officeholder than his opponent but who has serious flaws. Casting such a vote is commonly called “supporting the lesser of two evils,” and is generally condemned by Christians as being “worldly.” Continue reading →
[Update 10/23/2021 I realize that my use of the phrase “standard politics” here can be misleading, and it is very important for me be to clear because otherwise the reader may think I am saying the opposite of what I am actually saying.
In my previous post on this subject I pointed out that the word “politics” can have a wider meaning: Any activity that influences the order of society. Within this wider meaning, “standard” politics refers to what the word usually means: elections, legislation, etc.
But an endorsement of “standard politics” could fairly be interpreted as an endorsement of the entire political system including the sense of granting it full legitimacy. This I do not do. The overall political system is strongly against us and Christians and other non-Woke people must hack the system, that is, use it warily and wisely to our advantage.
Mea culpa for possibly misleading the reader.]
This article continues my opposition to the widespread right-wing belief that politics is a waste of time. This belief contains enough truth to be plausible, but it causes our side to miss important opportunities.
The theme of my previous post was that our opponent is tearing down good culture and replacing it with bad culture, therefore some of our people need to do the work of forming good culture. And anything having to do with the formation of culture may be called “doing politics.”
In this post I continue to build my case by making a point about “standard” politics, i.e., politics in the ordinary sense of the word (voting, supporting candidates, trying to influence government officials.) Standard politics can sometimes be useful for our side, and we inflict unnecessary harm on ourselves if we always stay away from it. I do not try to specify exactly how our side can engage in standard politics; I only make the case that it is sometimes good for us. Continue reading →
Many Christians, especially Evangelical Protestants, believe Christians should avoid “politics.” The quotes are there because the underlying concept is ill-defined. There is just a prejudice that Christians ought not to waste time on it.
The traditional Evangelical argument is this: When people become Christians they will naturally support a proper social order, so we should only do what we do best: evangelize. The presence of enough individuals having right beliefs will naturally lead to a proper social order. Politics is ruled by politicians, a slippery and deceitful lot. Better to stay entirely away from them and their craft.
This belief is mistaken. Here is why:
The Woke are destroying traditional American culture. By “culture” I mean everything that gives order to how we live. All the customs, traditions, habits, rules, laws and so on that govern the ways that we relate to each other. “Culture” also means all the ideas and beliefs that allow us to understand the world and that indirectly give rise to our social arrangements.
In short, culture is the way we live.
The Woke are destroying our culture. They are changing it from the traditional Christian-friendly American culture to a new anti-Christian culture.
Since mankind cannot live without culture, the Woke have no choice but to establish a new culture. The only way to destroy a culture is to replace it with a new one. Our culture is being remade and will continue to be remade.
So if Christians don’t remake a Christian-friendly culture then non-Christians will remake a Christian-hostile culture. There is no third option. Continue reading →
Does he want to injure, or heal? Is he base, or noble? Would he transgress and so ruin his patrimony, or elaborate and so glorify it?
It is in practice pretty easy to tell, no? It is not after all so hard to parse this, or therefore to decide which side deserves your lot. Go then; decide. Which poet shall you heed?
There is in the final analysis nothing else that is in your power. Everything else, from the morning coffee to the changing of the diaper to the valor of the battlefield is a faint echo – a mighty, magnificent, immensely important echo – of this basic decision.
Is it about you, you worm? Or is it about something more? If it is about something more, then: is it about the Ultimate, or is it about something damnably less?
Let’s on with it then, brothers. Into the fray. Deus vult!
I harp from time to time on the first and crucial importance of linguistic tradition, as the indispensable foundation of almost all others. We cannot very well maintain a social order if in discussing it we have no way to be each and all clear on what it is, exactly, we are talking about.
This is no original thought. Confucius was saying the same thing 2500 years ago. And Orwell saw clearly that deforming the language would deform – and ruin – culture.
The Leftist Establishment is hard at the ruin of language, with the recent risible emphasis on pronoun protocol.
The tradition of modernity is to repudiate tradition per se. It’s right there in the term: ‘modern’ is from Late Latin modernus, from Latin modo, “just now.” So ‘modern’ means “what is just now.”
Traditionalists take the modern tradition with utmost seriousness, thoroughness, and consistency: they repudiate the tradition of modernity.
Traditionalists are the iconoclasts of iconoclasm. So likewise are they then the true postmodernists. In their hearts and in their minds, and so far as is possible in their acts, they live into whatever it is that shall inevitably ensue, once modernity has finished eating itself, and collapsed; once the people have awakened and shaken it off like a nightmare or Soviet Communism.
Traditionalists are ransacking the cupboards on the morning after Belshazzar’s Feast, looking for the coffee as the sour dregs of the Party lapse into biliary nausea, bitter existential regret, and alcoholic coma, and as the Persians begin to assemble their siege engines.
Our religion is under attack. We are under attack. To defeat our opponents we must first convince ourselves that our doctrines are true and our ways are good. How can we know these things?
To know despite uncertainty and opposition we must have an argument. Not “argument” in the sense of fighting, but having a persuasive case. We must persuade ourselves first and then (God willing) we can persuade others.
My emphasis here is on persuading ourselves. If we know how we know, and we know our doctrine is true, only then can we defend ourselves.
Using arguments to defend one’s doctrine goes by the name “apologetics,” especially in Christendom. There has always been disagreement over the best type of apologetics. A recent development (about a hundred years old) is the school of Presuppositional Apologetics. It arose within Protestantism of the Reformed variety. Like all important terms, “presuppositional apologetics” has many layers of meaning. There are a few root ideas and many subsequent developments. As with all schools of thought, the presuppositional schoolmen sometimes go off into the weeds.
But the root idea of presuppositionalism is decisive for apologetics: All thinking is governed by presuppositions, meaning basic beliefs that are accepted without proof and often without conscious awareness. Continue reading →
Fascist Poster from 1938 Inviting Young Men to Try Out for the Air Force
Italian participation in World War II started late and ended early. Italy only entered into combat when the Germans had rolled their Blitzkrieg over France and were conducting the final maneuvers that led to the armistice of 22 June 1940. The members of Benito Mussolini’s Grand Council, with the assent of the king, declared war on their Gaulish neighbors and attacked. The main action took place in the air with the Regia Aeronautica or Royal Air Force making attacks on French fortifications and airfields. The bombing and strafing raids were largely ineffective however because while the Italian air arm looked good in propaganda films, it deployed few modern types and of those — few proved themselves efficient in combat. The obsolescence of Italy’s air-inventory had its roots in Mussolini’s participation in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Nationalists. In 1936 the Regia Aeronautica deployed an air arsenal that included up-to-date types, like the Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 trimotor bomber and the Fiat CR.32 biplane fighter. The latter acquitted itself marvelously against the inferior French and Russian aircraft fielded by the Republicans. The Cucaracha, as it came to be called, represented the perfection of the biplane interceptor and could also undertake ground-attack and close-support duties. A Fiat V-twelve with six cylinders in each bank propelled the sleek, streamlined airframe pulled through the air by a two-bladed metal propeller. The CR.32 had a maximum speed of about 230 miles per hour, fast when Italy introduced the type in the early 1930s. The Cr.32’s two machine guns stood as adequate for the time. The SM.81 followed the planform of a Savoia-Marchetti airliner, which meant that it had not begun life as a proposed military type. Again, SM.81 performed adequately considering the opposition, as it had in the Italo-Abyssinian war of 1935 – 37, against no opposition at all. Italy sent other types to Spain, including the Breda 65 ground-attack aircraft, which even managed to score a few victories in air combat, a role for which its designers did not intend it.
Innovation per se is not stupid. Pushing the envelope can be socially salutary; but not when it is done only for its own sake, or for the sake of notoriety, of fashion, or of fame. There is a difference between Evel Knievel and Planck, e.g.; or, between the insane, inane and therefore utterly stupid useless absurd extravagances of the fashion industry on the one hand, and the experiments at the bleeding edges of the changing limits of practically useful and therefore generally appealing clothing design (whether for purposes of mere fabulous sexual allure at one end of the spectrum, or of survival in harsh environments at the other) as fabrics and materials – and preferences – all evolve.