Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Global Village

Why can't we have it?

A citizen of the world can sign up for membership at a Crossfit box at locations from the Cook Islands to Istanbul. I attend wedding receptions and meet immigrants from everywhere, and everybody dances to the same American music (usually hip-hop). The US military spans the globe, and English is the international language of business, aviation and maritime. Over 1 million people immigrate to the US each year, as many as arrived in Europe in 2015. Why can't this prosperity-fueled dream last forever? Can't we all just get along?

I was sincerely asking myself these questions. After all, has not +Francis of Lampedusa himself assured us our catholic and apostolic Faith has lifted the curse of Babel?

Genesis 11:1-9Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

11 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
And the answer is, no we can't, and the reason we can't is Power, and all the noble impulses and charitable feelings and wishful thinking won't change the outcome. A world of transnational governance is so remote from the diffuse taxpayers who support it as to be completely unaccountable. Witness the obscene disregard for constituencies with transnational organizations like the EU, whose wealthy bureaucrats unleash Muslim net tax-consumers on their peoples. NATO casually blows up functioning countries. The TPA/TAA/TPP is thousands and thousands of pages of impenetrable, lobbyist-drafted, anti-democratic legalese which no Representative, much less his hapless, anonymous constituents, could coherently analyze for beneficence of the national interest.

Power, like wealth and ethyl alcohol, is an intoxicant. It makes people do dangerous and stupid things. But it is a collateral characteristic of power which drives this process, and that is its craving for altitude. As our friend Porter so succinctly and elegantly puts it,
These were the thoughts as a friend called today to ask my opinion of some local political trifle. Upon expressing ignorance of the issue, he quipped “You know more about what’s going on across the world than you do across town.” And that’s true. Because whether meter maids are working on Wednesday afternoons will ultimately exert less gravity on my life than the large objects forming far away. It’s a poignant realization that politicians closest (and thus most conceivably responsive) to their citizens are those least empowered to serve their interests. While that is unfortunate for man’s happiness and dignity, it’s not at all atypical to his station through history.

Because power craves altitude. It seeks the greatest possible elevation from those rooted to the ground. Only constant vigilance and viable threat of head/neck separation have ever leashed power to the same plane as the people. Those too stupefied, venal, or craven to hold the ropes can be assured of it quickly levitating far from their input. And that is much of what passes for current political discussions in both America and Europe: a frantic “come back!” gesturing toward the fading helium balloon called government of the people, by the people, and for the people. I guess we’re just not the people.
And to reiterate, that is why we can't rebuild Babel, because power craves altitude. The transnational apparatus erected to administer the global village is a ravenous, impersonal, totalitarian Beast. And ultimately fragile and doomed to collapse as every scaled, complex empire in human history has ever ended up.

But we never learn. Thank God for his enduring, eternal Grace.

P.S.: Speaking of Babel, language is uniquely confounding. Translation, particularly outside language-families, is notoriously difficult. Different language and the related idioms shut off a whole host of interpersonal signals. Language is such a patent and difficult barrier, one wonders if it is an evolved response. The Creator apparently thought it was important.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Not Peace, but a Sword

An astounding comment, via Ad Orientem:
Robert Paxton said...

I have been mostly a Catholic lurker here over the years. Through that time, I have mostly found Anti-Gnostic's viewpoints to be irritating. As time has passed, however, I have found myself agreeing with him on tactics if not on other things.

I will vote for Trump gladly because I do not want to fix the status quo. I want gotterdammerung. I want to stick it to all the nancy boys and pantsuits in office. Given the power to do so, I would drag them all out onto the street and tar and feather them, which is much better treatment than their muslim ingenues would give them in the same position.

I have sons. This distinguishes me from many of my peers, who either have no children, have daughters or have simply one son. I have multiple sons; one is already 18. I have seen the way that this society destroys young men. God forgive me, I have been a part of this dilemma.

There is nothing for these young men to win in present day American society without kowtowing to the hollow men. All I wish is for them to have a future that does not involve slavery of the most vile kind to a society that is as sick as ours. Nihilism may be portrayed as childish but I can only see hope for them in the complete destruction of the status quo and an opportunity to rebuild.

Some may say that I will regret it if something bad happens to my sons in the resulting chaos. What can I possibly hope for? That they may die fighting a foreign war for the Obushma establishment? That they can try to marry and lose their property and children in a no-fault divorce? That they can either suffer ignominious unemployment or seek a meaningless degree in an overrated college?

Men like me have already decided. There is no point in persuading us. You can question our motives all that you want. I unnerve liberal peers when I tell them: stop trying to reason with us. You presume that we want peace. We want war. We do not want to negotiate reform with you. We want gotterdammerung. God forgive us, but it is the only solution that we can see. Perhaps another solution can be presented, but so far liberals have only presented more of the same. Given a choice between the status quo and chaos, I choose chaos. Let the whole structure crumble to the ground as long as I see the faces of my faggoty overlords overcome with fear on the way down.

Like I said, I am sure that people can come up with criticisms for the views of men like me but it no longer matters what others think. Our discontent is the future. I do not care what Trump does in office because, anymore, I just want revenge on certain segments of society that have profited from their own weaknesses rather than their ability to cope and to strive. I want to see their heads explode when he wins. If he does not accomplish anything, who cares? None of the others were ever going to do anything for me anyway. And, after all, all I really want is for my sons to be free to do more than function as cogs in the Party machine (see 1984 if you do not understand. I am sure that John and most readers here understand the reference even if they do not agree with me).
1/16/2016 12:47 AM

Robert Paxton's homepage is here.

Anybody can be anything on the Internet, but I can tell you a number of smart, accomplished men with families are getting angry. The folks showing up at Trump rallies are even angrier. We nerds on the Internet hide behind pseudonyms, because our views would get us hounded out of the well-paying jobs we hold to pay mortgages and tuitions. As this 52-year old Experiment approaches its denouement, what is old will be new again, and people will broach these topics as matter-of-factly as they do road repairs:

People are different, and thrive under different systems.
Not everyone is equally educable.
You are what your chromosomes are.
Welfare and foreign aid are dysgenic.
Biological evolution did not stop 100,000 years ago, and occurs from both the neck up as well as the neck down.
Money is not Wealth, and printing more of it does not make us wealthier.

These are matters of fact. Liberalism depends on their not being true. Reality can be held at bay for only so long.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Paradigm shift

The title was going to be, "Don't want a Reich, don't enable a Weimar."

And don't miss Porter's latest: "Bathing In Cologne."

Germans now live under anarcho-tyranny. When your government outlaws protests against foreign invaders who assault your daughters and sisters, consume the public purse and pollute the commons, then it's no longer your government or your laws. Europeans will either submit to the invaders, who are muscle for the governing elite, or they will explode. Let me repeat that penultimate part in case you missed it: the function of the foreign invaders is to serve as muscle for the governing elite against their own people.

The US problem is more genteel, thanks to flexible labor markets and reserve currency status, but the pressure is building. Malcolm Pollack thinks we are entering a phase shift, as the distance between distinctive and incompatible human population groups shrinks.

I haven't heard the late Stephen Covey's phrase "paradigm shift" in a while, but it needs more use. The US is an Enlightenment-era testament to the power of ideology, but as the Anglo-American stock who dreamed up the ideology shrinks to plurality status, we see the Age of Ideas concomitantly follows. Most Occidentals, still drowsily enjoying the long social democratic nap occasioned by their former super-majority status, have no conception of what's coming. They are perplexed and angry, like petulant children, at the adults shaking them and telling them sleep is no longer possible.

Which brings me to this guy:

I'll pull no punches here: Trump is appealing to American whites (and a not insignificant number of American blacks and latinos) whose tribal instinct has been triggered by increasingly hostile public debate, increasingly chaotic and violent public spaces, and economic policies which deliberately seek their impoverishment. Bourgeois conservatives who've managed to price themselves away from such unpleasantness cannot believe the proles are no longer motivated by candidates promising low tax rates and cheap stoop labor.

As pluralistic democracy scales up and up, elections are less about What and How, and more about Who and Whom. The State perceives a threat from the Nation in the candidacy of Donald Trump. New ranks and files are forming. Paradigm shift.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Orthodox unity in the Americas

Not so fast, says Antioch. (Via Byzantine, TX.)

This is an extremely thoughtful interview of Fr. Patrick O'Grady, tasked by Met. Joseph with explaining Antioch's Statement on the Episcopal Assembly to Ancient Faith Radio.

There is a transcript of the interview at Ancient Faith Radio but the full flavor and tone of Fr. Patrick's remarks are best appreciated via the audio version. God willing I am that assertive and quick-tongued at age 65.

The bullet points from the interview are as follows:
1) The Archdiocese will not abandon its Mother Church, and Antioch disagrees wholeheartedly with Constantinople's interpretation of Canon 28;
2) Unity is a spiritual state, and not a matter of simply drawing up jurisdictions and divvying them out among the bishops;
3) As such, Orthodox unity in the Americas must be organic, a process which will necessarily take a long time.

In other words, Met. Joseph agrees with me. Well, maybe not entirely but the Antiochian hierarchs appear keenly aware of the awkward mix between the modern propositional State and Orthodoxy. America presents a unique problem for Orthodox ecclesiology: an autocephalous Church is wedded to a people, and nobody knows what constitutes the "American people" at this point.

Mr. Allen: Let me read this to you, Father. You know the statement well. The statement presented by Antioch reads:
The holy Synod of the Patriarch[ate of Antioch] and her Patriarch John (or Youhanna) X remains committed to the unity of the patriarchate with all the Antiochian faithful, wherever they are.
So with respect, the statement itself doesn’t exactly sound like a temporary position, but a new position on Orthodox ecclesiology or Church governance, one where there are no official geographical boundaries, which is not really what Orthodox canons call for. Would you like to comment?

Fr. Patrick: Sure. Of course. Okay, first of all, there is no land in the world where the relationship with the mother churches involved were not sustained after the granting of autocephaly. History is rugged. Sometimes there are partitions that are, at first, forced, and then settlements are made afterwards, and then sometimes there are settlements made up front, and then the relationship goes on from there. This is the way human beings relate to each other. Sometimes there’s a fight and then you make up and you hug; sometimes you agree ahead of time and you make progress that way. As far as we’re concerned, we have no intention ever of separating our relationship with the mother church, with Patriarch Youhanna and the holy Synod of Antioch. This is our mother church. The see of Antioch was the first of the Christian metropolitan churches, and it’s a venerable and long-standing tradition which we intend never to break.

When the day comes when Orthodox in this country are mature enough and have established the framework of relationships suitable for the gift of autocephaly, without sundering relations to our mother churches, then it’ll be an organic and obvious thing, and will not be a rupture.

Mr. Allen: So I’ve got to follow up with that. I’ve heard that argument, that we’re not ready for an American Orthodox Church. Is it the position of the patriarch of Antioch and the Antiochian Christian Archdiocese of North America that, after 200 years of the Orthodox being in America, having eight seminaries, 55 bishops, thousands of parishes and cathedrals, 71 male and female monastic communities, media of all kind, thousands of seminary-trained priests, Orthodox international and domestic philanthropic organizations, founded, formed, and funded in and by the United States, that we’re not mature enough to manage our own affairs?

Fr. Patrick: It’s not a matter of institutional maturity such as you’ve listed. These are all wonderful achievements. The problem, I think, lies in our American culture. We value, as North Americans, independence as a virtue. This is a problem…

Mr. Allen: It’s in our DNA.

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, it’s in our DNA, and it’s something that’s made us great, but it’s also cut us off from a lot, because we’ve turned ourselves away from some elements of the Old World which we really desperately need in order to be a full and complete people. So we have condemned ourselves to a kind of na├»ve view of self-importance with a minimal view of history and a large sense of destiny—you know, the American manifest destiny, that kind of thing—and also, we are not an ethnic-based state, like the Old World states were, so we don’t really have the sense of nationhood, that is to say, ethno-, like a mono-ethnic state, as the Old World, so we find it very difficult to grasp the very real pastoral needs which each ethnic people in the Old World had, and they brought with them to this new world. This takes time to work out. Each people have a certain language, a culture, and here in America, to become truly autocephalous, that is, in a fundamental and apostolic sense of that word as well matured…

Friday, October 23, 2015

I can't even...

I'm speechless. (It's Chateau Heartiste, so you are warned).

In the end, my vote was for "Johnny Tampon." The young men may yet redeem themselves, but the middle-aged eunuch, devoting his life to being a meal ticket for broken women and their bastard offspring, is beyond all hope.

Honorable Mention to the 20-year old child-man with the Down's Syndrome girlfriend. She's a model. (No I'm not kidding. Please do see for yourself.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"Love thy neighbor as thyself"

Christians seem to be obsessing over the "neighbor" part and forgetting the "as thyself" part.

Fr. Anthony considers Christianity, which became "Christendom" only when emperors and kings became Christian:

Christianity was only ever something of a minority until it was transformed into something political and imposed by force by all secular powers that found it useful. The culture inspired by Christianity in Europe is nearly gone except in “museum” form (eg. Mozart Masses as concert pieces, etc.).

Is Christianity universal? Is there any interpretation possible of Christ’s “Go and evangelise all nations…”? If Christianity is neither politics nor culture, then it has to “interface” with its adepts somehow. In the end of the day, Europe’s roots are pagan – same thing with Native Americans (red indians) and aborigines – everyone in fact. Golly! We are in a mess!

To repeat: "If Christianity is neither politics nor culture, then it has to 'interface' with its adepts somehow."

A wise statement. The retort of modernist Christianity seems to be that the only interface required is of the mind: a free-floating, incorporeal ideology, with no temporal attachments whatsoever; no family, no people, no soil, and no role in governance. The West has wholeheartedly embraced this gnostic vision, with the result that the West now has no more connection between the physical and the metaphysical. Into this vacuum steps the Muslim, who either joins this superficial, soulless culture, or stands with his Faith Militant against the atheistic West with its aging populations, bizarre sexual deviancies, and plunging birthrates.

Western Christendom is ceding its territories without a fight. When Muslims, Jews and Hindus move to the West to be good Muslims, Jews and Hindus, then it's clear that the West no longer considers itself Christian, and Christians shuold give up the pretense of evangelization. Christians have adopted the gnostic vision and jettisoned their territory and any temporal attachment, so they will be displaced. They shrink into their dwindling parishes like the doomed Shakers and congratulate each other on their ultimate sacrifice, giving up their countries so other faiths can reproduce themselves in their stead. Christians thus commit the sin of self-loathing; they do not believe they deserve to exist.

And here is Porter's contribution.