Tag: politics

Financial Solutions

Financial Solutions posted in Eleison Comments on November 19, 2011

Numbers of commentators on economic questions are presently writing or saying that the world’s financial system is on the brink of collapse. None of them are sure of the timing, but many of them predict that it will be a major collapse. Yet before the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, few people saw it coming because they were comfortable in a way of life that seemed well established and for ever moving forward. However, if these commentators are right, it is about to come off its hinges.

We should all of us be thinking what went wrong and how it should be put right. Here below are a series of practical proposals, adapted from a recent article on the website Burning Platform. One need not agree with each of them to begin envisaging alternatives to our present broken system. There are political and financial proposals. Let us begin with the latter:—

*Nationalize those banks which by being “Too Big to Fail” can hold the State to ransom. Let any consequent losses fall on the people responsible or involved, not on the taxpayer. *Re-institute (in the USA) the Glass-Steagall Act to stop banks from ever becoming so big again. *Re-institute mark to marketing accounting rules, so that banks can no longer pretend that their assets are worth much more than they are worth in the market-place. *Regulate the derivatives market so that likewise no financial entity can become so big that it can threaten to crash the entire system if it goes under (as happened in the USA with AIG). *Simplify the present highly cumbersome system of income tax, or replace it altogether with a consumer tax, and eliminate corporate tax breaks. Notice how such proposals may be explicitly financial, but they are implicitly political, because to be put into practice they would need a significant change in the political way of thinking of the people and especially of the leaders. Finance depends on politics. Here are the more obviously political proposals, which may be disputed, but they at least point in the right direction:—

*To combat the corruption of too comfortable politicians, impose term limits. To combat the corruption of elections by special interests, cut out all lobbying and lobbyists. *To cut down the power of the central bank, take away its control of the nation’s money supply. *Re-organize the States’ welfare benefits, today so draining the States’ finances that tomorrow they will be able to benefit nobody. *Re-instruct the people to go without, and to accept a lower standard of living, so that instead of spending society into oblivion, they build it by saving. *Do what can be done to replace suburban sprawl by more self-sufficient communities. *Renounce world empire so as to cut down the enormous military spending of the USA, for instance by bringing thousands of troops home from their bases all over the world.

Here again, for such proposals to be put into practice, they require great changes in the people’s way of thinking, especially in that of the leaders. Political decisions depend upon what people value more, or most. Why are we alive? To enjoy on earth, or to be truly happy for eternity? Is that an either-or question? Is there an eternity? Thus politics depend on religion, or on the lack of it. Will today even a financial crash bring anyone to their senses?

Kyrie eleison.

Stay Awake!

Stay Awake! posted in Eleison Comments on April 16, 2011

In a situation of the world so serious that there are even rumours of Japan’s recent peacetime disaster, with its estimated 27,000 people dead, being not an act of God but an act of man (look up HAARP tsunami on the Internet), what can a Catholic do to save his soul? In all truth he cannot do much for the world, but the very least he can do for himself is watch, or stay awake.

It is Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane who puts watching, i.e. keeping our eyes open and not falling asleep, even in front of praying (Mt. XXVI,41). The reason is obvious. If, like Peter, James and John, I do not keep watch (Mt.XXVI,43), I will cease to pray, maybe, as in their case, when Our Lord most needs it. How many Catholics in the 1950’s and 1960’s, especially the clergy, were not watching the signs of the times in Church and world, and so were caught completely on the wrong foot by Vatican II? That is why “Eleison Comments,” as “Letters from the Rector” used to do, are constantly turning on economics and politics, to get Catholics to wake up to their religion and its demands, far outweighed by its promises (I Cor. II,9).

Thus an expert on Wall Street (see JSmineset.com, March 30, 2011) may say, “The financial system is screwed up beyond repair. On top of that there is no desire to repair anything because the wise guys know it is impossible. It is the world that the flushing of Lehman has created. It is not a brave new world” . . . Jim Sinclair says it does not matter how much “funny money,” as one can call it, the central banks go on creating . . .”The damage is done and there is no solution . . . please get physically self-reliant” (his words, my underlining).

Still, even Traditional Catholics are being tempted to doze off, not to say fall asleep. Here are two recent testimonies. The first is from a teacher in a Traditional school:— “I feel awfully alone in the battle, not the battle with external enemies in the world, but the battle inside the Society of St Pius X, which is being waged with such subtlety that nobody seems aware of it. It is the same as it was in the mainstream Church in the 1960’s, the same slow gradual shift in behaviour.”

The second comes from an inside observer of today’s Traditional Catholic scene in the USA:— “ It appears to me that Catholic militancy is declining. I see many Traditional Catholics, especially family fathers, accepting the ways of the world. The fight is no longer important to them. They are happy to have their beautiful Mass on Sunday, but on Monday send their children to public school. Each November they go out and vote for the lesser of two evils, watch (conservative?) Fox News and declare the (conservative?) Republican Party to be the answer to all of the world’s problems. In my humble opinion this lack of militancy is becoming more and more pervasive in the Traditional Catholic world. Are we (the laity) returning to the same set of circumstances that led to Vatican II? Is the Sunday Catholic now the predominant majority in the Traditional movement? I’m afraid that the answer to both of these questions may be, yes.”

For is it not so much easier to give up trying to swim against today’s current, so much cosier to fall into the arms of Sleep? The very least one can do for oneself is throw out that television set.

Kyrie eleison.

Unbelievable Hubris

Unbelievable Hubris posted in Eleison Comments on February 19, 2011

Prophets of doom do not make themselves popular, but if they are ministers of God, they must tell the truth. Now some people say that such ministers should not concern themselves with politics or economics. But supposing politics have become a substitute religion, necessarily a false religion, as they put man in the place of God? And supposing economics (or finance) are about to make many people go hungry? Are ministers of God not allowed to ask, with Aristotle, how people are going to lead a virtuous life if they will be lacking in the basic necessities of life? Is the virtuous life not the business of such ministers?

Therefore I make no apology for quoting a remarkable paragraph from a reporter of the prestigious Wall Street Journal who relates how in the summer of 2006 he was rebuked by a senior adviser of then President Bush for having written an article critical of a former communications director in the White House. He says that at the time he did not fully comprehend what the adviser was saying to him, but afterwards he saw it as getting to the very heart of the Bush presidency. Here are the adviser’s own words, as quoted by the reporter:—

People like the reporter, the adviser said to him, are “in what we call the reality-based community, meaning people who believe like you that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” The reporter should forget about yesterday’s principles of respecting reality. “That’s not the way the world works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality – judiciously, as you will – then we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” (See www.321 gold, Feb 2, “We are Victims of a Financial Coup d’Etat,” by Catherine Fitts.)

This is not me moralizing about how the modern world runs on fantasy. This is a Washington insider of insiders, positively boasting of how the modern world is run on fantasy. Do not his words correspond exactly to the fabrications, for instance, of 9/11 and Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” “created” to justify policies otherwise impossible to justify? The arrogance of such a scorn for reality, and for people respecting reality, is breath-taking.

The classical Greeks were pagans with no knowledge of the revealed God, but they had a clear grasp of that reality which is the moral framework of his universe, governed, as they saw it, by the gods. Any man, even hero, who defied that framework, like the Bush adviser, was guilty of “hubris,” or of rearing up above his proper human station, and he would be crushed accordingly by the gods. Catholics, if you think that grace does away with nature, you had best re-learn from the pagans of olden times those lessons of nature which are more than ever needed today. Study Xerxes in Aeschylus’ Persae, Creon in Sophocles’ Antigone, Pentheus in Euripides’ Bacchae. Pray the Holy Rosary for sure, but also read the famous classics, plant potatoes and pay down debt, say I!

Kyrie eleison.

Remarkable Film

Remarkable Film posted in Eleison Comments on February 12, 2011

It is easy to see how the recently released French film, “Of Gods and Men,” gained top prize at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France last year. It recreates real events of 1996, the last months in the life of a Cistercian monastery in post-colonial Algeria, where the eight monks were finally taken out and killed by unknown assassins. The film is beautifully directed, acted and photographed. Of particular interest to Catholics familiar with Tradition will be the film’s religion and – from a religious point of view – the politics.

Perhaps most remarkable of all is the film’s true sense of religion, given that it is the Conciliar religion being portrayed. Doctrinally, there are for instance ecumenical moments of excessive respect for the Koran. Liturgically, the words and music chanted in the simple but noble monastery church are of modern man, subjective and sentimental. Yet the scenes regularly showing the monks at prayer are so genuinely religious as to be altogether surprising in our secular age. This, one says to oneself, is what monasteries are about!

What can one say? As for the film’s directing and acting, just as modern Britons can still most convincingly represent the Victorian age because the British Empire is close enough in their history to be still in their bloodstream, so the French actors of this film must make marvellous monks on screen because Catholic monasticism has been such an important part of their heritage. But above all, as Our Lord says (Mt.XV,18,19), it is what is in the heart of a man that matters. Much the best of all is heartful Tradition, but this film is there to remind us Traditionalists that heartful Conciliarism may yet please God better than Tradition losing heart.

The politics portrayed in the film are of particular interest in view of the current Islamic uprising in various Arab countries. The monks in the film, as no doubt happened in real life, are caught politically between the Devil and the deep blue sea. On the one side their non-Islamic lives are obviously threatened by the Islamic rebels killing anybody in the way of a political take-over of Algeria for Islam. On the other side the post-colonial Algerian government is highly suspicious of the monks aiding and abetting the rebels by, for instance, practising on their wounded the Church’s corporal works of mercy, and it invites the monks to leave the country. To this day some people think that they were executed by the Algerian government. God knows.

What can one say? Certainly heartfelt Catholicism is far superior to heartfelt Islam, which is an anti-Christian, simplistic and brutal sect. But if the heart is drained out of Catholicism, as it was by Vatican II, so that in real life, anywhere in the world, Catholic monks and priests are liable to be giving not only medical but also moral support to anti-Catholic revolutionaries – in fact, as Archbishop Lefebvre used to say, modernist priests make the most terrible of revolutionaries! – can one be surprised if any established government objects to Conciliar priests’ undermining of law and order? Islam is only rising because the true Catholic Church is still falling.

How much depends upon the few souls holding to Catholic Tradition!

Kyrie eleison.


Contamination posted in Eleison Comments on February 5, 2011

If liberalism in its broadest sense be defined as the liberation of man from God (see last week’s “Eleison Comments”), then the liberal Catholicism of the 19th century arising out of the French Revolution (1789) was, broadly, the successful liberating of politics from God, while the liberal Modernism of the early 20th century was the unsuccessful attempt to liberate the Catholic Church from God, attempt scotched by St. Pius X. However, that attempt succeeded half a century later way beyond even most liberals’ dreams, at the Second Vatican Council. Here below is another recent testimony I received, from Italy, observing how liberal Traditionalism is now at work to liberate Catholic Tradition from God (if only we had half the Devil’s perseverance!):—

“After the unchaining of the Tridentine Mass by Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio of 2007, a great quantity of Catholics came closer to Tradition, but their quality varied widely. As was inevitable, the increase in numbers brought towards Tradition many Catholics who had never been convinced of its importance, and whose idea of Tradition was still basically subjective, meaning it is optional for Catholics and not obligatory. In this respect even if Benedict did say some useful things in his charter speech of December 22, 2005, its effect was disastrous.

“Confidence in the Pope then made any critical thinking about the modern liturgy, catechesis or doctrine take second place. To draw distinctions or to clear up confusion made one widely unpopular. However, the announcement of Assisi III dealt a sharp blow to this broad and very fluffy spectrum of Tradition, and Catholics had to make up their minds. Contrasts came out into the open, and the first divisions emerged.

“Benedict XVI has succeeded in infecting the promising potential of young Catholics connected or close to Tradition, and he has succeeded in creating divisions. Much of that potential is now ruined, even if one may put one’s hope in God that many other youngsters will come to talk and behave in a properly Catholic way. So just how many Catholics will embrace whole-heartedly the Church’s just cause? We shall have to wait for the dust to settle, and for men of good will and fresh vigour to make their appearance.

“Witnessing to Tradition calls more than ever for clear and firm statements. Hesitating or vacillating only does damage. Meanwhile let us fight on, sharpening the tone wherever called for, and openly pointing out the evils of Benedict XVI’s Conciliar Newchurch. Public opinion in Italy is far from concerning itself with the Church’s true problems. Catholics here have learned for centuries to believe that what the Pope says is Gospel. They are children of our age.”

Surely this testimony suggests that the marginalization of Econe by the mainstream Church in 1975, and its outright condemnation with the “excommunications” of 1988, each helped to save Catholic Tradition from contamination. Will the Lord God for the same purpose need to permit another such division and marginalization? We devoutly hope not!

Kyrie eleison.

Dangerous Dreamland

Dangerous Dreamland posted in Eleison Comments on January 15, 2011

Somebody just sent me a few sentences of Fr. Denis Fahey (1883–1954), which prove that before Vatican II not every Catholic was “asleep at the switch.” Is that to say that many Catholics were? There can be no doubt of it. Moreover many still are, including a number of so-called Traditional Catholics, because the same causes produce the same effects, and the causes that gave rise to Catholics’ blindness in the mid-20th century are stronger than ever in this early 21st century.

Here is the brief extract from Fr. Fahey’s “Kingship of Christ and Organized Naturalism” (1943). (the sentences are numbered for purposes of commentary afterwards):— 1/ “Catholics are succumbing to the machinations of the enemies of Our Lord because they are not being trained for the real combat of this world. 2/ They leave school without an adequate knowledge of the organized opposition which they will be sure to encounter, and with only hazy notions on the points of the social order which they must defend . . . 3/ and Catholics who really fight for a true Christian order are always sure to find Catholics in the opposite camp.”

1/ Since the mass of people in today’s world no longer believe that the truly good life is to be led in Heaven with God, thanks to salvation through faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ and in his Church, then they trust in men to provide the good life on this earth, and so politics become in effect their religion, and their governments take the place of God’s Providence. It becomes then more and more difficult for people to believe that their governments and way of life are virtually controlled by the very real enemies of Our Lord – for instance, how could our governments possibly be lying to us about 9/11? Yet such trust in modern governments betrays a woeful grasp of reality, and however widespread it may be, if Catholics let themselves slip into sharing it (without toppling over into becoming revolutionaries), they will inevitably be “not trained for the real combat” of the Faith in this world. Moreover, buying into the dreamland here below, they will have serious difficulty reaching the real Heaven of the real God above.

2/ It may be difficult to teach schoolchildren and seminarians that Our Lord has bitter enemies, because their organized opposition is skilfully disguised. But the youngsters are “certain to encounter” that opposition, so unless that disguise is ripped off by the teachers preparing them for life or for the priesthood, the Catholic youngsters will be going into combat with blinkers, or with one hand tied behind their back. And since individualistic liberalism is heavily promoted by the enemies of Our Lord in order to dissolve what remains of Christian order, then the youngsters need in particular to learn well what Mother Church teaches on “the points of the social order that they must defend” and on the social nature of man.

3/ Alas, as that great Pope of the 19th century, Pius IX said, even the bitter enemies of Our Lord outside the Church are less to be feared than liberal Catholics within the Church. The latter will ridicule the idea that anybody could be “machinating” against Our Lord. After all, “Ithn’t evewybody nithe?” (“Isn’t everybody nice?,” said with an effeminate lisp.) No, they are not!

Fr. Fahey, pray for us!

Kyrie eleison.