Tag: Western civilization

Moral Framework

Moral Framework posted in Eleison Comments on April 24, 2010

By their comprehensive brevity and divine promulgation, God’s ten Commandments (Deut.V, 6–21) are the outstanding presentation of that natural law known to every man through his natural conscience, and which he denies or defies at his peril. Last week’s “Eleison Comments” claimed that this law makes easy a diagnosis of the ills of modern art. Actually it diagnoses a multitude of modern problems, but let us this week look at the structure of the ten Commandments, as analyzed by St Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae, 1a 2ae, 100, art.6 and 7.

Law is the ordering of a community by its leader. Natural law is God’s ordering of the community of men with himself, of himself with men. Of this community God himself is the centre and main purpose, so the first “table of the Law” lays out men’s duties to God (C.1, no idols, C.2 no blasphemy, C.3 keep the Sabbath), while the second table (C. 4–10) details men’s duties to their fellow-men.

The first three Commandments represent the duties of loyalty, respect and service in that order. For just as for a soldier in an army, says St.Thomas, disloyalty to his general, or treachery, is worse than disrespect, which is worse than a failure to serve him, so a man towards God must firstly have no other gods (C.1), secondly in no way insult him or his name (C.2), and thirdly render him the service he requests (C.3).

As for the duties of a man towards his fellow-men (C.4–10), of primary importance are his relations with the father and mother who gave him life. Therefore the second table of the Law is headed by the duty to honour one’s parents (C.4). So basic is this honour to all human society that without it society falls to pieces, as we see happening all around us today with “Western civilization” (which would better be termed “Western disintegration”).

The remaining six Commandments St.Thomas continues to analyze as being in descending order of importance. Harm to neighbour in action (C.5–7) is worse than merely in word (C.8) which is worse than only in thought (C.9–10). As for harm in action, harm to a neighbour’s person (C.5, no killing) is graver than to his family (C.6, no adultery), which in turn is graver than to his mere property (C.7, no stealing). Harmful actions in word (C.8, no lying) are worse than harm in mere thought, where again envy of his marriage or family (C.9, no concupiscence of the flesh) is graver than envy of his mere property (C.10, no concupiscence of the eyes).

However, the breaking of all ten Commandments involves pride – the ancient Greeks called it “hubris” – whereby I rise up against God’s order, against God. For the Greeks, hubris was the key to man’s downfall. For us today, a universal pride is the key to the modern world’s appalling problems, insoluble without God, which means, ever since the Incarnation, without Our Lord Jesus Christ. Sacred Heart of Jesus, save us!

Kyrie eleison.

Christmas Fear

Christmas Fear posted in Eleison Comments on December 26, 2009

So Christmas Day has come and gone once more, reminding us of the great joywhichOur Lord brought to the entire world by His Incarnation and Birth, but especially to his Mother. At last she holds him safe in her arms where she tends to him like a mother, but where she also adores him as her God. Alas, who that has an inkling of religion cannot lament how the world around us cashes in on the joy, but in large part forgets the God?

In this respect the joy of Christmas today resembles the smile of the Cheshire Cat, especially in capitalist lands (but Pius XI observed back in 1931 that capitalism was extending all over the world – “Quadragesimo Anno,” 103–104). Readers of “Alice in Wonderland” will remember how the smile of the Cat could still be seen when the rest of the Cat had disappeared. The substance is gone, but the effects linger, at least for a while. Belief in the Divine Child is being killed off all the time, thanks especially to Vatican II, yet the joy of Christmas is lingering. This is partly because God, being supremely generous, commemorates each year the Birth of his Son amongst men with a flood of actual graces, to which many souls respond by being a little nicer than they are at any other time of year, but it is partly also because joy is enjoyable. This is rather less secure.

For as the true worship of God continues to disappear, and with it any true grasp of what the coming of the Saviour meant, indispensable for our eternal happiness, so the joy of Christmas is being reduced to the commercialism and carousing we all know. The smile cannot indefinitely survive the Cat. Even the nicest of NIFs (Nice Internal Feelings) cannot survive indefinitely without their object. If Jesus Christ is not God, let alone the one and only Saviour of mankind, why rejoice in his birth? I love my Nifs, but if they are based only on themselves, sooner or later they will collapse, leaving only a sour taste of disillusion behind them. I may love feeling all “Christmassy,” but if I am reacting to my feelings instead of to what they are based on, I am heading for some emotional collapse or other.

It is the difference between sentimentality and sentiments. Our Lord was full of sentiments, when for instance he met the widow of Naim, distraught over her only son being carried to the grave (Lk. VII, 11–15). But there was no trace of sentimentality in Our Lord (nor, I declare, in “The Poem of the Man-God”), because the sentiments are never being sought out for their own sake. His sentiments were always stirred directly by a real object, eg the widow’s grief, which put him vividly in mind of what would be his own Mother’s desolation when he himself was being carried to the grave.

Subjectivism is the plague of our times, i.e. man shutting out objective reality in order to re-arrange it how he likes it subjectively within himself. Subjectivism is the heart and soul of the Neo-modernism now desolating the Church. And subjectivism cutting off the mind from its outside object necessarily engenders sentimentality in the heart, because it takes away from the heart all outside object for its sentiments. Capitalist Christmas will finally be killed by sentimentality. Either men return to the true God, to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to the true importance of his Birth, or the collapse of some of their nicest Nifs, the “Christmassy” Nifs, risks leaving the little that remains of “Western Civilization” with one more reason for suicidal sourness.

Kyrie eleison.

Frankfurt School

Frankfurt School posted in Eleison Comments on November 7, 2009

Valuable lessons for all friends or lovers of “Western civilisation” are to be culled from an analysis of the USA’s leftwards lurch in the 1960’s by a Californian Professor of Psychology, accessible at www.theoccidentalobserver.net/articles/MacDonald-WheatlandII.html . Professor Kevin MacDonald is there reviewing the critique of mass culture in a book on “The Frankfurt School in Exile.”

The Frankfurt School needs to be much better known. It was a small but highly influential group of non-Christian intellectuals who, when Hitler came to power, fled from Germany to the USA, where in conjunction with a like-minded group of New York Trotskyists they continued to exert an influence out of all proportion to their numbers. Feeling a profound alienation from the “traditional Anglo-American culture,” says MacDonald, they made war on it by promoting the individual against the family, multi-culture against White leadership, and modernism against tradition in all domains, especially the arts. “Theodor Adorno’s desire for a socialist revolution led him to favour Modernist music that left the listener feeling unsatisfied and dislocated – music that consciously avoided harmony and predictability.” The Frankfurt School wanted “the end of the order that bore the sonata.”

The Frankfurt School scorned the American people’s lack of desire for Revolution, and they blamed it on the people’s “passivity, escapism and conformism,” says the Professor, and on “late capitalist” control of the mass culture by, for instance, conservative organisations imposing moral standards on Hollywood. Yet when in the 1960’s they themselves gained control of the media, universities and politics, they exploited to the full the mass culture and Hollywood and the people’s on-going sleep-like condition to swing them to the left. The Professor laments the resulting vicious attack upon “White interests,” “White identity” and the “traditional people and culture of the West.”

The Professor is right on several counts. For instance, the war is not mainly between capitalism and communism, as the leftists originally thought, and as many Americans still think. Material comfort has lulled the American people to sleep, after the 1960’s as before them. Also, on or off the leash, Hollywood and culture play a huge part in moulding minds and masses (which is why “Eleison Comments” often treat of cultural topics). Also, there does exist a small group, conscious and resolute, of highly influential enemies of “traditional Western culture.”

However, to defend “White interests” the Professor needs to go well beyond White interests as such. The real problem is religious. Why did White Europeans ever have so much to give Because for centuries and centuries they co-operated with God’s grace to profit best by the Catholic Faith. Why does this small group of leftists so hate “Western culture”? Because it is the lingering remains of that Faith. And why did the small group become so powerful from the 1960’s onwards? Because at Vatican II the same “Whites” were mainly responsible for the Catholic officials’ betrayal of the Faith which took place at that Council. Today’s triumph of the leftists is no more nor less than a just punishment from God.

Professor, you are not asleep. Now pick up a Rosary!

Kyrie eleison.

Shifting Perspectives

Shifting Perspectives posted in Eleison Comments on August 29, 2009

A remarkable yet possible plan of Heaven for today’s world can be guessed at, if Orthodox Christianity is reviving within Russia in the manner described to me a few days ago in London by a Russian. His description corresponds to the impression brought away from Russia by an American friend visiting St Petersburg a few years ago – the average Russian has distinctly more spiritual substance in him then has the average spiritually wasted Westerner. Does this connect with Our Lady of Fatima . . .?

The Russian in London told me that the Orthodox Church in Russia is following rather than leading a revival of Orthodoxy amongst the people. Attendance at the Orthodox liturgy has increased by half over the last two years, and now 80% of Russians are at least calling themselves “Orthodox,” i.e. believers. New parishes are springing up everywhere. Bibles are snatched up as soon as they come on sale. Religious literature is flourishing, whilst atheistic propaganda is dying. “Holy Russia” is rising from the grave in which Communism from 1917 to 1989 strove to bury it.

For when the Communist structures of the Soviet “empire of evil” (Pres. Reagan) collapsed in 1989, the Russians turned for an ideology to replace Communism not to Western Liberalism but to their national and religious roots in Russian Orthodoxy. What indeed had the decadent West had to offer to Russia’s new needs in the 1990’s? In economics, the plundering of their wealth by capitalist vultures; in politics, the still on-going encirclement of their frontiers to ensure the United States’ permanent global hegemony by the construction of a ring of military bases which are one, if not the real, reason for the disastrous occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan never to come to an end; in religion, the attempted push eastwards into their land of Conciliar ecumenism, with which apparently the Russian churchmen want nothing to do – on the contrary, they are aware of the Traditional Catholic movement, and support it.

However, let us be under no illusion: Russian Orthodoxy welds together religion and patriotism in a not wholly godly mixture, and Orthodoxy is still schismatic by refusing the Papal Supremacy, and heretical by refusing a number of dogmas, so Russians do need to be converted to the truly Universal or Catholic Church. But if Our Lady of Fatima has singled out their country for the Consecration to her Heart, may the reason not be, not that the Russians are still wicked Communists but that the Russian people’s huge sufferings from their 70 Babylonian years of Communist captivity are calling forth from the always religious depths of “Holy Russia” an upsurge of spiritual vitality? And could this not save the true Church, presently wilting in the West, where the mainstream Church may still have large numbers but has little Faith whilst the Traditional remnant has the true Faith but negligible numbers? God knows how the Western Church also needs conversion!

May it then be Russia’s smashing of the encirclement in a Third World War leading to an occupation of Europe, which will at last drive the Latin Pope to consecrate Russia to Our Lady’s Heart, as she has so long been asking for in vain? Will at that moment the Russians’ renewed religious vigor save our languishing Catholic Tradition, whilst our Tradition will cleanse their errors? If so, then God will once again have “concluded all in unbelief, that He may have mercy on all . . .How incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable His ways . . . To Him be glory for ever” (Rom. XI, 32 . . .36).

Catholics, mainstream and of Tradition, pray your hearts out for the Consecration of Russia to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God, or “Theotokos” as she is known in the Eastern Church.

Kyrie eleison.

81 / 121 Re-Structuring

81 / 121 Re-Structuring posted in Eleison Comments on June 27, 2009

Tomorrow, or the day after, there is hardly a box outside of which it will not be necessary to think. In Church and world, the mentalities and structures of so-called “Western civilization” are collapsing around our ears. Still the mass of Western souls are preferring to slumber on in their audio-visual dream, but reality is closing in all the time – they may awake not before they are shackled into the New World Order.

The USA has for nearly a century acted as the shield and sword-bearer of “Western civilization.” Now its financial, economic and political power structures are melting down in a welter of greed, corruption, selfishness and dissolution slung between Wall Street, New York, and Washington, DC. However – let it never be said too often – “We the people” have only ourselves to blame. We have wanted the cause: godless materialism. Now we must live with the effects: the final breakdown of fractional reserve “banking,” of paper “money,” of democratic “politics.”

City structures are crumpling. In Flint, Michigan, original home of General Motors presently employing 8,000 local people where once it employed 79,000 and now bankrupt, local politicians are pioneering an idea to save their dwindling city: raze entire districts and return the land to nature. This idea so appeals to the Federal Government that another 50 cities have been earmarked as potential candidates for salvation by the bulldozer, including Detroit, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

State structures are failing. In California, Controller John Chiang said a few days ago that if State lawmakers cannot quickly solve California’s 24 billion dollar deficit, then next week he will have to pay State debts with paper promises to pay. “Unfortunately,” said he, “the State’s inability to balance the check-book will now mean short-changing taxpayers, local governments and small businesses.” It is easy to imagine how these will react, but it is not easy to imagine how the budget deficit will be solved.

As for our national structures, if we will not acquiesce to their being merged into the international New World Order, then surely a Third World War will be engineered to persuade us, starting with an 81/121 (a 9/11 squared)! Yet all these collapses pale in comparison with Vatican II, because it was the Catholic Church that was upholding “Western civilization.” If the Catholic collapse is not soon reversed by the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, then one must wonder if the healthiest elements in the Church will not need re-structuring as an underground resistance movement.

Kyrie eleison.

Pursuing Truth

Pursuing Truth posted in Eleison Comments on June 6, 2009

The loss of truth is a hallmark of modern times. People seem to believe either that truth does not exist (“What is truth?” asked Pontius Pilate), or that it exists but is not important, or that it exists and is important, but cannot be discovered by the human mind. Whichever way, let us eat, drink and be merry, because if falsehood is as good as truth, then wrong is as good as right, which makes me free to do as I like.

What is truth? Truth is the matching of mind and reality. There is truth in my mind when what is in my mind matches or corresponds to what is outside it, in reality. For nobody seriously believes that there is no reality outside his mind (unless he is mad), because for instance nobody whose car-engine stops does not lift the hood (or bonnet) to find out the cause. Then truth for me exists whenever what is in my mind matches external reality.

Is this truth important? Of course it is. My survival in this life depends from minute to minute on knowing what air is really breathable, from day to day on knowing what food and drink are really consumable, and my happiness for eternity depends upon knowing if God really exists, if he really is the granter of that happiness, and if he really lays down certain conditions for me to obtain it. If on any of these points there is falsehood and not truth in my mind, either I die in a few minutes, or in a few days, or I miss happiness for all eternity. Of course it matters whether what is in my mind corresponds to the reality outside it!

But can the human mind always know the truth? Indeed sometimes it cannot. But usually in pursuit of the truth, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Often if men do not find the truth, it is not because it cannot be found, but because there is not a real will to find it. Take for instance the present difficult and expensive hunt for the evidence which will tell why the French airliner crashed between Rio de Janeiro and Paris. They may or may not finally tell us the truth, but find it they will, because the safety of future flights may, as far as we know, depend on it.

Let nobody pretend that any truth could not be found when there was a way to find it. He merely demonstrates his lack of will to find it. There is a great lack of such will in what is still called “Western civilization.” That is why it is Satanic (Jn.VIII,44).

Kyrie eleison.