Friday, February 27, 2009

Breaking the Chains of Superficiality

King Alfred at the Battle of Ashdown

“For the victory of battle standeth not in the multitude of an host, but strength cometh from heaven.”

This past summer I got the news that my best friend from my grammar and high school days had died. I was of course surprised and saddened. I hadn’t seen Chris or spoken to him since the summer of our senior year in high school when he was on his way to France and I was off to college. On the surface we were rather unlikely friends. He was an honor student, I was not. I was an athlete, he was not. But we shared a certain contempt for, what I shall call it? Let’s call it a contempt for the Thomas Gradgrind, ‘just-the-facts-ma’am,’ educational establishment, and we also shared a love for the poets of print and stage.

I don’t remember if it was one of the last times or the very last time I talked with Chris, but I do recall that we had differed on the issue of radicalism. In his senior year Chris had gotten heavily involved with radical politics. He even wore an anti-Vietnam War armband at graduation. In contrast, I did not have the slightest interest in politics. I was too young to see the difference between us then, but looking back on our friendship now I realize that Chris was more of a ‘True Believer’ than I was. He believed, or wanted to believe, in the radical 'isms'. But I had the same contempt for the Left as I did for what passed as the conservative establishment. In other words, my temptation was nihilism while his was utopianism. But I was very fond of Chris, probably fonder of him than he was of me. He was the type of person who made friends easily.

I heard of Chris now and then through his brother and some mutual friends. He did the Henry Miller routine, living the avant-garde life for many years. About the time of my marriage, I heard he was back in the United States. I was anything but a radical by then, so I thought I would give him some time to divest himself of his avant-garde ways and then I would contact him and talk about how we had both come to believe in the King of Poets, the Christ.

But it was not to be. I got immensely busy raising a family and never did contact him. When I learned of his death, I desperately wanted to find out something about his later life. Against all reason, I just knew that in his later years Chris had become a believer in the Christ of antique Europe. When he had time to reflect on who it was that inspired so many of the poets of Europe, he would, I told myself, most certainly have become a believer. Well, there is always the hope something miraculous went on between Chris and God during his final hours, but the exterior evidence, the organizations to which he belonged, the job he held, all indicated that he had stayed a clichéd radical all of his days.

His death saddened me, but the fact that he had not become what I just knew he would become, was beyond sad. It was devastating. I’ve had this experience twice now in my life, when I thought that I was heart-and-soul in union with a friend, and then found out we were miles and miles apart. How does that happen? I don’t know. I do know that there can be no true friendship if one has not gone through what Thomas Hughes describes in Tom Brown’s School Days:
However, you’ll all find, if you haven’t found it out already, that a time comes in every human friendship when you must go down into the depths of yourself, and lay bare what is there to your friend, and wait in fear for his answer. A few moments may do it; and it may be (most likely will be, as you are English boys) that you never do it but once. But done it must be, if the friendship is to be worth the name. You must find what is there, at the very root and bottom of one another’s hearts; and if you are at one there, nothing on earth can, or at least ought to, sunder you.”
Of course there was a huge difference between Hughes’ traditional society and the one in which Chris and I grew up. In Hughes’ world, which was passing away when he wrote Tom Brown’s School Days, there was no such thing as the adolescent or 'teen' years. You had your boyhood and then manhood. At some time in your boyhood, you had to decide for good or evil. Were you going to adhere to the principles taught in your boyhood or were you going to go against those principles and forge a new lifestyle and a new faith different from that of your kith and kin? In contrast, the society in which Chris and I grew up did not encourage going down to the depths of one’s soul to see what was there. We were encouraged to make career decisions that were practical but not to make those ultimate decisions that turn a boy into a man. “Be true to the dreams of your youth,” Melville wrote. And he was right, in the context of a traditional society. In such societies boys form the ideals and beliefs that they will carry into adulthood. But in a non-traditional society, the final years of boyhood are called adolescence, and a boy is encouraged to believe that his childhood was a lie and his manhood will be a sham if he gives up the narcissistic dreams of his adolescence. And no true friendship can be formed when one or both of the friends are in a permanent state of adolescence. If I had not been an adolescent, I would have seen that Chris and I were miles apart, as far apart as Tolstoy, whom he adored, and Dostoyevsky, whom I idolized. But of course we both lacked the necessary powers of discernment to realize that.

It is not a little thing, this failure to get to the heart of oneself and to the heart of those we would call our friends. It is a tragedy. And when we perpetuate adolescence into our adulthood, as King Lear did, our personal tragedy has a ripple effect in society and spawns an infinitude of personal tragedies. The adolescent utopian, when he becomes a teacher, creates more utopian adolescents. And the adolescent, utopian politician creates a whole class of adolescent, utopian adults and calls them his constituents. And on it goes until a society becomes an organized state of permanent adolescence that has no principle to live by except the principle of superficiality. Depth in thought and feeling is forbidden. Any religion is tolerated so long as there is no depth to it. So all religions are tolerated except the one true religion, and all cultures are tolerated except the one culture based on the religion of depth.

And it is not only genuine friendships that disappear under organized, adolescent superficiality. Marriages based on love disappear. There is no “secret sympathy, The silver link, the silken tie, Which heart to heart, and mind to mind, In body and in soul can bind.”

How can a man or a woman raised to believe life is an eternal, superficial adolescence unite in a marriage that means something?

The European Christian, the incarnational Christian, must be very careful about this modern business of uniting with a non-Christian, superficial group in order to combat a common enemy. It’s a fearful thing to face a multitude of enemies alone, but if we water down our faith, our religion of depth, to be more compatible with our unfriendly allies, won’t we lose God’s aid in the battle and our souls as well? Organizational, ‘idea’ Christianity, neo-paganism, organized Jewry, and black barbarism, are all opposed to European, incarnational Christianity. If we pick one anti-Christian group to help us against another anti-Christian group, what have we gained?

I’m not very computer savvy, so I don’t always see everything that is put out by white Europeans, but I recently saw an article on the Vanishing American blog with which I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, it was the only article I’ve seen in many years with which I could wholeheartedly agree. And I think that is because there are very few incarnational Christians left and because those incarnational Christians still living and breathing do not use the Internet.

The Vanishing American quotes Drew Fraser as saying that spiritual problems must have spiritual remedies, not political ones:
It is high time for Anglo-Saxons to secede culturally, economically, spiritually, and theopolitically from the transnational corporate welfare state. It makes far more strategic sense for Anglo-Saxons to reclaim control over the Anglican Church from the neo-communists who presently infest it than to waste time, energy, and other scarce resources breeding a new generation of power-hungry white nationalist politicians.

Anglo-Saxons have been brought low, turned into the pathetic practitioners of the WASP lifestyle, by the spiritual disorder I call Anglo-Saxon Anglophobia. Spiritual problems require a spiritual remedy; they cannot be solved by political action. For Anglo-Saxons, an excessive faith in political theology is a large part of our problem.

The ethnoregenesis of the Anglo-Saxons presupposes their spiritual regeneration, in England and throughout the Diaspora. The Church of England created the English nation in the Dark Ages of medieval Europe. In the new Dark Age it must fall to the Church to save the Anglo-Saxon peoples around the world from the satanic forces to which they have become enslaved.

To wage that battle the Church will have to become the nucleus around which an regenerated Anglo-Saxon ethnoreligious community can begin to crystallize. The Church would have to embrace not just those who pray but also those who work to feed, clothe, and shelter their Anglo-Saxon co-ethnics as well as those who fight to defend the territorial and ethnocultural integrity of the Anglo-Saxon race against its enemies.''
Amen to that.

And I applaud the author’s awareness of the fact that our pagan “allies” are not really our allies:
But I find this growing movement in opposition to Christianity among many nationalists and ethnoconservatives to be troubling. I find it so not just because I take the attacks on my God, my faith and the faith of my ancestors personally, but also because it is harmful to our cause. Would the anti-Christians purge us from their number because we don't toe the secularist or post-Christian or neo-pagan party line? Would they take action against Christians should they ever attain power? I am beginning to think the answer is ''yes'' because of the vitriolic nature of their diatribes against Christianity. For some of them, Christianity is the object of hatred because it is said to be an 'alien, Semitic religion', not one intrinsic to Europe. This is the line Nietzsche used, if I remember correctly.
It is more than troubling, it is a call to arms. It always is a mistake to assume people can’t possibly mean what they say because what they say is too stupid or too horrendous. The true hearts among the neo-pagans will, like Harold the Dauntless, find their way, like all noble souls do, to Christ. But there is nothing a Christian European can gain by allying himself with neo-pagans. If the neo-pagans settle for neo-paganism because they claim Christians are weak, they are settling for that superficial reading of history because they want to settle for it. Mere fighting is not anything special. Every race, religion, and country has fighting men. It is what a Christian fights for that makes him unique. But the evidence is there for anyone who wants to look at history objectively; when Christians have to fight they are quite capable of fighting:
In these days when our wise generation, weighed down with wealth and its handmaid vices on the one hand, and exhilarated by some tiny steps it has managed to make on the threshold of physical knowledge of various kinds on the other, would seem to be bent on ignoring its Creator and God altogether—or at least of utterly denying that He has revealed, or is revealing Himself, unless it be through the laws of Nature—one of the commonest demurrers to Christianity has been, that it is no faith for fighters, for the men who have to do the roughest and hardest work for the world. I fear that some sections of Christians have been too ready to allow this demurrer, and fall back on the Quaker doctrines; admitting thereby that such “Gospel of the kingdom of heaven” as they can for their part heartily believe in, and live up to, is after all only a poor cash-gospel, and cannot bear the dust and dint, the glare and horror, of battle-fields. Those of us who hold that man was sent into this earth for the express purpose of fighting—of uncompromising and unending fighting with body, intellect, spirit, against whomsoever or whatsoever causeth or maketh a lie, and therefore, alas! too often against his brother man—would, of course, have to give up Christianity if this were true; nay, if they did not believe that precisely the contrary of this is true, that Christ can call them as plainly in the drum beating to battle, as in the bell calling to prayer, can and will be as surely with them in the shock of angry hosts as in the gathering before the altar. But without entering further into the great controversy here, I would ask readers fairly and calmly to consider whether all the greatest fighting that has been done in the world has not been done by men who believed, and showed by their lives that they believed, they had a direct call from God to do it, and that He was present with them in their work. -- Alfred the Great by Thomas Hughes
There is currently no Christian opposition to the Leviathan. Coalition groups led by neo-pagan and/or ‘get out the vote, write letters’ men do not constitute an opposition. In their desire to be ‘practical,’ in their desire to be ‘realistic,’ they are the most impractical and unrealistic men alive. They are not practical because they keep screaming at the powerless to wake up and do something. The powerless are fully awake, but they need a leader to lead them, not a hysterical screamer telling them to wake up. And the neopagan and letter-writing groups are unrealistic because in their efforts to be realistic, and therefore democratic and inclusive, they have cut themselves and their would-be followers off from the wellspring of life. Before Christianity became a propositional faith for the European he based all of his actions on his faith. If he fought it was in the name of his faith, and when he set up a government he modeled his government on his faith. It is not realistic to have a government independent from the faith of its people. Europeans would be much better off if we chose a Christian king and started to rebuild from that base than we will be trying to put Christian square pegs into the round holes of democratic capitalism of the state and corporate variety.

Unrealistic and impractical you say? No, if a people have the faith to choose a Christian king it will be a sign that they have the faith to follow a Christian king:
But what if the special function of the king is precisely this of sympathy with the masses? Our biblical training surely would seem to teach that it is. When all people are to bow before the king, all nations to do him service, it is because “he shall deliver the poor when he crieth, the needy also, and him that hath no helper.” When the king prays for the judgments and righteousness of God, it is in order that “he may judge Thy people according unto right, and defend the poor.” When the king sits in judgment, the reason of his sentence, whether of approval or condemnation, turns upon this same point of sympathy with the poor and weak,--“Inasmuch as ye have done it, or not done it, to the least of these my brethren.” From one end to the other of the Bible we are face to face with these words, “king” and “kingdom;” from the first word to the last the same idea of the king’s work, the king’s functions, runs through history, poem, parable, statute, and binds them together...
To those who look on the Hebrew scriptures as mere ancient Asian records, which have been luckily preserved, and are perhaps as valuable as the Talmud or the Vedas, this peculiarity in them will seem of little moment. To those who believe otherwise—who hold that these same scriptures contain the revelation of God to the family of mankind so far as words can reveal Him—the fact is one which deserves and must claim their most serious thought. If they desire to be honest with themselves, they will not play fast and loose with the words, or the ideas; will rather face them, and grudge no effort to get at what real meaning or force lies for themselves in that which the Bible says as to kings and kingdom... -- Alfred the Great
Life, the Christian always believes, has a deeper meaning than can be seen on the surface. If a man, a Christian man, settles for the superficiality of modernity, or even if he plays fast and loose with the truth by hedging his bets and spending half his time with modernity and the other half with Christianity, he will succumb to the modernist sickness.

Often, when we have recovered from a long illness but are still very weak from the effects of the illness, we feel better than we felt before the illness. The exhilaration of finally being well and whole again more than offsets the fact that it will be some time before we have regained our full strength. That is how the European will feel when he recovers from his illness. He was sick from a surfeit of superficiality in his religion, in his politics, in his culture. When he returns to the deeper things, he will start to regain his strength.

In the avant-garde world of superficiality there is no reverence, no pietas, no respect for the deeper things. But in Christian Europe (before Christ became an idea instead of a God), the King, the sword, and the woods were sacred. The King and the sword served Him, and the European woods sprang from the same wood that He consecrated with His blood. We haven’t gotten smarter because we no longer believe in kings, swords, or sacred woods. Quite the contrary, our brains can still tabulate the amount of facts we know about the natural world, but we no longer can see past our noses because the heart, having been treated like a poor relation for so many years, is no longer connected to the brain.

There is a wonderful scene in the 1930’s version of Mutiny on the Bounty when Fletcher Christian (played by Clark Gable), having taken all and more than a man should take from a tyrant, says, “We’ll be men again if we hang for it.” Wouldn’t we, the European males, like to be integral men again? It’s not impractical or suicidal to walk away from the soulless, superficial world of the modern automatons. We will never 'win them over' or be allowed to live in their world, and we will lose our souls. If we refuse to live in their world and struggle to regain the strength that our ancestors once had, we may perish in the struggle (though it is by no means certain that we shall), but we will have saved our souls. On the one hand, there is certain physical and spiritual death. On the other hand, there is possible physical death and certain spiritual life. Let us listen to King Alfred
on his deathbed, speaking to his son:
"My dear son, sit thou now beside me, and I will deliver thee true instruction. My son, I feel that my hour is near, my face is pale, my days are nearly run. We must soon part. I shall to another world, and thou shalt be left alone with all my wealth. I pray thee, for thou art my dear child, strive to be a father and a lord to thy people; be thou the children’s father, and the widow’s friend; comfort thou the poor and shelter the weak, and with all thy might right that which is wrong. And, my son, govern thyself by law, then shall the Lord love thee, and God above all things shall be thy reward. Call thou upon Him to advise thee in all thy need, and so He shall help thee the better to compass that which thou wouldest."
We are his sons. +