Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why the White Man Can Go Home Again

It is clear that white Europeans no longer believe what white European pagans once believed, nor what white European Christians once believed. This is why they are helpless in the face of the "passionate intensity" of the barbarians of color. The barbarians still believe in barbarism.

The white man's history includes three cultures: the pagan Greco-Roman culture, the Christian culture, and the post-Christian culture. If he were totally pagan or totally Christian, the white man could easily resist the colored hordes. But the post-Christian has taken parts of paganism and parts of Christianity and welded them into a faithless faith inferior to paganism and infinitely inferior to Christianity. Let us look at the three faiths.

Neither the pagan nor the Christian share the post-Christian's notion of progress. The post-Christian, having jettisoned his belief in the Second Coming, looks forward to a secular, earthly, democratic kingdom of God without God. Each successive generation progresses until the final generation achieves… What do they achieve? They have progressed. Isn't that enough?

In contrast, the Greek pagan looks not to the future but to the past. In the past is the Golden Age, which will come again because of the natural cycle of history: birth, youth, maturity, and death. Spengler, despite his encyclopedic knowledge (or maybe because of it), shares the pagan view of history with the Greeks.

The Christian, like the post-Christian, also looks to the future, but the Christian does not believe in the generic perfectibility of mankind. He believes in the personal sanctification of individuals acting within history, but his faith in the future is based on his belief in the Second Coming of the Lord of History.

The Greek-pagan view of history requires the least amount of faith, which is probably why it appealed so much to Spengler. The elements of birth, youth, maturity, and death can be seen in every civilization, while the idea that mankind is becoming perfect is ludicrous to anyone with the slightest touch of objectivity, and the Second Coming of Christ has not yet occurred. I stand with the Christians, but there is no sense in denying that from a purely Spenglerian, Greek perspective, the Christian view of history is nonsense.

As we might suspect, cultures that differ so widely in their views of history also differ on the subject of God. The Greek pagan gods are cruel (and Prometheus defies them in the name of humanity), but the Greeks found an escape valve in philosophy. If the human mind can systematize and categorize the entire natural world, from which, according to the Greek mind, God emanates, has not the mind of man become God, since that mind can encompass God?

It is this aspect of paganism, which limits God to the confines of the natural world and deifies the mind of man, that the post-Christian has adopted as his own philosophy. And he has grafted that philosophy onto a secularized, eschatological system which measures man's progress by the amount of knowledge he has accumulated about the natural world. This is why scientific thinking is considered the only real thinking in our post-Christian society.

Of course, the profound difference between the Greek and the Christian is their view of God's humanity. The incarnate Christian God is Promethean in that He loves mankind. But instead of stealing fire from the cruel nature gods, He frees us from the nature gods by triumphing over them. Through His birth, death, and resurrection, He defeats the cyclic nature of the pagan system.

So why, we need to ask, do we need the Greek philosophical escape valve if Christ has defeated the cruel gods of nature? The answer is that post-Christians do not believe Christ has defeated the nature gods. They find it too difficult to believe that all human history could hinge on something that cannot be known with certainty by any empirical, scientific test.

The entire European philosophical and theological system is, in my judgment, an attempt to give mankind the scientific certainty that Christ is the Promethean conqueror of the cruel nature gods. That effort reaches its zenith with St. Thomas's historic separation of nature from grace, which paved the way for Teilhard de Chardin and the post-Christian epoch of the white man's history.

The attempt to scientize God, to make Him subservient to a naturalized system that can be controlled by man, is the original temptation to which Adam and Eve succumbed. And the Europeans' descent from Christianity to a pagan-Christian mix was equivalent to a second fall. European civilization was not paradise in the literal sense, but it was paradise in that the incarnate God made Himself available to every European willing to abandon the search for the magic, scientific talisman and walk through the mystic wardrobe door.

The second fall, the Europeans' fall, seems to be irrevocable. But it is only irrevocable if we look at history through the eyes of the Greek, and if we look at God through the eyes of the post-Christian. If we look at history and at God with the eyes of a Christian, we will know there is no distinction between the practical world of nature and the world of grace. There is only His realm of charity and the realm of Satan. Every act that supports His reign of charity, no matter how quixotic it seems, is of vital importance. Europeans used to believe this. That is why they were able to defeat barbarians time and time again, and why they are so helpless before them now. It is not science, that false messiah, which will save European man, it is the suffering servant who cannot be seen, heard, or comprehended by the scientific, theological, or philosophical mind.

There are no white men, no women, no children and no nations in the hybrid, pagan-Christian world of pure mind. But that world does not have to be our world. We can reject it.

Let me speak now with the privilege of anger that Kent claimed in King Lear. Why should we countenance and even revere those who have offered us a magic Greek talisman instead of Christ? By what right does Augustine, Aquinas, or any of those deceivers speak to a man of flesh and blood, a man who must die? Revelation ends with Christ and theology with St. Paul. St. Paul's way, the way of charity, the way of sympathetic communion with the God who speaks to the hearts of men, is the European way, the only way to God.

European man was distinct because he was foolish. He believed a fairy tale about a heroic God Man rather than the meditations of the great philosophers. And every Christian heretic since that glorious rejection has been trying to convince European man that the fairy tale is simply too foolish to be believed. But in many fairy tales there is some kind of magic cloak which the hero places over himself that confers invisibility or invincibility or something else that is beneficial to him yet baffling to his enemies. So let us put on Christ's burial shroud with the sure and certain hope that it will not stink of death and decay but smell like the flowers growing in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Oh, to be young and foolish again. To believe, not as the pagans believed, nor as the post-Christians now believe, but as St. John believed, as St. Paul believed, and the European Everyman believed. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

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