Sunday, February 03, 2008

“The Love That Once Was There”

I vividly recall a period in the early years of my marriage when my wife was pregnant and I was unemployed. If you’ve ever been in that situation, you know how depressing it can be. So I felt very relieved and very fortunate when I found work before the savings account hit zero.

There was a downside to the job I finally came up with. It was in Academia. Academics are generally to the left of center, and I had views that were to the right of center. But I had been raised in a liberal household and attended liberal schools, so I knew enough about liberals to avoid the types of remarks that would have placed me back in the ranks of the unemployed.

I spent four good years at that job. My children were all below the ages of ten, so their problems were easily solved with a kind word and a cookie, and my wife was quite content with our house and our lives. But the roof caved in on me in the form of a new academic dean in charge of my department. He was, of course, a liberal, but that was not the problem. I knew how to get along, for the sake of my job, with liberals. This man was insane, like Captain Queeg of “who stole the strawberries” fame. You could not adjust to his rhythms, because he had no rhythms; his internal clock was completely out of order. He was truly insane. In his first year, he fired and replaced over half of the employees in his department.

There was nothing you could do to stop the mad dean from firing you. He took a dislike to people without reason. And once you became the focus of his hatred, your days were numbered. I got a reprieve from the governor when, after his second year at the university, his personal life imploded, resulting in his dismissal. But during his two year reign of terror, my life was hell because my family’s subsistence depended on a madman.

There were approximately forty men and women who were at the mercy of that insane dean, but there will be over 400 million people at the mercy of a deranged madman if John McCain becomes President. We don’t know all the evil intentions that lurk in the fiendish soul of John McCain. But we do know some of his intentions already.

1) He plans on continuing and expanding the war in the Middle East, and he has not ruled out a nuclear strike in his expansion plans.

2) In addition, he plans on bringing back the cannon-fodder draft, democratic capitalism’s solution for unemployment and ‘overpopulation.’

3) He will reintroduce his ‘amnesty for barbarians’ legislation.

4) He will establish hostile, adversarial relations with two of the last great white countries, Serbia and Russia.

And that is only what we know he will try to do. We do not know the rest of the evil that lurks in the heart of John McCain.

Of course the presence of a devil-man such as John McCain is the long-term result of centuries of inroads, by the devil, into Western civilization. But the more immediate cause for the rise of John McCain is the moral failure of conservatism.

When William F. Buckley founded National Review in the 1950’s, he claimed the magazine’s purpose was to “stand athwart history, yelling ‘stop’…” And in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, National Review had some people writing for them such as Whittaker Chambers, Richard Weaver, Donald Davidson, and Russell Kirk, who actually saw America as an extension of Christian Europe and not a ‘grand’ experiment in democratic capitalism. There were also lunatic democratic capitalists within the magazine (Buckley was one) even in the early years, but they maintained an alliance with the cultural conservatives against the communists. But the democratic capitalists were against the communists for different reasons than the cultural conservatives; the capitalists and the communists were battling, twin brothers. Both had materialistic, Utopian visions of a people’s republic ruled by an elite few. They simply differed on the means to achieve their vision. The cultural conservatives, on the other hand, opposed communism because they saw it as a threat to Christian, European civilization.

When the threat of Russian communism died, the cultural conservatives such as Patrick Buchanan, Samuel Francis, and Russell Kirk were purged from the ranks of conservatism. Twenty-two year old economic gurus and radio talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh became the leaders of the ‘conservative’ movement. Those same leaders are now wringing their hands over a John McCain candidacy, but when you create a moral vacuum the devil feels quite free to step in.

The death of the Republican party, which used to provide a small space for cultural conservatives, would not be tragic if the Democratic party provided a moral alternative to the Republicans. But the Democratic party abandoned, many years in advance of the Republican party, their moral core. It was the Democratic party that had stood for the rights of the poor. But they turned their attentions away from charitable outreach to the needy in order to focus on special entitlements for politically fashionable ethnic groups.

I cannot say with an air of existential fortitude, when looking at the possibility of a McCain presidency, I “know the merriment that men know when events have ended in utter disaster.” I can’t say that, because I have children I want to see grow up “clean and straight” in a world that still has some respect for the evening lingerings of Western civilization. What is to leave betimes? A vision of a civilization connected to Him.

The obstacles the modern white man faces seem insignificant compared to those obstacles that men such as Charles Martel, Alfred the Great, and Hernando Cortes had to overcome. But those men and the men who fought with them had something the modern man lacks: faith. And that type of faith, the faith that inspires men to keep fighting when everything seems hopeless, comes from love. Nothing dies if you love it enough. Isn’t that belief at the heart of our faith: “For God so loved the world…” He loved us so much that He refused to let us die. And we don’t have a legal, judicial arrangement with Him that says we must pay Him back for His love. His love was freely given; He won’t compel us to return it.

The Christ-haters are always looking at Christian Europe -- and commanding us to do the same -- from the outside. And when viewed from the outside, Christian Europe seems no different from any other civilization. There is violence, lust, greed… the usual suspects. But if we look at European civilization from within, as Walter Scott and the European poets do, then we see that European civilization is the Little Welsh Home in which “nothing can compare with the love that once was there.”

The neocons, the barbarians, and the liberals all view Western civilization from the outside. The barbarians see it from the outside, because it is not their civilization. And the neocons and the liberals see it from the outside, because they no longer are capable of seeing anything from the inside. They have lost the capacity to love. Life has meaning to them only in the abstract. That is why they must have an impersonal system to sustain them, whether it be democracy, communism, or scholasticism.

All is cheerless, dark and deadly if we look on the democratic process as the final resting point for European man. But if we look on the democratic process as a hideous aberration which we can, and should, walk away from, there is hope. That “incomparable symmetry” of European civilization stemmed from the freely given love of the European people to their Savior. It is not impractical or unrealistic to expect that if their love returns, so will the civilization that was born of their love.

Of course, it is not written in stone that European civilization will be restored. But it is also not written in stone that our modern, racial Babylon is the final destiny for the European people. Love is a fire that can spread, maybe not as quickly as hate, but it can be more lasting. If we, the Europeans, pit our love of European civilization against the neocon, liberal, barbarian hatred of it, who’s to say that love won’t finally prevail?

Addendum: Saint Paul said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” And if our hope is only in the democratic process, aren’t we also of all men most miserable?

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