Broken Eggs but no Omelet

Catholicism Pure and Simple tells us that Fr Thomas Haake, an eighty-year-old priest was assaulted outside his residence in Washington. Fr Haake was dressed in his cassock a praying the Rosary at the time. The assault was apparently carried out by BLM/Antifa (if there is any difference, which I doubt).

Well, I can think of few things more offensive and despicable than assaulting an elderly person, or a priest, let alone an elderly priest. As far as I am personally concerned, they should be put down permanently, there is nothing there left to save. Since it appears that Fr Haake will survive, the law is not that, which is probably a good thing, but increasingly, especially in our cities, we are seeing little to no punishment for such crimes. This will not end well.

It is also a stark reminder of Jacobinism, that brought France the terror, and little different from Mao’s Cultural Revolution or Pol Pot’s Killing Fields. The only real difference is that this time it is in the West, as it hasn’t been since Napoleon ended that nonsense with a whiff of grapeshot.


So what the hell is going on here? Gene Veith at Cranach found someone who thinks he knows.

Today I want to focus on Prof. Kaufmann’s discussion of the prospect of a “Second American Revolution” and his sociological and psychological analysis of what is happening today, as many of our cultural elite turn against their own culture.

Here are some excerpts from his article (bolding what I think is most significant):

Statues toppled, buildings renamed, curricula “decolonized,” staff fired. The protests following George Floyd’s killing have emboldened cultural revolutionaries in America and Europe. The iconoclasts are changing minds, and could be in a position to enact a root-and-branch reconstruction of America into something completely unrecognizable to its present-day inhabitants. Imagine a country whose collective memory has been upended, with a new constitution, anthem, and flag, its name changed from the sinful “America” to something less tainted.

Prof. Kaufmann discusses the “social construction” of “harm,” how framing issues in a particular way can change the way they are perceived.  He uses the example of the teenaged girl who wore a Chinese dress to the prom and got savaged for it on social media:

Is a white woman wearing a Chinese prom dress complimenting or insulting the Chinese? Most Chinese would probably take the former view, but a left-modernist ideological entrepreneur can spin this as cultural appropriation and white colonialism. In effect, the left-modernist socially constructs “harm” and “racism,” spinning something positive into a negative and seeking to sensitize Chinese people to the “fact” that they should feel insulted rather than proud. Those inducted into the religion of antiracism get the message and signal their virtue online, helping to propel people toward the new norm. If this were to catch on in China, the emotions Chinese feel when seeing the image of a white woman in a cheongsam would flip from pride to anger.

The same sensitizing dynamic works for history, literature, film, statues, and even words. Like Red Guards with a hair-trigger sensitivity for sniffing out the bourgeois, today’s left-modernist offense archaeologists outdo each other in trying to reframe the world as racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and so on. Turning the principle of charity on its head, they insist on the most suspicious interpretation of a person’s motives when the subject matter is associated with their canonical totems of race, gender, sexuality. A Hispanic man flicking his fingers outside his truck window gets fired because this was photographed, tweeted, and spun as the “OK” white power sign. The result is an atmosphere where inter-personal trust is as low as humanly possible while discursive power flows to the accuser. The new cultural revolutionaries have constructed our emotional and conceptual reality.

Once “harm”, “racism” and other concepts become unmoored from reality, more of the world is remade. Statues which were long ignored become offensive. Complex historical figures like Jefferson or Churchill, who embodied the prejudices of their time, or elites like Columbus or Ulysses Grant, whose achievements had both positive and negative effects, are viewed through a totalizing Maoist lens which collapses shades of grey into black and white. If a historic personage transgressed left-modernist sacred values, their positives instantly evaporate and activists myopically focus on their transgressions.

Read Dr. Veith’s article and the linked one from Prof Kauffmann that is linked as well. The emphasis is Dr. Veith’s which I agree with.

It all sounds very possible doesn’t it, that this is what’s happening. Maybe so. Dr. Veith continues.

You should read the whole of Prof. Kaufmann’s article, which compares what is happening in the United States to the cultural destruction carried out by the Taliban and to the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” of Mao Tse Tung’s China.  The different threads of this phenomenon lead him to conclude that a “second American revolution” could happen, unless it is countered by a revival of “cultural nationalism.”
What do you think?  Is a second American revolution likely?
I say, no.  The cultural revolutionaries are up against reality, and reality always–maybe not in the short term but the long term–wins out.
I agree with Gene here, there is just too much to destroy to manage it, certainly without government power, but most likely even with.
Plus, there is something so engrained in the American cultural DNA that would prevent a radical “deculturalization” (to use Prof. Kaufmann’s term):  namely, a love of liberty.  The cultural revolutionaries themselves hold to a version of it–they demand sexual freedom–and the original protesters of George Floyd’s killing were quite commendably demanding the protection of civil liberties for Black Americans.  This love of freedom, in fact, unites all Americans despite all of their differences.  And I think it will ultimately thwart the efforts of social control–including limiting free speech, the freedom religion, and the freedom of thinking– that the more radical progressives would like to impose on all Americans.
Again I agree with him, Americans have built too solid a structure of liberty and individual freedom for this to work, now or at any time I can conceive in the future. Sadly, that does not preclude the breaking of eggs, like Fr Haake, but is far more likely to lead to a horrid mess on the kitchen floor than anything resembling an omelet.
Something else BLM/Antifa, as well as our so-called cultural elites, should consider, is that as my less properly spoken friends are wont to say.

“Paybacks are a bitch!”

Sir Robert Peel, the Ruling Elite, and Antifa

Sir Robert Peel, Home Secretary under the Duke of Wellington, formed the London Metropolitan Police in 1829. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. He thus became the ‘Mother of modern policing’ upon which policing in the Anglosphere (and elsewhere) is based.

He left us nine principles of modern policing which are the key to the successful policing of a democracy (or a constitutional republic). They are:

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behavior, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. To recognize always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing cooperation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  4. To recognize always that the extent to which the cooperation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  5. To seek and preserve public favor, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humor, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public cooperation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. To recognize always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  9. To recognize always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

Those are the principles upon which American police forces are based, and like the Met, some are coming into disrepute recently with the citizens, usually especially principles 5, 7, and 8 recently.

Why? Well, Colonel Schlichter has some thoughts:

Rioters and criminals get released with a wave and a smile; cops get threatened with death row for fighting back when a career criminal tries to taser them. It’s all a lie and a scam.

This is all part and parcel of a strategy to strip us of any kind of refuge or recourse from abuse. We cannot look to the marketplace of ideas to make our case because our case has been declared verboten. The institutions are arrayed against us. The law means nothing because it will not be enforced neutrally. So why again do we consider ourselves bound by the social contract the establishment has been using like Charmin?

What we are seeing is the elite’s ruthless pursuit of the power we stripped them of back in 2016 when we made the Hillary fans cry. And since then, despite it all, we have made progress – some good judges, no more wars, trade realism with China. But this is intolerable to the leftist Establishment.

I find it very difficult to disagree with him, as do many Americans, which is why May was the best ever month for gun sales, and June is expected to top that. That has much to do with the threats that Antifa is making to spread out from the ‘blue cities’, which America as a whole will not tolerate. We have too much to lose. So if the police abdicate the trust we’ve tried to have in them, as many are doing and/or if a two-tiered level of justice continues for much longer, we might as well disestablish the police forces, for then the rights, and the obligations, delineated in the constitution, the courts, and the police, will devolve back to the citizenry at large. Kurt may or may not be correct that this is a coup of the elite against the people, it doesn’t matter. That is the perception many (maybe most) of us have been given, and the sovereign American people will act accordingly. The police at all levels become something between superfluous to an enemy of the people.

I suggest that it is a very bad outcome, even if we win, and we would.

Waiting for the Barbarians

Edmund Burke wrote, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France:

But one of the first and most leading principles on which the commonwealth and the laws are consecrated, is lest the temporary possessors and life-renters in it, unmindful of what they have received from their ancestors, or of what is due to their posterity, should act as if they were the entire masters; that they should not think it amongst their rights to cut off the entail, or commit waste on the inheritance, by destroying at their pleasure the whole original fabric of their society; hazarding to leave to those who come after them, a ruin instead of an habitation – and teaching these successors as little to respect their contrivances, as they had themselves respected the institutions of their forefathers. By this unprincipled facility of changing the state as often, and as much, and in as many ways as there are floating fancies or fashions, the whole chain and continuity of the commonwealth would be broken. No one generation could link with the other. Men would become little better than the flies of summer.

Paul Krause writes in American Thinker about that very concept.

The West is a dying civilization. That much is evident.

But it mustn’t be. Who will defend the flame that once illuminated the skies and sang songs of ascents up on high? In the rush to destroy all things Western, few so-called conservatives—anywhere—risk themselves to defend our patrimony and our future. [..]

The riots are not about George Floyd, police reform and accountability, or justice. The riots are the systematic attempt to exterminate Western civilization and culture from the very lands in which its roots are planted. […]

Multiculturalism is not about multiculturalism. That is the greatest misnomer of all time. Multiculturalism is the veiled vehicle for dismantling and destroying Western civilization. This is not about political power as asinine conservatives often say. This is about civilizational desecration and destruction.

When multiculturalists complain about European and American statues, they are only voicing their genuine attitude of resentful hatred. What hath the multiculturalist in common with Julius Caesar, George Washington, or Horatio Nelson? Nothing. And they never will. Even if they reside in Western nations. Multiculturalists hate all Western heroes precisely because they’re Western. Even white abolitionists are targets of their rage because they are “murderers” and “colonists.” Anything and everything Western, as Susan Sontag said, is “the cancer of humanity.”

That is the truth that no liberal or the pseudo-conservative of Conservative, Inc. want you to realize. They are all wreckers, and what they mean to wreck is western civilization, and they are succeeding. Paul thinks, as do I, that only America can preserve our heritage. Here’s why.

We are the Keepers of the Flame in the City on the Hill

What makes the American unique is that he is the product of all of Europe and European history converged onto this New World and New Continent. Without the Greek victory at Salamis there would be no America. Without Alexander the Great there would be no America. Without Julius Caesar or Augustus Caesar there would be no America. Without Charles Martel there would be no America. Without Christopher Columbus there would be no America. (And this is why the multiculturalist tears down statues of Columbus—they only defile Western heroes.) Without Sir Francis Drake there would be no America. Without James Wolfe there would be no America. Every great Western hero of the past is now on the chopping block of the multiculturalist terror campaign.

Americans have the richest history and heritage precisely because we are the children of pilgrims, adventurers, and lovers stretching across the millennia whose actions made safe the possibility for the European settlement of the New World. This would serve conservatives well if they understood this fact and embraced it. The Greek heroes at Thermopylae and Salamis died for us. The Franks who died stopping an Islamic invasion of Europe died for us. The Catholics who fought the Turks at Lepanto died for us. The brave and heroic sailors, settlers, and pioneers who died in the New World died for us. If we love them let us honor them and immortalize them. We once did. Now we must show our love for them again in defending them against the new barbarians from within.

We are, in a sense no other country shares, the west incarnate. From English roots we embraced all of European civilization, incorporating the best from each and discarding the worst. We are the culmination of western civilization, and the most powerful nation to ever spring from Pallas Athena’s brow. For those very reasons, it is our task, our duty, and our honor to defend all the rest. If not us, who?

Do read the article, the excerpts I’ve quoted only provide a taste.

Otherwise, we become the city in Cavafy’s poem.

Waiting for the Barbarians

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?
      The barbarians are due here today.
Why isn’t anything going on in the senate?
Why are the senators sitting there without legislating?
      Because the barbarians are coming today.
      What’s the point of senators making laws now?
      Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.
Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting enthroned at the city’s main gate,
in state, wearing the crown?
      Because the barbarians are coming today
      and the emperor’s waiting to receive their leader.
      He’s even got a scroll to give him,
      loaded with titles, with imposing names.
Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?
      Because the barbarians are coming today
      and things like that dazzle the barbarians.
Why don’t our distinguished orators turn up as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?
      Because the barbarians are coming today
      and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.
Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home lost in thought?
      Because night has fallen and the barbarians haven’t come.
      And some of our men just in from the border say
      there are no barbarians any longer.
Now what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution.

Ordered Liberty

On Saturday, Pontiac, questioned my use of the phrase ‘ordered liberty‘, saying this, ” Lastly, I’m intrigued, Dave, by the words “ordered liberty” used in your preface to Jessica’s article and that it could be a dream. Could you explain more on that because I find those 2 words together an oxymoron.” and that is good, when phrases like that are used, it is to convey a specific meaning, and if one is not to miss the point, one should question. Sadly, I gave him a fairly glib and off the top of my head answer. So let’s do better.

As it happens, on Sunday, our blog buddy Portly Politico touched on this very thing, saying:

Disorder” – Americans love to focus on our rights and our freedoms, but we often do so at the cost of understanding our obligations that flow from those rights.  We also tend to neglect that Burkean wisdom that liberty, to be truly liberty, must be ordered.  One of the most shocking elements of these riots is the continued violation of legitimate authority—of order.  The disorder and chaos these looters have unleashed threatens not just real people and property, but the very foundations of a stable, free society.

If we follow PP’s link above, we find ourselves looking at the work of Edmund Burke, the Father of English conservatism, and at least the uncle of American conservatism. As PP quotes he had much to say in his  Reflections on the Revolution in France written as the French Revolution got underway in 1789, he wrote with reference to the Queen of France:

“I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroick enterprise is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness.”

And here is as good an exposition of ordered liberty as one will find from its originator. Burke was an implacable foe of Revolutionary France, as was Pitt the Younger, but twenty years earlier he had been one of the staunchest allies of the Continental Congress to be found in Parliament, along with both Pitt and Charles James Fox, the only time the three agreed on anything.

The difference between the revolutions is vast, the Americans upholding the ancient rights of Englishmen, and vying for a return to the good old law, and the French overturning all convention with a drive for libertinism. Truthfully, exactly as BLM and Antifa are today.

In its basics, this dichotomy goes directly back to the Enlightenment where the French version sought to overturn all norms, creating radical personal freedom for elites by enslaving most of the population, while destroying all traditional things, the church, the family, personal responsibility, private property. The English/Scottish Enlightenment did none of this, it found a way to join ever-increasing personal freedom into the sinews of British society as well as Christianity, creating a free yet ordered society, as cognizant of its duties as it is of its liberties.

And yes, the modern world is built on the British model, because the two countries, the United Kingdom and the United States, who have led modernization since the eighteenth century, are the two countries who adopted Edmund Burke’s concept of ordered liberty. It is that fundamental. It is also the reason that the Regressives in all their multivariate hues, attempt to destroy the Anglo-Saxon powers above all else.

 

Sunday Funnies; What Pandemic?

What pandemic was that?

And, of course

The Slow Man

I just watched a video that I thought was very good and wondered how I’d missed it. I watch quite a bit of his videos but they are few and far between, unfortunately. 

Back during the campaign for the 2016 presidential election, I picked my guy. It wasn’t Donald Trump – not originally. I liked Mike Huckabee first; he was unabashedly Christian (he would never say like Obama did, that America is NOT a Christian country), he had experience in government, he was a smart guy, and he had a good personality. But I did some research on another man, Ben Carson. My thinking was, “Well, ok – we’ve just had a terrible black president, maybe this guy could be the best black president.” He still wasn’t ‘my guy’ but I was really curious about him and was really excited to see him in the first public debate.

 

We live in a world of instant gratification – we expect everything instantly. Remember when faxes were ‘so fast’? Instant coffee, scratch-off tickets instant pay-off, instant connection to the world via the internet. The people we tend to listen to and pay attention to, speak quickly and articulately and we like speed. Faster and faster – that’s how Americans like it; we don’t have time to sit around and wait for an answer or a reveal or a thought to reach its maturity. We want everything now – and if you can do it faster than that, we’d appreciate it.

So the first public debate aired – popcorn and soda time; this was going to be good. And it was. I thought Huckabee did well. I thought all the candidates did well. Except for Carson; too slow, not ‘quick on his feet’, so slow it made me wonder about his ‘soundness of mind’. Scratched him off my ‘maybe’ list. We tend to think speed = smart. Not necessarily. But who knew? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Republican_Party_presidential_debates_and_forums

We all know how the election turned out and I’m proud I voted for then candidate Trump. I’m proud of what he’s accomplished and will continue to accomplish if the ‘usual suspects’ will get out of his way. But every once in a while, I have to admit to wondering about Mr. Carson. Maybe slow and steady does win races.

One of the sad things about that equation, speed = smart, is that we don’t get a lot of opportunities to hear from Mr. Carson. You rarely see him interviewed on the networks – because he speaks so slowly. He’s worth listening to, he’s a solid conservative and has a deliberate way about him and carries a sort of dignity within himself. I think he’s an admirable person and I do listen when he speaks – regardless of how slow that may be.

%d bloggers like this: