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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Are We Too Late to Save the West?

An email exchange with a reader ends with his excellent summation.

The exchange with Mr. William Staneski opened with his email of June 14th:

Mr. Brewton,

I wonder if you have read ‘Camp of the Saints’ by Jean Raspail? As much as I agree with almost all your outlooks as to the problem, it seems to me that we are well beyond a solution. Unless the remaining single digit percentage of those who would call themselves Western Culturists in the Judeo-Christian, Greco-Roman, Anglo Common Law sense, suddenly and soon develop the will to literally destroy a large percentage of the world’s population, the handwriting is on the wall as the tsunami of non western culture simply washes over and drowns the world. Illegal immigration alone is totally out of control in the USA and in Europe with the correspnding, and no longer slow moving, dilution of western culture on both fronts. Add to that the globalization of the economy fueled by the information revolution and the internet and it is difficult to see a positive scenario.

If you can offer some *realistic* reasons based on actually possible events to be more optimistic than this, please inform me of them and perhaps write an article in your blog on them.

Regards, William H. Staneski
Suffolk, VA

Mr. Staneski:

Thanks for your message.

I have not read “Camp of the Saints,” but other commentators have made similar observations. Europe appears to be on the verge of becoming an Islamic province. I’m told that in some parts of France, it is life-threatening not to be a Muslim.

Generally I have avoided attempts at predictions, sticking instead to spotlighting the drifting of modern culture away from our original moorings. One slender reed to lean upon, perhaps, is the history of Europe from the 7th through the 13th centuries, when Islam was everywhere on the rise and steadily conquering new parts of Christian Europe. As with most doctrines (including our Judeo-Christian heritage), there seems to be a waxing and waning of energy and will.

Of course, that says nothing about what may be imposed upon our heirs in the future.

As you note, globalization of commerce, along with instantaneous, 24/7 TV propaganda, is a wholly new element. What might be in store is more rapid and more frequent doctrinal upheavals, across wider areas. The result of such chaos in modern times has been the rise of a strong-man dictator who is welcomed because he will restore order, however cruel it may be.

Although it is not exactly on point, I am struggling with the question posed to me by columnist George Shadroui about how conservatism can reconcile its ideas with the miseries wrought by outsourcing, layoffs, plant shutdowns, etc. which hardly seem in accord with Judeo-Christian morality. That, of course, was Marx’s starting point.

Mr. Staneski replied:

I think I can safely recommend ‘Camp of the Saints’ to anyone interested in Western Culture.

I am not sure I understand the following:

“Although it is not exactly on point, I am struggling with the question posed to me by columnist George Shadroui about how conservatism can reconcile its ideas with the miseries wrought by outsourcing, layoffs, plant shutdowns, etc. which hardly seem in accord with Judeo-Christian morality. That, of course, was Marx’s starting point.”

By conservative, are we to mean what are known these days as neo-conservatives, such as the folks at the Weekly Standard, among others? The paleo crowd does not advocate globalization, as far as I know. Could you please elaborate a bit on this and its connection with Judeo-Christian morality?

Best Regards,

William Staneski

I replied:

Mr. Staneski:

My use of the term conservatives had no special meaning in the sense of neo-conservatives. I was using it in the broadest sense.

As I understand Mr. Shadroui, he is saying only that, while I speak of individual Judeo-Christian morality as being a preferable principle of social order, compared to bureaucratic regulation under socialist collectivism, there is the fact that business in capitalistic societies is bottom-line oriented, whch can, for whatever reasons, crunch individuals and communites.

He wants to learn if I have any magic reconciliation. I haven’t. Nonetheless, as this is one of the roots of liberals’ distaste for free-market capitalism, I think it worth continuing thought.

Mr. Staneski’s reply:

Mr. Brewton,

I see what you are saying now. It seems to me that one of the problems is in the terminology. From where I stand, I do not see George Bush Republicans and the other neo-conservatives as true conservatives. They are as big-government/corporations-into-everything, tax and spend oriented as the worst liberal. My idea of a conservative (especially within the American sensibility of federalism) is one who believes that the job should be done by the smallest social unit capable of doing it, with the vast majority of jobs being handled at the most local levels. Bureaucracies are inherently inefficient and corrupt. By social unit, I mean everything from the federal government on down to the individual family unit, with local governments and private organizations in between. A liberal, in the classical sense, is more of what I call a true conservative now. I think of classical liberals as believing in natural law and the sovereignty of the individual. What is now called a liberal is actually a leftist. They essentially, and usually unwittingly, subscribe to tyranny. Their good intentions are based on secular humanism and marxist determinism, and, as we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Free market capitalism these days is basically leftism run by corporate bureaucracies and CEOs instead of governments and tyrants. Its community and individual crushing effects are essentially the same as those of all leftist governments. The neo-cons are supportive of corporatism and allow the corporations to be de facto governmental agencies through the complex system that has developed through the years and which barely differentiates between the corporations and the government. Hence, ostensibly ‘conservative’ entities such as the Wall Street Journal support what are obviously policies on the road to one world government through globalism, unfettered free trade, and corporatism.

Judeo-Christian morality cannot be legislated. It MUST come from individuals and the smallest possible social units, not government and bureaucracies. The idea that as compassionate people we need to bureaucratize charity in order to be consistent with our Judeo-Christian cultural values is but one of the insidious tricks that the left has cast upon us and we have swallowed hook, line, and sinker. Jesus Christ Himself said to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. He did not support government involvement in spreading His Word or the implications of that Word. Vis a vis the Father’s Kingdom, earthly secular governments are irrelevant. Whether one is a religious Jew or Christian is not too important, as long as one is, at the least, a ‘cultural’ Jew or Christian. Our culture is most definitely based on the Judeo-Christian theological ethic and the basic philosophy that led to the Declaration of Independence could not have been derived from any other.

And so, finally, here we are. Secular man ate of the tree of knowledge in the first days and decided that he was capable of taking responsibility for himself. God told him then that he would be punished, and have we ever!! As we keep digging the hole deeper and deeper, thinking of our digging as progress, we approach more closely the time of the final days. This may be some time off…. and it may simply be a metaphor, but, all human truth is based on metaphor. I am not arguing as a literalist or an evangelical Christian… but at the least, as a cultural Christian. As I see it, the more man tries to create heaven on earth though his own secular devices, the more like hell it will become, even as we see it as progress in all our wisdom…. and as we wonder why, with all the progress, the number of human beings who suffer constantly increases. I think we must always keep the big picture in mind when considering very big truths and ideas. And it is amazing how so many apparently simple questions have their answers rooted in the biggest of ideas and most profound of truths.

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