So much for the American Way
1 hour ago
@Laguna Beach Fogey
Reading the Manosphere (MOS) I am often reminded of something the late Southern Catholic writer Walker Percy once wrote (‘Love in the Ruins’):
“Why did God make women so beautiful and man with such a loving heart?”
Wow, that is a striking question. This goes back going on a year now when 7man wondered aloud to me if women have empathy, and the unfortunate conclusion we drew after letting the idea percolate for a while was that they generally don’t.
What appears to be empathy is possibly explained by ‘mirror neurons’, the purpose of which is to build social networks and such and also to respond to babies in a nurturing manner. I suppose that sounds rather cynical, but I think it is possible (probability is another matter at this stage in the degeneration of western civilisation) to build upon this and learn empathy, or learn to compensate for its lack, but it has to be somewhat telling that women complain of men’s lack of empathy. It seems like it’s just another mass projection on the part of women.
It seems to me that a man’s loving heart in leadership of a woman could teach her something, but this culture just won’t have it at this point. Women have been brainwashed into not trusting men, and men can’t act as leaders without being persecuted (and prosecuted). A gigantic shame on us and we’ll get what’s coming to us for being so obstinate.
In earlier years, my reservations about Thanksgiving had largely to do with historical questions. Yankee Puritans were not the first to have a formal day of thanks. That honour, depending on one's point of view, goes either to the Virginians who held some sort of celebration in 1619, two years before the Yankee 'holiday', or to Coronado's Spaniards who in 1541 celebrated mass in Texas and feasted on buffalo meat.
There is more to this than historical quibbling. Yankee Puritans reinvented the American experience in the 19th century, leaving little room for Southerners or Catholics in their grimly nationalist conception. As a Catholic and part-Southerner, I am mildly offended by the dominance of the Unitarian, Leftist, anti-Catholic bias of the myths invented by the Harvard and Yale faculties and shoved down our little throats in school, when we were children. I wish Squanto had left the lunatics to starve.
What I find most appealing about Heubeck’s proposal is that it combines the two different strategies that traditionalist conservatives propose, but that are generally regarded as mutually exclusive: retreat, in order to develop a non-liberal counterculture, and attack, in an attempt to retake the nation.
Support of an Elite More Valuable than Support of the Masses
We will initially operate according to the belief that it is more important to win over the elites (or create a new, better one) than to build up a mass movement. Furthermore, it is more important to have a few impassioned members than a large number of largely indifferent members. The amount of energy, élan, and self-assurance that we are able to inculcate in the leaders of our movement will ultimately determine its success or failure.
The new movement must be, in part, exclusive and elite. It must not be afraid to pass along a body of knowledge that is not readily accessible to and understandable by everyone. The strong appeal of a feeling of exclusivity and superiority will give our members a reason to endure the slings and arrows of popular disapproval.
The New Traditionalist movement will appeal to the masses, but not immediately. The ideas of the masses never come from the masses. To the extent that the masses are more conservative than the elites, this is primarily because the masses have a long collective memory, and they still value the beliefs articulated by a long-lost elite. The conservative instincts of the American people will continue to erode unless a new elite is formed to refresh that memory.
We must recognize that literature and philosophy do not appeal to the masses. This is why we must develop ways to spread our philosophy using non-rational means–especially the moving image.
Note that Pope Innocent is describing what the custom was in the West. In the 13th century the East and the West still made the sign of the cross in the same way. The pope goes on to say: "Others, however, make the sign of the cross from the left to the right, because from misery (left) we must cross over to glory (right), just as Christ crossed over Paradise. [Some priests] do it this way so that they and the people will be signing themselves in the same way. You can easily verify this picture the priest facing the people for the blessing - when we make the sign of the cross over the people, it is from left to right..."
So the people, imitating the blessing of the priest, began to sign themselves from left to right. Be that as it may, centuries have gone by since then, and we in the West make the sign of the cross from left to right, with the palm open.
Here's an important liturgical principle: it is always difficult and often undesirable to jump back across the centuries to some ideal liturgical practice of the past. That's what Pius XII in Mediator Dei called "archeologism". You can't erase the intervening centuries. The principle rather is continuity with the tradition (mind you, I'm not saying a fossilized tradition, but a living tradition). So the Western way of making the sign of the cross is a valid development of the liturgical tradition.
The colonial republics referred to as the "thirteen colonies" were in fact, with great variation among them, already "republics," not ideally but certainly functionally, as they seceded from the authority of the British crown. Some of them were already territorially too big to be republics,for instance Virginia, that being one reason why Virginia ceded her "northwest territory" and later Kentucky as North Carolina ceded Tennessee. Jefferson even spoke of the necessity as population would grow of breaking the remaining rump of Virginia into semi-autonomous ward republics, not unlike Swiss cantons. He envisioned a replication of republics as Americans settled to the west, seeing these new republics joining up to five confederations on what is today the territory of the United States. Jefferson was not the only one who understood scale, demographic and territorial scale. Yet, the "Drang" to centralization, always present in the political realities of man but dangerously formalized by Hobbes in his Leviathan, would prevail. In 1865, the nascent Hobbesian state, paralleling its counterparts in Germany and Italy,had managed to destroy two unions of constitutionally federated republics: that of the remaining United States of America and that of the Confederate States of America. The last gasp of this republican spirit was under the administrations of Grover Cleveland, perhaps even there not being a "last gasp" but merely the gases of the bloated corpse making their final effusion. What classical nationalists like Pat Buchanan do not understand is that the national state which emerged in 1865 was merely the Hobbesian guise. It now no longer needs its nationalist guise, nor can it tolerate it; for it must expand into the global, flattening and subsuming all other jurisdictions and authorities, anti-subsidiarity and therein, ultimately, anti-Trinity and anti-Christ.
1. The patterns of out-of-wedlock childbearing, and the beliefs and attitudes which support those patterns, are making their way up the class ladder. Middle-class women are increasingly putting motherhood before marriage, and marriage is retreating from middle-class lives.What of the fact that it is irresponsible to have children before you're able to take care of them and financially support them, and to do so without a father for them? Is deliberately having children out of wedlock without a father to help consonant with the good of the children? Fathers for the children are of no importance, apparently. (Sound familiar?) The importance of being a mother trumps all other [moral] considerations. Their motivation may not be properly characterized as narcissistic but it is disordered self-love. Would we excuse male fornication because he seeks comfort with a woman, but is not ready for marriage? Why should we deprive him the benefit of female companionship when he recognizes that he is not ready for marriage yet, or thinks marriage 2.0 is unfair? What we see is an attempt to excuse bad behavior instead of holding women responsible. After all, teenage moms can make the same claims; it's nice and fun to be a mom and to have a cute baby, and it's the norm in the surrounding community.
2. Edin and Kefalas lived in the communities they studied—poor neighborhoods in Philadelphia—and let the women there speak for themselves. They noted when the women judged them and pointed out what was lacking in their own upper-class lifestyles; the women found it sad and almost incomprehensible that one of the researchers didn’t have children, for example.
3. The authors take love and morality seriously as motivations. The women they study have deep longings, loneliness, tenderness, and fairly stern moral beliefs, and while these elements of their lives may be shaped by material conditions, they also shape how the women respond to economic challenges.
4. The most striking thing about this book is the clarity with which it shows that women who have children out of wedlock are often trying very, very hard to follow the rules and norms of their own community. Again and again I hear people say that the breakdown of marriage in our country is caused by narcissism, individualism, or relativism. Those forces probably play a role in shaping our values. (For example, we are far too quick to identify personal happiness as an end in itself, a form of virtue rather than what we hope may be one fruit of practicing actual virtues.) But the women in Promises I Can Keep, as the title suggests, are not narcissists or individualists. They believe in family obligations and self-sacrifice for their children. They hold marriage in extremely high regard—even too high regard, viewing it as something you can only have once you have already achieved most of your other life goals, such as economic stability. They do not need to be convinced that marriage is good. They simply believe it is irresponsible to marry before you’re economically stable, and both irresponsible and tragic to wait too long to have children. The combination of these two beliefs plus their own precarious economic situations produces a community in which marriage is an endlessly receding horizon, always tantalizingly out of reach. And to return to our first point, the moral beliefs these low-income women hold about when to marry and how to get to the altar are shared by people up and down the income ladder. The main difference is that higher-income women are more willing to postpone childbearing.
The "recovery" of Hebrew in Palestine (to become Israel) was a component in an extremely focused and deliberated "Petrie dish" that presumed a fairly coherent commonality, the cohort of being Jewish. To be sure, the diaspora over eras altered the ethnic and cultural DNA strands of being a Jew, but the contract, or more accurately "pact" between the state of Israel and a returning Jew was premised upon accepting and practicing those articulated pre-conditions, to culturally affirm and bolster Jewish identity.
Having just chanted (via the SEP and PBoPs) the All Souls' Mass at our public cemetery, I reflected on the positive affect of the chant among primarily an Anglo, Hispanic, Filipino congregation of about 200 souls. They seem not to have much problem, and in fact, did well enjoining the psalm, antiphons and ordinary (GreekEngLatin mix). But I also concluded that the disparity caused by a society that bends over backwards not to mandate the known lingua franca of the USA is a strong deterrent to even emboldened choir directors to force feed our beautiful mother tongue into the mouths, much less the minds, of a vastly divergent demography. You also have to account that even within ethnic groups, there are significant other sub groups based upon generations, class, assimilation, etc.