The World Economy Is Like the Titanic. And There Are No Lifeboats in Sight.

TitanicIf there is an image that corresponds to the state of the world economy, it would be that of a cruise ship on a never-ending cruise. On its decks, there is every modern comfort and entertainment. The bands are playing, the restaurants crowded and the theaters are full. There is an atmosphere marked by fun and laughter, and every effort is made to keep the party going.

Behind the almost surreal impressions of unconcern, however, storms and internal problems threaten the ship.

Such an image is not the evaluation of some casual observer but rather the chief economist of one of the world’s largest banking institutions.

HSBC Chief Economist Stephen King claims another recession is in the offing and the world banking system is not unlike the Titanic. In mid-May, King issued a grim 17-page report titled “The World Economy’s Titanic Problem.” If the allusion to the Titanic is not bad enough, the economist adds that the ship has no lifeboats should a crash or recession occur.

King is not the first expert nor will he be the last to warn of a coming crisis. What makes his analysis especially insightful is his look at the tools at hand to fight back. He notes that the present six-year “recovery” is unlike any other. Traditionally, policy makers have employed a whole set of tools to fight against recession. Gradually, they adjust policies to help bring things back to normal.

However, there is nothing normal about this “recovery.”Subscription11

To deal with the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, policy makers pulled out all the stops and threw everything that could at the problem — often aggravating the crisis more than helping it. To deal with the present crisis, all the stopgap band-aid solutions are being used to their fullest: the Federal Reserve has cut its rates to near zero, stimulus programs are trying to jumpstart spending and quantitative easing is injecting massive amounts of cash into the economy.

Such measures barely keep the “recovery” going. Should another recession appear on the horizon, King warns that there will be nothing left to “replenish their ammunition.” There will be few lifeboats for the global Titanic economy as it travels through iceberg-ridden waters. At the same time, internal problems like uncomfortably high budget deficits and record debt levels will impede navigation.

King believes the situation is so fragile that anything can trigger a new recession — a collapse in faltering China, a lack of liquidity in pension or insurance funds, an abrupt rise in rates. Any such event would lead to a crisis and a corresponding need for nonexistent lifeboats. King’s solution is to do everything to avoid a new recession by using up what few lifeboats remain and hope for the best.

The trouble with economists like King is that they believe that economics is an exact science like physics. They think the problem is just the mechanics of the ship and not the decisions of the people aboard. Their solutions consist of tweaking the ship with QE and stimulus to better navigate. Such tinkering has its limitations since what really determines the direction of the ship is the actions of those on board.

That is why economics can never be an exact science: it depends on the nuanced and free actions of man which are so very unpredictable. In addition to adjusting the ship, it is time to address what might be called the frenetic intemperance of the markets and culture that throw the whole ship out of balance with its party economy. People need to start building lifeboats. The problem is not just the ship. It’s time to declare the party is over.

Is There Anything to Celebrate on the Fourth?

Is There Anything to Celebrate on the Fourth?

“Almost everyone agreed that Fourth of July was not what it used to be.”

The cloudy day set the mood for the Fourth of July barbeque. It was a family get-together but there was not much family to get together. Several members were too far away to come; others were on cruises. There were a few absent because they were no longer family since some marriages had turned ugly.

But the barbecue was lively as people gathered around the picnic tables eating plenty of ribs, potato salad, corn-on-the-cob and fixings. Not everything was homemade, much less homegrown — there was simply no time for that. As the night progressed, a discussion arose. Almost everyone agreed that Fourth of July was not what it used to be.

It used to be so happy. Everyone could remember the times when they would get together and there would be plenty of food, conversation, outdoor games and fireworks. It was a real celebration. Now everyone seemed to be complaining about everything.

“The problem is big government!”one exclaimed.“We need to just get rid of big government and that will solve everything.”

“It’s taxes! That’s what’s killing us. We need to cut taxes across the board. I can’t make my new car payments, student loans or pay my mortgage.”

“I can’t make it anymore on my Social Security,” an older baby boomer chimed in. “It’s not right.”

And so each had their own grievances, some complaining about too much government and others claiming not enough benefits.

At the end, someone made the comment that, with this government, there really wasn’t that much to celebrate this Fourth of July.

With that, there was a lull in the conversation that left everyone uneasy. Some took advantage of the awkward interval to check their emails on their iPhones or make small talk. And as the talk died down, the grandfather unexpectedly spoke up.

He was now a frail old man, a World War II veteran who had known hard times and good times; economic depression and happy days. He had difficulty getting around and spent a lot of his days thinking and praying.

Now he stood before them with an air of dignity saying: “Yes, government has changed. But you know something, we’ve changed, too.

“When I was growing up, families looked after their own members. We didn’t need or want handouts. We managed, even if we didn’t have the latest gadgets or the best car. When there were problems, everyone pitched in. Times were hard, but we were happier.

“Today, it’s all about money. Back then, money didn’t rule everything. People had honor. They were faithful to their spouses and family. People weren’t afraid to be leaders and accept responsibility.

“We knew the difference between our government and our country. Politicians are one thing and America is another. Today, people treat our country like a corporation where they expect only dividends. When the going gets tough, everyone abandons her and sells off their shares. That’s not right.

“No, America should be more like a family. When the family’s in trouble, everyone pitches in. I pitched in. I served my country because America is my country and I love her. Many of my buddies served too … and some didn’t return.”

A silence hung over the area as darkness was falling and lightning bugs were starting to appear.

The old man still continued: “I’m sorry for rambling on but I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. We need to turn to God again. We used to say ‘give us this day our daily bread’ now everyone turns to the government – they don’t even know how to ask God for things – or what to ask for.

“We complain about government but we’ve become just like the government we criticize. We’ve got the government we deserve. We should get our own ships in shape. We need to return to order.”

The silence was now complete and everyone became pensive. The old man settled down in his lawn chair still apologizing for rambling on. Everyone in their heart knew that he was right.

Subscription8.11At that moment, a rocket soared into the night and burst in air and the darkness was lit by a marvelous display of light and a mighty boom. There was something grand about the way the fireworks exploded that stirred the hearts of those who watched and filled them with awe and pride. At least for an instant, they forgot about their own problems, and celebrated that special something called America.

 

 

 

The Monsters Among Us

The Monsters Among Us

“Indeed, all Americans, black and white, grieve and repudiate this senseless act of violence.”

Another horrible mass murder has taken place and the nation mourns. It is yet one more incident in a string of such crimes that has come to characterize our sad times.

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While the Charleston shootings have undoubted racial overtones, the event does not represent a massive culture of racial hatred as is sometimes insinuated. Indeed, all Americans, black and white, grieve and repudiate this senseless act of violence. All feel the pain of the victims and their families. All look for causes to explain the unexplainable.

Some journalists strive to supply narratives in terms of social structures to explain why these murderers do what they do. Perhaps, it is better to look deeper into the individual narratives as a means to help explain what leads these people to commit the worst atrocities.

The profiles of our mass murderers, including the present one, are strikingly similar. These are frustrated young men, introverted and lacking social skills. They are often medicated, abuse substances and come from broken homes. These self-absorbed individuals plan spectacular events to gain the recognition and attention they crave. Most profess no specific ideology or religion, but hold beliefs that reflect addled minds and broken lives.

Members of this lost band of young men roam our streets and hide in the shadows of cyberspace. Inside they cry out for help, but outside they are invisible since they live silent lives of rebellion and resentment. Alone in their fantasies, they are convinced they can be whatever they imagine themselves to be and do whatever they imagine possible to do. These spoiled children of unreality were given everything, save the loving restraint of a parental “No” that they so desperately needed.

There is little society can do against this lost band since its members cannot be apprehended. Until they appear on the front page of newspapers, these young men usually have committed no major crimes. Police are helpless to defuse these ticking time bombs ever ready to explode and claim more victims.

There are those who claim the only way to stop mass murderers is to disarm all citizens including those who would defend themselves against such threats. However, such “solutions” do not address the cause: the deranged monsters among us.

Would it not be better to stop the monsters from appearing?

However, to move in this direction would be to admit that the liberal experiment of moral relativism has failed. People would have to acknowledge that there is a moral code in which right and wrong exist and all must act accordingly. It would require the repudiation of the extreme individualism of our times where a person can make himself a monster at the center of a deranged universe of his own creation.

There was a time when such deranged monsters stayed within their own skewed free subscriptionuniverses. But now, the barriers have been overturned. They have escaped and entered into the real lives of others, causing their deaths. In their cowardice, they seek out those most vulnerable, found in defenseless schools and churches, to carry out their evil designs.

Such individuals have turned away from the notion of a true God and a moral law and turned themselves into dark gods of disorder. Until there is a movement toward recognizing the need for a return to moral order, the nation will continue to be vulnerable to the monsters among us.

The Acton Experience: Providing Elements for Victory

The Acton Experience: Providing Elements for Victory

John Horvat presents his book Return to Order at a special breakout presentation on June 18th.

To sum up what took place at Acton University last week, it can be described as a magnificent forum where all those things that really matter were discussed by those who really care.

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The June 16th-19th annual event held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, gathered over 1,000 participants from over 80 countries. The course is a special project of the Acton Institute, an organization dedicated to the defense of free markets and moral values.

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“Participants could choose between all sorts of thought-provoking topics”

The curriculum was certainly unique. Things that really matter are those that have always mattered. Thus, the discussion centered on a return to fundamentals that have been lost in the present post-postmodern world, which one speaker termed more accurately as a “post-reality” world. Professors dealt with topics long gone from many a university syllabus. They discussed what it means to be human, how humans might prosper and moving toward a final end in God.

Participants could choose between all sorts of thought-provoking topics that included natural law, Christian anthropology or the transcendentals of the good, true and beautiful. Names like Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Augustine and Aristotle were frequently heard during classes. Four brilliant fundamental talks were required courses for incoming freshmen, while alumni could choose among many more.

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“topics were discussed in the context of a profound moral and economic crisis. “

However, these always relevant topics were discussed in the context of a profound moral and economic crisis. Those who gathered in Grand Rapids were not just curious truth-seekers, but those who care about the direction of the world. They were not concerned only with themselves as is so common in an age of extreme individualism, but in the future of society as a whole.

The faculty cared. They prepared their lectures well and answered endless questions. Chief among them were such luminaries as Dr. Samuel Gregg, Dr. Michael Matheson Miller, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Dr. Peter Kreeft and others. Nightly plenary speakers delivered evening addresses during dinner with figures such as Dr. Gregory Thornbury and culminating with Acton’s own Father Robert Sirico.

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“Acton proves year after year that young people are attracted to free markets and moral values.”

And the students really cared. It was hard not to be impressed by the unified “diversity” that characterized those in the course. Dispelling the myth that diversity is only on the left, some eighty countries were represented, including sizable delegations from Africa and Latin America. At the same time, people from all ages were enrolled providing that delicate balance between wisdom and enthusiasm. Acton proves year after year that young people are attracted to free markets and moral values.

free subscriptionThe forum focused on providing time for discussion and questions – as all real university should. This focus helped create an atmosphere of inquiry and participation. Nightly conviviality over wine and local micro-brews reinforced a spirit of camaraderie that is a hallmark of the course.

Well-organized events like those found at Acton University are so necessary in these uncertain times. Indeed the debate over the nation’s future is intense. The Acton experience helps give participants elements to win.

We Are by Nature Dependent Upon Others

We_are_naturaly_dependent_on_othersSuch dependency is an important part of our personal development since we cannot perfect ourselves alone. We depend on community—especially the family, intermediary associations, and the Christian State—to supply our deficiencies and thus reach the perfection of our essentially social nature. So important is community that Heinrich A. Rommen emphatically writes, “Any kind of seclusion from the fullness of community life ultimately means for the individual a personal loss, a self-mutilation, an atrophy, a defect in self-realization.”1

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Thus, we are by nature dependent. As medieval English writer Ralph of Acton notes, “When God could have made all men strong, wise, and rich, He was unwilling to do so. He wished instead that these men should be strong, those weak; these wise, those foolish; these rich and those poor. For if all were strong, wise and wealthy, one would not be in need of the other.”2

Finding the Balance
Such a concept differs greatly from that of the individualist man whose autonomy prevents him from recognizing his natural limits and the weaknesses of his fallen nature. He is a self-made man beholden to no other. This is well expressed in the ravings of Jean-Paul Sartre, who wrote that “no man should have to be dependent on another man.”3 Ironically, this same “autonomous” man is totally dependent, not on men, but on the modern interdependent systems into which he is inserted.

An Excerpt from the book, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go.

 

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1 Rommen, State in Catholic Thought, 136-137.

2 G. R. Owst, Literature and Pulpit in Medieval England: A Neglected Chapter in the History of English Letters & of the English People, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1961), 561.

3 Braudel, The Wheels of Commerce, vol. 2 of Civilization and Capitalism 15th-18th Century, 514.

How Medieval Law Led to Free Government

How_Medieval_Law_Led_to_Free_Government

King John of England signing the Magna Carta

As the world prepares to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, it is good to acknowledge the debt the modern world owes to its medieval predecessors. They were the ones who nurtured the idea of the rule of law and clearly broke with the despotism of former and later regimes.

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M. Stanton Evans clearly establishes this link when he writes that “As an abundant record demonstrates, it was the era of the Middle Ages that nourished the institutions of free government, in contrast to the ideas and customs of the ancients. Conversely, it was the rejection of medieval doctrine at the Renaissance that put all Western liberties at hazard, leading to autocracy in Europe and despotic practice in the modern era” (M. Stanton Evans, The Theme is Freedom: Religion, Politics, and the American Tradition, Regnery Publishing, Washington D.C., 1994, p. 150).

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Standing Up for Marriage: We Are Not Alone

Marriage Rally

We Are Not Alone

On a Saturday afternoon all across America, something absolutely extraordinary happened. What happened was the June 13th holding of 3,233 rallies in highly public places in which participants prayed for the future of God’s marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

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It might seem strange to label as “extraordinary” the defense of something that is so common. But that is the tragedy of the times. Marriage is under attack on all sides. The effort to redefine marriage, especially by those who advocate same-sex “marriage,” is brutal and aggressive. It now takes courage to be out in the public square to defend a bond that is holy and normative.

The mass rallies were a project of the America Needs Fatima campaign which takes to heart the message of Our Lady at Fatima to pray the rosary for the conversion of America and the world. Campaign organizers named these particular rallies “Saint Joseph Traditional Marriage Rallies” and asked participants to pray for the nation in light of the coming Supreme Court decision on same-sex “marriage.”

The format of a rally is rather simple. Rally captains are asked to gather together as many as they can around a highly visible banner declaring God’s marriage as between one man and one woman. There might be five, ten, fifty or even hundreds in attendance. The captains pick a prominent place with plenty of traffic and visibility. All then pray the rosary and any other prayers for nearly an hour.

Once the rally is set up, extraordinary things start to happen.

The first extraordinary observation is the incredible people who attend. There is nothing rabid or hateful about these crowds. Those defending marriage are ordinary, apple-pie Americans who are concerned for the nation. They come from all walks of life. Some passersby will even stop their cars and join the rally. Even more significant is the fact that there are young people and children present. They participate with all their exuberance and dispel the myth that the future lies with the other side.

The polarized debate that has surrounded the issue plays out in the cars and passersby. However, one extraordinary fact is that there are many more manifestations of support for the rallies than disagreement. Everyone is led to believe that all public opinion is on the side of those railroading same-sex “marriage” into law. The experience on the street proves the contrary. In fact, the support is usually overwhelming.

While praying for marriage, rally attendees see people honking horns, giving thumbs up or shouting encouragement. It is not uncommon to see people jumping with joy when they see other people give public witness to true marriage. It is as if they feel free of the tyranny of the media and liberal establishment that tries to force people to accept the unacceptable.

Also extraordinary is the opposition to the rallies, which is usually sporadic and limited to four or five cases per rally. One is saddened by the rabid reactions of intolerance on the part of those who disagree. Rarely is there rational debate. At times, protesters will throw objects at the peaceful rally attendees; other times they will shout horrible expletives without regard for any children present. Occasionally there will be makeshift counter-protests. Usually, opposition is marked by a desire to remain anonymous. The person will scream at the rally or use an obscene gesture while barreling away in a car—thinking that attendees will be discouraged by the act of cowardice. The offense has the opposite effect, often inciting rally participants to redouble their efforts since they see that their message causes such a reaction.

There are also the curious people who pretend not to see the rally or the banner. They drive by, careful not to manifest any emotion. But like it or not, they take notice of the event. Inside their heads, the pro-marriage side gains a few point of influence. The rally breaks the unanimity that these observers were told exists around the issue. The neutral passersby register the fact that there is another side that dares to contest the homosexual agenda that they are told to think is invincible and monolithic.

The most extraordinary fact about the rallies is the realization that pro-family defenders are Subscription8.1not alone in this fight. Each rally is held realizing that it is part of a massive movement that is growing. The participants are encouraged by the fact that the other side cannot muster such grassroots support in so many places throughout the country. They realize that millions of people see these rallies. Many of these millions thought they were alone in their opinions, and now know that there are courageous Americans willing to stand up for marriage in the public square.

On June 13th, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, something extraordinary happened in America. Tens of thousands of Americans stood up for marriage in the public square. Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the issue (and everything indicates it will not be good), those who participate in this extraordinary event can expect extraordinary aid from God and the Blessed Mother.

Insight into the Russian Soul

Insight into the Russian Soul

“a book that is at once both prophetic and mysterious.”

The book, The Russian Idea, by Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov is a book that is at once both prophetic and mysterious. Translated and just published by Rev. Fr. John P. Rickert (FSSP), the long essay gives the reader wonderful insights into the workings of the Russian soul.

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The author was a nineteenth century Russian philosopher and mystic who died in 1900. As such, Solovyov shared complex philosophical positions common to the times but he also knew the Russian soul well. He was not afraid to defend his country against the liberal trends of the times. He adopted an organic vision of Russian society characterized by family-like links, natural leadership, and a God-given mission. This vision ran contrary to the then-popular mechanical model of the Industrial Revolution which likened society to a machine.

Solovyov claims that Russia must seek out her role in the order of the universe. He believed Russia should follow in the plans of God and not in the plans of a secularized world. He wrote: “The idea of a nation is not what it thinks of itself in time but instead what God thinks of it in eternity.”

That is why Solovyov minced no words when criticizing the state of the Orthodox Church, which he saw as an obstacle to fulfilling the Russian mission. He quotes unbiased sources which show the Orthodox Church of that time to be full of corruption and sin as it remained under the control of the Russian government. Given its structure, it is clear that Russian orthodoxy is anything but orthodox. In a similar way, the author also criticized the brutal and narrow vision of Russian nationalism, which is especially revealing considering the rise of Putin. Finally, Solovyov emphasized the need for a Supreme Pontiff to provide a point of unity for Christendom that his church does not and cannot have.

While persecuted for his outspoken views, Solovyov nevertheless had the courage to openly proclaim his admiration for the Catholic Church and made known his desire to see Russia return to the Church. He amazingly perceived something of the conversion of Russia foreseen by Our Lady at Fatima in 1917.

By outlining the nation’s needs, The Russian Idea gives a brief glimpse of what Russia free subscriptioncould and might yet be. Holy Mother Russia has always been turned toward grand, mysterious and marvelous places, liturgy and deeds, and so it should be in the future. Like an ancient icon, Russia has a side of captivating mystery shrouded in silence and penumbra awaiting the day when she might manifest herself to the world. When that day comes, Russia will display to the nations, the necessity, beauty and magnificence of her mysteries as a true expression of the Russian idea.

Ceasing to Fight for Our Christian Culture Only Prepares Us for Defeat

Ceasing to Fight for Our Christian Culture Only Prepares Us for Defeat

“Ceasing to Fight for Our Christian Culture Only Prepares Us for Defeat”

Scratch the soul of many a conservative and beneath you will find a villager. Something is there that attracts these Americans to more natural and simpler lifestyles. Perhaps it is because organic and authentic things appear restful and reassuring in a world of uncertainties and anxieties.

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However, what makes the organic option particularly attractive to conservatives is that it seems to be a solution to a neo-pagan world that corrupts and attacks family life. These conservatives believe, not unreasonably, that families fare better when surrounded by organic produce, home remedies and whole grain granola. Journalist Rod Dreher wittingly dubbed these rustic conservatives as “crunchy cons.” He described the phenomenon of those who desire to find a “village” of like-minded people to get away from the maddening liberal crowd.

Such attractive dreams of an organic Christian society have circulated for decades. The idealized community generally involves a fair amount of acreage far enough away from the city. Community members might build a homestead on some ten or twenty acres. There would be huge gardens full of organic vegetables and produce. Livestock, free-range chickens, or goats would supplement diets. Add an orchard and maybe a vineyard. One could make one’s own beer, cider or wine. Self-sufficiency would reign as people would get off all the grids. There would be children aplenty to make things merry. One would simply walk away from secular society. There would be no time for sin and war, since all would be busy on their farms with wholesome work.

Of course, at the center of the village there would be a church, ideally a monastery, a Benedictine monastery, where holy priests would celebrate the Divine Liturgy and bells would call people to prayer. Monks would intercede before God for our sinful world. A sacredness would be conferred upon all society where a love of beauty in a God-centered life would propel men toward their final end. Eventually, a school or university would form around this community and a new culture would be born.

Indeed, such a community would be full of culture. Like-minded people would be gathering, singing, eating and praying together. People would rediscover poetry and wonder. Let the neo-pagan world party to its destruction, but let it leave us alone in our “backward” and godly bliss!

The idea of the Christian village has recently gained more traction with the defeat of Indiana’s religious liberty law, which is seen as a foretaste of a coming persecution. Writers like Rod Dreher are urging people to make a strategic withdrawal from modern society that would allow Christians to reassess their situation and explore their identity in a liturgy-rich context. It need not be the full village version, but it does entail something of a withdrawal. He calls it the Benedict or “B-option” and proposes that people find their strategic retreat parishes/communities to weather the liberal storm.

It must be said that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the idea of a Christian village centered on family and faith. It is entirely according to our social nature to desire to live in a community committed to virtuous life in common. Such communities help individuals put their lives in order and control their disordered passions. They satisfy the longings of the postmodern heart that crave community and wholeness. Such villages would return God back to the center of things where He belongs. It is where we need to go but …

Such communities are not enough. Benedict alone does not suffice.

There is one major problem with the B-option and that is what might be called the “B-challenge.” Benedictine communities may have flourished, but they also seemed to attract barbarians who ravaged and plundered them. Those who adopt the B-option of Benedict must find a way to deal with the B-challenge of barbarians.

Such a task consists of understanding the nature of the barbarian. Historically, barbarians were those who gave in to their whims and destroyed indiscriminately. They devastated ordered society and redistributed its wealth. They did not leave Christians alone, but rather sought them out, often coming from afar, to loot and plunder their communities wherever they might be found.

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Occupy Wall Street participants

There can be no doubt that we live in a neo-barbarian world inside a culture of death. Today’s tattooed and wired neo-barbarians are likewise aggressive.  They also redistribute the wealth, albeit through taxes and entitlements. They do not live and let live, but insist that all approve their disordered lifestyles. Indeed, it is the very brutality of the neo-barbarian mandate that impels those considering the Benedictine option to flee.

The lessons of history are particularly expressive regarding the triumph of barbarians. Vikings, Huns, Goths, Moors and communists all devastated the tranquility of even the most isolated of organic societies. There is no escaping. There is a kind of impossible co-existence between barbarian and villager. Thus, in our case, the B-challenge can only consist in confronting the brutal neo-barbarians at the gates.

That is not to say that Benedict loses his validity as an option. After all, the core of what is to be defended and gives meaning to life is found inside his liturgical framework turned toward the worship of God.

But Benedict must be defended against the ravages of the barbarian. The barbarian must be fearlessly confronted, contested, fought against, defeated … and converted.

To the efficacious prayer of Benedict must be added the zealous action of a Boniface, apostle of Germany. He did not dialogue with the barbarians, but chopped down the great oak tree which they worshiped as their god, and brought them to the knowledge of the true Faith. To Boniface can be added legions of saints like Patrick in Ireland or Remigius in France, all of who overcame the barbarian and secured Benedict’s peace.

It would be wrong to assume that Boniface plays only a temporary role inside a B-option. Successive waves of barbarians followed after Boniface’s triumph. Saintly kings, knights and crusaders rose to the occasion to engage and defeat them. Even our modern times saw the need to defend the West from yesterday’s Nazi and communist brutes and today’s Islamic beheading savages.

Castillo_de_Almansa_sobre_el_cerro_del_Aguila-attributed

“In this vale of tears, we must be continually engaged in the fight for order”

In this vale of tears, we must be continually engaged in the fight for order since there will always be those who oppose God’s law and undermine the family, marriage, and all those other institutions that make up the heart and soul of an economy, a culture and the Christian village. There will always be those who never live and let live and will seek us out.

Like it or not, when we cease to fight for our Christian culture, we prepare ourselves for defeat. Unless there be Bonifaces with the fortitude needed to confront this great struggle, all our efforts will come to nothing.

Indeed, an organic order only becomes possible when there are those who, by their spirit of self-sacrifice and dedication, practice fortitude to the highest degree. This can be seen in the dedicated spirit of the soldier who leaves everything to face suffering, separation from family, and even imprisonment or death to defend the West against the barbarian. It can be found in today’s cultural warrior who endures so much scorn and risks everything to defend life, marriage and ordered liberty. It needs to be seen in those representative figures in society who make the great sacrifice of setting the tone and being role models for all society. When such key figures practice fortitude to a high degree, all society becomes permeated by this virtue, thus fortifying the whole social order.

When Benedict and Boniface are fused together in grace and fortitude, it sets the stage for free subscriptiona Christian society that is practically indestructible. The barbarian can then be subdued by the arm of Christian fortitude and converted by the sublime call of Christ. Because of their intense dynamism, the converted barbarians often become vibrant Christians.  We might even say that it is in the crucible of combating the neo-barbarian at the gates and restraining our own disordered passions (the barbarian within) that we will find the elements of a true culture that will meld people together into communities.

If we truly desire the B-option, then let us not withdraw from modernity, for strategic retreats easily turn into routs. Let us rather engage our neo-barbarian culture by both cultivating our Benedictine identity when projecting Boniface’s strength. It is the only option.

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Society – A Meeting Place of Wills?

Society A Meeting Place of Wills

“who understand the world solely as an arena for the achievement of their own satisfaction”

The great Alasdair MacIntyre described well the mentality of the modern individualist who has no concept of what a true society is.

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For the individualist, the social world is “nothing but a meeting place for individual wills, each with its own set of attitudes and preferences and who understand the world solely as an arena for the achievement of their own satisfaction, who interpret reality as a series of opportunities for their enjoyment and for whom the last enemy is boredom” (Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, Third Edition, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, Ind., 2007, p. 25).

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