This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the breakup of the Soviet Union, the world’s first communist state. In 1991, the Western world was euphoric at the supposed “death” of communism and the end of the Cold War. The suddenness with which both the USSR and the Berlin Wall fell led some observers to believe that liberal democracy had triumphed over totalitarianism once and for all. The world, they thought, was entering a new era of peace and progress.
American political scientist Francis Fukuyama expressed this view in his 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man. Humanity, he wrote, had reached “not just…the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: That is, the end-point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”
The vast majority of Catholics shared his optimistic, materialistic conclusions. Communism, the narrative went, was defeated thanks to Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II. With the great enemy of the Church gone, Catholics could now confidently engage in a perpetual “new evangelization” with a world that was friendly, even respectful to the Church. A Catholic “end of history,” if you will. Never mind that several communist countries such as China, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam survived and that communist ideas—the “errors of Russia” as Our Lady of Fatima said—continued to spread.
By 2021, it could not be clearer that such a dream was naïve, at best. The world is not evolving towards a liberal democratic utopia. There is no broad, peaceful, democratic “consensus.” Instead, the Western world is engaged in a war for the very survival of the Church and Western civilization. Communism, Marxism, and socialism are back with a vengeance and vying to take over America. The outcome of this great battle will decide the fate of the nation and the world for centuries to come. By the grace of God, many Catholics are waking up to the reality of the crisis and taking action.
America Is Engaged in a New Civil War on Every Issue
The word “battle” or even “war” does not fully describe the depth of the crisis in which America finds itself. The nation is engaged in a titanic, almost apocalyptic struggle between the enemies and the defenders of God and Western Christian civilization. This great conflict is not a single-issue battle but rather a massive campaign marked by countless smaller battles happening simultaneously.
Politics, of course, is the most visible manifestation of America’s internal conflict. The 2020 election was the most violent and contested election since 1860. However, it would be incorrect to say that America’s divide is only political. Every sector of society is a scene of battle—the family, history, tradition, politics, economics and especially morals. In short, it is the clash of two political religions.
Covid-19 lockdowns and mask mandates were a major flashpoint. Liberals saw the Chinese virus as a unique opportunity to attack the free market and “reset” society along socialist, communitarian, and revolutionary lines. Conservatives were shocked by the disproportional overreach of government lockdowns that destroyed businesses and jobs in the name of a virus whose lethality was greatly exaggerated.
On gun control, Democrats are pushing for unprecedented restrictions on Americans’ right to self-defense. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat Congressman and presidential candidate from California, cited the gun confiscation laws passed in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand as models for the United States. Many others agree with him.
On immigration, the left is clamoring for the elimination of the border. Joe Biden has presided over, and indeed encouraged, one of the most significant illegal immigration surges in nearly twenty years. His administration has signaled to the world that illegal immigrants will be allowed to stay. Many leftists openly admit that they favor such massive, unchecked, illegal immigration to permanently shift the county leftward and dilute native-born Americans’ conservative reaction.
Like true totalitarians, the left wants to end representative democracy and impose a dictatorship to force its ideology on an unwilling country. H.R.1 is the Democrats’ 800-page election “reform” bill. If signed into law, it will federalize elections, enable voter fraud on a massive scale, and make it easy for non-citizens to illegally vote, putting an end to fair and free elections in the United States.
Leftists are resorting to censorship to accomplish their goals. Working hand in glove with Biden and the Democrats in Congress is “Big Tech”: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and most other tech companies that are banning any speech on their platforms that contradicts left-wing positions.
Over the past few years, many conservative websites, including TFP.org, saw their Google search traffic diminish or disappear entirely. Their videos were banned from YouTube, or their Twitter and Facebook posts tagged with “fake news” warnings. One month before the election, Twitter froze the New York Post’s account—one of the oldest newspapers in the country—and blocked the sharing of one of its articles about Hunter Biden.
Big Tech companies have banned countless individuals from their platforms for posts that violate nebulous “community guidelines.” Yet, these same platforms host accounts of notorious dictators and thugs. Twitter, for example, allows accounts for Vladimir Putin, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Louis Farrakhan, Richard Spencer and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
But all the issues fought over in America today, none are as hotly disputed as moral issues. Abortion has been a fault line in American politics since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. The issue is so hot that it may even cause a new civil war in America.
On the one hand, the pro-life side has won many valuable victories in public opinion and legislatures. Many states have passed “heartbeat bills” that essentially ban abortions and tried to close abortion clinics through regulations. Polls also show that Americans today are more pro-life than a generation ago.
On the other hand, the left has radicalized in favor of abortion like never before. In 2019, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed a radical pro-abortion bill into law that eliminated most restrictions on abortion in his state. He then declared that pro-lifers “have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” California, New Jersey, and Virginia have all followed New York’s lead.
Most ominously, liberals are now admitting that abortion does indeed kill a human being yet are still defending it. In a 2019 interview, Virginia’s Democratic governor Ralph Northam took this to its logical conclusion when he expressed support for post-birth infanticide: “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Right alongside abortion is the homosexual revolution. The movement has advanced far beyond demanding “tolerance” to being a privileged class with special rights and protections far above the average citizen. Everyone must participate in homosexual activism, whether in school, at work, or even at home, with the government ready to punish those who object.
Thousands of businessmen, sports players, teachers and government officials have lost their jobs and suffered vicious public attacks for daring to object to the LGBT movement. University and even high school students have been punished or even expelled for opposing their schools’ LGBT activism.
Transgenderism is the tip of the spear of this revolution. On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Bostock v. Clayton County that the federal government must punish “discrimination” against “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The decision will have far-reaching consequences for Americans who disagree with “gender theory,” essentially forcing the country to endorse “gender identity” and homosexual behavior or face punishment.
A few days after his inauguration, Joe Biden declared that “transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.” The Democrats’ bill in Congress, H.R.5 (also called “the Equality Act”), would enshrine the Bostock decision in federal law and punish any institution that does not accept homosexuality or transgenderism. H.R.5, among other things, also requires all public and private schools that receive federal funds to teach LGBT ideology in their curricula.
Transgender activists have targeted children for years. Public schools are now flooded with pro-trans propaganda and programs run by organizations such as GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network). Teachers give children examples of people who “transitioned,” such as “Jazz” Jennings, a male who pretends to be a female. Drag Queen Story Hour—in which cross-dressers indoctrinate young children in perversive behavior in public libraries—has spread to dozens of cities nationwide since its launching in San Francisco in 2015.
The march to legalize drugs continues despite evidence of severe health and social effects. A majority of Americans now live in states that have legalized either medical or recreational use of marijuana. And just as many feared, marijuana is only the beginning. In Oregon last year, a ballot initiative to decriminalize possession of ALL drugs—including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine—passed with 55.8% of the vote. Other states are sure to follow.
Assisted suicide is also spreading rapidly across America and the world. It is currently legal in nine states and the District of Columbia, and activists are fighting to pass assisted suicide bills in several others.
Perhaps more than anything, the fight in America today is a religious one. The country is seeing an explosion of interest in witchcraft and Satanism. When Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last year, the Huffington Post published an article titled “The Death Of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pushed Me To Join The Satanic Temple.” Written by a “40-something attorney and mother,” the author described herself as “not the type of person who would normally consider becoming a Satanist, but these are not normal times.”
“When Justice Ginsburg died, I knew immediately that action was needed on a scale we have not seen before. Our democracy has become so fragile that the loss of one of the last guardians of common sense and decency in government less than two months before a pivotal election has put our civil and reproductive rights in danger like never before. And, so, I have turned to Satanism.”1
The violent destruction of statues last summer had all the appearances of Islamic jihad. BLM tore down statues of presidents and founding fathers not because of their faults but because they represent traditional American culture, religious belief and Christian virtue.
“Critical Race Theory” and the New York Times’ 1619 Project—the ideological basis for the left’s racially charged rioting—have more in common with religion than a dry academic theory. Borrowing Christian concepts, they claim that America is a permanently and irremediably “sinful” country due to slavery. “Salvation” can only come by burning the country’s institutions to the ground.
It is therefore not surprising that rioters also tried to vandalize, tear down and remove statues of famous Catholics such as Saint Junipero Serra in California, Saint Joan of Arc in New Orleans, King Saint Louis IX in St. Louis, Missouri, Saint Damien of Molokai in Hawaii and the many Christopher Columbus statues all over the country.
Right next to the political religion of racial hatred is that of ecology. The left has embraced the cause of global warming and the environment as the most important issue. America, they say, must repent of its carbon sins and return to the righteous path of climate justice. To avoid climate apocalypse (arriving in 2030, they say), America must embrace the prophetic directives of the Green New Deal and the United Nations: dismantle our economy, eliminate all carbon-based energy, ban airplanes and embrace a more impoverished, more “sustainable” lifestyle.
The End of a Long Process Called “Revolution”
How does one understand the present chaotic times? What is the nature and significance of this great battle? How did the nation get here, and most importantly, how can the battle be won?
The entire Western world is reaching the end of a long, historical process that the great Brazilian Catholic leader Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira called “the Revolution.” In his book, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, he described the Revolution as a five-centuries-long process of destruction of the Catholic Church and Christian civilization.
Each crisis today, he wrote, is like an individual tree burning in a vast forest fire. However, one does not say that 100,000 individual trees are burning independently, but rather that there is a single fire that engulfs the whole forest. This “fire” in society, which does not leave any tree untouched, is called the Revolution.
The Revolution undermined society through the spread of evil tendencies, that is, those aspects of culture such as music, literature, architecture, fashion, technology and many others. These revolutionary tendencies predisposed men to revolutionary ideas, such as liberalism, socialism, and communism. Finally, after accepting the Revolution’s influence in both the tendencies and ideas, mankind was prepared to accept the revolution in the facts: the political upheavals and revolutions.
Take feminism, for example. As far back as the twenties, a fashion for androgynous (unisex) and indecent clothing for women emerged. This fashion prepared public opinion for the feminist ideology of Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedan in the fifties, which sought to erase the differences between men and women. This ideology was the foundation for the sexual revolution of the sixties, which prepared the way for the Bostock v. Clayton County Supreme Court decision of 2020, enshrining gender theory in U.S. law.
Two disordered passions in man served as the driving forces of this Revolution: pride and sensuality. Pride leads to hatred for all hierarchy and inequality and the desire to impose total equality on society. Sensuality leads to the desire for absolute liberty in which the state and all forms of authority are overthrown and replaced with anarchy. Revolutionaries want to create a utopia on earth to abolish all authority, inequality, law, tradition, family and private property. In its place, they will build an anarchical, tribal and perfectly egalitarian society. Ultimately, this Revolution seeks the annihilation of the Catholic Church and Christian civilization and the public adoration of Satan.
This Revolutionary Process Is More Apparent Than Ever
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira wrote that the Revolutionary process had four major explosions in history, each picking up where the previous one left off: the Protestant Revolution, French Revolution, Communist Revolution, and a Fourth Revolution especially manifested by Sexual Revolution of the sixties. Today, this historical process is more apparent than ever.
During the Black Lives Matter riots last year, Antifa militants founded the “Capital Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) in Seattle, Washington, as an experiment in a communist, anarchical society akin to Occupy Wall Street from 2011. Shortly after starting CHAZ, the organizers changed its name to CHOP, short for “Capital Hill Organized Protest.” According to the Seattle Times, a CHOP organizer explained the reason for the change:
“It is not CHAZ, it is CHOP,” one speaker said outside the precinct. “Has anybody here ever heard of the French Revolution before? That is another revolution (that happened) because people started putting property over lives. They started putting money over people. Does anybody here know what happened to the people who did not get on board with the French Revolution?”
“CHOPPED,” the crowd responded.
“That is the message we need to send,” the speaker said.2
Imitating the French Revolution, Antifa and “Black Lives Matter” protesters even set up mock guillotines. In Washington, D.C., they built a mock guillotine in front of Jeff Bezos’s house, guillotined Donald Trump’s effigy in Baltimore and another of Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler. It is logical to conclude that mock executions will eventually lead to real ones.
Antifa and BLM also boast of their inspiration from Marxism and communism. In 2015, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors bragged, “We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza], in particular, we’re trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories.”3
One of the main principles of communism was hatred for private property, which Karl Marx himself affirmed in the Communist Manifesto of 1848: “Communism can be reduced to a single sentence: the abolition of private property.”
This hatred for the principle of private property was a deeper motivation for the Antifa and BLM riots last year. In August last year, National Public Radio caused a minor controversy when they interviewed “Vicky” Osterweil (a man who pretends to be a woman) about his recent book In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action. Looting, he said, is necessary to destroy private property, authority, and oppression:
“[Looting] also attacks the very way in which food and things are distributed. It attacks the idea of property…It points to the way in which that’s unjust…So you get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free…Looting strikes at the heart of property, of whiteness and of the police. It gets to the very root of the way those three things are interconnected.”4
Six Principles to Help Analyze, Understand and Navigate the Events Properly
Over his long life, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira (1908-1995) was both a keen follower of and an insightful commentator on the political and religious events of his times. The following principles come from the school of news analysis that he transmitted to his spiritual sons of the Tradition, Family, Property movement he founded.
First, the fight is to save not only the nation but, above all, the Catholic Church and what remains of Christian civilization. It is easy to lose sight of the big picture when so many different battles and issues are raging all at once. The Revolution’s main target is the Mystical Body of Christ, the Catholic Church, and Western Christian civilization.
Second, the field of battle is not over individuals but in public opinion. To fight for the Church and Christian civilization means influencing society’s great debates. That requires public action, whether it be testifying at the local town hall over an LGBT school curriculum, protesting a Drag Queen Story Hour or organizing a rosary rally at a main intersection. By fighting in the public square—always legally and peacefully—concerned Americans can refute the Revolutionary left, persuade those in the middle, and encourage those on the right to enter the fight.
Third, the focus of the fight cannot be petty problems but must be God’s cause. The many real problems found in work, family and daily life make it easy to lose sight of the big picture. Seeing the enormity of the crisis, many are tempted with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and retreat further into their individual concerns.
That is not the way of the saints. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who had a contemplative vocation as a Carmelite. Nevertheless, she expressed an intense zeal to be a missionary overseas and conquer souls for the Church. Just as Saint John the Evangelist and the Holy Women accompanied Our Lord during His Passion, faithful Catholics must follow the fight between God’s cause and the devil’s ploys playing out in society, especially in the Church. People must make God’s cause their own.
Fourth, one must maintain a prophetic vigil awaiting the events foreseen at Fatima. Today’s crisis is so deep that it is foolish to think that human efforts can solve it. Even ordinary graces from God are insufficient to overcome the crisis. Never before in history has evil had such power over the hearts and souls of men. The only way out is an unprecedented intervention of God, through His Holy Mother, to give extraordinary graces of conversion and crush His enemies.
Our Lady of Fatima gave exactly this promise when she appeared in Portugal in 1917. She told the three shepherd children that God had sent the First World War as a chastisement for sinful mankind and that another even worse war would come in the reign of the future Pope Pius XI (the Second World War). As further punishment, she warned that “Russia would spread her errors throughout the world.” After yet another chastisement, she promised that Russia would convert and there would be “a period of peace.”
Catholics should place their hope in this promise of the Mother of God. Despite the horrors of the modern world and the apparent defeat of the Church, God is preparing an unimaginable and glorious triumph over evil. This great promise should provide the strength and courage to stay faithful.
Fifth, one must see, judge and act with a supernatural vision of things, from the perspective of the Catholic Faith. It is easy to interpret the events through the eyes of the world. One is tempted to look for simple, man-made solutions, or worse, some political “savior” who will singlehandedly fix the crisis without the Faith.
All Catholics must judge the events according to the traditional doctrines of the Faith. They must have a supernatural vision of the events with Our Lord Jesus Christ as the center of History. Like the saints, all should see that every battle directly or indirectly touches upon the great enmity of history: the enmity between the Woman and the Serpent (see Gen. 3:15). To have this vision, the faithful must study the Catholic Faith and read the lives of the Saints. Three books that are particularly useful for a Catholic today to obtain this supernatural vision are True Devotion to Mary, Soul of the Apostolate and Revolution and Counter-Revolution.
Sixth, this is not the “End of History,” as Francis Fukuyama said, but rather the end of one history and the beginning of another. The era of the Revolution that began over 500 years ago—bringing with it Protestantism, the French Revolution, Communism, and the Fourth Revolution—is coming to its conclusion.
The present chaos has a parallel with other great turning points in history, such as the Great Flood, the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Fall of the Roman Empire or the reign of Charlemagne—events that only happen every 500 or even 1,000 years. This is the completion of one epoch of history and the beginning of another in which the world will suffer a terrible chastisement but will convert, as Our Lady said at Fatima. Saint Louis de Montfort foresaw this epoch and called it the “Reign of Mary.” However, as Saint Ignatius of Loyola said, we must do everything as if it depended on us, knowing that in the end, everything depends on God.
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