The war in Ukraine is more than an unjust war of aggression by Russia. It also targets the West as a concept and geopolitical bloc. A global culture war looms on the horizon, threatening to tear everything apart.
Two notions of what is meant by “the West,” one true and the other false, are at the center of this battle. These two models unite liberals and pit conservatives against each other. The general public is left confused, unable to determine which version must be defended or opposed.
The Notion of Christendom
The true version might be called the “True Christian” West. It corresponds to the block of nations that guided the world by their connection to a European past, especially its rich Christian culture. It was represented by Christendom and was applied to all those areas—especially in the New World—that shared its metaphysical and religious vision of life.
This West developed systems of law, education, logic and morality that favor progress and human flourishing. Its metaphysics is based on the nature of things and a knowable objective truth. The center of this civilization is God, His law and the Church.
Modern society benefits from the remnants of this Christian civilization that survive, even while repudiating its distant roots. If there is any order in society today, it is because traces of the True Christian West can still be found in its structures, laws and institutions.
Today’s postmodern secular society rejects this model. Indeed, the “Western” woke establishment and a corresponding decadent secular culture despise it.
The Davos-Driven West
The second concept of the “West” is something entirely different. Both the left and the right use this definition to attack the True Christian West. This “West” is associated with those same European-linked nations as expressed by vast economic and political networks. It embodies a rules-based order that sustains liberalism as the political system of modernity. It might be called the Davos-driven West.
This “West” borrows enormously from the Christian West’s social capital and rational infrastructure yet never acknowledges its debt. It suffers from the darkness of Enlightenment thinkers that broke the True Christian West’s social and moral unity and promoted an individualist, materialist world. However, this West also spreads its secular decadence that hastens its downfall.
If the True Christian West is the baby, the Davos-driven version is the bathwater. The latter is used against the former. Liberals hate the values of the True Christian West while enjoying all the comforts and advances that came from it. Conservatives hate the Davos-driven West as they struggle to survive amid its moral depravity and godless secularism.
This Davos-driven West seemed to have triumphed everywhere during the post-Cold War era. Everything seemed to barrel toward a single globalized village that pursued pleasures and passions in a festival of frenetic intemperance without any recognition of God. Its advanced technology brings all things together instantly and effortlessly.
The Shattering of the Second West
This triumph seemed secure until COVID and then Ukraine destabilized things further.
The Ukraine conflict targets the Davos-driven West and its vast networks. The global links that maintained Western hegemony are now torn asunder. In just a few months, Ukraine has wiped out the globalizing work of a generation.
Both sides are engaged in this work of decoupling. Each new sanction imposed on Russia makes it more difficult to reconstitute a globalized world. Each new step Russia takes deeper into Ukraine represents the shattering of the world into new hegemonies, trading blocks, ideological currents and awkward partnerships. The final result will be the irreparable severing of the East from the West.
This West as a geopolitical unity is being shattered, opening the way for an unknown multipolar world. Many on the right welcome this development as a cleansing of dirty cultural bathwater. At the same time, leftists celebrate the demise of the True Christian West baby’s influence that still keeps some moral order in society.
The Annihilation of the First West
However, the most important target of the war in Ukraine is the True Christian West.
Russia never quite joined this True Christian West. It is an Eastern European nation that Eastern Orthodoxy has dominated for nigh a millennium. Building from this past, Vladimir Putin’s Eurasian movement seeks to set up an anti-Western network of countries infused with its strange ideologies and rigid autocracies. Russia, China and their client states seek to supplant the True Christian West with a framework that recycles old errors (many of them curiously Western) based on nationalism, Marxism, Gnosticism and even mystical elements. Indeed, what unites Russia’s pan-Slavic Eurasianism (of Alexander Dugin) or Xi Jinping’s “new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics” is their militant anti-Western and pro-Marxist character.
Russian ideologues hate the traces of the True Christian West that still survives in today’s institutions, rules and systems. They especially target the Catholic Church and her doctrines which challenge stagnant Orthodoxy. These thinkers reject the West’s rational order and imagine a primitive, mystical, tribal, and communal Russia.
Many Western philosophers, some self-identifying as pagans or occultists, join their Russian counterparts in admiring this primitive Russian ideal. Author Matthew Rose in his 2022 book, A World After Liberalism: Philosophers of the Radical Right, explores the world of five key figures who influenced the present debate against the West—Oswald Spengler, Julius Evola, Alain de Benoist, Francis Parker Yockey and Samuel Francis. Their pro-Russian position includes severe criticisms of Western Christianity that they claim deforms natural impulses and weakens social relationships.
In addition, the left worldwide hates all manifestations of the True Christian West since it insinuates a superiority in an egalitarian world. So intense is this hatred that the woke establishment now engages in what might be called a “civil war against everything” as it seeks to annihilate any Christian values from Western society.
The Target is the West
Thus, Russia rejects both Wests, the true and false. It seeks to destroy the vast networks of the Davos-driven West, which it mistakenly believes will ruin the True Christian West by taking away world prosperity. Russia and China challenge these networks with an anti-Davos-driven East that will create economic chaos and destroy American hegemony. Russia also proposes false ideologies that will replace all traces of Western Christian civilization.
Yet more tragic, Western nations target their Christian origin in both true and false forms. The war is breaking the unity of its vast networks and supply chains, compromised by decades of trust in communist trade deals. The culture war inside the True Christian West is dragging it down to a similar pagan, pantheistic, woke world that will destroy modern civilization, baby and bathwater.
Thus, a global culture war has begun, and at stake is the future of the West.
To fight in this war, the West must not reject the rational order, the rule of law and objective metaphysics that give it structure and order. It must resist the postmodern destruction of logic and narratives. Most importantly, the West must return to its origins found in God, His Law and His Holy Church.
Such solutions are similar to those unheeded messages given by Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 when the Russian danger exploded on the world scene. They are just as valid today as they were then.