Monday, January 27, 2014

The Cathedral Versus The Congregation

In any place and time, there will be a dominant set of sociopolitical precepts. Pre-World War I Europe, for example, was largely united under the precepts of patriotic nationalism, Christian ethics, constitutional monarchy, and a nobility inculcated with the constraints and virtues subsumed by noblesse oblige. That the nations of the Old World remained in fierce competition with one another, politically and economically, despite their common precepts arose partly from the precepts themselves, and partly from the nature of Man.

Patriotic nationalism, which implies adamant resistance to ideological and cultural mongrelization, was the critical ingredient in that mix. Consider, for example, Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Stranger," of which the last verse is particularly powerful:

This was my father's belief,
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf--
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children's teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.

Modern left-liberals view those lines, sneer, and mutter "xenophobia in verse," but then, given what passes for poetry and rational thought about international mobility today, that's all one could expect of a modern left-liberal. Yet during those years after the Congress of Vienna, while the United States was slowly gaining its footing and rising to international significance, Europe was the powerhouse of the world. There were few advances in science, technology, industry, or human thought that originated outside Europe -- and none that Europe failed to adopt and develop further.

Takuan Seiyo's recent essay, which Col. Bunny cites just below, points toward a resurgence of the pre-WWI European attitude toward immigration. The First World nations that have absorbed so many Third Worlders, especially those from Islamic hellholes where preachments of hatred toward Dar al-Harb are impassioned, unceasing, and ubiquitous, have suffered severely thereby. The apostles of Transnational Progressivism are fighting fiercely to tamp down those rising neonationalist sentiments...and losing.

And that is a very good thing.


Though Baron Bodissey's most recent article casts light upon the phenomenon of neonationalism from a different direction, it illuminates the same ideological contest:

I ran into the Dark Enlightenment a while back, and spent some time poking around among the various sites. Its proponents are also known as “Neoreactionaries”, which is an appealing term in itself. Among their characteristics are a distaste for modern politics and culture, skepticism about democracy, and an affinity for venerable and organically-formed traditions.

The culture they oppose is often labeled “The Cathedral”. It is the behemoth of progressive modernity that compels compliance through both incentives and punishments. On occasion I’ve called the same monster “The Empire”, in sardonic reference to the old Jefferson Airplane song “Greasy Man” ["Greasy Heart," from the Crown Of Creation album -- FWP]....

But whatever name it goes by, it is the trans-national engine of Political Correctness and Multiculturalism. It is lavishly funded, relentlessly promoted, and enforced by coercion when necessary. It is pushed by Western governments, the media, the Academy, major corporations, the central banks, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the United Nations, and numerous deep-pocketed private foundations. Its primary purpose — sometimes stated clearly but more often covert — is to usher in a New World Order of “global governance”. When that glorious Utopia arrives, only the government and billions of atomized individuals will remain. All other mediating institutions will have been vacuumed up by the omnipotent State.

Meaningful dissent against the Cathedral is not permitted, not even among ostensible “conservatives”. Just ask John Derbyshire. Or Jason Richwine.

The greatest punishments are reserved for any deviation from orthodoxy on race and ethnicity. National Review dutifully excommunicates any race-heretics from its cramped crypt in the cellar of the Cathedral. But other topics are also frowned upon, such as skepticism about global warming. Or home-schooling. Or the gold standard — dissidents on fiat money are laughed out of the nave and down the front steps.

If mockery fails as a deterrent, then more stringent persuasions are brought to bear, running from denial of funding through loss of employment to lawsuits and prosecution. The Cathedral will not be gainsaid.

The Dark Enlightenment fails to heed such strictures, and takes exception to the doctrines of the Cathedral.

Please, please read the whole thing. [Apropos of which, Gates of Vienna has been on my blogroll half of forever for very good reasons. Smart readers will make it part of their daily surf.]


The paradigm of power that prevailed just after the treaties comprising The Peace of Westphalia was often called the alliance of Throne and Altar. That referred to the scheme called cuius regio eius religio, under which the political sovereign was conceded the privilege of establishing a state-preferred religion. The reverse of that coin was that the religious establishment so favored was obliged -- sometimes compelled -- to function as a timber of support for state policy. The terrible power of such an arrangement -- adding fear of damnation to the range of disincentives for resisting or differing with the State -- was obvious enough to America's Founding Fathers that they explicitly forbade such a thing in the newborn United States.

However, the Founders did not anticipate the rise of an equally pernicious power of a nominally secular sort: the "Cathedral" to which Baron Bodissey refers in the cited article. The clergy of Transnational Progressivists and cultural relativists proclaims a secular gospel more stringent than any previous formulation. It seeks to apply ever stronger measures of discouragement and dissuasion to the rising neonationalism of Americans who cleave to traditional American beliefs and virtues.

Consider this attempt by the Dishonorable Charles Schumer (D, NY) to paint the neonationalism that energizes TEA Party opposition to open borders as racism:

"Yes, things have changed. White Anglo-Saxon men are not exclusively running the country anymore," he said Thursday. "President Obama lost the white male vote 35 to 62 percent yet he recaptured the presidency – by 5 million votes and a resounding electoral college margin."

Schumer said the changing demographics also "[explain] why so many on the right vehemently opposed the Senate immigration bill."

"In a pre-tea party world, the Senate immigration bill would have been welcomed by House Republicans," he said. "However, the tea party rank and file know it's a different America. It looks different; it prays different; it works different. This is unsettling and angering to some."

Schumer's claim contains not one substantiable fact. It's merely a set of allegations about the attitudes of those who disagree with him about "immigration reform" (i.e., amnesty for illegal aliens]. However, we can easily infer Schumer's venom toward his opponents -- and his willingness to descend to any depth to smear us. Nor is he the only prominent politician to say such things.

To these old eyes, it appears that the Throne is eager to promote the Cathedral as the new, unquestionable, unopposable established religion of these United States. Whether it has any prospect of doing so, de jure or de facto, remains to be seen.


None of the above is news to anyone who pays adequate attention to national politics. What's significant is not some qualitative change in the national discourse, but the rapid intensification of the Cathedral's efforts to suppress all expressions of dissent from its creed. That the effort is failing points not to weakness in its masters' determination nor to any flaw in their tactics, but rather to their inability to get Americans to ignore the reality around them:

  • Vanishing entry-level jobs and plummeting wages for them.
  • Social fragmentation, especially the proliferation of exclaves.
  • Rising crime rates in regions heavily populated by recent immigrants.
  • Political pandering toward those immigrants, despite their separatism and particularism.
  • Unwillingness of American public institutions to assert American values, norms, or customs.

Reality is the Ace of trumps. Politicians are the only species of creature that denies this. However, they do succeed in roping in those who are easily intimidated by slanders, those without adequate confidence in their own ways, and those who think with their wishes rather than their heads. Apparently, that's a sufficient mass to gain a frightening degree of traction for their mongrelization agenda.


The game is not yet lost. Other aspects might be, especially in formal politics, but on the subject of Americanism among private Americans, the "Dark Enlightenment," which I think of as the Congregation, has a tactic that's all but invincible: passive noncompliance. Our beloved InstaPundit discourses on two related applications of this idea:

So, despite all the federal laws on the books [i.e., the federal criminalization of marijuana], Colorado has de facto nullified them, and started a process that may very well snowball, all without directly attacking the federal laws, or the federal government, at all. Meanwhile, millions of Americans may be in the process of effectively killing Obamacare simply by staying home.

As we struggle, mostly in vain, to rein in the metastasizing power of a federal government that has grown out of control, perhaps Irish Democracy offers a solution. Sometimes it seems like that's the only kind of democracy that's likely to make a difference.

The only thing the Throne can do with the passively noncompliant in sufficient numbers is kill them...and that tends not to work out for the Throne:

    “Get walking and bring us two full plates.”
    “I won’t,” said Matt, firming his jaw and ignoring the gun.
    Gleed thumbed the safety catch which moved with an audible click.
    “It’s touchy now. It’d go off at a sneeze. Start moving.”
    “I won’t,” insisted Matt.
    Gleed disgustedly shoved the weapon back into his pocket. “I was only kidding you. It isn’t energized.”
    “Wouldn’t have made the slightest difference if it had been,” Matt assured. “I serve no Antigands, and that’s that!”
    “Suppose I’d gone haywire and blown you in half?”
    “How could I have served you then?” he inquired. “A dead person is of no use to anyone. Time you Antigands learned a little logic.”

[Eric Frank Russell, "And Then There Were None"]

Food for thought.

2 comments:

Ronald Barbour said...

My prediction is that the "Throne" will open fire on it's own citizens when it becomes clear to them, sometime in the next three years, that all other measures have failed to produce the global utopia they demand.

In the words of Glenn Beck, "First you "nudge," if nudge fails, "shove,"if shove fails, "shoot!"

I submit a Leftist global utopia, like the Tower of Babel, is impossible to construct, but it is possible to shoot millions of the people the Left will blame for its "sabotage."

Joseph said...

Since Senator Schumer is wrong about everything, it should be possible for conservatives to get immigrant votes.