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How we got from there to here

15 Nov

At Dalrock’s latest post, commenter Escoffier had some interesting comments in response, regarding how social conservatives reacted to the changes wrought by feminism; he argues persuasively, IMO, that social conservative didn’t out intentionally endorse the changes, but found themselves swept up in the culture, and didn’t have the moral or intellectual basis to resist said changes, alas.

Some excerpts:

I think you overestimate the extent to which SoCons willingly, knowingly went along with feminism. I think instead what happened is that they found early feminism, feminism 1.0, unobjectionable and impossible to resist. That is, they could not conceive of a principled argument against opening up educational or career opportunities to women. To do so would be to endorse “unequal treatment” and they had no intellectual ground on which to do so. Some of them tried on religious grounds but they just got laughed at and their argument was never taken seriously in the wider debate and was soon swept aside everywhere but in their own small communities.

SoCons were NEVER happy with the Sexual Revolution and still aren’t. They didn’t put up much of a fight at first because they considered it fringe and also it seemed not to be affecting their own daughters. By the time it had swept the country, many of their own daughters had participated and everyone loves his own and it’s hard to condemn your own daughter. So they adjusted. That’s a big part of how “good girl” came to be defined as “few LTRs” rather than “virgin.” That was an accommodation, though, not a matter of willing participation. And, some SoCons have rallied and attacked the SR and made a rational stand for chastity. You’re not giving them any credit. Late to the party, sure, but some have done it.

[…]

I don’t think the SoCon thought process is as you describe, i.e., they took the lead in attacking “slut-shaming.” No. They still are totally uneasy with sluttery and don’t want their daughters to become sluts. But, again, SoCons have had to accommodate themselves to the prevailing culture. They concluded, rightly or wrongly, that they couldn’t stop their daughters from having pre-marital sex. So the next best thing was to try to instill in them whatever restraint they could. In practice that meant not being too harsh about LTRs. SoCons are still very harsh and openly judgmental (at least within their own families) about “hooking up.” Beyond that most of them have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy because, really, what father wants to know every detail about what his daughter is up to?

[…]

There are a number of causes for this, but culturally it somehow became “uncool” in the middle class and above to have kids who were not high achievers, including daughters. So even SoCons internalized this and became vaguely ashamed of a daughter who married at 20 but hugely proud of one who went to Harvard to be filled with feminist/liberal bilge. They want their girls to get fancy educations and start careers. It’s a status marker. Low Rent People get married young. That’s for hillbillies. Not my daughter!

Now, an unintended consequence has been all that you describe. But SoCon’s didn’t choose or encourage this except insofar as they encouraged their girls to get educated and get “careers” rather than mere jobs. Perhaps they should have seen it all coming, as you seem to think they should have. I dunno, but anyway, at worst they are guilty of a failure of foresight.

[…]

As for SoCons blaming men: I think you and other “manosphere” bloggers have done great work on this. Not in demonstrating that the SoCons are simply wrong but that their knowledge is woefully incomplete. They blame men without understanding the causes of male misbehavior, and without understanding that the primary cause is female misbehavior which is at least as bad as, and arguably worse than, male misbehavior.

The thing is, though, much of the Hymowitz/Bennet criticism is not false. They are attacking male behavior that is genuinely lousy. You always have to caveat your praise of Roissy/Roosh with “not that I’m endorsing this” yet you never seem to wholeheartedly condemn what they are doing either. And what they are doing is wrong—morally, ethically, politically, in every way. To paraphrase Lincoln, if manwhoring isn’t wrong, nothing is wrong. Then there is no sexual morality. Just because women are hypergamous sluts, it’s not suddenly OK for men to be polygamous cads.

This should hardly need to be said, but apparently does: A life spent in pursuit of pussy is an empty, wasted life. Whether you are successful at it or unsuccessful. And I don’t need recourse to religion say that; unassisted human reason is sufficient. Those guys are losers. They accomplish nothing, they degrade their souls, they hurt their country, they defile (non-innocent, to be sure) women, and they coarsen society. And think of the opportunity costs.

[…]

You leave out the point that the rise of working women led to the dominance of the two-income household, which led to the necessity of the latter by driving up housing and schooling prices (and much else). This is all demonstrated in the Harvard-Lib Elizabeth Warren’s book The Two Income Trap. Say what you will about her, she’s intellectually honest.

Some salient points.

 
38 Comments

Posted by on November 15, 2011 in culture, divorce, The Decline

 

38 responses to “How we got from there to here

  1. Svar

    November 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    This is a spot-on analysis on how we came to this shithole and how SoCons are not entirely to blame. They are to be blamed for their inaction and their lack of reactionary spirit, but not for causing this-that finger lies solely upon the Left and it’s destructive sociocultural policies.

    “They want their girls to get fancy educations and start careers. It’s a status marker. Low Rent People get married young. That’s for hillbillies. Not my daughter!”

    This is a problem. My parents are like this-they would probably lose their shit if I were to marry a girl that wanted to be a mother and a housewife. Personally, I am not willing to marry a girl higher than an elementary school teacher in credentials.

     
  2. dragnet

    November 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Well-argued and passionately—but I must quibble:

    “SoCons were NEVER happy with the Sexual Revolution and still aren’t. They didn’t put up much of a fight at first because they considered it fringe and also it seemed not to be affecting their own daughters. By the time it had swept the country, many of their own daughters had participated and everyone loves his own and it’s hard to condemn your own daughter.”

    So that’s the argument? Everyone else was doing it and it’s really hard for us not to as well?? Really??!?! That’s the argument for ignoring binding religious teachings regarding female chastity? That fathers would rather not know?? You’d better hope God is more accepting of this excuse than the PUAs…

    And sure, it’s hard to condemn your own flesh and blood…but Saul was able to do it. Jephtah wasn’t thrilled about it either but he followed through on his obligations. Not the best analogies, but you get my meaning.

    “And what they are doing is wrong—morally, ethically, politically, in every way. To paraphrase Lincoln, if manwhoring isn’t wrong, nothing is wrong. Then there is no sexual morality. Just because women are hypergamous sluts, it’s not suddenly OK for men to be polygamous cads.”

    The solution here is for the socons to be as publicly intolerant of female promiscuity as they currently are of male promiscuity. Men might be more likely to “man up” if they thought socons really had their backs—but there is absolutely no indication whatsoever that socons are serious about applying equal pressure on the their daughters. Most men think socons will pressure them into marrying…AND THEN WILL DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO CHANGE THE BEHAVIOR OF THEIR WIVES AND BULLSHIT LEGAL AND CULTURAL NORMS THAT ARE CURRENTLY DESTROYING THEM. Gee, I wonder why they would think that?!??!?!

    Dalrock isn’t saying that what the PUAs are doing is morally upright. He saying that it’s the logical outgrowth of unrestrained hypergamy and proud sluthood. He’s isn’t saying that socons are the prime movers of these changes on par with the feminists, only that they have been derelict in their duty and as such are completely without moral authority.

    I concur wholeheartedly.

     
  3. Will S.

    November 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Agreed, Svar; the Left was the prime force in moving society in that direction, and to the extent that conservatives went along with it, it wasn’t wittingly, I’m sure.

     
  4. Will S.

    November 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    @ Dragnet: Agreed; if only the so-cons would be as intolerant of female promiscuity as they are of male promiscuity, they might begin to have an impact, if traditionalist churches could be cleansed of misandrist tendencies and female pedestalization…

    I also agree with Brendan’s comment to Escoffier:

    The reason why Socons get so much (very well deserved in my opinion) outright hatred from this corner of the internet, Esc, is not because Socons were the ones leading the charge — we know they were not. It’s because, today, Socons are absolutely, 100%, completely and entirely useless to young men who are coming up and into the system. The “answer” from Socons for young men is largely either (1) pretend the changes didn’t exist, and play under the old rules or (2) act as if you can turn back the clock to the old rules and create your own personal “old rules bubble”. It’s quite obvious that neither of these related solutions is of any use to young men in the current SMP/MMP. Heck, I’m 44 and even I know this based on my own experiences in the SMP/MMP 20-25 years ago. And all the Socons have to say is “don’t do that, because that gives in to the current system”. Pfft. Actual men need actual solutions. And Socons provide nothing at all to men in this age — not one thing of use. Bennett’s ridiculous diatribe is only the most recent Exhibit A at hand.

    You Socons have your ideology and your movement and so on. What you don’t have, at all, is any kind of practical approach for young men growing up into the system we have today because almost all of you have altogether far too much sympathy for women, period. After all, that was traditional as well.

     
  5. Svar

    November 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Brendan’s comment is spot-on, Will. But we can not put-down the knowledge and wisdom of men like Thomas Fleming(then again, TJF is a paleocon and is therefore FAR better than your average socon, especially those of the Trotskyist neocon ilk).

    What we need to do is fuse together red-pill understandings with paleoconservatism. Look, I’m a very young man, only 18. I came upon the Manosphere two years ago. I was completely fucking clueless about life, women, and the world. The Manosphere is what help me edge into a more traditional view of the world(even though I used to read Roissy and IMF everyday!).

    I am very certain that wouldn’t have been the case if I had come upon Chronicles two years ago instead.

    The ideas and the advice of the men of Chronicles would have been useless to me if didn’t have the red-pill to help me understand the context in which these men are speaking from.

     
  6. Will S.

    November 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I agree, Svar; such a synthesis would combine an understanding of the wisdom of the past, with an understanding of the present reality on the ground, and together, would be powerful, indeed.

     
  7. Ulysses

    November 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Svar – It’s good to read things you disagree with, even if said disagreements are mild. It keeps your opinions sharper. Hell, I read more stuff I disagree with than stuff I agree with. I’ll even read the New Republic, NYT, etc.

     
  8. tspoon

    November 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Maybe they did just stand and watch. Thing is, if they see some man doing something not quite right – BAM – they’re on it. And as Es-whatever his name is showed us, that something could be a thing any women did, and is now very rarely called on, like promiscuity.

     
  9. Steve Nicoloso

    November 15, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    They want their girls to get fancy educations and start careers. It’s a status marker. Low Rent People get married young. That’s for hillbillies. Not my daughter!

    Yep. That about sums it up. Religious conservatism has, for most of a century, and certainly since WWII, consisted largely of one thing: Making oneself presentable to gnaw the scraps that fall from Liberalism’s table.

    Social conservatism has its roots in Evangelicalism, which began itself as a rear-guard action to modernist Christianity in the earliest part of the 20th century. Catholic social conservatives, by way of contrast, are really more open to throne and altar conservatism, and have never been true believers in the American Experiment.

    Evangelicalism’s weird uncles, Protestant Fundamentalists, have never really tried to buddy up to Liberalism. With the exception (a glaring, albeit nearly universal one) of contraception, Fundamentalism has pretty much held the line against feminism. Hell, a lot of Fundamentalists are probably still racists.

    But Evangelicalism is an attempt to walk the tight rope between the basic dogmas of Fundamentalism and modern society: An impossible one to walk, imho. Evangelicalism arises out of low church, non-credal (when not virulently anti-credal) Christianity. It therefore lacks intellectual heft to compete with modernism. Evangelicals have, for example, no cogent, universally applicable argument against gay “marriage”. It is simply that the bible says so. Natural law does not, and cannot for historical reasons, play a significant role in Evangelical theology. This is to say nothing of Evangelical resistance to modern biology, which would seem to offer the very best reasons against gay “marriage”.

    I have more to say on this, but I have head home…

     
  10. Svar

    November 15, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    @ Steve

    Your entire comment sums up why exactly I lean so heavily towards the RCC and the SSPX.

    @ Ulysses

    “Svar – It’s good to read things you disagree with, even if said disagreements are mild. It keeps your opinions sharper. Hell, I read more stuff I disagree with than stuff I agree with. I’ll even read the New Republic, NYT, etc.”

    I remember my father saying this to me a while back. Maybe I should, but everytime I attempt to read The New York Beta Times (which my dad reads too), I feel testicular shrinkage. I mean, I tried to read Texas Monthly but even the editors of that mag were whiny and mewlish.

    I still do read Roissy from time to time. Just not as often as before though.

    @ Will S.

    “I agree, Svar; such a synthesis would combine an understanding of the wisdom of the past, with an understanding of the present reality on the ground, and together, would be powerful, indeed.”

    That the understanding that both you and I have. I’m guessing so do the other editors as well. It works and makes sense. Ulysses has described game as classic male behaviors. Game aligns very neatly with the traditional view of complementarianism.

     
  11. Will S.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    @ tspoon: Yes, social conservatives have tended to extend grace – forgiveness, understanding – to women, when they stray in matters sexual and relationships, but are much less likely to do so to men, when they stray in such matters.

    @ Svar: Indeed, you and I do share that understanding, and I don’t think our fellow posters are that different, either.

    @ Steve N: as a Calvinist, I have similar criticisms of both evangelicalism and fundamentalism to yours as a Catholic, because ours is a creed-and-confession-based tradition, too, with a strong intellectual tradition, much like yours. And I agree, both those Protestant traditions, evangelicalism and fundamentalism, have shown themselves to be impotent, in thwarting progressivism, both in society, and, creeping, in their churches. Even fundamentalist churches have succumbed to female pedestalization and misandry, from the testimony of some here in the manosphere – Hestia’s blog, alas now deleted, detailed her and her husband’s experiences in such.

     
  12. Will S.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    @ Ulysses: I used to read the New Republic, Time, Newsweek, the Atlantic, and many more; I still read the NYT when I get to see a copy or an excerpt – and same with liberal and leftist Canadian magazines; I think it’s important to expose oneself to a wide variety of perspectives, because while I tend paleocon, I do find perspectives of value, even ones I agree with, in other sources, and also, it’s good to know what one’s opponents are thinking, too – and how they are arguing, what they are obsessing about, etc.

     
  13. Will S.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    @ Steve N: Oh, about modern biology… Unlike you Catholics, we Calvinists hold to a similar understanding as our evangelical and fundamentalist fellow Protestants, in holding to the literal truth of the book of Genesis; I suspect that will ever be a source of disagreement, but nevertheless, that doesn’t preclude accepting modern biological and sociobiological arguments, just not explaining them in the same way.

     
  14. Steve Nicoloso

    November 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Unlike you Catholics, we Calvinists hold to a similar understanding as our evangelical and fundamentalist fellow Protestants, in holding to the literal truth of the book of Genesis;

    Well considering that this one of the very least of Calvinism’s errors, I s’pose we can let that slide 😉

    And I agree, both those Protestant traditions, evangelicalism and fundamentalism, have shown themselves to be impotent, in thwarting progressivism, both in society, and, creeping, in their churches.

    I think Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism fail against Progressivism (which, by the Moldbug thesis, is identical to liberal Christianity (a thesis with which, by the way, I can find no fault)) but in dramatically different ways. As such, these failures can be seen to illuminate possible ways forward (i.e., backward from Progressivism). Evangelicalism is just liberal Christianity (i.e., Progressivism) on a 30-50 year time delay. Seeker-sensitive, just-give-me-Jesus, emotionally therapeutic Christianity is completely useless as a bulwark against moral and social chaos. It’s what brought us here in the first place. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result…. Strike it off the list. Try to help those among their number whose sight yet dimly remains to see reality and get the hell out of Dodge.

    Fundamentalism, by way of constrast, fails because it largely refuses to play the game. It has little or no influence on wider society (as neither the Amish nor Hasidim do), but it is also largely immune from that influence washing back the other way. It is effectively an intellectual and cultural ghetto, where the social signals of the wider society are turned on their heads: Whereas the Progressive may advertise his increasingly gushy tolerance of gay “marriage” to gain status in the mainstream culture, the Fundamentalist turns toward increasing animosity toward the gay agenda to earn points within his own. A ghetto may not be any sort of ideal, but if preserving a cultural and religious heritage is your principle goal, then it may be far better than the alternative.

    When modernism does creep into Fundamentalist churches, it inevitably splits the sect: One group, the kinder-gentler Fundamentalists, fall into the thrall of Evangelicalism; the other group, the True Believers, are happy to wave good riddance at their compromising brethren. It should be noted that this process of endless splitting serves only to radicalize the sects. In effect, it continuously forces apart separated middles, on one side to ever more extreme (and bizarre) forms of reaction, and on the other toward the ever-forgiving, ever-loving arms of liberal Protestantism. That’s why there are probably at least 100 different identifiable varieties of Independent Baptist churches today, and, writ large, about 30,000 Protestant sects in toto.

    Fundamentalism is really just a very robust, vigorously adaptive form of separatism. As such it provides a clue to anti-revolutionaries everywhere: Detect and reject modernist poison early and often, and if your detractors deem you a mouth-breathing obscurantist cretin, rejoice in your sufferings for God’s Truth, and wear those insults with pride!

    But what Fundamentalism lacks, what in fact keeps it from having any influence on wider society, is any intellectual, indeed any rational, basis. It believes its own propaganda too seriously: the Bible is God’s direct, clear, and most of all inerrant word, and as such is all you, the individual believer priest, would and could ever need to A) order ones moral life; B) worship God in truth; C) order society; D) attain eternal salvation; and E) you name it. Natural law is not merely unknown in Fundamentalism, but condemned as Romish heresy. Reason is the devil’s whore. “Tradition” in any form is always looked upon with suspicion as the “traditions of men” so thoroughly condemned by Jesus. “Secular” is a synonym for demonic. Nuance is compromise. Ecumenism is compromise squared. Ecclesiastical heirarchy is how the anti-Christ will one day come to rule the world. Reject that outright… and besides its downright un-American. Heck, even the word “ecclesiastical” reeks of sulphur. Trust your sect completely, and only your sect.

    Needless to say, Fundamentalism will bleed from the head. Anyone with an IQ above about 110 will not be able to live by such patently absurd dogmas. Sadly, they will be tempted toward Evangelicalism, which is merely a speed bump away from Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Only a small few will be saved into the RCC… or for that matter into capital-R Reformed groups (hard-core OP, PCA, LCMS, etc.). And an IQ of about 105 will qualify you lead such a sect. Those that remain, however, will be more or less happy in their ghetto, and will importantly be pretty willing to do what they’re told.

    Fundamentalism is thus a uniquely powerful tool to conserve a culture. Unfortunately it is weapon so powerful that it cannot but fail to cause endless schisms. Instead of conserving a, ie., single, catholic (i.e., universal) Christian and western culture, it conserves 100s (1000s?) of trivial and powerless sects. What is lacking is a central authority. Not only do the various Fundamentalisms lack a pope in Rome, but they lack any cohesion with historical Christianity at all. The ultimate failure therefore is a failure of ecclesiology, an understanding of the Church that makes it, at once, one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Fundamentalists are very good at getting the holy… at least as they (shallowly) see it. Apostolic, I suppose, comes along for free “as long as we’re following what’s in the Bible.” But it is no plausible way “one”, and God forbid that the Church be in the remotest sense “catholic”.

    And a failure of ecclesiology is the central failure of Protestantism, not just Fundamentalism, but Protestantism in general. And I’ve no intention of pointing fingers here (where presumably I am a strange and underrepresented minority), but what makes Fundamentalists so terribly good at conserving a culture (such as it is) is the exact same phenomenon that makes them so terribly bad at doing anything about it in a wider social (and national) context. It is programmed to fail. Fundamentalism and progressivism spring from the same American puritan roots. Most puritans evolved, given time and no natural enemies on American soil, into modern day progressives. A few from that same genetic stock took the puritan claims even more seriously: They are the Fundamentalists, happy to suffer as long as it takes to see God (their version of him) proved true and every other man a liar.

    I think the answer at least in the short to medium term for traditionalists of all stripes is with the Amish, the Hasidim, and low church Fundamentalists: small, powerless, tightly knit islands of sanity floating relatively unaffected in the wider cesspool of mainstream culture. It may suck… but it’s better than getting killed, or worse, losing your children to Moloch.

    In the long term, of course, the answer is the Reaction, wherein a monarch(s) will be installed, the Church(es) made coterminous with the Nation(s) yet again.

     
  15. Will S.

    November 16, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    @ Steve N: Yes, it is true that fundamentalists, like Amish, in retreating into their separatist ghettoes, manage to avoid the pollution of the wider society, but of course can therefore have no impact upon it. It is probably good to have such islands of sanity, kind of like monasteries, in a sense…

    Incidentally, I’m not sure why you think yourself part of a ‘strange and underrepresented minority’ here; two of us are Roman Catholics, and all us here, Catholics and Protestants alike, hold very reactionary views; I, too, would love to see a return to a decidedly Christian monarchy with real power, though I know that won’t happen any time soon… Certainly not the British monarchy, who are not particularly devout, and thoroughly embarked on ‘modernizing’, alas…

     
  16. Svar

    November 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    @ Steve Nicholoso

    Thomas Fleming has described Protestantism as a movement away from classical civilization(more specifically that of Rome). Also, Friedrich Nietzsche has a described Lutheranism as the German people returning back to their barbarian roots.

    “I think the answer at least in the short to medium term for traditionalists of all stripes is with the Amish, the Hasidim, and low church Fundamentalists: small, powerless, tightly knit islands of sanity floating relatively unaffected in the wider cesspool of mainstream culture. It may suck… but it’s better than getting killed, or worse, losing your children to Moloch.”

    That last part, “losing your children to Moloch” is what set Ander Behring Breivik off-leftist versions of janissaries. Most children are lost.

    This is what Catholic Knight has to say about this: http://catholicknight.blogspot.com/2011/11/how-to-survive-coming-dark-ages.html

     
  17. Steve Nicoloso

    November 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Thomas Fleming has described Protestantism as a movement away from classical civilization(more specifically that of Rome). Also, Friedrich Nietzsche has a described Lutheranism as the German people returning back to their barbarian roots.

    I couldn’t agree more with Fleming. I couldn’t agree less with Nietzsche on that particular point. Lutheranism is, and was becoming even in his day, an ever more “evolved form” of Christianity. Traditional Christianity has always been an intellectual mashup between Judaism and ancient Paganism; a blending made all the more robust and entrenched by the Scholastics, and exemplified in Aquinas, who remains nearly tantamount (on most questions) to Catholic dogma. All heresies, whether ancient or modern, may be viewed as a navigational error toward one or the other toward these poles.

    Protestantism is, in my view, a piloting error away from the pagan side, and (by force of gravity) toward the Judaic (and not coincidentally Mohammedan) side. The Anglican critique of Rome was that it was too stultifying, too superstitious. The Puritan critique of Anglicanism? That it was too Romish. The Quaker critique? The jaws of revolution cannot ever be fully satisfied: Protestantism historically cannot ever sufficiently distance itself from Roman Catholicism. Away from its medieval chains is good. Further away is better. The most perfect Protestants were the deists and freemasons who architected the American Revolution. The French freethinkers outdid them in less than a generation. Today, the religion of American Brahmins is a carefully selected blend of the highest and best aspects of Unitarian Universalism and Quakerism. That very few elites go by either of these names makes their success all the more complete, even if all the more insidious.

    So I take Nietzsche’s critique of Christianity to apply to the evolving Lutheranism of his time, and as such it has teeth; even if strikes Christianity, seen as an historical whole, rather obliquely. It is basically a critique of modern Liberalism, and a mighty prescient one, considering that so many of its now obvious defects were at the time largely hidden from view. But the turn toward abstraction and ideas that Lutheranism then represented, and away from particularity and patria, a turn fully completed in the 20th century by nearly all Protestants (and not a few western Catholics, and certainly the ones with any social status) is not at all a turn towards paganism. On the contrary, it represents an even more furious rejection of parochial gods and parochial interests–a more Christian Christianity, a more universal universalism, and a more catholic catholicity. In the main, this a perfectly defective way to run a polis… and why the call for “old, strong religion” is a call, in my opinion, back to the balanced Christianity, as paganism plus Judaism plus Christ, of the high middle ages. That is, so long if we get to keep modern dental hygiene and iPads.

    I’m not sure why you think yourself part of a ‘strange and underrepresented minority’ here; two of us are Roman Catholics

    I am happy to stand corrected. I don’t want to be seen as proselytising… and I believe that Christians (and in fact even atheists) can stand together against the modern deformities and for traditional religion, traditional family life, and traditional morals. At the same time, I do believe that the Protestant Reformation was the seminal event in this decline, at least the most identifiable one since man’s original fall from grace.

     
  18. Will S.

    November 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    “At the same time, I do believe that the Protestant Reformation was the seminal event in this decline, at least the most identifiable one since man’s original fall from grace.”

    You Papists always say that… 😉

    Seriously, though, I think the Enlightenment was the bigger culprit than the Reformation, though unfortunately the two became intermingled, yet neither Luther nor Calvin were that different from Rome, as regards the role of faith in the body politic, though subsequent generations of Protestants strayed from their ways…

     
  19. Svar

    November 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    “Traditional Christianity has always been an intellectual mashup between Judaism and ancient Paganism”

    “and why the call for “old, strong religion” is a call, in my opinion, back to the balanced Christianity, as paganism plus Judaism plus Christ, of the high middle ages.”

    I don’t understand these points, Steve. Are you saying that Traditional Christianity is just a syncretic religion, not the Truth from God?

    Personally, I lean more towards paganism(in the classical sense, not in the sense that Prots use) and that probably explains why I am so attracted to the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, I came around to Christianity via learning about general metaphysics i.e. pagan metaphysics.

    I do not think that Christianity can be used to create a good society-it’s just that a good society would tend to embrace Christianity. C. S. Lewis has said as much and so has Bruce Charlton(I can’t find the specific article, but the man is a genius).

     
  20. Svar

    November 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    “You Papists always say that… ;)”

    Cuz we’re right! 😛

    But, I think the “Enlightenment” was far, far worse. If it wasn’t for the Enlightenment we wouldn’t have had 1776, 1789, or even worse 1917.

     
    • Will S.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Exactly.

       
  21. Steve Nicoloso

    November 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Svar, I’ll have to answer tomorrow… I’m about to go off the clock…

     
  22. Steve Nicoloso

    November 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Are you saying that Traditional Christianity is just a syncretic religion, not the Truth from God?

    False dichotomy, at least in part, I think. And I know I’m going to get into hot water with our Reformed friends, but there’s no reason that Christianity cannot be both. The center of Christianity is Christ. He fulfills Judaism, becoming as it were the New Torah (see Sermon on the Mount). But he also fulfills high paganism, in which the best and brightest minds of the ancient world formulated an essentially complete public and personal morality–without any special revelation. I am fond of saying, and I think I’m right, that any successful society will have discovered the last 7 bullet points (by Catholic counting) of the Decalogue, an invented some sort of religion to encourage them. Even St. Paul acknowledges “Greek” learning and wisdom.

    This is of course controversial in the ante-Nicene period. After all, these eff’n pagans really are trying to kill us. By the time you get to post-Nicene fathers, a clear consensus is emerging to accept what is both plainly and universally true in paganism. Plato gets baptized. The very concept of soul comes from Plato, not originally the Bible. Prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance, the cardinal virtues? Again, pagans! Aquinas doubles down on paganism with Aristotle, alas by this time without the consensus of the Eastern Churches, but nevertheless completes the most complete synthesis of natural and revealed wisdom any human hand could ever or will ever make.

    Jesus did not come bringing any new commandment, except that to love one another (as if that wasn’t in the OT anyway). He came to be the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, and in so doing offer us the pathway to grace, which enlivens us to live according to the commanments that we already know, which are already plain to all by human reason.

    Traditional Christianity may be seen rightly to be, from a certain point of view, a syncretic religion… but that doesn’t in any way mean that it isn’t the Truth of God.

     
  23. Steve Nicoloso

    November 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Seriously, though, I think the Enlightenment was the bigger culprit than the Reformation

    Sure, but you don’t get the neutron bomb without Hiroshima.

    Okay, okay, truce! 😉

     
  24. Will S.

    November 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Pedant. 😉

    BTW, you’re not in hot water with me, re: pagan virtues and concepts being preserved in Christianity; I agree, and like Chesterton, and Tolkien, and Lewis and others, I have no issue with that, and see much good in it; and moreover, agree that Christ’s purpose in coming was to fulfil the Law, and save sinners, much more than being a moral example. All successful societies have always held that murder is wrong, that lying is wrong, that theft is wrong, etc. Christ didn’t come to bring a new moral code; that wasn’t necessary. He came to save sinners, and establish God’s Kingdom on Earth.

     
  25. Svar

    November 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    “But he also fulfills high paganism, in which the best and brightest minds of the ancient world formulated an essentially complete public and personal morality”

    I agree. Christ also fulfills pagan mythology, especially the Indo-European ones. In most Indo-European mythologies there is the great battle between the Thunder Hero(Christ) and the World Serpent(Satan). I think that story is an old pagan prophecy of the battle between Christ and Satan that is to come. C.S. Lewis would probably agree with me. Also, I believe that the feelings that those old pagans had towards their Thunder Hero shows a longing for Christ.

    “Traditional Christianity may be seen rightly to be, from a certain point of view, a syncretic religion… but that doesn’t in any way mean that it isn’t the Truth of God.”

    I don’t know… syncretic religion implies that it is man-made and impure and wouldn’t that mean that Christianity is just a man-made religion, not something that arose organically, like paganism or something that came straight from God? The fact that Traditional Christians use a general form of metaphysics to explain Christ and God(better than the “because I sed so!” that fundamentalists and evangelicals use) doesn’t necessarily mean that Traditional Christianity is a syncretic religion…

    I’ll have to mull this over.

     
  26. Svar

    November 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    “All successful societies have always held that murder is wrong, that lying is wrong, that theft is wrong, etc”

    True. The ancient Persians believed that telling a lie was worse than murder because they believed that telling a lie changed reality.

    However, I’m not too sure of the murder part though…. human sacrifice comes to mind as does infanticide (which was designed as an ancient form of eugenics).

     
  27. Will S.

    November 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Yes, but human sacrifice was not considered murder by them. Now, we profoundly disagree with them, but to be fair to them, they didn’t otherwise countenance people randomly killing others without cause.

    Our post-Christian society generally doesn’t allow murder, but allows abortion – so it’s no different from past pagan societies that generally didn’t allow murder, but practiced infanticide, ritual human sacrifice, and abortion, too, for that matter.

     
  28. Steve Nicoloso

    November 18, 2011 at 11:57 am

    syncretic religion implies that it is man-made and impure and wouldn’t that mean that Christianity is just a man-made religion, not something that arose organically, like paganism or something that came straight from God

    Again it is, I think, an unnecessary dichotomy.

    The liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a gift from God, yet men decide what shall be included in it, what shall be excluded, what shall be optional, what shall be required, what parts are changeable and why. They write rubrics for it, occasionally modify them, and occasionally go too far with those changes. And men step in and decide how far is too far. Yet the liturgy is a gift from God through his Church.

    The Bible is a gift from God, yet men wrote it down, men decided what writings would be included in it and which ones would not, and men decided before that what principles would be used to decide those questions. And men who did not write down those words nevertheless decide authoritatively, when necessary, what those words mean. Yet the Bible is a gift from God.

    Life is a gift from God, yet all life undergoes development in ordinary, discoverable processes. It is possible (probable, IMO) that natural, discoverable forces shaped the development of all new species of life on earth. And yet life is a gift from God.

    I could go on, but I hope you get the point.

    When any miracle takes place, when our time-space is pierced at any point by the divine, she, i.e., creation, takes it perfectly in stride according to the will of her master. Within our sphere there will be natural explanations all the way down: the withered fig tree appears just like any other withered fig tree. The wine, made from water, appears just like any other fine wine. True religion, though truly a miracle, appears like any other religion: it appears to develop, it appears to incorporate ideas from diverse sources. And it isn’t really wrong to say that, indeed, true religion did develop and incorporate diverse ideas, but only wrong to say that by this fact it ceases to be a miracle.

     
  29. van Rooinek

    November 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    SoCons were NEVER happy with the Sexual Revolution and still aren’t. They didn’t put up much of a fight at first because they considered it fringe and also it seemed not to be affecting their own daughters.

    Probably accurate, but I was too young to really understand what was going on at the time.

    By the time it had swept the country, many of their own daughters had participated and everyone loves his own and it’s hard to condemn your own daughter. So they adjusted.

    Definitely does NOT describe any So-Cons that I know. They all HATE the new anti-ethic. They didn’t “adjust to” it, they endure it because they must.

    Finding it “hard to condemn your own” is the mark of a soft, hereditary (ie, not personally embranced) “so-con” belief that caves in the first time it’s challenged – a clear mark of the Left. This is a classic narrative among homosexuals; when they came out, their parents freaked due to inherited “so-con” morality but, eventually changed their views and embraced their lifestyle and their boyfriend. These parents, however, were never So-Cons to begin with — they were just soft-core liberals who hadn’t yet moved with the times.

     
  30. Will S.

    November 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    But, VR, notwithstanding homos, do we not all know some fathers who get upset at their young daughter’s boyfriends deflowering them, yet refuse to lay any guilt at the feet of their own daughters? I do, and in the one case I’m particularly thinking of, the father seems to have come to accept it (even though not happy about it, certainly), because, well, it’s his daughter, his little princess who can do no wrong… The wife, and the two daughters, are on the other side, so despite that he and his two sons are in agreement, he seems to have felt no choice but to go along with his daughter’s choice…

     
  31. van Rooinek

    November 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    One more thing..

    “…This is a classic narrative among homosexuals; when they came out, their parents freaked due to inherited “so-con” morality but, eventually changed their views and embraced their lifestyle and their boyfriend. These parents, however, were never So-Cons to begin with — they were just soft-core liberals who hadn’t yet moved with the times….”

    Liberals appear to believe, that ALL So-Cons are like this — that given the right impetus, we can ALL be “flipped. Over and over, in discussions of homosexuality, I’ve had them throw at me, what they appear to believe is their ultimate argument, “What if one of your own sons is gay?” As if this would somehow change the eternal truth.

    I throw it back at them: “I’d treat him the same way I’d treat him if he told me he was a heroin addict — “Son, I love you, you’ll always be my son, but I will NEVER retreat from my position, that what you’re doing is both morally wrong and bad for you. And no, you can’t bring your heroin pusher over for Thanksgiving.”

    Yet, none of them believe me. They universally assume that if it really happened, the emotional strength of the situation would force me to flip my views. Clearly they don’t really know me…

     
  32. van Rooinek

    November 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    do we not all know some fathers who get upset at their young daughter’s boyfriends deflowering them, yet refuse to lay any guilt at the feet of their own daughters?

    Oh, I’m sure that’s true. But that’s not changing one’s moral position, that’s just misguided pedestalization for someone who has forfeited her pedestal. He is misattributing guilt solely to the boys — strictly speaking, if it were truly not the girl’s fault, that would be rape, now wouldn’t it? — but such a man is not claiming that it’s right. Like if my car got stolen and I blamed the wrong person…. that doesn’t mean I think that stealing the car was okay.

     
  33. Will S.

    November 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Fair enough.

     
  34. Svar

    November 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    @ Will S.

    “The wife, and the two daughters, are on the other side”

    Typical. The wife will usually always either try to cut him down in front of her children(if she doesn’t respect him) or try to undermine his authority behind his back(if she fears and respects him). Women can’t condemn one of their own…. Expecting women to criticize other women for poor choices or decisions is extremely rare. It’s probably easier to find Jewish paleocons like Paul Gottfried than it is to find women who stand fast to their principles. I know one “Catholic” family where the wife undermines the father and lets the daughter go out, party, drink(and most likely get fucked, but I’m not too sure about that. It kinda reminds of an old Roissy maxim: “the more innocent a girl seems, the more likely she’s been in a gang-bang”).

    @ van Rooinek

    It’s very typical of liberals to expect us to “turn”. My parents are probably one of those softcore libs. They find homosexuality to be disgusting, but at the same time when I say derogatory things about the gays, they give me expressions of shock. This is especially disturbing for someone like me who comes from a long, long line of classical conservatives(however, my uncle is a lawyer and a communist and my dad was apart of the Communist Party of the old land, which is kinda funny because many of us were Nazi collaborators)… I’ve had people who, when learning how I do not like homosexuals ask me the question “well what do you think about black people?”. I usually smirk and not say anything. That tells them what they need to know, but carries an air of ambiguity.

     
    • Will S.

      November 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      @ Svar: There’s a bit more to the situation than I’ve laid out, but I dare not reveal too many details, for reasons I don’t wish to get into. But the wife and husband do have frequent yelling matches…