Ten Links that Shook the Heavens
(and made one Electric Angel change his mind)
Weekly linkfests offer an opportunity to survey the latest thinking; more often than not, they invite the reader to new discoveries. Learning is the most quintessentially human fact of existence, but I think it is less important than another event: conversion, the voice crying out on the road to Damascus. What things have caused us to change the way we think? I offer ten links that changed my opinion, not an easy thing to do to a New Yorker, born as we are with a lifetime supply of opinions.
The link that finally convinced me that The Fourth Turning was not just another Boomer-navel-gazing slam-the-Xers tract, as excerpts from Doug Casey had led me to believe, but a great tool to use to analyze the current society. Quinn is a classic Nomad, and his politics are not lock-step predictable.
This was the first article that put animal rights in Catholic terms, by the great Catholic polemicist Joe Sobran. I changed the way I ate after this, for this simple reason: forcing pigs and animals to violate their God-given natures in factory farms is as odious an insult to God as forcing women into cube farms for status-whoring purposes.
This one article flipped me from being a death-penalty supporter to an opponent. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. Sobran puts it this way:
“My own view is that, other things being equal, a murderer richly deserves to die. But you can say that and still believe that the state shouldn’t execute him. The state has amply proved, over the centuries (and especially the twentieth century), that it can’t be trusted with life-and-death power over anyone. It can’t be trusted with other powers either: the power to draft soldiers, the power to tax, the power to control the currency. It has abused every power ever entrusted to it, and some of the men whose faces adorn our money deserved the gallows.
The modern state is itself a criminal enterprise. And though the death penalty is intrinsically just and does deter, we don’t want justice enforced by criminals.”
http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/HERESY4.TXT This was an unbelievably revealing article to me. The whole book is worth reading, if for nothing else than a writer of history with the balls to not use a single footnote. But it puts the rise of Islam into context, and foreshadows the return of Islam in the later era. If you want to really understand HOW Islam rose, and why a weakened West has the same preconditions today that made it susceptible then, you must read this.
I have long held that the most true statement about religion in the USA is this: The most religious country on Earth is India; the least, Sweden. The USA is a country of Indians, ruled by Swedes.” I bought into Islamophobia, until Peter Kreeft’s article on culture war gave me this perspective: “Who is our enemy?…Not Protestants. (left that in for Will S.!) …Not Muslims, who are often more loyal to their half-Christ than we are to our whole Christ, who often live more godly lives following their fallible scriptures and their fallible prophet than we do following our infallible scriptures and our infallible prophet.”
Kreeft goes on to argue that Demons are the enemy, but I use a different term: Swedes, especially the ones who rule us.
This article is probably the most important one I read in my life, in terms of re-orienting me from a life a vapid materialism back to the intellectual world for which I was made. If ever you have grumbled privately about people saying “God is dead,” then you need to read this brief overview of Nietzsche: Sorry, but your soul just died. (A shout out to readers here: I do not have the link that helped turn me into a Patriactionary. It was a description of an early-90s thesis, whose gist is this: religions that will do well in the future are those that demand very little, and so get a broad but shallow flock, and those that are ridiculously demanding, and so use the human tendency to keep investing after sunk costs. The article specifically predicated that the Catholic Church would be in trouble, being neither liberal nor strict enough; fortunately, Pope Benedict has addressed this by taking a rightward turn)
The most important link to me personally was this one, by Jeffrey Tucker. I remember back in the 90s when someone tried to get me to listen to Mahler’s Second Symphony. As I had not yet fully digested Wagner at that time, I did not care for it; I discarded Mahler and any idea of listening to him. Tucker convinced me to take another look, and it has made all the difference in my life since then; I have commented that I have no idea how I made it past age 40 without Mahler. See this link for a superb rendition of the Fourth Symphony’s last movement, Das Himmlische Leben (the heavenly life), sung by that most sweetly evanescent of voices, the boy soprano. As it is currently spring, nothing could be more refreshing than Frühlingsmorgen, (Spring Morning), which might be the best musical two minutes you will spend in your life.
Should child labor be illegal? Obviously; I never questioned this. Until Jeffrey Tucker, that is. Child labor laws helped undermine the economic value of children, and create the divorce nightmare we know today. (One bonus Tucker link: why a Catholic church should NEVER fly a government flag.)
I first discovered the Manosphere through an accidental link at TakiMag in 2009. I read everything I could, but eventually decided that this thing called game was an amusing trifle for lotharios, but of no use to me. And then I found “Relationship Game Week: A Reader’s Journey.” This is the most important article ever written in the gamesphere, as it made it clear that game is essential to all aspects of a life well lived. If you’ve never read it, go. Oh, and then read Dave’s more comprehensive follow-up, Avoiding the fate of the AMC.
Lastly, there is this article that changed my thinking about the nature of Web 2.0, and the freedom revolution as what some call the Internet Reformation spreads. If you want to know why TV is doomed, and we are building the world of the future here, read this.