I have bookmarked, or rather Evernoted, an article on a recent book questioning whether Catholics can ever be at home in the USA. The author concludes that the essential foundational structures of the USA will make it forever inimical to the Catholic Faith, and that Catholics need to focus on an “Amish” strategy in the USA if they want to remain Catholic, rather than American.
I mention this because I have of late been reading fringe Catholic E. Michael Jones’ poorly-edited masterpiece on urban planning, The Slaughter of Cities: Urban Renewal as Ethnic Cleansing. I have been getting angrier and angrier while doing so, as Jones connects together disparate facts to reflect what happened, and that there was a conspiracy to do what was done, not just the failure of good intentions. The utter wastelands that have resulted in former Catholic ethnic neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit were not mistakes of policy, but in fact their intended result.
You see, in 1940, the WASP establishment faced a conundrum. In 1930, the Anglicans had been the first Protestant group to embrace contraception, and white protestant (meaning Episcopal, Congregational, and Quaker) birthrates had dropped accordingly. In 1941, the Catholic bishop of Philadelphia could boast that the increase of Philadelphia’s Catholic population over the preceding 10 years was 50% more than the increase of population overall, meaning that if the trend continued that Philadelphia would be a majority Catholic city in a few years. Anti-Catholic Paul Blanshard (really, click the link; the guy was an even worse monster than Rousseau) noted in 1949 that the same fate awaited the whole of the USA.
The Catholics were a threat because their ethnic communities were immune to government propaganda: there was no TV, and Catholic children went to parochial schools. Many Italian and Polish neighborhoods had native-language newspapers, likewise outside the control of the elite. Because of the tight-knit parish structure, Catholic social teaching on birth control was reiterated in schools and media.
Jones also talks about how the physical structure of the rowhouse neighborhoods of Philadelphia added to this effect. As we covered in The Cost of Children, there is no economic return on children. None. Nowhere in history do kids, as a group, pay off, excepting cases where people have exploited their child stars. SO to have a lot of them, you need to pour in economic resources. Jones writes (p. 184):
In addition to the Catholic Church’s ban on contraception, a ban which had added force because of the religious cohesion of the ethnic neighborhood, one of the main things which fueled this demographic increase in Philadelphia was the rowhouse. It was cheap enough for a worker to own. It was more spacious than an apartment, and instead of paying rent and being at the mercy of landlords, a man couId own his home free and clear in the time it took him to payoff his mortgage. Since it was located in the city near public transportation, the rowhouse did not require the expense of owning a car. Since it was surrounded on both sides by other houses, it was cheap to heat. As a result, it allowed the working-class Catholic family to have a large family, and over a period of time, it allowed him to benefit from the political power which followed demographic increase, which is precisely what was causing Blanshard and the Phillips crowd concern.
This is a 1940s version of what Steve Sailer called “Affordable Family Formation,” which explains the red/blue split in America. Jones continues:
The attack on the rowhouse which the BPE orchestrated meant an attack on all of the cultural attributes that went with the rowhouse, a building which symbolized the cultural independence of the ethnic neighborhood based on religious cohesion and the economic independence of immigrant workers who could own their own homes. The attack on the rowhouse in Philadelphia was a covert attack on the Catholics who lived in them, orchestrated by a ruling class that knew, as good Darwinians, that demography was destiny and that they, because of their all but universal adoption of contraception, were on the losing end of the demographic equation. Urban renewal, like the sexual revolution which followed it eighteen years later, was the WASP ruling class’s attempt to keep “the United States from becoming a Catholic country by default.”
Now, the rest of the book details how and why the WASP elite, from the Federal level down, carried out this campaign. (The why involves the excuse that Italians, especially, might be prone to “Alpha Socialism,” and so national security concerns required their dispersal.) That it was successful in destroying Catholic ethnic enclaves is easy to see from the linked videos, which show former Irish, Polish, and Italian neighborhoods in the three cities. The effect on the Catholics who moved to suburbs like Park Forest (which the FHA and the builders insisted had to be all-white, to have it serve as an attractive refuge to the ethnic Catholics being driven out of the South Side of Chicago) was to “Americanize” these people, and for them to view housing and neighborhood in economic terms. They were now “middle class,” not Irish Catholic.
This change in status was paired with the accoutrements of suburban living. More expensive heating, the absolute NEED for a car to get everywhere, the amount of time that was now to be dedicated to commuting in single-occupancy autos instead of socializing with neighbors, the physical impossibility of the suburban street grid to connect physically close areas: all of this was what Jones calls “social engineering.” The apparent post-war boom can then be seen as the process that converted the social capital of tightly-knit communities (like the Amish and Orthodox Jews, even today) into economic capital, forcing the Catholics and others forced to the suburbs to move more of their production from the private, social realm where it couldn’t be taxed and counted in economic statistics, into the economic realm, where it could.
This process continued; more expensive housing and maintenance cut down on the number of children, and continually rising costs eventually forced the suburbanite to choose from a number of unpleasant alternatives. He could move back to a targeted or destroyed ethnic neighborhood where prices allowed him to live on his lower pay and keep his wife home, while he feared for his life and that of his children. He could work longer and harder for the capitalists who had rigged the system, in the process having even less time to lead his wife and children in his proper role as head of the family. (Indeed, I believe this to be the source of “the problem that has no name.”) He could send his wife out to work for others to bring in more money, losing his authority of her even more. The latter two courses of action were actually pursued, losing men stature and making women absolutely miserable. US Birthrates hit a peak in 1957, and declined inexorably for years afterward.
The UN Definition of Genocide includes the following:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: …
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
The WASP elite that created and enforced the policies of Urban Renewal, designed to disperse Catholics and dilute their political power, CLEARLY committed genocide under this definition. Of course, the first genocide they committed was of their own people, through contraception. The dwindling numbers of Episcopalians and other mainline groups is testimony to the consequences of committing acts of evil. The WASP elite is no longer even mildly religious, having morphed into the PC-spewing Cathedral; of course, given that they believe in things that are not only unverifiable, but demonstrably false, the Cathedral is simply another religion. A devil-inspired one; as Papist Peter Kreeft writes: “Do you know what Muslims call us? They call us ‘The Great Satan.’ And do you know what I call them? I call them right.”
I write this not to upbraid my fellow Patriactionaries, but as a warning. (I do not perceive any of them to belong to the deracinated mainline sects, but rather the more fecund Protestant groups.) First, they came for the Catholics, fought a culture war, and destroyed their enemies. Now, the focus has turned on you guys. This Papist is forever on your side against them. As for me, that “Amish strategy” I think is necessary for all religious people is simply a return to the Catholic parish model of the 1920s, before the culture warriors destroyed it. Surprisingly, this is still possible today, even with the growth of the police state and further state-driven racial animosity..