Friday, June 08, 2007

Answers about Christianity and Rome

Answer to Mr. Spog

In the thread Christianity: slave morality with a symbolic master, Mr. Spog brings up the idea of a "Christian society requiring, in the long run, a non-Christian master class".

I'm sorry, but what I connect to when I hear that is the wast formerly Christian areas of Northern Africa and the Middle East, the Monophysites and Nestorians, conquered and subdued by Islam. The Muslims as the master class, while Christianity makes its adherents perfectly suited for dhimmitude, as described by Bat Ye'or. And the same thing is underway in Europe now.

So I will have to agree with you, but not in a very optimistic way. Yes, followers of Christian ethics (secular or religious) are suited to live as a slave class under a non-Christian master class. But this is not the kind of society I would like to see. Of course, any change of paradigm would most probably require a period of time where followers of Christian ethics live under a non-Christian master class. But then only as a transitional phase, whole reindoctrinating the population into a different form of ultimate mythology. This is very different from permanenting the Christians as a secondary class (c.f. the Islamic way).

Answer to Dean McConnell

Dean McConnell wrote many interesting comments--as so many other commenters (and I'm so sorry that I'm so slow in responding, but I'll always get back to it at some point). However, I choose to bring up a thing where we disagree. Or rather, a misunderstanding.

I had written:

Christianity being the bottle, Christian ethics the genie having been let out of the bottle, and the anti-Christian secularist the one trying to smash the bottle against a rock. Likewise, now that American (Wilsonian) universalist creeds have been successfully spread and internalized in the West, the people Americanized in this way are trying to smash America against a rock. However different in nature, I think there is even a parallel to some degree in how the Roman empire fell. The fall of Rome could be attributed to a large degree to the immense success of the Romans to spread the Roman way of life to virtually all corners of the empire, in a way that rendered the city of Rome, and thereby its political structures and fundament, insignificant. Some sort of bottle/genie there too, in other words.
To which Dean McConnell answered:
I agree with your observation that Rome is also suicidal.
I didn't mean to say that Rome was also suicidal. In fact, I strongly disagree with that. It's in the bottle/genie analogy I compare the two. What's in the bottle eventually has to come out, and once it has come out it cannot be put back into the bottle, and the bottle is not needed anymore. But two genies are not alike. The genie of universalist Christian ethics with inversion of values is the suicidal one. This is the kind of genie that ultimately creates secular Westerners/Christians--who are pure slaves without a master, pure slaves under the stars of the universe--who actively attempts to destroy the bottle, i.e. organized Christianity. The Roman genie has never been suicidal. It's the inversion of values that makes the Christian genie suicidal. The Roman genie never had anything like that.

Any cultural paradigm goes through the process from bud to fruit to over-ripe, as I described in my letter to Lawrence Auster. They evolve organically. They move forward organically, and do not reverse. The bottle/genie analogy is another perspective upon the very same thing. Rome was bound to fall simply because nothing is eternal. But non-suicidal fruits spread their seeds so its genie will live for another thousand years or more (while suicidal fruits are more likely to be infested by parasites, Islam, and fade out.) As I wrote by the end of my letter to Lawrence:
A continuation of this allegory is to consider how over-ripe fruits that are about to rot, will spread many new seeds, and thereby continue to live in new forms. Just take the over-ripe fruit of the Roman empire that spread so many many seeds, before it rot and died, that makes us still have Roman cultural DNA within us and around us in so many places.
Rome itself lasted for a thousand years. Eastern Rome--Byzantium--lasted for yet another thousand years. The Western Holy Roman empire also lived for a thousand years (800-1806)--which was also the most successful period of Christianity. But by 1806 we are in the new era of the French revolution, and then the age of Anglo-Saxon dominance. Especially since the start of the American Age (WWI), we no longer identify with our Roman heritage--at our own peril.

So what I'm saying is this: Even Rome went through the process of bud-fruit-seeds. Even Rome was a bottle with a genie in it, that got out of the bottle, eventually rendering the bottle insignificant. Rome--the strongest and most substantial civilization in the history of mankind. How could we then expect anything else from Christianity? Why would Christianity be able to turn an overripe fruit back into a fresh fruit? Why would Christianity be able to put the genie back into the bottle? I do not think so.

What would be possible however is for Christianity to enter into a new direction. As a last blooming season for the fruit. But then this is something that has to happen in America. As I said before: only the Americans could save Christianity. It's theirs now. And it's very likely that Europe at the same time would set upon a different path, reconnecting to our Roman heritage.


Steven Luotto said...

Greetings Cons. Swede et al.

The rallying cry against civilizational suicide will be Catholicism: reason and faith, meekness and militancy, Graeco-Roman tradition, pagan courage, science and restraint, sensuality and ascetisim, wine and care for the vine... with touches of the Orient and Africa and even the Middle-East.

Witness the stubborn "obtuse" orthodoxy when everyone, most other churches included, caved in concerning the issue of birth control.

On July 25, 1968, Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, the most controversial papal encyclical of the last 400 years, which declared that artificial birth control is immoral.

At the time, the intelligentsia, and perhaps the majority of the Christian laity and clergy branded Pope Paul's decision foolish. To this day, even when the results of denatality are before us, it is still called foolish. Perhap it IS foolish... or perhaps it is a humbling lesson as oft told (and constantly forgotten), that man can be too smart for his own good. That he can sell his soul to the devil, that he can create Frankensteins... that he CAN blithely go whistling to the precipice with all the proud, "right," trendy, fantastically empowering ideas... and take the fall.

What stands before us is a Faustian tragedy.

The Catholic Church's counterintuitive foresight and vocal witness regarding the immorality and dangers of artificial birth control were stunning and unique among major institutions of the day.

The Church was fully aware that she would lose millions of adherents, and be mocked and scorned like Christ on His way to Calvary, and even face hostility from within, but she stuck to her guns, never once believing that morality is some sort of popularity contest.

THAT, my friends is Pagan courage, Christian courage, Northern European Courage, and Southern European, wise courage and even foolhardy courage... in other words it is COURAGE period, which by its very definition holds within it a paradox: risking ones life to keep on living.

Practically alone, the Church showed courage on the very issue that has become the number one cause of what now is called "civilizational suicide" vis-a-vis the Muslim invasion, which is hardly an invasion at all, but a necessary replacement of missing human beings, required to keep our economies (all that matters these days - let's be honest!) afloat.

Civilizational suicide would still be underway full force even without the Muslims. The Muslims are merely creeping and seeping through the widening cracks that Europe inflicts upon herself, and taking advantage of our self-debasement. The Muslims are merely hastening events and making them poignant.

The poor have always gone elsewhere to seek economic betterment. In this an Algerian moving to France is no different from the Irishman of years back going to New York. The difference being that though apparently hopeless back in the old Potato Famine days, ("it's Irish to me! - "Irish" being practically synonymous with insanity) today they are Europe's wealthiest citizens. This is hardly a merit of the Catholic church, but hardly a demerit either. It simply means that people with a Judeo-Christian heritage have their own timings. Eventually even the crazy and the apparently hopeless (like the Southern italians) will get their act together. Though you may doubt it, this holds true even of the Mexicans.

The same cannot be said of the Muslims. In low numbers they will integrate, once those numbers increase they will impose. Being invaded by Mexicans for all its unpleasantness is not the same as being invaded by Muslims. Draw a straight line concerning any opposite values and the Mexicans for all their noise, color and corruption somehow fit in. If the arrow is erotics, for them on one end there is a hooker and the other end the Blessed Virgin. The Muslim line is unrecognizable: child brides, 1 hour prostitution marriages, up to 4 wives and women of the right hand, burquas and harems.

But more interestingly, the "new" rationalist line (rapidly replacing the Judeo-Christian one) has prostitution and chastity as equal values. I remember Conservative Swede himself on another forum linking up a picture of a huge, building-sized poster in Berlin (during the World Cup days) featuring a local callgirl service as if it were just any other business activity. It had the same cheerful and with-it appeal of a baby formula ad or "Visit Greece" vacation pitch. Never mind that behind it all there were desperate and shamed mothers and fathers, ruined lives, pimps and exploitation, disease and debasement.

This is moral deracination and it is here and not in idle chatter about Ancient Rome or the old Wotan Warriors of the North that the real issue resides. The enemy, the New Barbarians are the rationalists, the very hip, cool, super-intelligent, will-empowered, freedom-chanting, ever-oppressed product of the Gramscian takeover of our culture.

So the Mexicans and the Muslims are the same, the only real difference being that the Mexicans dance, flirt with women, drink and have no Ummah. They pose and will pose a threat to law and order until they finally put some money in their pockets and some more megabytes in their brainpans. Just like the Irish, Italians and others. If the Anglos refuse to reproduce themselves while still insisting on ever-expanding economies, then, they truly run the risk of becoming more Indio-American (the Mexicans are not Latins, they're predominantly Indians). This is unfortunate, but not tragic, not when compared to the fate awaiting Europe.

The real problem is among ourselves. It's as difficult as accepting the stupidity of calling artificial birth control "immoral."

But that issue is already ancient history. It's as difficult as accepting a faith-based morality as opposed to one based on rationalism, which despite the word itself, has proven to be utterly deracinating.

At the moral level we hve plunged into meaninglessness. Sodomy has marriage rights, marriage vows ("and do you Conservative Swede SOLEMNLY SWEAR TO...") are about as binding as "Talaq talaq talaq,"... the inventor of Modern Terrorism gets awarded with a peace prize, Chomsky hobnobs with Hezbollah, that is to say with an organization that recruits kids to blow themselves up in murderous suicides, and teaches "ethics" at an Ivy League University, just as Peter Singer, who proposes to allow parents up to 28 days (and in some cases even a year) to decide whether to keep or murder their offspring, holds the chair of Ethics at Princeton.

Name it and except in the field of business and commerce, (all that is sacred) I will show you the deracinization, the cheapening, the vulgarization. Food? Some cultures don't even have a cuisine anymore. "It's Tuesday, on Tuesdays we do Thai!" Most families hardly eat together. Families? Most hardly exist There are 70% divorce rates. Kids? 40 and upwards born out of wedlock. Sex? Your place or mine! And all this while people produce and purchase more and more and need to import labor to keep the wheels turning and someone pushing the wheelchairs of the aged. The aged? Abandoned (no longer useful to the production / consumption cycle).

WE have become the Barbarians... and we have become Barbarians thinking ourselves great geniuses, because for us "Barbaric" means ignoramt and not morally primitive. Increasingly, we use terms like "Bronze Age" or the "Middle Ages" as insults. Well if Bronze Age is an insult than so is Information Age for no doubt the Nanotech Age will soon be upon us.

Who stopped saying that truths and virtues are timeless and do not merely reflect their age? Who found the deeper psychological meanings (read "insinuations") in human comportment, robbing man of a huge portion of his moral dimension? The atheist rationalists. And now who gets the rap? The Jews and Christians, the Judeo-Christians for their supposed slave mentality. And who must set Christianity on a better path: the Americans! This is a knee-slapper! What ethos is admired? Ancient Rome (where there were more slaves than free citizens).

First of all 2000 year old Christianity is not about quick and ready solutions for mono-theme maniacs. Nor is it worried about Europe to the detriment of some other location, it is about all times all places, every man. It is utterly democratic, almost indecently so in suggesting that every man has a soul. It is utterly autocratic and almost indecently so in suggesting that virtue and morality are not a matter of choice. It is utterly democratic / autocratic in saying "might does not make right" (and so a King with all his treasure and armies) can be wrong and a beggar can be right. (Now if we can also convince the atheist-rationalist egalitarians that even beggars can be wrong!). These and others (impossible ideals) are what generate free men as well as progress. But progress is not human promotion. Progress is not some sort of good unto itself. In ethical and moral terms, not every Wednesday is better than the Tuesday preceding it. A typical Moroccan family eating lovingly made food all together around the same table is something more and not less, than a typical American family with each member "nuking" some New Jersey flatland taste factory concoction and then retiring to his own room in front of a 5000 channel TV set.

This is a moral consideration. The American kid will be 5000 times smarter as he grooves to MTV, watching Black Dudes in Pink Cadillacs complain about sins that can never be forgiven while bumping and grinding to infectious beats with enough women around him to satisfy a collective stag party of the Dallas Cowboys.

(More later)

Conservative Swede said...

This is moral deracination and it is here and not in idle chatter about Ancient Rome or the old Wotan Warriors of the North that the real issue resides.

From a certain perspective my whole site will look like "idle chatter". The proper and very long term historical perspective will have to be applied, for it to make sense. I agree with Lawrence Auster that the Western Civilization in its current incarnation is doomed and is bound to fall apart (our difference is in how much that will have to be uprooted, how far back we have to go to find substance for a renaissance). My blog is about speculation--or rather conceptual and anthropological analysis-- about what European civilization could look like after the change of paradigm. What are the vital parts? What made it strong in the first place? (And remember, we have to be strong before we can be good.)

This is my perspective. It's a perspective surpassing our lifetimes. It's not about telling the Christians of today to leave their faith. If anything, it's about telling secular Westerners who denounced Christianity, that it is sick and perverse to denounce the faith in Christ and the Christian God, while keeping Christian ethics. Either go back believing in God, or leave Christian ethics! But these are the people least interested in listening of all; the most self-righteous and holy people of the current stage of our civilization. This should have been my real audience. But interestingly enough--considering my message--my audience consists mainly of Americans and Christians. This clearly underlines how the tip of the iceberg that I and Auster are looking at is the same (liberal, secularist, etc.), but we differ in what constitutes the foundation of this iceberg. And as I often say, often things are not what they first seem to be. As I'm claiming that anti-Americanism is the child of Americanization. Anti-Semitism is the child of Judaifiction. And anti-Christian secularism is born from Christian ethics. While I'm not anti-Christian. I do not consider Christianity evil, as the anti-Christians, driven by Christian ethics, do. I consider it being a fruit that has turned bad.

Conservative Swede said...

Steven: "Being invaded by Mexicans for all its unpleasantness is not the same as being invaded by Muslims."

Being invaded is the same as being invaded!

When you are invaded, overrun and outnumbered, you are overrun and outnumbered, and you are out, regardless of by whom (ask the Indians.)

Southern USA is turning into Latin America. California has 35.5% Hispanics today and the numbers are exploding. Non-Hispanic whites are already a minority in California at 43.3%.

What you want to say is that an invasion and take over by Mexicans is nothing to worry about, since they are Christians. You might even consider it an improvement since they are Catholics. Such is the universalism of Catholicism. Together with the neocons it's an avant-garde of the macro-Communism leveling all countries on the planet into Third World countries.

What worries me, and what doesn't seem to worry you the least, is that Western/European civilization is disappearing. Yes Steven, the day all European civilizations have been virtually exterminated, I would move to expanded Latin America and away from Magreb/Eurabia. So there is a piece of fact in your misguided ideas that is correct. But you are still part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution.

It's the very same suicidal paradigm that makes Westerners import masses of Muslims or Mexicans. So it's this specific suicidal paradigm that has to be addressed and eliminated. Mexican, Chinese, Thai or whatever invasion is insignificant.

It's the elite that actively push for suicide. But it's the great masses, where you are included Steven, who make it possible, when they shrug their shoulders and say: "Oh well, I just don't care. I'm not worried. When we have replaced our current population with people of the Third World, I'm sure things will still be fine."

If the suicidal paradigm is not reversed, Western/European culture will disappear. Mexicans are amiable people, fun company, nice music, good food, etc. But Mexican culture just don't create "first world" societies. If you third-worldize the whole planet, Steven, all the things that belong to "first world" societies will go away. And that's a lot! Most of which, that you are taking for granted in our life.

Conservative Swede said...

This is the text where I explain the concept of macro-Communism, in an exchange with Auster:

"You are absolutely right about liberalism/neoconservatism being more extreme and more anti-reality than Communism. But there is an important similarity that I would like to add.

With liberalism/neoconservatism, this extreme kind of egalitarianism is being applied on the macro level, having as the goal to make every country of the world equal. But quite as the Communists promised to “build” a society where every man would be equally prosperous, and ended up with a society where every one turned out to be equally poor, so will the promise of liberals/neoconservatives to Westernize/democratize all countries of the world, end up just turning the Western countries into Third World countries.

This ideology is better understood if we label it macro-Communism. And the idea of “Invade their countries, while letting their people invade us,” makes perfect sense as a means to macro-Communist leveling of the world. Quite as Communism resulted in everyone being equally poor, macro-Communism will make all countries ending up as equally “Third World”.

PS. I’m glad to see you attacking the Nostra Aetate as much as you do. Don’t forget the Lumen Gentium §16 too (it’s part of the package and makes the statement about the salvation). And remember that the Church has acknowledged Muhammad as a messenger of the one Abrahamic God. You made some good points about Nostra Aetate in 2005 too, that I hadn’t read before."

Steven Luotto said...

Ciao Conservative Swede,

I'm strapped for time and I owe you about 20 pages of answers, but today, this jumped to my eyes:

I'm sorry, but what I connect to when I hear that is the wast formerly Christian areas of Northern Africa and the Middle East, the Monophysites and Nestorians, conquered and subdued by Islam. The Muslims as the master class, while Christianity makes its adherents perfectly suited for dhimmitude, as described by Bat Ye'or. And the same thing is underway in Europe now.

So I will have to agree with you, but not in a very optimistic way. Yes, followers of Christian ethics (secular or religious) are suited to live as a slave class under a non-Christian master class.

What you called Dhimmitude in North Africa is not the same sort of Dhimmitude that one can accuse the rationalist barbarians of the west vis-a-vis their approach to Islam.

Dhimmies or not, the Jews kept an uninterrupted presence in Jerusalem for thousands of years, weathering all kinds of defeat and humiliation. This allegiance to their faith through thick and thin (similar to the Christian presence in the Holy Lands despite the inevitable oppression of lost wars and battles, economic ruin, etc.) has something noble and grand about it and must not be put into the same category as the Kumbayah nonsense of mostly atheist rationalists for whom all ethics are more or less equivalent. The latter are not Dhimmis, but, excuse the vulgarity, mere assholes, or Quislings. Others under similar conditions as the above-mentioned oppressed minorities would have caved in completely or shipped out. There have been slaughters (Islam goes on the rampage every so often), there has been scorn, economic oppression... and yet there they are still clinging to civilization.

Catholicism does not teach Dhimmitude: she didn't in Mexico or Spain when the Communists (atheist rationalist barbarians) had power, she didn't during the French Revolution, not during the Crusades... she didn't (as mentioned) when the whole world was for birth control, and she doesn't now when the atheist barbarians want to reward sodomy with marriage licenses.

So there are Dhimmies and Dhummies. Don't confuse victims with Quslings.