Saturday, 26 January 2019

Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae

I should like to welcome the State of New York to the club. Here in Great Britain, we have had legal abortion up to birth since 1990, when it was introduced by Margaret Thatcher, that heroine of those who have lately illuminated the One World Trade Center. It is called “neoliberalism” for a reason.

70 per cent of the economy of Venezuela is private, so the economic crisis there is presumably a crisis of capitalism, as well of American sanctions, and of the British disease of nationalising things while leaving them to be run by the same people as before. In which case, what is the ongoing coup or the coming war supposed to impose on Venezuela? American abortion laws? At the insistence of the late President Hugo Chávez, abortion is illegal in all circumstances except to save the life of the mother. There is none of that in the United States.

Chávez also wrote into the Constitution a specific definition of marriage as only ever the union of one man and one woman. Instead of that, is the equally heavy-handed American definition of same-sex marriage as an absolute constitutional right going to be bombed into the heads and hearts of these backward wetbacks? How they will cheer, The New York Times and The Guardian, most Democrats of any prominence in the United States and almost all Labour Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom. Not that most American Republicans really disagree. Not that almost any British Conservatives even pretend to do so.

Welcome to “The End of History”, which is astonishingly still believed to be in place. A complete economic and social free-for-all is spread throughout the world by a force of arms to which none of the traditional constraints, such as that against regime change, any longer applies. That New Order is also secured at home by means of limitlessly draconian measures against “terrorism”, and “antisocial behaviour”, and “Russian collusion”, and “online abuse”, and whatever else might happen to come to hand.

The Left is assumed to begin and end with Marxism, which is itself reduced to Antonio Gramsci and Max Shachtman, thereby marginalising the great issues of economic inequality, class consciousness, international exploitation, and war. That New Left underwrites a liberalism that is reduced to Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman. And that neoliberalism is upheld by a conservatism that is reduced to Carl Schmitt, “the crown jurist of the Third Reich”, and to his friend and correspondent, Leo Strauss.

Strauss, whose escape to the United States was arranged by Schmitt, held that Reason and Revelation were incompatible, so that the Classical and the Biblical traditions were incompatible, while a sense of historical particularity was incompatible with moral universality. Accordingly, he passed straight from Plato, Thucydides and Xenophon to Machiavelli and Nietzsche, bypassing Christianity altogether, in his creation of an elite that was morally obliged to lie to the common herd.

Strauss is magnificently torn to pieces from a conservative perspective by Professor Claes Ryn, who denies him the favourable reviews that he was given by Schmitt. Does the mutual regard between Schmitt and Strauss surprise you? Does their collaboration? If so, then why? You surely did not imagine that the Third Reich was simply militarised anti-Semitism, so that the Second World War was simply a war against that? Did you?

Welcome to neoconservatism, which was brought to you by neoliberalism, which was brought to you by the New Left. Donald Trump is its latest puppet, although there are other influences on him, so that he is not the hopeless cause that previous American Presidents or previous British Prime Ministers have been, and which the present French President or the present Canadian Prime Minister is. And Venezuela is its latest target. It would cheerfully harvest the Covington Boys in order to take Venezuela’s oil while giving Venezuela abortion. The question is whether the Covington Boys would let it.

In a good way, the Covington Boys are a sign of just how liberal it is now possible to be and still be an American conservative. Nick Sandmann, who knew perfectly well what his hat meant and who is therefore clearly a Trump supporter, effectively denied to Nathan Phillips that there was any such biological category as race. When the Black Hebrew Israelites, who most emphatically do believe in the existence of that category, shouted that “Your President is a faggot,” then the Covington Boys shouted back, “Who cares?”

In either case, it would have been any other reaction that would have been surprising in a teenager today. But on the first point, there would have been no such affirmation from mainstream American conservatives in the Reagan years, or from anyone of any prominence in either party another 30 years ago again. And on the second point, there would have been no such public Republican reaction 10 or even five years ago.

May the Covington Boys remain pro-life and anti-racist, proclaiming by word and deed that you cannot be either without being the other. May they go on striving to be faithful to the Church’s Teaching (Savannah Guthrie deserves credit for not going low on that one when interviewing Sandmann, whom she could have asked what he would do if he got a girl pregnant, or even whether he had ever done so) while demonstrating a healthy lack of interest in the sex lives of other people.

They are lucky that they do not live in Britain, where serving and recent Cabinet Ministers have ties to the Swinton Circle of Thomas Mair, while the Conservative Establishment clutches to its bosom the figure of Toby Young, whose involvement in the London Conference on Intelligence connects him, via the Ulster Institute for Social Research, to the Mankind Quarterly, which was founded in 1961 out of anger at the growing scholarly rejection of the theory that race was a biological category.

But they are still going to need a lot of help. Out there, one touch of the button away, are the people who not only think that they did abuse a Redskin and a bunch of, well, you know the word, but who think that they made an heroic stand by doing so, and perhaps especially by doing so as the flower of young Southern manhood at the hated Lincoln Memorial. Some of us continue to hold that much of their conduct there was very visibly not appropriate. But any blame for that attaches to their accompanying adults, who were themselves far from the most disgraceful elders present.

The Covington Boys are at an impressionable age, and they can expect to be done few or no favours by the conservative wing of the Catholic Church in the United States. That is as schismatic, and even as heretical, as the liberal wing, since both adhere to the Americanist heresy that was condemned by Pope Leo XIII in 1899. Since there are no new heresies, Americanism was and is a manifestation of the same error that presented itself at Byzantium in the eleventh century, in England in the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, in France and the Netherlands in the seventeenth century, in German-speaking Europe and the Hapsburg lands in the eighteenth century, and elsewhere.

In its conservative American variant today, it offers little or nothing to ensure that none of the Convington Boys fall into White Nationalism and such like, the proponents of which are making unwitting heroes of these suggestible adolescents. When this point is raised, then rather a lot of de facto schismatic Americanist heretics of the conservative persuasion turn out to be well over halfway down that road themselves.

And for that, alas, a lot of the blame does attach to the Trump phenomenon. Before that, neoconservatives and the racist Far Right spewed invective at each other, even if they did sometimes vote for the same candidates. But now, although Trump himself is neither of them, and although many neoconservatives are allied with the indistinguishable Clinton-Pelosi Democrats in the ongoing attempted coup against him, everyone from John Bolton to the Identitarians, who are themselves a variation on the identity politics of the Gramascian New Left, has found in Trump at least a totem, a fetish, an idol.

All idols eventually turn out to be Moloch. Do not let the Covington Boys be sacrificed to this one. More immediately, do not let anyone be sacrificed to this one. Protect the Covington Boys from those who have stolen the Celtic Cross of their ancestors and laid it in tribute before Odin. And protect the younger brethren, one and all, from being harvested in order to take Venezuela’s oil while giving Venezuela abortion.

1 comment:

  1. Chestertonian. GKC himself would have been proud to have written, "All idols eventually turn out to be Moloch."