Rejecting the Enlightenment is only the beginning of thought

It is no doubt a great thing to free oneself from the cloud of humbug into which we are all born.  However, clearing one’s vision is only the start of seeing; next we must actually look around.  One way that the Enlightenment controls the minds of billions, locking them into a degrading and absurd mental slavery, is by making people imagine they know what’s on the other side.  “Without the social contract…tyranny!  Without separation of Church and state…religious warfare!  Without feminism…rape!  Without capitalism…communism!  Without cosmopolitanism…Nazis!  So love your chains, and repeat the slogans like a good boy.”  You know how it goes.  You heard it, and you remember how it kept you bound for a long time after you realized that you didn’t particularly like what they were pushing.  Some never break free, but remain trapped on the edge of the edge of the Enlightenment box.  They realize that there are deep problems with individualism and technocracy, but they can never effectively counteract these things, because they can imagine no alternative but Nazis and the Spanish Inquisition.  Think Rod Dreher.  It is not true that conservatism or reaction needs to postulate any kind of ideal time in the past, but the Enlightened must commit themselves to the belief that the past was an utter horror.

However, those blinded by the Enlightenment have no idea what is on the other side.  How could they, with such a narrow, unimaginative, and parochial worldview?  In fact, the world of alternatives is vast, so vast that anyone beginning to step outside Enlightenment strictures should be warned that the greatest intellectual challenge is still ahead.

The key to rejecting liberalism (the political expression of the Enlightenment project) is to realize that it’s a swindle.  It claims to stand above every particular conception of the Good, granting freedom to all and favoritism to none, when in fact it imposes its own narrow vision on all of us.  Its claims to neutrality just mean that it gets to impose itself without ever being forced to argue (or even assert) that its claims are objectively true, and that it never has to assume the responsibility that comes from being a recognized establishment.

Having rejected liberalism, you understand that the state cannot avoid the big questions about God, free will, and the nature of human flourishing, because any social order will represent some implicit answer to these questions.  However, this does not yet answer any of these questions.

Now that you realize that gender roles are not inherently iniquitous, you can finally start thinking about the proper relationship between the sexes.  Just because you notice that women are being treated differently than men in some context, you can no longer automatically conclude that the women are being treated unfairly, as you would have done when you were a liberal.  On the other hand, it is possible that the women are being treated unfairly.  What’s more, there is the new possibility–undreamed of by liberals–that the men are being treated unfairly.  You must dig into the particulars of the case, the historical context and social functions; you must then apply general principles of natural law (none of which are as simplistic as “gender equality”).  You must try to conceptualize the universal masculine and feminine virtues that society should foster, remembering that any given instantiation of masculine and feminine roles will be conditioned by culture and economic organization.  Given this background, do the laws and culture provide a path for the achievement of masculine and feminine excellence?  Or are the man’s protective instinct and the woman’s nurturing instinct being thwarted or deformed?  These are subtle questions.

Similarly, rejecting a general right to immigration, right to religious freedom, or propositional nationhood doesn’t solve the problem of what duties we have to immigrants and ideological minorities.  It just eliminates one easy answer.  Rejecting the idea that ethnic communities can have no legitimate interest in perpetuating themselves makes it possible to begin thinking sanely about race.  In this idiotic age of antiracist-hysteria, this is no mean accomplishment in itself, but it is just a beginning.  What are today’s real cultural-biological groupings (as opposed to those created for the Democratic Party client system)?  Should we be concerned with groups the size of the entire white race, Irish-Americans, or the Jews of one city?  Whichever groups we choose, what are the proper ways for them to pursue their survival?

40 Responses

  1. Excellent post Bonald, one of your best. I think this really sums it up better than anyone on the alt-right sphere ever could. I am sure you will get a good conversation going on this thread. I do not wish to be incendiary, but I have been despairing of late at not just the state of the world, but even just reading the thoughts of many traditionalists on the internet. Quite a number of traditionalists seem eager to fulfill modern liberalism’s vicious caricatures. They all appear too enthralled with the putrid ideologies of the 19th century. Whether it is religions created in the 19th century (Mormonism), or the social morals(Laura Wood) capitalism(neo-reaction) scientific racism(HBD) or worst of all- Americanism. The old “throne and altar” reactionaries loathed such ideologies. I really do not want to sound like some kind of purist. Some people waste a lot of time excommunicating neo-reactionaries or Catholic-integralists (like you). But I guess to summarize it all I suppose in a narrow sense I am indeed a purist, to the extent that I assert that any credible anti-liberal movement, as you eloquently pointed out above, must reject liberalism in its totality.

  2. Excellent post, bonald, as usual. I especially liked how you pointed out that once one frees one’s mind from the trappings of liberal assumptions, the possibilities for thought are expanded and not contracted, as liberalism irrationally and illogically assumes would be the case. You wrote:

    “Now that you realize that gender roles are not inherently iniquitous, you can finally start thinking about the proper relationship between the sexes. Just because you notice that women are being treated differently than men in some context, you can no longer automatically conclude that the women are being treated unfairly, as you would have done when you were a liberal. On the other hand, it is possible that the women are being treated unfairly. What’s more, there is the new possibility–undreamed of by liberals–that the men are being treated unfairly.”

    Indeed. To take it even further, having rejected liberalism, you are now able to actually think about the question of what “fair” actualy means.

  3. This post is just superb. Bravo.

    Justice and mercy are an enormous universe. Liberalism locks us in a padded cell to keep us away from things so divisive and dangerous, things which cannot be trivially reduced to a bundle of slogans.

  4. I would be interested to see what limits you might place on a traditionalist in regards to economic policy. While rejecting the ideology that mandates uninhibited industrialized capitalism, might one prudentially favor a good deal of freedom and mechanism in the economy? Burke and Paine both favored capitalism, but for different reasons.

  5. Hi ISE,

    I’ve had trouble getting good conversations going, so incendiary comments are welcome! I also am very worried and discouraged, above all by the state and direction of the Church, but also by religious conservatism on the internet. Although the latter is a smaller matter, it is one on which you and I might have hoped to have some influence, and it is worth discussing. Broadly speaking, the conversation is not moving in the right direction. Zmirak’s demand that we all surrender to the Enlightenment is only one sign; a far worse one is that the Americanist heretics are able to get away with calling us lunatics without seriously engaging our (and the nineteenth century popes’) arguments. Compared to the “Cambrian explosion” of the neo-reactionaries, the orthosphere side of the internet seems to be stagnating. To cite one crude quantitative measure, the Orthosphere today has about the same number of daily hits as Throne and Altar did before it went inactive (less than a thousand). I’d guess that these are mostly the same people. Perhaps we could do a better job at injecting our ideas into other sites, but for now it there is little evidence of any larger audience open to our message. This is surprising, because one would think religious reactionaries would have a large base of appeal than secular reactionaries. Wouldn’t Catholics like to hear that they were right and their enemies were wrong all this time? Shouldn’t it be a welcome relief to learn that Saint Paul’s writings on wives and the popes’ on democracy are nothing to be ashamed of? Instead, they’re outraged that anyone would try to take their shame from them. And as long as the Enlightenment can’t be rejected, the Leftward drift must continue.

  6. Thanks.

  7. I would suggest that it is not very easy to extract one’s self from Enlightenment liberalism.
    When one grows up in a nation whose very foundations are grounded in liberalism, one unwittingly internalizes that philosophy and then synthesizes it with Catholicism which causes one to simultaneously hold contradictory ideas and opinions.
    The fact that so many Catholic universities are “Catholic in name only” and teach liberalism while calling it Catholicism does not help to alleviate the confusion. (ie., recall Georgetown and Notre Dame)
    We need an exhaustive list of all things “liberal” so that we know what it is we should excise from our lives.

  8. Bonald:
    Secular reaction is much more popular because it isn’t repentance: it is just another flavor of rebellion, sold with SEX[tm] and spiced with the we-are-smarter-than-everyone-who-came-before scientism of evo-psych. It is another product sold by Google, in other words.

  9. the orthosphere side of the internet seems to be stagnating.

    What Zippy says is true, but there’s more to it than that. You’ve got to consider that most of the people who might theoretically be attracted to Ortho-philosophy are busy raising families. Then there’s the fact that too many of the Orthosphere articles are written in a pretentious style that is inaccessible and boring to most people (I haven’t read over there in an age because it’s become so boring. And repetitive! I mean, if you already agree with this stuff, there’s no need to read yet another dry-as-dust treatise on it all. I hate to indulge the rhetoric of “boring old white men”, and yet, I must…). And don’t forget that what compounds it all is that everyone in this corner of the internet is fundamentally uncharismatic in the extreme. You really need a marketing team, or at least someone with a good intuitive sense of what people *want*.

    And that’s perhaps the most important thing of all: you need to remember to meet people’s *needs*; you need to address what they are really looking for. People aren’t looking for much, but what they are looking for is are pretty down-to-earth and not complicated. Disney movies recycle the same plot over and over (more or less) because all people really want is a story about a man and a woman who fall in love. Similarly, as discussed previously, Laura Wood is popular because she’s talking about relationships in the way that people want to hear about relationships. Bruce is popular because, although he’s not “romantic” in the sexual sense, exactly, his *worldview* is tinged with romanticism. You need to tug on people’s heartstrings and address the issues they care about in everyday life.

  10. Hi Sampson,

    Thank you for giving me this feedback; I think it’s the sort of thing we Orthosphere writers really need to be told. I would like to hear more about the boringness, repetitiveness, and pretentiousness issues. The trouble is that these are problems that writers often can’t see in themselves. For example, I find it impossible to predict which of my own posts will spark interest and which will go unremarked and unread. (There’s actually an inverse correlation between how important I think a post is and how interesting my readers find it.) And, of course, those in the grip of monomania don’t see themselves as repetitive. An outsider’s view here is invaluable and appreciated.

    This goes for everybody else reading, too. Please let’s talk about what’s wrong and boring with the Orthosphere. I promise not to get angry! Emails are also welcome, if you’d prefer to tell me privately.

  11. “the orthosphere side of the internet seems to be stagnating.”

    I can’t speak about the broader (lower-case-O) orthosphere but I’ve certainly had that impression about the Orthosphere.

    I haven’t posted at the Orthosphere in a while myself, it seems like, partly because real life considerations are devouring my free time, partly because I seem to have so little to say these days besides “hey everyone, somebody in the Church is wrong!”, and partly because my own sanity and spiritual health increasingly demands a less relentlessly, obsessively negative focus on things. My act has been getting stale for a while now, even to me. It is just exhausting in many ways always to be so dark about things.

    So I’m less active there and I was the Orthosphere’s biggest peddler of blue-collar proletarian screeds. Bonald is less active there and he was the biggest proponent of patient, humble apologetics and explanations (and his own delightful style of screed), and one of the more popular authors there to boot. The result is that the content of the Orthosphere has devolved largely to Kristor, Alan, and Dr. Bertonneau, who tend toward valuable but lengthy exposition and pontification. Their works are consistently great and I devour them instantly, but some proportion of our readers are definitely uninterested in topics and reflections that sometimes seem so far removed from the culture wars.

  12. I don’t feel competent to discuss most of the theological content at Orthosphere. How does one even respond to Kristor’s stuff? The stuff about the history of Hebrew monotheism is pretty interesting. I wish he would post about that, if only a book review. Whereas I am happy to shoot my mouth off about history.

    Kalb is a guy who could garner high quality readers if he would blog as opposed to drop by to post links. He even answers comments.

    Bonald, your topical and big picture stuff that you have posted at T and A in the past is exactly the kind of exciting material that should appeal to people looking for an alternative to modernity. Unfortunaltey there isn’t much like this at Orthosphere.

    Orthosphere doesn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor. Not to say that the writers as individuals don’t, but the character of the site is pretty dry.

  13. Well for my own two cents (and I am sure you all could easily guess) I would love to see more broadsides on liberalism’s Golden Calves.
    – thorough critiques of Americanism (against the American revolution, individualism, the constitution, the founders the whole 9 yards. Perhaps a book review of Chris Ferrera’s or David Schindler’s work or a critique of Zmirak would be a good starting point.
    – A critique of Austrian Economics and or fusionism.
    -I think the tradosphere has more than enough posts about PUAs and other such topics. While I sympathize with trads in the debate (like Zippy) I find these posts so tedious and frankly bellow us at this point.
    – Perhaps a post grappling with certain strains of the left that are anti-modern. Bonald, I think you have kind of touched on this as well, when you were talking about global warming and its implication for trads. Ex Marxists and other unorthodox marxists have a lot to offer, much more so than libertarians.
    – One thing is for sure, it would be a shame if the orthosphere became like the mainstream right that is too much Founder-worship with a smattering of Protestantism. There are enough such outlets already.

    I think all those topics above would create a buzz.

  14. Hi Proph,

    I remember at your old blog you used to write on a pretty wide range of historical and economic topics. It’s a shame so little of it is publicly viewable now.

    I agree that looking at the state of the Church tends to induce despair very quickly, but posts about it are useful, because there are a lot of Catholics who still won’t face reality.

  15. I also tend not to respond to Kristor’s stuff. I often fail to follow his reasoning, but I think it’s that he has a metaphysical intuition that I lack rather than me being more logical, and he does have stunning insights.

    Interestingly, our most popular writer lately has been Professor Bertonneau, whose “post-literacy” post got linked by National Review. There does seem to be an interest in what’s wrong with college kids these days.

    Alan Roebuck has written several introductions and manifestos aimed at people who aren’t already reactionaries. I have no idea if they’ve been having any success with that group (or if any nonreactionaries even know about our existence), but without it we’d have had no outreach at all. My own writings are generally aimed at people who are already strongly conservative or reactionary in some sense, and I’m trying to deepen their understanding of their own beliefs. Thus, my posts probably sound more like a professor than a polemicist or an evangelist, and they have a much more limited appeal.

    My great blogging vice: I’m always giving in to the temptation to write a post I’d like to write, rather than writing a post that I’d like to read. Tightening and polishing my ideology is endlessly fascinating to me. For example, as far as I’m concerned, my essay on natural law was the best thing I’ve ever written–better even than anything I’ve written for my day job. What I loved was that I’d hit on a concept, an idea about how symbols signify things differently than propositional language, that seemed to draw together everything I’d written on T & A. On the other hand, it’s one of the least popular things I’ve written in terms of views and comments. Nobody is looking for general discussions about what natural law is. If I had run across such a discussion on the web written by somebody else, I might not have read it. If it was as long as my essay ended up being, I certainly wouldn’t have read it. Now I’ve undertaken a new project to understand Catholicism using my “big idea”. I doubt that this excites anyone but me, but what excites me usually ends up being my final guide.

  16. Bonald, you reference below a Natural Law article you wrote.

    Can you provide a link?

  17. Oh, yeah, that might have helped people know what I was talking about.

    Thanks for the request, slainte.

  18. And, to make it even more difficult to follow, the most important points are in parts 3 and 4.

  19. I have managed to distill down my own anti-Enlightenment thoughts into one very simple concept:

    – Compassion emerges from seeing others and ourselves as the same kind of thing.

    – Seeing others and ourselves as ends does not work, because by seeing ourselves as ends, our ego, desire, vanity a huge boost so we will end up seeing others as the means specifically for our own ends.

    – Therefore we chuck every aspect of ideology that relates to seeing either others or ourselves as ends: equality, liberal liberty, autonomy, and so on.

    – Thus the working solution is developing compassion through seeing others and ourselves both as means to an end.

    – Thus the kind of human morality possible is the kind of compassionate camaraderie soldiers on a battlefield feel with each other: they can easily put themselves in the other persons boots because they see the other and their own self both as means serving the same end. And there is even compassion with the captured enemy as well: that guy serves a different end, but is still a serviceman, so compassion comes naturally.

    – As an extra bonus once we do not think that liberty and equality is a necessary feature of a human beings, suddenly, when we must we can repress others without having to dehumanize or objectify them. Once you stop believing in equality in general, you can argue for example against gay equality without having to somehow think that the are not fully people.

    – What ends can we serve? Well, I guess you theists can focus on God, I will as for the time being focus on family, community and some kind of a proto-Aristotelean biological, evolutionary natural end.

  20. Picking more fights might indeed help.

    A couple of weeks ago, I started reading Ferrera’s “Liberty, the God that Failed”, and I do plan to post a review.

  21. I drifted away from the Orthosphere after the great antisemitism controversy of a couple of years ago, in which you (Bonald) posted some tentative reflections on Jewish influence which were quickly withdrawn after apparent behind-the-scenes controversy. It became evident that, for all the Orthosphere’s pretensions to fearlessness, there were just some things you’re not allowed to discuss over there.

    Otherwise, Kristor was a great commenter on VFR and elsewhere, but is way too windy and self-indulgent in long form. Alan Roebuck’s Protestant apologetics are cold and rationalistic almost to the point of autism, and remind me why I have never had second thoughts about my conversion to Catholicism.I enjoy you and Proph, but your contributions are too infrequent these days.

    The neoreactionaries seem to have momentum right now, and your reflection above fits right in with their line of thinking. Contrary to the misrepresentations of Bruce Charlton and others, the NRx crowd are a diverse bunch, including Catholics, Orthodox, a few Protestants, atheists, transhumanists, ex-libertarians, ex-liberals, and ex-conservatives. Their theological and intellectual diversity makes for dynamic discussions that make the Orthosphere seem staid by comparison.

  22. Hi Murray,

    That reminds me–I’m meaning to put up my notorious anti-semitic post over here. I first have to figure out how to track it down from limbo in wordpress. (I moved it to “draft” or something like that rather than deleting it.)

    My sense was that we lost more readers from the brief existence of that post than from my taking it down (although I know a few people weren’t happy about the latter as well). The comments were about 95% hostile, with at least one person angrily writing off the Orthosphere there and then. It would indeed have been a shame for me to have sunk Svein, Alan, and Kristor’s project with a post that they didn’t at all agree with.

    Anyway, I’m not sure if being more controversial would help or hurt us.

  23. Hi Bonald,

    That might have been me. I got pretty heated at Kristor over what I saw as a ridiculously flimsy pretext for not wanting to talk about it. I feel a little silly for some of the hyperbole I engaged in at the time, but I think my point was borne out: If you’re just going to be another website of docile, polite conservatives, why should anyone bother reading you?

    I don’t bear any personal animosity towards Jews, but it’s interesting to see how the taboo on even raising the topic actually serves to generate antisemitism and paranoia. Over here on the outer right, we can talk freely about racial disparities in things like intelligence or crime rates, and we can criticize the ridiculously shallow and juvenile theology of Islam until the cows come home, but point out the long, long list of Jewish names associated with baleful movements like Marxism and feminism (or subversive activities like hardcore pornography), and within minutes someone will be trying to hush you up and change the subject. If you’re pigheaded like me, you end up arguing positions you don’t actually hold, simply in order to push back against the nannies.

    But the thing is, next time you read the news about some outrageous slight against tradition or morality, you begin to notice, “Huh, so-and-so Friedman is pushing it,” or “Hey, a Steinem. What are the odds?” And then, out of curiosity, you read Belloc’s “The Jews”, and you learn that this is by no means solely a modern phenomenon. In fact, this exact kind of thing goes back centuries, repeating itself over and over: Invite the Jews in, reap the benefits of their abundant gifts, gradually lose tolerance for their subversive activities, expel the Jews, more or less violently. And as Belloc advocated, open and frank discussion might allow for some ground rules to be established, leading to mutually productive coexistence, but for some reason, the whole topic is radioactive.

  24. Murray,

    Even the putatively brave neo-reactionaries are afraid to touch the Jewish question., though I think there are at least some hints that their position is becoming a bit more flexible.

  25. Somebody in the orthosphere needs to channel E. Michael Jones. There’s a man who was born to blog down to his typos. Topical, yet theological, historically literate. Basically, you want a reactionary who is going to show the NRs how shallow is their criticism (Charlton does this half-effectively half the time).

  26. @ Josh,

    I don’t know what’s worse the neo-reactionaries and their support for Anarcho-Capitalism or Charlton’s “responses.” As I noted above they are both too enthralled with the 19th century to be much of a traditionalist.

  27. @josh,@ISE

    The weakness of many criticisms of NRx is that they’re a diverse bunch, as I outlined above. This is both a weakness and a strength: a weakness because they’re still working out the principles on which they all can agree; a strength because it makes it difficult to place them into existing categories, which is why our common enemies on the Left (including libertarians) are mostly reduced to pointing and spluttering.

    In Charlton’s case, he’s not even wrong. His characterizations of NRx (Dark Enlightenment, whatever) do not resemble anything I’ve read from them, and generally cause them puzzlement. But then, his hyper-protestant ideological journey seems to have unmoored him from reality in several respects.

    But neither is it true to claim that NRx is an anarcho-capitalist movement or in thrall to the 19th century. There are anarcho-capitalists in the movement, but they coexist with monarchists, religious traditionalists, and others. And it’s pretty hard for a movement that rejects the Enlightenment to be enthralled with the latter’s Golden Century!

    The neoreactionaries maintain that the fruits of the Enlightenment (liberalism, demotism, and associated ills) have been disastrous, but that the ill effects have been masked by technological progress. Instead of the false, unmoored freedom of Enlightenment liberalism, they champion a range of systems that emphasize order, which allows true freedom to flourish. But there isn’t one label you can affix to them, at least for now.

  28. I’m also perplexed by Bruce’s characterization of neo-reaction and the manosphere. Not that I mind criticism of these movements, but I’m not convinced that what he’s criticizing is what they actually believe. Perhaps this is just because I mostly only follow religious or religion-friendly neo-reactionaries. (Among the game/manosphere, the best writers are either Christians or straight-up nihilists.)

  29. I never said anything, but I thought the Orthosphere website was a terrible idea. All of the writers were glowing personalities that would cannibalize each other, completely inadvertently. This specifically goes for you and Proph, I think you both lost out the most.

    A big problem with blogs like this is the perception that one needs to mould themselves after mass media. A lone blogger on their own simply cant cut it, doesnt look professional etc. That is completely ridiculous, all of this reactionary stuff, whatever you call it, religious or secular, has been driven by lone personalities. I dont think I would read Laura Wood if she started writing on the Orthosphere for instance.

  30. At the time, it seemed like the only way to have a single blog where content would be added often enough to keep people’s interest.

  31. Samson J. makes a good point: Bloggers need to write about what interests readers. That’s why I wish I could ride a time machine back to Socrates’s Ancient Greece, where teens talked about important topics, the nature of virtue, say. I hope I write clearly, simply and conversationally. But I would hate to need to think like a marketer always trying to satisfy shallow readers who ignore what they should know.

    Years ago, when I took an Introduction to Anthropology at a state university the class discussed why students go to college. I heard the usual American practical answers: “I need a job,” I want to be rich,” “I should earn an MBA . . .” After I asked what’s wrong with getting knowledge because it’s innately good thing to have, the professor silenced me. Maybe she thought my opinion was too politically incorrect to consider then?

  32. True, but if you’re not interested in it yourself, chances are you won’t be saying anything worthwhile. Besides, a hobby should be enjoyable. In case anybody’s wondering, yes, this means I’ve gone back to essay writing.

  33. I realize this is an old post, but I have a suggestion–it’s something I’ve been thinking about since devouring sites like this, Zippy’s and Orthosphere. Perhaps I’ve missed posts that have to do with my suggestion, but here goes: I’d like to see more content as to how someone who respects the traditional idea of authority should go about living their lives. How does one who is an American or European–living under representative republics at federal, state, and local levels; direct democracies on legislative issues–how does one live and conduct oneself under such authorities? I’m not sure how to expand on this idea and I’m sorry if it doesn’t make sense or has already been answered.

  34. Bonald, I’m happy to hear that you’re writing more essays. Please offer a few to printed periodicals. Catholic Family News, The Remnant, and Chronicles Magazine because I think they’re great. I’ve been looking for magazines for fans of traditional hereditary monarchies, especially Catholic ones where the monarch rules. Since I’m hoping to move to Monaco, I pray it’s government is like that. I don’t want to be a subject of a mere figurehead.

  35. Good luck with your relocation. The thing about the Catholic periodicals is that I don’t feel like I have a well-enough developed Catholic sensibility to fit in there. My claiming to be an “orthodox bad Catholic” was not modesty. Reading many Catholic writers one can sense their personal devoutness and love of Jesus, while I’m sure my worldly habits of mind bleed through in what I write. In fact, I’m not sure who’s supposed to be the audience for my latest essay, since anyone who wants to read about “the Catholic perspective” is likely to be further along that spiritual path than I am. Actually, I do know who the audience is. This essay is for me–getting my thoughts straight before the October synod.

  36. Hello Marissa,

    This is a big and difficult question. We authoritarians tend to give the legitimacy of established powers a wide benefit of doubt. In particular, we’re inclined to see in them cases of legitimate authority that has mistaken the ground of their legitimacy, that have in fact attacked it. Fortunately, little of the humbug about government expressing the infallible “will of the people” penetrates below the conscious surface of the populace. What makes things difficult is that these authorities are demanding our cooperation in evil–which of course we should refuse–but are doing it in subtle ways in which the wicked and tyrannical nature of their demands is obscured. Thus, absolute freedom of expression is officially celebrated, while at the same time we must maintain a welcoming environment by crushing anything deemed sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. I think the key to resistance is to always draw the discussion back to first principles: Are sex roles legitimate? Is any room to be allowed for nonliberal ways of life? Is group loyalty legitimate? If for some groups but not others, how is this justified? Is utilitarianism really the only way to “reason” outside revelation? However, the whole system is designed to begin the discussion with the answers to these questions already decided.

  37. Bonald, thank you. Something tells me that you underestimate your good points, my friend. I suggested Catholic Family News, my favorite periodical, because I think your articles would be great for it, especially if you wrote about the social Kingship of Christ.

    Others judge our talent and our virtues more objectively than we do. From my objective(?) perspective, Our Lord is very proud of you, and He would love to see your name on a byline in the best Catholic newspaper I’ve ever read.

    Every Catholic needs to get holier and holier here on Earth, and you’re holier than you think.You’re not the condescending Pharisee in the temple. You’re the prayerful fellow God justified because he said, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

  38. […] said that rejecting the Enlightenment is only the beginning of thought.  Everything modernity ruled out is back on the table.  Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin […]

  39. […] Some time ago, I wrote that rejecting the Enlightenment is only the beginning of thought. […]

  40. […] Some time ago, I wrote that rejecting the Enlightenment is only the beginning of thought. […]

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