Postscript on the interview

Having spent way more time than I could really afford on this series–but carried on by an odd compulsion to get it off my chest (it has been on my mind for months)–what was my imaginary interview meant to accomplish?

It is not an actual prediction of the future.  I do not expect some of the things I wrote about to ever actually happen.  That Western intellectuals would throw themselves into mathematics for solace is more a projection of my own personality than a realistic scenario.  Most of all, I don’t believe any pope would ever do something so stupid as to explicitly abolish holy orders.  It would be like Pope Francis announcing that the sedevacantists are right.  Even if Francis were a communist and an atheist to boot, that would just be shooting himself in the foot and putting himself and his supporters out of work.  Heresy and abuse or invalidation of the sacraments are real dangers, but nobody would be that obvious about it.

For a long time, I’ve been fighting a terrible sense of hopelessness, a sense that the Left has basically won the field everywhere and can now do as they please.  In Catholic circles, there is a lot of anxiety over doctrine, a sense of being held hostage by an unsympathetic hierarchy.  “If they did X, it would all be over.  But Jesus would never allow that to happen.  Right?  Right?”  Among the Alternative Right, one often hears things to the effect that if Europe flips to majority African/Arab, it’s all over.  Our rulers are in a position to make it be all over–whatever that means–in our lifetimes.

So I imagined to myself, suppose the Left is able to get its way on all fronts.  Can I imagine life going on?  A few commenters noticed that my scenarios are actually hopeful.  Yes, the Left could do everything we’re afraid they’ll do and even some other awful stuff on top of it, and it wouldn’t be the end.  Christianity (even of a recognizably Catholic sort) and Western civilization could continue in small pockets.  Given the large numbers involved, the logic of natural selection, and the inherent inefficiencies of irresponsible rule, our numbers would very likely bottom out above zero.

For me, the most important part was part 3.  Considering the West as a people, it’s very hard not to be discouraged.  Even if a remnant survives, the prospect of just surviving among a hostile majority is not a pleasant to imagine.  How sad these people would be when they compare their wretchedness to their past glory.  But if the West really is an unfinished project, then our real days of glory may be ahead of us rather than behind us, even if our numbers are small and we have no countries of our own.  It’s something that people like me can try to contribute to already, both at the Orthosphere and my day job.  Some Jews have said that anti-semitism is driven by envy, and in my case this is certainly true.  I love the idea of my people being able to sway the majority culture by our sheer brilliance.  I can imagine a scenario where Christians become the Jews of the future, but only if we first suffer something like the catastrophes the Jews overcame in the past.

I do hope to stir up conversations by these posts.  By making fiction rather than prediction, I have deliberately avoided committing myself.  Commenters who say that such and such I wrote was impossibly bad, or overly optimistic, or even just unnecessarily offensive all make good points.

Everybody’s different, but I’ve drawn considerable solace from imagining these awful scenarios.  They make everything seem a little less fragile.

9 Responses

  1. You don’t appear to consider the possibility that God might step in at some point. There are approved Catholic prophesies, many centuries old, that predict similar events to yours, but they also prophesy Divine intervention at some point (but not before catastrophies do occur).

  2. I think the whole social justice / hate whitey tendencies today which you based your analysis on are temporary and will not have an effect like this. Today, these tendencies tend to happen in blue-state America where in red-state America Moore still got more than majority of the white vote.

    Europe, despite lefter than America in economics matters, is definitely not so in social justice matters, there is no white guilt complex, the process of liberalism is roughly at the same stage as in 1965 in America i.e. mere tolerance and equality of nonwhites, not the idea that whites must pay past debts or should feel guilty. For example, few people seem to be bothered that arabs or turks are underrepresented in university or at top jobs, so Europe is not even at an Affirmative Action stage.

    We have good reasons to assume that blue-state America will be so weakened by the internal contradictions of social justice that it will be unable to force much more social justice on Europe.

    Meanwhile there is a growing Chinese influence (One Road One Belt) in Europe and with that a far healthier worldview – a pragmatic worldview certainly havings its own vices, like greed, but lacking craziness – a materialistic focus on the economy and technology.

    And there is Russia.

    Ultimately the big question is white birthrates.

    For example, one optimistic scenario would be that Muslims in Europe secularize, turn to beer and football largely how Turkey did, but still retain a patriarchical culture and due to their influence patriarchy is cool again. Re-patriarchied whites quickly increase birth rates.

  3. Re: mickvet

    He was deliberately imagining everything going as poorly as possible. A hypothetical miracle would be beside the point.

  4. Dividualist: My guess is that European politics will become more race-obsessed, Americanized if you will, as their population on hostile non-whites grows. I hope you’re right and it doesn’t, but it’s vexing how open Europeans are to bad American ideas.

  5. I think the whole social justice / hate whitey tendencies today which you based your analysis on are temporary and will not have an effect like this. Today, these tendencies tend to happen in blue-state America where in red-state America Moore still got more than majority of the white vote.

    Oh bullcrap. Show me some red state politicians who say “Michael King was a commie piece of human refuse,” or “black people are stupid and violent and should not be treated the same as white people,” or “segregation is a good idea.”

  6. [quote]Everybody’s different, but I’ve drawn considerable solace from imagining these awful scenarios. They make everything seem a little less fragile.[/quote]

    I’ve found that to be a good way of dealing with open ended worrying, put some effort into imagining the worst case scenario and planning from there. The series reminds me of “A Canticle for Leibowitz”, a book I find surprisingly comforting.

    Thank you for writing.

  7. One of the problems with the traditionalist movement at present is that it attracts primarily melancholics and cholerics; that is, people who are predisposed either to pensivity or to anger and excessive self-will.

    It makes sense why this is the case – the people most likely to see through current (heretical) orthodoxy are those who think deeply and / or act without fear of others’ disapproval. The problem is that this tinges a lot of our thinking and writing. We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the “mad Trad” who forgets charity in his anger over abuses. We’re all, hopefully, on guard against committing sins of anger. But I don’t think we’re nearly as proactive about guarding against tendencies to despondency or pessimism, and I think this post is a prime example. I understand your point, Bonald, that this most recent series is intended to hold out the hope that the Church, and Western civilization, may yet survive. But is this really all that we can hope for? Survival in small pockets and religious or ethnic enclaves? Is that the full extent of our confidence in God? Are we so afraid of our enemies as to acknowledge defeat before we have even “resisted unto the shedding of blood”?

    Surely one of the beautiful things about Christendom was its cheerful defiance of the forces of darkness amassed against it. And isn’t it a key doctrine of our religion that we are to *rejoice* in suffering in the name of Christ, knowing that this light, momentary affliction produces a weight of glory? If that’s the case, then why shouldn’t we shake off some of our gloom? The times are bad, but God has worked greater victories in worse circumstances. And even if we are going to lose in this world, wouldn’t you rather go down fighting a joyful fight, praising God for the privilege of serving, in however small a way, His cause? Who knows, but that the witness we give in doing so may inspire new generations of Catholics to penance and charity, and so to the victory of Our Lady over our present ills?

  8. “Stern now was Éomer’s mood, and his mind clear again. He let blow the horns to rally all men to his banner that could come thither; for he thought to make a great shield-wall at the last, and stand, and fight there on foot till all fell, and do deeds of song on the fields of Pelennor, though no man should be left in the West to remember the last King of the Mark. So he rode to a green hillock and there set his banner, and the White Horse ran rippling in the wind.

    Out of doubt, out of dark to the day’s rising
    I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
    To hope’s end I rode and to heart’s breaking:
    Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!

    These staves he spoke, yet he laughed as he said them. For once more lust of battle was on him; and he was still unscathed, and he was young, and he was king: the lord of a fell people. And lo! even as he laughed at despair he looked out again on the black ships, and he lifted up his sword to defy them.”

  9. The Mason’s ways are
    A type of Existence,
    And his persistence
    Is as the days are
    Of men in this world.

    The Future hides in it
    Gladness and sorrow;
    We press still thorow,
    Naught that abides in it
    Daunting us, — onward.

    And solemn before us,
    Veiled, the dark Portal,
    Goal of all mortal : —
    Stars silent rest o’er us,
    Graves under us silent.

    While earnest thou gazest,
    Comes boding of terror,
    Comes phantasm and error,
    Perplexes the bravest
    With doubt and misgiving.

    But heard are the Voices, —
    Heard are the Sages,
    The Worlds and the Ages:
    “Choose well, your choice is
    Brief and yet endless:

    Here eyes do regard you,
    In Eternity’s stillness;
    Here is all fulness,
    Ye brave, to reward you;
    Work and despair not.

    – Goethe

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