Cross-post: the prince of this world

What does it mean that Satan is the prince of this world? I take it to mean that the world is fundamentally hostile, that holiness is “moving uphill” and sin is “moving downhill”. In particular, impersonal forces alway oppose Christianity and support the Left. Changes in technology, in economic structures, in cultural fads–in summary, everything that we think of as a cause of changes in society that are not direct human choices, always and everywhere tend to erode Christian belief and morals and to support personal hedonism and secular tyranny. Atheist materialism just happens; the good must be consciously chosen. Natural and economic disasters favor the Left, but so do the general social drifts in times of comfort and prosperity. Furthermore, chance nearly always favors the Enemy. Chance plays a great role in war, and you will have noticed that the overall-more-evil side usually wins wars, that fortune nearly always frowns on the defenders of Christendom. The last war whose outcome I’m entirely satisfied with is the Spanish Civil War, and I take it that in that war, the good guys won only because General Franco was a much more competent leader than anyone on Satan’s side, and this was able to overcome the natural advantage of evil.

You may encounter this even in your personal life. When people decide to reform and “get right with God”, I don’t think they do it–even unconsciously–in order to win favor in their worldly affairs, but they do at least unconsciously tend to take good fortune as a mark of divine favor, and it seems fitting to them that becoming a better person should make life better, at least in the emotional sense of more contentment and happiness and better personal relationships. However, because Satan is the prince of this world, then when a person makes a commitment that really puts him on God’s side, he should instead be prepared for a string of bad luck. If he decides to get serious about prayer, he suddenly starts having bad news at school, at work, with his kids’ behavior or his parents’ health. If he starts preparing to be canceled and lose his job for loyalty to the truth, he suddenly finds himself being hit by painfully expensive home repair or family health problems, strokes of bad luck to make it especially difficult to have a break in steady income. If he volunteers to help the Church through catechesis, bible study, the youth group, or whatever, he will have a string of bad weather, broken technology, impossible scheduling problems, and parish indifference. He sees that those who serve the Enemy seem to go from one fortuitous victory to another. “Why are you doing this, God?” he asks, but it’s not God. It’s the other guy.

The Right should abandon hope that impersonal forces serve them as they have so often served the Left, that Leftist programs will collapse on their own without anyone having to stick his or her neck out and disagree with it from a strictly moral perspective, facing down the resulting media/academic/business/government wrath. For example, it is hoped that some Leftist program will prove too expensive, that some egalitarian dogma will collapse under the weight of contrary biological research, that hostile businesses or schools will “go broke”, that the American empire will be defeated in war (or, at least, that such a defeat would benefit us in some way), that high energy prices in Europe or criminal anarchy in American cities will finally break the spell and cause the people to repent their Leftism, and until then we can wait and come out of hiding after this happens. Nothing of the sort will happen; Satan is the prince of this world. Certainly, Leftist programs may sometimes fail to deliver their promised results, but that in itself will not bring mankind one step toward repentance and spiritual renewal. No one “falls” into God’s side. God must, through His grace, inspire free actual acts of faith, hope, and charity. Probably nothing can defeat the Left, but if it could be defeated, it could only be by a large enough group of people openly defying it on fundamental moral principle. We should not do this recklessly. Everything must be thought through, because as soon as we challenge the Left, things will start going wrong, and luck will never be on our side. I’m not even writing this under my legal name, after all. However, there’s no point in hoping that some big global political-economic catastrophe is going to eliminate Satan’s kingdom for us.

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