Sunday, August 2, 2020

August 2, 2020

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

To Recapture the Culture: The Abbeville
Institute Fall Symposium 2020

I pass on to you news of an excellent opportunity to strengthen your knowledge of history and our Western Christian—and Southern—heritage. Now, in these dark and revolutionary days when it seems that “the centre cannot hold… [and] the worst are full of passionate intensity” (William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming,” 1919), there are few citadels of sanity and open defiance to the frenzied and angry mob and tsunami of self-inflicted destruction of our civilization.

Just yesterday my traditionalist Spanish friends sent me news that two orthodox Catholic priests in Spain face up to three years in prison for “the crime of incitement to hate and racism because they had been critical of Islam in diverse writings.” The Spanish equivalent of the district attorney for the city of Malaga, Maria Teresa Verdugo, is demanding that punishment for Fathers Custodio Ballester and Jesús Calvo, who simply expounded the traditional teaching of orthodox Christianity concerning the Muslim religion. And this in Spain, that scarcely half a century ago was supposedly the most Christian nation in Europe. I know because I finished my doctoral studies there in 1975.

This incident in Spain can be multiplied many times over in the rest of Europe and now also increasingly in the United States, especially with the arbitrary and politically-inspired rules accompanying the pandemic. But although these outrages are sometimes noted in the media, it is more insidiously in our culture—in the arts, literature, music—where this zealous, fanatical anti-Western cancer has taken firm root, with penalties meted out to the guilty defenders of the two millennia of inherited Western culture, in many cases resulting in the complete re-casting, re-writing, bowdlerizing, or banning of the great artifacts of our heritage.

Such immortal works of genius as Mozart’s comic opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio, which playfully makes fun of Islam, was censored and its lines rewritten by the Canadian Opera Company. For a recent production north of the border the company had some bright “woke” scribbler “rewrite the dialogue for Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio in order to remove racist language.”

And after years of patiently waiting to see a presentation of one of the more fascinating operas of the first decade of the 19th century, Gasparo Spontini’s Fernand Cortez, originally produced (1809) to glorify the French invasion and conquest of “backward” Spain (it was later revised to reflect the 1815 triumph of the Bourbons), a decent video emerged this spring from the May Florence Musical Festival in Italy. It’s a fairly traditional, well-sung production—none of those “Eurotrash” touches that ruin so much of current musical and theatrical ventures these days. Yet, because Spontini glorifies (in some wonderfully heroic music) the conquest of Mexico and the conversion of the heathen Aztecs to Christianity, the director felt compelled to add a projected-on-screen message both at the beginning and at the end basically condemning Western and white colonialism and racism. Nevertheless, the original libretto and music emerge, but I expect to see fierce condemnations of its revival despite the cosmetic application of political correctness.

As we watch not just the monuments and symbols of our Confederate heritage disappear from public view, but also monuments to Washington, Jefferson, Christopher Columbus, Father Junipero Serra, and many others…and we observe that many, if not most of our elected representatives in Congress and on the state level either meekly utter a mild demurrer (at best) or, more likely, accede to and go along with the vandalism and destruction of our Western heritage for fear of being called a “racist,” it is we who should and must summon outrage and disgust.

But where is that outrage? Where is that disgust and willingness to take to the streets to counter and show that we will not sit idly by when small, well-organized groups of Antifa and Black Lives Matter revolutionaries seek to erase our inheritance, indeed, seek to erase us?
Just yesterday (August 1, 2020) in Raleigh, North Carolina, there was a well-attended manifestation of “normal” people in support of our police. But let me ask: we have reached the point where we have to go out in streets to actually support one of the most normal and fundamental functions of a civilized society? We have reached that point? Where, indeed, are the thousands of others who silently oppose the barbarism and the vicious attacks on our history, our culture, and the very foundations of who we are as a people?

We sit back in our arm chairs like zombies and watch “America’s Got Talent” or some other insipid program on network television; we complain about the abbreviated football season; we grumble about bars not opening; some have lost jobs and income due to COVID-19. But where is the swelling outrage about what is and has been going on to simply eradicate and wipe off the map and out of history the culture in which we were born, the culture which annealed and made us who we are? Where is the anger about the near-total subversion of our schools and colleges? Where is the revolt against the scandalously fake and false “news coverage” by our media, both national AND local?

Sadly, too many of our leaders in the established conservative movement and in the Republican Party have succumbed to the enticements of power, position and reputation. They would, to quote Pope Leo XIII in the 19th century about liberalism, “rather rule in Hell, than serve in Heaven.” They are more concerned for their power and wealth, their positions and not being labeled racists or bigots or white supremacists, than for stoutheartedly defending the legacy we have received from our ancestors (and that is being attacked by the unhinged revolutionaries). Their approach, at best, is what I would call the “Rodney King approach”: can’t we all just get along? Maybe if I give you much of what you want—maybe if we take down just those offending Confederate statues or change the names of those forts—maybe we can all get along? Okay?

And this is precisely what far too many GOP members of Congress have decided to do. It won’t work with the revolutionaries: they will take what you give and demand more until there is nothing left to give.

It is a bankrupt mentality that results eventually in total surrender and defeat; it emerges out of the philosophical underpinnings of those we call “Neoconservatives,” those former Leftists, in many cases globalist Trotskyites, who drifted into the conservative movement in the 1970s, and who now dominate not only establishment conservatism but also the GOP.

My question, so often expressed in my columns, is this: when shall we stand up and fight? Those manifesting their support for the police in Raleigh yesterday did so; but where are those thousands, the so-called “silent majority”? Will it take a Biden victory at the ballot box, and new authoritarian executive orders, new restrictions, and then, finally, when some ragged and bearded “woke” millennial or smelly, obese feminist comes banging on your door, demanding that since you have three bedrooms you must give one up and share it with a destitute illegal immigrant who has already been convicted of a dozen felonies, but let off by our corrupted judicial system? Will that be the moment when you say: “Wait! No!” But won’t THAT moment be too late…?

Remember the scene in the epic film Dr. Zhivago, when Yuri and Tanya have settled in their home in Moscow, which has now been forcibly split up and separated into tenements by the Soviet government.

Think it can’t happen here? Think again. Think you cannot be banned, have your expression restricted, get fired not only for writing something considered offensive to the powers-that-be, but for the very fact that you think something no longer acceptable—in some ways these conditions are already here. And yet the refrain is still, “I don’t want to miss ‘America’s Got Talent’ or the PGA!”

My recommendations? Talk to your friends, organize at first in small local groups for self-preparedness and defense; insofar as you can, meet with others of like mind and have a plan for possible future events; participate in demonstrations like yesterday’s pro-police manifestation in downtown Raleigh; get a gun and gun license if you don’t already have one; and, of course, vote this fall. And this may not be enough, because assuredly the extremists and fanatics intend to steal the election, and we all know that.

In the meantime, the Abbeville Institute is offering once again a symposium that should attract a large attendance. It treats of an issue that affects both Southerners, but also all Americans: “Who Owns America?”

We have the specter of immense corporate America…Facebook, Twitter, Google, the tech industry, and many of the boardrooms across this benighted nation…now enthralled by Black Lives Matter and cancel culture. Unlike the traditional Leftist attack template, the American corporate plutocracy is now squarely on the side of revolution and “woke” culture, as Tucker Carlson describes in his blockbuster book, Ship of Fools.

This year 2020 and this election may well be our last real opportunity to reverse and alter what has been occurring. If the unhinged Left continues its devastation through our institutions, that, with the major demographic changes and the utter corruption in our education system, will condemn us to disappear, and we shall witness the unceremonious and ugly demise of what is left of our civilization.

The Abbeville Institute understands that it is through assaults on the South and its heritage that so many of these attacks have first come. Their symposium this October in Charleston, South Carolina, offers an excellent opportunity to better familiarize yourself with our incredibly rich but under severe attack heritage…and to prepare the arduous effort to take it back and restore it.

Here is the program and details:

The classic manifesto I’ll Take My Stand by Twelve Southerners is 90 years old this year, 2020. When the book was published in 1930 the Depression raged, and American discourse was a combat between corporate capitalism and socialism. For the Southern Agrarians, these alternatives were merely two sides of the same coin—both implying inhuman mass working and living, fallacies of endless progress and bigger is better, and the loss of real culture. The Agrarians proposed a different and better way for Americans. Although their message did not triumph, I’ll Take My Stand has never gone out of print and is still cherished by thoughtful people
In 1936 the Twelve joined with Northern and British writers to elaborate their message with specifics in Who Owns America? A New Declaration of Independence. Given the near-authoritarian and conflicted condition of the imperial United States in 2020, and the remoteness of our present prevailing ideas from the vision of earlier Americans, the Abbeville Institute believes that the Agrarian, Jeffersonian message is still extremely relevant. We will explore such prophetic relevance in economics, government, culture, and meaningful life.
Lee Cheek (Political Science, East Georgia College)
John Devanny (History, Christendom College)
Thomas Fleming (President, Fleming Foundation)
Philip Leigh (Author and Historian)
Donald Livingston (Philosophy, Emory University, Emeritus)
Carey Roberts (History, Liberty University)
Joe Stromberg (Author and Historian)
Jack Trotter (Literature, Trident State Technical College)
Bill Wilson (Literature, University of Virginia, Emeritus)
Clyde Wilson (History, University of South Carolina, Distinguished Emeritus)
Crowne Plaza Charleston, 4831 Tanger Outlet Blvd, (843) 744-4422. Participants should make their own reservations. Mention Abbeville Institute for rate of $139 per night, including breakfast. Conference fee is $100, includes tuition and dinner Saturday evening. Fee must be paid in advance with registration. Register online by clicking the button below or to pay by mail, make check to: Abbeville Institute, P.O. Box 10, McClellanville, South Carolina 29458. For questions call 843 323 0690.
FRIDAY,  Oct. 16      
7:30-9:00                     “The Jeffersonian Conservative Tradition,” Panel Discussion: 
                                     Carey Roberts, Lee Cheek, Clyde Wilson (All events in     Middleton/Magnolia Room)
8:00-9:00                     Breakfast        
9:00-10:00                   “I’ll Take My Stand, Farming, Poetry, and Resistance.” Bill Wilson
10:00-11:00                 “Who Owns America? Populism, Political Economy, and Corporate Personality,” Jack Trotter  
11:00-11:30                 BREAK
11:30-12:30                 “Agrarianism, Republicanism, and Laissez Faire,” Joe Stromberg
2:00-3:00                     “The Postbellum South as An Exploited Colony,” Philip Leigh
3:00-4:00                     “Who Owns America Now?” John Devanny
4:00-5:00                     Panel Discussion
5:30-6:30                     Cash Bar
6:30-8:00                     Supper
- All of us at Abbeville Institute

Abbeville Institute
PO Box 10  | McClellanville, South Carolina 29458
843-323-0690 |

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