Saturday, April 10, 2021

                                                 April 10, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Equality is Not America’s Founding Principle

Friends,

Our “conservative” punditry go forth daily in what seems increasingly to be an already lost battle against the agenda of the left and its progressivist minions in and outside the Biden administration. That agenda enjoys overwhelming support in hysterically “woke” academia and counts on unwavering backing from cheerleaders and mouthpieces in the establishment media, entertainment, and the sports industry. Increasingly, corporate America—major international conglomerates and the all-but-invincible tech monopolies—use their power to staunch and disauthorise and ban any dissent. And when corporate America speaks, so-called “conservative opposition” to what is happening tends to melt away in retreat. Real jail time or at a minimum police harassment may await anyone accused of “misusing” (e.g., disagreeing with the Left), even in the most discrete manner, platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. That has already happened in California to Ryan Wentz who mildly criticized Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter.

Watching just a few minutes of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” will disabuse any curious viewer of the belief that somehow this nation, at least as we have known it, is not spiraling rapidly towards extinction.

We are told that the only hope we have is to continue to support the current Republican Party establishment and its array of spokesmen who show up periodically on Fox News or Newsmax. But those so-called forces of opposition have been in constant and ignominious retreat for decades, indeed I would argue for more than a century.

Explanations for this “conservative rout” (to use a phrase once used by the late Dr. Russell Kirk) vary. To listen to a Dinesh D’Souza or Brian Kilmeade on Fox, a Dennis Prager, or to the Neoconservative followers of the late Dr. Leo Strauss, all we must do to recapture the initiative—the high ground—is get our message out there to the hungry minds of 20-somethings, to those besotted by the poison administered by academia and by the dominant American culture, who are eager to hear the truth.

The problem is that by and large the intellectual weapons presented for recovery are like the muzzle-loading muskets with limited ammunition distributed to the forlorn British auxiliary regiments at the Battle of Isandlwana (January 1879)—the single greatest defeat for the British Army at the hands of a native (Zulu) army: they are almost useless against the arms of the Left. (Recall the superb 1979 film, “Zulu Dawn,” with Peter O’Toole.)

Without a clear understanding of the American Founding, of American history and the intentions of those in the late 18th century who cobbled together the confederation of independent former colonies which would become the United States of America—without that comprehension—efforts to fend off, much less defeat, the seemingly unstoppable progressivist phalanxes will flounder and result in further disaster.

Indeed, the nostrums offered by establishment conservativism and its acolytes in the Republican Party end up only enabling and codifying the advances and success of radicalism. What was radical ten years ago—and at that time opposed by the conservative opposition—now becomes solidly conservative and acceptable. Thus, same sex marriage, once stoutly opposed by “mainstream conservatives,” is now part and parcel of the conservative ideological arsenal. Here in North Carolina as late as 2012, for example, Tar Heel voters rejected same sex marriage overwhelmingly, 61% to 39% (as did other states where it had become an issue). Many conservatives denounced it at the time…but only a few years later after the infamous 2015 Obergefell Supreme Court decision (by a 5 to 4 vote), most rushed to embrace it. And now all over Fox News the commentariat is overflowing with representatives involved in same sex arrangements, which are now considered “normative,” an extension—a “civil rights” penumbra, if you will—somehow derived mysteriously from the Constitution.

And same sex marriage is not the only instance where what my friend Paul Gottfried calls “Conservatism Inc.” has engaged in enabling progressivism to continue advancing the goalposts of what are called “equal rights.”  More recently, Charlie Kirk and other luminaries in the ostensibly “conservative” youth movement, Turning Point USA, and representatives of Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire, embraced transgenderism and “drag queen” culture, or as BigLeaguePolitics reported in an expose’ on October 30, 2019, “yucked it up” and posed for photographs with its epigones.

No doubt the next conquest will be the normalization of polyamory, which the Wikipedia defines as “the practice of…intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the informed consent of all partners involved.” The Wiki continues: “Polyamory has come to be an umbrella term for various forms of non-monogamous, multi-partner relationships, or non-exclusive sexual or romantic relationships.” In other words, polygamy without the no-longer-needed window-dressing—the charade—of formalized marriage. Federally-supported NPR featured a laudatory segment on it back in March.

And lurking in the wings—and heralded in recent news—are efforts to implement programs standardizing the manipulation of gender—gender “re-assignment” surgery and the use of puberty blockers—for children as young as eight or nine.  You see, every eight year old has the right to determine what gender he or she wishes to be, nature be damned.

Although criticized now by some conservative personalities (e.g., Tucker Carlson), how long before this, too, will be considered an essential principle in the mainstream conservative quiver of arrows...and we behold young sixteen year conservatives parading on Fox proudly, and thankful that surgery saved them from sexual dysphoria when they were only eight?

Again, I am put in mind of the justly prophetic words of the great Southern post-War Between the States divine, Robert Lewis Dabney, who fiercely opposed women’s suffrage as contrary to both nature and Holy Writ. Dabney’s arguments go beyond the suffrage issue, however, for he recognized then the inherent weakness within the conservatism that came out of the defeat of the Southern Confederacy...and is still very much with us.

Here he writes in 1871 (The Southern Magazine):

“It may be inferred again that the present movement for women’s rights will certainly prevail from the history of its only opponent, Northern conservatism. This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is to-day one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will to-morrow be forced upon its timidity, and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted?

“Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always—when about to enter a protest—very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its “bark is worse than its bite,” and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance. The only practical purpose which it now subserves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it “in wind,” and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy from having nothing to whip.

“No doubt, after a few years, when women’s suffrage shall have become an accomplished fact, conservatism will tacitly admit it into its creed, and thenceforward plume itself upon its wise firmness in opposing with similar weapons the extreme of baby suffrage; and when that too shall have been won, it will be heard declaring that the integrity of the American Constitution requires at least the refusal of suffrage to asses. There it will assume, with great dignity, its final position.”

The defeat of the Confederacy was, in a very real sense, the triumph of what was and is an essentially egalitarian view of the American founding, which declared that the American nation was founded on an “idea,” or rather a “proposition,” and that proposition is that “all men are created equal.” That principle as the foundation and promise of America is false and based on a faulty and ahistorical view and reading of the Declaration of Independence as the fundamental document of our history. As Professor Barry Alan Shain of Colgate University has demonstrated convincingly in his encyclopedic study, The Declaration of Independence in Historical Context: American State Papers, Proclamations, and Letters from the Age of Revolution (Yale University Press, 2014), that is not at all what the Founders meant when they debated and then employed those words in the Declaration. But it was the vision that, with “Father Abraham” Lincoln, triumphed in trajectory in 1865. And it is the vision that informs the modern Conservative Movement….and fatally debilitates the so-called opposition to the rampant radicalism we are drowning in.

That vision informed the “Advisory 1776 Commission,” named by President Donald Trump to supposedly counter the historical fabrications of the much ballyhooed “1619 Project,” whose findings are now being frantically incorporated into every level of the American educational system. In essence, it is the same vision, with a few modifications, advanced by the 1619 progressivists.

*****

Just recently Dr. Brion McClanahan, editor for The Abbeville Institute, penned an excellent and devastating take-down of both commissions in Chronicles magazine. I pass it on here:

Rejecting the 'Proposition Nation'

April/May 2021   CHRONICLES

https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/rejecting-the--proposition-nation-/

By Brion McClanahan

The left’s ‘1619 Project’ and the conservative 1776 Commission both rely on a distorted picture of the American founding.

In January, Donald Trump’s President’s Advisory 1776 Commission released its 45-page “1776 Report,” which, according to The New York Times, is “a sweeping attack on liberal thought and activism that…defends America’s founding against charges that it was tainted by slavery and likens progressivism to fascism.” Joe Biden scrapped it the day he entered office, and the report has since been scrubbed from all government websites.  

This is perhaps for the best. However noble the intentions of the Commission’s members, their document is a profoundly flawed vision of American history, one that places the Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln at the center of the American experience. That Lincolnian vision is now the accepted “conservative” consensus regarding American history.  

American conservatives looking for an intellectual home should avoid claptrap like the 1776 Commission and its intellectual sibling, “The 1619 Project.” They are in reality two sides of the same coin. Both rely on a fantasy about the founding that Lincoln invented at Gettysburg in 1863. Accepting the assumptions behind either view of America is tantamount to a coin toss in which the rules are heads they win, tails you lose.  

Trump created the 1776 Commission in September 2020 to combat The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which paints American history as a story of black slavery and white supremacy. However, his appointments to the Commission led its report down a predictable path.  

Trump tapped Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn to head the Commission and appointed 17 other academics and politicians to serve in advisory roles. Vanderbilt University Political Science and Law Professor Carol M. Swain and Hillsdale Constitutional Government Professor Matthew Spalding served as vice-chair and executive director, respectively. Swain’s prior publications focused almost exclusively on race and the dangers of “white nationalism,” including tomes fully in accord with the credo of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Spalding penned the popular We Still Hold These Truths (2009), a book steeped in neoconservative deceit.  

Other appointments included Thomas Lindsay, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, who drafted most of “The 1776 Report,” as well as conservative historian Victor Davis Hanson. While Hanson has recently bemoaned the effects of cancel culture on American history, for years he never found a Confederate statue he did not want removed.   

Consider the required reading recommendations for American students from “The 1776 Report,” which include the 1848 Seneca Falls Declaration calling for women’s suffrage, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Stanton looked to the form and substance of the Declaration of Independence in crafting the Declaration, and King asserted that the Declaration and the Constitution constituted a “promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”  

No contemporary of Stanton or King would have confused either for a “conservative.” Stanton sided with the Republican Party during the 1850s because she perceived it as a conduit for reform, and complained loudly of betrayal when it refused to back women’s suffrage following the Civil War. King flirted with communism, and like the academics who crafted “The 1776 Report,” viewed the Declaration’s “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal” as a foundational promise betrayed by bad actors in American history, mostly from the South.  

Not to be outdone by King, the 1776 Commission blames John C. Calhoun for modern identity politics, for the distortion of the true founding principles enshrined in the Declaration, and for the deaths of the 600,000 men who perished in the Civil War. If not for Calhoun, “The 1776 Report” authors seem to suggest, the United States would today be a utopia of free-thinking nationalist egalitarians dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”  

Can you guess who else holds similar views? To name two: leftist Civil War historian Eric Foner and Nikole Hannah-Jones, the lead journalist for “The 1619 Project.” In his book The Second Founding (2019), Foner writes:  

Before the Civil War, black spokesmen, like abolitionists more generally, tended to ground their claims [to citizenship] in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence rather than the Constitution. As early as the era of the Revolution, slaves petitioning for freedom cited the Declaration’s words about liberty and equality, seeing the document as a charter of individual rights rather than an assertion of national sovereignty.  

Hannah-Jones considers the United States to be a “nation founded on both an ideal and a lie.” The ideal is that “all mean are created equal” with “certain unalienable rights,” i.e., the “proposition nation.” But, unlike the [Neoconservative] Straussians, Hannah-Jones does not let Northern white men off the hook, for she sees them as as complicit as Southerners in betraying that ideal. She summarizes the core position of “The 1619 Project” as follows:  

Yet despite being violently denied the freedom and justice promised to all, black Americans believed fervently in the American creed. Through centuries of black resistance and protest, we have helped the country live up to its founding ideals. And not only for ourselves—black rights struggles paved the way for every other rights struggle, including women’s and gay rights, immigrant and disability rights.

To the Straussians who crafted “The 1776 Report” and their conservative pundit allies like Dinesh D’Souza, Glenn Beck, and the late Rush Limbaugh, not all white Americans should be blamed for the sins of the South. In their view, there were “good” white Americans—abolitionists, Northern members of the founding generation, and Lincoln—who recognized the inhumanity of slavery and tried to end it. Even Southern members of the founding generation, including Jefferson himself, but also Washington, Madison, Mason, and a host of other Virginians, thought enough of humanity to pave the way for Lincoln to revolutionize the Revolution in the Gettysburg Address.  

“The 1776 Report” suggests that the founders (not excluding those who hailed from Southern states) created the mechanism to end slavery through the Constitution and cannot be blamed for the evil deeds of later pro-slavery Southerners who ignored the true founding of America. More importantly, the report’s authors believe they are free from the stain of racism because they adhere to the “correct” view of American history. In other words, “Don’t blame us. We voted for Lincoln.”  

Hannah-Jones, on the other hand, does not make this distinction, nor does she differentiate between Lincoln and Calhoun. Both were guilty of America’s “original sin” of racism. Neither man held views on race that are acceptable to modern Americans, let alone “woke” social justice warriors. Hannah-Jones is as critical of Lincoln’s colonization plans as of Calhoun’s “positive good” speech. Frankly, she is at least being more consistent than the self-righteous conservatives on the 1776 Commission.  

The attempt by the authors of “The 1776 Report” to beg absolution from the political left for the sin of slavery is a fatal miscalculation. The left’s game is cancel culture, and it’s a game in which conservatives will always be playing defense. You cannot play the left’s game on their field and by their rules and hope for success. Charges of racism are emotional, not intellectual, and are used—successfully—to change the narrative. Instead of focusing on the contributions antebellum Americans made to Western civilization, we are instead debating who was the least racist and bigoted among them. This is unproductive. 

Conservatives cannot appease the left by regurgitating its distorted vision of the founding. Placing the lofty ideals of the Declaration at the center of the founding is a distortion of history.  

Consider that Jefferson himself downplayed the importance of the Declaration’s phrase “all men are created equal,” and that, for much of the period leading up to the Civil War, Jeffersonians in both the North and South championed the principles of state sovereignty, rather than those of an egalitarian, propositional nation. To Jefferson, the last paragraph, not the second, provided the most important language of the Declaration. Most of the founding generation agreed.

The story written during the debates over the Constitution in 1787 and 1788 provides a more robust and authentic American vision of the founding. The principles that predominated in those debates unified most Americans for decades and created a populist national base.  

The founders reaffirmed their commitment to a union of states and the principles of federalism. The Constitution would not have been ratified in 1788 had the founding generation believed that the states would be consolidated into one national government.  

That argument took center stage in every state ratifying convention in 1787 and 1788. Rarely was the Declaration mentioned, even in passing, and none of the founders ever referred to the line “all men are created equal” with religious reverence, contrary to what the Straussians and their leftist allies would have you believe.  

For example, James Wilson of Pennsylvania made federalism a central theme of his State House Yard Speech in October 1787, just a few weeks after the Constitution had been signed in Philadelphia. Wilson mentioned the Declaration in one of his speeches before the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention in December 1787, but only to show that the people had a right to “alter or abolish” either a state government or a central government. That was the American tradition.  

Delegates to the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention in January 1788 were told that the powers of the central government would be limited to those “expressly delegated” and that the language of what would become the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution imported the same meaning as the second article of the Articles of Confederation, namely that each state retained its “sovereignty and independence.” No one mentioned Jefferson’s “all men are created equal” phrase.  

Even in Virginia, the state that gave the United States the Declaration, the delegates never mentioned that document when debating the Constitution. And it was only mentioned twice during the Philadelphia Convention in 1787, in both instances by nationalists for the purpose of  arguing that the Union predated the states—a position flatly rejected by most of the men in attendance.  

Despite these historical facts, the authors of “The 1776 Report” insist that “The meaning and purpose of the Constitution of 1787…cannot be understood without recourse to the principles of the Declaration of Independence….” If that’s true, then the founding generation should have made that meaning explicit during the ratification debates, or at the very least in Philadelphia. But they didn’t. “States’ rights,” not the phantasm of a proposition nation, dominated the debates between the Founding Fathers.  

To be fair, “The 1776 Report” admits that the founding generation never spoke of America as a proposition nation, even though its authors appear to believe that the propositional idea can be discerned in the penumbra of the founding documents. It was Lincoln, the abolitionists, and black Americans who popularized that concept (in reality, fabricated it) for political reasons.  

Foner and Hannah-Jones more correctly contend that very few Americans subscribed to anything resembling a proposition nation on the eve of war in 1860. Calhoun and other Southerners who hurled verbal spears at the “all men are created equal” phrase were drawing attention to abolitionist agitators seeking to revise the founding. These men and women were almost always drummed out of Northern towns before the war, in some cases violently. Hardly anyone, North or South, wanted them around, and certainly most Americans did not subscribe to their version of American history.  

Democrats held both houses of Congress and the executive branch throughout the 1850s and would have continued to hold power had the party not split in 1860. Lincoln pulled only 39 percent of the popular vote in his path to the executive mansion. In other words, most Americans would have agreed with the following plank of the Democratic Party Platform of 1852:  

[T]hat all efforts of the abolitionists, or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences; and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend of our political institutions.

Antebellum Americans rallied around core tenets of the old republican American tradition: resistance to unconstitutional powers and a proper relationship between state and general governments; strict economy in federal expenditures; opposition to corporate welfare in all its manifestations; sound money and a stable currency; peaceful neutrality and the cultivation of international trade; and more broadly the spirit of personal and political independence.  

Southerners advanced most of these principles more fervently and for a longer period than their Northern neighbors, but part of the reason the Lincolnian myth of a proposition nation failed to establish a permanent hold upon the American electorate immediately after the war is because both sections believed fundamentally in an old republican vision of the American founding, as well as in an anti-federalist interpretation of the Constitution.   

American conservatives today are rethinking their commitment to the Republican Party. Trump’s victory in 2016 cemented an already growing dissatisfaction with the proposition-nation wing of the GOP. In that light, perhaps Biden’s move to purge “The 1776 Report” from the public record is a blessing in disguise. If history is on the ballot, then conservatives need to tell the real story of the American founding, not some fairy tale. Let the left have the proposition nation. Conservatives can’t win that game.  

Patrick Henry provided the best answer to similar distortions of the American tradition back in 1788: “I smell a rat.” We could say the same thing about “The 1619 Project” and its mirror image, the 1776 Commission.

Brion McClanahan is editor of The Abbeville Review and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers (Regnery, 2009) and The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution (Regnery History, 2012).

Friday, April 2, 2021

                                                   April 2, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

American Foreign Policy Advances the Globalist Revolution

And My Prayers and Good Wishes for Easter

 

Friends,

On this site, on occasion, I have shared essays and columns by other writers, items by friends that I believe should be more widely read and pondered. These essays address important issues that are not always that well focused or discussed by the so-called “conservative media,” essays that seem to pinpoint with specificity issues and questions that affect us. In the past I have passed on essays and columns by Pat Buchanan, Paul Gottfried, “The Dissident Mama,” Jack Kerwick, Clyde Wilson, Philip Leigh, Paul Craig Roberts, Brion McClanahan, and others.

Many of my own columns and essays are printed at The Abbeville Institute and Dr. Wilson’s Reckonin.com; many others show up at LewRockwell.com, and in the past at Chronicles magazine and The New English Review. But there are other, excellent pieces featured on those sites and by those journals as well that deserve wider distribution.

One writer who is also a dear friend is Ilana Mercer. Ilana writes a regular column that is printed in various venues. A former citizen of South Africa, she has seen quite personally how the ravages of Marxist and Communist revolution can destroy a civilized country and its social structures. And she has recounted that experience—and warning to the West—in detail in her necessary volume, Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa. It’s a book that more Americans should know and pay heed to, for there are certain parallels with the insane post- or neo-Marxist “woke” anti-racist and anti-white revolution now occurring almost unopposed here in the United States. Indeed, what is now happening here makes the revolution in and transformation of South Africa seem mild in comparison. 

In a recent column, Mercer offers a broad survey which examines the tragically obtuse and wrongheaded policies of the United States around the globe: for decades, whether under Democratic or Republican presidents—it seems to make little difference—American policy has been to impose on other countries by whatever method was convenient or available an egalitarian leftist-liberal “democratism,” a uniform global model as part of a universal zeal to remake the world. Older traditions, inherited religious belief, valued customs, and forms of government and statecraft which do not hew the “democratic” line and do not celebrate “equality” (as our government apparatchiks define it successively to suit their globalism) become pariah states. And soon, with the influence of US government-supported and financed NGOs (non-government organizations), “opposition” groups pop up in those non-juring countries. With American funding and the enthusiastic participation of almost the entirety of the US media, including most so-called “conservative media” (e.g. Fox News, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, etc.), new paper “heroes of democracy” are created and showcased.

Thus, currently, we have an Alexei Navalny in Russia, heralded and praised for his opposition to that evil dictator (no doubt the reincarnation of Joseph Stalin), President Vladimir Putin. Yet, Navalny and his pitiful opposition to Putin and the vast majority of Russian citizens would not even be a passing blip on the international scene were it not for American funding and support. Like what our State Department and CIA have done in Ukraine, in Georgia in the Caucasus, and elsewhere, such insignificant figures become larger than life when the American foreign policy permanent institutional class gets involved with its unlimited largesse and media voices. And that history of devious involvement goes far back into the earlier years of the Cold War—in Vietnam, for example (with the American coup against President Diem) and in other countries where the native leadership did not suit the globalists who have essentially controlled our foreign policy and its real effects internally on recalcitrant nations since the end of World War II.

Mercer argues rightly that the United States, considering the terrible and epochal culture war we are in, should be allied with such countries as Putin’s Russia and Viktor Orban’s Hungary—both nations which uphold the traditions and heritage of historic Christian civilization. Yet, our country has ranged itself directly and aggressively on the side of the globalist barbarians who seek to pervert and destroy that civilization. Indeed, arguably it is the USA which is the very locus and heart of that assault…it makes no difference if a Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump gets elected…it makes little difference that there are 75 million “deplorables” out in the nation who at least intuitively recognize that America is and has been on the wrong course for decades. The managerial state and its interlocking and impenetrable bureaucracy can withstand all that—as we have painfully seen through its resilience and unbowed resistance to even the very minor changes advocated by Trump during his tenure.

That mammoth “deep state” apparatus has emerged now, more powerful and authoritative than before, and more intent on finishing the job of inverting and, practically, destroying what remains of Western Christian civilization.

Just recently I discovered a rather recent Spanish film (with English subtitles), “Mientras Dure la Guerra” (Blu-Ray DVD, 2019) (“While the War Lasts”), which chronicles the opening months of the Spanish Civil War, from July until October 1936. Of course, hardly any major film these days is going to treat the Spanish Nationalist anti-Leftist side in that conflict with genuine fairness; but this movie, with limitations, comes about as close as anything these days. Viewing the issues and beginning salvos of the contest through the eyes of the aged philosopher Miguel de Unamuno (Rector of the Pontifical University of Salamanca), it manages to express, if obliquely, the reasons why millions of Spaniards at that time welcomed the rising against the Socialist republic and its Soviet enablers. Through the voice of Unamuno we hear of the terrorism of the Marxists and anarchists inflicted on the Church, and the persecution, the rioting, and the subservience of the Socialist government under Manuel Azana.

Of course, there are the perfunctory condemnations of fascism and paeans to democracy, and Unamuno’s final disaccord (he had welcomed the coup initially). Yet, enough gets through. In one significant moment you see General Franco, when asked by his brother Nicolas what would be the overarching theme of the insurrection, he underlines a passage in a declaration by Unamuno—“the defense of Western Christian civilization.”

Today America is dying for lack of men of stature to raise once again that standard. The progressivist contagion controls most of our institutions domestically, and for decades has controlled our foreign policy.  As Pat Buchanan asked rhetorically several years ago when comparing Vladimir Putin’s defense of historic Christian civilization and its inheritance with what our nation does around the world: “On what side is God now on?”

It’s a question that Americans should ask, seriously and thoughtfully, as we observe the Easter Triduum, three days which for us all mean that we too can be Resurrected with the Risen Christ if we have faith, do our duty and have Hope.

My Easter good wishes and prayers for each of you.

*****

Now, here is Ilana Mercer’s column:

Americans Should Recall How Foreign-Policy Alinskyites Destroyed South Africa

https://cnsnews.com/index.php/commentary/ilana-mercer/americans-should-recall-how-foreign-policy-alinskyites-destroyed-south

By Ilana Mercer | March 26, 2021 | 12:53pm EDT

Certain national-conservative governments in East Europe should be natural allies to conservative policy makers stateside, if such unicorns existed.

Vladimir Putin’s, for example. Before his death, from the safety of exile, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, one of Russia’s bravest and most brilliant sons, praised Putin’s efforts to revive Russia’s traditional Christian and moral heritage. For example:

In October 2010, it was announced that "The Gulag Archipelago" would become required reading for all Russian high-school students. In a meeting with Solzhenitsyn’s widow, Mr. Putin described "The Gulag Archipelago" as "essential reading": "Without the knowledge of that book, we would lack a full understanding of our country and it would be difficult for us to think about the future." … 

If [only] the same could be said of the high schools of the United States. (Via The Imaginative Conservative.)

The Russian president patiently tolerates America’s demented, anti-Russia monomania. And, as America sinks into the quicksand of Cultural Marxism, Putin’s inclinations are decidedly reactionary and traditionalist. He prohibited sexual evangelizing by LGBTQ activists. He comes down squarely on the side of the Russian Orthodox Church, such as when vandals, the Pussy Riot feral females, obscenely desecrated the cathedral of Christ the Savior. The Russian leader has also welcomed as refugees persecuted white South Africans, where America’s successive governments won’t even officially acknowledge that they’re under threat of extermination. Policies to stimulate Russian birthrates have been put in place by the conservative leader. 

Hungary is oh-so happy in its homogeneity and wants to keep it. But not if Washington can help it. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s motto is, “Procreation, not immigration.” Orban plumps for closed borders, and pro-Western, Christian, Hungarian-families-first policies. Yet his ongoing campaign against George Soros, an agitator for global government, was met by Donald Trump’s State Department with a stern rebuke to Hungary that its anti-Soros law will cost the country dearly.

Americans on the Right could only dream that, like Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic—the U.S. would “shut its border to Islamic migrants to keep potential terrorists out.”

 America: A Notion, Not A Nation

Perplexing as it may seem, American foreign policy has been informed less by what Samuel P. Huntington termed civilizational consciousness, than by the idea of the propositional nation. America, to her governing neoconservative and left-liberal elites, is not a nation but a notion, a community of disparate peoples coalescing around an abstract, highly manipulable, state-sanctioned ideology. Democracy, for one.

Yet to Russell Kirk, the father of American conservatism, and an old-school conservative—as well as, arguably, to the founders of the nation themselves—society was a community of souls, joining the dead, the living, and those yet unborn. It cohered through what Aristotle called friendship and what Christians call love of neighbor, facilitated by a shared language, literature, history, habits, and heroes. 

These factors, taken together, constitute the glue that binds the nation. 

By contrast, the rather flimsy whimsy that America is a “creedal nation” and ostensibly united in “a common commitment to a set of ideas and ideals” is both a fantasy and ahistorical. If anything, when expressed by the historical majority, the natural affinity for one’s tribe—a connection to kith, kin, and culture—is deemed inauthentic, xenophobic, and racist, unless asserted by non-Occidentals.

 The Foreign Policy Of A ‘Creedal Nation’

The disregard a country’s policy makers evince for the feelings stirred among countrymen by a common faith and customs—secular and sacred—is invariably reflected in its foreign policy. 

America’s foreign policy looks at populations as interchangeable as long as they are “socialized in the same way” and, as paleoconservative philosopher Paul Gottfried puts it, “molded by a suitable public administration and a steady diet of human-rights talk.” The generic American government’s foreign policy reflects America’s denationalized elites, who are committed to “transnational and sub-national identities” both at home and abroad.

According to her ruling sophisticates, America’s mission is to “democratize mankind.” To fulfill this mission, and to do justice to American “exceptionalism,” Americans are, as Pat Buchanan puts it, “indoctrinated in a fabricated creed that teaches they are being untrue to themselves and faithless to their fathers unless they go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Or, welcome The World into their midst. We aren’t Americans, we are the world, we are lectured. 

One such “monster” targeted for rapid reform was South Africa.

 South Africa Betrayed

Cold War confrontation prompted the United States to acknowledge South Africa as a surrogate for American interests on the Dark Continent. In defense of these interests in the region and against the Communization of their neighborhood, South African soldiers fought Russia’s Cuban and Angolan proxies with the same fortitude that the country’s founders displayed when battling the Zulus in the Battle of Blood River. 

Yes, South Africa had faithfully fulfilled its role as a Cold Warrior. It fought alongside other advanced Western nations, led by the United States, and, as Huntington puts it, “engaged in a pervasive ideological, political, economic, and, at times, military conflict with [other groups] of somewhat poorer, communist societies led by the Soviet Union.” A surplus of courage, however, was no panacea for a deficit in democracy.

Thus, although South Africa was regarded as “an important Western geostrategic bulwark” against Soviet encroachment in the region, the American reservoir of good will toward South Africa was quick to run dry. It’s not that the U.S. did not have democratically flawed allies; it did and does. But such imperfections are usually the prerogative of non-Western nations. China, for instance. For South Africa, this meant fighting communism’s agents while being handicapped by sanctions.

The United States had imposed an arms embargo on Pretoria [South African capital] in 1964 and had joined the international consensus in refusing to recognize the "independence" of four of South Africa’s black homelands between 1976 and 1984.

While during the 1970s and the 1980s, all American administrations condemned apartheid, they had generally opposed broad economic sanctions, arguing reasonably that these would hurt the very population they were intended to help. With the Carter administration (1977-81) came an even “tougher line toward Pretoria.” Jimmy Carter viewed black African nationalism as perfectly “compatible with U.S. interests.”

In fairness, the left turn in American foreign policy came well before Carter. America’s support for Soviet satellites such as the African National Congress was likely a hangover from Yalta: a long-standing official policy of support for the Soviet alliance, and the subsequent ceding of most of Central and Eastern Europe to Stalin?

The shift in American foreign policy ironically saw the U.S. adopt and deploy slogans popularized by the Soviet Union in support of African liberation and against the “imperial, colonial” West. 

There was a “pullback of military forces around the communist periphery” and the “frequent support of the Third World in disputes with Western nations” around the world. Thus, left-wing revolutionaries were propped up, instead of a Western ally like Salazar in Portugal; Mugabe was favored over Ian Smith, as was Nasser above Britain and France; Batista was ousted to make way for Castro.

Republicans Too Radical For Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan at least favored “constructive engagement” with South Africa, together with a tough resistance to communist advances in the Third World. But political pressure, not least from the Republican majority, mounted for an increasingly punitive stance toward Pretoria. This entailed an “elaborate sanctions structure,” disinvestment, and a prohibition on sharing intelligence with the South Africans. 

In 1986, the Soviet Union, which had until the 1980s supported a revolutionary takeover of white-ruled South Africa by its ANC protégés, suddenly changed its tune and denounced the idea. Once again, the U.S. and the USSR were on the same side—that of “a negotiated settlement between Pretoria and its opponents.”

For advocating “constructive engagement,” members of his Republican Party issued a coruscating attack on Reagan. Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr., in particular, stated: “For this moment, at least, the President has become an irrelevancy to the ideals, heartfelt and spoken, of America.” Republicans had slipped between the sheets with the fashionable left. What’s new? 

For sustainable change to take place, change must be gradual and “rooted in the institutions of society.” In tracing the contours of such Burkean thinking, Kirk referred to “that aspect…which is prepared to tolerate an old evil lest the cure prove worse than the disease.” To Kirk’s contention that “true freedom can be found only within the framework of a social order,” I’d wager that in my former homeland, South Africa, this bulwark against barbarism has collapsed. In my new homeland, America, the framework that sustains the country’s ordered liberty is so rapidly being eroded, so as to be near collapse. 

Decades back, no less a classical liberal thinker than Ludwig von Mises warned that liberty in the United States could not—and would not—endure unless the founding nation retained its historic national identity and cultural hegemony. 

An ahistoric, rootless America, shot through with dangerous and systemic anti-white animus, is an America in which liberty has been lost.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of "Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa" (2011) & "The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (2016). She’s currently on ParlerGab, YouTube & LinkedIn, but has been banned by Facebook.

(Citations are in “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa” by ilana mercer

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

                                              March 23, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

My Recent Contributions to the Culture War: We Are All Called to Engage

 

Friends,

One of the satisfactions I receive in writing these little essays at MY CORNER is seeing them picked up and published by major Web magazines. I generally write for two reasons: first, I think—and hope—that what I have to say is of some importance, that in some way some readers will find what I write to be of interest and just maybe cause additional reflection and thought. And, second, I believe we all have a God-given duty to use whatever grace and talent we have in defense of our inherited Christian civilization which is under such severe assault in our age.

Each one of us has endowed graces, talents…and those talents are personalized, and cannot really be measured in comparison to the talents of others. It would be, I believe, wrong to appraise and weigh talents between individuals—an invidious comparison. As St. Matthew recounts in the Parable of the Talents,  we are not judged by God by how we compare to others, but on how well we fulfill and use our talent, that grace given to each of us singularly.

Thus, the brilliant scientist who does not use his knowledge, his gift from God, fails the test; while a simple but caring and Christian father who raises a family annealed in the love of Our Lord, succeeds.

My believe is that this is what we all must do…not to lament that we are not like person X the billionaire or person Y the famous sportsman, but that we understand who we are, what our goal is in this life, what talents we have…even those that appear the most mundane or smallest. For the delight and joy of Our Lord over a father who raises a truly Christian family is, surely, far greater than the disappointment over a scientist’s failure to use his knowledge.

I am a disaster at math and figures—I always check my figures three times for error. Years ago my father summed up my gardening skills thusly: “You’re the first in my family to totally lack a ‘green thumb’.” Technology and computer science elude me...I’m lucky to have even email, much less use other programs (I still have my old trusty typewriter upstairs). I’m not much of a “fix it up” guy—thank goodness I have some skillful neighbors (who take pity on me).

What I am saying is this: writing is what I can do, and sometimes maybe it will be (I hope) of value, it may reach a reader and mean something. It took me years to understand that: this is my offering to the good Lord, my talent, such as it is.

So, today I am pleased—and also honored—to mention that six of my last MY CORNER essays (from late February to late March) have been snatched up and published by online magazines at least nine times. As a writer it is gratifying to have my works published. But more, if the things I write about, the things I say can have some resonance, reach folks and cause them to think, then I will count that a success…and a fulfillment of whatever talent that God has given me.

Here are those essays and where they appeared:

First, my essay, “The Curse of Canine Racism,” published on MY CORNER, February 17, and then published by RECKONIN.com on February 26: https://www.reckonin.com/boyd-cathey/the-curse-of-canine-racism

There followed an essay which has received quite a lot of comment and exposure: “My Friend Susan, Abraham Lincoln, and the Pod People.”  It was featured on MY CORNER on February 28. And then on March 2 it was published by both -

 

1) LewRockwell.com, at: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/03/no_author/my-friend-susan-abraham-lincoln-and-the-pod-people/   

 

2) And by THE UNZ REVIEW, at: https://www.unz.com/article/my-friend-susan-abraham-lincoln-and-the-pod-people/ 

 

I reviewed the film “Firetrail” (the uncut version) on March 9, “The Film ‘Firetrail’ and Sherman’s March Through the Carolinas.” That one was picked up by both -

1) The Abbeville Institute (March 17): https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/firetrail/

2) And by RECKONIN.com (March 15): https://www.reckonin.com/boyd-cathey/the-film-firetrail

LewRockwell.com also published my long essay of March 10, “Liberty or Equality: You Cannot Have Both,” as part of their March 12 offerings: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/03/no_author/liberty-or-equality-you-cannot-have-both/

 

Also, my little film review, “Three Great Films I Recommend,” at MY CORNER on March 14, then appeared at LewRockwell.com on March 15: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/03/no_author/793401-2/

 

Lastly, my essay, “The Musical Trojan Horse: Destruction of Western Civilization through Music and the Arts,” which I authored on March 19, was republished by both -

1) THE UNZ REVIEW (March 20): https://www.unz.com/article/the-musical-trojan-horse/

2) And at LewRockwell.com on March 22: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/03/no_author/the-musical-trojan-horse-destruction-of-western-civilization-through-music-and-the-arts/

My hope is that you will return to these essays as published and read them again. Despite the diverse subjects, I think they all revolve around a central core purpose and goal: to defend our inherited Western and Christian civilization. My voice is a small one—there are others with far more resonance and influence, some of whom I have quoted from time to time. But I am aware that we all—each of us, from the father who raises a Godly family to a national figure who commands a large audience—have a role to play in the terrible conflict which confronts us and threatens to extinguish us.

                                                  April 10, 2021   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   Equality is Not America’s Founding Pr...