Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 27, 2017

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

The Mainstreaming of Cultural Marxism in Our Culture: Monuments are Only the First Step


Once again we turn to the continuing and predictable national “debate” over monuments and—more so—symbols of our nation’s history, our past. It is a very comfortable “out” for some prominent politicians, mostly Democrats but with many Republicans scrambling not to be left behind, to righteously stand up, with solemn and pained expressions, in studied tones of seriousness, and denounce any monument to a Confederate general, soldier, or official. The underlying reason for this, always piously pointed out, is that “the Confederacy was defending slavery and racism.” 

That being said, the logical and dedicated leftists understand, and have always understood, that “racism” is not a charge that might be leveled just at the Confederacy. Indeed, its reach is potentially much broader and more expansive than that, depending on who is doing the defining. The Marxist narrative continues—again, logically—that if it is “racism” (or “sexism”) that we must erase and eradicate, then we must also take aim at a wide assortment of symbols, monuments, and figures of our history. So, now across the nation, the zealots of the Marxist left take aim at George Washington (slaveholder), Thomas Jefferson (slaveholder), Andrew Jackson (slaveholder), and ranging out to encompass Christopher Columbus (racist with Native Americans), General Grant (maybe an anti-Semite), Woodrow Wilson (he screened “The Birth of a Nation” in the White House), and the list goes on and on, and as it does, it includes more and more historical figures and events.

But it doesn’t end even there. It encompasses more diverse elements of our culture, including serious calls to “censor” what films we may see (“Gone With the Wind” and “The Song of the South” are obviously racist, so ban’em!), what books we may read (remove “Huckleberry Finn,” maybe even Shakespeare!), and which Internet sites can be seen or accessed. Increasingly there are demands for various forms of purging and censorship to protect us from “racism, sexism, homophobia, and white oppression.”  Already Silicon Valley’s technologically brilliant but historically na├»ve and stupid masterminds have begun this chilling process. Is this not the advance of real totalitarian mind control?

What is ironic about this invasive cancer is that, in effect, it is the burning and inextinguishable iconoclastic madness of the noisy “antifa” and Black Lives Matter extremists on the Marxist left that now determines the tone, standards of judgment, and operational praxis of the so-called “mainstream.” The most hard core Marxist tails increasingly wag the Mainstream Media and establishment political dog. And we witness the specter of the near entirety of the Democrat Party and most GOP leaders, as well, not only countenancing this lunacy, but denouncing anyone who even mildly dissents or objects (including the president) to this destructive process.

Thus, what began as attempt by small groups of extreme Marxists and Communists to eradicate any monument or symbol that might in some way offend a scraggly, poorly-educated brainwashed college student at the University of North Carolina, or might upset an unwashed obese “gal” who has been injected with gallons of feminist venom, and whose only life-fulfillment is to join the daily demonstrations and to scream profanities at perceived statuary symbols of “male sexism” and Confederate “racism,” ends with the governor of North Carolina  adopting that narrative and advocating it, while many Republicans flee in abject and cowardly fear to the tall grass.

What we behold is a wide-ranging, multifaceted attempt to completely “cleanse” the country of any and all reminders and symbols of a past that does not fit the narrow ideologically revisionist historical template of the extreme Left who have been advancing this initiative for decades. It is nothing less than a massive and sustained effort to transform our nation by eradicating the symbols of our historic tradition and culture, and to progressively replace them. Who we remember, not just who we give honor to, undergirds our understanding of ourselves, who we are as a people, what our beliefs and values are, and how we talk and communicate.

In the study of the Latin liturgy there is a standard maxim that asserts, “Lex orandi, lex credendi,” which can be rendered as “how you pray is how you will believe.” The symbols of our culture, our history and our civilization, and how we talk about them, shape not only our existence as a people but the future of our society, as well.  The Marxist left understood and understands this principle, and too many of our leaders do not.

The fact is that today the cultural Marxist narrative is not circumscribed or limited to the far left. It is shared by “mainstream” political leaders, zealously propagated by the Mainstream Media, presented to us in nearly every aspect of our popular culture and entertainment, taught as gospel in our schools, and preached in the pulpits by heresiarch pastors who are about as Christian as Joe Stalin.
Whatever future this nation--and the nations of Europe--will have, will be determined by whether this radical transformation succeeds, or whether it can be turned back and defeated. It is that simple.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

August 24, 2017

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 Are We Headed for A Second “Civil” War”


I placed the word “civil” above between quotation marks because the War that occurred between the States of the American federation in 1861-1865 was not, in an actual sense, a “civil” war. It was, rather, a war between duly constituted states that had never ceded controlling authority to the central government and which, rather than submit to unconstitutional diktats from Washington, took a stand militarily to defend an understanding of the Federal union that they believed to be the vision of the Founders of our union.

Rather, my question should actually be: “Are We Headed for A Real Civil War?”

Recently, several authors, including Pat Buchanan, have asked this question. They describe historical circumstances in 1860 similar to those we see around us in 2017. While there are similarities and comparisons to be made—and I agree that this nation is quickly reaching a crisis point, a point of no return—for me the closest analogy I see is with Spain in the mid-1930s, and the subsequent outbreak of true “civil war” there in July 1936.

The fall of the liberal Spanish monarchy in April 1931, brought about a period of intense instability. The newly-proclaimed republic was immediately torn between radical extremes: on the Left were a powerful Socialist Workers Party, Communists, Anarchists, and left-leaning Republicans—these groups strong in Spain’s major urban areas; on the Right were traditional monarchists (Carlists) in the hills and mountains of Navarra, Valencia, and Aragon, liberal monarchists (in the 19th century terminology), Agrarian groups, Christian Democrats (the CEDA), and the Spanish Falange (similar to the Italian Fascists, but with major differences,  religiously and politically).

For five years the Spanish republic struggled to find some kind of stability. But the radical differences in philosophy, religious belief, and regional background between the roughly balanced forces in the country inevitably meant that no unity, no compromise of any durability could be produced. As the Cardinal Primate of Spain in Toledo wrote in 1936: “How is it possible for a follower of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who believes that our society must accept the Social Sovereignty and Kingship of Christ—how is it possible for such a person to accept the Godless tyranny of, much less a partnership with, the Communists, anarchists and socialists?”

The past half century has witnessed the growth in the United States of a situation reminiscent to that of Spain in the early 1930s that finally led to uprisings by a portion of the Spanish military, together with the traditionalist and Catholic farmers and middle classes in the north of the country. Unlike America in 1861, when the Southern states themselves debated secession, in July 1936 the rising against the Spanish socialist government occurred like patchwork, in dozens of cities and in scattered regions of the nation.

In Catalonia, for instance, while Barcelona remained under control of the socialists and communists, large rural areas of the province rose up with the slogan, “For God, for Country, for King, and for our regional rights!” In Madrid, the government put down the rising, but in the north, in Navarra, Old Castile, and parts of Aragon, the rightist-Catholic-traditionalist forces, in conjunction with army units, were successful.

By 1939, Spain’s Nationalists, its alliance of monarchists, Catholics, and right-wing republicans, with the powerful military leadership of Francisco Franco, had achieved a hard-fought victory; hundreds of thousands of Spaniards were dead, hundreds of churches has been torched, and Spain would not recover economically until the late 1950s.

What various writers have noted in our country since the election of President Trump is a state of affairs that I think is analogous to that in Spain eighty years ago: what we term the “American Left” has spiraled much further to the left, indeed, to extremes not hitherto witnessed in American politics. And what makes this situation so grave is that the Leftist narrative now basically controls one major political party in the United States, and has growing influence in the other party, as well. The media and means of communication, our entertainment industry, and perhaps most critically, our educational establishment, by and large are also controlled by this Leftist template.

Until last year it seemed that this movement to the Left would continue its unstoppable advance, unhindered in large part by a disorganized and intellectually febrile opposition. But the results of the November election and the appearance of a visible and newly active populist and nationalist Right signaled the existence of real opposition. It was, indeed, those “deplorables”—those Middle American Radicals—who blocked the way of the once-thought irrepressible Revolution and its Deep State managers.

The result has been a fierce counter-reaction from the Left, from the Deep State apparatus, its array of government functionaries and politicians, it adjuncts in education and in Hollywood, all under the advance leadership of its zealous Mainstream Media panzers who do not seek “unity” under one flag, one Constitution, or one God, as President Trump pleads. Rather, they seek to suppress and extinguish the opposition, even if it takes open conflict—whether on college campuses, or in the streets of our cities, but more effectively for the moment in the halls of Congress and in the newsrooms of the major media.

But make no doubt, although widespread violence has not broken out—yet—we are indeed in a “civil war,” and that war is not just political and cultural, but also religious, a war for the very heart and soul of the American nation.

This conflict reached something of a boiling point in Charlottesville and Durham recently, but not specifically over those Confederate monuments. Rather, the statues to Lee and the Confederate veterans are pretexts, symbols of a culture, a mode of existence, a faith, that the Left and its Deep State managers detest and which must be destroyed. That they have met fierce resistance, even coming from the president, is both maddening and infuriating.

With these demons from Hell, just as with the Communists and Marxists of Spain in 1936, there can be no unity, no coming together. In the end, one side must win, the other must lose.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23, 2017

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

Were Lee and the Confederates “Traitors” Who Turned their Backs on the American Constitution?


You can tell a lot about a person by the friends he cherishes, and you can intuit much about how a writer thinks on one topic by how he thinks on another, related topic. This surmise is not always true in every case, but, I think it applies in a great majority of situations. Tell me what a person—a distinguished author, a political leader, a cultural icon—believes, his perspective, on this or that significant historical event,   and you can usually gather a valid impression of his worldview and overarching philosophy.

A few years back I created my own measure, my own test, as it were, to determine on which side of immense and fundamentally unbridgeable divides various writers and authors, politicians, and others come down on. It seemed to me that we could take, historically, several major conflicts and wars, that fundamentally shaped not only subsequent history, but also, indelibly, the consciousness, thinking and cultural outlook of succeeding generations, and utilize them as markers.

I came up with the following five:

1)     The  English Civil War, 1642-1651;

2)     The French Revolution, 1789-1799, also including the Napoleonic Period, 1799-1815;

3)     The War Between the States, 1861-1865;

4)     The Communist Revolution, 1917-1920; and

5)     The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939.

I won’t dwell at length on my reasons for selecting these conflicts as measures—I will save that discussion for another time. But I will say I believe how we think about them clearly illustrates where a person stands in relation to the accumulated inheritance—that great continuum—of Western and Christian tradition. Respond correctly on all five (as I see it), and you are a staunch defender of that heritage and most probably have been able, in some fashion, to understand the fundamental connection those conflicts have in the context of our civilization and our willingness to defend it.

Obviously, for most self-described “conservatives,” there are at least two “giveaways” in my list, that is, two of the five questions they would very likely answer correctly: about the French Revolution and the Communist Revolution. Most “conservatives,” if queried, would have certainly opposed them (and I would include that "great disrupter of Europe," Napoleon here).

It becomes harder after that, and, I suggest, even more critical to a determination. Not that many current “conservative” writers or politicians are intimately familiar with the history, causes, and issues surrounding the English Civil War.  Yet, I would state most vigorously that issues debated then were, in microcosm and incipiently, some of the issues we continue to debate today, and that a faithful and thinking defender of the continuity of Western tradition must, necessarily, come down on the side of the Royalists, as opposed to Oliver Cromwell’s authoritarian experiment in democracy. King Charles, for all his mistakes and bad decisions, nevertheless, represented the traditions of his country and, as he stated at his famous trial, represented “more the people of England” than the rump “democratic” dictatorship of the Cromwellians and Roundheads.

Back in the 1960s, back when William F. Buckley’s magazine, National Review and Russell Kirk’s journal, Modern Age, were arguably truly conservative, the question concerning the Spanish Civil War would have, likewise, been a giveaway. Almost all conservatives would have viewed that conflict in the light of a much larger, universal conflict between international Communism and those forces opposed to it, and this despite the fact that the anti-Republican Nationalist forces led by Francisco Franco did receive some support from Fascist Italy and Hitler’s Germany (while the Soviet Union not only supported the Republic, but eventually via the Spanish Communist Party eliminated most of its opposition in Spanish Republican ranks). But not today; indeed,  many of the dominant “conservatives” of 2017—the Neoconservatives—come down passionately on the side of the socialist Republic, and, employing the linguistic armor of the Left, they attack the Nationalist, Catholic and traditionalist forces that fought against the Republic, as “fascists.”

Finally, there is the War Between the States, and it is here, in this case, where we indeed can separate the true traditionalist conservatives who comprehend and accept the continuum of Western Christian civilization, its virtues, and its authority, and those who have, in reality and to varying degrees, severed themselves from that continuity. It is here that we can range on one side those who accept and participate in that “great chain of being”—that fundamentally religious and hierarchical structure of all matter and life, decreed by God, Himself, and present in our historical consciousness, and those who do not accept it. For support, in some form, of the Confederacy becomes that crucial measure that determines not just a political outlook about states’ rights and the original meaning of the American Constitution. It also demonstrates a vision of reality and of our existence as human beings created  by and subservient to God as part of an organic whole, a Creation which must continually be protected and defended against those who would seek to puncture it,  or distort its meaning, if not, eventually, to subvert or destroy it.

Certainly, there are those of good will and, let us call it, “invincible ignorance” who have been educated to think that the primary issue in 1861 was slavery, and that Abraham Lincoln was simply reacting to those “rebels” who wished to destroy “the sacred bonds” of Union, while advancing the great humanitarian cause of “freedom.” So much for the caliber and character of our contemporary educational system, not to mention Hollywood’s ideologically tendentious (and mostly successful) attempts to influence us. 
Yet, that mythology surrounding the Southern Iliad of 1861-1865 will not stand serious cross-examination.

Consider these popular myths and shibboleths:

The War was about slavery!” Not really accurate: the war aims cited repeatedly by Lincoln and Northern publicists were that the War was to “preserve the Union.” Indeed, if abolition of slavery had been declared as the principle war aim in 1861, most likely a great majority of Union political leaders, not to mention Union soldiers, would have recoiled, and the Northern war effort would most likely have collapsed. It was difficult enough to gain wide support in the North, as it was. Remember, Lincoln was elected with less than 40% of the vote in 1860, and barely gained pluralities in most Northern states.

“Lincoln freed the slaves!” Not so; Lincoln freed not one slave. His Emancipation Proclamation, issued first on September 22, 1862 and finalized on January 1, 1863, supposedly “freeing the slaves,” only applied to those areas not under Union military control or occupation, that is, territory of the independent Southern states. It did not apply to the “slave states” within the Union or controlled by the Union military, including Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. Thus, Lincoln’s proclamation “freed” slaves where his action had no effect, but left it untouched where he could have “freed” them. Not only that, exactly one month prior to his initial proclamation he had been interviewed by Horace Greeley, editor of The New York Tribune, where he forthrightly stated: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it… What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union….” [August 22, 1862] The amendments to end slavery came after the conclusion of the war and after the death of Lincoln.

And most recently this charge: “Robert E. Lee and other Confederate military leaders who had been in the US Army committed treason by violating their oaths to defend the Union, and Confederate leaders were in rebellion against the legitimately elected government of the United States.”

It is this accusation that has become an ultimate weapon of choice—the “ultima ratio”—for today’s fierce opponents of the various monuments that honor Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, P. G. T. Beauregard, and other Confederate military leaders, and for the belief that they should be taken down. And most especially, it is spewed forth as unassailable gospel by many Neoconservative writers, publicists, pundits, and their less distinguished camp followers in much of the NeverTrump elites of the Republican Party.

Most recently, we have witnessed the spectacle of Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, apparently “channeling” (!) Robert E. Lee and declaring that if Marse Robert were alive today he would gleefully join in the chorus to bring down those monuments honoring Confederate soldiers and leaders. [ ] Tell us, Rich, so the great general would be there right beside the “antifa” Marxists and Black Lives Matter vandals, that is, those “new” friends you have made over on the extreme left?

Even more obtuse anti-Confederate views come from Mona Charen, a long time Neocon publicist and NeverTrumper, who fears that the GOP is “being taken over by Trumpists and Neo-Confederates”! [ ] Perish the thought, Mona!

But it is from the foul mouths of “conservatives” Andrew Bacevitch and Max Boot that the worst venom emits, and, fascinatingly, it could have just as well come from a member of the communist Workers’ World Party as from Bacevitch (who writes for The American Conservative, but voted for Obama twice) or Boot (who was John McCain’s foreign policy advisor during McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign).

Just a few quotes from Bacevitch:

“My complaint about Lee—I admit this to my everlasting shame—was not that he was a slaveholder who in joining the Confederacy fought to preserve slavery. It was that he had thereby engineered the killing of many thousands of American patriots who (whatever their views on slavery and race) wished simply to preserve the Union. At the beginning of the Civil War, Lee famously remarked that he could not bring himself to take up arms against his home state of Virginia. This obliged him to take up arms against the very nation that as a serving officer he had sworn to defend? No less than Benedict Arnold, Robert E. Lee was a traitor. This became, and remains, my firm conviction.”    [ ]

And then this from Boot:

…what is it that we are supposed to be grateful to the Confederates for? For seceding from the Union? For, in the case of former U.S. Army officers such as Lee and Jackson, violating their oaths to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”? For triggering the most bloody conflict in American history? For fighting to keep their fellow citizens in bondage? [ ]

Now, these individuals are, supposedly, well-educated, with valuable university degrees, writers of some (I would submit, undeserved) repute. I do not believe they fall into the category of invincible ignorance; I do not believe that will suffice as an explanation or excuse for the hatred-laced and furious animus they demonstrate against a Lee or any other faithful military leader of the Confederacy. Rather, they fall clearly on that other side of my unbridgeable divide—they implicitly, through this major indicator and precisely because they are educated, reject the continuum of Western Christian civilization. They may protest not, but, in effect and through their views, they effectively do so. And, as such, they are the enemies of those who do defend that great chain of being, that European inheritance of those who went before us, the legacy of Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome. Thus, they must be called out and their vision denounced for what it is: the “Fifth Column” of the progressivist Revolution that seeks to radically remake the world and man…and that remade image is not one that comes from God.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 22, 2017

MY CORNER  by Boyd Cathey

What Are America’s Vital Interests in Afghanistan? 

This morning I am reminded of a passage from that little book of sardonic humor, 1066 and All That (originally published in 1930).  Its full title is: 1066 and All That: A Memorable History of England, comprising all the parts you can remember, including 103 Good Things, 5 Bad Kings and 2 Genuine Dates. It’s a very irreverent look at British history, a kind of primer characterized by those unique touches of British wit which manage to convey a skeptical view of the established history, but always with an underlying point, humorously made.
One such “good thing” comes in the section on Afghanistan—or was it Burma? The authors ask: “Why was there a THIRD Afghan War?” And the answer is: “Because there had only been TWO Afghan Wars!” The Brits had fought two wars in Afghanistan, 1839-1840 and 1878-1880, but then came a third in 1919, and all three times Britain ended up basically leaving the country as unmanageable and, in fact, ungovernable.  Certainly, with Imperial Russia extending its influence from the north in central Asia, various British governments believed they needed to protect and shore up their “northern flank,” the Northwest Frontier, separating greater India and Russian territories to the north. Afghanistan became the buffer, but it never actually came under direct British rule.
Sixty years later Soviet Russia attempted to impose Communism, or a form thereof, on the mountainous kingdom.  From 1979 until 1989 well over 100,000 front line Soviet troops attempted to pacify the Afghans, only to leave disastrously in 1989, tails between their legs…And, with more ominous portents for the United States, suffering a momentous defeat that helped directly precipitate the final death throes of the Soviet Communist state. Afghanistan, like Vietnam for the United States twenty years previously, had not only been a “killing field,” but had radically altered and depressed Russia and the views—and spirit—of its citizenry.
Interestingly, during the Soviet-Afghan War it had been the United States that supplied weapons to the Taliban fighters who, at that time, led the insurgency against the Soviets; they were pictured as “freedom fighters against Communism.” In effect, we were tacitly allied with them. Many of those same weapons are now being used against the American-supported government in Kabul and against the several thousand American troops stationed there.
As I watched President Trump deliver a difficult, even pained, speech last night on future American involvement in the Afghan hinterlands, I could not help but reflect on this desultory and unsettling history. I kept asking myself this question: “What is the vital interest of the United States in Afghanistan?”
I recall that after 9/11 the rationale for our involvement there was the presence of Al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, those responsible for the destruction of the Twin Towers, that immense terrorist attack on America and its citizens. Al Qaeda was involved in terrorism here, in the continental United States. And we were going to search them out there and kill them where they held up in their caves in the impenetrable mountain ranges of Afghanistan.  That rationale, at least, made some sense strategically from the point of view of national security. We were protecting our vital interests and responding to those who had committed acts of terrorism against our citizens, specifically in New York City. We went there to strike a death blow to Al Qaeda and take out its leader, Osama bin Laden.
But, what then, after Al Qaeda had transferred its center of operations elsewhere? Since the ignominious defeat of the Soviets and the initial American involvement after 9/11, the Taliban replaced Al Qaeda as the looming threat to a new Afghan government that is propped up by the United States and American arms. That situation was in large part the product of the globalist Neoconservative policy advisors surrounding George W. Bush. Just like in Iraq, or in Bosnia, and just as in other eventual failures in “nation building,” Afghanistan would become their latest experiment in imposing liberal democracy and all the fruits of representative government, women's rights, free elections, and, no doubt, eventually diversity, same sex marriage, perhaps even transgenderism, on the conservative Islamic Afghan tribes.
In fact, they had learned nothing from earlier failures; their globalist and democratic ideology, which the Neocons posited as “universally applicable” anywhere and everywhere, trumped all other considerations. And the result of that policy and of the studied indifference and lack of a policy during the Obama years brings us up to present and the very possible success of the Taliban in its efforts to overthrow the hapless “central government” in Kabul and expel the Americans—just as they forced 100,000 crack Soviet troops to leave twenty-eight years ago.
The Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda are by no means the same. The Taliban is not an international or global Islamic terror network; rather, its objective is an Islamic Afghan state which it would govern. As such, it presents no critically intrinsic or international threat to the United States on the scale of ISIS or Al Qaeda. No military man, no military leader, relishes the idea of “leaving a job undone.” In Afghanistan, since the Bush administration, the United States has more or less had two major objectives: assisting in the defeat of the Taliban, and propping up a new “liberal democratic” government in Kabul. While last night President Trump repeated his campaign promise that the United States was not in the business of “nation building,” he reversed himself and acceded to hawkish military and Neocon advisors regarding American involvement in “search and destroy” missions. Apparently Generals Mattis, McMaster, and others convinced him that approximately another 4,000 American soldiers are needed “to get the job done.”
But what happens if in, say, six or ten months time those same generals and advisors come back and say: “Mr. President, the 12,000 troops there aren’t sufficient enough to get the job done, we need to double that number.” Or, after the passage of an additional year, and their advice is that just maybe another 25,000 Americans might do the trick?  Does anyone remember the portentous decision that President Kennedy made when he committed the first few thousands of combat troops to stop international Communism in South Vietnam? And back then we were at least, arguably, facing a very real and very militaristic international threat from a global power that had stated that its goal was “to bury us.”
It is fine and well that we state upfront that we are no longer in the business of “nation building,” and also that Pakistan must cease its somewhat surreptitious support for the Taliban. Indeed, Pakistan is a key to Taliban success. But let us ask: Does not the halting, fitful decision announced last night, against the president’s instinctive judgment and his campaign promises, place us squarely on a slippery slope? Indeed, this morning I heard the ultra-interventionist par excellence, Senator Lindsey Graham, loudly praising the president to high Heaven for his decision to send more troops to defend “freedom,” “democracy,” “human rights,” the “equality of Afghan women,” that is, all the usual and accustomed ideology conveyed in the slogans of Neocon foreign policy. And just about any time Lindsey is for something, my antennae go up, and I am agin’ it.
And what happens, now, to the agenda so forcefully and clearly enunciated by Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign? Does it fall by the wayside, superseded by another desultory, unwinnable and steadily enlarging war in a far off land mostly inaccessible and certainly uninviting to the vast majority of American citizens?
I pray that this time—on this occasion—that the president and his advisors are right. But history and constant experience argue strongly and convincingly that they are not.

Monday, August 21, 2017

August  21, 2017

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 World Revolution, George Soros, and the Assault on the West


Back between grad schools, I served as assistant to conservative writer and philosopher Russell Kirk, way up in Mecosta, Michigan. Other than my secretarial duties for Dr. Kirk I had I plenty of time to read (the Kirks had no television). And with Russell’s library of over 30,000 books I had a bibliophile’s cornucopia at my fingertips! Not only that, he was one of the most widely read of “teachers” a young grad student could ever have.

So, in addition to his vast collection of histories and biographies, I was able to read great literature, the classics—Sir Walter Scott, John Dryden, Jonathan Swift, Robert Lewis Stevenson, T. S. Eliot, and more ancient, Plutarch’s Lives, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the Norse Sagas, Corneille, and, my favorites, the Spaniards Lope de Vega and Calderon de la Barca. I mention these not to boast, but only to say that my year with Dr. Kirk was very fruitful in multiple ways that I only now appreciate.

As I reflect and write essays, scenes and quotations from many of those classics come back to me, and many times seem to fit and support my narratives.

This morning, as I was assembling some items to send out, items that seemed to support a central theme, one of those quotes came to me. It is from Benjamin Disraeli, the great Conservative 19th century British prime minister, prominently featured in Kirk’s signature work, The Conservative Mind (1953). It comes from one of Disraeli’s novels, Coningsby. Here it is: "So you see, my dear Coningsby, that the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes."

Disraeli wrote those words over 170 years ago. But today, as we survey the decaying remnants of a culture that once was proudly the “Christian West,” that is, our inherited European civilization that has been with us and has shaped and annealed us for nearly two millennia—as we behold the very open, no-holds-barred attacks on this legacy, it is apparent that this decay and decrepitude has arrived not by accident, or even by frontal assault. Rather, the great success of Marxism has been to subvert and influence, to transform, the culture of the West from within, almost as if clandestinely. 

Shortly after the First World War the Italian Communist theoretician, Antonio Gramsci, formulated a theory regarding what he termed "cultural hegemony." The brilliant Gramsci, viewing the failure of "war communism" to overthrow the traditional order (e.g., the defeat of the Marxist revolutions in Germany and of the Soviets at the momentous Battle of Warsaw in 1920), understood that Marxist revolution could never be successful in its campaign against the historic Christian West through open military conflict.

Despite the ravages and debilitating effects of 19th century liberalism, an overarching, traditionalist cultural and religious template—a “cultural hegemony”—yet guided much of Western thought, set standards, and governed conduct. This cultural hegemony, Gramsci postulated, must be overturned and replaced. The West would only be conquered if its traditional cultural and religious bases, grounded in an orthodox Christian faith, were transformed.

The past century has witnessed the implementation of this strategy, and, ironically, more so by Marxists in our midst, and less so by the more conservative and more nationalist Soviet Communists, especially under the guidance of Josef Stalin. This “cultural” Marxist long-march through our institutions began in earnest in the academy, in our schools and colleges. Various observers point to the tremendously wide-ranging success of the “Frankfort School” Marxist intellectuals, who, being Jewish, were driven out of National Socialist Germany in the 1930s, and thereupon set up shop in the United States at Columbia University. From that secure perch they exercised incredible influence in nearly every aspect of American (and European) intellectual life.

Indeed, as a grad student I remember that various works by Herbert Marcuse (in philosophy), Theodor Adorno (in sociology and music theory), Max Horkheimer (in social psychology), Erich Fromm (in psychoanalysis), and Jurgen Habermas (in history) were all the rage—several of my grad professors enthusiastically imposed them on me and my fellow grad students. What I began to realize even then was, taken as a whole, and with additional ideological support from such influential writers as Frantz Fanon (on colonialism, imperialism and “white oppression”) and Michel Foucault (on the transformation of social and political structures, and “critical theory”), what was occurring was an immense and universal effort to alter not just thinking patterns and social and political objectives, but our very language, itself.

And there was very little real opposition: the dominant intellectual force in the West through much of the 20th century was a pliant and intellectually bankrupt liberalism, which could not withstand the withering critiques launched against it by cultural Marxism. Indeed, it can be argued that liberalism prepared the terrain for Marxist success.

Those older “liberal” writers and professors had done their damnedest to critique and bring down an even older, traditional order, politically, socially, and religiously, but they had nothing better or more permanent to replace it with. Their theories about “liberal democracy,” “equality,” “civil rights,” and “liberalization,” advocated and implemented to take the place of fealty to inherited tradition, belief in religious orthodoxy, and the existence of social orders and the inherent recognition that inequality is a natural condition of life—those nostrums, having weakened both the political and social fabric of historic Western society, left Europe and America open to the dazzlingly seductive attractions of a Marxism which was  not, like the Soviet brand, stodgy and kleptocratic.

The future of the world lay not with those septuagenarian and fossilized commissars standing immobile in Red Square annually on May Day to review Soviet armed might; it was with those cultural Marxists whose genealogy may be traced to the internationalist vision of Leon Trotsky and his minions, who had, over the decades, revolutionized the thinking, goals, and very language of the West—and whose mindset, whose template, had not only re-invigorated a once-thought-dead Marxism, but had established its preeminence and “cultural hegemony” across the broad spectrum of all Western thought and culture.

This, then, is what those of us yet faithful to that much older tradition, that orthodox Christian and Western inheritance, face. Across the political and cultural landscape even those supposed opponents of this advancing Progressivism—and their final assault on what is left of our inherited but severely endangered legacy—those supposed opponents employ its language and tacitly accept its ultimate objectives. Thus, those so-called Neoconservatives and their Republican camp followers serve, in their own circuitous manner, to both enable and sanctify the conquests of the Progressivist and Marxist advances.

Still, the universal conflict, which apparently seemed lost for us, is not over. November 2016 proved that, and the fitful awakening here in the United States and the growth of a nationalist conservative and populist and traditionalist reaction in Europe, illustrate that.

And that is precisely why we see the increased, feverish, and hysterically unbridled reactions by the multifaceted forces of the Progressivist “Deep State.” That reaction takes many forms, most particularly in the United States by the open warfare waged on President Trump (and even more on his agenda) by the Mainstream Media and its acolytes in both political parties, in academia, and in popular culture.

Among the influential, worldwide “gray eminences”—political and spiritual “godfathers”—of the Progressivist offensive is the international billionaire George Soros, whose tentacles reach into nearly every corner of the world. Through his Open Society Foundations he funnels billions of dollars into Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) whose work on the ground in dozens of countries is to influence and subvert any nation that may resist incorporation into a New World Order, the actual and ultimate objective of the Deep State, and, thus, the final stage and triumph of a new “cultural hegemony” envisaged by Antonio Gramsci. 

According to the foundations' website   [], 1993–2014, its    expenditures included:

·         $2.9 billion to defend human rights, especially the rights of womenethnic, racial, and religious minoritiesdrug userssex workers; and LGBTQ communities;

·         $2.1 billion for education;

·         $1.6 billion on developing democracy in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union;

·         $1.5 billion in the United States to promote reform in criminal justicedrug policypalliative careeducationimmigrationequal rights, and democratic governance;

·         $737 million for public health issues such as HIV and AIDSTB, palliative care, harm reduction, and patients' rights;

·         $214 million to advance the rights of Roma communities in Europe.

Soros’s vision conveniently coincides with the overall domestic goals of the Deep State/establishment in everything from support for "immigration reform" to funding for gun control, expanding "voting rights," the destruction of gender identity,  and the efforts of such groups as "Black Lives Matter." 

In foreign policy, his tentacles have reached into far off Georgia in the Caucasus, to Ukraine,  to Syria, or to countless other locales. With his pyramid of pass-through funding foundations, his NGOs, and his close linkage and connections to leaders in the European Union, Washington, and on Wall Street, he pushes his globalist agenda, including "open borders" and economic and social "dirigisme." And increasingly Soros lends support for overturning legitimately chosen governments that reject his  vision (e.g., the overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine in 2014, and more recently his efforts to undermine the government of Viktor Orban in Hungary).

But you will hear nary a word about his nefarious tentacles of influence from the Mainstream Media. If you mention him and his international, behind-the-scenes influence, you are immediately labeled a “conspiracy theorist nut” or worse.

Yet, Soros fits Disraeli’s description of 170 years ago; if there ever was confirmation, he exemplifies it.  He epitomizes that occult face of the “blood dimmed tide” of Revolution against God and man that poet William Butler Yeats warned of in 1919—at the very same moment in time when Antonio Gramsci was authoring his theories that would prove so fatal to the West.

He who would know the truth, must then act upon it. Over the past year or so the actual character, the real face of the Revolution, has been revealed as perhaps never before. Although lacking many of the resources and weaponry of our Enemies, those of us resolved not only to defend what is left of our culture and our Western Christian civilization, and, if possible, to restore it, must be as bold and as cunning as Nathan Bedford Forrest, as wise and as prudential as Marse Robert Lee, and as patient and as calculating as our Enemies who understood that to conquer the seemingly unconquerable, it will take time, and above all, persistence, intelligence and constancy. And, for us, at the foundation of it all, Faith.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

August 20, 2017

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 Can Americans Unify? Can there Ever be Unity with those who Desire your Extinction?


All over the news you hear various anguished personalities, political and otherwise, with pained expressions on their faces, voices trembling, even a furtive tear or two, pleading for national unity. “Can’t we all get along,” they mumble, echoing words uttered decades ago by Rodney King. (Remember him from the violence in the streets of Los Angeles?).

But I have a question, and it seems to me to be absolutely central: “Unite around what?” What is that principle or foundation of beliefs around which we should unify? If we posit a series of beliefs, a credo, which we hold as fundamental, and if we hold that those principles and vision for a just society come to us as a precious legacy from our ancestors and from our Western Christian traditions, will there be—can there be—any agreement, any unity with those who openly and forcefully reject that foundation and those essential principles as irretrievably laced with and poisoned  by racism, sexism, homophobia, and “white privilege,” not to mention hints of “fascism” and other not-so-pleasant “isms”?

The American republic was formed through a kind of understood compromise between the colonies; the Authors of our constitutional system fully comprehended that there were diverse elements and interests that must be balanced to make the new nation at all workable. But in 1787 there was enough essential agreement on fundamentals that a seemingly miraculous result was possible. Yet, those far-sighted men also feared what might happen should that which they created be perverted or turned from its original propositions.  The central Federal government was counter-balanced and limited by newly and fiercely independent states which jealously guarded a large portion of their own sovereignty. Voting was universally restricted to those considered most qualified to exercise the franchise, usually based on a property freehold. Universal suffrage was considered by the near totality of the Fathers of our Constitution to be a sure means of destroying the young republic: absolute democracy and across-the-board egalitarianism--equality--were considered fatal for the future of the country. Such views were sidelined to the periphery, without practical voice in the running of the commonwealth.

The American republic was, in all but name, a “Christian” republic. Certainly, the basic documents of our founding did not formally state as much. There was no formal national “religious establishment,” as existed in almost all European countries. Yet, despite that lack of national confessionality, the new nation, while demanding freedom for religious expression, professed de facto the Christian faith as a kind of understood basis of the new nation. As is often pointed out, almost immediately after adopting the Bill of Rights in 1791 (authored, ironically, by slaveholder James Madison), including the “freedom of religion”  First Amendment, Congress provided for paid Christian chaplains in the new Northwest Territories. Even more confirming is the fact that nearly every one of the original thirteen colonies/new states had a “religious establishment” or religious test of some sort on the state level, and those establishments were left completely untouched by the First Amendment, which was understood to mean only the formal establishment of a national supported state church.

Above all, there existed amongst the new Americans the ability to converse and communicate with each other, using the same language, and employing the same symbols and imagery that had brought them together originally as a country. Appeals to traditional English law and the historic “rights of Englishmen,” the belief in a God of the Old and New Testament whose prescriptions found in Holy Writ informed both the laws of the state and the understanding of justice and virtue, and an implicit, if not explicit, agreement that there were certain limits of thought and action beyond which one could not go without endangering the republican experiment, formed a kind of accepted public orthodoxy. Alexis de Tocqueville documented this in his classic work, Democracy in America (1835).

That modus vivendi—that ability to get along and agree on most essentials—continued, sometimes fitfully, until 1861. The bloody War Between the States that erupted that year might have been avoided if the warnings of the Authors of the Constitution had been heeded, if the Federal executive in 1861 had understood the original intentions of 1787 and the precarious structural balance that the Philadelphia Convention had erected. But that was not the case, and four years of brutal war followed, with over half a million dead and thousands more maimed, and, most tragically, that essential “via media” between an increasingly powerful central government and the rights of the states and of communities, and eventually, of persons, distorted and perverted. 

The resulting trajectory towards centralization, the growth of a powerful Federal government, has continued nearly unabated for150 years. With it and with the gradual destruction of not just the rights of the states, but also of communities and persons, came the institutionalization of a large and mostly unseen permanent bureaucracy, a managerial and political class, that took upon itself the role of actually ruling and running the nation. James Burnham and the late Samuel Francis have written profoundly on this creation of a managerial state within the state.  Indeed, in more recent days we have come to label this establishment the “Deep State.”

Concurrent with this transformation governmentally and politically, our society and our culture have equally been transformed. It is certainly arguable that the defeat of the Confederate states in 1865, that is, the removal of what was essentially a conservative and countervailing element in American polity, enabled the nearly inevitable advance of a more “liberal” vision of the nation. At base, it was above all the acceptance by post-war Americans of nearly all persuasions of the Idea of Progress, the vision that “things”—events, developments in thought and in the sciences and in culture, as well in governing—were inevitably moving towards a bright new future. It was not so much to the past we would now look, but to the “new,” which always lay ahead of us.  And that future was based squarely on the idea of an “enlightenment” that always seemed to move to the political and cultural Left. While loudly professing and pushing for more “openness” and more “freedom,” liberation from the “straightjacket” of traditional religion and religious taboos, and propounding equality in practically every field of public and private endeavor, ironically, the underlying effect and result of this “progress” has brought with it in reality a severe curtailment of not just many of our personal liberties, but of the guaranteed rights once considered sacrosanct under our old Constitution.

I would argue, as well, that this long term, concerted movement, and eventual triumph of nineteenth liberalism and twentieth century progressivism, politically, culturally, and in our churches, not only placed into doubt those essential and agreed-upon elements that permitted the country to exist in some form of “unity,” but also enabled the growth of ideologies and belief systems that, at base, rejected the very foundations, the fragile creed, of that origination.

In one of the amazing turnarounds in history, the fall of Soviet Communism in 1991—hollowed out and decaying after years of boasting that it would “bury” the West—witnessed almost concurrently the exponential growth and flourishing of an even more insidious and seductive version of Marxism in the old Christian West, in Europe and the United States. A century of the ravages and termite-like devastation by liberalism and progressivist ideology had debilitated the foundations—and the requisite will—to resist the attractions of a cultural Marxism that eventually pervaded our culture, our education, our entertainment industry, and our establishment religious thought. Older and gravely weakened inherited standards and once-revered benchmarks of right and wrong, of justice, of rights and duties, were replaced by what the Germans call a “gestalt,” or a kind of settled overarching Marxist view of society and culture which had no room for opposing views. Dr. Paul Gottfried has written extensively on this phenomenon.

That dogmatic vision now pervades our colleges and public education; it almost totally dominates Hollywood; it controls the Democratic Party and large swathes of the Republican Party; it speaks with ecclesiastical authority through the heresiarchs who govern most of our churches; and, most critically, it provides a linguistic template—an approved language—that must be accepted and employed, lest the offender be charged with “hate speech” or “hate thought.” Its goals—the imposition of a beguiling but ultimately phony democracy not just in the United States but across the face of the globe—the legislation of an across-the-board equality which is reminiscent of the kind of “equality” the pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm “legislated”—the perpetuation of a largely unseen, unanswerable, unstoppable managerial and political class, secure in its power and omnipotence—the proclamation of the United State (and Europe) as an “open nation with no physical borders”—have been and are being realized.

It is this overlay, this suffocating ideological blanket, with its dogmas of multicultural political correctness, its anathematization of perceived “racism,” “sexism,” homophobia,” “nativism,” and other characterized forms of “bigotry” as unforgivable sins, that now has assumed near total dominance in our society. The older forms of liberalism were incapable of offering effective opposition, for cultural Marxism utilized liberalism’s own arguments to essentially undo it, and eventually, absorb it.

Yet, there were and are still millions of Americans—and Europeans—who have been left behind, not yet swept up in that supposedly ineluctable movement to the Left. They are variously labeled the “deplorables,” or perhaps if they do not share completely the reigning presumptions of the Mainstream Media and academia, they are “bigots” or “yahoos,” uninformed “rednecks,” and, increasingly, maybe “white nationalists,” or worse. The prevailing utter condescension and contempt for them by the established Deep State would make the most severe witch-burner of the 17th century envious.

So, again, I ask: unify around what? Unite with whom? On what basis and on what set of fundamental beliefs and principles? Can there be such unity with those who wish your extinction and replacement?

Frankly, I don’t think so…unless millions have a “road to Damascus” conversion, or some major conflagration occurs to radically change hearts and minds. 
If there is any resilience left amongst those who refuse such "unity," then their answer--our answer--must be: we shall resist you and defeat you, and send you back to the bowels of Hell from which you come.

                                                June 11, 2021   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey     The Battle for the West is Also a Cult...