May 31, 2021
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
Defending the West Against the Barbarians – Recent Essays in this Series
On occasion I will list other venues than my little Web site where some of my essays have been (re)published. Given that for an entry on MY CORNER, usually no more than a few hundred folks will access it—I think perhaps just twelve or so of my original Web essays (since August 2017) have received more than one-thousand views—republication has meant a lot more exposure (and perhaps notoriety), both national and international.
Although since April 2 I have authored eight essays, my pieces have shown up in other venues eighteen times, including LewRockwell.com, The Abbeville Institute, Reckonin.com, The Unz Review, Straight Line Logic, Confederate Veteran magazine, and Reddit.com. LewRockwell.com has published all eight, and I remain deeply gratified for that exposure by such a highly-trafficked Web site. Additionally, two earlier ones have also been republished.
Readers of my articles will know that I normally do not focus on the most salient or talked-about aspect of a current question. If others—a Pat Buchanan, Ilana Mercer, DissidentMama, Paul Craig Roberts, Brion McClanahan, Paul Gottfried, etc.—are examining a significant issue, I try to view it from a slightly different perspective. And sometimes my commentaries, well, they may seem a little arcane.
More than once I’ve had a friend ask me: “Why did you write on that? What were you trying to say?” My response has always been that just about everything I attempt to convey, to write, is in some way connected to and comes under a broad heading of “the defense of Western Christian civilization and culture.” Thus, everything, from my staunch defense of Confederate monuments, to my long essay on the role of tradition in music, film and the arts, to my belief that the public schools have become toxic, to my continuing criticism of egalitarianism—all of these topics, I believe, are very important ones and should be examined.
I believe that the cultural artifacts of our civilization, including the arts and music that it has produced, are just as significant, if not more so, than the everyday debates over such topics as the budget or some “January 6 commission.” Those artifacts are part and parcel of what we call “the West,” our inheritance stretching back not only to Rome, but to classical Greece and Jerusalem. And they define it, convey its talent and its virtues, and give it expression.
For the wide-ranging, nearly irresistible forces of Revolution and its possessed zealots desire our total extinction not just politically and economically, but in every facet of our lives. Indeed, no one can stand by idly for long, no one can escape its tentacles and its reach. In the end, neutrality or fleeing “to the tall grass” can only be a temporary solution which ends in disaster.
Even worse, attempting to placate the Beast or to pretend that the forces which oppose us are like in the “good old days,” when Democrats and Republicans could sit down and work out some equitable compromise or solution, a la Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan, is not only foolish but encourages our fanatical enemies, emboldens them, and speeds up their barbaric work of demolition.
English critic Hilaire Belloc’s description, from over a century ago, is an apt summary of what has come to pass in our age:
“[T]he Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this that he cannot make; that he can befog or destroy, but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilisation exactly that has been true. We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us: we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.” (This and That and the Other,1912, p. 282)
In some recent essays I have compared our enemies to “pod people,” a cinematic trope that makes an analogy with a classic Hollywood film from 1956 (“Invasion of the Body Snatchers”). I have used G. K. Chesterton’s imagery and definition of unhinged lunacy (fr0m his volume, The Poet and the Lunatics, 1929). But I think the description I gave back on March 11, 2019, after I had stared into the fierce and burning eyes of members of a mob of “woke” social justice warriors who were attempting violently to “cancel” the annual Confederate Flag Day that we were celebrating at the old North Carolina State Capitol, may be the most acute and chilling.
What I observed then, and I recently described again, was “…a very real madness, an unleashed fury, eyes filled with uncontrolled hatred…. [which] betrayed ruptured souls, corrupted and demonized, existing in a kind of counter-reality with their own set of always-advancing rules, but dedicated in a fearsome and unambiguous way to the destruction—salvation through destruction—of Western Christian civilization, of mankind as we have known it.”
There is, I believe, no other way to put it: the enemies we face and that increasingly destroy our patrimony, our culture, our birthright, our civilization, are indeed in some ways possessed—yes, even in the traditional theological sense. Not all, of course, to the same degree; but nevertheless there is a common denominator between the screaming lunatic Antifa demonstrator in the streets who exults in the truly demonic destruction of our cities and the artifacts of our history, and the lunatic professor who rubrics his vicious mental assault on “historic white supremacy” in the classroom or in supposedly-scholarly journals on the in-vogue passion for Critical Race Theory—and the lunatic political leader who enables and abets such insanity.
In some ways all these individuals are possessed, in some ways perhaps like characters in Dostoevsky’s novel The Possessed. And increasingly there appears no immediate successful means to repel them, much less communicate with them—they may use some of the same words we do, but essentially their language becomes incomprehensible to us.
We counsel and urgently suggest severe educational reform to staunch the putrefaction in our schools and colleges, we plead for border security, we demand of conservative and Republican leaders that “they do something.” When a bull-in-a-china-shop like Donald Trump does actually come along and attempt, if only a little, to stand up to them, he is criticized and ostracized by those same supposed opposition leaders who, in reality, serve the very forces of Hell they profess to thwart. And then by deceit and illegality, the unwashed one is expelled from the presidency so that things can get back to normal: the lingering, sputtering demise of 2,000 years of Western civilization.
I have suggested—and I am not the only one to do so—some sort of internal separation or secession. And we see strong movements in places like eastern Oregon and Texas where people are beginning to discuss that and take preliminary action. That might be the most peaceful means to, at least for a time, alleviate the slow death we are experiencing as a nation.
I have also suggested that our future options are limited.
Most of my neighbors are now armed, many heavily armed. I pity a social justice warrior who would attempt a disturbance on my rural street. Senile Joe Biden, a puppet in the hands of an increasingly “woke” and crazed Democratic Party and its unhinged allies, is no bulwark against them. Our elections and election integrity can no longer be trusted after the 2020 election. Packing the Supreme Court, Washington DC and Puerto Rico as new states, open borders to millions of illegals, ending the filibuster, implementation nationally of Critical Race Theory—these are just a few of the revolutionary advances which await us if we do not stand forthrightly and intelligently.
And that is why I write, but not as much directly about those specific topics; others do that, and they do it better than I can. Rather, around the edges, as it were, with the hope that what I publish can offer support and just maybe broaden our understanding of the enemies—and they are Legion—we face, and possibly plant some ideas about things we should closely examine and action we should take.
Here, then, is a list, most likely partial, of where my essays have shown up since early April. I am honored by and grateful to these publications. My desire is that what I write will cause us to think and just maybe examine what we can do. Our options are limited, but inaction is not one of them:
First, my essay of April 2, “American Foreign Policy Advances the Globalist Revolution,” was published by LewRockwell.com on April 5, 2021.
Then, my April 10 offering, “Equality is NOT America’s Founding Principle,” appeared in three publications: LewRockwell.com (April 12, 2021), Reckonin.com (April 15, 2021), and the Abbeville Institute (April 21, 2021).
Next, on April 19 came my essay, “Slouching towards Armageddon: American Foreign Policy’s Death Wish,” which appeared at LewRockwell.com (April 23, 2021) and Straight Line Logic (also April 23, 2021).
Then came my entry into the debate between Dr. Brion McClanahan and Chronicles magazine, on one side, and Michael Anton of the Claremont Institute, on the other, on what Dr. McClanahan and Chronicles believe to have been the nefarious role of Abraham Lincoln, not only in American history but globally. That debate continues to rage; my commentary of April 27 came in the essay, “Lincoln, Chronicles Magazine, and the Disappearance of Southern Conservatism,” which then appeared at LewRockwell.com (April 29, 2021), the Abbeville Institute (May 3, 2021), and at Reckonin.com (May 5, 2021).
On April 26 I republished a very slightly updated essay I wrote for the New English Review, originally in October 2019: “Richard Strauss and the Survival of Western Culture.” It appeared in The Unz Review on April 26, 2021, and was widely commented on. I added a new introduction to it, and it ran at MY CORNER as: “The Survival of Western Culture: The Response of Richard Strauss,” on April 30, and was picked up by LewRockwell.com (May 3, 2021) and Reddit.com on April 28, 2021.
My essay, “Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home: VE Day and the End of the ‘American Century’,” appeared on May 8, and was featured at LewRockwell.com (May 10, 2021), Reckonin.com (May 13, 2021), and the Abbeville Institute (May 25, 2021).
My clarion-call, “Time to Privatize Our Public Schools,” appeared at MY CORNER on May 19, and was then picked up by LewRockwell.com (May 21, 2021).
My most recent essay, “Fake News, PolitiFact, and Media Cancel Culture,” from MY CORNER, May 26, has now been printed by LewRockwell.com (May 28, 2021)
Finally, my review of the new edition of The South Was Right! by James Ronald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy which I wrote earlier has been published in Confederate Veteran magazine (May/June 2021, vol. 79, no. 3),. Essentially it reproduced the review I offered at MY CORNER on November 28, 2020.
In this time of increasing censorship and brutal cancel culture, I appreciate the confidence of these outlets, and equally, I am grateful to readers for their interest and comments.